Mean Mr. Mustard 

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Without a doubt, my favorite season for fashion is fall. The layers, the chunky knits, the boots – I love it all. But most of all, I love the colours. Moody merlot, inky cobalt, burnt orange and earthy olive are a few hues that I love to wear this time of year. But my favorite fall shade? Mustard. Bright and bold with a 70s feel, this condiment-inspired colour adds a playful twist to everything from loafers and trousers to sweaters, handbags and even nail polish. Wallflowers, don’t immediately shun this shade – even though this is a loud hue, it works well as a neutral, so don’t be afraid to mix it with other strong colours such as plum, red or bright blue. Don’t be shy! Say it with me – more mustard please! Scroll on for a few of my must-have mustard pieces.

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MUSTARD PICKS

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1 // Reinhard Plank – Norma Felt Hat

2 // Chairish – Grey & Mustard Silk Velvet Pillows

3 // Tory Burch – Colette Skirt

4 // David Tutera – 14k Gold Over Silver Citrine & Cubic Zirconia Flower Ring

5 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

6 // Dorothy Perkins – Quiz Mustard Yellow Crochet Frill Sleeve Top

7 // Butter London – Nail Lacquer in Cheeky Chops

8 // Samoe – Band Watch in Mustard Yellow

9 // Chanel – Timeless Mini Agenda Cover

10 // Valentino by Mario Valentino – Mustard Yasmine Studded Crossbody Bag

11 // Gucci – 2017 Marmont Fringe Suede Loafer

xoxo,

Alicia

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My Favorite Accessory For Fall

The easiest way to dress up any outfit is with the addition of a silk scarf. The classic knot around the neck is always stylish, but it’s also fun to get creative with other options. Tie your scarf around your bag, wear it as a belt or wrap it around your hair for an Old-Hollywood-inspired retro look. I love to collect vintage scarves and I find that even if I’m wearing a hum-drum jeans and t-shirt combo, a scarf lends an elegance and je ne sais quoi that feels very french and oh-so-chic. Here are a few gorgeous printed scarves that I would love to wear with everything this fall! Some are pricey, some are a bargain, but all of them are delightful AF.

MY SCARF PICKS


1 // Asprey – Venetian Silk Square Scarf

2 // Laura Ashley – Geo Print Silk Scarf

3 // J.Crew – Fall Floral Silk Scarf

4 // Peter Pilotto – Multicolour Pastel Scarf

5 // Karen Mabon – Breakfast At Tiffany’s Print Silk Scarf

6 // Moschino – Teddy Printed Silk-Satin Scarf

7 // Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo – Foulard Skinny Silk Scarf

8 // Tory Burch – Dancer’s Silk Square Scarf

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

NOTES | Pear, Apricot, Red Berries, Gardenia, Jasmine, Almond, Caramel, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber

VIBE | Romantic, Cozy, Cuddly, Feminine, Comforting

If perfumers had the ability to bottle up the exact essence of caramel drizzled creme brûlée, you would get Fancy by Jessica Simpson (her debut scent). It’s unabashedly sweet and decadent, and it’s exactly the kind of cuddly, cozy fragrance I want to wear on a chilly autumn day.

This gourmand treat opens with sweet pear, syrupy apricot and sugary red berries. The top notes may be purely fruity, but the rich, dessert-like notes in the base are already rising up at this point. My first impression of Fancy, when I initially sprayed it on, was that it was very, very sweet but not youthful. It doesn’t smell like the candied, cheap body sprays that young teens wear. It’s rich and creamy, and wraps around you like a soft cashmere sweater. It just radiates warmth and soft femininity.

As the fragrance evolves into the heart, the most prominent notes that give Fancy its main characteristics come into play. Voluptuous jasmine and gardenia are the only two flowers in the scent but they are barely detectable. They just add an underlying sexiness, an almost animalic quality that compliments the creamy caramel and sugared almonds perfectly. It’s in the heart of the fragrance where Fancy is truly at its best. At this point, I can hardly stop sniffing my wrist. Seriously, I could happily drown in Fancy.

Like a fairytale, Fancy is a romantic fragrance that ends as beautifully as it began. Staying true to the cuddly, gourmand nature of the scent, the three notes that are left on your skin are vanilla, amber and sandalwood. It’s slightly spicy, milky and sexy. It’s soft and delicate and is only strong enough to smell when leaning in for a hug. My boyfriend loves when I wear Fancy. Honestly, he rarely notices the perfumes I wear, so the fact that he actually verbalizes that he likes this scent, says it all. If you enjoy sweet, dessert-like scents and orientals, or are looking for a romantic scent for a date, then give Fancy a try. It’s super cheap (I got my 50ml bottle for $25) but stands up to more expensive designer juices. It’s one of my favorite fall scents and if you love vanilla, you are going to be obsessed with this yummy perfume.

Have you smelled Fancy before? What’s your favorite fall scent?

xoxo,

Alicia

5 Fantastic Subscriptions That Are Totally Worth It

I’ll admit that, while I love nature, I’m a total city girl who loves the many amenities of urban living. Prior to this year the only kind of subscription I paid for was Netflix and for monthly issues of Elle Canada. The past year has been a revelation and I have discovered 5 game-changing subscription services that make everything from getting ready in the morning to cooking dinner, so much easier and more pleasurable. Whether you’re looking for convenience or a little bit of luxury, these services are sure to elevate your daily life. 

1 // My Stylish French Box

If you’re like me and go wild for all things french, then this lovely box of treasures is going to give you goosebumps. Sign up and every few months you will be sent a parcel filled with fashion, beauty, home decor and lifestyle items by gorgeous french designers from all over the country. It costs a pretty penny, but when you consider how many luxury gifts you get per box and how useful each item is, it’s totally worth it. You can even gift a box to a friend! If you want to live like the french, and who doesn’t, then this is the subscription service of your dreams.

2 // Naturebox

Healthy and yummy snacks delivered to your door? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a dream come true to me! I don’t snack a ton during the day but I like to have a pick me up or two while I am work and after a workout to keep my energy levels high and my mood pleasant. Because hanger is a real thing my friends! Each snack is made without artificial flavours or ingredients and there are over 100 options. Go nuts – literally and figuratively (the salt and pepper cashews are delish).

3 // ScentBird

I’m a fragrance fanatic and so when I discovered Scentbird I was hooked. For only $14.95 a month they send you a small bottle of perfume so you can see if you love it and want a full-sized bottle. Each month you get to choose the perfume you want to be sent and they have options from some of the biggest brands and designers – think Dolce and Gabbana and Armani – as well as more obscure indie brands. For the cost of a sandwich and coffee, you’ll be sent high-end perfumes bottles. And these aren’t the tiny sample vials you are given along with a purchase at a department store. Each bottle comes with 8ml of fragrance and so if you spray modestly they can last ages! It really is the subscription service of my olfactory dreams. 

4 // Ipsy

I can honestly say that since I’ve started my subscription with Ipsy (early spring last year), I have rarely had to go out and buy makeup. When you sign up you fill out a profile that tells the company what your preferences, skin type and hair type are, and then each month a bag is sent to your door that is specially created with products to fit your tastes and beauty needs. I have to say, their system is effective because I very rarely get a product that I don’t like. They also send fabulous, high-end products from brands like Benefit, Tarte, Too Faced and Makeup Forever, as well as lesser known indie brands. Beauty fiends, sign up to discover new products and brands, and for the joy of getting a little bag filled with makeup every month. Oh, and did I mention that the bags are adorable? I have used Ipsy bags as clutches and wallets on more than one occasion. 

5 // Hello Fresh 

I can honestly say that I love cooking, and so the only real obstacle to me making a home-cooked meal at the end of the day is a lack of energy and ingredients. Hello Fresh delivers perfectly proportioned ingredients and recipes to your door so that you can make fancy-pants, delish dishes in no time at all and with practically zero cooking know-how. I wouldn’t use this service on a daily basis, but it’s perfect for lazy days or when you are hosting a dinner party and want to make a stellar impression with very little effort. It’s also a great way for beginners to improve their cooking skills!

Have you tried any of these subscription services? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

September Beauty Picks


I, like so many others, have always been mesmerized by french ladies’ effortless yet completely elegant approach to beauty. Slightly messy hair, ruby red lips and creamy lit within skin seems to be the parisien go-to formula – at least in my mind. So while I take a few other cues from french culture in terms of my diet and attitude (eat until satisfied and no more, drink water and feel no guilt about indulging in a glass of wine with dinner and a bit of chocolate for dessert), my focus in my beauty routine is on hydrated, healthy skin, shiny yet slightly unkempt hair and sultry red lips. So far it has been serving me well and I think it will serve you too! So behold, my five favorite french-inspired beauty products that have become staples for me. Enjoy!

1 // Skoah – Hydradew Mask

Fruit is good for your body, so you just know that it’s good for your face! Hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, algae and vegetable extracts help to deeply hydrate your skin, leaving your complexion soft as a baby’s bottom and healthy. Plus it smells like grapes and feels super light and refreshing!

2 // Pixi – Glow Tonic

I’ll admit, I used to pretty skeptical about toners but this silky elixir has me in love. Ginseng and aloe vera help to brighten and soothe the skin while glycolic acid purifies and helps to remove toxins from deep inside your pores. Simply dip a cotton ball in this magic potion and cleanse any remaining makeup, dirt and oil off your face after you use your regular face wash.

3 // French Girl – Hair Rose Revive Oil

Deeply moisturize unruly tresses with this richly hydrating, but still non-greasy, hair oil. Argan oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids, while rosehip, hemp and tamanu oils condition the scalp, which is often the source of hair troubles. The rich floral scent of rosemary and rose geranium is stress-relieving and has properties that help to repair damaged hair. Basically, it does it all and you need it now. Not to be bossy.

4 // NARS – Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

There’s nothing like a swipe of red lipstick to make me feel polished and pretty. Even if my skin is misbehaving and my hair is frizzy (thank you cold weather), a ruby red pout makes me feel like Katharine Hepburn. This shade feels retro and powerful. I love wearing it to work, in the evenings. Any old time. Red is my go-to come fall and winter and this formula (although expensive) is hydrating, and lasts for ages.

5 // Benefit Cosmetics – Dandelion Box ‘O’ Powder Blush

Perfecting that no-makeup-makeup look is a bit tricky but this illuminating blush from Benefit makes it a bit easier. It’s a very subtle shade – a rosy ballet slipper pink – and has just enough shimmer to make your skin look refreshed and bright without that clown effect that a lot of blushes give. It’s a cult-favorite for a reason and is a godsend when you haven’t had enough sleep and need to look like a human being.

What are your favorite beauty product right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chai Snickerdoodles

We all have our weaknesses, and while I am usually equipped with strong willpower when faced with baked goods, there are a few treats that I simply can’t say no to and am willing to spend an extra hour or two in spin class for. A few examples? My grandmother’s juicy apple pie, a flaky cheese croissant from a really good bakery, and these spicy-sweet snickerdoodles.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I tweaked it slightly with sweet pumpkin purée and fragrant chai tea to make it extra delicious and fall-like. This recipe is super easy and can be customized totally depending on the season. For example, you could add some almond extract in the summer, mint in the winter, coconut in the summer – you get the picture. For the perfect cozy fall evening treat, whip up a mouthwatering batch of these tasty cookies and prepare to impress everyone with your crazy dessert chef skills!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) vegan margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 sachet of chai tea
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. cinnamon


DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat your oven to 350°F and evenly coat your baking sheet with vegan margarine or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

2 // In one large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (apart from the sugar). Tear open a packet of chai tea and mix it in with the flour.

3 // In a separate bowl, use beaters or a fork to cream margarine until it is light and very creamy. Add the sugar and pumpkin purée, and beat until it has a snow-like, fluffy texture.

4 // Add soymilk and vanilla extract to your creamed sugar and margarine and beat until smooth. Next, add the dry ingredients and beat until it is thouroughly mixed.

5 // Scoop out and roll little balls of your snickerdoodle dough. Coat each cookie in cinnamon and sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.

6 // Put the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned on top but still soft and chewy.

7 // You can keep the cookies in an air tight container for about two weeks.

These cookies honestly taste like everything good about autumn! Enjoy these decadent treats with a hot chai tea latte or steaming cup of coffee. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Cold Picnic

Brooklyn-based indie label Cold Picnic is striving to make everyone’s home, wardrobe and life just a little bit cooler. Launched in 2010 by husband and wife power duo Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer (both of whom were already equipped with mad skills and training in both design and business), they quickly took the New York style scene by storm with their playful collection of home wares, handbags and jewelry – talk about #relationshipgoals! And #careergoals for that matter. Cold Picnic offers an amazing selection that ranges from cheeky rugs (the boob range is my fave), bath mats and wall hangings, to bedding, plant holders and accessories. Phoebe and Peter draw inspiration from cultural expectations, movies, art, interior design and national parks, and all of these motifs are visibly woven into each piece. If your space or wardrobe is in need of refreshing, check out this indie label for stylish treasures that will make all of your friends say ‘where did you get that and where can I get one?!’.

Check them out.

COLD PICNIC PICKS


1 // Old Fort Ring


2 // C is for Canyon Cuff


3 // Hi-Lo Earrings


4 // Cracked Bronze Metallic Backpack


5 // Tonal Boob Bathmat


6 // Talking Rocks Bathmat


7 // Sailor Knot Plant Hangers


8 // Hallsands Wall Hanging


9 // The Kiss Knit Blanket


10 // Objects From Home Rug

xoxo,

Alicia

Copper


Warm shades of bronze, copper, rose gold and rust are ideal this time of year as we transition from summer into fall! Metallic hues pop against a tan and lend a boho goddess feel to an outfit. At the same time, they compliment the warm, cozy palette of fall and mimic the colours of fallen leaves – maroon, cognac, gold. These gorgeous bronze pieces will add a bit of glitz and luxury to your home and wardrobe while taking you from summer all the way through fall!

COPPER BUYS


1 // Joos Tricot – Knitted Lurex Sweater

2 // Adidas – Stan Smith Boost Copper Metallic

3 // Tom Dixon – London Scented Candle

4 // Sophia Webster – Clara Crystal-Embellished Metal Clutch

5 // Miu Miu – Short Metallic Copper Dress

6 // MM6 Maison Margiela – Metallic Textured-Leather Ankle Boots

7 // Mark & Graham – Copper Martini Glass

8 // Oliver Bonas – Rudy Copper Cat Eye Sunglasses

9 // Kevyn Aucoin – The Molten Lip Colour Molten Metals in Rose Gold

10 // Nails Inc. – The Mindful Manicure Nail Polish in And Breathe

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Stylish Backpacks For Back To School

There’s something about getting prepped for back to school that I’ve always loved. January 1st may be the official beginning of the new year but I always feel like September is a fresh start. A time when everyone’s slates are wiped clean and we can start fresh – new clothes, new classes, new goals. One of my new goals is to be more organized. As someone who works full time and is working on a bachelors degree in marketing, I’m pretty freakin’ busy and keeping my life scheduled and my stuff organized is pretty crucial to my sanity. One small step I’m taking is swapping my overly stuffed, messy handbag for a practical yet stylish backpack. Unless I’m on a hike or camping trip, I’m never going to tote around a canvas rucksack, but these backpacks check all of my requirements – sleek, chic, roomy, and on-trend without being overly trendy. Let me know which one you like best!

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BACKPACK BUYS


1 // Proenza Schouler – Pebbled Courier Backpack in Acid Yellow

I love the combination of minimalist lines with the punky acid yellow hue. I know it would add a shot of flair to even the laziest of student outfits. 


2 // Charlotte Russe – Velvet Lattice-Front Backpack

As I mentioned before, velvet is HUGE this fall. This backpack may just be my favorite. The burgundy velvet is oh-so luxe and the corset-inspired lacing references the 90s, which is obviously ridiculously on-trend right now. 


3 // Marc Jacobs – Denim Patchwork Biker Backpack

Denim. Patchwork. Marc Jacobs. Need I say more? This biker backpack definitely makes a statement and is roomy enough to fit your textbooks, MacBook and all of your other essentials.


4 // Jessica Simpson – Camille Backpack in Blush

I have to hand it to her, Jessica Simpson’s line of clothing and accessories is actually pretty fabulous. I love the nude/blush hue and the gold hardware adds just the right amount of edge.


5 // Coach – Billie Textured Leather Backpack in Tan

My style has always been a little more on the classic side and so this streamlined cognac backpack instantly caught my eye. It has a slightly masculine vibe that I love and the front two pockets are perfect for storing my always hard to find essentials – my keys and phone. 


6 // TOMS – Suede Embroidered Poet Backpack in Dusty Rose

This slouchy suede bag is feminine and sweet without being too precious. The beaded tassel is also such a cute touch. Cute, chic with room to spare. What more could a girl want?

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Poison Girl by Dior

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NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Poison Girl by Dior
NOTES | Bitter Orange, Lemon, Damask Rose, Grasse Rose,  Orange Blossom, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Almond, Tolu Balsam, Cashmeran, Heliotrope

VIBE | SultryCuddly, Comforting, Romantic, Feminine, Yummy, Flirty

When it comes to sweet and sexy date night scents, I already have a few favorites tucked away in my arsenal. I love Jessica Simpson’s peaches and cream confection ‘Fancy Love‘ for a romantic dinner with my boyfriend, and Viktor & Rolf’s Bonbon for an, ahem, night time dalliance. Who knew that both of these scents would be knocked out of the way as soon as Dior released their uber-popular fragrance Poison Girl in January of 2016? Sweet yet not sugary and almost overwhelmingly sultry, Poison Girl is the perfect juice for when you feel like getting busy, whether that means a night out club hopping with your lady friends, or, you know.

As I mentioned before, Poison Girl is a very popular fragrance and has been raved about by bloggers/vloggers, instagram influencers, magazines – you name it. Because I like to wear perfume that not everyone else is wearing, it took me a while to give this succulent scent a try. After spritzing a bit on my wrist while browsing around Sephora, I instantly understood what all the fuss was about. It’s delicious. It’s decadent. It’s everything you want in an evening fragrance without any of the cheapness that is often associated with gourmands. Even though it’s called Poison Girl, it has a sophisticated quality that feels very womanly and sensual.

This aphrodisiac of a fragrance opens with two citrus notes – bitter orange and Sicilian lemon. Normally, when citrus fruits open up a fragrance, the impression is fresh, sporty, sometimes astringent. This is not the case with Poison Girl. It’s as if the orange and lemon have been rolled in granulated sugar. The effect is juicy and somewhat candy-like as opposed to clean and airy.

As the mouthwatering fruits in the top begin to fade, the opulent florals in the heart take centre stage. What flowers are these you ask? Velvety damask and grasse roses alongside a sweet hint of orange blossom. One rose note is often enough to take over an entire scent and make the whole effect very rosy and floral. Luckily, orange blossom is a very light, slightly sweet white flower that really softens up the roses and ties together the notes of the top, heart and base. While the heart is composed entirely of flowers, at this point in the scent I can already smell the sweet, creamy notes in the base rising up. This creates an unabashedly sexy aroma that is lightly floral, balsamic and dessert-like all at the same time. If I was in lust at first spritz, I knew I was falling in love when the scent warmed into the heart notes.

Unlike a lot of scents out there that dry into pale musk and unidentifiable woods, Poison Girl is as delicious in the dry down as it is when you first spray it on. With ultra sweet notes like tonka bean, vanilla, almond and tolu balsam, the only thing that prevents the base from smelling like a gourmet dessert buffet (and really, there would have been nothing wrong with that), is the floral touch of heliotrope. It’s not enough to give the end of the scent a strongly floral feel, but it does soften the other notes with a touch of feminine sophistication. Poison Girl’s dry down is creamy and rich with just a hint of flowers and although it’s hard to pick a favorite part of this stunning scent, I think the drydown takes the sweet almond rose-water cake.

In conclusion, Poison Girl completely lives up to all of the hype. It’s decadent and sexy yet utterly feminine and romantic. It’s the kind of perfume that men love and women compliment as well. While I think it’s best suited for evening occasions, it’s refined enough to wear to more formal affairs – a ornate black-tie dress would go just as well with Poison Girl as a slinky beaded romper that you would wear to the bar. Despite its rich, dessert-like notes, it’s not overpowering (provided that you don’t overspray – one to three spritzes is all anyone needs) and so if you fall head over heels, there’s no reason you shouldn’t make it your new everyday signature. If you are a romantic, a chocolate and flowers kind of girl who loves the finer (ahem, more expensive) things in life, than you are going to adore Poison Girl. And frankly, so will everyone around you. It sounds like a lot of fluff and hype, but really, it’s that good.

Have you tried Dior’s Poison Girl yet? Do you like it better than the original Poison? Let me know what your thoughts were in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Falling For Fall | 6 Cozy Autumn Candles

I’m a scent-aholic and so one of my favorite things about fall is filling my home with cozy smelling candles inspired by the delicious aromas of autumn. Candles, and scents in general, can do wonders for creating a specific atmosphere and mood. For example, if I want to relax and unwind, I might light a candle scented with vanilla, woods or lavender. If I want to feel cozy and creative, I’ll light smokier scents with apple, tobacco, cinnamon or caramel. Whether it’s the perfume you wear or the candles you light, scent is such a personal, intimate thing and everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what makes a perfect fall candle. Some prefer sweet pumpkin spice latte scents, while others like candles that mimic the smells of nature – fallen leaves and dewy apple orchards. Whatever your preferences, I am positive that one of these delectable fall candles will tickle your fancy. Here’s to all of the warm and fuzzy feelings and delicious smells that fall brings!


1 // Bath and Body Works – Leaves

NOTES: Red Apple, Golden Nectar, Clove Spice

Leaves from Bath and Body Works is an autumn classic and is one of the candles that I repurchase year after year. It’s sweet and spicy but still fresh, reminiscent of a brisk but sunny fall day spent crunching through fallen leaves in a tranquil park. It’s utterly pleasant and a fail-safe crowd pleaser. I’ve yet to meet a soul that didn’t adore Leaves!


2 // Byredo – Treehouse

NOTES: Bamboo, Pimento, Hay, Labdanum, Myrrh, Leather

If you lean towards green, outdoorsy scents, you are sure to fall head over heels for this refreshing candle. It reminds me of fragrant pine needles, dew-laden grass and fallen leaves. Oh, and apparently it’s Taylor Swift’s favorite!


3 // Max Benjamin – Coffee and Cardamom

NOTES: Coffee, Cardamom, Patchouli, Rose and Vanilla

Is there anything more mouthwatering than the smell of hot coffee in the morning? Only if it’s laced with exotic cardamom, voluptuous rose and creamy vanilla. This sensual candle is exactly what I want to light when I want to cuddle up on the couch with my boyfriend. The definition of cozy.


4 // Nectar Republic – Autumn Pear

NOTES: Fresh Pear, Caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla

If bakery-inspired scents are your jam, then look no further than this drool-worthy candle. With nuances of juicy pear and creamy caramel and cinnamon, it smells exactly like a poached pear tart. Light this bad boy and everyone will be wondering what delectable confection you’ve been baking.


5 // Frostbite Studios – Sherlock’s Study

NOTES: Pipe Tobacco, Cherrywood, Fresh Rain

Channel your inner recluse detective and enjoy the mysterious aromas of smokey pipe tobacco and cherrywood. A clean rain accord brings a slight freshness to the candle that reminds me of days spent in a musty study, reading with tea in front of a rain spattered window. It’s very unique and completely sets itself apart from other atypical fall scents.


6 // Often Wander – Apple, Ginger & Sandalwood

NOTES: Apple, Ginger and Sandalwood (obvs)

When it comes to fall scents, the smell of apple and ginger is a classic. This sweet and spicy combination reminds me of a juicy wedge of apple pie, but without all of the guilt and calories. It’s also made with clean-burning soy wax which lasts a lot longer than other waxes, so you can enjoy this delicious candle for ages and ages!

Do you have a favorite fall candle? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Fall Trends I Want To Wear Right Now

Although I love summertime and all of its joys (lazy beach days, nights spent on patios with rose and girlfriends, sunsets with sorbet), I can’t help longing for cool autumn days and the cozy clothes that go with them. As the temperature is still hovering at 30 degrees (Celsius), I am not quite ready to give up my slip dresses, sandals and shorts, but in my head I’m wearing chunky sweaters, slouchy boots and blanket scarves. For any of you who are getting ready to shop for their autumn wardrobe essentials, take a quick gander at these six drool-worthy fall trends. As soon as the leaves change colour and the temperature drops a few degrees, I swear that I’m wearing them all. Possibly even at the same time.


1 // CHUNKY SWEATERS WITH HANDMADE DETAILS

Come fall, there’s no better way to keep toasty than with an oversized grandpa sweater, preferably knit out of chunky yarns. Handmade details and bold, colourful patterns give this trend a nostalgic feel that is a gorgeous blend of quirky and sophisticated. Plus it’s surprisingly versatile. Throw one over a silk slip dress for a night out or pair it with broken in boyfriend jeans for a laid back weekend look.


2 // KITTEN HEEL SHOES

I have always been a fan of kitten heels and I am so glad they’ve made a comeback this fall. Why? They’re the perfect compromise between a pair of flats and sky high pumps. They are effortlessly chic in a Parisian girl sort of way and can be worn everywhere, from the office to a midday lunch with your in-laws. Sweet yet sexy, comfy yet polished. It ticks all of the boxes a shoe should.


3 // RAW EDGE CROPPED DENIM

Sure, we all need a few polished pairs of jeans in our wardrobes, but every now and then it’s time to live on the edge – the raw edge. Unfinished hems are one of fall’s biggest trends and whether you like them cropped, flared or skinny, they instantly lend a cool girl, ‘I didn’t even try’ vibe to any outfit. Add a blanket scarf, floppy hat and a pair of slouchy boots and you’ve got the perfect autumn ensemble.


4 // VELVET ACCESSORIES

Despite what you may think, velvet isn’t just reserved for flower girls and 80s prom dresses. This luxe fabric is having a revolution and is appearing on everything from boots and bags to bows and chokers. I love to wear velvet accessories with more casual, distressed pieces – say a leather jacket and ripped jeans. It’s glamourous, feminine and over the top – in the best way.


5 // SLOUCHY BOOTS

The slouchy boot is the shoe of the season. Laid back and sexy, they go with everything. When worn with a flowy flowery dress they are boho chic. Pair em with leather trousers and a slouchy sweater and they have a rocker-babe vibe. I don’t know about you but I plan to buy one in a multitude of colours and fabrics – leather, suede, velvet, you name it.


6 // SILKY ‘DRESSY’ BLOUSES

Dressy ‘going out’ blouses are coming back in full force. You know what I mean. Those satiny, beaded, pattern tops that we all used to pair with jean and heels when going out for a date or clubbing with the girls. The best thing about these pieces is their utter simplicity. Throw on a pretty top, pull on a pair of jeans (mid-rise, high-rise, low-rise – there are no rules this season) and slip into a pair of ankle boots and you’ve got the perfect, effortlessly stylish OOTD. Lazy ladies like me, rejoice!

What fall trend is your favorite? Let me know what you think in the comments! I’m so excited for fall I can’t even handle it.

xoxo,

Alicia

Healthy Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I, like most normal human beings, love indulging in a frosty bowl of ice cream. Unfortunately it has been harder for me to enjoy my favorite treat as I have recently become a vegetarian and I’ve learned about all of the horrors that animals endure within the dairy industry. While there are quite a few great vegan ice cream brands and shops out there, I took it upon myself to create my own version – one that is healthy, delicious and free of sketchy preservatives.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. Seriously, it requires 9 ingredients and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. It also has the creamiest most decadent texture that is pretty much identical to the real thing. I chose to make mint chocolate chip ice cream because it’s my favorite, but you could totally customize this depending on your tastes. For example, you could swap out the banana for strawberry, add more vanilla and forgo the mint to make classic strawberries and cream! The options are endless and oh-so delicious. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Can Sweetened Coconut Cream
  • 2 Cups Coconut or Cashew Milk (I find that almond milk has too strong of a flavour that distracts from the mint and chocolate.)
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp Mint Extract
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 tsp Stevia 
  • 3 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • A Few Drops of Green Food Colouring


DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure out all of your ingredients apart from the chocolate chips, vanilla and mint extract, and food colouring.

2 // Blend the avocado, banana, coconut cream, coconut milk, stevia and matcha powder until the consistency is rich and creamy – the avocado should make the consistency similar to whipped cream.

3 // Pour the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl and add the extracts, food colouring and chocolate chips. Stir until the ice cream is a pale mint colour and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.

4 // Pour the ice cream mixture into a freeze-safe container and freeze it uncovered for 6 hours. The ice cream should be firm but easy to scoop.

5 // Scoop, top with sprinkles, shredded coconut, chocolate flakes or whatever you feel like. Enjoy your cruelty/dairy/guilt free frozen treat! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you give this a try, let me know how it turns out! 

xoxo,

Alicia

August Beauty Picks


This summer my beauty routine has centered almost entirely around my complexion. Vancouver has been going through a major heat wave for the last few weeks. That combined with pollutants and toxins from forest fires have left my skin dry and irritated skin very prone to breakouts. Luckily, I have come across a handful of products that have kept my face free of congestion and glowy. From a deep cleansing mask that makes me look like an extra from Avatar, to the prettiest lip gloss I have worn since the eighth grade, here are my five favorite beauty finds this month.

1 // LUSH – Don’t Look At Me Fresh Face Mask

Behold, the delightfully scrubby antidote to oily, sunparched summer skin. Loaded with cleansing lemon juice, brightening neroli and exfoliating ground rice, this bright turquoise mask will make you look like a smurf when you first put it on, but after ten minutes you will be left with matte, baby soft skin that is as clear as the summer sky (not to be overly poetic). Plus, it smells like a lemon tart which is always a bonus.

2 // Organik Botanik – Brown Sugar Face Scrub

If you love DIYing your own beauty products, then prepare to fall in love with this sweet smelling scrub. Organic Botanik is an Australian brand that champions all natural ingredients and simple formulas that are effective and earth-friendly. This scrub is made primarily with, you guessed it, brown sugar, and polishes away blockages and dead cells for a complexion that is hydrated and glowing. You’ll be forgoing your tinted moisturizer after one use, because who needs makeup with a face this fresh?

3 // Benefit Cosmetics – The Porefessional Face Primer

I rarely use foundation, primer, or any other skin of face makeup, other than a touch of concealer and bronzer. Although this silky potion is technically a primer, I like to wear it and nothing else on my face. It glides on like whipped air and blurs everything from pores to imperfections. Seriously, my complexion looks like that of a China doll when I use this (which is quite frequently). It doesn’t provide a lot of coverage, but is great for hot, humid days when the last thing you want to do is layer on foundation.

4 // Urban Decay – Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Streak

Let’s face it – Urban Decay can do no wrong. Although I am normally a lipstick kind of gal, this punchy coral gloss is too fun to resist. I love it because it deeply hydrates my chapped lips like a balm while providing a sexy, I-just-licked-my-lips sheen. This colour is also gorgeous – not too orange and not too pink. It absolutely pops against a (obviously faux – no skin damage here) tan.

5 // Hikari Cosmetics – Shimmer Bronzer in Flush

If you’re anything like me and have a naturally pasty complexion that you drench  in SPF from May through September, than an authentic sun-kissed glow is kind of a far-fetched fantasy. Enter, bronzer. This multitasking compact can be swept across your forehead, cheeks and nose for an all over glow, or used to contour and sculpt your face for a more polished look. I also love the hint of shimmer it gives. It’s not so much sparkle that I look like a disco queen, but is just enough to give my face a lit from within glow.

What are your favorite summer beauty products? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Elevated Office Essentials

In case you haven’t been able to tell from this blog, I am a firm believer in adding a little bit of pretty to every situation I’m in, whether I’m picking out new pieces for my fall wardrobe, making myself a cup of coffee, or decking out my desk as work. I consider myself to be very lucky in the sense that I genuinely enjoy my job and am happy to go to work 40 hours a week. We all spend a good chunk of our lives working away trying to earn those dollar bills and sometimes we forget that working can and should be a (mostly) pleasant, or at least not terrible, experience. Aside from, you know, actually liking your work and what you do, putting a bit of effort into making your surroundings stylish and comfortable goes a long way into making yourself happier at work. Sure, it’s not your apartment so you can’t exactly plunk a sofa in front of your desk or pick out paint swatches, but a few touches here and there – like a potted cactus, scented candle and pretty notebook – can make a cold and sterile looking office space look stylish and feel homey. With that in mind, here are seven elevated office items that will instantly add a sprinkle of luxury to your work day.

ELEVATED OFFICE PICKS

elevated-office-Essentials

1 // U Brands – Copper Tape Dispenser

Regular plastic tape dispenser = boring. Copper architectural tape dispenser = insta-worthy. #thatofficelife

2 // Vera Bradley – Mini Floral Notebook with Pocket

Flowers make my heart sing and so obviously this pretty printed pocketbook stole my heart instantly. Keep the meeting minutes in this gorgeous notebook and try not to get distracted by its loveliness.

3 // FrankieandClaudeshop (Etsy) – Pretty & Smart and Goal Digger Pencils

For when you need a mid-work day pep talk and also have no time for boring writing utensils.

4 // Delta Gamma – Striped Floral Motto Sorority Clipboard

Need a little extra motivation? This elegant clip board tells it like it is and mixes prints like a streetstyle superstar. #likeaboss

5 // Geddes – Donut Keepsake Erasers

Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has a collection of super cute donut erasers to fix them. Remember that.

6 // Pilot Lady – Sakura Cherry Blossom Fine Nib Fountain Pen

While 99% of what is written in an office is typed up digitally, sometimes it’s nice to have a beautiful pen for the rare occasions when you have to hand write something. Dreading that Monday meeting? At least you can take notes with a stunning fountain pen that makes you feel like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice.

7 // Forever21 – Tassel Paper Clips

Think that paper clips can’t make a statement? Think again! Tassels are one of summer’s hottest trend and they look just as cute when they are hanging off this month’s report as they do hanging off your sundress.

What indulgences and luxuries do you treat yourself to at work? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Dusen Dusen

If wild prints, bold colours, and monochromatic PJ outfits are key components of your style MO, then prepare to fall head over doc martens for Dusen Dusen, a cool girl clothing and home decor brand based in Brooklyn. Designer and founder Ellen Van Dusen launched her first collection in 2010 and in the seven years since it burst onto the scene, it has expanded to include accessories and home furnishings, all with her signature eclectic aesthetic. Ellen draws inspiration from the typical sources – art, graphic design, culture – but she also creates each collection while considering how the human brain reacts to colour and contrast. Her artful (and somewhat scientific) approach translates into sleek and sharply cut silhouettes, bright hues (often primary colours), and geometric prints. It’s a magic formula that has earned this indie brand a cult following and Dusen Dusen shows no signs of slowing down. My usual style is pretty classic – think sleek cuts, lots of lace, feminine details, and lots of pastels with the odd bright here and there – so Dusen Dusen is not my usual cup of tea. That being said, there’s something about its unapolegtically in-your-face feel that pulls me in. While I’m not quite ready to don their head-to-toe printed panama suits, I am in love with their summery day dresses, cuddly (but with an edge) sweaters, and playful home furnishings line (I NEED the fruit bedding set). If you refuse to remain under the radar and love the ease of matching sets (and who doesn’t?), then allow me to introduce you to your style soulmate. Wallflowers need not apply.

DUSEN DUSEN PICKS


1 // Wrap Dress Lock Stripe


2 // Blue Key Tiered Tank Dress


3 // Floral Tile Jane Dress


4 // Rose Tile Mask Tee

5 // Floral Tile Level Tank


6 // Gray Curl High Waisted Pants


7 // Lilac Key Elastic Waist Pants


8 // Clip Throw


9 // Fruit Bedding


10 // Ladder Pillow

xoxo,

Alicia

Beauty Of The Vine

I’ll be perfectly honest – there are very few things I love more than wine. I adore wine. Unwinding after work with a glass full of pinot grigio or merlot is pretty much the highlight of my day. Aside from it’s delicious taste and ability to help us relax, wine is also packed full of antioxidants and other skin-beautifying properties. Everyone knows that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health, but who knew that it could do wonders for your skin as well? From diminishing the signs of aging to deeply hydrating and evening out one’s skin tone, there’s very little that this magical elixir can’t do beauty-wise. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go home and start chugging cabernet sauvignon by the bottle (that will only leave you looking ruddy and bloated), but these six wine-infused products pack all of the beneficial vitamins and antioxidants as our favorite beverage, but with none of the calories or, ahem, other side effects. So here’s to having more vino in our lives, in our glasses and on our faces. Bottom’s up.

WINE BEAUTY PICKS

wine-infused-beauty-products

1 // Vine Vera Resveratrol Skin Care – Merlot Collection Moisture Day Cream

Drawing skin-perfecting power from wine’s magic component – resveratrol – this splurge-worthy moisturizing cream deeply hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. If you’re looking for a powerful anti aging cream that will even out discolouration, this is your best bet.

2 // DeAge – Red Wine Essence

Anything that claims to be the essence of wine has instantly captured my attention. Just a drop or two will penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin, improving tone, texture and elasticity. It also feels super luxurious and absorbs instantly!

3 // TONYMOLY – Pore Care Red Wine Sheet Face Mask

What could be more indulgent than sipping a glass of wine while donning a face mask? Well, this wine-fused sheet mask is here to answer that question. With antioxidant rich jasmine juice and resveratrols from red wine, this inexpensive mask works better than a ton of masks from luxury brands!

4 // Arcona – Wine Oil (Repair AM/PM)

Nothing quenches thirsty skin better than a facial oil, especially if it’s loaded with ultra-nourishing grape seed oil and extract. This lightweight oil is like food for your face with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and polyphenols your skin needs to be healthy and radiant! It’s a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.

5 // Labiotte – Chateau Wine Lip Balm

Your lips will love the silky texture of this balm – not to mention the just-bitten berry hue! This moisturizing formula is enriched with hydrating grape seed oil and Chateau Margaux wine extract, which acts as a natural chemical exfoliant. If satin-smooth, lush lips are your beauty MO (and really, why wouldn’t they be), then this luxe balm is an instant add-to-cart!

6 // Holika Holika – Wine Therapy Sleeping Masks (White & Red Wine)

Whether you’re more of a red or white wine kind of gal, there’s a sleeping mask for you! First, the wine barrel-inspired packaging is adorable. Second, these masks smell delicious. Third, they actually do what they are supposed to. If you’re looking to reduce fine lines and discolouration, slather on a bit of the red mask. Is hydration your concern? A little bit of the white mask will do the trick in no time. If you’re feeling saucy, double dip both masks to address both issues at the same time!

Have you tried any wine skincare products? What were your thoughts on the results? Let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

Cotton Candy 


You know what they say – if you’re gonna think, think pink. Sugary shades of bubble gum and cotton candy pink will sweeten even the blandest of outfits. Even if this girly hue isn’t normally your cup of tea, it can be given an edgy update with lace cut-outs (check out the romper below), sexy hardware and edgy prints. Not ready to become a full-fledged pink lady? A sultry pair of pale pink kitten heels or a dab of shimmery rose eyeshadow are all you need to add a dose of playful femininity to your look without looking like Little Bo Peep. It’s my personal opinion that pink looks awesome on everyone and this fairy-floss inspired colour will instantly brighten up your face and make you look fresh and awake. Afterall, they don’t call it ‘pretty in pink’ for nothing! Scroll on for ten of my favorite fashion and beauty picks in summer’s sweetest shade.

COTTON CANDY PICKS


1 // Boohoo – Ellie Heart Pink Lens Sunglasses

2 // Monki – Stretch Cotton Playsuit

3 // N’Damus London – Mini Pink Leather Satchel

4 // Baja East – Pink Fila Edition Shearling Drifter Slides

5 // Humble Chic NY – Pom Pom Statement Hoops

6 // Smith & Cult – The Shining Lip Lacquer in Her Name Bubbles

7 // Guishem – Nail Lacquer in Paris Pink

8 // ZACASHA – Baby Pink Crystal & Silvertone Cotton Candy Choker

9 // Sugar Milk – Cotton Candy Whipped Body Butter

10 // Ariana Grande – Sweet Like Candy Eau de Perfume
xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Sunday | Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein

NOTES | Raspberry, Tangerine, Peach Blossom, Tiger Orchid, Pink Peony, Jasmine,  Musk, Cashmere Wood, Patchouli

VIBE | Sultry, Decadent, Sexy, Flirty, Feminine, Playful, Sparkly, Energetic

So, this week has been crazy and I hate that I haven’t been able to blog as much as I usually do and would like to. Normally I like to do my fragrance reviews on Friday (Fragrance Friday – catchy right?), but I don’t want to wait until next week because I LOVE this scent. So without further ado, let’s chat about Forbidden Euphoria – AKA the best perfume ever released by Calvin Klein.

Most perfumes that are marketed as being ‘sexy’ are anything but sexy in my opinion. I’m not about musky, spice-laden scents but this fruity, patchouli-laced juice has an effortless sexiness that is lighthearted and fun. Released in 2011, Forbidden Euphoria was created to be the more playful, youthful counterpart to the original floriental, Euphoria. Truthfully, it smells nothing like the original. If Euphoria is the chic LBD you wear to work and to your boyfriend’s sister’s wedding, then Forbidden Euphoria is the sequinned romper you wear out to the club on a Friday night. It’s not what I would call classy or elegant, but it’s totally gorgeous and fun. If you’re on the lookout for a fruity evening scent for summer, then read on, because this fruitchouli is a gem.

Encased in a translucent violet bottle, Forbidden Euphoria opens with juicy notes of tangerine juice, iced raspberry, and velvety peach blossom. The first spritz is bright and effervescent and sparkles for about an hour before the florals in the heart eventually begin to bloom. The fruits in the top don’t exactly smell natural, but they don’t smell so synthetic that the perfume smells fake or like chemicals. The raspberry and tangerine stand out the most, and they smell candied, laced with a dusting of sugar. It’s a little syrupy at first (this is not a formal or office-appropriate scent) but as the florals in the heart become more prominent, it really starts to soften.

I love when orchid is in a scent, and Tiger Lily orchid is the main accord in the heart. Creamy jasmine and translucent peony don’t particularly stand out, but they do compliment the orchid and help to water down the sugary fruits in the top. The florals in the heart add to the feminine sexiness of the scent, and smooth out all of the notes. At this point, Forbidden Euphoria is still fruity, but softer and with a floral creaminess thanks to the orchid.

After around five hours, the fruits dissipate, the florals fade away, and the musky, woody notes of the base come front and centre. Musk, cashmere wood, and patchouli conclude the scent with earthiness and a hint of spice. Not everyone likes patchouli – it’s kind of a love it or hate it kind of note. It’s dark and has a unique aroma that has been compared to everything from soil and mold to coffee and chocolate. I personally love patchouli but even if you’re not a fan, it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t dominate or overtake the other ingredients in the base. The cashmere and wood is soft and velvety, and the musk adds to the sensual vibe of the fragrance. I love putting Forbidden Euphoria on in the evening because the smell of the base on my skin is just utterly sexy and I love waking up smelling like this. The musk and wood also deepens the top and heart of the scent, making it last for ages. If you’re looking for a nighttime scent that would keep up with you no matter what crazy shenanigans you get up to, this is an amazing choice.

As I mentioned before, I would not wear Forbidden Euphoria to formal occasions or to work. It’s quite strong and fruity, and it better suited for evening and for nights out dancing or clubbing. It’s also a good date-night scent because of how sultry it is. If you’re hunting for a nighttime perfume or adore fruity fragrances, then this is totally your jam and you should give it a try.

What’s your favorite Calvin Klein perfume? Have you tried Forbidden Euphoria? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Loeffler Randall 

Not to get all cliché, but I’ve kinda got a thing for shoes and bags. I’ve been known to line up my bags and shoes and take photos of them just because they make me happy. Is it normal to have more pictures of your purse collection on your phone than your friends and family? What can I say? My blog is named what it is for a reason! Although there are quite a few labels out there that I adore (hence the point of this ‘Brand Spotlight’ series), few come close to Loeffler Randall. This drool-worthy accessories label is the brain-child of husband and wife duo Jessie Randall and Brian Murphy, and they have been designing collection after collection of dreamy peep-toes, espadrilles, flats, bohos, satchels – you get the picture – since the Fall of 2005. Crafted out of the creme de le creme of materials, these pieces cost a pretty penny but are more than worth it. Every collection manages to walk the delicate line between trendy-modern and simple and classic. Translation? These are accessories you can wear with anything and treasure for years and years to come. So if you haven’t yet fallen into the Loeffler Randall rabbit hole, get ready to dive head first.

MY PICKS

1 // Lucia Studded Knot Slide


2 // Amara Platform Slide


3 // Elayna Ankle-Tie High Heel Sandal


4 // Domino Slide Sandal


5 // Coco High Heel Knot Slide


6 // Minimal Rider


7 // Knot Tote


8 // Drawstring Tote


9 // Tassel Pouch


10 // Dome Satchel

Photos via Loeffler Randall.

xoxo,

Alicia

Aqua


I’ve got a serious case of the summer blues, but in the best way possible. Nothing pops against a sunkissed complexion more than cool shades of turquoise, aquamarine and sky-blue. So go ahead and incorporate this refreshing hue into your home, wardrobe, and beauty routine. Think that blue makeup belongs in the 80s? Think again. Slick on a stripe of cobalt eyeliner, paint your nails periwinkle, or take a walk on avante-garde avenue with a bit of matte blue lipstick. This aqueous palette flatters all skin tones so it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. While temperatures soar, I’ll be staying nice and cool in airy sundresses and swimsuits, all in ocean-inspired shades. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling blue.


AQUA PICKS


1 // Make Up Forever – Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner

2 // Kate Spade New York – Silicone Duffy Square Watch

3 // Claudia Pierlot – Off The Shoulder Frill Sleeve Dress

4 // Lilly Pulitzer – Coraline Necklace in Seaside Aqua

5 // Luxury Days – Striped Top With Button Tab Sleeves

6 // River Island – Aqua Green Saddle Stitch Bikini Top

7 // Loeffler Randall – Sylvia Sandals

8 // Humble Chic NY – Carousel Pom Pom Dangles

9 // Paddywax – Ocean Tide & Sea Salt Jar Candle

10 // Mar y Sol – Ibiza Woven Tote in Aqua

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Island Fantasy by Britney Spears 

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Island Fantasy by Britney Spears (for Elizabeth Arden)

NOTES | Citruses, Mandarin, Clementine, Red Berries, Watermelon, Jasmine, Violet, Freesia, Musk, Sugar Cane

VIBE | Tropical, Summery, Flirty, Playful, Bright, Refreshing, Youthful

Tropical summer perfumes always have the same vibe. Whether it’s yet another Escada beach blend or an island-inspired Glow from Jennifer Lopez (seriously, Miami and Sunkissed Glow are pretty much identical), they all smell the same, with heavy doses of pineapple, passion fruit, and coconut. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy these tropical scents, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Island Fantasy by Britney Spears (a beachy flanker of her original, and most popular, scent Fantasy) was completely unique in its interpretation of what a summer fragrance should be. Released in 2013, Island Fantasy was composed to capture the breezy feeling of relaxing on a remote island, with the scent of tropical florals and fruits in the air. Before I begin describing Island Fantasy, I have to say that this perfume is unlike any of her other Fantasy confections. It is not a gourmand and you will find no traces of vanilla, caramel, or any other foodie ingredients. Instead, it is refreshing and uplifting, like kicking back with an ice cold mojito while you indulge in trashy beach reads and soak up the summer sun.

Island Fantasy opens with a sweet yet clean opening of citrus fruits, clementine, red berries and watermelon. The watermelon is what gives the whole fragrance its character and it really dominates the entire experience. When I first put it on it smells tropical but in a watery, refreshing way. It doesn’t smell like a piña colada, but it reminds me of the feeling you get when you plunge head first into the ocean. It’s refreshing and fruity, but it’s also a little bit green. I always feel like I can smell cucumber in the top, but I think it’s the combination of sweet watermelon and the zesty citrus fruits. The red berries are not distinct and I can’t pick them out in the fragrance. They just enhance the fruitiness of the top without taking over like berry notes so often do. I adore the opening of this scent because while it definitely gives off a summer vacation vibe, it’s pared down and refreshing. It’s a fragrance that you can wear in the spring and summer without smelling like a sticky, fruity cocktail.

As the top notes transcend into the heart, the promised beachy florals begin to bloom. Jasmine, violet, and freesia soften the fruity notes, without being overly strong or opulent. Jasmine is one of my least favorite flowers in perfume (I just feel like it’s overdone. It’s in everything.) but it’s very subtle in Island Fantasy. It just adds a soft floral touch that reminds me of sunblock and works well with the other beachy notes. Violet is one of my favorite flowers of all time, but it isn’t strong in this scent. It’s barely detectable and, when combined with the fruity/floral fragrance of freesia, just adds a sweet and powdery backdrop to the more prominent fruity notes. I think the flowers in the heart are perfect, because they compliment the fruity notes of the top without taking over and transforming the perfume into a floral scent.

Finally, as the perfume dries down, all you’re left with is a delicate shimmer of musk and sugar cane. The base is unremarkable and all you will smell on your skin is a bit of sweetness. I hardly even smell the musk. It’s pretty and suits the sheer, almost translucent fragrance, but it isn’t my favorite part of Island Fantasy because, well, it’s a bit dull. It also doesn’t do much to increase the longevity of the scent. While I absolutely love the top and heart of this fragrance, I do wish it lasted longer and projected farther. This is a very light, eau de toilette and it only lasts a couple of hours at best. That being said, it’s quite inexpensive (I snagged a bottle for under $20) so I don’t mind reapplying it throughout the day. It’s very light and doesn’t project very far – others will only be able to smell it on you if they are standing close to you or hugging you. To some this may be considered a plus, but I like my perfumes to be just a touch stronger. I don’t want to walk into a room with a perfume cloud but I also don’t want to have to put my nose to my skin to smell my fragrance. With all that being said, I do enjoy Island Fantasy and it’s my favorite tropical scent right now, among designer and celebrity offerings. It’s a great casual or beach day scent. It’s also a good one to wear to the office just because of how subtle and light it is. If you love Britney scents and/or are sick to death of all the atypical tropical pineapple and coconut fragrances out there, than you need to spritz on a bit of Island Fantasy. Those who love clean citruses and watermelon scents with fall head over heels for this fragrance. I know I did!

What’s your favorite tropical perfume? Have you tried Island Fantasy yet? Let me know your thoughts and let’s talk perfume in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

xoxo,

Alicia

Five Hair Masks That Work Like A Charm

Even if you weren’t cursed, I mean blessed, with super dry curly hair like me, everyone can benefit from introducing a hair mask into their beauty routine. Especially in the summer when chlorine, saltwater and UV rays wreak havoc on your hair. There are tons of masks out there for all different hair types and needs. These four are my favorites and I can promise you, you actually will notice a difference after using them. Say bye to split-ends and hello to silky bunny hair.


1 // Christophe Robin – Regenerating Hair Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Okay, I’ll be honest – what first attracted me to this line of hair products was the name. My boyfriend’s name is Chris but I always call him Christopher Robin (like the annoying girlfriend I am) and so my initial reason for trying this mask was pure novelty. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this deeply hydrating, deliciously scented mask left my parched, curly hair soft and shiny after just one use. Enriched with pure prickly pear seed oil, this rich formula quenches dry, frizzy strands and leaves it smelling lovely.

2 // Living Proof – Restore Mask Treatment

Even though I haven’t dyed my hair in six months, the bleach from my balayage has still left my hair more dry and brittle than it had ever been before. This rejuvenating mask is filled with hair nourishing butters and a unique OFPMA molecule which replenishes moisture levels in the hair and repairs damage. It is very rich so I don’t use it all the time, but when I want hydration like nothing else, this is my go-to.

3 // Amika – Nourishing Hair Mask

This yummy smelling mask is like an antioxidant-packed power smoothie for your hair. It’s chock full of brightening vitamin C, thanks to its main ingredient – Sea Buckthorn. Softening jojoba oil thoroughly  moisturizers strands, smoothing frizz and making your mane super shiny.

4 // Briogeo – Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

I received a sample of this mask in an Ipsy bag a while ago and I instantly fell in love. It has a really light, almost gel-like consistency but does wonders for damaged, brittle hair. A lot of the same nutrients your body requires to be healthy, your hair needs too! Give your tresses a huge dose of B vitamins, biotin, algae and vitamin C with this do-it-all hair holy grail.
5 // Garnier – Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Mask
Although I don’t love the packaging of Garnier’s new ‘Whole Blends’ hair care line, I adore the products that I have tried so far, in particular this creamy, sweet as dessert hair mask. It’s packed full on honey, as well as one of my favorite super foods, royal jelly. I also love how low maintenance this is. Simply smooth is onto your hair after shampooing, wait a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Boom – effortless mermaid hair in a blink of an eye.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorite masks? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Nautical Or Nice

Although I have never been sailing, there’s something about the seaside look that I’ve always loved. High waisted trousers, double breasted blazers, stripes, straw hats – the whole sailor look exudes effortless elegance, class and strength. I doubt I’ll captain a boat anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be dressing the part. This summer I’ll be taking cues from the sailors of decades past, with marine-inspired silhouettes, oceanic hues and beachy espadrilles. Afterall, who needs a ship when you have the shoes?

NAUTICAL PICKS


1 // Kim Rogers – Silver-Tone American Nautical Charm Boxed Bracelet

2 // JoJo Maman Bébé – Nautical Breton Sailor Top

3 // JADEtribe – Nautical Stripe Beach Tote

4 // Go Jane – Nautical ‘N’ Nice Sun Hat

5 // L’Agence – Cynthia Striped Off Shoulder Top

6 // Monsoon – Roz Stripe Cropped Trousers

7 // Kate Spade New York – 14k Gold-Plated Nautical Striped Stud Earrings

8 // Sam Edelman – Bailey Striped Clutch

9 // Deborah Lippmann – Message In A Bottle Collection Nail Polish in Sea Of Love

10 // Tory Burch – Maritime Tassel Mules

xoxo,

Alicia

Brie, Tomato & Basil Pasta

On hot summer days when I’m feeling lethargic and unmotivated, I just want a meal that can be made quickly. And you know, one that is also delicious and not filled with fast-food preservatives and grease – it’s a tall order, I know. Enter, this simple but sumptuous Mediterranean pasta. With chunks of gooey Brie and aromatic sundried tomatoes and basil, it takes fifteen minutes to make but tastes like something you’d eat with delicate silverware over a white linen tablecloth. It’s also incredibly easy. Seriously, if you can boil water and have opposable thumbs to tear cheese, you can whip this dish up without a problem! Here’s how it’s done.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 Wheel of Brie
  • 1 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Chopped Basil 
  • 1 Package of Pasta (Choose whole wheat variations for extra fiber.)
  • Olive Oil (Use enough to lightly coat all of the pasta.)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder 
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

1 // Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the package (usually for around 10 minutes). Drain the pasta.

2 // Drizzle olive oil over cooked pasta and toss until all of the noodles are lightly coated. Add the butter and toss the pasta further.

3 // While the pasta is still super hot, tear up Brie into small pieces and add it to the pasta. Stir the pasta so that the melted cheese is dispersed throughout.

4 // Add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to the pasta. Toss in the sundried tomatoes and basil. 

5 // Garnish the pasta with a little extra chopped basil to make it pretty!

This is one of the easiest (and most delicious) pastas ever. It tastes equally yummy cold as it does hot and the flavours seem to intensify when you reheat and eat it the next day. You can also customize this recipe with any other add-one you want – for example, my boyfriend loves it with chopped up bacon bits. If you’re feeling like having a lazy evening but don’t want another meal that comes in a take-out box, this quick and tasty dish is absolutely perfect. You can also eat it cold as a pasta salad for a light summer’s day dinner.

What’s your favorite lazy day recipe? 

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Circus

When it comes to jewelry, how do you like it? Do you prefer bold, in-your-face statement makers or do you lean towards dainty everyday pieces that dazzle you with their itty-bitty details? If the latter sounds like you, then allow me to introduce you to Vancouver’s own minimalist line, Wolf Circus. This west coast jewel was founded by designer Fiona Morrison in 2011. Crafted out of unusual materials and metals sources from across the globe – New York, Brazil, and, of course, beautiful British Columbia, Fiona’s pieces are always utterly unique but united in their signature simplicity. Geometric shapes and cheeky motifs (for example, an outline sketch of a woman’s naked body)  lend a bit of character and humour to her collection of tiny rings, minuscule pendants, and ultra-sleek earrings. Wolf Circus is for the girl who knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to break the fashion mold. She knows that classic doesn’t have to mean boring and that dainty and daring can go hand in hand. Wolf Circus’s Kate’s collection is the stuff that minimalist dreams are made of and I can’t get enough. If you haven’t yet peruse this cool-girl’s collection, scroll on and see what you’ve been missing! 

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WOLF CIRCUS PICKS


1 // Femme Pendant in Gold


2 // Harris Long Pendant in Silver 


3 // Hayden Cuff in Silver


4 // Assembly Bracelet in Silver 


5 // Mira Art Deco Studs in Gold


6 // Bend Studs in Gold


7 // Calder Earrings in Silver 


8 // Bar Pendant in Sterling Silver 


9 // Matisse Ring in Sterling Silver 


10 // Rose Pendant in Gold 

Photos via Wolf Circus.

xoxo,

Alicia

Trip To Tahiti

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Everyone has a dream vacation waiting at the top of their bucket list. For me (and my boyfriend Chris), Tahiti is the end all be all of tropical trips. It’s extremely expensive and takes ages to get there from Vancouver though, (several transfers and over 24 hours of travelling) so that’s why I haven’t already crossed it off my list. One day I know we will finally make it to this breathtaking place, but until then I have my daydreams and Pinterest boards to tide me over. If I were to magically win a full-expense paid vacation to Tahiti, these are the ten beauty and fashion items that would be in my suitcase.

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TAHITI PICKS

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1 // LATTORI – Sleeveless Bright Orange Ruffle Dress

2 // Lipstick Queen – Jungle Queen Lipstick

3 // NARS – Monoi Body Glow II (Tahiti Bronze Collection)

4 // Water Every Sunday – Zip Front Tropical Print Bikini Set

5 // Charlotte Olympia – Tropical Embellished Slide Sandals

6 // Kate Spade – Hummingbird Trilby Straw Hat

7 // Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in Squad Goals

8 // BaubleBar – Tahiti Pom Pom Necklace

9 // Stephanie Johnson – Tahiti Nancy Shop Tote in Poppy Red

10 // Miss Selfridge – Petite Stripe Sundress

I hope you all have lovely, sun-filled vacations planned for the rest of the summer! What would pack in your suitcase if you were going to Tahiti?

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Linde Berlin by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Linde Berlin by Frau Tonis

NOTES | Lime Blossom, Lime Tree Leaves, Honey

VIBE | Innocent, Airy, Refined, Delicate, Feminine

One of my favorite things about perfume is the way that it can transport me to a certain time or place. For example, the smell of Acqua Di Gio for Men by Armani instantly reminds me of when my boyfriend and I first started dating – I got into his car on our first date, he gave me a hug and I knew pretty instantly that I liked him. I still remember those first feelings when I smell his fresh, aquatic scent. When I smell Linde Berlin, it takes me back to our trip to Germany last year and the unique sights smells, and energy of the city. Berlin is filled with lime trees and linden blossoms – the main notes of this delicate floral perfume – and when I put it on I feel like I’m back in that beautiful city, strolling past historic and modern buildings, and taking in the stunning sights. It’s not a perfume that I wear everyday because it’s special to me and I want to savour every drop. It is a beautiful perfume though, and has a delicate floral aroma that is airy and pleasing.

Most fragrances evolve quite a bit from the top to the base, but Linde Berlin stays pretty much the same throughout the entire experience. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it is lovely. Lime tree leaves, lime blossoms and honey are the only three notes that compose the fragrance and they compliment eachother beautifully, resulting in a scent that is lightly floral with a tough of sweetness and dewy greenery. Lime blossoms (or linden blossoms as they are also frequently called) have a very soft aroma, and it’s rare that they are the main florals in a perfume. When they are mixed among a bouquet of other flowers, they tend to get pushed aside by stronger flowers like jasmine or rose. Lime blossoms take centre stage in Linde Berlin, and their slightly fruity scent is finally allowed to shine. The herbaceous smell of honey enhances the sweetness of the flowers and balances out the green lime tree leaves. Linde Berlin reminds me of a sunny Berlin morning, taking a stroll through a dewy garden.

This is not a show stopping or particularly sexy or flirty scent. It is feminine but with an innocence about it that makes it feel more casual. I wouldn’t wear this on a night out but it’s perfect as an everyday fragrance. It’s super light and inoffensive which makes it ideal for the office, a wedding, or anytime that you want to feel elegant and understated. It’s not a head turner, but it is a lovely floral confection that is timeless and refined. It’s one of my favorite floral fragrances and it will always be special to me because of its sentimental value. Like a white eyelet lace dress or soft angora cardigan, Linde Berlin is a ladylike classic that is always beautiful, no matter what the occasion is.

What’s your favorite floral fragrance? Have you tried any other perfumes from Frau Tonis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Boudoir Basics 

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While I absolutely love playing with fashion and putting unique and stylish looks together, there’s something about lingerie that just gets me excited (in more ways than one). Even if I know that I won’t be able to see my boyfriend for a few days, wearing pretty underthings makes me feel sexy, confident and feminine – and that’s always a good mindset to start the day with. Everyone has their own style when it comes to lingerie, the same way that we all do with out outer clothes, and it’s fun to express our individuality and sexuality with what we wear, even if no one else can see it. My personal lingerie style is classic and a little bit prim and proper – think tulle, lace, appliqué flowers and satin ribbon. I love sheer fabrics like tulle and luxe silk satin and pastel hues like mint green and ballet slipper pink make my heart sing. I don’t believe in sacrificing comfort for style, and so while I love an ornately embroidered push up bra, it needs to be comfy and in a breathable fabric – no polyester here! My favorite lingerie brand in the world is Cosabella. The pieces from this Italian label are just so beautifully made and flattering. I also love that they are comfy and simple enough for everyday but sultry enough for more, ahem, special occasions. So without further ado, here are the ten lingerie essentials that I want (need) in my undies collection. Afterall, dressing up is fun but not as fun as getting undressed.

LINGERIE PICKS

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1 // Cosabella – Celine Sheer Molded Bra

2 // Cosabella – Never Say Never Sweetie Trade Lace Bralette

3 // Heidi Klum – Little Havana Camisole

4 // L’Agent by Agent Provocateur – Kaity Embroidered Tulle Balconette Bra – 50% Off!

5 // Cosabella – Noemi Printed Kimono Robe

6 // River Island – Black Satin Floral Lace Hem Pajama Shorts

7 // L’Agent by Agent Provocateur – Idalia Lace and Tulle Thong – 50% Off!

8 // L’Agent by Agent Provocateur – Bea Balcony Bra

9 // La Perla – Pearl Trim Swimsuit (Or Bodysuit) – Splurge!

10 // La Perla – Primrose Field Lace Insert Briefs

xoxo,

Alicia

Cheap & Easy | Protein-Packed Vegetable ‘Noodle’ Stir-fry

As a student, there are times when I have to cut my grocery bill way, way down in order to afford life. When I can’t afford to splurge on the more exotic items I want (hello Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut Ice Cream and bubbly wine), I have a couple of go-to recipes that I turn to throughout the week to make sure that I’m not, quite literally, eating through my money. One delightful perk of my new-found vegetarianism is how cheap my meals can be if I just focus on whole foods. When you’re buying nothing but fresh produce and canned lentils, you can watch your grocery bills go from $60+ to quite often less than $30 in the blink of an eye. Still, no one wants to eat nothing but plain, raw veggies all day, so a little creativity is needed to transform them into delicious and nutritious meals that will leave you totally full for hours, while still craving seconds because it’s just that tasty. This particular recipe is chock full of satiating protein which will leave you satisfied until your next meal – without the bloat that comes from gulping down a steak. It’s also delicious, free of refined carbs and can be whipped up in 20 minutes. Read on to find out how to make this plant-based plate of heaven.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 2 Large Zucchinis
  • 1/2 Can Beans (I love chickpeas, pinto beans, and black beans the most but the choice is yours!)
  • 1 Cup Extra Firm Tofu (chopped into cubes)
  • 1/2 Cup Tempeh (chopped)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Slices Vegan Cheese
  • * 1 tbsp Peanut Butter (or almond/cashew butter)
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder 
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • Chili Powder (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 Cup Soya Sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil

DIRECTIONS
1 // Wash and peel the carrot and zucchini. Use a spiralizer (follow the directions depending on which model you have) to cut both vegetables into long, noodle-like strands. Set aside.

2 // Grease a skillet with a little bit of coconut or olive oil and add the vegetable ‘noodles’. Cook on medium heat.

3 // Rinse your beans or lentils and add them to your noodles along with all of your chosen spices. The spices I have listed here are my favorite, but feel free to get creative with flavours of your choice – for example, curry, turmeric, cayenne etc. Toss the ingredients and turn the heat slightly down.

4 // Add the diced tomato, tofu and tempeh to the stir-fry, along with the soya sauce and sesame oil. Stir all of the ingredients together. 

5 // At this point there will be a lot of liquid in your stir-fry because all of the moisture will be cooking out of the vegetable noodles and tomato. One way to thicken it up is to add a bit of peanut butter (or any nut butter). This will also give the dish extra protein and enhance the Asian-inspired flavours. It’s totally optional but I really enjoy the creamy consistency and rich, nutty flavour it gives the stir-fry.

6 // Continue to simmer the mixture on low-heat until all of the extra juices have been reduced. Feel free to add some vegan cheese for a little extra flavour and creaminess! 

7 // Serve on its own or with some brown rice or quinoa for even more bite and protein. This dish is extremely filling (contrary to the popular belief that vegetarian and vegan meals leave you feeling hungry) and this recipe makes enough for two or three portions. Again, this recipe is totally customizable depending on your tastes. Swap out the spices and vegetables for your favorites. Don’t like carrots? Spiralize sweet potato or parsnips instead! Not a fan of tofu? Add some seitan and cut up portobello mushrooms! 

I have really enjoyed cooking vegetarian meals and I find that because they do not have meat, the extra effort and creativity that goes into creating these dishes makes them even more delicious then some of the carnivorous meals I enjoyed in the past. It’s also nice not feeling bloated or lethargic after every meal! Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a vegetarian or vegan, keeping at least some of your meals completely plant-based throughout the week will have a powerfully positive effect on your health – as well as your cooking prowess! 

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Also, as always, I’m always snooping around for new veggie recipes, so please give me a shout my herbivore friends! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Ace & Jig

Looking for a little printspiration? Then look no further than Brooklyn-based brand Ace & Jig. Launched in 2009, this eclectic label was created by designers – and close friends – Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson. This creative super team launched their label with the idea of creating a line of clothing that was timeless, seasonless and effortlessly chic. And all it takes is a quick look at their Spring/Summer 2017 collection to know that they’ve definitely succeeded. Loose fitting silhouettes and stunning fabrics are the two main components of this brand’s magic fashion formula and every piece is as comfy as it is head-turning. Cary and Jenna draw most of their creative inspiration from their own textile collections, including antique French linens and Japanese boro quilts. This worldly influence is clearly present in their aesthetic and all of the fabrics they use for Ace & Jig are 100% original and are woven in India using ancient wooden hand looms. India’s culture is intricately woven throughout the fabric of the brand (both literally and figuratively) and each piece is created ethically and with compassion. Workers in India are provided with childcare and organic produce, ensuring that their physical and family needs are more than met while working. The ornate textiles that these artisans create are nothing short of breathtaking and every season of Ace & Jig is like a smorgasbord of different textures, patterns, and colours. Although Cary and Jenna show their love for all types of patterns (jacquard, gingham, plaid, checkers), stripes are their all time favorite, and you will never see an Ace & Jig collection devoid of stripes. Whether they are thick or pencil thin, every collection has a refreshing take on this classic print. So if you can’t get enough of stripes, then you’re going to fall in love with this quirky label!

Ace & Jog’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection is earthy and rustic, saturated with a mix of subdued neutrals and oceanic blues. Gingham and, of course, stripes are splashed throughout the collection. I absolutely love the multicolour gingham pantsuit (the print is called Madras) and the comfy Ojai crop top (in solstice – a pale fawn and white pattern). These pieces are comfy and effortless – perfect for lounging around or a summer picnic with the family. There are so many pieces from this collection that I’m lusting over, but these top 10 are my ultimate favorites!

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ACE & JIG PICKS

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1 // Clarke Tunic | Solstice

2 // Suit Up | Madras

3 // Clifton Top | Lunar

4 // Hooded Mesa Dress | Solstice

5 // Jo Midi | Lunar

6 // Simone Dress | Solstice

7 // Orchard Pant | Madras

8 // Ojai Crop | Solstice

9 // Stillwater Dress | Merry

10 // Atwood Dress | Spackle

What piece from Ace & Jig’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection is your favorite? I want your thoughts! Let me know in the comments! 

Photos via Ace & Jig

xoxo,

Alicia

Secret Garden

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One of my favorite childhood books (and movies) of all time is The Secret Garden. When I was little I loved the idea of escaping through a hidden door into a secluded paradise of possibilities. I was also so inspired by the way the main character, Mary, transformed the once forgotten, desiccated garden into a lush haven filled with blooms. To this day, The Secret Garden still has a special place in my heart and I wish that I had a hidden garden of my own to hide away in, especially in this sweltering heat. As I don’t have my own tranquil garden to unwind in, for the time being, I’ll just have to make do with re-reading the book, watching the 1993 movie, and decking myself out from head to toe in florals. It could be worse!

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SECRET GARDEN PICKS

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1 // Women’s Floral Print Sheer Chiffon Loose Kimono Cardigan

2 // Johnny Was – Secret Garden Scarf 

3 // Charlotte Olympia – Tara Appliquéd Metallic Leather Sandals

4 // Dsquared2 – Secret Garden Clip-on Earrings

5 // Fornasetti Profumi – Small Foglie Scented Candle

6 // Mango – Floral Embroidery Shopper Bag 

7 // Bling Jewelry – Floral Wrist Candy

8 // Rose Gal – Floral and Striped Tie Belt Sleeveless Dress

9 // Chronicle Books – Secret Garden Colouring Books

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Cristalle eau Verte by Chanel

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NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Cristalle eau Verte by Chanel

NOTES | Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Neroli, Magnolia, Musk, Iris, Jasmine

VIBE | Sparkling, Fresh, Refined, Unisex, Crisp, Clean, Green

On a boiling hot summer day, the last thing you want to wear is a sticky-sweet or spicy oriental perfume. No, on days where the thermometer reads 30+ degrees Celsius, refreshing, clean smelling fragrances are all that will do. Case in point – Cristalle eau Verte by Chanel.

Released in April of 2009, Cristalle eau Verte is the modern, more minimalist successor of the iconic Cristalle perfume that was released in 1974. I feel there are two camps when it comes to feelings about this flanker. Some people (like myself) adore it and think that it’s a much cleaner, fresher take on the mossy original (which has been compared to swamp water by some). Others are die-hard fans of the original and loathe Cristalle eau Verte because admittedly, it doesn’t really smell like it’s parent perfume. While Cristalle is also green with white florals and citruses, it also has a heavy dose of oak moss that is not to everyone’s liking. Cristalle eau Verte forgoes the moss in favour of extra Sicilian lemon and airy florals like neroli and magnolia. I like both but I have to say, eau Verte ultimately gets my vote for the best out of the two. Now, that I’ve made my stance on this love it or hate it scent, let me tell you what it actually smells like.

The top notes of Cristalle eau Verte are pure citrus – the Sicilian lemon that we talked about and green bergamot. These are the two notes that give the scent the most of its ‘green’ character. At first spritz it smells almost sharp and astringent, like a cleaning product because of all of the zesty lemon. Never fear however, as the harshness of the opening softens in seconds and the impression that remains is sweet lemon with fresh green leaves. It’s pleasant and clean with a unisex vibe that I find very appealing. It’s modern and minimalistic with a simplicity in the top that is rare for Chanel perfumes. Even though this is a quote-on-quote women’s perfume, I think it has a bit of a masculine edge that would make it fitting for a guy as well (but hey, I believe in wearing whatever fragrance you like. If you’re a guy and are into florals or gourmands – you do you!).

As the sparkling top notes fade into the heart, the soft white bouquet of magnolia, neroli and jasmine come out. Neroli is one of my favorite flowers but it is very light, and like with most perfumes, it’s barely a whisper in this scent. The magnolia is the most prominent in the heart with just a kiss of jasmine to back it up. Even though the heart is more floral, the greenness of the top never goes away, so the scent still feels clean and modern, from the start of the fragrance until the end.

I love when fragrances have unusual bases – are any of you also sick of the cookie-cutter combination of sandalwood, musk, and vanilla? Cristalle eau Verte has musk, yes, but it also has iris which lends a powdery, almost sweet aroma to the scent. Sure, it’s not groundbreaking, but the iris does give it a vintage vibe that is a lot more unique than a lot of other offerings out there, and it blends perfectly with the other components of the composition. Basically, when all is said in done, all that’s left on your skin is a bit of musk, powder, and a hint of green leafiness. The perfume lasts about five hours and I can honestly say that I enjoy it from start to finish as it evolves.

Cristalle eau Verte is a very classy, fresh scent but it’s very versatile. It’s very simple yet interesting. It doesn’t try too hard to be avante garde or bold. It’s the crisp white blazer of your perfume wardrobe. It looks and feels great on, whether you’re at the office, or out for a five-course meal. As always with Chanel, this scent costs a pretty penny but is an elegant classic that you can wear day after day, and year after year without ever getting tired of it. If you love green, fresh fragrances or citruses, then you need to give this gorgeous perfume a try.

What are your favorite scents? Do you have a favorite Chanel (mine are Chanel Chance eau Fraîche and this one)? Give me a shout in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

June Beauty Picks


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I tried surfing for the first time in Tofino, I started a new marketing campaign at work, and I’ve been busy studying for tedious quizzes and midterms in my Macro Economics class. It’s just been go-go-go! My busy schedule combined with the rising temperatures have resulted in a pared down beauty routine centered around frizz-free hair, clear, sun-burn free skin, and pretty toes. When I’m sweating profusely as soon as I leave the house, I have no desire to pile on makeup or do anything complex to my hair. A bit of sunscreen, a swipe of lip balm, a palmful of mousse and I’m good to go. Here’s to summer, winding down after winding up, and low-maintenance beauty!

1 // Arbonne – Pure Vibrance Texturizing Mousse

This sweet smelling mousse not only keeps my unruly strands frizz-free, but it does so without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. I’m not usually a big fan of mousse for the above reasons, but this baby ticks all my boxes.

2 // Benefit – Dandelion Brightening Finishing Powder

I love when beauty products can do double or triple duty (it’s the multi-tasking type A in me). This sweet shade of petal pink is so subtle, you can hardly tell you’re wearing makeup. It acts as a blush AND highlighter, but all anyone will see is glowing, radiant skin.

3 // Fresh – Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé

My boyfriend actually got me this for Christmas last year (I’m spoiled, I know) and I immediately fell in love with it. I was always hesitant to spend so much money on a lip balm, but after using it constantly over the past six months, I know I’m going to repurchase it as soon as I run out. It’s hydrating, smells subtly of roses, and leaves the prettiest strawberry sheen on my lips. This is a god-send.

4 // Essie – Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple

I love sorbet-inspired nail polishes on my toes in the summer (I keep things neutral when it comes to my finger nails). This sweet shade reminds me of mint chocolate chip icecream and absolutely pops against a tan!

5 // Neutrogena – Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunblock

I’ve always hated wearing sunscreen on my face. It always feels heavy and sticky. I practically feel my pores clogging with SPF-infused goo. Not the case with this bad boy. This liquid formula goes on light as air and sinks in immediately, so even though my face is protected from sun-damage, I feel like I’m wearing nothing at all. If you’re weird about sunscreen on your face like me, then I highly recommend this sunblock from Neutrogena. Afterall, no one wants skin cancer (not to mention wrinkles or age spots)!

xoxo,

Alicia

My Go-To Green Smoothie

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When I’m in a pinch for time or simply want a super healthy meal on the go, green smoothies are one of my favorite breakfast options. They are packed with vitamins and can be made in minutes with minimal clean-up afterwards. Packed with chlorophyll and other essential plant-based nutrients, green smoothies have been praised for their many health and beauty benefits, such as glowing skin, shinier hair, a stronger immune system, and a decreased risk of heart disease. They are also a great way to sneak in extra greens without you even noticing them (kids love them)! There are a lot of great recipes out there that I enjoy, but this is my favorite green smoothie recipe of all time. Chock-full of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, this rich and creamy smoothie tastes like dessert but packs a serious nutritional punch. Plus it’s vegan!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Handfuls of Mixed Greens
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries, Peaches & Pineapple
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina
  • 2 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 2 Cups of Vanilla Almond Milk

DIRECTIONS

1 // Add all of the fresh fruit and avocado into the blender and add one cup of almond milk. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

2 // Toss in the leafy greens and frozen fruit along with the almond milk, spirulina, and matcha powder. Blend on high until the smoothie is entirely mixed and has a frosty yet creamy consistency.

3 // If you prefer your smoothie to be sweeter, add a drizzle or honey or real maple syrup and blend on low to mix it in.

4 // Enjoy your delicious and super healthy green smoothie!

Have you tried green smoothies and, if so, are you a fan? If you give this recipe a try, let me know how you felt about it! It’s my fave but I’m curious about what others would think. Until next time!

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Nicole Bridger

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about eco-chic and sustainable fashion without talking about Nicole Bridger. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has been in love with garment construction and nature from an early age. She graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1999 before interning with Vivienne Westwood. In 2006 she launched her own label and since then her self titled brand has become one of my favorite clothing companies in fashion today. Born and raised in Vancouver, a place renowned for its natural beauty and active lifestyle, Nicole has always designed her clothes with the well-being of the environment in mind. Her pieces are made locally out of natural and sustainable fabrics, so you can rest assured knowing that every piece you wear from her line is not only gorgeous, but karma-free. What I love about Nicole’s line is that every piece is made with attention to fit and detail. There’s nothing overtly trendy about her pieces. They aren’t avante-garde and they don’t reek of trends or fads from the latest high-fashion runway shows. They are made with real people and real life in mind. These are clothes that you put on and you feel comfortable and beautiful, whether you are heading to the grocery store or for date night with your sweetie. The magic is all in the quality and subtle luxury of her pieces. And really, it doesn’t get any better than that! Scroll on for a few of my favorite finds from her Summer/Spring 2017 Collection. 

NICOLE BRIDGER PICKS

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1 // Soulful Dress

2 // Honour Dress

3 // Journey Dress

4 // Appreciation Pant

5 // Bliss Shorts

6 // Flex Dress

7 // Inspire Dress

8 // Bliss Pants

9 // Honest Blouse

10 // Be Tank

xoxo,

Alicia Arruda

An Ode to Coral

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One of my favorite colours for summer is juicy coral. Not quite orange, not quite pink, this exotic shade instantly warms up the complexion and makes me feel like I’m beach-ready! Nothing looks better against a summer tan than this tropical hue. Whether it’s a swipe of coral gloss or a floor-length coral maxi-dress, adopt this gorgeous shade into your own wardrobe and beauty routine and pretend you’re vacationing in Tahiti (or a tropical destination of your choice)! So with that in mind, here are a few of my very favorite fashion and beauty picks in this sunny summer shade. Hello, sunshine.

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CORAL PICKS

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1 // Caroline Svedborn – Örhängen Alexandra Light Coral Earrings

2 // Kate Spade New York – Flights of Fancy Grapefruit Leather Crossbody Bag

3 // Wear All – Chiffon Gypsy Off Shoulder Top

4 // Sam Edelman – Rochester Flats

5 // Yves Saint Laurent Beauty – Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in Color 36 Corail Legende

6 // Fitbit – Alta HR Wireless Heart Rate & Fitness Tracker

7 // Gucci – Bold High-Gloss Lacquer in Crushed Coral

8 // Suzanna Dai – Ombré Gumball Necklace

9 // Nordstrom Rack – Beauty Sleep Pillow

10 // Pretty Little Thing – Charis Coral Floral Embroidered Shorts

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Akazie by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Akazie by Frau Tonis Parfum Berlin

NOTES | Acacia, Wood Notes, Mimosa, Moss, Powder

VIBE | Elegant, Sophisticated, Aldehydic, Luxurious, Chic, Vintage

A few months back I did a review on another perfume from Frau Tonis called Veilchen and I promised then that I would review the other two scents I bought in Berlin called Linde Berlin and Akazie. I’m finally getting around to reviewing Akazie, another scent out of my Frau Tonis trio, and so without further ado, here it goes.

Let my start by saying that Akazie is not a perfume that will appeal to everyone. It’s very powdery and aldehydic, two olfactory qualities that are usually associated with the phrase ‘smells like an old lady’. Other examples of aldehydic perfumes (if you’re unsure what I mean) include Chanel No. 5 and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. If you have smelled these scents you know that while they are classics, they’re not to everyone’s taste. Some aldehydic perfumes are very heavy and overpowering, choking you out with the synthetic smell of abstract florals and powder. Others, like Akazie, use this chemical note in a beautifully subtle way that enhances the other flowers in the perfume’s composition. If they are done right, the aldehydes add a vintage charm and complexity to an otherwise simple array of notes. Akazie has been blended beautifully and the florals and powdery notes are perfectly balanced.

When I first spray on Akazie, the mimosa and oak moss stand out the most. At this point the fragrance is incredibly feminine and elegant. It reminds me of a perfume that an Old-Hollywood starlet would wear. Mimosa is the star of the show here and remains the most prominent note throughout the entire fragrance experience. I’ve always loved mimosa, and it smells true to nature in this scent. When Akazie dries down (after around five hours), all that’s left on my skin is a soft, mossy floral smell and this is the part of the fragrance I love the most. It’s just so soft and delicate. Chypre-floral fragrances are my favorite perfume genre and this one is a real gem. 

Frau Tonis makes truly stunning scents and Akazie is no exception. Centering around the sweet perfume of mimosa, this chypre-floral fragrance is utterly unique and timelessly elegant. Because of its aldehydic undertones, it may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer super sweet, fruity confections, this may not be your cup of tea. If you love florals and perfume classics like Chanel 5, then this will be right up your alley. It’s not an everyday perfume but is perfect for special and more formal occasions. Like a luxe strand of pearls, Akazie has a refined beauty that is absolutely timeless. 

Alicia

5 Piece Summer Wardrobe

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I recently finished a very entertaining novel called Elegance where the protagonist aims to pick up the pieces of her messy life and failing marriage by following the advice of a book (also called Elegance) that has been written to guide women on the ways that they can become more poised, stylish, and confident, improving their lives in the process.One of the chapters in the book focuses on the idea of having a small but carefully curated wardrobe of only a few well-chosen, high-quality pieces. I don’t know about you guys, but my wardrobe is completely cluttered with pieces I haven’t worn in years, whether it’s because they no longer fit, they are out of date, or they are falling apart (but I have the delusional idea that I will one day have them repaired). The idea of trimming down my wardrobe to a handful of beautiful, well-made items intrigues me. Rome wasn’t built in a day so I doubt that I will be tossing out half my closet anytime soon, but I will be going through my clothes and donating pieces that no longer serve me. My new mantra going forward is that I will only choose pieces that truly bring me joy. For me this means beautiful cuts, luxe fabrics, with just a touch of contemporary sex appeal. I want my clothes to make me look and feel good regardless of the occasion. With this in mind I have selected five key pieces for a summer wardrobe. I’ve picked three options for each item with the idea that (almost) all of the pieces could be mixed and matched. The five piece wardrobe equates to effortless elegance and light packing – two closet characteristics that are perfect for the hotter months of the year.

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SUNDRESSES

Breezy sundresses are so ideal when the temperatures rise. Simply step in, zip up, and throw on some sandals before heading out. They are easy to dress up with a statement necklace and a pair of heels or dress down with some espadrilles and a denim jacket. 

1 // OUGES – Halter Neck Floral Casual Summer Sundress 

2 // Gamiss – Flower Printed Sleeveless A-Line Sundress 

3 // J.Crew – Off The Shoulder Tie-Waist Dress 

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JERSEY TROUSERS

Unlike a pair of jeans or distressed cut-offs, trousers made of lightweight cotton or silk jersey are suitable for casual and formal occasions. They look polished and feel comfy – a must when it comes to summer dressing. Pair with a slinky cami and a pair of stiletto sandals for a night out with your favorite ladies. 

1 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Chiffon Pajama Trousers 

2 // Fleur Du Mal – Fox Silk-Lined Pants 

3 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Trousers 

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SILK T-SHIRT

Instead of throwing on yet another wrinkled, cotton tee, why not upgrade to a luxe silk or satin version? Pick one in a neutral colour (think pearl grey, taupe, navy or blush) and you’ll be have a piece that you can wear with literally everything. Plus, as far as clothing goes, nothing feels better on a hot, muggy day than a breathable silk shirt. 

1 // Reiss Ki – Silk Front T-Shirt

2 // Equipment – Prescott Striped Silk T-Shirt 

3 // CLU – Pleated Organza Trimmed Silk Jersey T-Shirt 

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LINEN SHORTS

Stay cool and chic in a crisp pair of linen shorts. This plant-based fabric is incredibly light and breathable, making it the perfect choice for summer. While I adore bright colours, a loose-fitting pair in an earthy hue will take you everywhere, from brunch to an office barbecue. 

1 // Zimmerman – Zephyr Striped Cotton & Linen Blend Shorts

2 // Vince – Linen and Silk Shorts 

3 // Venroy – Lounge Drawstring Shorts 

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BREEZY CARDIGAN

One of the best things about summer is not having to lug around a heavy coat or jacket. That being said, a lightweight cardigan or poncho (for cool summer nights) is an absolute essential. Choose two or three options – at least one in a luxurious fabric (think silk or thin cashmere) and one casual poncho for camping or hanging out on the beach. Right now I’m loving pieces with nautical stripes and oceanic colours – navy and pale periwinkle blue go with everything! 

1 // Mat Blue – Cream Striped Open Cardigan 

2 // French Connection – Milano Mozart Cardigan

3 // Outdoor & Country – Barbour Harewood Cardigan 

What do you think of these pieces? Would you ever adopt a five piece wardrobe? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

DIY Stress Relieving Whipped Body Butter


Photo via Poppy Talk 

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a little tidbit of information about me – I’m as high strung as they come and have battled varying degrees of anxiety for years. I’ve been a chronic worrier since I was a kid, and while some days are more challenging than others, I do feel that over the years I have found a few things that make me feel better and keep me calm. Some of these things include yoga, going for a brisk walk, painting, or lighting scented candles and taking a bath. These are little comforts for me and I believe that self-pampering and aromatherapy really help to soothe my mind and body. I love essential oils and I find that certain scents have an especially positive effect on my mood. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and vanilla are my favorites and when they are combined, they instantly send me to dreamland. Essential oils also have a lot of effective beautifying properties as well, so what better way is there to reap their stress-relieving benefits than by using them to make an all natural body butter? This particular recipe results in a rich, whipped texture that reminds me of white chocolate mousse, although trust me, you don’t want to eat it. With only two ingredients comprising the actual body butter, it is really easy to make, and you can totally customize this recipe with your own essential oil combinations if you’re not a fan of my soothing blend. It’s totally up to you! Read on for a stress-free mind and super soft skin!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
  • 3 Drops Rose Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1 Drop Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Drop Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure the coconut oil (it should be solid) and shea butter into a medium bowl. Add rose water and stir with a spoon until well blended.

2 // Blend the buttery mixture with egg beaters or a hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Set aside. 

3 // Add essential oils to your partially whipped mixture. Blend further until stiff peaks form.

4 // Spoon mixture into an empty and clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry place. If you’re giving it away as a gift, feel free to dress the jar up with dried rose petals, lavender buds, ribbon, and/or twine. Get creative! 

5 // Enjoy your gorgeously floral scented, silky smooth skin!

If you give this a try, let me know what your verdict is! Also, I’m always on the lookout for beauty DIYs, so please let me in on a few of your favorites!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Callahan

If cozy sweaters and Cali-girl inspired slouchy fits are your jam, you are sure to fall in love with this L.A label. If you’re anything like me, the word ‘knitwear’ bring to mind cuddly pullovers and the thick, wooden sweaters your grandma would knit you. And while you can find these cuddly pieces in a Callahan collection, you’ll find them alongside more contemporary styles – think an edgy batwing dress knit out of super fine yarn, or a fringed crochet maxi. Designer Michelle Callahan created her eponymous label with the desire to offer women beautiful, versatile knitwear that they can wear all year long. Each piece is made to transition from season to season, and although the brand’s aesthetic favours the odd sexy detail here and there (cut-outs, dropped waists, scooped backs), each collection stays true to Callahan’s signature penchant for clean lines and classic silhouettes. Whether you’re on the hunt for a breezy and lightweight sweater dress or a cute pair of crochet shorts, look to this label for those kind of easy-to-wear wardrobe staples that California brands seem to do so well. Here are ten pieces from Callahan’s Spring 2017 collection that I am seriously in love with.

 

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CALLAHAN PICKS

1 // Crochet Maxi

2 // Fringe Column Dress

3 // Enzyme Batwing Mini

4 // Open Weave Off The Shoulder Top

5 // Stripe Off Shoulder Dress

6 // Fringe Crop Sweater

7 // Slinky Mini Tank

8 // Enzyme Shortie Short

9 // Crochet Fringe Top

10 // Stripe Crop Off Shoulder Top

xoxo,

Alicia

On The Boardwalk

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Long days that turn into late nights walking along the boardwalk are some of my most cherished summer memories. I live pretty close to the beach (not to brag), but even if you live smack dab in the middle of the city, you can still capture that carnival by the sea vibe with a few well chosen pieces. The magic formula includes bright colours, stripes, and a general disregard for subtlety or conventions. Accessorize with a head turning pair of shades and a cone full of cotton candy and you’re good to go! With this theme in mind, I’ve chosen 10 pieces that will help you channel your inner carnival girl instantly. Lana Del Rey would approve!

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BOARDWALK BUYS

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1 // Bond No. 9 – New York Coney Island Eau De Perfume

2 // RMS Beauty – Lip2Cheek Colour in Beloved

3 // New Directions – Ivory Floppy Sun N Sand Hat

4 // Red Off Shoulder Top & Black/White Striped Highwaisted Bottoms (Swimsuit)

5 // Deborah Lippmann – Walking on Sunshine & Lara’s Theme Set

6 // Lilly Pulitzer – Boho Beach Earrings

7 // Betsey Johnson – Boardwalk Sweets Candy Bracelet

8 // Tory Burch – Castaway Mismatched Espadrilles

9 // Solid & Striped – Cropped Striped Cotton Top

10 // Zimmermann – Roza Striped Cotton Shorts

xoxo,

Alicia

Made Of Straw

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Straw handbags, baskets, and clutches are everywhere this summer and they really do lend a farmer’s market chic vibe to any outfit. This season’s styles have been given a trendy update with geometric shapes (retro circle styles are my favorite), intricate beading and bohemian-inspired embroidery. And we couldn’t even talk about straw handbags without also mentioning pom-poms. This fuzzy fixture from your first grade art class is here to stay and is a favorite of streetstyle fashionistas and bloggers. Bonus points if they come in rainbow hues and are accentuated with dangling tassels. Whether you prefer the country casual look with a plain and simple straw tote, or you instead take cues from high fashion with flamboyant embellishments, one thing we can all agree on is that straw bags are the summer accessory. I have a couple, but I can’t help but want to add a few more to my own handbag arsenal. Because really, when it comes down to it, can you ever have too many purses? Clothes yes, bags no. Afterall, accessories are such an easy and fun way to change up the hum-drum outfits you’ve worn dozens of times. So if you’re still on the fence about adding some wicker to your wardrobe, check out these nine drool-worthy totes.

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STRAW PICKS

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1 // Sundry – Sea, Sun, Salt Straw Bag

2 // Sun ‘N’ Sand – Natural Straw Mini Crossbody Bag

3 // Filippo Catarzi – Striped Bow Straw Tote

4 // Lilly Pulitzer – Riviera Straw Tote Bag

5 // BaubleBar – Lemonade Straw Tote Bag

6 // T&J Designs – Straw Pom Pom Clutch

7 // Le Sera – Daybreak Multicolour Straw Tote Bag

8 // Alice + Olivia – ‘Stace Face’ Embellished Straw Tote

9 // Patricia Nash – Levanzo Straw Satchel

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Baiser Volé


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Baiser Volé by Cartier

NOTES | Citrus Fruits, Lily, Green Notes

VIBE | Romantic, Feminine, Innocent, Optimistic, Comforting, Bright

Think of how it would smell to shove your nose into a bouquet of sweet, fragrant lilies. That’s exactly what Baiser Volé, a soliflore fragrance by the prestigious jewelry line Cartier, smells like. I’ll tell you right now, if you love lilies, then this perfume will delight you. If you don’t like lilies, then don’t even bother with this one because it’s all lilies, all day long. I absolutely adore lilies so I love every aspect of this perfume, from the top to the very base.

Cartier Baiser Volé is a soliflore perfume and is very pretty, but is not in any way complex. It smells like lilies, plain and simple, but in a realistic way. What’s unique about this scent is the way that it uses notes that mimic the different parts of the lily, from the powdery pistil, to the creamy petals and crisp, green leaves. It opens with bright citruses and the pistil of the lily. When I first spray the fragrance, it smells very powdery and clean. The zestiness of the citrus fruits fade almost instantly. The heart is lily and nothing but, and without the fruits in the top, the lily smells a lot softer at this point, with just a hint of creaminess. This part of the fragrance is supposed to mimic the smell of the flower’s petals and it does the job perfectly. At this point, Baiser Volé is stunning in simplicity, just like a bouquet of white lilies.

The base of the fragrance is as minimalistic as the top and the heart, with only one complementing note of greenery alongside the lily. The slightly sharp green note is the base is reminiscent of the flower’s leaves. All that’s left on my skin is a powdery, floral trail with just a hint of green freshness that is barely detectable. Baiser Volé lasts for about 4-5 hours in total, but I don’t mind reapplying it throughout the day because it is that gorgeous. Soft and pretty, it’s absolutely perfect for spring but would work for summer too. In terms of when to wear it, Baiser Volé is a nice everyday perfume but is particularly suitable for special occasions. It’s not overly strong but projects far enough that you shouldn’t be surprised when you get a ton of people asking you what you’re wearing. This is definitely a scent that gets compliments and every time I wear it, I feel as pretty as a picture. If you love soliflores, and more importantly, if you love lilies, then you need to give this scent a try.

Have you tried Cartier’s Baiser Volé before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Splurge & Save | High End & Drugstore Beauty Favorites


I don’t think that it’s any secret that I’m a huge beauty junkie. While I do have a ton of different make up, skincare, and hair products littering my vanity, they aren’t all from high-end, trendy brands. There are certain products that are worth splurging on, just as there are a few holy grail drugstore items that rival even their most pricey counterparts. From my splurge-worthy swear-bys to the diamonds in the rough, these are the best beauty products out there, regardless of your budget. 

SPLURGE 


1 // Fresh – Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream

I am a bit of a night owl and so a good eye cream is a must for me. This anti-aging formula brightens my eyes and makes me look like I’ve gotten a good eight hours of sleep when really I’ve only gotten five. It also packs an anti-aging punch with star fruit extract and tons of antioxidants.

2 // Urban Decay – Naked Eye Shadow Palette

This is the holy grail of eye shadow palettes. It has it all – neutrals, blues and purples, metallics, and mattes. Whatever my mood, there is a delightfully high-pigmented shadow ready to go. It also never creases and lasts for ages. This palette may be a little pricey but it’s worth every penny and when mine bites the dust, you can bet that I will buy another ASAP. 

3 // Benefit – The Porefessional Face Primer

Seriously, this stuff is better than any foundation I have ever used. I don’t even need foundation after using this primer. It goes on like silk and blurs pores and imperfections until all you’re left with is baby smooth, porcelain doll-like skin. Add a touch of mascara and some tinted lip balm and you’re good to go!

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

This is my favorite eyeliner. Why? It goes on smoothly, doesn’t tug at the delicate skin around my eyes, is highly pigmented, and it lasts all day long. It is also self sharpening. Why is there even such thing as eyeliners that you have to sharpen yourself in this day and age? But for real, this eyeliner looks as fresh at 8 pm as it does 8 am. Give it a try and see why it’s perfection itself.

5 // Fekkai – Salon Professional PrX Reparative Mask

The key to silky smooth strands is hydration. Fortified with hair-nourishing vitamins and Argan extract, this vanilla scented hair mask penetrates deeply into each hair shaft to smooth and condition, leaving it lustrous and soft. It also never hurts when your hair smells like sugar cookies. 

SAVE


1 // L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I have tried many mascaras, from high-end designer to cheap dollar store versions. This inexpensive formula is one of the best out there. It leaves my lashes thick and fluttery. There’s practically a breeze when I bat my eyes. Bambi eyes are just a few clicks away. 

2 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Addiction

This is the perfect matte lipstick. It glides on like a gloss and then dries to a plush, velvety magenta hue that brightens my face and makes me look polished and pretty. It also doesn’t dry my lips out which seems to be a common problem with matte and long-lasting lipsticks.

3 // Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Water Gel

Lightweight and cooling, this is my absolute favorite moisturizer in the summertime. It is formulated with purified hyaluronic acid and this gel formula sinks into the skin right away and deeply hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. It keeps my skin looking fresh and supple, but never shiny.

4 // Olay – 4-in-1 Combination/Oily Daily Facial Cloths

While I love indulging in a multi-step skincare routine on most days, sometimes I’m just too exhausted to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Enter these delightfully multitasking cloths which whisk away makeup (even waterproof mascara), oil, dirt, and debris while toning my complexion, all in one go. They are absolutely perfect for low-maintenance ladies. Now there is no excuse for going to bed with a face full of makeup!

5 // Garnier – SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleansing Water (All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover & Cleanser)

I’m sure you’ve heard of micellar water before – you know, that skincare product that all the models claim to use religiously and that every magazine raves about. It’s like this magical potion from heaven that takes off all of your makeup, cleanses and conditions skin. The best part? You don’t have to rinse it off! This formula is super gentle and removes literally everything, even my waterproof mascara. It’s like unicorn tears in a bottle. Lazy ladies, rejoice!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any favorite luxe/cheap beauty products that you think I should try? Let’s talk beauty! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Healthy (And Vegan!) Pancakes


There are few things I love more than breakfast and I especially love pancakes. The lazy Saturday mornings I spend making chocolate chip pancakes with my boyfriend are something I really look forward to and cherish.  That being said, lately I’ve decided to put more effort into my health and eating right. I’ve also started eating a vegetarian diet. Although I am not vegan and do eat dairy and eggs, I try to keep portions of those foods small and so I really love the idea of making dishes vegan whenever I can. This pancake recipe came from a friend and colleague and is as delicious as it is nutritious. It leaves out all of the things that could conceivably make pancakes unhealthy (refined sugar, dairy, white flour, eggs) but keeps the flavor and fluffy texture of the pancakes you’ve grown up eating. It’s also filled with energizing vitamins so you won’t feel sluggish after eating these like you would with a stack of flour-made pancakes! They are incredibly quick and easy to make – all you need is a blender and a mere handful of ingredients. Here’s how it’s done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 Mashed Banana
  • 2 Cups Oatmeal
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • * Extras ( I like raspberries, blueberries, and matcha tea powder)

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat a pan or skillet on medium heat. Grease the pan with a bit of coconut oil.

2 // Measure out the ingredients and dump them into your blender or food processor.

3 // Blend on a low speed until the ingredients are blended and have a consistency that resembles batter. If the consistency is too thick, add a little bit of coconut or almond milk.

4 // Use a soup ladle or 1/2 cup to scoop up the batter and pour it onto the hot pan.

5 // Cook the one side until small bubbles start to form. Flip the pancake and cook the other side (approximately 2 minutes). 

6 // Repeat until all of the batter is used up. Garnish with fresh fruit, whipped coconut cream, and a touch of syrup!

If you give these a try let me know how they turned out for you! Also, I’m on the look out for other good vegetarian or vegan recipes so if you have a great one, please share! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Matt & Nat

I, like many other ladies, am always on the hunt for the perfect handbag. The word ‘perfect’ in regards to purses means different things for different people, but for me it means spacious (to carry my toiletries and all of the things a nomad like myself needs), well made, durable, stylish, and made out of eco-friendly materials. Montreal-based brand Matt & Nat knocks it out of the park on all counts when it comes to their line of vegan totes, backpacks, and purses. Even their clutches fit more than some of my shoulder bags! Their aesthetic is exactly my style – timeless, streamlined, with just a touch of quirk. And just when you think that it can’t get any better, not only does this brand dish out a mean selection of arm candy, but they also design some of the cutest shoes I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something because shoes are kind of my thing. Since 1995, founders Indi Bedi and Manny Kohli have stuck to their vision of designing gorgeous accessories that are ethically made out of vegan (and often recycled) materials like nylon, cork, and rubber. Their pieces are beautiful inside and out, both figuratively and literally. Sure, the linings are almost as pretty as the bags themselves, but they are also designed with the belief that the well being of the environment and animals should never be sacrificed for fantastic style. And as someone who has decided to forgo animal products from her diet, I hold those values close to my heart as well. It makes sense for me to support brands and to buy products as frequently as possible that do not harm our furry friends. There are a lot of great vegan brands out there and Matt & Nat is one of the best. If you haven’t yet heard of this Canadian label, get ready to drool over your screen. I know that I do every time I peruse their selection.

MATT & NAT PICKS

1 // Jasmine Bag in Glass

2 // Obe Bag in Quartz

3 // Blake Weekend Bag in Olive

4 // Abiko Clutch in Coral

5 // Chanda Backpack in Azur

6 // Drapeau Slide Sandals in Black

7 // Suave Slide Sandals in Quartz

8 // Villeray Sandals in Tan

9 // Orford Tote in Koala

10 // Griffintown Mule in Tan

xoxo,

Alicia

Photos via Matt & Nat

Lavender Dreams

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Soft and soothing shades of lavender and lilac are an easy way to lend a touch of feminine sweetness into an otherwise pared down wardrobe of black, white, camel and grey. From accessories and beauty to your wardrobe and living space, a pop of purple is just what the design doctor ordered. So scroll on to feel the mood and check out 11 of my prettiest purple picks.

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LAVENDER BUYS

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1 // Elizabeth Arden – Touch of Lavender Eyes Wide Open Eye Shadow Trio

2 // Chicwish – Lavender Tulle Mini Skirt

3 // Origins – Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Bath/Body Oil

4 // MAC – Colour Rocker Lipstick in Flatter Me Fierce

5 // Brixton – Lavender Corbet Fedora

6 // Love Stories – Hazel Stretch Lace & Jersey Soft Cup Triangle Bra

7 // Elizabeth and James – Leonie Cutout Stretch-piqué Mini Dress

8 // Humble Chic – Druzy Threader Dangle Earrings

9 // OPI – Infinite Shine Nail Polish in ‘In Pursuit of Purple’

10 // Tory Burch – Jolie Fleur Lavande Eau de Parfum

11 / Birkenstock – Lavender Suede Arizona Soft Footbeds

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Daisy Eau So Fresh


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs

NOTES | Grapefruit, Green Notes, Raspberry, Pear, Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Litchi, Apple Blossom, Musk, Virginia Cedar, Plum

VIBE | Exuberant, Sparkling, Bright, Youthful, Playful, Energetic, Girly

In my opinion, it is rare that a sequel is ever as good as the original. Whether it’s a book, movie, or perfume, eight times out of ten the second (and third, and fourth) effort tends to fall a little flat. There are always exceptions to every rule and in this case, Marc Jacob’s Daisy Eau So Fresh is that exception.

Before I smelled this perfume for the first time, I expected to be underwhelmed. Because I loved Daisy so much, I thought that I would be making comparisons in my head favouring the original. After spraying it on my skin however, I was shocked to realize that (dun, dun, dun) I love it even more than Daisy. While Daisy is a beautifully composed scent, it’s very subdued and demure. It’s reigned in and perfectly pleasant but it doesn’t make a statement. Daisy Eau So Fresh is like the original’s bubbly, social butterfly of a younger sister. It’s youthful and sparkly like a sequined dress. If you enjoy fresh and fruity fragrances, then this energetic juice will be right up your alley.

Daisy Eau So Fresh opens with a glittering blend of grapefruit, fresh green notes, and juicy raspberry. The top is my favorite part of the scent. It’s so vibrant and uplifting – the kind of opening that instantly puts you in a good mood. After a little while the fruits begin to mellow and the soft bouquet of jasmine, rose, violet, and apple blossom start to take centre stage. It’s still sweet and fruity with a bit of litchi intermingling with the flowers in the heart. It’s at this point of the fragrance that it starts to become more mature and sophisticated. It’s still youthful and flirty, but it’s a little more complex at this point. The heart lasts for about two or three hours before it starts to dry down into the base of the scent. Woodsy cedar and clean musk are sweetened by a touch of juicy plum. The end of the perfume is very clean and subtle. It doesn’t quite glitter with bright fruity notes like it does when you first spray it on, but it shimmers with just a bit of fruit and musk. It’s a very pleasant drydown and I feel like it really ties the different layers of the scent together.

Daisy Eau So Fresh is a great perfume for any occasion whether it’s formal or casual. It’s a very fresh, fruity scent that is especially suited for spring or summer. While it has a youthful vibe, Daisy Eau So Fresh is lovely on people of all ages – I wear it and so does my 76 year old great aunt. I’m a firm believer in the idea that perfume is ageless and that people should wear whatever scent they enjoy. It’s just a beautifully composed, perfectly blended, happy scent that puts me in a great mood whenever I wear it. If you were a fan of the original Daisy, or are just looking for a fun, fruity scent, I highly recommend that you give this gem a try.

Any Daisy/Daisy Eau So Fresh fans out there? Let me know what you think of this scent or if there are any perfumes you think that I should review next! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Let It Slide


It’s official: slides are THE shoe of the season. Whether they are sleek and streamlined or fully decked out in faux fur and bling – slides of all kinds are having a major moment. And with drool-worthy options from brands like Maryam Nasser Zadeh and Dolce Vita, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find a few pairs that you can’t live without. So here’s to effortless dressing, from head to peep toe. Check out 9 of my absolute favorite summer slides below. Keep on scrolling!

SLIDE PICKS


1 // Loeffler Randall – Vera Ruffle Block Heel Slide Sandals

2 // Barneys New York – Satin Double-Band Slide Sandal

3 // Maryam Nassir Zadeh – Lauren Slides

4 // Dolce Vita – Rilee Slides

5 // H&M – Faux Fur Slides

6 // Make Me Chic – Heart Eyes Emoji Slide Sandals

7 // Brother Vellies – Burkina Striped Bow Leather Slides

8 // Alexander Wang – Suede Lou Slides

9 // Donald J Pliner – Bold Suede Slide

xoxo,

Alicia