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.

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

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Haunted Forest 

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and come October I find myself continuously reaching for darker hues and gothic-inspired fabrics, patterns and details – think skulls, lace, decadent brocade and metallic hardware.  While I almost never wear orange around Halloween (too expected and cheesy), I do like wearing spooky colours. My favorite hue this month? You guessed it – forest green. It makes me think of abandoned castles, tragic medieval princesses and foggy haunted forests. It’s also much more universally flattering than pumpkin orange and works great as an unexpected neutral. Wear it from head to toe, as an accent accessory or introduce it into your beauty routine! Take it from me, a smudge of shimmering emerald eyeliner will make your gaze positively mesmerizing! Moody yet magnetic, I don’t know about you, but I’m totally seeing green this Halloween.

FOREST PICKS


1 // Elizabeth Cole – Jean Cocktail Ring

2 // Paddywax Kaleidoscope – Balsam + Fir Soy Wax Candle

3 // Metisu – Dark Green Belted Double Breasted Trench Coat

4 // Nine West – Bartilly Green Suede Block Heels

5 // Ana Lublin – Leather Cross Body Quilted Shoulder Bag in Green

6 // Chicwish – Enticing Lace-Up Knit Cardigan in Dark Green

7 // Ten 21 – Dark Green Wide Leg Jersey Trousers

8 // Smith & Cult – Nail Polish in Darjeeling Darling

9 // Lizzie Fortunato – Parker Feather Drop Earrings

10 // Tory Burch – Crewneck Cashmere Sweater with Logo

11 // River Island – Dark Green Floral Lace and Mesh Pencil Skirt

xoxo,

Alicia

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

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

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

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