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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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Miami In June - A Travel Diary


'I need a getaway' I kept on saying, over and over again just days after getting back to Toronto from Ireland. There's always something about going to Europe that gives me an unshakeable wanderlust, and this time I decided to act on it. Flash forward a few weeks later, when Isabelle, Sabrina, Didier, Andrew and I found ourselves flying to Miami on a last-minute flight in the middle of June.

We were all craving a getaway, and Miami was a destination that we all wanted to check out. If you had been following our trip on Instagram, you'll know that we had an amazing time - Miami is a ton of fun! Here's a quick breakdown of our mid-week Miami getaway, and my photo diary of the experience.

The Weather 


Truth be told, we booked our trip so quickly that we all failed to look into the weather. Miami in June is hot and humid, and it's also the start of their rainy season. I was definitely more than a little anxious when the weather forecast leading up to our trip predicted thunderstorms every single day.

Luckily we soon found out that June rain in Miami is fast and furious, with only short windows of rain and clears right up when its done. Thankfully for us, we were usually indoors when the rain happened, and were able to enjoy majority sunny days and warm nights for our trip. Although the weather was extremely hot and made walking around difficult, we were lucky enough to stay at a hotel with an incredible pool that offered the perfect relief from the Miami heat.



Where We Stayed - The Plymouth

Right in South Beach, close to all of the action but in a quieter area, we stayed at The Plymouth Hotel. Take a look at the pool to see why I was originally drawn to this property - so much pink! Aesthetics aside, the pool at The Plymouth is open 24 hour which is a huge game-changer. We found ourselves in the pool every night, and it was incredible not to have to worry about closing hours.

The Plymouth is a boutique hotel, so it offers a more chill energy; a welcome change from the see-and-be-seen South Beach vibes. The rooms are clean, bright and spacious. The bathrooms are modern. The in-suite espresso machine is a nice perk. The location, great - just three minutes away from the beach. All in all, we had a great stay at The Plymouth and I would definitely book again for my next trip to Miami.






What We Did


There's a ton of stuff to do in Miami and while it felt like we were running around the city trying to do it all, we barely scratched the surface. While most of our trip was a blur of Uber rides, ice cream, tacos and lots (and lots) of photo-taking, here are a few highlights that I would definitely recommend to anyone planning a trip to Miami.

  • If you're planning on visiting the Wynwood Walls, definitely stop by 1-800-LUCKY for delicious Taiyaki that's perfect to cool down in the heat. Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake that's filled with red bean. At 1-800-LUCKY, you can get yours topped with vanilla, matcha or black sesame soft serve ice cream and the end result is so good! This was my very first time trying Taiyaki and I'm officially hooked.

  • We spent some time exploring the new Miami Design District and, while I had to tap out early due to the sun wiping me out, it was a beautiful area - very modern with gorgeous architecture and luxury shopping. 

  • One of my oldest friends, Chris, now lives in Miami and he suggested we all check out The River Seafood Oyster Bar for dinner. Oh Em Gee. This place is so delicious - both for food and cocktails. 

  • After dinner, Chris took us to a newly-opened bar and restaurant in Miami called Casa Florida. The vibe at Casa Florida is super chill, and our group spent most of our time in their indoor lounge, which is a converted 1965 GM bus. The cocktails were amazing and after having more than a few to myself, my memories of the night become a little hazy - just a jumble of drinks, laughs with good friends and a late-night group swim in our hotel's pool. The perfect Miami night!

  • Although I loved the hotel that we chose for Miami, one of my favourite things to do while checking out other cities is to visit different hotels - enter the 1Hotel Miami. Although we weren't able to check out their famous rooftop, we did enjoy a beautiful breakfast at their restaurant Habitat and enjoyed delicious coffee, fresh squeezed juice and Huevo Rancheros. 


















Before we knew it, our three-night stay in Miami had come to and end and we were off to the airport to catch our flight back to Toronto. If you're thinking of heading to Miami during the summer, I say do it - the weather is hot, and there will be a bit of rain, but there's plenty to see and do that keeps you cool. Three nights was definitely the perfect amount of time, and my soul feels satisfied from this Miami getaway - that is, until the wanderlust hits again.

What do you guys think? Have you ever been to Miami? What are some of your favourite things to do in the city? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Monday, 11 June 2018

Chic Summer Picnic with Boursin


Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, we know that summer is just on the horizon and with that comes picnics in the park. One of my favourite summer activities is eating outdoors, and there's nothing better then a picnic with friends to kick off the warm season. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of grabbing some of my closest friends, packing some delicious food and heading to Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto for a fun afternoon picnic. The theme: summer - and of course, Boursin.

You guys know how much I love Boursin cheese from my post during the holidays season where I talked about crafting a cheese board. The creamy texture and delicious flavours are always a crowd pleaser, and when you're planning a lunch for multiple people, you want to make sure Boursin is included.

Boursin cheese produced locally and made from 100% Canadian milk.  The texture is smooth and creamy, while still remaining crumbly and extremely spreadable. Boursin cheese comes in  variety of different flavours to satisfy any palette; for this particular picnic, I decided to go with Bouquet of Basil and ChiveGarlic and Fine Herbs and Shallot and Chive. I felt that all three flavours perfectly complimented the mix of savoury and sweet ingredients that I chose to include in my picnic.

While a picnic in the park is a simple and great way to spend time with friends, here are a few tips that I use to take a basic picnic and elevate it into a more chic experience:

  • If you're hosting the picnic, a cheese tray is a great option for the menu. Not only are there a variety of flavours and textures for all of the invited guests, but it also brings a more casual and relaxed vibe to the whole affair. My cheese plate featuring Boursin cheese was enjoyed by all of my guests, and we had a great time just leisurely munching over great conversation. No need to feel pressured to eat all at once, or to keep any of the ingredients warm.

  • Opt to bring your own plates, cutlery and picnic blankets from home rather than using anything disposable. Not only will this small decision elevate your guest's experience, but it's also much better for the environment. Once everything is done, all of your materials can be easily gathered up back in your picnic basket, and washed at home - ready to be used again for your next chic picnic! 

  • Consider visiting one of the great summer farmer's markets for ingredients. Not only will you find the best produce, but farmer's market produce tends to come with less packaging it's also better for the environment to shop local. 








Before you know it, hours has flown by and we had all finished every last bite of the chic picnic and Boursin cheese. If you're looking to get into the spirit of summer, I would highly suggest throwing your own chic picnic as well - just don't forget the Boursin!

What do you guys think? Is having a chic picnic in the park with friends on your summer bucket list? What do you do to elevate your picnics? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Boursin. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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Monday, 4 June 2018

What I Packed and Wore In Ireland - Spring


When I first found out that I would be visiting Ireland with Air Transat, I was so happy! Ireland is a country that I had always wanted to visit, and I was so grateful to be able to finally check it off my bucket list with one of my favourite airlines. While I was excited to get started on my Irish adventure, the packing process had me stumped. Ireland is known to have a fairly rainy and cool climate, with periods of warm sunshine - all within the day! I also knew that we were going to have a fairly busy itinerary and, seeing as how I would be traveling with a group of bloggers, there would be photos taken all along the way. 

After a lot of thought, and a lot of second guessing myself, I finally had a packed suitcase and was ready to take on Ireland! You guys know that I had the best time from my recap post, but did I make the best choices when deciding what to pack? Here's a breakdown of what I ultimately decided on to bring with me to Ireland, what I wished I would have packed and the outfits that I wore.



What I packed:


Bottoms:


  • 2 pleated maxi skirts (both pink)
  • 1 pair of loose mom jeans
  • 2 mini skirts (one pink, one yellow)
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 2 pairs of culottes (one pink and one striped)
  • 1 pair of black tights to wear under dresses and skirts
Tops:

  • 2 sweaters (one white, one pink)
  • 1 loose button-up top
  • 1 yellow polka dot mini dress 
  • 1 pink sweater dress
  • 1 floral midi dress
  • 1 long black maxi dress
Shoes/Jackets/Accessories 

  • 1 pink rain jacket shell
  • 1 giant wool blanket scarf
  • 1 pair of tall Hunter rain boots
  • 1 pair of white running shoes
  • 1 pair of white loafers
  • 1 umbrella
  • 1 wide-brimmed hat
  • 1 pink beret
  • 1 backpack
  • 1 mini crossbody bag
The Verdict:

While we were visiting Ireland, the weather was quite good with minimal rain (it only rained for two days total.) For that reason, I actually didn't end up using my rain gear as much as I thought. I still think that it's wise to bring rain gear with you to Ireland though; nothing is worse than being ill-prepared in the rain.

I really should have brought a pair of low, black leather boots. If you guys have checked out my other European 'what i packed' posts, you'll know that I always pack a pair of low black booties. For some reason this trip I decided against them - I actually had them packed in my suitcase, second guessed myself and took them out! Huge mistake. Lesson learned; when traveling to any European city, a pair of low black boots are an absolute must. Next time I'll trust my gut and my first instinct.

I also should have brought a few more dressier options for outfits. Although the vibe in Ireland and Northern Ireland is fairly casual, there are a ton of upscale meals and dinning experiences to try out - and lucky for us, we did! I found that I wore my long black maxi dress for most of our meals at nice restaurants, and it would have been nice to have a bit more variety.

In terms of the items I actually brought, I'm overall fairly satisfied. The maxi skirt/sweater combo was a huge win for me, since it kept me warm and comfortable. I maybe could have done with only packing one of the mini skirts, since I had planned to wear them with the high rain boots and it didn't end up raining all that much.














What do you guys think? Did I miss anything that would have made the trip more comfortable? What do you like to pack when visiting a European destination in the Spring? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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