Saturday 31 December 2016

2016 - A Year In Review

Hey guys - remember me?  After a longer-than-usual hiatus from the blog, I'm back and just in time for New Years Eve.  As we prepare to bid 2016 adieu, there are definitely lots of mixed feelings in the world.  Despite the barrage of heartbreaking celebrity deaths and questionable political changes, I thoroughly enjoyed my year.  2016 was not without its rough points for me, but the majority was good and I finally feel as though I'm finding my groove personally, socially and professionally as well.  Without boring you with the emotional details (there will be more of that to come in the coming months - trust me) here is my year in review; some of the highlights and what make my 2016 one for the books.


This year I was so fortunate to visit cities from around the world; some old favourites and some for the first time. Brian and I were able to find a last minute travel deal that saw us jetting off to Paris, Brussels, Milan, Florence and Amsterdam in May.  While Paris will always have my heart and I will always be happy to go back, I was surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed Milan and Amsterdam!  Ladies, if you're looking to shop and basically re-build your entire wardrobe in one trip: go to Milan. This year we were also lucky enough to visit Chicago, Charleston, SC and New York City twice.

It's funny because it seems like a lot when you write it out on paper, but it's never enough.  Travel is something that just gets into your soul and the more you do it, the more you crave it.  Moving into the new year, I definitely hope to re-prioritize and arrange myself to be able to travel more.


This year is the first year that I can confidently say that I've been able to monetize the blog in a real way. I had taken paid contracts and sponsorships prior to 2016, but to be honest I really had no idea what I was doing and now that I look back, I had really undervalued myself and my work.  This year I developed a system, have a better idea of rates and what is fair for both parties and had the amazing opportunity to work with some incredible brands!  I hope that 2017 continues to bring more opportunities, and I plan to write more on how I monitored my content and systems I use to stay organized!

2016 was also the year that I feel as though I found my personal style.  Gone are the days of putting on a ridiculous outfit, going out to shoot and then changing into something completely different (guilty!)  This year I can confidently say that anything and everything that you see me wearing on LPN and Instagram, you would also see if we were to bump into each other on the street. Being more authentic feels good, and while I don't regret anything from the past because it helped me develop into who I am now, I'm happy to just be me - sans ridiculous outfit (seriously, wtf was I thinking?)

This year was also a year that I was able to meet so many more Toronto bloggers and feel privileged to be able to call them friends.  Blogging can be lonely, but finding people in the same industry with similar interests makes it so much more fun - and really helps with motivation and staying inspired!  My girl Eleni from Bijuleni wrote a great post about finding and making friends with other bloggers in your area. 

Where do we go from here?

This is interesting, because I feel like I want to do so many different things and take La Petite Noob to new and exciting places! That being said, I do know myself and I know that if I make a laundry list of different goals and resolutions that I end up getting overwhelmed and ultimately just don't do anything.  In the interest of keeping things simple and achievable, here is what I really want to focus on for 2017

  • Video - this is the year it's going to happen!  As someone who can literally spend hours of their life in the Youtube rabbit hole, this is the year that I want to join and start creating my own content. While the thought of speaking on camera still gives me the chills, I feel like Snapchat and Instagram stories has really softened the blow and it's time to take it to the next level!
  •  Honest writing - as much as I love clothes and outfits and love writing about them, I feel as though I want to go deeper. 2017 will hopefully bring about more honest blog posts, writing about how I'm feeling and what's really going on - not just about what I'm wearing.
  • Travel Content - as much as I love traveling, and do so as much as I can, I've kind of gotten away from writing travel content for the blog.  This year I really want to focus on writing more about my travels and sharing city guides, tips and tricks that I find useful.
So that's it!  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all of your support over the years.  I am truly grateful for every comment, email, like and interacting that I get from you.  Thank you for allowing me to continue doing what I love. Here's to a great 2017!

xo Joëlle

All photos by the incredible Carolyn of Pond's Ends Productions.  They were taken at the fabulous Rebeca of Wishbone and Clover's birthday party - definitely a highlight of 2016 for me!

Monday 19 December 2016

OOTD - Winter Is Here

Winter is certainly here and with it brings the snow, slush, slop and any other terrible word that starts with an s. Just this past week Toronto has been dumped with snow then pelted with rain and the result is a very slippery, very slushy city. Normally around this time I would haul out the ugly weather-appropriate winter boots and silently bid fashion adieu, but this year I'm in luck: I found the most adorable, water-proof winter booties! And guess what - they actually look great!  Don't believe me?  Read on my friends, read on.

Jacket - Aritzia, Scarf - H&M, Booties - c/o Cougar, Hat - c/o Le Chateau

Meet my newest winter obsession, the Cougar Connect Boots. The fact that they keep my feet warm and dry and look this adorable is nothing short of a miracle. Plus, I love that they only have a modest heel - this Noob is getting a little too old to be teetering on the ice in high heels. I can and do wear these boots on my morning commutes into the office (I walk) and out for drinks after work.

What do you guys think?  What is your winter survival piece that you have in your closet? Do you have snow where you are now?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Friday 16 December 2016

Update: Life Lately

Photo by Cleland Studios

Pardon my week-long absence from the blog, but life lately has been nuts.  I've always heard people tell me that the holiday season was crazy and never understood until this year; it's been crazy. This week has been the first week that I consciously took a step back from events and projects and just decompressed. It felt good. Though it nagged me that I hadn't updated the blog in a week, I realized how much I needed to just relax and just be. The good news is that I'm recharged, re-motivated and ready to get back at it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and though it's only been a week away I  really missed this blog.

So what have I been up to lately that has been keeping me busy? Too much to talk about in one post (in fact there's a big life change coming for me that I want to dedicate an entire spot to.) In the meantime, here's a few little favourites that have been highlights from the month.

A cute and simple manicure from The Ten Spot in Toronto. I call it the nail art for people who are afraid of nail art.

An obsession is born in the form of luxury candles. This Diptique candle smells delicious and makes me so nostalgic for Paris that I can barely stand it.

Photo by Pond's End Productions

I had the absolute pleasure of celebrating Rebeca of Wishbone and Clover for her birthday brunch. This girl is seriously so much fun, and I absolutely love her and her blog.

I have been living in these Victoria Secret pink PJs, which were generously sent over from my friends at essence Cosmetics. They are the most comfortable PJs that I have ever owned, and they basically work as a sleeping-aid for me; I put them on and I'm asleep in 5 minutes or less.

That's it!  Let me know what you guys think. What have you been loving this month?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Friday 9 December 2016

OOTD - I'm Not Giving Up My Skirts

Well girlfriends, winter is here. There may not be snow on the ground in Toronto, but there's that kind of cold in the air that tells you that winter has arrived.  You all know that I love my pleated maxi skirts, so I decided to give my favourite one last hurrah before the snow starts to fall and I really look like a crazy person for wearing them out.

I love pairing a midi skirt with a longer coat. The result of the pairing is such an effortless layered look, and works so well if you wanted to wear a big scarf with the outfit as well. On this particular day, I went sans scarf and regretted it while freezing my buns off for these photos. Oh well!  Thank you Gabriella of Pastels and Pastries for taking these photos and not judging me for my poor choice of attire for the weather.  Winter may be here, but I suspect that this will not be the last time you see my in a skirt.

Skirt - Aritzia, Shirt - c/o Le Chateau, Coat - Topshop, Shoes - c/o Stuart Weitzman

What do you guys think? Is there one item that you absolutely cannot give up for the winter?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Monday 5 December 2016

OOTD - ParaJumpers Long Bear Parka

In the words of Ned Stark; "Winter is Coming." Game of Thrones references aside, there is a notable chill in the air and for us Canadians that means that parka season is near. There is nothing more important to me in the winter than finding a great jacket that not only looks sleek, but also keeps me from freezing my tushie off.

My parka of choice this year is from Parajumpers.  I was drawn to the brand not only for the look and functionality of their jackets, but also because of the history.  The brand's designer director Massimo Rossetti found his inspiration for Parajumpers while in a bar in Alaska where he met men working in an elite military corps trained for rescue in remote locations; hence the name Parajumpers.

Knowing the history of the brand and design, it all makes a lot of sense; this jacket is built to last. I chose the Long Bear model of parka for its length and style, and am very happy with my choice. I love the durability of the nylon, how plush the fur collar is and the parka's construction - nothing is getting through this baby! I decided to really put my new winter jacket to the test, and shoot photos by the water on a frigid day.  Not only was I comfortably warm on the windy dock overlooking the Toronto Skyline, but I was free enough to move around without the typical restrictions I feel when wearing a parka.

Winter may be coming, but for once I'm not overly bothered by it; it's amazing how the right jacket can do that!

Parka - c/o Parajumpers, Boots - c/o Le Chateau 

I love all of the little details on this jacket that are reminiscent of it's military corps inspiration. For example the the collar fastens with a hook used in parachuting. There are also utility pockets for convenience on the jacket, and I love the Parajumpers patch - not only is it a great detail, but it's also a way to ensure that you're getting the real-deal (believe it or not, there are fakes out there.)

Just a note on fit; I got my Parajumpers Long Bear jacket in a size XS and it's the perfect fit - especially in the arms. This jacket is definitely a great option for us petites!

I spotted the Long Bear Parajumpers parka at Sporting Life, but they're also available at Harry Rosen,  Graphic or search for a location near you here.

What do you guys think?  Does the right jacket make or break winter for you? What do you look for in a parka?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Sunday 4 December 2016

Holiday Shopping with RBC Avion Boutique

Holiday shopping is stressful - period. The crowds, lugging around a heavy coat and bags, the nervous energy in the air; it's enough to have made me surrender to online shopping for the holidays out of sheer fear of going to the mall.  When I was turned on to the Avion Holiday Boutique at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (one of the busiest malls in the province), I was skeptical. I was assured that this boutique would change my view on holiday shopping, and I was not disappointed. From coat and parcel check, to valet parking, complimentary gift wrapping and everything in between the Avion Holiday Boutique is such a nice reprieve for the madness of the mall that I'm totally giving in-store holiday shopping another shot!

Photo by La Petite Noob

Reserved for RBC Avion cardholders, the Avion Holiday Boutique can be found at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.  While chatting with some of the staff at the Avion Holiday Boutique I found out the whole experience is a way for RBC to give back and thank their Avion cardholders for their loyalty and reward them with an upscale shopping experience - so nice!

Another cool feature available at the Avion Holiday Boutique is the virtual reality experience. I've only tried virtual reality once before at a large and crazy party, so I was excited to give it another go in a more intimate environment. I could have stayed on the tropical beach that the experience provided for hours -- you can tell in the photos that I am clearly very into the experience!

Another service that I fully intend to take advantage of is the complimentary gift wrapping.  I am notoriously pretty terrible at wrapping gifts, so I was relieved to find out that I could simply bring in my holiday purchases that I've made during my shopping trip and have them expertly wrapped at no cost!  The best part is that non-Avion cardholders can also have access to complimentary gift wrapping (for five gifts) by downloading the Avion Passport App and making a small donation to SickKids Hospital.

Next came the best part, and in my opinion the most incredible perk of the whole Avion Holiday Boutique - the chance to take a load off and relax. The stress of the holidays is a very real thing, especially when scrambling around trying to get errands done and presents bought. What a treat to be able to sit back with complimentary coffee and treats and enjoy time with friends (or some well-deserved "me time") while the madness of the holidays stays outside of the Avion Holiday Boutique's doors.  I can truly say that this experience has changed my thinking on holiday mall-shopping, and I fully intent to pay the Avion Holiday Boutique a few more visits before it ends on December 31.

What do you guys think? How do you cope with the stress of holiday shopping? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Photos provided by Kristina Ruddick unless noted otherwise.

This post was created in partnership with RBC. All opinions are my own

Friday 2 December 2016

OOTD - Finding The Perfect Pink Coat

As winter approaches I have become a huntress and my prey has been a pink wool coat.  I have seriously been scouring Toronto for the perfect pink coat for winter and while I have yet to find the perfect one, this blush beauty from Club Monaco comes very close. I absolutely love the colour; a dusty rose that is totally wearable and pairs beautifully with black tights (which is what I live in during the winter.) Although incredible light, this coat could be made winter appropriate with the right amount t of layering underneath.  I paired mine with my favourite faux fur stole and it was a match made in heaven.  My perfect, cold-weather pink coat is still out there but this one will do beautifully until the hunt is over.

Coat - Club Monaco, Stole - Forever 21 (old), Bag - Chanel
Boots - c/o Le Chateau

What do you guys think?  Is there one item of clothing that you've been on the hunt for? Have you seen the perfect pink winter jacket in stores? If so, let a sister know!

xo Joëlle

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Finding Inspiration For Blogging

wantfolio app review

One of the biggest challenges that I find as a blogger is staying inspired. I feel as though I'm constantly searching for inspiration and finding it in everyday situations and places; however my biggest source of inspiration comes from the internet. I honestly spend hours perusing the web and finding inspiration in the form of images, articles and video - some may call it an addiction, but I find it necessary to stay creative.

The only problem with finding so much inspiration on the internet is having a way to sort it - this is where Wantfolio comes in.  I was turned on to Wantfolio by the app's creator Lesley and have not looked back since! I love how you can categorize and save images, articles and videos that you find on the web and originally that is the only way that I was using it - until I discovered the interest categories. Now I make scrolling through different interest categories a part of my everyday routine and adding different articles and images to my want boards. It's funny because even my Wantfolio feed is decidedly pink - it looks like old habits truly do die hard!

wantfolio app review

wantfolio app review

wantfolio app inspiration blogger

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Wantfolio's editor Lesley Metcalfe over matcha lattes (her first one) to catch up and chat about my personal style, my morbid past-career and the meaning behind my blog's name. Head over to the Wantfolio Blog to read the interview and let me know what you think!

wantfolio app review

What do you guys think?  Where do you find everyday inspiration? Have you downloaded Wantfolio yet? Let me know!

xo Joelle

Monday 28 November 2016

OOTD - Pink Faux Fur

Do you ever wake up some days and just feel over-the-top? Maybe it's a piece of clothing that contributes to this feeling of excess, but on Sunday I woke up thinking "today is the day that I pull out the pink fur." One all-pink outfit, a pair of over-the-boots and one horrified husband later and I had satisfied by need to be a little extra.

Coat - c/o Chicwish, Skirt + Sweater - Topshop, Boots - c/o Le Chateau
Bag-  Chanel

This pink marshmallow coat for Chicwish is seriously something else.  I love how fun it is to wear, and how it completely inspired this over-the-top pink outfit. The jacket can also be paired with all-black to tone it down a bit.  With the weather getting colder and colder, I certainly expect to get a lot of wear from this fuzzy jacket.

I have the hardest time with over-the-knee boots. As a petite girl who has very muscular legs, it's hard to find a good fit.  These boots from Le Chateau are seriously perfect. The stretchy back makes sure that the boots fit perfectly, and I love that it's just a panel in the front that goes over-the-knee.

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