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Showing posts with label personal style. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal style. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Three Years Ago

Three years ago today I woke up to a stunning view of Niagara Falls in the most expensive hotel room I’d ever paid for. I had butterflies in my stomach and a sense of anticipation like I’d never felt before coursing through me. I wanted to wake up slowly and ease into the day but M jumped out of bed beside me. “There’s no time to waste,” he said, giving me a quick kiss. “It’s our wedding day.”

Niagara Falls //

Three years ago I felt the most pampered I’ve ever felt. Mimosas were poured, hair was curled, and though the room was buzzing with energy, everyone was calm and laid back.

Three years ago I looked at our wedding timeline and realized that we were only running five minutes late, which is pretty much a miracle if you know my side of the family. As my bridesmaids and I walked made our way out of the hotel, I felt like a celebrity. Little girls were oohing and ahhing and strangers were complimenting us as we walked to the limo. It’s amazing how kind people are to you when you’re wearing a wedding dress.

Three years ago all the emotions that were building up inside of me came pouring out the moment I saw M waiting for me at the top of the aisle. I looked around and saw the beaming faces of our family and friends and paused for an extra moment before I began to walk up the aisle. I needed to take it all in. The love was overwhelming.

Niagara vineyard wedding inspiration //
Hernder Estates Winery in Niagara outdoor wedding // thelifestyle-project.comNiagara Falls wedding ceremony //
Vineyard wedding inspiration //
Winery outdoor wedding photos //
Photos courtesy of Dave Biesse

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." Emily Bronte

Happy third wedding anniversary to the love of my life. Here's to many more, my sweetheart ♡ xo.
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Friday, July 24, 2015

My Dentist was on The Bachelorette & other bits of life lately

Wedding Guest Outfits //

+ I’ve been a vacation pro lately. It’s a hard job to have, I know, but what’s a girl to say when family wants to come visit or friends invite you to celebrate their wedding in Canada? Yes, you say! Yes to road trips, doggy play dates, and eating bacon every day. Yes to not only going to but actually hosting the after-party even though you know that hangovers at age 28 are a two-day affair. Yes to afternoon naps and late night dancing and everything in between. Carpe diem, right? 

Vacation photo diary: Nashville, Tennessee //

+ I shot an AK47 recently. Two, in fact, plus a whole bunch of other guns. Excessive? Perhaps. Fun? You bet. My family didn't grow up around guns at all, so with my sister and cousin visiting last month, having a shooting day was first on their bucket list. 

+ As much as I’m enjoying finally being able to live in Tennessee, the summers here are no joke. It’s hot down here, a lingering, humid kind of heat, that I’m not used to on a consistent basis as a Canadian. Central AC (which we finally have now that we’ve moved into a new townhouse) is my best friend. Living in a newer place is a luxury I’m particularly grateful for as in the past I’ve always rented older apartments.

+ Lexi, our rescue dog that we adopted two months ago, has been doing so well! We took her with us on our road trip to Canada and loved introducing her to our family and friends up north. It was adorable to see her being friendly with everyone and playing with other dogs. Lexi has already overcome a lot of her barriers and quirks, but we’re still working on things (our big problem right now is how much she dislikes children). Next month I’ll be doing a full update on her and how we've been adjusting for anyone who's interested.

Funny dog photos //

+ A few weeks ago I learned that my dentist was on The Bachelorette. I haven’t watched the show since Trista and Ryan — do you remember them? The original bachelorette and the firefighter? I think they’re the only couple who’s still married from that franchise, but I care way too little to google it. Anyway, shortly after moving to Tennessee my husband and I received a promo card in the mail for a new dentist who was starting up nearby. M booked his exam first. His only feedback after the appointment? “Our dentist is exceptionally good looking.” I snorted with laughter as it’s so unlike my husband to say. “Okay hun, thanks for the heads up,” I sarcastically replied.

Next Tuesday when my appointment rolled around, I may or may not have taken a few extra minutes to put on some mascara (I’ve been using this Younique fibre mascara lately and it rocks). When I signed in with the receptionist I could tell she was eager to share some office gossip. “By the way, someone around the office might look very familiar today,” she teased.

“Umm… okay,” I replied. She looked at me expectantly. Clearly I didn’t give her the response she was wanting. “Why would this person look particularly familiar?” I offered.

Well that was all the goading she needed. “Have you heard of the TV show The Bachelorette?” the receptionist asked. She went on to tell me about Dr. Cupcake and how the staff at the office were all Team Chris. I didn’t say anything to him when we first met, but you can bet I went home and googled his ass. I watched the premiere — he showed up in a cupcake mobile! He went in first for the kiss! — and seriously debated cancelling my appointment the next week for a cavity filling. 

“I don’t know if I trust his professional judgment anymore,” I joked. But clearly I couldn’t cancel the appointment or else I’d lose my photo op, so off to the cavity filling I went. What’s a dentist appointment without photos of your hot dentist who likes to burst into song and make out on reality TV, right? 

My dentist is on The Bachelorette //

(We’re both better looking in person, I swear.)

And that's what life's been like lately.

Dr. Cupcake from The Bachelorette sobbing gif

(Sorry Chris, I had to!)
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Girls in Glasses

Casual Style: Girls in Glasses via

Cozy wool socks + black leggings = at home uniform via

Casual Style: Girls in Glasses via

I’ve been wearing glasses pretty much every day of my life for the past 20 years.  

My parents still recount a story about the day that I put on my first pair of glasses when I was seven years old. They were huge, round, Harry Potter sized frames (long before Harry Potter was cool, of course). As soon as I put them on I asked, “Mom, what are all those dots on your face?” I never knew she had freckles before then. 

Since that day glasses have been a part of my life in one way or another. 

Now that I’m in my 20s, I only wear glasses for about four hours a day. In the evenings when my contacts start to feel a bit dry, after I’ve already changed into leggings or sweatpants (assuming I wasn’t already wearing them before… ahem), I wash my face and switch into my glasses before I go to bed.

Throughout the years, there’s consistently been one main reason why I need to replace my frames – the right arm always gets bent out of shape.

Firmoo glasses review from
Top: my old frames vs. Below: my new ones c/o Firmoo
It took me a little too long to figure out that’s because I habitually take off my glasses with one hand. Don’t do this! Learn from my mistake. Day after day, taking off your glasses this way makes the screws weaker and eventually stretches the frames so they’ll no longer fit properly on your face. 

When Firmoo reached out about reviewing their glasses, I thought what perfect timing as lately I’ve been reading lots of good things about this company. I chose dark tortoiseshell frames but this lighter pair was a close second and these burgundy frames were on my shortlist too. Right now Firmoo is running some great promotions like getting 50% off your first pair and they even have frames you can try for free.

Within a week, my new pair of glasses arrived in the mail and I’m really pleased with them. In retrospect I think I would've preferred the lighter colour as I was hoping for a bit more 'tortoiseshell' but I'm happy with the dark frames too. My favourite part is the adorable packaging – this case makes me feel inspired to do some future travel planning!

How to prevent your glasses from breaking
Firmoo glasses review

Banana Republic t-shirt (similar) / Lululemon leggings / Roots socks (my fave!) / Jade earrings from local artisan in Costa Rica / Firmoo glasses c/o 

These days I’m making a conscious effort to not just whip off my glasses before I fall asleep. Hopefully my new Firmoo frames will fare better than my old ones in regards to the crooked arms – I’ll definitely keep you updated. 

Do you wear glasses? Are you also a serial glasses breaker? 

Linking up with Style Elixir / Because Shanna Said So / The Pleated Poppy / Get Your Pretty On.

PS: Another example of a comfy “at home” outfit. Yes I’m guilty of wearing leggings as pants again.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Still Be Stylish When You're a Budget Traveller

Those of us who like to travel on a budget know that just because we’re carrying backpacks and taking overnight buses doesn’t mean that we all like to wear gypsy pants or *shudder* the dreaded zip-away-cargo-pants-shorts combo.  

I personally view travel style as an extension of personal style, not its second class cousin. I usually stay away from “travel clothes” per se (with the exception of this awesome travel belt) because they’re too utilitarian for me. 

You know how you usually feel better when you look better? Just because you’re a backpacker or travelling on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your style. Here are four tips I swear by for looking put together on the road.

How to Still Be Stylish When You're a Budget Traveller


Capsule wardrobes are having their moment in blogland right now, but if you’ve ever packed remixable outfits for a trip then you know it’s the exact same concept. When packing for travel, especially if you’re only bringing carry-on, choose tops that match with all of your bottoms and never underestimate the power of dresses. I wrote a lot about this in my post about what to wear for backpacking Central America if you’re interested in reading more. The most important takeaway: make sure pieces are versatile so you can wear them for more than one type of scenario.


Based on the colours you chose in step one, pick a few accessories in complementary colours that will match the majority of your outfits. Simple pieces that coordinate with each other are a perfect way to look put together without putting in a lot of effort. A scarf in particular is the ultimate multitasking accessory, especially if you're travelling within conservative cultures.

For jewellery, I recommend bringing no more than one pair of earrings, a necklace, a funky ring, and a set of bangles. You can mix and match from day to day, plus it leaves lots of room should you pick up any more accessories on the road (which, duh, is bound to happen). 

Packing tips for backpackers: choose complementary accessories. More on


When you’re regularly on the move, it’s important to have clothing that dries quickly, washes easily, and isn’t too heavy or bulky. In hot and humid environments, the key for me was to have a few moisture-wicking pieces in my wardrobe rotation. They’re great for staples like leggings and tank tops and can often be worn again after they’ve been aired out.  


Why bring it if you don’t like it? When I pack for trips, I choose clothing that I enjoy wearing regularly because if I’m packing a capsule wardrobe I’m probably repeating pieces every few days. It’s important to have items that are flattering and make me feel good wearing them. And  how could I forget – travellers take a ton of photos! Do you really want to be wearing the aforementioned zip-away cargos in all of your pictures because they're the only pants you brought? Not unless you're my dad (sorry dad).  

How to not look like a backpacker when you're living out of a backpack
What are your secrets for not looking like a backpacker when you’re travelling long-term?

PS: My travel makeup essentials + a pre-travel planning checklist for anyone who's getting ready to pick up and go.
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How to not look like a backpacker when you're living out of a backpack

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

4 Things That Will Help You Get Shit Done in Coffee Shops

4 Things That Will Help You Get Shit Done in Coffee Shops via

What to wear when you're sitting at a desk all day

Black oxford high heel booties

The idea of working from home is glorious. Not having to “get ready” in the morning, zero commute time, and the privilege of elastic-waist pants sound oh so very promising. But for those of us who get distracted easily or are prone to procrastinate, working at home (especially when you live with others) presents its own set of challenges. 

If you’re having one of those days where the concept of productivity might as well be a bubble floating in circles around your head, switching up your scenery and getting out of the house. For me, these are the days I make an effort to get dressed in “real clothes” and do my hair and makeup. If you work from home or have an employer that’s flexible with office hours, try these four tips to help you stay focused and master the art of getting shit done in coffee shops. 


My husband can totally vouch for me on this subject – I’m one of those people whose temperature fluctuates wildly in a day. One minute I’m boiling and the next I feel like the coldest person in the world. That’s why layers and a bit of stretch are so important – staying comfortable throughout the day means you can keep working away. I received this scarf as a Christmas gift and love how it’s thin enough to wear indoors but long enough to wrap around multiple times so I stay warm even in the middle of the arctic temperatures. 

Cozy mustard sweater + patterned scarf + rings
Target mustard cardigan (similar) / H&M patterned scarf (similar) / Bebe bootcut jeans 
American Eagle oxford booties via Payless (similar) 


Sometimes the "coffee shop buzz" is the perfect ambience, but other times the background noise can get too distracting (that’s when I go into people-watching mode). If the conversations around me keep catching my attention, time to pop in my earphones and retreat back to writing world. This week I’m on a Sia kick – what’s your favourite type of music to work to?


We all know that it’s important to drink lots of water throughout the day, but what do you do in coffee shops that want you to… you know, keep on buying more coffee? If they don’t have a self-serve water station, I confess: I save money by bringing my own bottle of water (or two) stashed away in my purse.


Another tip to save money while working in coffee shops is to eat before you go. Of course, if you're camping out for the entire day you're likely going to buy a meal while you're there. But if you're working for a shorter chunk of time, it's usually healthier and cheaper to make food yourself beforehand. Plus, if you’re anything like me, it’s also easier to resist the sugary treats that silently call your name from behind the counter (I can’t be the only one this happens to! haha). With a full tummy and lots of water throughout the day, you’re more likely to stay on track and keep getting shit done!
Are you a fan of working in coffee shops, and if so, what tips do you recommend to stay focused?

PS: See how I wore this mustard cardigan last fall + these black jeans for an office-appropriate look.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Say No to Fake Bags

We all love luxury handbags. We adore their beautiful designs and the way they seem to complete our outfits. What better way to carry around all your important lady stuff than an elegant Louis Vuitton, Prada, or Gucci purse? Many fashionistas want at least a couple of designer bags in her wardrobe (or she may be lucky enough to already own a few!) because she knows that they’re essential for building a stylish, top-notch wardrobe. 

Why you should say no to knockoff designer purses
Photo via Flickr
This is a sponsored post not written by The Lifestyle Project.

So why don’t we all own luxury handbags?

There is, of course, a major obstacle that prevents many women from owning designer purses and that obstacle is an expensive price tag. It’s hard to afford one luxury handbag, far less multiples. This is why many of us have at some point considered the option of buying a replica bag. Indeed, a fake purse would mean a lower price and a similar appearance, but there are some serious disadvantages that come with the acquisition of a knockoff. 

Why shouldn’t I buy a knockoff designer purse?

Replica sellers claim that their fake bags are identical to the original ones, but this isn’t entirely true. The products might appear to have a similar appearance, but there are very fine details that make the difference. And these details matter very much. 

The first thing that hits you is the fabric. Regardless of whether it’s leather or canvas, it is very hard to find the type of material that the original brand uses for manufacturing its bags. This is why if you buy a replica bag you will surely notice that the product has a cheap shine when compared to the original model. 

Furthermore, the firmness and color of the fabric differs a lot. Usually, genuine purses are made from a firm type of leather and the bag can stand tall by its own even when it is completely empty. On knockoffs the leather is very flexible and it will instantly bend if there is nothing inside the bag. This affects very much the shape of the bag and the way it feels when you hold it. 

Printed ankle pants + leather purse
Guilty of buying a purse that has trouble standing up
Another giveaway of a knockoff purse is the texture and color of the fabric. Replica manufacturers usually do not consider these details and they use the closest option they have, but in many cases this will have as result a cheap looking bag. 

Lastly, let's talk about the hardware. From model to model, the choice of materials and the style of embossed markings differ. Each brand has its own set of unique hardware and uses specific lettering for marking them. Basically, any metal part of a purse is stamped with the company’s name or logo. Most replica bags do not use the same type of metal and color as the genuine product. Also, most of them do not stamp each metal part with the brand’s name or logo, or these are incorrectly reproduced. 

What else should I know?

There are numerous other details regarding the shape of the handles, the symmetry of the stitches, the font of the texts, and the accuracy of the tags that make a huge difference between the real purse and a fake one. Anyone who knows a thing or two about the genuine product needs only a quick look at the knockoff to realize that it is just a poor quality replica. 

The lack of workmanship and quality is why it’s not worth it to buy fake or replica products (for example, knockoff designer watches are even easier to spot!). The beauty of an original bag lies in the high quality of its materials and in its exquisite craftsmanship. No replica purse can bring you the same feel of extreme luxury and sophistication. 

Have you ever splurged on a luxury purse before? I haven’t, but I’ve got my eye on a beautiful Michael Kors bag and Rebecca Minkoff crossbody purse that would match perfectly with my wardrobe. 

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Lifestyle Project.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Should You Get Eyelash Extensions Before Going on Holidays?

I remember first hearing about eyelash extensions a few years ago and thinking, “So they’re like fake lashes but semi-permanent and I don’t have to wear mascara? I want them.”

I’ve always had eyelash envy. In university I used to wear fake lashes occasionally and have always loved the look of longer and thicker eyelashes. A few years ago in Korea I tested out some eyelash extensions before travelling to southern Taiwan. Since I was planning to spend a few days at the beach, I didn’t want to be thinking about makeup but I didn’t want to go completely bare either. Eyelash extensions are quite popular in Asia and they seemed like the perfect solution. 

At the time I paid $40 for a full set (they were very common in Korea) but in Canada these would cost about $100. 

Should you get eyelash extensions before going on a trip?

The pros and cons of eyelash extensions before travelling


1. So pretty! It’s a look that’s enhanced yet natural.

2. Eyelash extensions add a bit of glam without having to put on (and take off! ugh) daily makeup. There’s no need for mascara at all.

3. They’re safe in saltwater and chlorine, even for contact wearers like me!


1. It’s an awkward growing out period depending on the length of your natural lash cycle (how long it takes for your eyelashes to naturally fall out). Some salons say extensions will remain for up to 8 weeks, but in my experience, 3-4 weeks before needing a touch up/removal is a lot more realistic.

2. So about those touch ups… Lash extensions can be expensive to maintain if you keep getting them refilled regularly. We’re talking $75 every month!

3. What are the potential negative effects of regular use? I don’t think eyelash extensions have been on the market long enough for us to know. 

So, should you get eyelash extensions before going on a trip?

If it’s a short trip (four weeks or less) and you’d like to enjoy a low-maintenance beauty routine while you’re away, I say sure! Go get those eyelash extensions done if they’re something you’re interested in. Just be aware of how you wipe your eyes when you get out of the ocean, pool, etc. because rubbing your lashes can damage them and break the bond of the glue.

I had my eyelash extensions for two lash cycles and they were cool, but it’s not a service I’d do regularly. Extensions are a lot of maintenance and sometimes it just feels freaking amazing to rub your eyes after a long day. Since I don’t have an abundance of lashes to begin with, I’m also wary of damaging what little I do have. For everyday life, lash extensions aren’t for me, but they sure were pretty while they lasted.

Have you ever thought about getting eyelash extensions before going on a trip (or do you wear them in everyday life)? 

PS: Interested in more makeup posts? Check out Battle of the Mascaras and My Travel Makeup Essentials.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Watches

Thinking about buying a knockoff designer watch? Here are three reasons why you should think again.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Watches
Photo via Flickr
This is a sponsored post not written by The Lifestyle Project.

Sometimes a regular outfit can turn into the perfect one just by adding a stylish and beautiful watch. Even though nowadays watches have lost their functional use, mostly because we usually check the time by looking at our phones, watches still have an aesthetic charm. In particular, designer timepieces are still considered splurge-worthy pieces of jewellery, and numerous watch enthusiasts are simply fascinated by these luxury products which they love to collect. 

Regardless if you are a collector or a one-time buyer, you must understand one thing about designer watches: their value lies in the unique watchmaking craft of the brand that makes them.

To avoid getting tricked into buying a replica watch, we should know more about these products and understand why they are such a bad choice for us. As pretty and cheap as they may be, here are three reasons why you should stay away from “fake” watches:


Most luxury watches have an automatic mechanism. This is a must for a high-end timepiece. It is also the most expensive and complicated part of the watch, the part that replica manufacturers cannot correctly clone. They will try, but because of their cheap choice of materials, poor craftsmanship, and lack of expertise in automatic mechanisms, fake watches are unable to maintain good quality, accurate movement. This is why most replica watches do not support essential functions such as the day, date, or chronograph. Furthermore, some fakes stop while you are wearing them or lose time. Not being able to rely on your watch is obviously a huge inconvenience and an easy way to tell that your watch is a fake.


At first, it might feel like you are saving a lot of money by paying a fraction of the price, but once your knockoff breaks after a few weeks or months of wearing it, you instantly change your mind about this. A replica isn’t made to last. It is manufactured using low quality materials and it completely lacks any quality control. The result is an inferior product that breaks very easily. Instead of throwing your money out the window like this, you should consider buying an affordable and stylish watch such as a Hamilton, Michael Kors, Guess, Longines or Tissot, or save up for an authentic Breitling or Omega. 


Another thing you must know about replica watches is that these are made with very poor quality materials. The stainless steel is light and less durable than the one used on authentic timepieces. In some cases the links of the bracelet are hollow and this makes the watch feel light and cheap. When you are dealing with a gold color watch, the original model is made from real solid gold whereas the fake one is made from solid stainless steel with gold plating. This gold plating starts to wear off after a month or so and after this happens, there’s no doubt that you’ve got a cheap, knockoff watch sitting on your wrist. 

Fake watches are known for being made of cheap materials and breaking after a short time of use. Indeed, at first they might feel luxurious and similar to the designer classic, but in the long run these knockoff pieces simply aren’t worth it. 

Have you had a bad experience with fake pieces of jewellery before? Waking up to a green ring around your wrist is never fun. Share in the comments below! 

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is Oxblood Still a Thing?

Slouchy blazer and leather-trimmed tee from

Lately it's been a bit difficult to feel inspired by my wardrobe. I'm paying the price for spending my summer in Tennessee indulging in deep-fried awesomeness, generously poured glasses of wine, and cheese that's described more specifically than queso amarillo (yellow cheese). It can be so hard to resist the good things in life, know what I mean? 

Not only are my clothes unfortunately fitting tighter but half of my things are still with my husband in Tennessee. My life feels so unorganized and it's hard to be creative in my closet when I'm missing a ton of my go-to pieces. I've been looking for a more professional purse/carry-all/laptop bag so over the weekend I popped into the mall to see if I could find any stylish options. 

For better or for worse it was one of those times where every store had a sale and I totally got bit by the shopping bug! With our travels, transitioning to freelancing, student loan repayments, and immigration costs for moving to the US, it's hard for me to justify spending a lot on new clothing and accessories right now.

Yet the stores kept calling my name... 

When I noticed this oxblood blazer on sale for only $25 I was immediately drawn to its slouch factor. Maroon, burgundy, oxblood... whatever you want to call it (though really, who likes picturing oxblood?), I've always been a fan of this purpley-red colour. The blazer appears quite purple in these photos but it's more reddish in real life. It wasn't until I got home that I realized how well the blazer, leather-trimmed shirt, and colour-blocked purse went with my printed pants that I wore earlier this summer. Does that happen to you too, when you accidentally buy pieces that are super matchy? 

Fall fashion: Slouchy blazer + printed ankle pants + cap toe flats

Dynamite slouchy oxblood blazer (sold out) / Banana Republic shirt (similar) / Old Navy printed pants / Payless black cap toe flats / Call It Spring purse

Fall fashion: Printed pants + cap toe flats + colour block tote bag

Ladies fashion: Oxblood blazer from

Dynamite slouchy oxblood blazer / Banana Republic shirt (similar) / Old Navy printed pants / Payless black cap toe flats / Call It Spring purse

I wore this outfit for a morning of errands and appointments and an afternoon spent working at a coffee shop. I can happily report that my new purse fits my planner, laptop, charger, etc. and looks a lot more polished than the canvas tote bag I was using in the summer. To dress this outfit up a notch I'd swap out the flats for cute black booties, add a deeper shade of lipstick, and amp up the jewellery.

Are you still a fan of last fall's trendy oxblood?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy / Because Shanna Said So / Style Elixir / Get Your Pretty On.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I'm Wearing: This Season's Biggest Trend

Everywhere I turn I'm seeing this season's biggest trend. Can you guess what it is?

Fall fashion: Leather and leopard from

This season's biggest trend: The Leather Slip On Sneaker from

Leather Slip On Sneakers from

Chambray: The ultimate transition piece for summer/fall

Target quilted leather slip on sneakers / Madewell chambray shirt / J. Crew leopard print scarf (original sold out but similar here) / Everlane tshirt / Express scuba leggings (original sold out but similar here) H&M cuff bracelet (similar here) / The It camera bag

Slip on sneakers are no longer just for the punks and hipsters. They've been all over the place this fall, so when my trusty black flats literally fell apart on me last month, I pulled into the nearest store with the intention of picking up a simple replacement ballet flat to get me through the rest of the day. 

As I turned the corner in Target these quilted leather babies caught my eye. Le Chateau and Steve Madden have some beautiful (albeit pricier) options as well but since I'm on a hard core budget right now, the $25 Target option looked pretty good to me!

I've been hesitant to try out this trend because I have big feet (size 10) so I thought they would look ginormous in slip on sneakers. Once I put them on though, and especially once I photographed them, my self-consciousness went away. They look totally proportional (to my eye at least!) and they're super comfortable. I didn't have any blisters breaking in these slip on sneakers which is awesome because I think we can all agree blisters and flats are the absolute worst! Heels I expect, but flats? Ain't nobody got time for that. 

This season's biggest trend: Leather slip on sneakers via

I wouldn't recommend packing these slip on sneakers for long-term travel or hot days filled with walking/sight seeing because they're not particularly breathable. I imagine them getting pretty stinky with daily use in warm weather, but for casual wear they get two thumbs up from me.

PS: Remember when I talked about my trusty chambray shirt as the perfect transition piece? Don't be surprised if you see me wearing this a lot  I'm all about remixable clothing!

Linking up today's fall fashion with The Daily Tay / Helene in Between / The Pleated Poppy / Style Elixir.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to Choose the Perfect Travel Purse

I think all of us ladies can agree that when we’re packing for a trip, whether it’s sightseeing in the city or backpacking abroad, it’s important to choose a travel purse that’s secure yet versatile. Unless you don’t mind paying extra checked luggage fees or carting around 50 pounds on your back, space is limited and you don’t have the luxury of bringing several different types of bags to match various outfits.

Travel purses are unique because they need to be way more functional, secure, and durable than our everyday bags. The sleek clutch that’s your go-to for bar hopping or the gorgeous camel tote that you love for running errands? Yup, you guessed it – they’re not going to cut it on the road (especially when you’re travelling in developing countries or visiting busy and touristy areas).

My travel style has evolved over the past year and now I’m a strong advocate for a capsule wardrobe. This means that I plan out what to pack in advance and choose remixable pieces so that I can maximize my total number of outfits (my rule is that each item must coordinate with at least two other pieces). When I packed for Central America I opted for a neutral palette of black, white, and tan and chose to accessorize with complementary pops of colour in the accessories. 

Now that I’ve got more than a few international trips under my belt, I want to share four of my tried and true tips to help you choose the perfect travel purse:

How to Choose the Perfect Travel Purse via


Though it may sound obvious, I’m going to list my most important tip first – a good travel purse needs to have a zipper at the top! It’s much too easy to reach inside a tote bag unnoticed as compared to unzipping a purse. Choosing a purse with at least one solid zipper helps to deter pick-pocketers and keeps your valuables safe.  


I tend to gravitate towards crossbody purses in general but they’re particularly essential when you’re travelling. The liberty of being hands-free is so important when sightseeing, especially if you’re like me and love taking photos. Crossbody purses make it much harder for thieves to swipe and run (like that time my bag was stolen at the beach). Pacsafe even makes slash-proof straps that offer the ultimate peace of mind for those who are concerned about safety. 


Travel is messy. Liquids spill, food crumbles, and sometimes there’s just no avoiding it – your bag is going to sit on the floor. A perfect travel purse is one that’s durable and easy to clean. Nylon, microfiber, and leather are popular options with the latter being my favourite due to its versatility. I personally stay away from canvas as I find it easy to stain and discolour.

Purses for travel with crossbody straps
My sister and I with our purses in Belize 
Exploring Nashville, TN
Exploring downtown Nashville with a purse that's sturdy enough to carry my DSLR camera
How to Choose the Perfect Travel Purse
Taking a break from the heat in Music City

I think it’s crucial to organize your travel purse so that everything has a place and you’re not fumbling around in front of vendors when trying to pay for something. Call me paranoid but the indecision of pulling your purse inside out to search for that elusive item is a signal to snatchers that you’re vulnerable and flustered. It’s so much easier to organize your purse when you have multiple compartments and pockets. Bonus points, of course, if the compartments have zippers!

In my opinion, a perfect travel purse has all of the characteristics above, is versatile enough to go from day-to-night, and comes in a complementary colour to suit the majority of your travel capsule wardrobe. I've picked a few options below if you have an upcoming trip or happen to have your eye on a new bag that will transition perfectly into your travel style.

What are your must-haves when choosing a purse for travel and your day-to-day life?

Which purse should I pack for travel?

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