Monday 30 December 2019

Goals for 2020

Much like the end of a year being a period of reflection for me, I can't help but think about the year to come. I'm not one for resolutions - I would rather set goals. I like to state my goals and set my intentions every year; not only is it a great way to organize my thoughts, but it's also nice to reflect on at the end of a year to see what's been accomplished (check out my posts from 2018 and 2017.) This upcoming year will see my first full year of being a mother, my first bit of international travel with a baby and (hopefully) setting down further roots in Toronto. It's bound to be a year of learning, growth and likely challenges along the way. Knowing all of this, here are some specific goals for 2020 that I would love to move forward with as the year progresses.

Buy A House

Yes, Brian and I have finally decided to explore the possibility of home ownership. I honestly thought that we would be condo dwellers forever but there's nothing like sharing 750 square feet with three humans and a dog to really change your perspective on things. I'm not going to lie - the thought of being a home owner terrifies me. I genuinely enjoy the simplicity that comes along with renting a small space and condo living, despite minor inconveniences, is so damn easy. While I don't think that having a baby automatically means that you need a house, we really do need more space and I just want to make sure that we're doing the best to our individual abilities for Benny. Buying a house in Toronto is not for the faint of heart, and I expect that this will be one of our biggest transitions and challenges as a couple that we've faced to-date. I'm hopeful that we'll come out on top and move towards home ownership in 2020.

Develop (and stick to) A Fitness Routine

After a fairly inactive pregnancy resulting in a C section, my body is now feeling the consequences of a major abdominal surgery and a nonexistent fitness routine. My back and hips are in constant pain and I lack the energy levels that I once had. Not that I was ever a body builder or a gym person, but there was a time when I was going to regular SoulCycle classes that I felt amazing, my mood was great and I had lots of energy - I miss that. I need to get back into a solid fitness routine that I can sustain long-term. Having a baby definitely makes going to fitness classes more difficult, so my goal for 2020 is to develop an at-home plan for simple strength training and making walking a priority. Baby steps so that I can feel strong in the new year.

Get Back To Blogging

Since starting La Petite Noob in 2013, I've always tried to made this blog a priority. What was once a hobby for most turned into full-fledged business, with companies favouring Instagram and video content, I'm embarrassed to admit that I have not paid the blog the attention it deserves in the past few years. Business aside, there is something therapeutic to me with sitting down to write a blog post. I also feel as though you can develop a more intimate connection with your readers through a blog post - more-so than just a photo on Instagram or even a video. I miss it.

That being said, this blog needs a bit of an overhaul. I feel as though the user experience is lacking; there's virtually no organization and there's got to be a better way to search for relevant content through over 6 years of blog posts. I'm also a bit lost as to what people enjoy reading when it comes to blogs now - the landscape is so different than when I first started. City guides? Shopping round ups? More personal, diary style posts? Let me know!

What do you guys think? Do you enjoy setting goals for the new year? What are you working towards in 2020? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Friday 27 December 2019

2019 - Lessons Learned

To say that 2019 has been a year for the books would be an understatement; it's been the most transformative year of my life. With the birth of our sweet boy Benjamin, it's been a year thats brought me my greatest blessing. I never understood the joys of motherhood when people would try to explain it to me, but 2019 is the year that I finally got it. Benny has only been with us for 5 months, but it's hard to imagine what life was like without him.

The year, however, didn't pass without any strife. Spending the majority of 2019 pregnant really tested my mental and physical health. A near-crippling case of prenatal depression coupled with an emergency hospital stay for a kidney infection while pregnant definitely pushed me to my limit. For someone who typically remains in good health both physically and mentally, my struggles this year were unlike anything I've ever experienced.

In the spirit of reflection, and continuing on a tradition of blog posts that I've been keeping up from 2017 and 2018, here are some big lessons I learned in 2019.

Health Is Wealth

Being a former funeral director and witnessing health struggles from close family members, I've always been aware of how valuable your health is - but this year really hit that lesson home from me. It's so easy to get caught up in the frivolities of the everyday, and spend enough energy coveting material objects to really loose track of the big picture - listen, I'm guilty of it too. But it's true that if you're in good health then you truly are fortunate. No amount of money or material objects can buy the ease of a life of someone in good health. While it's near impossible to spend every minute of the day being grateful for your good health, I now start off with a quick thought of gratitude every morning and it's really made a difference in my perspective and outlook on life.

Not Every Situation Is Mind Over Matter

I have a confession to make: I used to be a 'mind over matter' person for most situations in my life. Although I recognized that there were situations that were beyond an individual's control, I just didn't think it applied to me and would attribute a strong mind to overcoming mental challenges and even your physical health. I can' tell you how many times that Brian would be coming down with a cold and I would be chanting at him to squash it with his mind - poor guy would be feeling like crap and I would be shouting at him to fix it with strong thoughts.

Do you hate me yet?

Nothing like having your body completely rocked by a surge and change in hormones to really put it all in perspective. I've mentioned how I was struggling with prenatal anxiety, but honestly it was bad. I spent the majority of my first trimester and a bit of my third in a very dark place, and nothing I could do would pull me out of it. No amount of strong thoughts, gratitude journalling, perspective - nothing. It wasn't until my hormones regulated that I felt any reprieve.

Needless to say, I've changed my tune on mind over matter. While the saying certainly applies in some situations, it definitely isn't universal.

Have Patience

With the immediate gratification we've become used to, waiting for a situation to unfold can feel like torture. While having patience is something I'm sure will be a lifelong lesson, but I'm working on deciphering between "hasn't happened yet" and "won't happen ever." Patience is a process, but I'm trying my best to surrender to timing of your own individual life and to enjoy the journey.

What do you guys think? What have been some of your biggest lessons for 2019? What are you looking most forward to in the New Year? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Photos by Vai Yu Law

Monday 9 December 2019

Banana Republic Luxe Holiday Gift Ideas

This post is sponsored by ShopStyle and Banana Republic. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and I'm getting right into the holiday spirit by planning my gift lists for all of the amazing people in my life. This year is a big one for me with the birth of Benny and I honestly could not have made it through the last few months as a new mom without the strong and inspiring women who all rallied around me to help out. Words could never describe how much I appreciate the support, so instead I really want to spoil them this holiday season with luxurious gifts that I know that they'll love. My ideal gift is something beautiful that I know the recipient will love, but would not necessarily buy for themselves.

Enter Banana Republic. I've been shopping at Banana Republic for luxurious gifts for my nearest and dearest for years. It's a place that I can depend on to find elevated pieces that can not only be enjoyed during the holiday season, but are always just great pieces to incorporate something special in your wardrobe on the weekly.

My first recommendation when choosing a luxurious gift is to consider a new coat. Now hear me out: if you live in a colder climate, sometimes it feels like putting effort into an outfit is all for nothing because it ultimately gets covered by a coat. BUT if the coat itself is something special and feels like a statement piece in itself, then the colder months don't feel like such a sacrifice to personal style! I'm loving the teddy coat trend again this season, and definitely have my eye on the Sherpa Cocoon Coat and Sherpa Car Coat from Banana Republic. For more of a bold statement, you may want to consider the Faux Fur Long Coat for a seventies vibe, or even a a Leopard Top Coat - because at this point, leopard print truly is a neutral. If the individual on your gift list veers more towards the practical side, then the Twill Utility Jacket may be more appropriate; this is a jacket that can be worn for most of the year and adds instant-style to any outfit.

Knitwear is a more traditional gift, but can be just as luxurious and special when gifting different cuts and styles. Take the Puff Sleeve Sweater; just as practical as a traditional sweater, but the puff sleeves make the design more current and fun! Such a treat to gift to someone that you love. For a real show-stopper of a gift, I have my eye on the Turtleneck Sweater Dress. Just as cozy as any sweater, but with a glamorous twist.

Something else to consider when choosing a luxurious gift is a piece of clothing in an unexpected pattern or with a fun detail that the recipient wouldn't necessarily splurge on for themselves. My absolute favourite is leopard print. Not only is it so on-trend for this season, it's a pattern that is truly flattering on everyone and can easily fit into most wardrobes. My picks that instantly stood out to me from Banana Republic are the Leopard Print Maxi Skirt (I have this same one and it's truly one of the most versatile pieces in my closet)  and the Leopard Print Peasant Midi Dress. For a touch of sparkle, and because you can never go wrong with a fun handbag, I love the Rose Gold Glitter Clutch.

I'm so excited to share my luxurious gifts from Banana Republic with my loved ones this season, with maybe a few gifts for myself as well haha.

What do you guys think? Do you like to treat your loved ones to luxe gifts for the holidays? Which is your favourite piece from Banana Republic? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
© La Petite Noob | A Toronto-Based Fashion and Lifestyle Blog. | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig