Dress Up

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It’s that awkward time where it’s nearly impossible to know what to wear. One day you don a jacket and end up carrying it around feeling annoyed, the next you freeze your butt off in a dress because the sunshine was deceiving from your bedroom window that morning.

Don’t get me wrong – the time of transitional weather is something to savour, but one has to dress appropriately for the occasion. My current go-to combo is sundress + trench coat, ideally with a cup of hot tea in hand and a pair of tights in my purse just in case it’s cooler than expected out.

This blush Club Monaco trench coat has been a staple in my wardrobe since I scooped it up last Fall (pssst, it’s currently on sale!) It’s a slightly heavier weight than most “Spring” jackets, and the cut easily allows a light cardigan underneath if you need an extra layer of warmth. Paired with my favourite dress of the moment, a killer floral number from Dynamite, little white sneakers and the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag I splurged on last time I visited the big apple, it was the perfect look to “bridge the gap” while exploring NYC!

P.S. No, my hair didn’t magically grow crazy long overnight – I got a whole new mane from Locks and Mane! More on that coming soon.

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Dear Diary

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I have a really hard time with any sort of waste – I loathe throwing out groceries and feel ashamed when I lose track of an item in my closet, totally unaware I even own it. In my case, the most shameful on this list of “forgotten treasures” is my massive jewelry collection.

I come from a long line of women (and men) who love the sparkle. My dad’s side specifically subscribes to the “all gold everything” rule, and in a way jewelry always brought my grandparents and I together, especially my grandmother Joanne.

My grandma taught me a lot of who I am today – we both adored the sun, and I spent almost every winter growing up by her side in Palm Springs eating fruit, soaking up the heat, and combing local flea markets for coveted treasures. She had impeccable style, somehow always managing to look fun and classy at the same time, and I was always so proud to introduce myself as her granddaughter. In recent years I’ve been told we share the same taste in cocktails, and I wish more than anything we could’ve had the chance to get tipsy and talk woman to woman about all the strange surprises of adult life.

Sadly, I never got the chance. When we lost my grandmother to dementia about five years ago, I flew home from Vancouver with a broken heart and a handful of the treasures I had gazed at with longing my entire life: a heavy charm bracelet with tiny momentos from every beautiful place my grandmother had been, an intricate gilded ship complete with glimmering sails strung upon a simple chain. Perhaps most painfully, the engagement ring my grandfather had given her when they were only 18.

Unfortunately things had turned sour between my grandpa and I over the years leading up to my grandmother’s passing. I won’t get into it too much here, maybe in the next post in this series, but it suffices to say that when I lost her, I felt like I had lost both of them, and everything I had believed about their marriage. As a romantic, this was hard to swallow, and when I got back home to Toronto I tucked my grandmother’s treasures away in a box under my bed along with all of hurt I was feeling.

When I was in California this past winter, following a snowbird tradition my grandparents had honoured every year I knew them, I found myself thinking of those beautiful treasures, gathering dust with no chance to sparkle. I almost felt panicked that I had left them, abandoned them in the shadows, something my grandma would definitely have frowned upon. As soon as I got home, I scheduled a meeting with my dear friends at BluBoho to launch a new project centred around giving forgotten treasures a new spot in the sun.

Again, this is only the first post of the series so I don’t want to give it all away upfront, but together we’re going to be talking about jewelry care, curation, and crafting new pieces from those that have become outdated and unwanted. The ladies at BluBoho and I strongly believe that jewelry should serve as memory markers, as glittering moments spun into something solid, and even if those memories have shifted or soured, the memories can always be spun into something special and new.

Comment below if there’s anything specific you’d like to learn about building the ultimate jewelry collection, or just come along with us for the *sparkly* ride!

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Get Creative

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It’s hard to miss – gleams of homemade copper fixtures and furnishings seem to be visible in every trendy shop, restaurant, salon, cafe and beyond. We’ve always admired the handiwork of business owners and friends alike, eagerly soaking in tales of welding and trips to the hardware store like sponges. After seemingly endless “field research” we decided it was about time to try our hand at making our own copper creations.

We didn’t want to overcomplicate, so we tried to do these two projects with as few tools and supplies as humanly possible to make them more attainable for both ourselves and our writers. I won’t sugar coat it – these DIY’s were still pretty advanced! Copper is super malleable and easy to damage, plus the parts don’t always fit together as easily as expected. It’s a little hit and miss, and we highly recommend giving yourself more time than you’d expect. Take it slow, measure twice before cutting, and get a friend to help if you can!

Simple Clothing Rack

What you’ll need //

2x 6′ length of 3/4″ copper piping (a total of 12feet)
2x 3/4″ copper elbows
4x 3/4″ copper Tees
4x 3/4″ copper caps
Goop Glue
Sanding block (coarse)
Washi Tape (or painters tape)
Sharpie
Acetone and cotton balls
Clear enamel spray paint
Pipe Cutter*

*You are also able to pay a small fee to have your piping cut to length at Home Depot, or visit their Tool Rental Counter to borrow a pipe cutter!

The pipe cutter we used is small and handheld, simply tighten it’s grip around the pipe lining the blade up with your sharpie mark. You want it firm enough to hold the pipe in place but still able to rotate freely, the blade will score the piping until it breaks. When you can start to smell pennies you know its working, keep tightening the grip as you cut.

Instructions //

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The clothing rack is made up of 5 pieces;
Top Bar – 3′
Bottom Bar 1/2 – 3′
Bottom Bar 2/2 -3′
Side Bar 1/2 -5′
Side Bar 2/2 -5′
Bottom Sides – 4x 4″
Feet – 4x 2″

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Measure carefully and use a sharpie to mark where you’ll cut. Write the piece’s name and measurement on some tape and label each part before you cut to stay organized.
Once you’re pieces are cut to size and labelled, start assembling.
You’ll notice most copper piping you buy is marked with ink, it’s easy to remove with acetone, we recommend doing this after your cuts but before you assemble.
The Top Bar is connected to either end of the Side Bar’s using the 2 copper elbows. If you find it difficult to slide the piping into the elbow, sand down the edge with your sanding block evenly until it fits. Lay this aside and begin the bottom.

Each 4″ piece of pipe is sandwiched between copper Tee’s, like shown below. The copper Tee in the middle will hold the side bars, and should be facing up while the others point inward towards each other and hold each of the Bottom Bars.

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Once you’re sure all your measurements check out and you’re happy with the structure, secure each joint with goop. Don’t worry if you make a bit of mess, once dry it will peel right off the outside. Once it’s secure and dry you can add the feet. The feet are made up of a 2″ piece of pipe slid inside the end of the bottom and capped with a 3/4″ copper cap. Do this for each open end, use a hammer to make sure they are securely attached.

Copper is a material that oxidizes, which means air and even touch has a hand in tarnishing it’s colour – to preserve it’s copper glow use a clear enamel spray paint to evenly coat the whole thing.

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Double-level Side Table

What you’ll need:

3x 6′ length of 3/4″ copper piping
16x 3/4″ copper Tees
8x 3/4″ copper caps
Goop Glue
Sanding block (coarse)
Washi Tape (or painters tape)
Sharpie
Acetone and cotton balls
Clear enamel spray paint
Pipe Cutter*

Instructions //

This side table is more advanced than the clothing rack, we don’t recommend this particular one for copper pipe DIY beginners.

Here’s a colour-coded guide to what you’ll be assembling:

CopperPipeSideTable

Peach – Tees
Pink – Caps
Blue – 3″
Red – 1 foot
Green – 16″
Purple – 6″
Yellow – 8″

First, create 2 ‘Table-top casings’ using;
4x 8″ pieces
1x 16″ pieces
6x copper Tee’s

They will look something like 2 capital H’s when you’re done. Once you’ve measured to make sure it’s a good fit, use the goop to seal the joints. Set these aside.

Cut 2 16″ Cross Bar’s to help support the weight of your table, securely fashion Tee’s on either end. The Cross Bar’s will always fall perpendicular to your Table-top casing’s middle bar. These 4 components are the building blocks of the table and you can start building from the bottom up.

Put together 2 ‘feet’ just like in the post above. These feet get attached to your first Cross Bar, now add 2 pieces of 3″ pipe to either end. This makes up one side of the table, on the other side cut 2 pieces of 6″ pipe and slide 2 copper caps on either end. These 4 posts are the bottom of the table, you’re ready to lower your first Table-top casing on top of it, remembering that the middle bar of your casing is to run perpendicular to the Cross Bar you’ve just laid down. Build upward again in preparation to lay your second Cross Bar, again perpendicular to the middle bar but on the other side, fit another two 3″ pieces on top of the Table-top casing, laying your second Cross Bar on top. Working on top of the second cross bar, fit another two 8″ pieces. On the other side two 1 foot lengths. You should see each side climbing to reach each other, now add your second Table-top casing. This is the top of the table, the same way you’ve made ‘feet’, cut another 4 2″ pieces to fit between the Tee and the copper cap to finish it off.

Before you add your table surfaces, remember copper oxidizes – spray all over with a clear enamel spray paint.

We used Marble tiles cut to 18″ x 18″ for our surfaces, this is a popular size for tile and can be found at Home Depot. Alternatively, painted wood would add a fun pop of colour!

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A special thanks to Home Depot Canada for being a once-stop-shop for all our DIY needs

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Dreaming up recipes is one of the best parts of throwing a party, and when it came to the Pink Moon Party we knew the “magic potion” would have to be front and centre. Instead of breaking out a cauldron and getting to brewing, we turned to our favourite kind of sharing cocktail: punch!

With the witchy woman theme of this enchanted event in mind, we got to work on the perfect whimsical botanical punch. With a hint of rose, cucumber, gin, and Zevia’s sparkling cucumber lemon water (a team favourite), this beverage is best served cool in the prettiest punch bowl you can conjure and topped with fresh rose petals!

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What you’ll need //

Zevia’s sparkling cucumber lemon water
Hendricks Gin
Lemon juice
Rose Water
Cucumber slices and Fresh (or dried) rose petals for garnish.

Recipe //

Put all ingredients in a punch bowl, wave around your magic wand (erm, spoon?) and serve! As previously mentioned, this recipe is best served in a crystal punch bowl, like this one from Cocktail Emporium, to your favourite girl gang!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Dear Diary

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Of all the phrases that can be used to describe me as a human being, none is more true than “No Chill”. I am the opposite of chill in every capacity, from emotional stability to the way I workout, and above all things I have the hardest time slowing down and learning to just be still.

I am not zen, I am not relaxed and sometimes I worry I’m going to grind my teeth down to tiny stubs in my sleep.

I mentioned my attempts to take on a more “chill” demeanour in my previous post about LA (the land of the chill), but I wanted to do an update and share what’s been working best for me now that I’ve been home for a bit and the seasons are finally starting to shift. It’s the perfect time to make changes, to adapt healthy habits and switch from comfort food to clean food. Here’s what’s working for me:

Scroll down for the list!

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Stay Hydrated // I know everyone says this for pretty much everything, but I can’t stress staying hydrated enough. The infused water trend is a Pinterest favourite right now, but if you don’t have time to infuse with 100 kinds of fancy fruit or you’re on the go, Oasis Infusion does the job! Infused with fruits, herbs and flowers, and then topped off with a hint of fresh juice, these beauties have no sugar added and can be found at grocery stores everywhere you turn. My favourite flavour is obviously Strawberry Hibiscus Basil, but all 3 are seriously refreshing.

Grow a Green Thumb // I’ve been loading up my new apartment with plants and I’m hoping at some point it starts to look more like a scene from Jumanji than a Toronto condo. My good friend Tellie from Hunt and Gather helped me out with picking out some “hard to kill” houseplants, and I’ll be sharing my green thumb wisdom here soon!

Back to the Books // Getting lost in the mind of someone else is the easiest way to take a step back from your own busy life. I’m currently reading “One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter” by Scaachi Koul, and it’s the perfect book for taking in snippets of wisdom and laughter when you don’t have too much time on your hands.

On a Roll // Exercise always automatically takes my stress-level from 1000 to 0, and this Spring I’m investing my time mainly into Climbing and Cycling. With brand new gear from my pals at MEC, I’ve been heading up to Basecamp Climbing to test my strength on the walls, and now that the weather is warming up I can start to bike to and from the gym too! Seeya stress!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com