Monday 29 September 2014

Whats in my Purse - Travel Edition

Hello again Noobs!  Another pre-scheduled post giving you a glimpse into some of my travel essentials.  The purse that I carry as a personal item, along with my carry-on luggage, is a Large Longchamp Le Pliage bag in a bright fuchsia.  This bag is a great travel essential because of it's large size, water resistant qualities and zippered top - bonus for safety.  Here's what's inside:


I bring my trilogy of technologies to fight boredom while traveling, while still being compact enough to travel with.  My phone, for obvious life-line reasons, an iPad mini that has been pre-loaded with TV show episodes and movies, as well as my Sony e-reader.  These three devices house enough entertainment to keep my wandering mind occupied through a long flight.  Add a set of headphones and you're all set.  Ps - don't forget your chargers!

Protein Bars

I always pack at least 2 protein bars to tide my insatiable appetite while traveling.  You may think that one of those bars is for my husband - negative.  All for me.

Lip Balm

A great, moisturizing lip balm is essential and I reapply frequently during air travel.  A little diligence can help you arriving to your destination looking like the lizard queen.

Fuzzy Socks

I travel with these ridiculous, neon fuzzy socks - always.  Nothing makes me more comfortable when being seated in the plane than to take off my boots and slip into these strange little socks - well, other than an in-flight cocktail of course.

Nothing too exciting, but I do love knowing what's going on insides of people's bags.  What are your travel essentials?

xo Joëlle


Monday 22 September 2014

What I Packed for 2 Weeks in Europe Using Only Carry On Luggage

The time has come to put my money where my mouth is, and pack for an over 2 week long vacation to Europe (specifically Italy) using just carry on luggage.  The concept seemed so challenging at first - until I stopped to think of my other trips, and how I had a huge piece of checked luggage filled with clothes, and still managed to only wear a few things over and over again.

Packing light and using only a carry on luggage when travelling to Europe has many advantages:

  • You don't run the risk of your luggage being lost on the flight over - especially if you have any connections along the way
  • You are more mobile with a small piece of carry-on luggage.  I still have nightmares of schlepping a huge suitcase through the Paris metro - with it's never-ending staircases, and no elevators.
  • It's cheaper - most airlines make you pay for your checked luggage, adding as much as $50 to the price of your plane ticket.
Without further ado, here is what I will be taking on my 2 week long vacation to Italy, packed only in my carry on.


Friday 19 September 2014

I'm off to Italy!

Happy Friday Noobs!  I'm a particularly happy clam this Friday, because today is the day that I pack up my bag, grab my husband and take off to Italy for over 2 weeks!  We'll be visiting Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Florence and Venice - phew!  The trip will be a whirlwind for sure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

What does this mean for the blog?  Well I have a few pre-scheduled posts to keep an eye out for, that mostly detail how I will be packing for such a crazy trip using only a carry on luggage.  Over 2 weeks in a carry on luggage was no easy task, especially since the weather will be shifting from warm to cooler as we move North through Italy - keep your eyes peeled as to how I tried to plan for that!

The best way to keep in touch, and to keep up with all of the beautiful sights is to follow me on Instagram.  I'm an Instagram addict on the best of days, and being in such a beautiful country will no doubt send my addiction into overdrive.

I hope you have a great weekend,

xo Joëlle

Thursday 18 September 2014

OOTD - Shorts and Tights, Summer to Fall

Happy Thursday, Noobs! Another transitional outfit today, bridging a Summer wardrobe into Fall.  As I had mentioned in a previous post, one of my favourite ways to bring my Summer clothes into Fall is with black tights and for this outfit I layered them under a pair of black shorts.  I started getting into shorts and tights last Spring and, after at first wondering if I was too "old" for the look, am now 100% a fan.  Adding a lightweight striped sweater and a maroon scarf kept me warm, and black booties helped to elongate my legs -bonus!  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Tuesday 16 September 2014

OOTD - Stripes and a Plaid Blanket Scarf

Brrr -it's freezing!  Hopefully you aren't experiencing the frigid temperatures that we've had here in Toronto because it's been an adjustment.  I've been having fun experimenting with mixing summer and fall pieces to bridge into Autumn, and this outfit is no exception.  Blanket scarfs just scream Fall to me, and adding this large plaid scarf to my new favourite striped t-shirt dress is a great summer-to-fall compromise.  The ensemble is made a little more cold weather-approrpiate by adding a military jacket and a pair of booties.  I'm still having a bit of a hard time with summer's abrupt departure, but I can deal a little better by being able to wear fun outfits like this.  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Sunday 14 September 2014

30 Before 30 Update - Plant (and Keep Alive) a Herb Garden

Happy Sunday Noobs!  I wanted to write a quick weekend post to let you know that I have ticked another task from my 30 before 30 list - planting (and keeping alive) a herb garden.  I have had my little herbs growing on my balcony for the last few weeks and, as you can see from the photo, they are very much alive.

I had originally wondered at the beginning if planting each herb in individual pots was cheating, since it's not technically a "garden", but I think that it has actually helped with my success.  I'm a small-space dweller and having the herbs in their individual pots made them much more portable - letting me rearrange them when friends were over and on the balcony (no accidental knocking over of herbs) , or to bring the plants indoors when the weather outside took a frigid dip.  Another benefit of the individual pots is that my balcony herb garden is easily converted into the indoors once the frosty weather really hits.

My poor herb garden was not without it's casualties.  I had a cilantro plant that wasn't able to recover from three shrimp-taco nights in a row.  Lesson learned: do not over pluck an herb plant - it will not survive.  Other than that one small mishap, I was just diligent to water the plants everyday and made sure they were able to receive plenty of sun without being in direct sunlight.  Simple enough, and now I have a great, healthy way to add lots of flavour to my recipes!

I'm trucking along, one task at a time.  Which one do you think that I should try to tackle next?

xo Joëlle

Friday 12 September 2014

OOTD - White Jeans for Fall + Aritzia Blanket Scarf

First, I would like to apologize for my near week long hiatus - I was hit with a sickness like no other and was forced to spend the majority of the week in bed.  Finally, I was feeling human enough to change out of my pyjamas, emerge from my apartment and take some outfit photos when I realized that the battery of our SLR camera was left charging at my husband's office.  Don't you just feel like sometimes life is a comedy of errors?  I was determined - I was up, dressed and we were taking these photos no matter what!  The photos were taken on my husband's Nexus 5 phone, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed - for a camera phone, the quality isn't half bad.  Anyways, enough rambling and onto the outfit post!

I'm trying to get the most out of my summery pieces, so I decided to bring out my favourite white denim cropped jeans with a simple grey t-shirt.  To make the outfit a little more weather appropriate, I layered a chambray shirt over top, and added a massive blanket scarf and a pair of booties.  I'm really happy with the way this outfit turned out, and think that it's a great compromise for transitioning your summer pieces into fall.  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Saturday 6 September 2014

OOTD - Striped T-Shirt Dress

What - a weekend post?  It's a total blogger faux-pas!  Well, welcome to the weekend Noobs and please excuse me as I try to get back onto a regular blogging schedule as a result of a particularly crazy week.  I wore this outfit out on a scorchingly hot and humid Friday night and, as glad as I am to be finally experiencing a heat wave, it's a little too late since I'm already in the fall fashion frame of mind.  Enter my newest favourite item - a navy striped t-shirt dress.  Add my much-loved toeless booties and a trusty felt floppy hat (perfect for concealing hell-week hair) and I feel as though I've made a nice compromise between late summer weather and fall fashion.  Read on for more photos of this transitional summer-to-fall look and all outfit details.


Thursday 4 September 2014

My Choices for Summer to Fall Transitional Fashion

Good morning Noobs!  The Labor Day weekend has come and gone and, although we're not officially into the fall season yet, I always feel as though the last August long weekend marks the end of summer.  Despite the weather in Toronto being unseasonably warm (no complaints here), I've been busy trying to organize myself and my wardrobe to prepare for the awkward fashions of transitioning your summer wardrobe into fall. Never one to go out and buy an entire new wardrobe for the upcoming season, I've gathered a few basic pieces that I've set aside to help transition my closet from summer to fall.

Black Tights - 

If I could choose only one staple to utilize as a transition from summer to fall, then black tights it is.  Worn under summer dresses and skirts, black tights are not only practical (keeping those stems warm), but also lend to giving any outfit more of a darker fall palette.  My personal preference is always towards an opaque tight, but having a variety of textured tights on hand is also great for some variety.  Bonus points for the super-slimming effect that black tights have on your legs, especially when paired with a matching black bootie.

Booties - 

Booties, or ankle boots, are another item that can take the most summery of outfits and give it a fall feeling.  My choice is - surprise, surprise - a simple black bootie, simply because of how well they pair with black tights - however, I've also got my eye out for some taupe/nude coloured ones as well.  Throw on a pair of ankle boots in any colour and they have the walk any summer dress/skirt/pant into the fall season.

Military Jacket - 

A military jacket is a great fall essential for me, mostly because of the rich colour.  I purchased my favourite Trooper military jacket from Aritzia years ago, and it still remains one of my most beloved fall wardrobe pieces.  I like to pair this particular jacket with my most feminine summer dresses because I love the juxtaposition it gives (see an example here).  The jacket itself is very light, so it is great for transitional summer to fall weather, and can be warmed up with the addition of a blanket scarf.

Plaid Blanket Scarf - 

Oh scarves - my love for you runs deep.  I recently just picked up this massive plaid blanket scarf from Zara and have actually been looking forward to chillier weather for a chance to wear it!  Plaid seems like it will be a staple in the Fall 2014 wardrobe and adding a scarf in the pattern to any outfit is a great way to participate in the trend without looking like a bagpiper.  I am particularly looking forward to pairing plaid with my summer nautical/striped pieces.

Those are my picks for the transition from Summer to Fall 2014, and I would love to know what yours are!

xo Joëlle


Tuesday 2 September 2014

Quick Tip - How to Preserve your Costume Jewellery

Happy Tuesday Noobs!  I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and have come to terms with the fact that the last long weekend of summer is officially over - a pill that I'm having a hard time swallowing.

Today I'm sharing with you one of my favourite, easy DIY tips to get the most out of your wardrobe - how to keep your costume jewellery from tarnishing.  I am guilty of making a b-line to the costume jewellery when I'm shopping.  Whether it be Forever 21, Target, you name it - I love picking up inexpensive pieces to add variety to my wardrobe.  There are a few problems with inexpensive jewelry through - it tends to tarnish, chip and in certain cases may turn your skin a delightful shade of green.  I've had to regretfully throw out more costume jewellery than I care to mention, until I found the most incredible product to make my cheap jewellery last.

Krylon Crystal Clear spray varnish is incredible for preserving and extending the life of your costume jewellery.  I found my spray at my local Walmart, but the same can be found at any local hardware store, or crafting store.  The process is so simple, it's really only a few steps

  • Lay out all of your cheap, costume jewellery on a surface that you're not afraid of ruining (I've used both newspaper and a garbage bag and both work fine.)  
  • Cover any gemstones with masking tape.  
  • Make sure you're in a well ventilated area, and spray the Krylon Crystal Clear varnish over the entirety of the exposed side of your costume jewelery.
  • Wait 10 full minutes before touching your jewelery
  • Rotate each piece and spray the newly exposed side.
  • Wait a full 2 hours for the varnish to dry completely - and enjoy!
Of course, the same effect can be achieved by coating your costume jewellery in a coat of clear nail polish, but it is difficult to paint the entirety without smudging the polish with your finger.

Try this quick tip out the next time you purchase some fun costume jewellery and never have to worry about it tarnishing, chipping or turning your skin green again!

Have a great week,

xo Joëlle
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