Dear Diary

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Ever since I first saw The Little Mermaid, I’ve craved the ability to live underwater. There’s something so magical about the idea of being able to swim with a fin, to lie on the ocean’s floor and look up at the sky from below.

I never really thought my childhood dreams could come true until I stumbled across Toronto’s newest craze, mermaid school.

AquaMermaid is an amazing concept that allows adults and children alike to experience what it might feel like to swim through life with a fin. The class starts on land at a pool in Toronto’s East End, and after students have perfected all of the correct strokes and kicks, they slip into a full-leg fin! From the moment I first heard about the experience I knew I had to try it, so Johanna and I packed up our swimsuits and headed to the pool.

For starters, mermaid school is THE single most adorable thing on the face of the planet. As if the kid’s excitement as they pick out their fins isn’t enough, the adults are almost equally excited, and there’s nothing more lovely than hearing a 40 year old woman say “Isn’t this amazing? I finally get to live my childhood fantasy!” People big and small gathered on the pool deck from all walks of life, and as we did a warm up stretch we each got to pick out a “mermaid name” (mine was Opal!)

When we eventually got into the water, I was pretty impatient to get going, but it quickly became clear that being a mermaid isn’t quite as simple and carefree as I had imagined it would be in my 5 year old imagination. Once your legs are in the fin, you have to work really hard to stay afloat, so I mostly swam around underwater (aka the incorrect way to swim with a fin apparently!) By the end of the hour long class I had almost gotten the hang of it, but I think I’ll need to spend a little more time without legs if I want to really master my mermaid skills.

Overall it was a totally magical experience that had Johanna and I practically screaming aloud with glee, and I can’t wait to get back into a fin again!

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Photos by Johanna Martin

*Note: The services featured in this post were given to me as a gift for review, but I only write about products and experiences that I genuinely adore, I promise!*

Dress Up

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A few weeks ago Paige from Bicyclette and I went on a big road trip to a very special spot to shoot some mermaid photos. We climbed cliffs in tight dresses and waded through icy cold water, but it was all worth it for this magical editorial!

Far across the sea tucked into a bay, there’s a magical grotto filled with treasure, turquoise waters and sequins. To the untrained eye it appears empty, a secret mystical spot that’s rarely explored, but if you wait till the sky turns pink and the sun starts to set, you’ll realize there is so much more to this tropical spot.

Even if you stay for weeks, you might only hear a whisper, or on occasion your eye will catch a lock of mint hair as it disappears behind a rock. They’re always careful not to be seen, but have no doubt, they’re here. They spend their days braiding each others hair, stringing pearls onto delicate necklaces to wear, and exploring the deep blue sea. With cheeks that gleam like opals in the midday sun, and glittering fingernails, they drape themselves in silks, pastel knits, and tulle.

They are mermaids, and this is their home: the Mermaid Lagoon.

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Photos by Jason Matos

Oh so Pretty

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My life has sort of been taken over by what I call “Mermaid Magic” lately, and I’m not even close to tired of it! Between Instagram, XO Vain, and this blog, I’ve been pretty much non-stop swooning over anything and everything sea-related, but I think my new collaborations with Bicyclette might be my favourite yet!

As you may already know, Paige and I drove for four hours last weekend to get the perfect mermaid lagoon photos, and we’re practically counting down the seconds until the photographer finishes sifting through the shots and editing. What you may not know though is before we’d even left for the trip we had already worked together on two super fun complementary projects: a pearl sunglasses DIY, and a mermaid beauty look with Ashley Readings.

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Ashley is a super well known-makeup artist here in Toronto, and she’s worked on all sorts of shoots with Bicyclette in the past. As part of her “All Made Up” column, she teamed up with Paige and I to create a super ethereal shimmery mermaid look, and it turned out so pretty! By the time she was done with me I was ready to flip my fins and disappear under the waves to rejoin my mer-family!

To get all the details and the “how to” tips from Ashley, click through to her full post on the Bicyclette blog here.

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Photography by Paige B.

Get Creative

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In case you haven’t noticed already from Instagram, Bicyclette and I have been working on a ton of fun summer projects together. We’ve got plans involving everything from unicorns to pool parties in the works, and we can’t wait to let you in on the magic.

This weekend we’re taking a road trip to one of the most beautiful spots in Ontario for a very special photo shoot, and we figured pearl sunglasses were the perfect addition to our sea-inspired (hint hint) outfits. While dreaming and scheming at for the shoot at Studio B last week, we whipped up this super simple DIY, and just couldn’t help making it into a post to share with all of you!

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What You’ll Need // 

  • Pearls. Available at any craft store, we opted for a variety of sizes.
  • Sunglasses. Any style and shape will work, depending on the look you’re going for.
  • Glue Gun.

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1 // Use the glue gun to make dots along the frame of the sunglasses where you want the pearls to sit. We’d recommend doing it pearl-by-pearl so the glue doesn’t have time to harden before you attach the pearls.

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2 // Attach the pearls to the frame in whatever design you’ve decided on. You can keep it simple and just use the pearls as an accent, like Alyssa did here, or you can embellish the frames the entire way around, which is what we did for the shoot.

Et voila! Quite possibly the easiest project ever, you’ve now got yourself a pair of DIY pearl sunglasses, so go ahead and channel your inner mermaid.

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Reposted from the Bicyclette blog