Sweet Mint

Maybe it’s the dessert fiend in me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for sugary sweet pastels. Though I love periwinkle blue, soft peach and cotton candy pink, soft and creamy mint is a particular favourite of mine and instantly reminds me of my favourite flavour of ice-cream – mint chocolate chip. Aside from giving me a sweet tooth, mint is just a gorgeous, effortlessly flattering hue and captures the light-hearted playfulness of spring. However you wear it, whether on your body, on your face, or on your nails, it instantly breathes new life into a subdued winter palette of dark hues and pared down neutrals. I don’t know about you, but come February, my eyes are starving for a little bit of colour. So go ahead – put down that black and slip into something a little sweeter.

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MY MINT PICKS

1 // John Allan’s – Women’s Mint Invigorating Hydrating Conditioner

2 // Kate Spade – Peacock Metro Watch

3 // Sail to Sable – Mint Green Stretch Cotton Sweater

4 // Chicwish – Creamy Pleated Midi Skirt in Mint

5 // Ruby Rocks Accessories – Aqua Rose & Gem Stretch Bracelet Set

6 // Manu Atelier – Mini Mint Pristine Cross Body Bag

7 // Steve Madden – Saunders Sandals

8 // Piloh – Bryophyta Mint Vase

9 // ALC – Scherning Arrow Mint & Gold Stud Earrings

10 // French Girl Organics – Menthe & Romarin Sea Polish Scrub

xoxo,

Alicia

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Breezy Spring Layers

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Dressing for that awkward period between the holiday season and when spring officially arrives is a challenge if you live somewhere with actual seasons and a temperamental climate. As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve gotten used to Mother Nature’s mood swings and I know that between winter and summer, I simply cannot go outside in less than three layers. In the morning it might be sunny but come lunch time it may be dumping rain and in the evening it very well may be snowing. Enter the cardigan. If I’m cold I put it on, if I’m hot I take it off. Easy. Simple. I’m not freezing because I only wore a tee because the sun was out when I got dressed that morning or sweating buckets because I decided to wear my extra toasty cashmere sweater and now the sun is blazing through my office window.

Aside from the functional aspect, layers add gorgeous depth to what otherwise may be a pretty basic ensemble. For example, I have a black and grey geometric patterned poncho that I throw on over pretty much everything and it makes even my most half-hearted attempts at getting dressed look decent. Like shoes or purses, it’s crucial to have at least a handful of cardigans in your closet, depending on your mood and the occasion. These six caught my eye. From the perfect grandpa knit for wandering around on a lazy Sunday to a sleek, polished trench for days when you want to feel a little more fan-ceh, they tick all of my boxes in terms of wardrobe requirements.

MY PICKS

 

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1 // Royal Robbins – Tupelo Falls Cardi

You know what they say – sometimes simple is best. This lightweight cardigan is woven out of airy linen yarn for a soft, breathable feel. The best part? It can be worn as a drape front or cowl neck style, depending on your mood. Versatility and comfort – two qualities   I truly value in clothing.

2 // Alice + Olivia – Ruthy Rainbow Staceface Appliquéd Cotton-Blend Cardigan (Splurge!)

If you’re feeling sassy, than this head-turning piece is exactly what you’ll want to wear when you’ve got shade to cast and salt to sprinkle. It’s bold and statement making and sooo comfy you’ll want to fall asleep in it. It’s a little pricey but hey, truly great things don’t come cheap.

3 // Burberry – House Check Reversible Cape (Splurge!)

Burberry is one of those brands that effortlessly exudes old-world class and elegance and this sophisticated trench is no exception. It’s made out of ultra-luxe merino wool and the casual cape-style shows just a peek of the brand’s iconic check fabric. It’s the kind of timeless piece you’ll want to wear again and again, to low-key and upscale occasions.

4 // Monse – Hudson’s Bay Striped Wool-Felt Blanket Coat (Splurge!)

I don’t know why but I’ve always adored Hudson Bay Company’s classic blue, red, yellow and green striped wool fabric. I have a blanket in this fabric but I love the idea of wrapping myself up and wearing it as a coat. It costs an arm and a leg but is the kind of wardrobe investment that, if treated well, will last for years and years. This lightweight wool coat will keep you warm without being too heavy – perfect for those slightly chilly but sunny spring days!

5 // Chicwish – Knit Your Love Cardigan in Hot Pink

Punchy and playful, this sweet shade of bubble gum practically screams spring and has a kitschy vibe that I love. Pair it with an airy slip dress for warmer days and a lady-like feel or with a body suit and leather leggings for a look that channels Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2 (my girl-crush forever and ever).

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

And finally, the cozy, chunky knit grandpa cardigan that I (and every other girl in the world, let’s be honest) needs in their life. This cable knit pattern is so pretty and the colour is just gorgeous. It’s a great everyday kind of sweater and at only $61 (Canadian), it’s an absolute steal. I would get three just in case.

Are you excited for spring? Which of these is your favourite?

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

NOTES | Wild Strawberry, Raspberry, Pear, Magnolia, Peony, Cyclamen, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

VIBE | Youthful, Playful, Flirty, Refreshing, Exuberant, Sweet

Launched in 2011, Oh Lola! is the much fruitier flanker to Marc Jacobs’ Lola. While the latter is richly floral with romantic notes of rose, musk and pink pepper, Oh Lola! is a juicy treat, with the welcomed addition of wild strawberry, raspberry and creamy sandalwood. The fragrance world is completely saturated with fruity florals and while this crowd-pleasing blend isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it’s refreshing and yummy – like a raspberry Bellini. It’s the kind of scent you could give any girl as a gift and they would most likely enjoy it. So what does it actually smell like? Let’s get right into it.

Oh Lola! opens with a lively spectacle of succulent strawberry, zesty raspberry and juicy pear. It’s unabashedly fruity yet clean and refreshing. It has a soapy quality because of the florals in the heart and it’s this floral bouquet that keeps the top from being childish and saccharine. It smells like a fruity body wash but not as generic or abstract. I’ve got a bit of a crush on this scent at this point but I’m not yet in love.

Like most fruity-florals, the sweet berries and pear fade slightly and the flowers in the heart begin to reveal themselves in the heart. Peony, magnolia and cyclamen take centre stage but these are very soft flowers and they don’t smell opulently floral or perfumey like rose, gardenia or violet would. They are clean (almost watery) and they balance out the fruits in the top and the creamy notes in the base. For some reason the heart reminds me of pink champagne. It’s sparkling, light, and kind of intoxicating. Now I’m officially swooning.

And now for the final stages of Oh Lola!. The lights are dimming, the curtains are closing and the after-party is beginning to kick into gear. Luscious vanilla combines with rich tonka bean to create a mouthwatering impression reminiscent of creme brûlée. This is the most seductive aspect of the fragrance and is when Oh Lola! most closely resembles the original. Sandalwood also adds a sexy woodsy, smoky element that reminds me of roasting marshmallows over a fire. Five hours into wearing this fragrance the fruits are gone, the flowers have faded and all that’s left on my skin is a warm veil of decadent vanilla cream. It’s faint but oh-so sultry and is my favorite part of the composition.

From start to finish Oh Lola! is a playful and uplifting scent. It’s not too strong and is perfect for all kinds of situations, from casual days spent running errands to sparkling evenings out. If you like fruity fragrances and are looking for a fail-safe crowd pleaser for everyday, then I guarantee that Oh Lola! is a great bet.

Have you tried Oh Lola! and Lola by Marc Jacobs? What was your favorite? Give me your two scents.

xoxo,

Alicia

January Beauty Picks

It’s a new year and so it’s time to hit refresh on my beauty routine! After a few weeks of my skin totally freaking out and my go-to products not clearing things up, I had to overhaul my skin and makeup regime. Luckily, come Christmas my complexion cleared up and I found a few beauty treasures that I can’t stop gushing about. From a sugary-sweet nail polish to the holy grail of toners, these beauty gems are the cream of the crop!

1 // Pixi By Petra – Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament

I rarely step out of my neutral box when it comes to my eye makeup (unless I’m going out and feel saucy). That being said, these shimmery peach and deep plum shadows add a subtle hit of colour without being too much. I also love that the purple tones bring out the green in my hazel eyes.

2 // Thayers – Witch Hazel & Rose Petal Alcohol-Free Toner

I used to think toners were useless until I tried this fan-favorite formula from Thayers. Witch Hazel deeply cleanses and minimizes pores while rose petal water hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. It’s also suitable for super sensitive skin and smells amazing.

3 // Pixi Beauty – Glow Tonic

Packed with skin-saving ingredients like glycolic acid, aloe, and ginseng, this celebrated toner has a cult-following and for good reason. Glycolic acid increases cell turnover which helps to exfoliate skin, leaving it smooth, clear and glowing. A few weeks ago I was breaking out like no one’s business and this stuff seriously saved the day. I use it every other day and it has really made my complexion much more even and smooth. My skin is super sensitive and it hasn’t irritated it. That’s no small feat! This is truly a skincare gem that I will be repurchasing again and again.

4 // Essie – Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple

This super-sweet shade feels festive and is reminiscent of mint chocolate ice cream. It also looks fabulous on all skin tones and will look on-point well into spring!

5 // Rimmel – Lasting Finish Lip Colour by Kate Moss in 009

Reminiscent of crushed raspberries, this gorgeous shade goes on matte yet is delightfully hydrating. Swipe on one coat for a just bitten look or layer it on for a beautiful Bordeaux hue.

I love all of these products so much that it’s hard to pick a favorite! Have you tried any of these? And if so, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Double Chocolate Butter Scotch Chip Cookies

There are so many amazing desserts out there that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I would have to pick chocolate chip cookies. Let’s face it, it’s hard to beat this comforting classic. Unless, of course, you not only pack them full of extra chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and butterscotch chips! This recipe is what chocolate/caramel dreams are made of. They are chewy and soft and are jam packed with chocolate goodness. They are also incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re a total baking novice, you’ll be able to whip these up in no time without a problem! So go ahead. Pour yourself a glass of milk (or merlot), preheat that oven and get to baking! These are seriously too good to not make.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Butter (Or Coconut Oil)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Caramel Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Butterscotch Chips

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2 // Measure our your flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together in large bowl.

3 // In a separate bowl, cream the butter (or coconut oil) with the sugar. Add the eggs, caramel extract and vanilla and mix well, either with a fork (it’s a workout) or an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture looks fluffy or like snow.

4 // Add your dry ingredients to your butter and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and combine until they are distributed through the dough.

5 // Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out balls of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on a greased baking tray or a baking sheet lined with waxed parchment paper.

6 // Bake the cookies for approximately ten minutes. The cookies should be golden and crispy around the edges but soft in the centre.

7 // Cool the cookies before transferring them to an airtight container where they will keep for about 1 week.

If you try making these cookies, let me know what you think of them! They are definitely decadent and are truly a chocoholic’s dream.

xoxo,

Alicia

Extra Luxe Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season to be fan-ceh! Channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor and give your besties and favourite family members presents that ooze luxury. Or get them for yourself, because it’s been a crazy year and you totally deserve it.

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1 // Hudson Bay – 1940s Striped Wool Camp Blanket

I don’t think there’s anything more indulgent than curling up under a cozy blanket with a glass of wine and the person you love. Unless maybe said blanket is crafted out of 100% wool and has an iconic, ultra-chic Hudson Bay striped print.

2 // Charbonnel & Walker – Milk Sea Salt & Caramel Truffles

Sweet and salty is my absolute favorite flavour combination and this luxurious truffle box is the front runner when it comes to indulgent treats. The perfect blend of caramel, creamy chocolate and sea salt, these are dangerous and it’s easy to eat the whole box in one go.

3 // Archipelago Botanicals – Fragrance Diffuser

Fragrance is (obviously) very important to me. As our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our memories and emotions, home fragrance can really have a big impact on your life and overall well-being. This elegant diffuser disperses beautiful essential oils throughout your home, creating a mood that uplifts, energizes, or relaxes you, depending on your mood.

4 // Crabtree & Evelyn – Pear & Pink Magnolia Deluxe Gift Set

I absolutely adore running myself a hot, luxurious bath at the end of an exhausting day. This gift set comes with everything one needs to give themselves some much needed pampering. Plus the sweet floral scent of pear and pink magnolia is absolutely to die for. It’s like a spa day in a box.

5 // Olivia von Halle – Lila Crystal Pink Silk Pyjama Set

Think that satin PJs are too indulgent? You’ll be whistlin’ a different tune after you run your fingers along this buttery soft lavender pyjama set. Plus, look how pretty! If Audrey Hepburn was a pair of pyjamas, she would be these.

6 // Virgin Wines – Bordeaux Duo in Wooden Gift Box

There are a few things in life we can never have too much of: love, laughter, friendship and bottles of wine. Wine is one of the true loves of my life and I’m sure if you’re reading this you are nodding your head in agreement. Bad day, good day, wine just gets me. So give your favorite person this delicious Bordeaux duo to show just how much you care. If you love someone enough to share your wine, there is no greater love.

7 // Byredo – Bibliothèque Candle

This ultra-chic candle from everyone’s favorite perfume brand encapsulates the smoky, mysterious smell of a library. With sultry notes of violet and leather, this bad boy is just the thing to set the mood and make your most stylish friend’s day.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

The fresher, more fabulous version of the original Coco perfume, this oriental gem is an oldie but goodie. With crisp florals such as orange blossom and jasmine alongside juicy citrus fruits and earthy patchouli and vetiver, this energetic yet elegant scent is the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. And let’s face it, everyone needs more Chanel in their life.

9 // La Mer – Crème de la Mer

I’ll be honest – this sh*t ain’t cheap. But if you want to glow like the moon and age as freakishly slowly as J.Lo (a loyal fan), then invest in a jar of this miracle cream, infused with all of the best essences of the sea. And if you really, really love them, snag a jar for your most treasured fellow beauty fiend.

10 // Philips – Viva Compact Pasta Maker

Much like pizza and wine, I’ve never met a bowl of pasta I didn’t want to immediately stuff my face with. Pasta is even better (like much, much better) when it’s homemade. This sleek little gadget makes it super easy to create delectable homemade noodles in no time. Your foodie friend will go gaga for it and you can benefit by sneaking over for dinner whenever they feel like using it. Win-win.

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Ulla Johnson

Despite fashion’s focus on minimalism, I’ve always considered myself to be more of a maximalist. I’ll take vivid prints, intricate lace and ornate beading over streamlined silhouettes and neutral hues any day of the week. One designer who never fails to make me swoon over their unabashedly luxurious collections is Ulla Johnson. Founded in 2000, this Brooklyn-based babe’s eponymous label has since earned itself a huge celebrity-studded following and tons of recognition from the fashion industry’s elite. With a strong focus on handmade touches and artisanal craftsmanship, each collection is characterized by breathtaking fabrics, natural fibers, lush textures and opulent embroidery. Ulla’s designs look as though they could come directly from the pages of a storybook, filled with kings, queens and castles guarded by dragons. These pieces cost a pretty penny but when you look at the artful craftsmanship, you will agree that they are worth every penny. After all, how can you put a price on a fairytale?

MY PICKS


1 // Mara Top in Poppy


2 // Claude Dress in Crimson


3 // Donna Dress in Copper


4 // Nadine Pullover in Oatmeal


5 // Carolina Blouse in Blanc


6 // Marion Dress in Olive


7 // Evelyn Skirt in Army


8 // Teresa Jacket in Rose


9 // Ceri Trouser in Army


10 // Frances Overcoat in Bone

xoxo,

Alicia