White Before & After Labour Day
Wow summer really just hit me out of nowhere and life has been crazy for the past couple weeks! Sorry I have been a little quiet on here. My best friend Dani and her husband were visiting for a week, then my friend Andrea came for a couple nights too. Then it was the long weekend, which meant two weddings back to back for Dave and I! Needless to say, I need a quiet weekend to catch up on everything, especially blog content! My best friend is so supportive of my blog and loves to photograph me when she comes to visit, so stay tuned for some beautiful fashion posts!
Something I notice as I get older and older is how difficult it is to stay in touch with your friends. Everyone has their own life going on and we all live so scattered across the country that at times it can feel sort of lonely. However, when you finally get to see your best friend after a year, it's like nothing has changed and that's exactly how last week felt! Dani and I are so similar, in so many ways. However, we are both so different too, which is a good thing, we balance each other out. We share so many interests when it comes to fashion and art, really anything creative and she is always so supportive when it comes to my blog. It was her idea to really start sharing my life on here and to change how people see me and my social platforms. I'm so grateful for our week together and I can't wait to see where our next adventure brings us, fingers crossed for a visit to see her in Toronto next year!
The weekend before last, Dani and I had some time to ourselves as the boys camped up Kennedy Lake. On the Saturday we decided to have a slow start to the day, then venture through town and end up spending time at Little Beach in Ucluelet. I love Little Beach, it's often not very busy and sheltered from the wind. The little bay is so beautiful and you can usually see people stand up paddle boarding or kayaking. It was really funny Dani looked at me and asked me if I come down here often, just to sit. And sadly I said no. I realized that even though I live in this beautiful place, it's often hard to appreciate its beauty when you're working and so busy with day to day life. For our last month in Ucluelet and Tofino, I'm going to make a conscious effort to spend more time at the beach and take it all in before we move.
For this shoot I was wearing my new white jeans from River Island. I purchased them while I was in London in May and I can't get enough of them! I love that denim is having such a moment right now and all the different styles available. Every summer I look for a pair of white jeans, however, the skinny pairs are always so tight and not always flattering. That's where this pair comes in. I love the wide cropped leg these jeans have, perfect for any day or night and can be worn with anything. Here I paired it with a cream knit tank from Topshop I had bought last year. I really like the look of layering different tones of white and this cream top gives the look another dimension. When the wind picked up I threw on my favourite Zara sweater for a warm layer and the heather grey colour went well with the white jeans too. I went for simple accessories in gold and brown with my favourite basket bag my sister gave me from the market in Bangkok. My earrings are made by my best friend Dani, who also shot all these looks. Be sure to check out her social media and website, she is so inspiring.
I have been smiling from ear to ear since my best friend Dani arrived from Toronto Thursday night. You can probably tell from this blog post, which consists of a lot of smiles. I've decided to go in a little bit of a different direction with my blog (after talking with Dani.) I want to share snippets into my life here on the west coast rather than what's in style for summer etc. Don't worry I won't be changing much, my love of art, fashion, food and travel will still be all over the blog. However, you might hear more about what I'm up to on a day to day basis. Hope you enjoy it and feel like you can follow along in my little west coast bubble I live in, and love.
This past weekend, Dani and I had a lot of time to catch up, which was so good for us. We have been best friends for almost 10 years now. We went to Ryerson University together for Fashion Design and pretty much kept each other sane through our first year. Friendships like this are hard to come by, we have so much in common and we teach each other so much too. It felt like Christmas counting down for her and her husband's arrival in Ucluelet. They are spending a week with us before they head to Vancouver for some city exploring. I'm so happy to have her here, you can only say so much over Skype!
For my weekend (Friday and Saturday,) we were on our own as our men went camping off of Kennedy Lake. We had a great first day of properly catching up too. It started with coffee and lunch at Zoe's Bakery and Cafe in Ucluelet then some shopping and photo shoots. I brought her to all my favourite spots, Gypsy Drifter and The Den, where she had fun looking through their vintage selections. As it began to rain we headed home for an afternoon of chilling. We binge watched The Fashion Fund on Netflix and it felt like we had never been apart. I don't know if any of you have a friend like this, but she really gets me through and through. And she gets so excited about photographing me for the blog. She's unbelievably creative and I can't wait to see what the rest of our week together brings us! Stay tuned for more of our adventures and photos on my Instagram!
The feeling of summer managed to stick around here in Tofino for most of September, which I am definitely not complaining about. I was able to transition my summer pieces nicely into fall and still get a few wears out of them before it actually started getting really cold (like today.) I wore this outfit for a nice sunny walk through Tofino before heading to Jamie's Rainforest Inn for some drinks and appetizers one night with Dave and my friend Elyse. It was the perfect transitional outfit for this kimono, which managed to keep the cold away while still remaining summery when paired with jeans, a bodysuit and sandals. I love that the kimono trend has stuck around for numerous seasons now. It is such a versatile piece and great alternative to a denim jacket or blazer. I often dress it up with trousers and a blouse for work or keep it more casual for a weekend look like I did here. I have officially packed it away until our trip to Thailand but in the meantime I have pulled out my velvet kimono that I can't wait to wear through winter, post to come soon!
End of Summer Daze
As I write this, I'm thinking about those long, hot, end of summer days. The rain has started here in Tofino and I've switched out my sandals for boots and denim jacket for a raincoat. I can't help but feel a little sad that another summer has come to an end. However, at the same time I am really looking forward to wearing boots and sweaters, getting back into the swing of things with regular workouts and better eating (and yes working on my surfing...)
A few weeks back my friend Elyse was visiting from Victoria and we took full advantage of a sunny day off to lay on the beach. Looking back at summer I feel like I really didn't take advantage of all the beautiful beaches in Tofino to just relax at, listening to the waves crash and taking in the sunshine. However, in saying that I had an amazing summer, filled with visitors, weddings and lots of adventure. For our beach day I wore a recently purchased navy blue t-shirt dress from Habit, a local boutique in Tofino, and paired it with my friend's straw hat and converse. We brought my new Tofino Towel to the beach with some snacks and drinks and sat there watching Dave surf and just catching up on friend things. The navy dress was on sale when I got it, as it was the end of summer but I'm glad I was able to pick it up. I've worn it numerous times already, almost always paired with a denim jacket. It's the perfect comfy but cute dress and I'm already planning on pairing it with a nude cardigan, tights and brown booties for those soon to be fall days. I love clothes that can transition from season to season.
Otalith Outfit Day 2
I love music festivals, not only for the music and new bands you always discover but also for the fashion. As you probably saw from my last week's fashion post, I was very excited about planning my day and night outfits for Otalith. This was my outfit for the evening shows on the second and final day of the festival. After realizing how cold it really does get in the evening, I planned my outfit around staying warm for the second evening.
I paired a recently purchased knit tank from Topshop, with my favourite jeans of the moment and my go-to anorak. I was able to layer a sweater underneath and I even brought a large blanket scarf in a neutral colour to tie my outfit all together, with warmth and style. I love my new knit tank, however, I wish I had purchased it earlier in the summer since I only have had one opportunity to wear it so far this summer (for the festival.) However, I already have it put away to bring to Thailand for the holidays and I can't wait to wear it paired with shorts or a skirt, or layered with a swimsuit underneath. Here I layered it with a dusty rose bralette from Aerie that I can't stop wearing. It is the most comfortable bra/bralette I own and would definitely suggest to anyone looking for a new bralette to check out Aerie's selection. They often have great sales and lots of different styles and colours to choose from, so you can't go wrong! I decided the dusty rose colour went well with the floral applique on my jacket as well as my newly coloured hair. I thought it would be a fun and temporary change to dye the ends of my usually blonde hair with a peach semi-permanent dye by L'Oreal. The line is called L'Oreal Colorista and it is such a fun way to test out pastel colours for a short time. Mine washed out after a week or so, which I couldn't have been happier about. Check them out if you're looking for a fun and non-permanent, quick change.
Otalith Outfit Day 1
The past few years I have been to numerous music festivals once the summer hits. My first was Sasquatch Music Festival down in Washington State. If you have never been you should definitely give it a try next year, it's the most beautiful location with awesome line ups of musicians. This summer has been different though. As we moved to the West Coast earlier this year, we quickly came to realize that summer is the busiest time of year here. We decided to only go to one festival this year, Otalith, which is here in Ucluelet. I'm glad we decided on just one because it made it that much more fun and exciting (and less tiring!) Stay tuned for upcoming posts about the festival, the bands that played and the fashion scene...
As the evenings cool off quite a bit here I was thinking of outfits that could be easily layered and keep me warm. For the first night I wore a new blouse I just bought from American Eagle that I can't stop wearing. Polka dots are everywhere this season and will continue to be on trend throughout the fall and I really can't get enough of them! This top is the perfect end of summer, easing into fall shirt because of it's long bell sleeves and tie at the waist. I was worried when I first ordered it as it was meant to be cropped. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it fit me and how well it goes with high waisted jeans. I definitely plan on wearing it to work and on some upcoming weekend getaways I have planned with Dave.
One of my favourite spots for coffee, lunch or just a simple treat is Pure Vanilla Bakery & Cafe in Oak Bay. It's just around the corner from my parents house and whenever friends are visiting the island we always seem to meet there for a long needed catch up. While we were in Victoria earlier this summer I finally brought Dave to show him what it was all about. We decided to have a seat on the patio at the back while enjoying a late lunch, a panino for him and a pizette for me. It was a beautiful summer day and I couldn't resist taking some photographs of my new dress on the beautiful patio.
The cold shoulder trend was definitely here to stay this summer and I must admit I love wearing the style. It is so romantic and feminine and effortlessly chic. I recently purchased this dress from Topshopfor a late summer wedding in September but I couldn't resist wearing it out for lunch. I love the star print all over it, making it feel a little more unique for summer rather than in a floral print. The length is perfect, I think the midi dress is my favourite style to wear in summer. The sleeves have a little ruffle at the end and it sits perfectly on my shoulders. I can definitely see myself wearing it over and over, for the wedding with block heeled sandals and this Christmas when we're in Thailand with flat sandals for a nice dinner out. If you haven't reached for the off-the-should trend yet, don't wait any longer and grab one before the summer ends!
As my style changes over the years I realize how important basics are while still investing in a trendy piece to pair it with. I wore this skirt in a previous post with a denim shirt tucked in for a more casual vibe. Here I paired it with a forest green bodysuit from Topshop that I'm in love with. It is so simple in its appearance from the front, however, at the back there is a cream bow that ties up across the backless style. The bow gives the piece a girly feel to it, while also making it more practical if you do find yourself wanting to wear it with a bra. My favourite way to wear this bodysuit at the moment is with my frayed high waisted jeans for a more casual look. As I get older and refine my closet more, I find myself reaching for simpler pieces like this bodysuit that at first glance looks like a plain green long sleeve top, when in reality it is a bodysuit with a fun side to it. What pieces do you find yourself reaching for and how do you style your basics?
Last week's heat wave had me reaching for all of my most summery pieces and I could not have been happier. Now that 'Fogust' (August in Tofino) has rolled in and I'm back to wearing pants and long sleeves I'm longingly thinking about when I'll wear my summer pieces next. I'm hoping soon! However, if not I think it will be for our winter trip to Thailand, which I am already counting down to. One warm evening while my friend's from Toronto were visiting I decided to pair this off-the-shoulder top from Topshop with a pair of embroidered jeans from Gap. I bought this top last summer and as the trend is still strong I still love wearing it. Paired with a pair of jeans can make it quite casual so I opted for some unique accessories to give it a different flavour. The earrings are from Zara, which I borrowed from my friend Dani. I mentally made a note to myself to purchase a pair of statement earrings next time I'm there because I loved wearing these ones so much! The clutch was a present from my dad that he bought years ago while working on the cruise and purchased at one of his many stops along the journey. I love how unique it is and how it pairs well with just about anything. This top will definitely be in rotation when we're in Thailand at Christmas. I can't wait to pair it with a pair of shorts and sandals for a hot day!
Now that we live in the best surfing town in Canada I think it's time I pick it up. I tried it once about 7 years ago when family from Europe was visiting and I can't say I enjoyed it all that much. All I really remember is freezing the whole time I was in the ocean and how absolutely dead tired I was when we were done. I'm not the most coordinated person around so I'm not surprised that a sport that revolves around me standing on a board wasn't for me. However, Dave managed to get me back in the water a few weeks ago and it was actually lots of fun. He gave me a quick lesson on the beach before heading into the water with me. I didn't go anywhere near over my head, I'm definitely not there yet! But as he pushed me into each wave I started to understand why people like it so much. Even if I don't want to go out each day like Dave does, I definitely want to keep trying. After all it is one of the best workouts I have ever done!
The evenings in Tofino are quite beautiful especially when the fog begins to roll in. After a delicious and filling meal at Wolf in the Fog the other week, I took my friends to Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Chesterman Beach is one of my favourite beaches, it just has this peaceful feel to it. My best friend Dani thought it would be the perfect backdrop for some photos before the sun began to set along the water. There is this unique and very West Coast fence along the properties in front of the beach that was the perfect spot to start our mini photo shoot.
I love catching up on what's on trend in the fashion world at the moment and I had been seeing a lot of midi and maxi dresses worn over jeans. This is a look I was a little hesitant to try at first, however, once I put it all together with a red lip and some black mules I loved it. The dress from the company Mark by Avon, has buttons all the way down, which makes it a great transitional piece. You can wear it completely unbuttoned like a long duster vest over a top and pants or simply as a black dress. It can also be styled like I did here, which I definitely plan to recreate again and again. If you have a maxi or midi dress in your closet and are sick of wearing it or unsure how to change the look, why not try pairing with your favourite pair of jeans for an edgier and fashion forward look.
The Monday Blues
Revisiting my summer wardrobe from last year is one of my favourite things to do. I bought this crochet top last summer, specifically to wear to music festivals that summer. Fast forward to this summer and I am still reaching for it, while it is still on trend. I wore it recently to an evening out with friends. We walked through the little lanes of Tofino which led us to find this shed with old license plates mounted on it. I love the idea of doing this, something my parents have done in their back garden as well. Next we stopped into the Sugar Shack for some evening coffees. This place is a hidden gem that we discovered that evening. They make hand pressed espresso, while also having treats like ice cream and smoothies. It was the perfect spot to wait for our dinner at Kuma.
I decided to dress up a little bit for dinner with this top, layered with a bralette underneath. However, it was a cooler evening with a breeze so before leaving the house I reached for my trusty denim jacket and paired the look with my black ripped jeans. I am hoping for some hotter days come August so I can pair it with a skirt or shorts or maybe under a pair of overalls for a fun and different look!
The first really hot day in Tofino came about two weeks ago. I say this because although the sun has been shining it hasn't truly been hot yet. My friends from Toronto could not have got luckier with the weather on their visit. We decided to take full advantage of the amazing day by taking the canoe out on the lake. After taking a pretty bumpy logging road to "Redneck Beach," on Kennedy Lake, we set off for the afternoon. Michael and Dave paddled while Dani and I enjoyed the scenery, finally stopping at a beautiful rocky outcrop where we had a picnic and went swimming. There was no one around we could not have asked for a more picturesque day.
For the lake I decided to wear a 'hand me up' crop top my sister gave me years ago. It is such a great top as it can be paired with so many pieces. Here I wore it with my favourite jeans of the moment. However, it quickly became way too hot and I changed into some denim cut offs. I don't often find myself reaching for colourful pieces but when the sun is shinning I realize how much I do really like wearing it.
23 1/2 Ruffles
One of the best places to visit in Victoria is Fan Tan Alley. With its tiny entrance you feel like you're entering another world (Harry Potter, anyone?) Its old brick walls pave the way for tiny shops of all varieties. Some of the best ice cream can be found at Kid Sister, handmade and gorgeous leather goods from Jovee Handcrafted (@lexyouup) are a must and many more unique storefronts to explore. While my friends Dani and Michael were visiting from Toronto we decided to spend the morning before our trip back to Tofino exploring the alley. After enjoying a delicious and filling brunch at Mo:Le on Pandora we had to find somewhere to walk it off.
We stumbled upon this unique door with the number 23 1/2, the only one in North America! It was quickly decided that this would be the perfect spot for a photo shoot. My best friend Dani is one of the most creative people I know and was excited to shoot my outfit of the day. I recently purchased this dress from Topshop because I couldn't resist all of its intricate details. Somewhat backless with ties in the back, it is the perfect summer dress. The ruffles are fun and the little eyelets showing a little hint of skin give it a flirtatious feel. The dress can be easily dressed up or down with heels or flat sandals like I did here. It really is as versatile as it is flattering. I always lean towards black when purchasing clothes, however, it is also available in white as well as in a midi length. This piece will definitely be in high rotation over the summer.
About a month ago while we were back in Victoria there was a beautiful sunset. I know that Tofino is known for their amazing sunsets but this one was a little understated with a cotton candy sky. The blushing pink along the horizon went perfectly with a blush rose dress I recently bought off a friend so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to match my dress to the sky. The dress is 100% silk and just hangs off the body in a way that makes it great for any occasion. I really love the length of the dress as it hits below the knee. I used to wear mini dresses all the time and not think twice about it but as I get older and really figure out my own fashion sense I think it is a more flattering style on myself. Here I paired it with a denim jacket I have had for years and still love, a pair of mules that I can't wait to wear more of this summer and a choker made by one of my good friends at Zaleska. Throughout the summer I think I'll be wearing this dress in different ways, with flat sandals and a swimsuit underneath or layered with a tee underneath. Once fall hits I plan on wearing it layered with a turtleneck underneath.
Jump(suit) for Joy!
My best friend's wedding could not have been in a more picturesque location. The wedding was a three day affair on Quadra Island and my family, boyfriend and I were lucky enough to have a guest house that overlooked the harbour. When I wasn't prepping for the wedding or working on the cake, I spent most of the weekend on this beautiful balcony. For the rehearsal dinner I pulled out a jumpsuit I had bought months before. This jumpsuit needed the perfect occasion to be worn. The culottes jumpsuit is a fun alternative to wearing a dress for a summery and special occasion. It is so comfortable and paired with a denim jacket it makes it a little less dressed up. I wore a pair of nude block heels to make my legs look a little longer in the culottes and I wanted to make sure I was comfortable walking in them for the wedding. The lace detailing gives this jumpsuit a fun pop of skin without being too revealing. If you don't have a jumpsuit for summer yet pick one up, they are a fun and fashion forward choice!
Who doesn't love those nights where you can wear a dress and sandals and not be cold. I know I do. A few weeks ago when I was back in Victoria for less than 48 hours to pack up our stuff for our final move, we were lucky enough to have some of that weather. It was the perfect evening for a sunset stroll and I decided to wear my new favourite dress. This striped shirt dress from Topshop is the perfect summer dress. Made from 100% cotton it breathes on warm days and feels great against your skin. Nowadays when I purchase clothes they often have a mix of artificial fabrics to give the piece of clothing stretch, however, nothing feels better than 100% cotton. I've already worn this dress twice since I got it. It works for anything, dressed down with flat sandals, as a cover up for the beach or to a casual brunch. Or dressed up, like I did here with block heels and a vintage clutch my dad passed down to me from his travels. I can't wait to wear it all summer long!
Everything's Coming Up Floral
It finally feels like summer! I haven't worn a real coat in over a week and I've finally pulled out my sandals. While we were in Vancouver a few weekends ago we had some time in Horseshoe Bay before our ferry arrived so we headed to the little town of Horseshoe Bay. It's very quaint and cute and the perfect place to stop for a coffee or lunch while you wait for the ferry, the inevitable when you live on the island. I spotted some beautiful gardens that overlooked the bay and thought it would be the perfect spot for some photos.
As you know from my previous posts I still can't get enough of the embroidery trend, or the moment denim is really having. I bought these Topshop jeans awhile ago now, however, every day off I find myself reaching for them. They are my go to jean now because they are unlike any pair I have owned since I was a kid probably. They're a stiff denim, unlike all the skinny jeans that have been around for ages now. They're high waisted so I find myself tucking tops into them all the time and can see myself pairing them with a crop top for summer for sure. Overall they are just comfortable and different and the frayed bottom is so fun because it shows off your shoes so well. As the trend continues to soar, you'll be able to find this style of jean everywhere you look, pick up a pair today for a different look to your usual skinnies.
This embroidered blouse, also from Topshop (can you see a trend here? I love the store and so many of the pieces they put out.) I bought it for work as it pairs well with a pair of ankle skimming trousers. But I also loved it dressed down with denim. I'm really looking forward to wearing it with cut offs this summer for a fun, relaxed summer vibe.
This past weekend I was in Vancouver for the U2 and Mumford & Sons concert. The weather was beautiful and I was so excited to be back in a big city. I love Tofino and Ucluelet where I live now but the fast pace of the city is always fun and inspiring, especially the fashion. My talented friend Dani Bartlett just started her own line of hand-made pouches, which I interviewed her about a few weeks ago for the blog. The second she had her online shop up and running I ordered my own. I chose the 'Girl U Want' because of it's gorgeous, bold pink and I loved the size of it. I have been using it to carry my earbuds, favourite lipstick and phone. However, you could use it as a cosmetic bag or whatever you please. I love how it brightened up this otherwise, simple black and white outfit. I thought it went perfectly paired with my 'Females of The Future' t-shirt from Topshop and bright red nails. Check out Dani Bartlett's website for her newly updated pouches and soon to come chokers and totes: https://danielle-bartlett.squarespace.com/
There is nothing better than the sun shining. Except maybe pairing it with a floral top? I recently purchased this daisy print blouse because I needed some new work tops. However, when I first put it on I decided it would be the perfect work top but also casual weekend shirt. It is 100% cotton and slightly oversized so it's both equally comfortable and fun. Tucked into a pair of jeans with a denim jacket on top takes the denim on denim look to a new vibrant and bold look. However, paired with my favourite ankle length trousers and smoking loafers is a great look for work. I can't wait to wear it to the beach this summer with a pair of cut offs and sneakers. Florals for Spring is nothing new, however, here this daisy print is just that, something new and different giving it a modern feel I can't quite get enough of!