Wednesday 29 October 2014

#Instalately: The Zara Plaid & Checked Blanket Scarf

It's no secret amongst my nearest and dearest that I am addicted to social media - particularly Instagram.  I love capturing tidbits of my daily life and - even more so - snooping around to get a glimpse into the daily life of others.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that now all of my daily outfits make it onto the blog; oftentimes I don't have my SLR camera on me, and just a quick iPhone snap will have to suffice.

Lately, the Zara plaid blanket scarves have been making a reoccurring appearance through my feed.  I  loved the red checked one from this outfit post so much, that I went back and got another (pictured above.)  The great thing about having a blog and being able to connect with all of you is having a platform to share a good thing - and these scarves are a good thing, particularly for those of us who live in a chilly climate.  They're so soft, comfortable and add an interesting element to even the most basic of outfits.  Check out how I've been styling mine lately.

Booties - Aldo Josseline Taupe

What do you think about the Zara plaid scarves for Fall?  Be sure to follow me on Instagram - let's keep in touch!

xo Joëlle

Monday 27 October 2014

OOTD - Grey Knits for Fall + Marc by Marc Jacobs Fran Bag

Monday has arrived, and this Noob can't help but feel a little bummed - this past weekend had been fantastic weather wise and filled with fun fall-themed activities.  Sunday was a little chilly, but still comfortable enough for the ever coveted sweater weather - with just a few extra knit accessories to stay warm and cozy.  I chose to dress in various shades of grey knits atop a monochromatic black bottom that gives the optical illusion of longer legs - perfect for this 5 foot nothing gal!  This sort of outfit will be one that I will definitely fall on as a regular uniform as the colder weather hits because if it's simplicity and warmth.  Read on for additional photos and all outfit details.


Sunday 26 October 2014

30 Before 30 - Tactuo Results and Skincare Update

Happy Sunday Noobs!  I hope you're having a great weekend.  My weekend been incredibly quiet and relaxing which, after the crazy work-weeks I have been experiencing, is much needed.  Today I thought that I would give you a bit of an update on my skincare routine; as I last told you here I was starting a topical treatment called Tactuo to help combat my sensitive, acne prone skin as a part of my 30 things to do before 30 challenge.  I had first started using Tactuo (called Epiduo in the United States) back in June, so I feel as though enough time has gone by to give a fair and honest assessment , as well as let you know a little bit about a new product that I have brought into the routine.

After using Tactuo consistently for 4 months, applying a pea sized amount every night after cleansing my face, I can honestly say that my skin have never looked better.  As someone who has struggled with mild to moderate acne since her early teens, the relief that I feel to wake up every morning without any large, inflamed blemishes is overwhelming.  Before using Tactuo I would usually have anywhere between 1-5 blemishes on my face at any given time, and now I regularly have none (one may pop up during my time of the month, but it's rare.)  Is my skin perfect now?  No, definitely not.  I still have problems with tiny whiteheads and uneven skin texture, a result of battling acne for the better part of my early-adult life - nothing a little Microdermabrasion won't fix (I'm starting in November.) These tiny skin problems are so much more manageable now, and I am so grateful to have found a product that has given me the peace of mind of having one less thing to worry about - acne.  To summarize, I would definitely recommend Tactuo to anyone who is struggling with persistent, moderate acne.

I would also recommend another product that I have recently started using and have been enjoying the results.  The Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment has become a staple in my skincare routine, and has really been helping with both whiteheads and blackheads.  I had first heard of this product through multiple beauty bloggers and Youtube gurus, who were all singing it's praises.  Skeptical - I mean, we all know about product endorsements and how they sway people's judgement - I decided to pick up a sample size to try and have been so pleased with the results!  I especially have been seeing a reduction in the pores around my nose, so much so that I've actually had co-workers notice the difference.  This product is a bit on the pricy side, but I use a very small amount every 3-4 days, and only on my t-zone, so I can see it lasting quite a while.

Have you tried either Tactuo or the Glam Glow mud masques?  What have been your results?  I always love hearing about other "miracle" products as well!

xo Joëlle

Friday 24 October 2014

OOTD - I Love Fall

I'm absolutely loving the weather that we've been having lately here in Toronto.  It's been sunny, and only chilly enough to have to wear a sweater - and this Noob loves her some sweater weather.  With the exception of the Aldo Josseline taupe booties, every item from this outfit had been previously collecting dust in my closet - until I decided to do a bit of a wardrobe purge and found so many pieces that I had long forgotten about!  There really is something to be said for shopping your own closet - I get to play around with some 'new' clothes, and my wallet breathes a sigh of relief.  Read on for additional photo, and all outfit details on how I dress for sweater weather.


Wednesday 22 October 2014

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Ladies - Solo and Group

Happy mid-week Noobs!  Today's post is a bit out of the ordinary, but I thought that it would be fun!  Now that we're in mid-October, and quickly approaching the most wonderful time of the year (Halloween, duh!) this is about the time when I start frantically googling inspiration for my next Halloween costume.  Dressing up for Halloween has always been a favourite past time for me, and doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon - even though I'm well on my way into my 30s!  I thought that I would share some of my previous Halloween costumes, since I have always been an avid believer that costumes are meant to be DIYed and never bought!  Read on to see my previous DIYed halloween costumes, both for going out as a single lady or as a group costume.

**Warning - what you're about to see delves into my bad-haired past.  Be prepared for overly bleached hair, over-processed styles and a bad weave or two.  You have been warned. 

The Solo Costumes 

I honestly much prefer the camaraderie of a group costume on Halloween, but sometimes a girl's got to go solo.  The above costumes, from left to right, are Zombie Alice in Wonderland (destroyed Peter Rabbit included), Alex Delarge from A Clockwork Orange, and a Mountie.  The mountie attire is definitely not up to code (who ever heard of a Mountie carrying around a western pistol?), but it was so much fun to dress up as since I was spending my Halloween in New York City, and wanted something overly-Canadian as a costume.

The Group Costumes

A Team of Mathletes

Mathletes are such a fun idea to dress up as a group for Halloween.  The hardest part of this DIY is ironing on letters to a plain t-shirt to create the Mathlete jersey (don't forget your last name on the back), and then accessorizing with all of your favourite nerd paraphernalia (yes - that is a calculator I have stuck in my wristband!)  You may not be able to tell in the photo, but we're also wearing matching knee-high soccer socks.  Anything to identify you as the math-loving team that you are - go team!


This costume could't have been easier to DIY, and is perfect for a group of wild ladies.  The animal-print dresses can be found at any discount clothing store, the bats at a local costume store and the bits of faux-fur as accessories from the fabric store.

Rice Krispies

One of my favourite costumes to date has definitely been dressing up as Snap, Crackle and Pop, the Kellogg's Rice Krispies elves.  The DIY can take you in so many different directions, but it's mostly about finding basics at either American Apparel or H&M and mixing them together to create the costume.

I hope you liked this quick, random post.  Do you dress up for Halloween?  If so, what was your favourite costume?

xo Joëlle

Monday 20 October 2014

OOTD - DIY Destroyed Black Denim

Happy Monday Noobs!  I hope you had a great weekend.  My weekend was a busy one with work, but I was able to slow down a little bit and relax on Sunday.  I've been eyeing the very-popular destroyed black skinny jeans, and have been searching for a pair of my own.  Unfortunately, I'm not prepared to shell out the $200+ required to bring a pair of these bad boys home.  So what's a Noob to do?  DIY of course!  I used the same methods in my DIY destroyed denim shorts tutorial, and went to town on a pair of old black skinny jeans that were just collecting dust in my closet. The results definitely satisfy my need for a pair of ripped black jeans, and are perfect for a lazy Sunday of doing errands and eating Pho. Read on to see how the jeans turned out, and for all outfit details.


Thursday 16 October 2014

OOTD - Sweater Weather

It's sweater weather, and the feeling is bittersweet for me!  I'm still mourning the last days of summer, but nothing like pulling an entire new wardrobe out of storage to lift a gal's spirits.  This oversized, chunky knit sweater is definitely going to be one of my favourites for the season - it's incredibly comfortable and so warm, allowing me to wear it with skirts.  I'm most comfortable in neutrals, and am definitely a non-believer in the whole 'no brown with black' rule, so this outfit is venturing on 'Fall uniform' territory.  Let's also not forget the hat - perfect for added warmth and disguising hair that desperately needs a freshen-up at the salon (guilty!).  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Tuesday 14 October 2014

Travel Recap - 2 Weeks in Italy

Happy Tuesday Noobs!  I almost feel as though I've talked about my recent trip to Italy to death (see previous posts on what I packed here, here and here), but I thought that I would give a bit of an overview of the trip, share a few photos and give you some tips and suggestions that will help you plan your own Italy trip.


Saturday 11 October 2014

OOTD - All Black + Knit Kimono for Fall


Whats the remedy to overindulging in pasta and pizza for over 2 weeks?  Some may say the gym or a salad but not this Noob - I reach for an all black ensemble and cover everything up nicely with lots of knit layers.  Simple and no gym involved!  Questionable health habits aside, I love bundling myself up in Fall - even when the weather isn't quite cold enough for it yet.  This knit kimono is a great alternative for a jacket on those chilly-but-not-quite-cold days, and the knitted circle scarf adds some volume to the look.  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Thursday 9 October 2014

OOTD - Fall Outfit + Daniel Wellington St Andrews Watch & Coupon Code

Hello Noobs - I'm back!  Since I was ripped from the sunny streets of Italy, into the brisk and chilly Canadian weather, what better way to start off my blogging return than to a pretty standard Fall outfit post.  I love knit dresses in the fall - I feel as though I can get away with a bare leg better in the chilly weather if my dress is of a heavier material.  Throw on my favourite leopard scarf, a military jacket and some boots and I'm all set for Fall - so much so, that I consistently re-use this outfit pretty regularly on days where my brain isn't up to par (and jet lag = fuzzy brain).  Yes, I wear the same outfits on a regular basis - such a blogger Noob!  Read on for additional photos and outfit details.


Monday 6 October 2014

Two Weeks in One Carry On - The Outfits

I'm back from Italy!  If you've been following me on Instagram, you had in inside look on my incredible trip - and how I managed to create a number of different outfits from the contents of a carry on luggage. 

I have to say - I'm a carry on convert.  Traveling light came in handy all throughout our trip - from not having to pay extra baggage charges in cabs, trains and airplanes, to being able to sail from one destination to the next without wasting time waiting for our luggage.  The hotel rooms in Italy, as all throughout Europe, are fairly tiny and traveling with one small carry on luggage was invaluable when trying to save space in tiny living quarters.  I just really enjoyed the time saved by traveling light, as well as the simplicity - I never had to think too hard about what to wear, since there were really only a few options!

What would I have done differently?

There isn't really much that I would have packed differently from the items that I brought - however, I did slightly underestimate the amount of tops that I would need.  I had no idea that it would still be so hot in Italy, so most of my colder-weather options did not get much use while my warmer weather skirts, t-shirt and tanks were on heavy rotation.  Thankfully I did do laundry halfway through my trip, so it wasn't a huge issue - however, packing more tops could have tided me over from having to do laundry at all.  It did force me to get a little creative throughout the trip - throw on a skirt on top of a dress and you have a substitute top!

What was I most happy to have with me?

Hands down, my boots and my hat were the stars of the packing show!  Italians love their boots, so packing my own helped me fit in substantially.  Boots are also crucial for walking on uneven cobblestone, as they provide a thick sole and lots of support for your feet - perfect for the streets of Rome and Florence!  My wide brim felt hat was also a lifesaver as it shielded me from the glaring sun during the day, and disguised my messy hair -  as we got more into the trip, my straightener was used less and less so a hat was a godsend!

I'm very happy that I chose to do a European vacation with only a carry on luggage, and I definitely encourage anyone else who has travel plans in the future to do the same.

In case you missed it: check out this post to see exactly what I packed for over 2 weeks in Italy in my carry on suitcase.

Happy to be back in Toronto, and back to blogging!

Have a great week,

xo Joëlle
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