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My 5 Travel Essentials

swellPINK LUGGAGE

I’ve been on a number of vacations this past year and one of my favorite parts of travel is the packing and preparation. I love finding neat beauty products as well as organizers to keep my trips easy and neat. Among my travels, I’ve acquired some tips to share with you all of the best things to bring to any getaway!

1. A good size carry on or suitcase

For the first time in my life, I purchased an actual 18″ suitcase for a smaller vacation and it was amazing!! I was forced to pack only what I needed and therefore didn’t have an excess amount of unnecessary clothes and other items. So depending on the length of my vacation, I’ll typically take a smaller case for shorter holidays. The one I’m currently using which is amazingly convenient as well as super cute is my Vince Camuto 18″. But since it’s no longer in stock I’ve found this even cuter one by Calpak for only $145.

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https://www.shopbop.com/trunk-carry-calpak/vp/v=1/1543303002.htm?folderID=52378&fm=other-viewall&os=false&colorId=12867

2. Skin care essentials

I typically don’t take too much makeup on my vacations and I try to focus on my skincare routine which means I pack lots of beauty products. Including but not limited to face masks, oils, and scrubs.  Some of my favourites are any of the Feeling Beautiful beauty care products.

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xhttps://www.ulta.com/brand/feeling-beautiful

3. Packing organizers

These are a LIFESAVER when it comes to moving your clothing from drawers to a suitcase and then back to another set of drawers. Because I typically stay somewhere for multiple weeks I normally end up switching rooms or hotels so this is great for getting things easily organized in a short amount of time. I highly recommend these cute travel organizers from groupon for $15.99.travel organizers

4. A good crossbody bag

This is ideal for any traveling as cross body bags are easily accessible and can also store all of your necessities. My ideal go-to is my Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis. But another great more affordable bag is the Phi bag from Matt and Nat which is only $135.

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5. A water bottle/thermos

I’m forever getting thirsty, places like airplanes and cars can get dry and sometimes a drink is all you need to feel a little refreshed. That’s why it’s always good to keep a good quality water bottle close at hand. A really great quality drink container is anything from swell, not only do they successfully insulate for at least 12 hours, they also come in some amazing colours and prints like this adorable rose pink for only $35.

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Thanks so much for reading! Hopefully, you got some good ideas for your next getaway! Happy travels!

xx

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5 Essentials

Why You Should Give Designer Shoes a Shot

Okay, I know we’re not all daily cashing 1000$ cheques, and I’m sure some would roll their eyes at a title like this that seems to stretch every voice of reason telling you that purchases on shoes over 700$ are just not realistic. And I get it! I was there ONCE.

I’ll give you a little story on how my opinion of owning affordable trendsetting shoes changed. Mid-January, I was once again treating myself at Yorkdale mall. Now I will fully admit I own no Chanel. BUT, I would love to (who doesn’t). Now approximately 3 years ago in September, Karl Lagerfeld brought back a beloved design that Coco had made in 1957 which was simultaneously practical and flattering. Upon seeing this shoe I fell in love, read every article on it. Read reviews and was mildly obsessed, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy them. I assumed they were a fad and would be forgotten by next season, but a year came and went and I was still obsessed, then year two came and I felt the same. I had never tried them on as they were so popular they were difficult to find. Until a day in January when I walked into Chanel and asked if they had my size, the bad news is that they did.

And they were lovely. I couldn’t believe it, they were so soft, the perfect height, fit, colour, shape. I loved everything about them! But the price was devastatingly high. I politely declined after much thought but promptly went home to see if maybe there were some cheaper dupes. I found a pair by Ivanka Trump that seemed almost identical. But after putting them in my cart I got a bad taste in my mouth. This wasn’t quite right. I loved the legacy of the Chanel shoes, the story, the ingenuity behind them. The timelessness, and most of all the quality. And I knew more than anything that these knock-off IT ones would not satisfy me in the same way. So I opted to save instead, which got me thinking about shoes.

I have approximately 29 pairs of shoes total. That’s a lot of options. And as much as I love options, I could pick out 5 pairs that I could happily live with as my only pairs. I then realized that maybe, all of these sale shoe purchases from Zara were just a big waste of space and time. After all, the only shoe styles I still love seem to be the ones I’d need to save a little harder for. So I compiled for myself, and for anyone else who just feels like maybe a change of wardrobe, some minimalism and some splurging would do them good a list of five (YES FIVE) shoes that you can use for any part of your day.

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Naturally, these are my first option. They are the perfect style to go with virtually any outfit from boyfriend jeans to a dress for date night. ($800 USD)

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Next up are these edgy, easy to wear Balenciaga boots. Now I know not everyone gets snow so this is a good in between boot. They’re an easy piece to put in an outfit. ($1815 USD)

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Now, these Gucci loafers can be purchased with or without fur. Either are amazing and can be worn casually or in a more dressy setting like work. I also should tell you that they are SO comfortable. ($1190 USD)Alexander Mcqueen.jpg

The perfect casual shoe, to wear with leggings or jeans and still look MAJOR. These Alexander Mcqueen trainers are super comfortable and even easier to wear with multiple styles so you can have them just how you like. ($650 USD)

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And of course, every woman needs her statement heel. These classic black heels from Christian Louboutin are the perfect minimalist heel for any occasion. ($890 USD)

I hope I’ve gathered your interest into at least exploring designer shoes, who knows, maybe you’ll find a pair that you won’t forget.
xx

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Top 5 Gym Essentials

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Let’s be honest for a minute, the gym is already a tough place to be. Not only is it intimidating, it’s exhausting, mentally challenging and you just wanna eat a pizza when you’re done. Luckily for you, and most girls on the planet there are some AMAZING brands to make your gym experience a little more fashion forward so you’re looking good, feeling confident and getting the most out of your workouts!

1. A good water bottle/ shaker

I use BCAA’s to get the most energy into my workout. No idea what that is? No problem! I’ve got the perfect video for you to check out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJBTnPmsdBY

So I typically use my BCAA’s every workout and it definitely helps with keeping my energy up and helping me with muscle gain. Get yourself a cute feminine one like this Women’s Best shaker which comes with a straining system built in. You can also buy packages with BCAA’s and protein powder with a shaker if you’re just starting on supplements. 10/10 would recommend Women’s Best. Here’s the link!

Shaker – 20OZ

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2. Resistance Bands

Okay, these are somewhat of a recent development and I cannot stress how useful these bad boys are. I got mine in a set of four which means four different strengths and I use them all for different exercises, they help me warm up, I use them for glutes, hams, abs, back, and arms. If you look online you can find so many different ways to use these. I have the Zone Training ones which come in adorable colours and a wonderful range of strengths. I wasn’t able to find those online but I’ll like a similar pair below.

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https://www.amazon.ca/Resistance-Loop-Bands-Exercise-Training/dp/B072TVCVFX/ref=sr_1_32?ie=UTF8&qid=1518232477&sr=8-32&keywords=resistance+loops

3. Comfy, Stylish Shoes

The most amazing thing about running shoes is that there are so many stylish pairs out there that can look BOMB with any outfit pairing. Although an all-time favourite such as the Adidas NMD’s could be a little out of your price point, many shoe brands have a ranging variety of shoes that are just as trendy. Such as these adorable pastel pink.Nike Thea’s!

 

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https://www.nike.com/ca/t/air-max-thea-lx-shoe-w8ToVl3O/881203-600

4. Fitness Gloves

I’ll be honest I was a bit timid to give these a shot as I felt they were a bit over excessive, plus I read how your grip should get stronger with more training and gloves prevented that. But let me tell you. I go to the gym for typically an hour or more per time, by the end I’m dripping in sweat (gross right?) and can barely hold my water bottle let alone deadlift 115 pounds. So when I want to push my limits and lift stuff that’s a lot heavier than I’m used to then yes, I will wear gloves as they keep my hands steady and they don’t pinch so much. Plus check out all the amazing opportunities for super cute fitness gloves. Check out these Grizzly Fitness ones!

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http://grizzlyfitness.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=280&osCsid=74dda89e4e4559178845ae1bfacd0b87

5. Gym Bag

Okay so I know you probably won’t have this while you’re working out but I think everyone deserves a cute gym bag. The opportunities are endless but find one that matches your style and you can’t go wrong. Like this cute Herschel Strand Bag.

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https://herschel.ca/shop/duffles/strand-duffle-xs?v=10342-01846-OS

Hopefully these tips put some new ideas in your mind to keep yourself somewhat excited about a life of fitness! I would suggest checking out places like Winners and Marshalls as they are constantly selling amazing pieces for a lot cheaper than original pricing. Good luck! xx

 

 

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5 Essentials

5 Essentials to Your Handbag

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There is a lot to be said about a woman’s purse and the contents kept inside of it. They explain her lifestyle, her habits, and her priorities. But how often are we digging through the abyss of our handbags to find that last dollar we SWORE we saw yesterday. Many a time, our bags get so cluttered with items, it’s hard to keep up! So that’s why I’m giving you your top 5 essentials to making full use out of the storage of your bag whilst not stuffing it to brim with items that you will only be rummaging around looking for other things.

  1. Wallet and Keys: now this is kinda a no-brainer, but I promise, all in good time you will have everything you need to function in a day! But I personally believe that your wallet should never leave your bag unless paying or switching it over to a different bag. This prevents it from being lost or misplaced and also allows you to keep organized so that you know exactly where your wallet and keys are at all times.
  2. Your favourite lip gloss: Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally targeted by dry air. Yeah, that’s me. And at this time of year, it’s hard not to face the struggle of dry lips and hands. So get out there and purchase an easy coloured moisturizing lip gloss! I’m currently keeping Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia and it’s definitely a life-saver!
  3. Easy-to-Style Sunglasses: Something I often forget to do is style my outfit with a pair of sunnies, and I often regret it. So I keep a simple pair of Zaful in my bag to keep me shaded and looking great no matter what I’m wearing.
  4. A Notebook and pen: As you may or may not know, I’m a poet and a journalist of sorts so I am constantly jotting things down. But journals are great for other things as well such as addresses, phone numbers, ideas and names. It’s just always great to have a way to write with you.
  5. And the final, finishing piece to add to your now nicely organized bag is gum or some kind of mint as there is nothing worse than going anywhere with that tacky feeling in your mouth and wishing you had something fresh to chew on. I would highly recommend 5 gum or another brand that doesn’t come in the loud crinkly tin foil compartments as there may not always be the most ideal time to make that much noise (church, a movie etc.)

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed some easy tips to keep your life a little more organized! All the best for the rest of this week!

xx

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First Holiday of Summer

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So I’ve been trying to remain pretty consistent with my blog posts but it’s been hectic with work and my book so I thought I’d share my vacation photos up in Muskoka.

Rule one of cottaging up north is to bathe in bug spray at least once a day cause bugs up their are ridiculous!

This was a first for me to be cottaging so far up north and I will be honest that this is the Canada that most people envision, as in huge chunks of stone all over the place, incredible views and beautiful bodies of water. I couldn’t get enough of it!

Although the weather was sub-par on some days we did manage to get in gear and get on the water and it was so beautiful to soak in God’s creation!

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We instantly wanted t try out the aesthetically pleasing kayaks which were too cute to pass up. We ended up kayaking all the way to the island in the distance and although it was exhausting it was totally worth it. The view was even better from there.

My cousin, my sister and I all made the effort to get up for a good sunrise and this was SO worth it. If you’re gonna do anything productive up north I’d highly recommend getting up for the sunrise. It was beautiful, and the water is actually warmer at this time!IMG_6450

We decided to take the also aesthetically pleasing paddle boards for our morning trip and I was a little nervous to take my phone along but it was so worth it.

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So this trip was a family reunion and it was thoroughly enjoyed, however I did spend a day up with my friends camping in Kearney which I also highly recommend. I had an absolute blast even though the bugs were about 10X worse! IMG_6402I ended up going back up with my parents to spend some time with them and we took the boat out several times which I was happy about because Riley loves the boat and this is his last summer.IMG_6445He’s my bestfriend so when he’s happy then I am!

Anyway, if you haven’t already, I would highly recommend camping/cottaging in northern Canada, the views are unbelievable no matter where you go! Happy week everyone!

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10 Easy Tips to Styling Your Barn

I have had my barn for approximately 4 years and in that time I’ve discovered several tips to making your barn look trendy and coordinated without spending too much or having too much clutter! These are my 10 tips to help you achieve a barn you love!

1. EMBRACE THE SHABBY CHIC STYLE:

It’s hard NOT to be sad when you see all these lux barns with chandeliers and stalls with sheetrock walls because, who doesn’t want that!? The only con to barns like these is they take a lot of money in build and upkeep. So it’s always good to have an open mind. Don’t let things like full wood stalls or poor lighting dishearten you!

2. WHITE HELPS HEAL SPACES

I am a huge lover of white walls. They do wonders for a space and horse barns are ideal because there’s so many areas to paint! I have an almost completely white barn interior and it makes the space look so bright! Don’t be worried of a little dirt, remember to embrace the shabby!

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3. WORK WITH AS MUCH WOOD AS POSSIBLE

I have all wood stalls, other than the locks, everything is made completely from cedar planks. As well as this, my stalls are low set because of my minis so it didn’t take as long to set up as floor to ceiling stalls would have. But I cannot stress how much you will save by DIY-ing your own stalls as opposed to buying ones.

4. FIND YOUR COLOUR AND STICK WITH IT

Nothing looks more put together than coordinating colours. As I’m sure you’ve guessed mine is pink. I use red for exterior things but my interior is almost all pink with pops of blue. This is a really easy technique to use because there are so many colour options for almost everything equestrian. If you find pink isn’t your colour I’d suggest rich colours like red, navy or a deep hunter green.

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5. FIND FUN PURCHASES THAT ARE PRACTICAL

A few months ago I came across a really fun glittery hay bag from presidents choice and it totally fit the fun girly theme of my barn!

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6. DECORATE WITH PRACTICALITY

I’ve tried decorating with big flower pots and cute little horse sculptures in my window sills but I always regret it! Big bulky useless things get in the way and get broken. So now I work with equestrian items for styling such as saddle covers. But hanging pictures are also amazing. I found this canvas picture at HomeSense for $9.99 and it matched my style to a T!

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7. SHOP AT AFFORDABLE PLACES

For the BRIEF time Target was in Canada I found so many amazing pieces to put in my barn that were adorable, and they were all in the One Dollar section! But you can find cute dust pans and brooms, organizing boxes, twinkle lights and cleaning supplies for way cheaper than any farm supply store! Because let’s face it, theres gonna be at least one horse who gets out occasionally in no time, and they will be ruthless.

8. SHOW OFF YOUR TACK

We all love our tack! So don’t hide it in trunks or big ugly bags! Leave it out to fit the aesthetic of your space!

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9. WINDOWS LET IN LIFE

I’m almost sure every barn has windows and we all know how much bugs like to congregate and die in the sills and leave cobwebs and fly poop all over the glass. (I’m resentful, can you tell?) But it’s easy to forget how much a clean window does to a space! They bring in the most amazing natural light and will make the entire barn look cleaner!

10. DON’T FOCUS ON A STYLE

You may see my barn and love everything about it and then go on the hunt to find everything that I have. Please don’t do this! Find things that you love and you’ll find your style in the process. You’ll fall in love with the way you develop your own barn and I wish you the best of luck in the process!

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Relaximize

Now I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of title I’ve come up with, and I’ll be honest, I only just thought of this now. But this word describes how my weekends work. I relax, but I make the most of it. I still keep busy, but still busy with things I enjoy.

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And since it was such a beautiful Saturday I did some of my favourite things. Which include getting dressed up – makeup and hair included – because I believe every good day starts with a good you!

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I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have a horrible habit of getting dressed up and partaking in the dirtiest activities. So naturally I find any excuse to see my furries! They were super snugly today so we got some fantastic shots!

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I know some of you may be shocked at the grace of these animals and that is honestly my favourite part of my horses. They are gentle and kind, but still, have all the power to do anything they want. Their actions are always done with love and care. I couldn’t have asked for a better duo!

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I’m going to end this post with my favourite shot from today. This is my girl Riot, I’ve had her since she was 3 and she is my best friend. I think she is the most beautiful girl in the world and she is just so full of love!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and that my post inspires you to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather and make the most of this season!

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