Happy New Year From Toronto

Tuesday 24 December 2019

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Thanks again for following along on my blogging adventures. I can't wait to see what next year has in store! Wishing all of my readers a wonderful holiday season, and a very happy new year. Speak to you all in 2020!
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NYC Sweater Weather

Sunday 8 December 2019

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My winter uniform is pretty much: cozy sweaters, suede/patent booties, dark jeans, darker nails, a crossbody bag and hoop earrings (the one's I am wearing here are from ByNouck). Now that I'm back in the city, I've gone on a little sweater weather shopping spree. I've linked some of my most recent purchases (and what I'm lusting after) below. The black patent booties are a total steal at $40 (and so comfy, I've spent the week traipsing around NYC in them) and you can find them at Forever21!

My Cozy Winter Roundup:

Boots: Forever21 / Jeans: Everlane / Sweater: H&M (similar)

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Gifts for the Guys

Sunday 1 December 2019

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As promised, I've published 'Gifts for the Guys' today. I personally love the wooden coffee press, and I know the fancy Zalto wine glasses are on my dad's list. The monogrammed duffle bag is a great Etsy find - Etsy sellers always give the sweetest personalized touch. My brother already owns the Patagonia shirt in the short sleeve version and it's one of his favorites. Hope you enjoy my picks!

1. French Press 2. Patagonia Hat 3. Monogrammed Duffle Bag (one of my favorite Etsy finds!)

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Homemade Jammie Dodgers

Saturday 30 November 2019

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You know it's December when you start to whip out your old Christmas cookie recipe book! I like to make these British treats while listening to Christmas music (cue 'Driving home for Christmas'). You can finish these cookies off with icing sugar or leave them plain. You can also make your own jam from scratch, or cheat like I did this time and pick some up on your next grocery shop.

1/2 pound butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Raspberry or strawberry jam (you can make this from scratch, or use store bought)

Cream butter. Add sugar and cream again. Add egg and beat until light. Sift dry ingredients together and add gradually, adding vanilla with first flour addition. Roll out on floured board as thin as possible. cut with round cookie cutter and make small holes in the middle with a smaller cutter! Bake on greased sheet for 10 minutes at 350F.

Remove to wire racks to cool. When cold, put together in pairs with thick jam!

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Cheetah Puffer Jacket

Tuesday 26 November 2019

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Every single time I wear this cheetah puffer jacket someone stops me and asks where I got it. Two of my girlfriends have also already purchased it too! I know leopard print has been having a moment lately, but this puffer is so cute in person and so affordable it's almost too good to be true. It looks cute with jeans and booties, but I also toss it on over a tank and leggings when I hit the gym.

Once you apply the Black Friday early bird coupon code "EARLY50" on this jacket, it brings it to $35.

Shop the cheetah puffer jacket here - I purchased a size S!

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Girly Gift Guide

Monday 18 November 2019

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This week a 10 year old gave her dad the wildest Christmas list I have ever seen. Yes - a real bunny and a casual $4,000. Mine is a little more budget friendly and I am confident you can find a little something for anyone on your list - mom, girlfriend, bff! 'Gifts for Him' will be coming up tomorrow, so stay tuned for some more ideas for everyone on your list. Happy shopping!

4. Bella Vista Print  5. By Nouck (My favorite Dutch brand) Dream Catcher Earrings 6. Throw Blanket

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Weekend in LA

Tuesday 12 November 2019

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California has been on my bucket list for ages, but it seemed like such a long flight when I was living in Europe - even from Toronto it took five hours. We went on a little pre-bday, girls weekend trip and spent four full days there. We got to see Malibu, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach. It was a perfect long weekend away and I discovered some of my favorite restaurants to date!

Dress: Missguided

We stayed at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and spent the first day by the pool. Later that day we went to Delilah for dinner (the food was okay but it's more of a lounge and hot spot for going out and people watching) and then went to Hyde for some clubbing.

Dress: Aritzia Bag: Chanel

The next day we were up bright and early for a hike. We hiked up to the Griffith Observatory for a great view of the Hollywood sign! Post-hike we made our way to Malibu for lunch at Nobu. Sitting right next to the Pacific was just out of this world - it was my favorite day of the trip for sure!

From there, we walked 10 minutes to Malibu Farm for a coffee and we watched a beautiful sunset on the pier. That night we had dinner at Ysabel - which really turns into a vibe as the night goes on!

The following day we went to Venice, and checked out Gjusta for breakfast (I would highly recommend, the food was great) and from there walked up Abbot Kinney for a little bit of shopping. There are a bunch of cute boutiques! We then walked out to the beach and boardwalk and rented scooters, and drove them all the way to Santa Monica Pier. We finished the afternoon with drinks at Elephante, and then went back to downtown LA for a yummy Italian dinner at Bestia.

Where to Eat:
Bestia (great Italian, but must book a month in advance)
Gjusta (breakfast)
Nobu (must book out a month in advance)
Laurel Hardware (speakeasy - food was great but also good to go just for drinks! We went twice)

Where to Stay:
SLS Hotel

Where to Play:

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Picks for Fall

Thursday 3 October 2019

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Can you believe this photo was taken October 1st? Starbucks is serving pumpkin spice lattes, the unofficial drink of fall, yet two days ago in New York City the temperature reached over 90 degrees.

However, since it is still technically spooky season, I wanted to do a round up of fall items I have my eye on this year! But before I get into that, I can give a quick life update - my sabbatical is beginning mid-October, so I will have 6 weeks off work very soon!

Since I have been at Etsy for 5 years, their way of saying thanks is to offer additional time off in the form of a sabbatical. A part of me cannot wait for this vacation... and then the other part of me doesn't know exactly what I am going to do with myself with so much time away from the office! I will be traveling quite a bit, but also watch this space, as I'll have a lot more time to invest in the blog!

Dress: Faithfull

Now back to all things fall...

While summer is my favorite time of the year for fashion, fall is my favorite time of year for home decor, good books, and just getting cozy in general. I'm also a big fan of Halloween, pumpkin-everything, and autumn-themed dinner parties with friends. So here are my fall picks!

  Tea Towels (1, 2 and 3)  

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24 Hours in Bruges

Friday 27 September 2019

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Ok - so I was in Bruges last month for a little bit more than 24 hours, but it's such a small city, you can definitely do/see everything you'd like to in a day. We drove there from Amsterdam and it's not too far of a drive (around 3 hours), so perfect for a day trip! Since it's known as the Venice of the North, Bruges is filled with numerous winding canals - which make for many beautiful spots to grab a waterside drink!

Bag: Chloe / Shoes: Forever21 / Dress: Parker (sold out)

When you aren't getting tipsy by the water, you better be filling up on chocolate, beer and waffles. Every chocolate spot we ate at was amazing, but the waffles at Oyya were unreal. Definitely check it out when you are there!

The Market Square, also known as "The Markt", and the belfry tower, used to be where medieval festivals, fairs, tournaments, uprisings and executions took place. Today, the square serves as a meeting place for locals and tourists alike! I would recommend you check it out.

From there walk 10 minutes to the Church of Our Lady - it's breathtaking and the tower is actually the second tallest brickwork tower in the world!

Bag: Chloe / Necklace: Forever21

My favorite restaurant of the trip was, oddly enough, Sanseveria Bagelsalon. Maybe I was just craving a good NYC bagel, and these ones could compete!

Hope you enjoyed my little recap! Speak again soon!
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Junior's Cheesecake Recipe

Saturday 31 August 2019

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My Oma is coming over today for coffee and cake, and I wanted to surprise her with a cheesecake. She is usually the one to bake for me, so it was nice to treat her this time. I made this last night (it took just under 2 hours start to finish) and I refrigerated it overnight.

I've lived in New York for a year now, and Junior's Cheesecake is my absolute favorite. I had to recreate it at home!

Cream cheese, heavy whipping cream and vanilla sugar... this cheesecake is not exactly light on the calories, so special occasions only!

Sponge layer cake:
  • 1⁄2 cup sifted cake flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
      • 1 pinch salt 
      • 3 large eggs, seperated 
      • 1⁄3 cup sugar 
      • 2 tablespoons sugar 
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
      • 3 drops lemon extract 
      • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
      • melted 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar or a squeeze of lemon juice

      Cream cheese filling:
      • 3x (250g) packages cream cheese 
      • 1 2⁄3 cups sugar 
      • 1⁄4 cup cornstarch 
      • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
      • 2 large eggs 
      • 3⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream

      Sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

      Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more.

      Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until mo more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.

      In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (or lemon juice if I don't have it!) together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry).

      Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain). Gently spoon the batter into the pan.

      Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan.

      Cream Cheese Filling: Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of the cream cheese.

      Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after each one. Blend in heavy cream. At this point mix the filling only until completely blended.

      Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the side of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour.

      Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate!
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      4th of July Bikinis

      Thursday 4 July 2019

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      Happy 4th!!! While I am headed back to Canada today for the weekend, I still wanted to write a blog post in celebration of Independence Day - and all the beautiful swimwear that's gone on sale today. I've sifted through all the upcoming sales for this weekend to bring you the best - and it's not just swim, there's also a ton of summer dresses, shorts and crop tops that are on sale as retailers make way for back to school and fall fashion.

      Gingham Bikini (top is sold out, similar) / Gray Bikini 

      Alice & Olivia: Take an extra 60% off sale. Only July 4th.
      Anthropologie: Take an extra 50% off at the Summer Tag Sale. While supplies last.
      ASOS: Take 20% off your purchase with code HAPPYJULY4TH! Only July 4th.
      Bloomingdales: Take an extra 30% off sale styles until July 7th.

      1 / 2 / 3 / 4

      Intermix: get an additional 40% off their summer sale until July 9th.
      Macy's: Take 20% off at 4th of July Sale with code FOURTH, plus receive free shipping at $75 until July 7th.
      Topshop: An extra 10% off with code JULY.

      Happy shopping!
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      5 Tips for Throwing an Epic Bachelorette in Nashville

      Tuesday 25 June 2019

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      My best friend Marisa is getting married in September, and as her maid of honor, I was tasked with planning the bachelorette for a dozen of her closest friends in Nashville! I’m a true “planner” at heart, so I was probably a bit too enthusiastic about this job. We ended up having an unforgettable weekend, so I wanted to share a few tips with you.  

      Find an incredible house

      A house is imperative because the common areas allow for a bachelorette debauchery/bonding that you just don’t get in a hotel. We also wanted an outdoor space that we could hangout in. Check out VRBO or Airbnb for house rentals – this is the house we ended up going with in Nashville, Tennessee.

      Nail down the itinerary

      Another important one, and also motivated me to book restaurant reservations well in advance! It’s good to have a rough itinerary so the girls know which days will be low key vs. party. I created our itinerary in Canva. They looked so cute to go with everyone's welcome goodie bag!  

      Figure out the finances

      This is a tricky one because I personally hate asking people for money, but we had everyone pay upfront for their portion of the Airbnb. I paid the deposit on the pedal tavern, however, everyone else paid their share once we were in Nashville! In terms of eating out and grabbing groceries and booze for the house, everyone split everything equally and it was drama free. As long as the main chunk (in most cases the accommodation) is split before the event, I think the rest of the bills can easily be taken care of and divided during the weekend.

      Make the bride feel special

      This can be done with a theme or decorations etc. I wanted to make sure Marisa felt like the bride on the holiday, but I also wanted to incorporate the Nashville country theme so the girls and I organized to all wear plaid shirts, jean cut-offs and black tanks, and we told the bride to bring the same but in white.  

      Thoughtful extras

      Since I work at Etsy, I am very in tune with all the #Nashlorette décor one can find on the site. From personalized hangover kits, Nashlorette balloons, and a Let’s Get Nashty banner – you can really find it all. My friend Amanda also made the beautiful personalized sleeping masks for us, and an Etsy seller made custom coasters with sassy pictures of the groom on them!

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      A Perfect Day in Chicago

      Friday 7 June 2019

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      I just got back from Chicago, and it was so much fun! This was my second trip to the city and I wanted to put together a day's itinerary for you, if you ever end up there too. Your first stop has to be a photo op at 'The Bean' - the design was actually inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture's surface reflects the city's skyline.

      Next stop is breakfast! We had an amazing breakfast at The Little Goat Diner in West Loop. Everything we ordered off the menu was delicious and I could not recommend this place more. It's also in a lovely neighborhood that offers lots of cute boutiques and shopping areas post food coma.

      For lunch (or if you just need a nice space to chill for a bit), the Soho House is also in West Loop. We had some snacks here at The Allis, which is open to non-members. The decor its beautiful and the food was great too!

      From there you can head to Navy Pier and take the water taxi ($8 per person) over to the aquarium. Chicago has one of the most beautiful aquariums I have ever seen and I would highly recommend it!

      View from the water taxi

      For dinner, grab a bite at City Winery on the Riverwalk and watch the world go by! For a post dinner drink and dreamy views, just cross the street and head over to the Renaissance Hotel's (where we stayed) third floor rooftop!

      I hope you enjoyed the recap of my trip and speak to you again soon! x

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      Réalisation Par Dupe

      Wednesday 8 May 2019

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      The Réalisation Par 'Naomi' skirt has been all over the gram', but at $180 it's just a taaaad over budget for me. But fear not, as I have found a spot on copycat that goes for around $18 from Zaful! It can be dressed up or down and looks chic with black pumps and trainers - it's the perfect day to night piece.

      The sizing on Zaful can be hit or miss, but for reference I am around a size US 4-6 and ordered this in an M and it fits perfectly. My crop top is by Wilfred from Arizia - and it looks like they just released a short sleeve version for summer. My nail polish is Wicked by Essie. Happy shopping!

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      A Day in Barcelona

      Tuesday 23 April 2019

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      This was my second trip to the city but we still wanted to do a bit of sightseeing, a lot of eating and some partying too! If you’re going to Barcelona for a weekend (or even just a day) make sure to hit up these spots.

      Start off your day by heading to Can Dende for breakfast. The pancakes, fried green tomatoes and eggs Benedict were unreal. From there, take the metro/bus up to The Bunkers and walk all the way to the top of Turó de la Rovira for a beautiful view of the city. This was probably one of the highlights of the weekend for me!

      Breakfast at Can Dende

      After that, you can take a 30 minute walk to Sagrada Família which, in my opinion, everyone should see if it’s their first time in Barcelona. At this point you might want to stop for a drink - we wandered over to the beach and had a glass of wine at the W Hotel -- the architecture of the building basically dominates the beach. It was windy so unfortunately we couldn’t do a beach day, but had the weather been better I would have totally penciled this into my afternoon.

      Grab authentic tapas at Gula Bar for lunch - the croquettes and the steak were my favorites, and this was overall my favorite restaurant of the trip! From here you can do a bit more sightseeing (Park Guell, the gaudi buildings, etc.)

      For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Tunateca that only served tuna. If you’re a fan I would highly recommend this too, but you really need to be in the mood for fish!

      In terms of going out, we went to Bling Bling which was a lot of fun - people go out quite late in the city so it’s totally normal to show up at the club around 2.

      I'm heading back to the US in a couple of days, so speak to you all again soon - thanks for following along!
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