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4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

Off-the-shoulder top- Forever 21 | culottes- H&M (similar) | mules- Oak + Fort (available in grey and black) | bag- Cult Gaia 

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

Dressing for summer is the best, isn't it? It really doesn't get much easier than throwing on a dress or a couple separates and heading out the door. If you're looking to refresh your summer basics this year, you don't need to go buckwild— the simple addition of a couple carefully-selected pieces is really all it takes to look on trend as temperatures rise (for reals). Now everyone knows to add the S's to their wardrobes each season (you know, shorts, skirts, sundresses), but I would encourage you to invest in a basic pair of culottes (so sophisticated!) and some cute off-the-shoulder tops instead. They're incredibly versatile and likely pair with 90 per cent of your current wardrobe (win!), plus they really are an updated take on classic summer dressing. Here are some of my current favourites...



4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

Similarly, if you can only buy a couple pieces this summer in terms of accessories, opt for a great pair of mules (there are so many awesome styles to choose from on the market now) and a wicker or straw bag. I'm telling you, both items are summer classics, so shop around and invest in pieces that will be durable and stand the test of time, because you're going to want to wear them again... and again. Cult Gaia is undoubtedly the hottest of the bunch right now, but you can find really cool alternatives below or even at your local thrift or consignment stores. And when all else fails, hit up Etsy for a dope circle bag... you're welcome.




4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

4 Things You Need in Your Summer Wardrobe

Photos by Ashley Antonio

3 Ways To Improve Your Blog Over The Weekend

3 Ways To Improve Your Blog Over The Weekend

It's Friday, and if you're anything like me, you're ready to zone out for the next couple of days in blissful ignorance of the upcoming week. You, like, just want to chill, man. I get it. Heck, I live it. But the weekend can actually be a really great time to get ahead of yourself where your blog is concerned, and dedicating little chunks of time here and there can really help move the needle forward and keep you on track without sacrificing your precious time during the week. So with that in mind, here are three simple things you can do to get your site in good shape over the weekend... don't worry, Orange Is The New Black will still be there when you're done. 


1 / AUDIT YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS


Social media is the ultimate reflection of your site, as well as a huge way to drive traffic to it, so take some time this weekend to go through all your active platforms. Update your avatars/background images, polish up your bios, and even finesse that (sometimes seemingly useless) LinkedIn account of yours, because you never know what brands may be looking at. I recently spent an entire afternoon updating my Pinterest account, deleting Pins that no longer felt relevant and reorganizing my boards (more Pinterest tips here), and I couldn't believe how cathartic that experience was (not to mention necessary— what was 2012 Vickie thinking?!). Your readers follow you as a package— which very much includes your social media— so be sure it's in tip-top shape.


2 /  UPDATE YOUR ABOUT PAGE


If you check your analytics, I bet you'll find that your About page probably is the most-trafficked page on your site, but for most of us, it's something of an afterthought. So take some time to go through it this weekend and identify any updates it may need. Are there typos? Outdated information? Broken links? How about the photos on it— do they make you want to cringe? Make your About page shine (same goes for your Policies page, if you have one), link to some of your favourite posts for newcomers to discover, then sit back and watch your traffic increase.


3 / LOOK FOR BROKEN LINKS/IMAGES


Here's the thing about your blog— you have no control over which post brings new readers your way. You may have months and months of current content you're super proud of, but blog posts live forever on the Internet, and chances are people are discovering you through that cringe-worthy post you wrote five years ago about what's in your studded Forever 21 bag. Similar to auditing your social, you're going to want to take some time to screen your posts for broken links, images that won't load, or basically anything that would make you want to crawl under a rock if someone saw (definitely on my weekend to-do)... Quality counts!


The Tote Bag I Can't Wait to Wear

The Tote Bag I Can't Wait to Wear

The Tote Bag I Can't Wait to Wear

The minute I saw this Peu Importe tote on Goodwin, I knew I had to make it mine. For one thing, I'm experiencing a major pull towards totes lately (so practical! so stylish!), while something about the soft blush tone of this one— coupled with the au currant Matisse imagery— gave it instant, cart-adding appeal. The only problem? The tote was sold out, and continued to be so for several weeks. I know, I know— First World problems much?— but I digress. Fast forward to present day, and after a giddily-received email from the retailer letting me know that the tote was back in stock, this piece is currently en route to a happy new home. If, like me, you also can't live without it in your life, take heart (because it's currently sold out again)— a simple addition of your email to the waitlist will grant you first dibs once this beauty restocks. 

The Tote Bag I Can't Wait to Wear

{ This tote is made in Canada from 100% organic cotton, and boasts reinforced handles for added durability }

The Tote Bag I Can't Wait to Wear

Images via Goodwin

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

Red off-the-shoulder top- Forever 21 (more options) | high waisted jeans- Topshop | mules- Oak + Fort | tassel earrings- H&M | bag- Swish Vintage

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

It's hard to deny that red is having a serious moment this season— just try walking into a store without spotting it on every other top, dress or skirt; that shizzz is everywhere.  And believe me when I say that no one was more surprised about my sudden love for the hue than me. Until this year, I was violently opposed to it (especially where my Instagram feed was concerned), opting instead for neutrals with the odd pop of pink. Now all I want to do is drape myself in red, and the bolder the shade, the better... oh the power of suggestion.    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

I recently picked up this off-the-shoulder top in the most delicious shade of red, immediately proceeding to style it in every way I could possibly think to. But because I'm nothing if not casual, my trusty jeans won out again, so I opted for an 'elevated casual' look that works for both day and night... it's amazing what a pair of mules and giant statement earrings can do, huh? xx

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

The Hottest (Pun Intended) Colour For Summer

Photos by Lyndsey Smith

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

Off-the-shoulder top- Forever 21 | jeans- Topshop | hand earrings- Young Frankk

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

In celebration of Canada's 150th, there really is no better time to get out there and explore your own backyard— we're so fortunate to live in such a diverse, culturally-rich country, and I for one am planning on taking every opportunity to get out there and see all the awesome things Canada has to offer this summer. That's why day trips are such a perfect activity— they're quick and accessible, yet they provide a much-needed change of scenery when going on vacation simply isn't an option. Plus, you know, they're totally fun and a great way to explore your own backyard. Take this recent day trip we took to Vilna, Alberta with Ford Canada. Located in the county of Smoky Lake, Vilna is a historic village known for its boomtown architecture— it boasts the province's oldest operating pool hall and barbershop— and for housing the world's largest mushroom sculpture (see above). Needless to say, this destination ticked all the boxes we were looking for in a day trip:  Novelty (none of us had ever been there before, plus helloooo, world's largest mushrooms), proximity (it was only a couple hours away), curiosity (the architecture was so charming that we wanted to explore every inch of it), and of course, food... lots, and lots, of food. If you want to plan an awesome day trip for you and your friends, keep reading! 

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

No road trip is complete without a decent spread, so make sure to do your research before heading out to see if there are any standout restaurants or local hot spots to grab food from while you're there, or my personal favourite, plan a picnic for you and your friends instead. This way everyone's dietary restrictions and preferences can be accommodated, plus there's just something about eating off the ground— preferably on a cute blanket with wine in hand— that screams summer. It's pretty awesome, at least until the bugs come (which reminds me— don't skimp on sunscreen and bug spray!). Be sure to load up on cheese, a variety of crackers, dips and veggies to snack on, and pack some heartier options like sandwiches and pasta salad to fill everyone up. From there, plan to have a few sweet treats on hand to cleanse the palate after lunch, and be sure to bring a variety of drinks like sparkling water, iced coffee, and even wine if you want to kick things up a notch like we did... Sunday funday indeed!

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

{ Why the giant mushrooms, you ask? The Tricholoma Ustale mushroom from which this sculpture was based is a nod to the region's most commonly-found mushroom, which grows wild and is a traditional ingredient in the area's cuisine... #TheMoreYouKnow }

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

Another way to ensure the perfect day trip is to select a destination that's not too far away (the last thing you want is to be tired before you even arrive!), and that has unique history, attractions  or activities that will appeal to all parties involved. Eating is one thing, but you're going to want to  have plenty of activities and/or sights lined up to fill the day. My friends are exactly like me, and we all seem to gravitate towards anything kooky or historical, so in many ways Vilna was perfect for us. When it comes to finding a day-trip location for yourself, think about what your crew will be game to explore, and when all else fails, consult this list of big things divided by province... it won't disappoint.

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

Ford Canada is also all about getting out there and exploring your home turf, and was kind enough to lend us a 2017 Edge to make the trek in (hubba hubba). Check out their #GoFurther150 tag on social to see some other awesome Canadian landmarks you might want to check out for yourself this summer! 

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

{ Pro tip: Always have a killer playlist ready to go before any road trip, and be sure to pack a camera, preferably in polaroid form— your friends will love it! }

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip


This post was created in collaboration with Ford Canada and Pumpkin PR; all opinions shared here are my own.

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

Ruffle top- Forever 21 | jeans- Topshop | mules- Zara (similar) | patent bag- Urban Outfitters | straw hat- American Eagle (similar) | tassel earrings- H&M 

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

Going on vacation to some exotic, far away destination isn't always in the cards, but when Instagram-related FOMO kicks in as it inevitably does this time of year, a girl really only has two options— wallow in envy or simply dress the part. I don't know about you, but I choose the latter... gigantic ruffle sleeves and all.

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

Nothing says vacation quite like off-the-shoulder tops, and the more exaggerated, the better. This one from Forever 21 is next level in terms of its voluminous ruffles, so be sure to offset that if you chose to go this route with a more streamlined bottom (like skinny jeans or cutoff shorts). Pair with some tassel earrings, a straw boater hat and fun bag, and you've got yourself a resort-inspired getup, vacation not included.

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

How to Dress Like You're On Vacation (When You're Really Not)

Photos by Ashley Antonio