Monday, 25 September 2017

Blog Tips: How I Location Scout For OOTDs

Andrews Scenic Acres Toronto Milton Photos

Have you ever looked back at older blog posts and wondered 'what was I thinking?' Although I'm always up for a good stroll down memory lane, sometimes looking back at older blog posts can be painful. I started blogging in 2013, and until about 2015-2016 I took every single one of my outfit photos in front of a white brick by my old apartment building. Every single photo! While I'm glad that I actually got the guts to go outside and start documenting my outfits, it took so much longer to step out of my comfort zone of the white wall and start shooting in different locations.

Now I truly believe that the location of your photos is just as important as the outfit itself. I like to think of each photo, each blog post as a visual story and the backdrop can add just as much to the story as the subject itself. I love seeking out different locations to help to add to every photo, but it definitely does get difficult - certainly harder than just going downstairs to shoot a photo against a white brick wall! Here are some tricks and tips that I've picked up while hunting for photo locations that I hope you'll find helpful.

Cafe Can Can Toronto Photos

1. Look At Your Surroundings With A New Lens


Sometimes the best locations are right under your nose, it just takes shifting the way you look at things to find them. Take a long walk through your area, but look at everything through the lens of a photographer. Start to notice things that would otherwise go unnoticed on a day-to-day basis: the colour of a wall, the way the sun hits an alleyway, the architecture of a building. If you see something that could work for photos, snap a photo with your phone and save it into a separate folder for locations. I've done this in my own area a few times, and am still finding little nooks and crannies that work for photos, and I love having a catalogue on my phone to scroll through when I'm planning photo shoots. Once I started actively seeking out different locations for photos and changed the way I looked at an area, I was pleasantly surprised by how much variety was available.

Andrews Scenic Acres Milton Photos

2. Think Outside Of The Box


When you think 'blog photos' the first thing that comes to mind is a wall. While I definitely still love a good wall for photos, there is so much for available! Take restaurants or cafés, for example. A beautifully decorated, light-filled café is a great backdrop to shoot an outfit. Salons, bars, hotel lobbies - anything really! A good rule of thumb to follow if you want to take photos in a place of business is to always reach out to them to ask permission first. Sometimes I've even arranged to go in 10 minutes prior to opening so that I can take some photos without disrupting their business. Make sure to credit and tag the location in your photos to spread the love!

Cafe Can Can Toronto

3. Start Travelling With Your Camera

I made a pact to myself about a month ago that I would start carrying around my proper camera with me everywhere. Since doing so, my content for my blog and social media has increased so much! Yes, it is annoying - my camera and lens in particular is an absolute beast and extremely cumbersome to carry around. The reward, however, has been so worth it since I can get photos in the moment and can capture your outfits in real-time.


Andrew Scenic Farm Photos

4. Have A Few Go-To Areas For Photos


As ambitious as I try to be with finding new areas to take photos in, sometimes you're just not feeling it. It happens. In these cases, I have a few different locations in my area that are close to my condo, don't have a lot of people walking by and are generally just easy to shoot in. Having some easy locations to shoot in for when you're not feeling particularly inspired is a great way to get the job done, and always making sure that you have new and fresh content for your blog and social media.

I hope that helps give you a look into what goes through my head when I look for locations to shoot photos, and my process! Are you as crazy about photo locations as I am? What do you look for when taking photos?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

These photos were taken on the same day, at Andrew's Scenic Acres in Milton and Café Cancan in Toronto.
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Friday, 22 September 2017

OOTD - What I've Been Wearing Lately


Summer has flown by with the blink of an eye, and while it wasn't exactly ideal weather-wise I had a great time. Because we're getting our last tastes of warmer weather in late-September, I've been trying to get the most out of my summer wardrobe before packing it in for the season. Here's what I've been wearing lately; lots of dresses, skirts and delicate tanks. Gotta make the most of that sunshine!

Dress - TulaRosa via Revolve c/o

This wrapdress from Tularose via Revolve Clothing has been one of my favourites in the later seasons. I have been absolutely obsessed with wrap dresses this summer, and this one has got to be my favourite. I love the elongating stripes, the subtle slits in the side of the dress, and the midi length.

If you're ever looking for dresses, Revolve Clothing has always been my go-to. Some of my favourite designers carried on the site are Lovers + Friends, Tularosa, L'Academie, LPA and Majorelle.

Skirt - c/o Evernew, Shirt - c/o Evernew

While its no secret that I love dresses, my wardrove strategy moving forward is to focus more on seprates. Even though throwing on a dress and going is the easiest way to dress, there is so much more versatility in seperates. This skirt, for example I have literaly worn all summer and it's still finding new life as we head into fall.

Shirt - H&M, Skirt - Topshop (old)

Speaking of seperates, I cannot get enough of this H&M button up shirt! I've been having fun pairing it with all of my skirts - especially this pink mini skirt that I had picked up from Topshop last year. Another win for seperates!


Remember to check out my Youtube channel where I am updating weekly on what I'm wearing lately. It's definitely a different experience to see the clothes and their fit and movement on video!

What have you guys been wearing lately? Do you prefer dresses or seperates?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Monday, 18 September 2017

OOTD + Skincare Updates with Amazon


Summer has decided to stick around in Toronto, and you'll not be hearing any complaints about it from me. I absolutely love the sunshine, the warm weather and the fact that I'm able to get even more wear out of my summer wardrobe. This romper from Honey Stores in Toronto is quintessential summer to me: breezy material, pink florals, and a very relaxed silhouette. I like to get my rompers a few sizes too big (this one is actually a large) so that the shorts aren't too short.

I also wanted to share some amazing news: one of my favourite skincare brands Mario Badescu is available now on Amazon.ca! I have been using Mario Badescu off-and-on for years, and have always had to worst time trying to get my hands on it. Imagine how happy I was to find out that it's now available on Amazon - with my favourite products from the line eligible for Prime! Yay! If you struggle with acne like I do, check out these key products to help quickly get through any breakouts.

TIP: The drying lotion is my absolute favourite, but when you receive your online order make sure that you let the bottle settle for 24 hours. The product works best when both ingredients are separated from one another.


                    


Romper - c/o Honey (available in-stores)




What do you think? Are you enjoying the warm weather? Have you ever tried Mario Badescu products? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Friday, 15 September 2017

New York City Travel Diary


New York City is like an addiction to me. No matter how many times I visit, I always end up wanting more. My first trip to NYC was way back in 2010, a few months after Brian and I had started dating. We had both always wanted to visit the city, and figured we may as well see how we could travel together, so we hopped on a plane and went. Seven years later and it stuck; not only our relationship but also our love for the city. I try to visit New York at least a couple times a year and while this massivity city has so much to offer, I find myself doing the same things and visiting the same places on every trip.

This most recent trip was one of my favourites. Brian and I had planned four nights in the city, which is longer than we typically stay, so we had lots of time to hit up all of our favourite spots and just relax. Much like the lazy-vibes of our trip, here is a very informal travel diary of some of my favourite moments of the trip. Not shown: our midnight show at The Comedy Cellar, which left this grandma hazily walking back to our hotel at 3am (latest I've stayed up in a long time) and the many, many tacos consumed at Los Tacos No. 1 at the Chelsea market. Some things just can't be captured in a photograph. Enjoy!


Love the architecture in Soho - gets me every time!

The aesthetics at While We Were Young were too beautiful for words!

Stooping it at Pietro Nolita

My coffee shop table top at Woops! Bakeshop - so pretty!

The gorgeous pink doors at Sel Rrose

I am a sucker for all of the outdoor flower displays all around NYC

A NYC must: Stumptown Coffee Roasters. This coffee is crazy good, and we always pick up a bag of beans for home.

Did you really go to NYC without visiting Jack's Wife Freda for brunch? So good!


Gotta love that NYC architecture

The banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery is what my dreams are made of!


Cheesy Smiles at Woops! Bakeshop

The most beautiful pink floral wall at Sweet Time Dessert

Post-cocktail thoughts at While We Were Young 



That's it! As soon as we arrived, we were back in the airport heading to Toronto. I always feel as though I leave a piece of myself in New York City and I'm already excited to go back.

What do you guys think? What are some of your favourite things to do in NYC? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

My Experience with Tape-In Hair Extensions


I've always been a sucker for long hair. Maybe it was the unfortunate mushroom cut that I, along with most other 80s kids, sported growing up that traumatized me into never cutting my hair. Whatever the case may be, I'm that girl who has always kept her hair long no matter what the trend may be. In my mind, you can never have too much of a good thing, so even though I naturally have a lot of length to my hair, it could always be longer. Enter tape-in extensions. I was first turned onto tape-in hair extensions when admiring a friend's long, lush hair and she let me into her little secret. As soon as I found out her hair had help from extensions, I was sold. I promptly sought out some tape-in hair extensions at Bombay Hair, booked myself an appointment with Kimberly at Toni and Guy Queen Street and before I knew it, I was walking out with a head full of super-long, super-thick hair.

I've since taken my hair extensions out after wearing them for a month. In that month, I experienced lots of different weather conditions thanks to our strange Toronto summer and took two small trips. So with all that in mind, here are my honest thoughts about my experience with tape-in hair extensions, and if I will ever put them in again.

Reference: I used the Bombay Hair 22'' Golden Blonde Tape-In Extensions


PRO

  • I would 100% recommend going to a professional to apply your tape-in hair extensions. My girl Kimberly at Toni & Guy Queen Street has a lot of experience with extensions, so putting them into my hair was a breeze. I had no idea what to expect in terms of the process, so when I sat down in the chair I was pleasantly surprised to find that putting in tape-in hair extensions was pretty quick (about 30 minutes) and 100% painless. I also recommend getting the extensions cut to your hair after application, because this will help to blend the extensions into your real hair to appear more natural. In the end, I expected to be in the salon for at least 4 hours and waltzed out in an hour and a half with long, full hair. 

CON

  • While the process of applying tape-in hair extensions is pain-free, the aftermath is anything but. Kimberly warned me that I should take an Advil or two before bed because the extra weight of the extensions on your scalp could cause headaches. I didn't listen to her and wish that I did. Oh. Em. Gee. The extra weight on your scalp from all of this new hair is no joke and while my headache was the worst on the first night, I felt like it never fully went away all month. Maybe I just have a sensitive head, but the dull ache that I felt the entire time that I had my extensions in was hard to ignore and definitely put a damper on the whole experience.

PRO

  • While styling tape-in extensions does take longer than usual, just because of the amount of hair, the style lasts so much longer! I typically wear my hair curled, and found that the curl would last in my extensions until I had to wash them. Amazing, and because of this, I felt like I was using a lot less heat styling throughout the month.

CON


  • While styling your hair becomes a breeze with tape-in hair extensions, washing it is a whole other animal. You guys, I literally dreaded washing my hair with extensions in! Now only do you need to be more delicate to avoid the sandwiches of tape on your scalp, but it literally takes forever to detangle and dry. Forever. Oh man. Such a hassle. As a result, dry shampoo and hats became my best friend for the entire month, just to avoid having to wash my hair.

Dress - H&M



In the end, as much as I enjoyed my tape-in hair extensions experience, I don't think that it's for me. Would I recommend them to anyone who's looking to add some extra length of volume to their hair? Absolutely. For me though, I already had long hair and the hassle just wasn't worth it. That being said, if these extensions sound like they're for you I 100% recommend purchasing your from Bombay hair and having Kim at Toni & Guy Queen Street apply them.

What do you guys think? Have you ever tried extensions? What was your experience? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Thank you Bombay Hair and Toni & Guy Queen Street for the experience. I am not being compensated for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.
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