Dress Up

So my wonderful pastel-haired friend Johanna has been helping me out with Random Acts of Pastel stuff over the past little while, and when she emailed me these photos with the subject line “RAOP; star of Frozen” I couldn’t help but smile.

Though we only shot these photos last weekend, Toronto already feels like a whole new city today. The ice is thawing, the sun is shining, and I even rode my bike to work this morning. I was really dreading coming back from Las Vegas (photos and city guide coming soon!), but the change in season has definitely got me feeling inspired. Hopefully this will be the last icy, snowy, mega-bundled outfit post until November! A girl can dream, right?









Photos by Johanna Martin

Bag by Theit, tights from Future of Francis Watson, Coat and cardigan from Aritzia, Dress by Sretsis, Boots by Rachel Comey, Scarf by Good Night, Daybelt and sunglasses N/A

Dear Diary

This post ended up being a bit late (Spring seems to finally be on its way! Hooray!) but I really felt the need to share a bit about my winter experience, even if it doesn’t actually help anybody until next December.

I’m a West Coast girl at heart, and the only word I can use to describe how cold winters make me feel is miserable. When I first moved to Toronto I was enchanted by the cold- I loved to cuddle, and the snow was oh so pretty. Over the years though I’ve become well, jaded, no longer able to see past my icy feet, lack of energy, and heavy heart.

This winter I found myself falling into the same old sad patterns, pressing snooze on my alarm more and more each morning, dodging plans with people I care about, and constantly apologizing to Honey for the short walks around the block that I had started to chose instead of our usual dog park visits. In short, I was wasting away, but after a few weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to get out and do something about it. I got back on track with workouts, healthy eating and dog walks, and started to actively seek out adventures and little life improvements that would make me feel better.

Though I won’t go as far as to say I was fully cured, the following are my favourite ways to beat the winter blues.

If I’ve missed anything please comment and fill me in- we could all use a little boost from one another while we wait for Spring to hit!

Visit a Botanical Garden //

I’ve seen a ton of photos on Instagram this winter taken at Allan Gardens, and when I finally got around to visiting them myself I very quickly realized why. Walking through the doors of a botanical garden bursting with life and light is just the thing to help melt a frozen heart. If you can’t afford an actual vacation I highly recommend packing a book and some yummy snacks and spending the day in there thawing out.

Find a new favorite local spot //

Being able to escape your apartment and be out and about with new scenery and human contact can make all the difference when you’re having a down day. My favourite local find this winter has been Home Baking Co., a sweet bakeshop with incredible cookies and pies, and a heartwarming atmosphere that feels like, well, home!

Have a beach day //

The Toronto waterfront is always packed in the summertime, but few people get out and experience just how magical it can be during the colder months. Sugar Beach is always a treat with its pink umbrellas reflecting in the snow, but the real winner this year was the Winter Stations installation at Kew Beach in the east end. My favourite piece was the magical rainbow pinecone (of course.)

Turn your home into a warm sanctuary //

Add as many plants to your home decor as possible, stock up on fancy tea, assemble an army of high-quality candles, and invest in a really good fuzzy blanket. There are so many ways to make your home feel warm, safe, and energizing, but those are a few of my picks.

Get lost in the PATH //

Toronto has an expansive network of underground tunnels, and there are some really great finds down there if you’re willing to get a little bit lost in the labyrinth. I suggest looking up a few places beforehand without glancing at the location, listing them out, and spending a day with a friend down there trying to find them!

Trek to Pmall //

Nothing lifts the spirits quite like an afternoon spent at Pmall slurping noodles, sipping on bubble tea, and stocking up on fun novelty phone cases and obscure beauty products. If you don’t have access to a car you can still get there by bus, but I highly suggest hitching a ride if at all possible (it’s a long, long bus ride, especially in the snow)

… and if all of that doesn’t quite thaw your icy, frozen heart, splurge on a last-minute getaway someplace hot (My Las Vegas adventures are coming soon!)





Dress Up

After looking extremely hopeful for a few days, the temperature today has dropped back down to -6, and shows no sign of rising again in the immediate future. Though I’ve felt truly demoralized and depressed about this strange, everlasting winter off and on for months, today I find myself feeling okay about it. I have a new secret weapon: my great grandmother’s giant teddy bear coat.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about my great grandmother here today, because she really deserves a post (or ten) of her own. I will say however, that she was the single most incredible woman I’ve ever met, and that her style, taste, and knack for bringing people together with cups of fine tea were all passed down to me.

Sadly, my great grandma passed away four years ago this winter, and I miss her everyday. Because no one else in my family shares the same appreciation for pastel chinaware and costume jewellery, I was given most of her belongings to treasure and guard when she died. One of these items was a very long, very heavy wool coat.

For four years, the coat has been hiding out at the back of my closet, forgotten in the shadows. Finally this winter, eager to slip on anything that isn’t my practical parka, I reached to the back of my wardrobe, felt the soft caramel wool, and thought, “Where did this come from?” I slipped it on, and found the coat not only to be beautiful, but incredibly thick and warm too! Draped in its luxurious, heavy weight, I can face any winter cold.




Hat from Bicyclette, Sweater from Aritzia, Jeans by Courtshop, Tote by Fieldguided, Shoes unknown

Photography by Brianne Burnell