Two for Tuesday: The Black Bow

I know I’m not the only one around here who loves a good bow. Am I right? Look at these fancy mules from Winners (selection varies by store, of course) and the Vera Wang dinner plate. A perfect pair!

leather mule with bow detail, $99 CAD, Winners

Wedgewood Vera Wang Glisse dinner plate, $27.99 USD, Bed Bath & Beyond

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The Friday Five: Ring My Bell Sleeve

On Christmas Eve, I opted to wear this sweet striped top, and people seemed to love it as much as I do! Since then, I’ve added a bell-sleeved shirt to my wardrobe (or more pirate-like, a colleague has told me), and now I’ve seen this style popping up all over the place.

Let’s ring in the weekend with some bell sleeves, shall we?

Here are five inspiration outfits:

via Fashion Gone Rouge

via

Solange Knowles via

Blair Eadie via Atlantic Pacific

via Lxst Nxght

via Elle

And here are five gorgeous bell-sleeve pieces you can buy:

top, $81.27USD Kenzie

top, $99.85USD, ASOS

top, $479.56, Cinq à Sept

Brandon Maxwell top, $2748CAD, Nordstrom

Roksanda dress, $2884 USD, Net-a-Porter

Have a great (long) weekend, everyone!

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Hotel to Home: White 1921, Courchevel, France

When I was living in France in my 20s, I joined a group on a ski trip to the Pyénées. I was fairly adventurous at the time, and even though I wasn’t much of a skiier, I was eager for the trip. I remember having a great time overall, but what I remember the most is going on the wrong chairlift, being dropped off on a mountain that was way too advanced for my skills, and walking down the mountain. Not fun. But also sort of fun because I was with a friend and we laughed as we hiked down. I think I have only skied once or twice since then. I think I’m more of a cross-country skier or snowshoe fan at this point in my life – even though I’ve never tried either.

All things considered, though, if I found myself in the ski area of Courchevel, France, and staying at the White 1921, I’d be happy. Look at the views! And look at this bright, modern bedroom.

White 1921

Here’s my take on the look:

pendant light, wall decals, bed, duvet cover, Nespresso, pillows, rug, sheet set

Do you have any successful – or challenging – ski stories you’d like to share?

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Personal: How to Sleep Well

Over the years, I’ve written about some of my routines and life habits. There was this post about a day-in-the-life, this review of my Hourglass Workouts, and this post about preparing for the future. Today, Leesa, a mattress-in-a-box company, asked me to chat about sleep. Yes, sleep. It’s a hot topic, and many of us are looking for the best ways to get the best sleep each and every night.

So here’s my approach:

1. Caffeine intake. These days, I have one latte at some point before noon. And maybe a tea at another point during my work day. I don’t over-think caffeine, but I know that I sleep better when I’ve not been sipping coffee/tea/pop throughout the day. As a post-dinner treat during the week, I may have a mint or chamomile tea. On the weekend, I may end a dinner with friends with a macchiato (espresso with coffee) just because I like the taste (and I can likely sleep in the following day).

2. Water intake. I drink a lot of water throughout the day. I like to believe what people tell  me – in that it keeps me hydrated and healthy. I limit my evening intake so as to avoid bathroom breaks throughout the night.

3. Temperature control. I don’t like sleeping in super hot or super cold rooms. A nice 71 degrees Fahrenheit works well for my sleep. I love being covered under my duvet and feeling comfortable temperature-wise.

3. Humidifier. I notice a difference when I have a humidifier going in the winter months. Stay tuned for a humidifier review update in the next month or so. I haven’t had much luck with humidifiers this winter, but a new one is on its way, and I can’t wait to put it to use.

4. Make lists. If I’m still thinking about work, teaching, blogging, life when my head hits the pillow, I won’t be able to sleep. To deal with the potential eyes-wide-open situation, I write everything down so it gets out of my head. I don’t know if scientific research supports my approach, but it certainly works for me.

5. Get a great mattress. Of course this is a key suggestion. I bought mine last year, and I’ve been really happy with it. You can read about how I bought a new mattress.

6. Regular bedtime. I go to sleep between 10pm and 11pm every night. If I don’t, the next day can be awful. I sleep soundly between 7 and 8 hours a night, which I think is pretty good.

7. Busy body. My life is pretty jam-packed. Between work, blogging, MBA life, friends, and family, I have little time to get bored, relax, lounge around. This means that by the time I go to bed, I’m tired. Ready to sleep. Busy days make for restful nights. Or something like that.

So while these seven things do encourage a restful sleep, I still have a couple of things to work on:

1. Pillows. I easily get annoyed with pillows. It seems like every month or two, I’m investing in a new set. Annoying. I’ve tried inexpensive ones, expensive ones, and a multitude of fillings. If you have advice, please share!

2. Alarm clock/technology. I’m one of those sleepers who keeps my iPhone on my nightstand so I can use it as my alarm clock. I’ve gone to bed way past my set bedtime because I get too sucked into Instagram and Twitter surfing. Not good. I’ve recently found my little low-tech alarm clock, but I haven’t yet transitioned to the no-iPhone-in-the-bedroom rule.

3. Exercise. Many people have attributed good sleep to exercise. I know increasing my daily exercise would help me sleep. But see #7 above. I’m a busy body. I currently lack time to fit in long workouts. This will soon have to change, though, as I signed up for the Diva 1/2 marathon.

What works for you? I’d love to know!

Fashion: Leather at L.L.Bean

If you’ve been hopping around the blogs this winter, then you’ve surely seen the hype over L.L.Bean’s signature Bean Boots. Heck, there’s even a Bootmobile that’s been on tour! But, L.L.Bean has much more to offer than Bean boots and tote bags (two of its popular items, of course). On a recent browsing adventure, I realized how much I was drawn to L.L.Bean’s leather collection, and I thought the collection would start off some beautiful, wearable, and affordable outfits (all items from L.L. Bean!).

Outfit 1 was built around the leather crossbody. It’s a classic shape and works beautifully year-round.

 three-quarter sleeve scoopnecktrench, chunky wool-blend sweater,  sunglasses,  baseball cap, black jeans

Outfit 2 was inspired by Trask’s perforated slide. We’ve seen slides since the fall, and I think we’ll be seeing more of them this spring. These perforated versions are super sleek.

signature ankle jeans, scarf, black boat and tote, collarless shirt, sweatercontainerfield jacket

Outfit 3 was built from the bottom – up. It began with these handsewn leather loafers in a potentially surprising version – white.

sailor’s shirt, silk scarfhavana hatpolartec fleecedenim shorts, sunglassesboat and tote

Thanks to L.L.Bean for sponsoring this post.

 

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The Friday Five: Wonderful White Swimsuits

It’s February. And it’s cold. So some may think it’s too early to talk about swimsuits. But I can’t help it. I’m dreaming of warmth and this photo of Kaylee and this photo of Rachel have inspired this swimsuit post (don’t the ladies look amazing, by the way?).

plunge swimsuit, $68CAD

neoprene frill lattice swimsuit, $76CAD

contrast swimsuit, $40CAD

halter bow-tie swimsuit, $128CAD

halter swimsuit, $46CAD

I also think this bikini is pretty, and this one is great if you’re into the lace-up trend. So, is it too early to speak about swimsuits? Nope! I’m all for it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Hotel to Home: Naumi Hotel, Singapore

We’re traveling to Singapore today to check out the Naumi hotel. The rooms are unique and well-appointed, but it’s this bathroom that’s today’s focus.

Naumi hotel

tub, room divider, towels, tiles, mirror, vanity, flowers, candle

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Food: Riviera Yogurt

Months and months ago when I was grocery shopping and my local Sobey’s, I picked up a package of Riviera yogurt. Now, I’m not much of a yogurt consumer. I buy Greek yogurt every so often, but I’m not a daily consumer. So when I saw this Riviera yogurt, I was mostly interested in the glass jars. They reminded me of France. So I picked them up and hoped for the best.

image via Riviera

Let me tell you, this yogurt is really good. It is like the yogurt I’ve had in France and Switzerland. I opted for the plain yogurt (I’m not that fancy when it comes to yogurt), but I’ve since bought the lemon yogurt (mostly because I like saying citron), and I like alternating between these two. The yogurt is delicious, it doesn’t upset my stomach (some yogurts do), and the serving size is perfect. Plus, les petits pots look fancy and pretty. Beyond plain and flavoured yogurt, the Riviera line also includes parfaits, cheeses, and milk. My local Sobey’s doesn’t carry everything, but the Riviera website helps you find locations where the Riviera line is carried.

So what do I do with the glass jars after I’ve eaten the yogurt? Well, they have so many uses! I’ve used my jars to store nuts, hummus, candy, and candles. You can order plastic lids in just about every colour online, and porcelain lids may be available, too (the website notes that these are currently out of stock).

If you live in Quebec and you don’t want to reuse your pots, you can drop them off at Renaissance. Otherwise, you can check out the 1001 tips for reuse.

pistachio dessert recipe and photo via Maison Orphée

photo via Riviera Facebook

For those who are interested to learn more about this yogurt, the Riviera line is part of the Chalifoux company, an award-winning, family-owned business based in Quebec. Oui oui!

Many thanks to Kathleen H. for sending me some lids for my petits pots.

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