Dress Up

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Though the weather has suggested otherwise this past week, I’m calling it – Winter is dead! I’m always the first to jump the gun on sunny weather, stripping down to show as much skin as possible even when it’s far too early to reasonably do so. What can I say, I LOVE the feeling of warmth on my skin! I need to be free! Winter jackets and long johns have been stifling me for far too long (says the girl who spent most of the winter in California…)

This season I’m trying to be extra selective when adding to my wardrobe. Now that i find myself living in a pocket-size apartment, so I’m only accepting really special pieces and elegant staples, and I try to shed something worn out every time I bring in something new. This rose satin wrap dress from LULU by Rana falls somewhere in-between – the cut is both modern and classic, and the longer sleeve length makes it an ideal transitional Spring item. Paired with a trench (because Spring layering is crucial), ballet-inspired pumps from ALDO, the perfect ’70s inspired mani from Chillhouse and hints of tortoise shell & gold, this look is simple but still fun.

Because really, what’s the point in getting dressed if it’s not fun, right?

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Dress Up

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Every year I rush to High Park alongside all of the other flower-lovers in Toronto to get a glimpse at the Cherry Blossom Trees in bloom. It’s a spectacle to be sure, but sadly it usually only lasts for a brief moment with this city’s unpredictable weather, and one has to fight through the crowds to get close to a tree branch.

The funny thing is, it seems like almost every single other city I’ve been too has far more cherry blossom trees than Toronto. Vancouver’s sidewalks are literally covered in pink petals come Spring, Buffalo boasts an amazing Sakura population, and let’s not leave Japan and their gorgeous yearly festival off the list. One city I definitely underestimated though was New York.

Entirely based on chance, Johanna and I booked our trip to NYC just as the Cherry Blossom trees started to bloom, and oh, were they EVER blooming! Every corner we turned we found more of these delicate, special flowers, and despite their constant appearance we were equally enchanted by each encounter. The best place to see them? The Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Gardens!

Our NYCgo City Pass pointed us in the direction of this amazing spanning property, and we’re so grateful we made time to go. On top of feminist art and beautiful architecture, we were able to frolic amongst seemingly endless blossoms. If you’re travelling to New York during Spring or Summer, this entire area is absolutely a must-see! Of course we couldn’t help but snap some outfit photos while we were there… in true form I just happened to be wearing pink! Also, how great are these peachy-pink hair extensions by Locks and Mane? It was such a fun experience to play with hair this long!

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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 DiaryDress UpI'll Follow You Anywhere

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I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m really all about travel right now, but that doesn’t mean “travel” has to be a luxury vacation on the other side of the continent.

One of my favourite places to go since moving to Toronto is actually a bit of a shock to some people – Hamilton. Despite its bad reputation amongst Toronto residents, I adore Hamilton. I love the quiet streets, the community feel, and the beautiful spaces that can only be created in a place with something we Torontonians lack – space.

I have a full-on city guide in the works for this special place, but since it’s a little too cold to wander around outside taking photos right now I’m going to hold off and just talk about the specifics of my Saturday visit a few weeks ago.

Though it’s only a short trip, Hamilton feels worlds away from Toronto when I need a break. Breakfast at Saint James Espresso, waterfall hikes with my good friend (and Hamilton resident) Rachelle, and the best vegan chocolate macaroons EVER at Green Bar are all staples, and then of course there’s Berkeley North.

I’ve heard about this new West Coast-inspired eatery from Hamilton and Toronto friends alike, so I was determined to visit during my one day stay. Honestly, it’s not often that I do a full restaurant review post, but this was one of the best dining experiences of my life. The space is cozy, the staff is next level friendly, and the food was honestly off the charts. They have seemingly endless vegan and vegetarian options, and even offer a foamy vegan sour on the cocktail menu!

By the time dessert came around we were totally stuffed, but we still couldn’t say no to the decadent vegan cheesecake. It was the perfect place for meat eaters and vegans alike to meet, and by the time we left we felt like family. If you have no other reason to take a day trip to Hamilton, this spot is reason enough – oh, and there’s a great wall for photos right across the street too!

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Dress Up

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Whether you want it or not, Fall is on the way. I know, it’s sad to think of saying goodbye to the the sunshine, but I can’t help but feel semi-excited about pumpkin spice treats, hot tea, and Fall fashion!

Oh Fall fashion, you perfect amazing wardrobe transforming force. The scarves! The boots! The jackets! I’ve ranted again and again about how I despise the cold, but even I will admit that those few precious weeks of real, crisp Fall weather are total heaven. There’s nothing quite like the crunch of Autumn leaves under your loafers, or taking a new pair of wool tights out of the package to pair with your favourite long sleeve dress. Fall has always been a transformative time for me style-wise (I loved having a new look for the new school year), but one item that has remained steadfast every year since I was 16 years old was the trench coat.

As embarrassing as it is, I fell in love with Breakfast at Tiffany’s by way of Gossip Girl the summer I turned 16. Not the Gossip Girl TV show, that was much later, but the actual books! Blair loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so I loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and though my love affair with Gossip Girl faded shortly after, my love for Audrey Hepburn and her nameless cat never faltered. Anyway, that Fall way back when I saved up my back to school shopping budget and splurged on a classic beige trench from Aritzia. It reminded my of Audrey with her classic elegance, and I lived in it that Autumn (well actually, every single one after until the coat literally disintegrated.)

Seriously, it basically broke down into threads and pieces of fabric, but in all fairness I wore it nonstop for TEN YEARS! I knew I couldn’t stretch it another year, so when I turned 26 this year I went out to Club Monaco (the queen of classic chic) and picked out this perfect peachy number. It was weird to upgrade, but after searching for the perfect replacement for so long it felt like something I needed to do! Paired with platforms and a cute new romper, this outfit actually makes me super excited for Fall. How about you?

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Trench and Onesie from Club Monaco, Platform Shoes by Miu Miu, Bag by Kate Spade, Umbrella from American Apparel, Hair clips via Eternally in Amber