CF Hello Spring!

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Spring is one of my favourite times of the year – after a seemingly never-ending winter, the sunlight and warmer weather are a huge breath of fresh air! I recently teamed up with CF Fairview Mall for a fun little video shoot featuring the stunning “Garden of Light” display they currently have featured at the mall.

The whole experience was pretty surreal for me, having worked a not-so-glamorous retail job at Fairview Mall myself in high school. Having the opportunity to film a video with them was beyond exciting (if not a little nerve wracking) and I had such an amazing time!

Check out the video below:

The Garden of Light

The interactive display features 1,600 LED flowers that light up to music, spreading the spirit of spring! The installation currently features light shows set to an upbeat soundtrack and the soothing sounds of nature. Shoppers can also activate the display with the touch pads featured in the video, or by using the hashtag #CFHelloSpring (this blew my mind!).

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I think what I miss most in the winter is colour – I love the beautiful flowers, green grass and bright shades I can inject into my wardrobe during the springtime! The Garden of Light does an amazing job capturing the colours, sounds and feeling of spring, and I love how it has the power to instantly brighten someone’s day. I saw so many people, families and children having a blast interacting with the installation, which made me smile!

The Outfit

To celebrate the season, I picked out a new outfit to channel my inner springtime goddess. Naturally, I gravitated towards a floral piece – this beautiful cold shoulder fit and flare dress from Dynamite with adorable shoulder cutouts. I paired the dress with a simple gold choker also from Dynamite, little rose gold hoops from Aldo, and a pair of chunky heeled sandals from Call it Spring.

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It felt SO good to release my legs from my winter uniform of sweats and Uggs! I feel like my closet comes alive in the spring, and this outfit made me so excited to start wearing cute dresses and skirts again for the warmer weather!

If you’re a spring lover like myself, definitely make time to head to CF Fairview Mall to check out the Garden of Light for yourself – I promise it’ll get you into the spring spirit and you won’t be disappointed!

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Laundry Day

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Since starting my blog and Instagram, I’ve only worked with a professional photographer once, instead enlisting my friends or family members to help snap my photos. This means the creative direction, styling and and vision are completely up to me!

Okay I’ll admit, I’ve never actually had to use a laundromat. But I’ve always loved their charm and the retro aesthetic they embody. I recently was inspired to shoot at one and landed on Queen Street Laundry – a standard wash and dry establishment, that also happens to double as an awesome photoshoot location!

I kept my look simple with a basic white off the shoulder top, plus a pair of jeans and a flannel that I actually thrifted from my local Value Village. I love thrifted denim but find the waists on old school, true blue, 100% cotton jeans to run small. I could barely sit in this pair when I bought them, but found an easy way to stretch them out. After washing them in cold water and letting them air dry for a bit, I put them on while they were still damp (icky, but worth it) and did a few squats to loosen them up. I took them off to finish air drying, and when I tried them on again they were the perfect fit.

We had so much fun with this shoot and I love how the photos turned out, despite my inability to look at the camera! I really do need to perfect a new pose. A huge thanks goes out to my girl Rebecca who helped me capture these ♥

Check out my favourite shots below:

Off The Shoulder Top – Forever 21 / Flannel – Thrifted / Jeans – Thrifted / Shoes – Converse

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If you’re interested in hosting your own shoot at Queen Street Laundry, you can contact the owner Ash at queenstreetlaundry@gmail.com.

Where’s your dream shoot location? Tell me in the comments below!

Bluboho Queen Street

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Bluboho‘s newest of three locations is a stunning space on Queen West, with exposed brick, beautiful gold accents and cases upon cases of delicate, handcrafted jewelry. I’ve been a fan of bluboho ever since a friend introduced me to the brand last year – we’ve always loved our jewelry dainty and feminine, and the designs here are simply breathtaking! Everything at the store is created from precious gems and materials, so you can bet whatever you leave with will be extra special. Bluboho offers both original pieces and jewelry from designers around the world who have inspired the owners.

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I met with one half of the ownership team, Cheryl (Maggie is her partner) who invited me to take a look at their location on Queen. The store recently celebrated its first anniversary, and features a workshop at the back for creating custom pieces for their clients. The brand also recently launched its bridal line, for engagements and marriage, but also to celebrate women and their personal milestones.

What I love most about bluboho is that there’s a story or special meaning behind each piece at the store. You’re encouraged to choose jewelry that expresses your individual style, and to find a custom combination that fits your personal story. Almost all of the earrings at bluboho are sold as singles instead of pairs, so that you can mix and match and select which pieces fit best for you personally. The store even works closely with a local piercing artist to get you exactly the look you want!

My Blueboho Pieces

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Cheryl was so generous in letting me pick out some of my favourite bluboho pieces to be gifted. I selected two of their rings (perfect for stacking – yet another way to customize!), the 10k Yellow Gold Namesake Ring and the 14k/10k Yellow Gold Tripod Ring. I love these pieces because they’re delicate and simple, yet still so beautiful!

The Namesake Ring can be stamped with up to five letters, but I’m still deciding whether I’d like to keep it blank as is, or to stamp it with my initials or another special message. The tripod ring is absolutely stunning, with three little diamonds representing the past, present and future. When I heard the meaning behind the ring, I instantly knew it was perfect for me, as a constant reminder of the goals I’m striving for and for what I hope to achieve in the future!

See more of the beautiful interior at bluboho, located at 350 Queen Street West in Toronto below:

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Easy Closet Organization Tips

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It’s no secret, I love clothes – my shopping addiction is something out of a Sophie Kinsella novel. But recently, my wardrobe had grown to such a size that it began to overwhelm my room and my life. I had put off organizing my closet for so long that I ran out of places to store new purchases (which I kept in a laundry basket on my floor), and I would forget that I evened owned some of the items because they’d get swallowed up by the mess! Recently I spent a weekend trying to take control of my closet, and it felt so great when I was finished.

Here are some of the simple closet organization tips that I picked up while tackling my clothing situation:

Purge! Throw out your old clothes

The first step when cleaning out your closet is to get rid of your old clothes. Go through each section and clear out anything you haven’t worn in years, the things you’ve worn to death, and those purchases you thought were awesome at the time, but never ended up wearing.

Tips on what to do with your old clothes:

  • Take them to a consignment store: There’s an awesome chain of stores called Plato’s Closet that purchases younger, on-trend clothing from places like Forever 21, Zara, and Aritzia (perfect for someone like me). You bring them your old clothing, wait while they sort through it, and they’ll pay you cash on the spot for what they’re interested in. I brought four trash bags of clothing to their Scarborough location and received about $140 for the 20% of my clothes that they decided to purchase. This is a great way to make some money back on items you would otherwise be giving away!
  • Give them to friends: This is a perfect example of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – chances are your friends will want some of your old clothing to add to their own wardrobe.
  • Donate! You can often find clothing donation drop offs in the parking lot of your local grocery store or community centre. Do a quick Google search in your area and donate your clothing to someone in need – you can even pick a charity that means something special to you.

Group by category

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Grouping your clothing by category can really help you keep track of things and locate the items you’re looking for quicker. This is super important for me when I’m rushing to get ready in the morning to get out the door to go to work. You won’t have to think twice about where your favourite pair of skinnies are if you have a designated area for all of your denim!

Store off season clothing out of sight

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If you live in city like I do where the seasons change and vary greatly, chances are you won’t be using part of your wardobe during a large chunk of the year. I keep these cute storage bins from IKEA above my wardrobe to store summer items (swimsuits, shorts, etc.) in the winter, and winter items (thick knits, scarves, etc.) in the summer. This keeps your most relevant pieces easy to access and gets rid of some of the extra bulk.

I use a variation of the PAX system from IKEA, which has served my wardrobe well over the past few years. I personally like to be able to see all my clothes so I can take stock of what I have, but adding doors would be another easy way to keep things looking neater.

Sort by colour

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Another easy way to categorize your clothing is to sort your pieces by colour. This is an extra step to help you find what you’re looking for – a Dewey Decimal System for your clothing. For example if I’m looking for a specific pink skirt, I’ll know to go to my skirt section, and then can easily spot where it is based on colour.

Use skinny hangers

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My number one space saving tip? Use skinny hangers! I had been using the cheap wooden hangers from IKEA for the longest time, but realized I could fit three skinny hangers (you can usually find these at any home ware store – Winners, Homesense, Solutions) for each wooden hanger I had. This tripled the capacity of my closet! The velvet kind are my absolute favourite, as they keep spaghetti straps and silky fabrics from slipping off the hanger.

These tips work best for someone trying to tackle a closet that’s gotten out of hand, or has hoarding tendencies like I do. I’ve always lusted after that perfect, minimalist blogger closet (with a few neutral staple pieces hanging gracefully on the rack) – but I know my reality is that I’ll always have drawers and shelves stuffed to the brim. At least I’m learning how to manage it a bit better!

 

Valentine’s Day Outfit Ideas

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Valentine’s day is one of my favourite occasions to style an outfit for, since it’s so flirty and fun! If there was ever a time to wear crushed velvet and baby pink satin, this is it. Whether you’re planning something casual with your girls, or going for date night with your special someone, I’ve created two easy looks to get you inspired.

The first outfit features an awesome pair of embroidered jeans from Zara that I’ve absolutely been loving. The embroidery trend (especially floral) is a fun way to incorporate a feminine vibe into your outfit, and I like that these jeans are still super easy to wear for every day. This look would be great for a day date or Galentine’s lunch!

For night, I created a simple look with everyone’s new favourite staple – the satin slip dress. I paired it with a black moto jacket, chunky booties and a choker to add a bit of edge to the sweet pink frock.

Look One: Teddy Bear Jacket – Zara / Velvet Top – Zara / Embroidered Jeans – Zara / Sandals – Target

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Look Two: Leather Jacket – Zara / Satin Slip Dress – Urban Planet / Booties – BCBGeneration

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Try the trend: Teddy bear jacket

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Teddy bear jackets are having a bit of a moment right now, and I have to say I am totally into this trend! I’m a sucker for anything soft and snuggly, and I love that this style can look so chic while still being super cozy. After lusting for a coat of my own after seeing bloggers and Instagrammers rocking the trend, I had to get my hands on one. The piece I styled below is the Penelope Coat by Gentle Fawn, which I got from an awesome Canadian online boutique called Mad Monkey Clothing.

I love the versatility of this jacket – it looks amazing dressed down with jeans and a tee, or can easily be glammed up for night. It has hidden clasp closures for a seamless look and my favourite feature on any item of clothing – pockets!

Look One: Coat – Gentle Fawn from Mad Monkey Clothing / Bodysuit – Urban Planet / Jeans – Zara / Boots – Jeffrey Campbell

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Look Two: Coat – Gentle Fawn from Mad Monkey Clothing / Dress – Mendocino

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GIMME360°: Fashion x Tech x Philanthropy

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I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Toronto based apparel company GIMME360° and absolutely fell in love with the brand. While I’ve always supported companies that work towards driving change through charitable initiatives, I’ve never been able to see the actual impact my money has made past the point of purchase. This is where this company really sparked my interest.

GIMME360° sells technology enabled bamboo apparel that gives back to people all around the world by directly funding charitable initiatives, bringing clean water to developing countries. By tapping the GIMME360° logo on your apparel with your smartphone, you can see in immersive 360° video showing how your purchase makes a difference. Using Virtual Reality (VR) you’ll understand the story behind your garment, including the people you’re giving back to and the manufacturing of your product.

The hoodie I’m wearing in the photos below is just one of the awesome pieces available through GIMME360°’s Kickstarter campaign. Anti static, water resistant and anti pill (not to mention super soft and cozy!), this is pretty much the perfect sweater for every day. The best part? The coordinates on each garment directly correspond to the area helped by the charity you’re supporting.

Today is the last day of GIMME360°’s Kickstarter campaign! Check our their campaign page to learn more about the brand, their products and to support the company. GIMME360°’s current goal is to bring 300,000 people clean water with 1001 Fontaines and the United Nations.

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Thank you to the talented Josh Mankz (@joshmankz) for these beautiful photos!