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 Swimsuit Sales

      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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      Where to Eat in London

      Thursday, 18 April 2019

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      Hello from London! I get asked quite often where to eat when coming here for a visit, so I decided to compile a list of my favorite spots for you. Coming back to a place where you once lived in is always bittersweet – I have so many wonderful memories here, and it still feels a little strange to hang out just as a visitor, one year later.  

      When I lived in London I lived quite north, so I spent a lot of time in Hampstead, Belsize Park and Primrose Hill. I think spending an afternoon taking a walk up to the top of Primrose Hill or in the Heath is really magical (I’m so corny). My absolute favourite pubs are located up north in these areas!

      I have so many favourite places to eat here, but I’ve tried to narrow it down per category:  

      Best Party Atmosphere: Gloria
      Best Cheap Eat: Flat Iron
      Best Tapas: Barrafina
      Best Pub: The Spaniards Inn, The Princess & The Holly Bush (Don’t make me pick one)
      Best Brunch: Oklava
      Best Indian: Dishoom
      Best Small Plates: Caravan
      Best Sushi: Roka
      Best Steak: Hawksmoor
      Best Pre-Dinner Drink: Gordon’s Wine Bar  
      Best Afternoon Tea: Sketch

      * Anima e Cuore doesn’t have the best atmosphere but some of the yummiest Italian I’ve had outside of Italy!          

      Top: Madewell / Jeans: Levis Wedgie
      Loitering outside Gloria's

      Head over to Borough Market on a Saturday for a really great selection of food stalls and grab a doughnut from Bread Ahead whilst you are there! I also love popping in and out of the restaurants in Exmouth Market, and, call me a tourist, but I think it’s still really fun to head west and grab a bite at the Harrods food hall.

      Shoreditch is always really fun for a night out, and great bars are Strongroom and Blues Kitchen. If you're up for a posher night out, grab a drink at The Ned - the always have live music and the vibes make you feel super fancy.

      Thanks for following along, and I hope you get a chance to checkout some of my top London picks next time you're in the city!

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      Weekend in Miami

      Tuesday, 9 April 2019

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      The last time I was in Miami was over 5 years ago, and I was so excited to go back for a good friend's bachelorette party. My family has a house on the "Gulf side", so I very rarely venture out to the East Coast of Florida - but I am so glad I tagged along for this trip. 

      We stayed at the Gale Hotel in South Beach and it was super clean and affordable. The terrace out front is great for a morning coffee and people watching! PS: My mom got this dress made for me in Vietnam, but there is a very similar version in green by Faithfull!

      Dress: Similar Here / Shoes: Gucci / Bag: Chanel

      As soon as we landed we headed over to the pool party at Hyde at the SLS Hotel. It was soooo much fun and one of the highlights of the trip.

      Glasses: Ray Ban / Watch: Omega / Earrings: Etsy

      In terms of great places to eat, our favorite meals were at Carpaccio (in Bal Harbour, a nice little shopping area), The Dutch (at The W) and Kiki on the River.

      Dress: Forever21 (this was taken at Kiki on the River)

      Kiki on the River offered delicious Greek food, and it turned into a full on club as the night went on - so if you go, be sure to make a reso after 9pm so you can be there when things get crazy!

      Bikini: H&M

      We had great weather so did some beach and pool days (chairs were included with the hotel) and we also explored the old Versace mansion which was really beautiful to see!

      Dress: Keepsake

      Thanks for reading my post! Next stop this week is London... speak soon.
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      Earrings for Spring

      Sunday, 3 March 2019

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      Spring is right around the corner, and I can’t wait. I tend to wear my hair up in high-ponys more often in the warmer months, which makes it the perfect time to show off some new earrings. I’m very into threader earrings (all in gold!) and minimal drop earrings right now, so I thought I'd share a round-up of some of my favourites. I just placed an order for the pair in the photo at the top of this post from KonceptShopp, and I am so excited for them to arrive. They are based out of Toronto so for all of my Canadian readers, the shipping will be quick... and it's always great to support local!

      I have my second and third lobe, tragus and double upper forward helix pierced - so it’s been fun to mix and match new jewelry with those too. Definitely into the whole constellation ear trend going on right now, and very into the above halo-ear thread from EandEProject.

      The hypnotize earrings by Uncommon James are very Art Deco, but if you're looking for a less expensive version InhabitJewelry sells a similar pair that are equally as gorg.

      I also love this pair from Topshop; the pearl makes it a little more feminine and super cute for date night!

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