Friday 29 December 2017

Goals for 2018

I love the feeling you get as a new year approaches. Lots of self-reflection, counting of blessings and goal planning for the upcoming year. There are so many things that I hope to accomplish with the blog, and sometimes that can be overwhelming. It helps me to prioritize what exactly I would like to practice and focus on in the new year, so here are my goals for 2018.

1. Grow My Youtube Channel

Even though I'm super proud and excited that I finally started a Youtube channel in 2017, my uploading schedule and content has been all over the place. When I first started my Youtube channel, I wrote down a list of videos that I wanted to film and powered through them - I was on a roll! Then, a soon as I finished the list my videos slowed down and I struggled to get content out, relying mostly on review of luxury products. This year I really want to focus on growing my Youtube channel, creating diverse content and developing a regular upload schedule - and I can't wait to get started!

2. Diversify My Content to Include Home Decor

While I've never really been one to pay much attention to home decor, letting Brian play decorator to most of our condo, this year I've been hyper aware of our space. Working from home, and spending more time in our condo has made me start to look at our space in a whole new light, and I've been having a lot of fun incorporating more of my own elements and style into it. This year I want to really dive in to home decor, and share the process with you - especially coming from the perspective of a small-space dweller, which comes with its own unique challenges. Ultimately, I hope to start small and work my way up to a full bedroom overhaul/makeover. Wish me luck, and stay tuned!

3. Make Fitness a Priority

How cliché, right? But seriously you guys, I have been slacking on my fitness routine for years now. My lack of physical activity was masked by the fact that I walked to work, and had a pretty fast metabolism, so who needs the gym, right? Then I turned 30, and started working from home. Oh boy. Let's just say that keeping the pounds off doesn't come as easily as it did before, and I really want to start feeling good about my body again. This year I'm on a mission to find a fitness routine that works for me and that I enjoy, stick to it and become a healthier, more lean version of myself.

4. Keep Traveling

I am so, so grateful for the amount of travel that I was able to do in 2017, and I want to keep that momentum going into 2018. Travel content, city guides, packing tips - these are some of my absolute favourite posts to share with you and my goal is to keep them coming into the new year. I'm already scheduled to head to Vermont the first week of January and sunny Los Angeles at the end of February so there will definitely be some guaranteed travel content coming your way.

5. Experiment with More Creative Photography

I absolutely love shooting outfits, lifestyle, my coffees alongside flowers, haha - but this coming year, I'm looking to challenge myself and experiment with more creative shoots. I've been pinning a bunch of different inspiration on Pinterest, and it's been getting my creative juices flowing and has been challenging me to think outside of my own comfort zone. Collaborating with other local creatives in the interest of getting great content will definitely be a goal of mine moving forward. I'm also very excited to try out some new photography equipment, including a flash - something I've always stayed away from! This will definitely be an exciting year for photos and I already can't wait to get started.

What do you guys think? Do you have anything that you would like to see more of from me? What are your goals for 2018? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Wednesday 27 December 2017

2017 - Lessons Learned

It's the last week of 2017, and I've been really reflecting on past year. Although globally 2017 was a really tough year, personally it was one of my best years to date. This year was when I took a chance on myself and decided to blog full-time, prioritized travel and went on some amazing trips, and had some incredible experiences with family and friends. That being said, there were also some tough times. Being a first-time business owner has been really challenging, and a lot of learning took place by trial and error - heavy emphasis on the error. I've learned a lot about myself throughout the year, and have taken away a few lessons along. Here's my biggest lessons learned in 2017.

1. Vocalize What You Want

At the beginning of the year, I remember telling anyone who would listen that I wanted to travel more - specifically, that I wanted to travel as a part of the blog. I'm sure I elicited more than a few eye rolls but, low and behold, this is the year that I traveled more than I ever have before. I'm also so grateful to have been on some amazing trips with La Petite Noob, which has quite literally been a dream come true. I really do believe that vocalizing your wants and goals not only forces you to become accountable and work harder towards them, but I'm also a firm believer of putting your intentions out into the universe to get good things back.

I also think that vocalizing what you want can apply to all facets of your life, as I have learned this year. For example, for me as a blogger I have learned to [politely] speak up when expressing what I want while working on contracts. Personally, I am much more vocal with family and friends and it's resulted in stronger, more honest relationships. Being more vocal about what I want, and my thoughts and feelings has definitely yielded amazing things and I'm excited to carry this practice into the new year.

2. Not Everyone Will Like You, And That's Okay

I've been blogging for over 4 years now, and this is the first year that I've experienced an increased amount of negativity, or "hate." Mind you, it's still pretty minimal and absolutely nothing compared to the big-time bloggers and Youtubers out there, but it still stings. While I'm still working learning to let the negativity roll off my shoulders, it's been a good life-lesson in that not everyone in life will like you, and that's okay.  There's a quote by Dita Von Teese that I absolutely love, that totally sums up this lesson: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” Now, I'm working on living life being my true self and not worrying about pleasing everyone - because even your best self may rub people the wrong way, and that's okay.

3. Invest In People Who Invest In You

I think this lesson is pretty self explanatory, but it's definitely never held more truth than this year. As I get older, it's harder to spend time with others period so I choose to invest in the people who invest in me. The people who fill you up rather than drain you, check in, believe in you - these are people who are worthy of your time.

4. If Not Now Then When?

In the past I've let my own fears and insecurities get in the way of my own dreams. For example, I wanted to start a blog for years before actually getting the courage to do so! This year, I've been working hard to stop over-thinking and over-analyzing my decisions and to just do it. Because of this, I finally started the Youtube channel that I've always wanted to do, which was a huge milestone for me! I'm taking this 'If Not Now Then When' mantra with me into the New Year, and it will help me dive into projects that push me out of my comfort zone.

5. Shop For Separates

This is definitely a more superficial lesson learned for 2017, but boy has it ever transformed my wardrobe: separates are the way to go! Now I'm such a sucker for a pretty dress, and always will be, but 2017 is finally the year that I drilled in my head that one cannot create a functional wardrobe on only dresses - especially when they live in a Toronto condo, with a Toronto condo-sized closet! I've incorporated more blouses, sweaters, skirts and trousers into my wardrobe and the result has me creating more outfits with the clothing I already have, and shopping way less than ever before.

6. Take A Chance On Yourself

You guys, this year has been incredible and it has largely been due to my decision to take a chance on myself, and turn this blog into my full-time career. It was a gamble - trust me. And I definitely had my fair share of people who doubted the decision. Even though I'm so, so grateful that everything worked out, even if it hadn't I would not have regretted my decision at all. I feel like the best thing to bet on is yourself, and it's better to do what your heart craves then to live with regret.

Coat - c/o LPA via Revolve, Boots - c/o Le Chateau

On a lighter note, I just wanted to share the latest addition to my furry pink jacket collection: this beautiful, super thick and warm jacket by LPA from Revolve. You guys, this jacket is everything. Not only is it super cute with the peachy-pink faux fur, but it's incredibly warm - especially when you factor in the hood. This is my go-to cold weather jacket, and totally brings a smile to everyone's faces when they see me wearing it on the street - a welcome change from your typical black parka. Paired with the best flat over-the-knee boots from Le Chateau, this outfit is a total winter win!

Check out some of my favourite brands carried by Revolve:

Privacy Please
Lovers + Friends

What do you guys think? What's your biggest lessons learned from 2017? Anything you plan on carrying into 2018? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Monday 18 December 2017

OOTD - Holiday PJ Wrap-Up

If you guys noticed on my Instagram account, I have been sporting some pretty cute PJs in a few of my photos. The pyjamas are all from La Vie En Rose, and it's safe to say that I've been practically living in them since the cold weather has hit and I'm in hibernation mode. La Vie En Rose is my go-to spot for PJs, as well as swimwear; you guys may remember seeing my cute swimsuits that I wore in the Dominican Republic. While I was originally planning on only sharing my photos on Instagram, I figured that all of these PJ sets would make great last-minute holiday gifts so why not link them all in a blog post! Without further ado, here are my favourite pyjama sets from La Vie en Rose.

Similar colour and material



Pink Flannel PJ Set

Sleep Shirt
What do you guys think? Do you live in PJs during the winter as well? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Thank you La Vie en Rose for sponsoring my Instagram posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Friday 15 December 2017

Gift Guide for Last-Minute Gifts with Amazon

I am a procrastinator when it comes to buying gifts, and I'm sure I'm not alone with this. Not only is my schedule completely insane with all of the holiday events, but the malls have hit also an all-time peak in chaos. With all this in mind, I've taken to online shopping for my last-minute holiday gifts and Amazon is completely saving me with their Prime shipping options. Not only do I have a huge selection of amazing gifts to choose from, but I'm also stress-free when it comes to delivery thanks to the Prime option - Free two day shipping! I've gone ahead and put together a last-minute gift guide for those of us that leave our holiday gifts until the eleventh hour. I tried to think of a theme, but honestly these are all gifts that I would be super happy to get!

I've been seeing this Poloroid Instax Mini cameras for a few years now, and always thought that they were cute. This year, during my trip to the Dominican one of the other bloggers I went with brought one of these cuties along, and took some amazing photos of everyone with it! She said she brings it with her on all of her trips, and I was sold. This is a fun little camera to gift someone on your list, especially if they have a trip coming up!

Anyone who has an Instant Pot will talk your ear off about it; so much so that I'm convinced that it's the ultimate gift for this holiday season! This would be a great present for someone with a busy schedule who loves to cook at home, or for someone who's trying to cook more as a new years resolution.

I'm convinced that the way to any dog-lovers heart is through gifts for their pets, so these adorable cable knit doggie sweaters are a great gift option! I have my eye out for one in pink for Fritz.

Makeup palettes are such a fun gift for any girly-girls or makeup-loving guys on your list. I've heard amazing things about The Balm, and this neutral palette looks amazing to create countless natural and dramatic looks.

I picked myself up a Kindle earlier this year, and have been loving it! It's perfect for reading in bed, and comes in especially handy while traveling. In fact, I credit my kindle for keeping me sane during the multiple flight delays that I experienced this year!

Last but not least, the gift that almost everyone will enjoy is this massive Ferrero Rocher chocolate. I recently gifted this giant baby to Brian's grandparents and it was a huge hit - especially since it's filled with more Ferrero Rocher! I'm going to pick up a few more of these to bring with me while visiting family this holiday season.

That's it for my last-minute gift guide! I'm so happy to have Amazon Prime this year to help me out when I'm procrastinating during the holidays. I would love to know if you have some go-to gift ideas when you're in the home stretch of Christmas. Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Tuesday 12 December 2017

OOTM - Outfits of the Month

I'm currently writing this blog post as Toronto experiences its first snowfall of the season. Beautiful and serene in theory, but that means I'm about to go into serious hibernation mode. Here's a roundup of what I've been wearing lately, before succumbing to a wardrobe of mostly PJs. Have a look!

Skirt - Forever 21, Sweater - Topshop (old), Jacket - Topshop

Dress - H&M (sold out)

Coat - Majorelle via Revolve, Bag - Poppy & Peonies

Coat - Reiss (last season), Dress - Tobi, Boots - Le Chateau, Bag - Poppy & Peonies

Cami - Majorelle via Revolve

Skirt - Uniqlo, Sweater - Le Chateau, Shoes - Gucci

I hope you guys like these roundups! I'll be back shortly with the complete opposite - what I wear when I hibernate LOL. Let me know if you like these more outfit roundup posts, or if you prefer the traditional full post per outfit.

xoxo Joëlle

Thursday 7 December 2017

The Dyson Supersonic and the Perfect Blowout Hack

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, myself included. Days that are perfectly planned down to the hour, holiday parties and braving the malls for gifts; with everything going on, giving myself a proper blowout is virtually out of the question. Not one to sacrifice good hair, I turn to my trusty hair hack for a professional looking blowout using the Dyson Supersonic™.

You guys have probably heard of the hype surrounding the Dyson Supersonic - especially the new purple and black version available exclusively from Dyson Canada. I'm definitely not immune, and I was absolutely giddy when my Dyson Supersonic arrived and I was able to use it for myself. After using the first time, I was already hooked, and have been loving it ever since. The difference between my older hair dryer and the Dyson Supersonic is incredible, and I've been really enjoying the improvements the Dyson Supersonic has made to my hair routine.

  • I love that this hair dryer reduces drying time. My hair normally takes so long to dry, even when using heat on it. The Dyson Supersonic has air flowing through it's barrel super quickly - 150mph to be exact! The result is that my hair drying routine takes me less than half the time now, and I'm able to completely dry my hair the same morning as washing it - something unheard of before!
  • This dryer is light! Normally hair dryers are so top-heavy but the motor of the Dyson Supersonic is in the handle, so not only is it light, it's also very balanced too.
  • The Dyson Supersonic comes with a smoothing nozzle as well as a diffuser and a styling concentrator, and they attach to the dryer magnetically so it's very easy to use the different functions of the dryer.
  • The Dyson Supersonic is controlled by only 4 buttons with 3 precise speed settings and 4 precise heat settings. It makes using the dryer, as well as controlling the heat very simple.
  • My favourite feature of the Dyson Supersonic, and the feature that helps out my chemically processed hair the most, is that it measures air temperature 20 times a second, which protects against extreme heat damage. Anything that can reduce unnecessary damage to my hair is a huge win in my book.

With all this in mind, I'm excited to share my holiday hack with you - a fool-proof way to get the perfect blowout - without actually having to use a brush! I love using this hair hack with the Dyson Supersonic because it literally takes half to time to achieve this style and now I can get out the door with perfectly blown out hair in minutes. Here are all of the steps:

Start with damp hair. I like to run the Dyson Supersonic over my hair a few times to get most of the moisture out of it.

Separate your hair into two. I usually like to make a messy centre part. Take one side of your hair and twist it into a mini bun.

Secure the mini bun so that it stays put. I love using my Jen Aitken x Chloe Isabel pins to help keep my mini buns in place. These pins are perfect for a hairstyle like this, since they help keep your hair securely in place and don't leave any kinks or bumps in your hair.

Repeat the same process on the other side, using another pin to secure, so that you have two mini buns on either side of your head - Princess Leia style!

Now here's where the magic happens. Take your Dyson Supersonic and set it to medium-high heat, with a low speed setting. Run the dryer over your mini buns until they are completely dry, which will only take about 5 minutes with the Dyson Supersonic.

Once you've dried your mini buns completely, switch your Dyson Supersonic to the 'cool' setting, and give your mini buns a cool blast for about a minute.

I like to chill out for a few more minutes with my mini buns, because I'm a nineties kid and they speak to my soul.

After I'm done having fun with my mini-buns, it's time to take them down.

Give your hair a quick brush to set it into place, and voila! Soft curls, volumes and all the other features of a blowout - without spending the time, or having to fuss with any brushes. Thanks to the Dyson Supersonic, what was once a trusty hair hack is now super speedy, and I don't get any of the frizz that comes along with using a traditional hairdryer. This is one of my favourite hair hacks, and completely necessary during the busy holiday season.

When I want to change it up, I love taking my freshly blown-out hair and creating an easy twist. Just gather all of your hair and make a twist at the back of your head. Secure the twist in place with a beautiful hair comb like this one from Chloe + Isabelle and you're done! I like to leave a few pieces of hair loose in the front for an effortless, undone look.

So there you have it! My new obsessed with the Dyson Supersonic, and my tried-and-true hair hack to get the perfect blowout every time. I think that the Dyson Supersonic would be an incredible gift for the holidays, or a fun treat-yourself indulgence for a busy holiday season.

What do you guys think? Have you tried this hair hack before? What are your favourite ways to save time during the holiday season? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Dyson Canada. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

OOTD - Holiday Party Ready with Saks OFF 5TH

Is it just me, or do the holidays seem to start earlier and earlier each year? Not that I'm complaining; I love the festive spirit once December rolls around and the glamour and parties that come along with celebrating the holiday season. That being said, I've learned to always have a few party dresses to carry you through all of the parties and well into the New Year celebrations. When searching for holiday dresses I look for something pretty, something that gets me out of my comfort zone, and something comfortable. With this criteria in mind, I headed to Saks OFF 5TH to find the perfect holiday dress, and it was a huge success.

The selection of dresses at Saks OFF 5TH is amazing. I loaded up my change room with dresses in all sorts of different colours, textures and patterns. After trying on what seemed like a countless parade of dresses, I finally narrowed my choice down to this nude Laundry by Shelli Segal dress with a black lace overlay. I love how the nude tones add some interest to the dress, and the shape is totally up my alley; nice and loose, so that I can overindulge in all of the holiday treats. Paired with a pair of champagne and pearl pumps that I found in the shoe section at Saks OFF 5TH, and this girl is ready to party all season long.

Another reason that I love finding fun dresses and party accessories at Saks OFF 5TH is for the value. While I love a beautiful and special piece to celebrate the holidays with, I don't love spending an arm and a leg to get it. This gorgeous lace dress was marked down to under $100, and makes me feel like a million bucks.

All in all, my shopping trip to Saks OFF 5TH was a roaring success, and I can wait to take on the holiday party scene with my new, beautiful dress.

Dress - c/o Laundry via Saks OFF 5th, Shoes - c/o Nine West via Saks OFF 5th

What do you guys think? What do you guys look for in a holiday dress? Are you used to seeing me in black instead of pink, LOL? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Saks OFF 5TH. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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