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10 THINGS ABOUT ME

Uncategorized / By / June 8, 2016 /   No Comments

imageHey All!

I thought it might be fun to do a really short, fun post on a few things about me that you may not know! Instagram and other social media outlets are fun snap shots, but I find it’s hard to get to know someone, so here goes a few random facts!

  1. I wish I was a better runner. I love to run and find it to be such a stress relief but I’m just not blessed with the skills..or the frame.. or something. Maybe it’s my uber long neck? Lol
  2. As much as I love clothes and styling outfits, my passion is home decor and design.  I absolutely love it and can’t wait to build or reno a home someday to put my touch on it top to bottom. Really, it’s already all planned out in my head. 😉
  3. I love pizza. Any and all pizza. I would eat it every day if I wasn’t worried about being healthy 🙈
  4.  My favorite place I have ever travelled is South Africa. It was one of those once in a lifetime, unbelievably incredible trips. Everyone should go.
  5. I have a degree in Neuroscience. I now work in Medical Sales and I love my job.
  6. I have a HUGE family who I adore. Seriously, I have thirty cousins. They are some of my best friends and I realize how lucky I am that we are all so close.
  7. I only ever get two colours on my fingernails. “Salmon run” and “Firefox” (light pink and red). I need to branch out. I just can’t.
  8. I knew I wanted to marry Brad after our first few dates. I know, it sounds cheesy (and crazy), but I really did ❤️
  9. The thing I find most upsetting in life is when people are bullied or treated unkindly. It makes me so sad and really bothers me. If I teach Ella one thing, it will be to live a life of kindness, empathy and humility. There is no reason to ever bring others down.
  10. My worst fear is failure. That makes this blog a bit terrifying but also so liberating. One of the things I admire most about Brad is his willingness to take risks. So here I go!

Have a great rest of your week and thanks for reading!

XO Lesley

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A GIRLS WEEKEND

Fashion, Uncategorized / By / June 1, 2016 /   No Comments

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|My Romper| Misty’s Kimono| Black Choker|


Ahhh. What beats a weekend away with your girlfriends? There are laughs, food, wine and coffee for days. It’s the ultimate relaxation where you are only responsible for yourself and in the company of your oldest and most trusted pals where there is no pressure to be anyone but you. No filter needed. No topic offside. No one to impress.

These days life is busy for us all.  Trying to juggle busy careers and growing families makes it really tricky to set aside time to get away. Depending on who is preggo, nursing or working, we often can’t have everyone together (we missssssed you gals) but those that can make it, do, and we have a blast. Vegas and Banff (I know, significantly different vacations) are our usual go-to’s so this time we thought we would try Okanagan wine country.

This was my maiden voyage using Airbnb and I was really impressed. The owner of the condo was kind enough to let us check in at 9am when we arrived, so we were settled and comfortable long before we would have been in a hotel. Plus, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a deck with an incredible view and a full kitchen are huge bonuses over a dark hotel room. Dollar for dollar, I thought it was a huge win.  Plus, when the welcome instructions noted that the Wifi network was called “orangewifichicken” I knew I loved this place 😂

The first thing we tracked down were mimosas, I mean, brunch 😉 We headed to the cutest spot in downtown Kelowna called Bohemian Cafe. It was delish. I was still forgetting that I didn’t have my two year old in tow, so I hoovered my meal because usually, I don’t know when the next will come and I have to share everything delicious with my little sidekick. But seriously, those grapefruit mimosas..

While we are talking about local restaurants, I need to tell you about Waterfront Wines. A small, simple space in downtown Kelowna with the BEST food ever. The kind of restaurant where you turn off your calorie counting app or Fitbit or whatever and chalk it up to a yummy culinary treat. We stopped in for dinner on Friday and literally ate and drank for hours. We started with one of the best charcuterie boards I have ever tasted. Local meats, cheeses and olives paired with fresh breads, and homemade spreads. If no one was looking, I would have ordered about three of these. The food was just so interesting. Perogies filled with ricotta, pesto and pork, lightly charred squid and octopus with a siracha type sauce, shaved asparagus salad with honey miso dressing, the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth flatiron steak and creme brûlée with fresh cherries on the bottom. I could go on but I don’t want you to know just how much we consumed lol. It was really an experience. We never felt hurried and our server was amazing. I will stop there.  You should go.

Saturday was jam packed with wine tours and tastings for breakfast, lunch and dinner 🙈 It was an amazing day.  At our first stop, Sperling, our guide bought us all fresh spudnuts to have with the late harvest wine. It’s rude to say no right? Well, Heaven does come in donut form. Melt in your mouth deliciousness. Did I mention we ate well this weekend?! There were too many highlights to the day and this blog is already getting long, but my favs were Sperling (this may or may not have to do with the donuts), lunch at Cedar Creek and strolling the orchards at Vibrant Vines. This light and fun romper from Anthrolpologie was comfortable and fun for a full day outing. ps – I had to tag my girlfriends kimono because 1) I really wanted to steal it and 2) it’s from a local shop in Lethbridge called Urban Cowgirl. I have linked her Insta page. She has the cutest things and the kimonos are customizable with lace detail etc.  I want.

I wish I could see these girls all the time, but weekends like this are totally worth the wait. I am truly grateful to have the greatest friends and a hubby who takes the best care of my little nugget while I am away. I am one lucky girl.

XO Lesley

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LOST IN LAYERS

Uncategorized / By / May 4, 2016 /   No Comments

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|Kimono| Blue Jeans| White Jeans|

Hey Guys!

Last weekend we headed down to Lethbridge to see my family and to attend my high school reunion. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about the event! I’m not even really sure why, it just seemed like an awkward situation to be in a room full of people you used to know 15 years ago… In the end, it was a really fun evening and I loved catching up with a great group of people. I’m glad I went.

The best part of the weekend though, was spending a few days with my family. My brothers and their wife/girlfriend came over and I got lots of time with my adorable nephew who I almost zipped into my suitcase and brought home. Seriously, he gets cuter every time I see him and I am turning into the crazy auntie who can’t get enough. My mom and dad got up early with Ella and I SO enjoyed a lazy morning in bed and coffee in my pj’s. We are so incredibly lucky that both sets of our parents help us out a tonne. Since they don’t live close by, they really make such an effort to give us breaks when we visit. It’s the best.

I hadn’t seen my family since my birthday and they all spoiled me. My sister in law, who always finds the cutest things, picked up this kimono for me at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge. It is made by a Calgary shop called Lost in Layers. They have a few stockists around southern Alberta (including SAAG) as well as an Etsy shop and a website. She only makes two kimonos from each piece of fabric, so they really are unique pieces with a custom feel. There are so many cute ones and I am loving her bridal collection (such a cute idea for you and your girls the morning of). Head to the website or Etsy shop to browse. For you gals in YYC or YEG, watch the website for upcoming pop up shops too!

This particular pattern is so bright and springy and I love how colourful it is. I kept it casual and easy by pairing it with jeans and a tee and a cute pair of wedges. This is legitimately an outfit I would wear to the park with Ella (minus the wedges) or out for a casual dinner. This piece is so versatile and I have a few more ways that I can’t wait to style it!

Have a great rest of your week! As always, THANK YOU so much for following along 🙂

XO Lesley

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MOTIONBALL GALA

Fashion, Uncategorized / By / April 26, 2016 /   No Comments

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Hi All!

It isn’t very often that I get to dress up Sarah Jessica Parker style, but if you know me, you know I LOVE it. Give me all the feathers and sequin and tulle! If I lived in NYC I would be that girl who goes over the top…all the time. However, I have an almost two year old and live on the prairies and those things don’t really scream “couture” so, I settle for the odd event here and there to get my fix . I wore this dress to the Motionball Ignite Gala, in support of the Special Olympics. It was such a great event with a red carpet, silent auction, dancing and great music. It goes without saying that the cause is more important to me than the dress, and I was honored to attend. A night out with my hubby and good friends is always such a treat and something I appreciate so much these days.

I fell in love with this BCBG dress before I even had it zipped up in the change room. It is so unique and fun. I always look for pieces that have a bit of edge and personality and I had never seen anything like it (how fun is the sheer leg?!).It’s just the right amount of scandal and class and I want to wear it every day haha. It ended up being perfect for this event and I was glad I took the leap. For anyone considering this purchase, size way down! I was 2 dress sizes under my usual.

This is the first year in a while that we haven’t taken a Spring vacation and I was feeling especially pasty so I got a spray tan from OrganicTan (They have tons of locations across Canada. I did mine at Vanity Vault in YYC). I love spray tans. Insta results, zero guilt. And for all you doubters..they have come so far. No smell, no orange, just a nice glow :). I also had my makeup done by Karen Malcolm-Pye. She’s an insanely talented freelance artist and nails it every time. If I win the lottery, I want Karen to do my makeup every day. Or, at least more than once every two years 🙈 She is the best in the biz. Check out her website or add her on Instagram!

It was an amazing night supporting a wonderful cause and we had so much fun. I’m so grateful for opportunities like these with my handsome husband.

XO Lesley

ps – I am SO sorry but this dress is sold out everywhere online 😓 I will keep my eyes open for a restock and let you know! You could always check in store, as sometimes they can track one down!

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4 FOLD THREADS

Baby, Uncategorized / By / April 24, 2016 /   2 Comments

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Hey Guys!

One of the things I get asked all the time is about recommendations for baby/toddler products. I am working on a review of my absolute fav’s from Ella’s first two years but I wanted to dedicate a post to one product/company in particular. I discovered 4Fold Threads about 6 months ago on Instagram. It is an online shop, run by a sweet mama of FOUR (don’t ask me how she does it) located in Southern Alberta. She handmakes the most adorable car seat covers (ALL4One Covers) and slouchy beanies. I had been searching for a lightweight, tight fitting, CUTE cover for Ella’s bucket seat for so long but couldn’t really swallow the steep exchange rates and shipping costs to get the one I wanted out of Australia 😂. I love that this cover fits snug on the seat and won’t slide down the handles or blow up in the wind. They are adjustable, so you can cover babe completely, or leave a window to peek in. The covers don’t line the seat or interfere with the buckles so all the safety boxes remain checked too. Best part? They double as a 360 degree nursing cover as well! I just bought one for my sister in law and brand new baby niece and I can’t wait to give it to her. Oh, and they are very affordable at $30-35!!

A quick blurb about the slouchy beanies..I ordered the grey buck for my nephew who is already the cutest kid on the planet (ok tied with Ella haha) and he is going to melt hearts. I am so impressed with the quality of fabric and construction. I decided that I need to get a couple for Ella too!

Add 4Fold Threads on Facebook and/or Instagram @4foldthreads and  take a look at all the cute things!

Have a great week!

Lesley

 

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EASTER AT GRANDMAS

Baby, Decor, Fashion, Uncategorized / By / March 31, 2016 /   2 Comments

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|My Top|My Watch|Ella’s Dress|Ella’s Shoes|

Hey Guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Easter. We did!

Family has always been important to me. Growing up, “Grandma’s house” was the equivalent of the best play place/gourmet kitchen/sleepover central ever. My cousins were some of my best friends (and they still are!). One of the things I love most about Brad is how special his family is to him too. There is never a discussion or disagreement about spending time with our families. It’s what we do. But life gets busy and geography gets further and further away and sometimes it’s hard to get in as many visits as we would like. For Easter we decided we would make the trek to Mediciane Hat to see my Grandma and many uncles, aunts, cousins and my immediate family too (yes, it is a “trek” when there is a 1.5 year old involved haha). It was so nice to see everyone and catch up. Ella adores her “Gate Gamma” (Great Grandma) and has talked about our visit non stop since coming home. My Grandma’s backyard is the size of a small city park (seriously) and it was so nice to just turn her loose and let her enjoy. She loved exploring the garden and trees and as usual, pointed out every flower, bird and insect along the way.

We also visited the Windmill Garden Center which was so cute!! They had a little petting zoo with goats, chickens, ducks and bunnies for the kids.  Ella was in heaven. We have heard about the “silly goats” over and over this week haha. They also have a Butterfly House that was FULL of gorgeous butterfly’s, moth’s, turtles, quail and fish. It was seriously better than the butterflies at the Calgary zoo. We were so impressed.

Easter morning was lots of fun, and Ella is now obsessed with hopping around like a bunny 😂Other than going on a total nap strike for 2 days, she was such a good girl and even survived a long church service on Easter morning (mama was a bit worried about that one). It was a simple weekend spent with some of my favorite people. I hope Ella grows up to value her family as much as we do. We use weekends like this to try teach her that it really doesn’t matter where you are, it’s who you are with.

I was sad that we didn’t get many family pictures, especially when we were dressed up on Easter, but we were all too busy having fun 🙂 I have been wearing this white Anthropologie shirt on repeat and it made an appearance this past weekend too. It’s so versatile and is the perfect classy, casual look with all the lace detail.

I would also like to point out that I really channeled my inner Martha Stewart with these Easter cookies. It’s not often that this happens so I had to document it lol

XO

Lesley

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ACCESSORIZING

Fashion, Uncategorized / By / January 18, 2016 /   No Comments

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Coat (sold out) Similar, Similar, Similar| Booties | Sunnies | Plaid Scarf | Fur Scarf (old) Similar | Sweater (old) Similar

Hey All!

I hope you all had a great week. I got to see some of my very best girls this weekend to celebrate a beautiful new baby. I love them. I don’t get to see them enough but when we get together, we don’t miss a beat. My sisters from different misters. Those friends where 10 hours feels like 20 minutes. My Sex and the City crew. I am so grateful for each one of them. They are hilarious and smart and genuine and thoughtful (and gorgeous).

As we were running out the door, I did what I often do, a quick accessory swap last minute. It made me think, hey! I should do all three options on the blog this week. I was going to call this post “styled 3 ways”, but it’s not really.  Same booties, same sweater, same jeans.  Just a quick and simple swap of a scarf or glasses really changes the look!

This coat is from H&M but unfortunately is sold out :(. I linked a few other options.  Wrap coats are popular this season at a range of fabrics and price points, so I chose a few affordable belted versions. I try to support local businesses as much as I can and this gorgeous plaid scarf is from Magnolia Baby and Kids Boutique.  They are based out of Lethbridge but they have an online shop and they do ship.  Check them out! This fur infinity scarf I purchased years ago in Quebec City at a little shop in the Chateau Frontenac.  You know those belongings that always make you think of a person or place? I think about the week Brad and I spent in Old Quebec whenever I grab this. It is basically the most magical place ever in winter. Jillian Harris came out with a similar style recently for Privilege clothing (linked above) at a decent price point.  Last but not least, these booties are SO cute and comfy and are 50% off right now. I bought mine at Steve Madden, but they are available at Nordstrom and The Bay as well.

Thanks for following along!

Lesley

PS – Lauren B..looking strong on Bachelor!

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YES, I WATCH THE BACHELOR

Fashion, Uncategorized / By / January 12, 2016 /   No Comments

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| Poncho | Sweater | Sunglasses | Boots | Necklace (Similar Here)| Bag |

Hi All,

Ok, I admit it. I’m a fan of The Bachelor. Always have been. No, it’s not the most (ok maybe it’s the least) educational, mind expanding show on television, but it sure is entertaining! Can you imagine “dating” a guy alongside 20 other women? I would crack EARLY. That scene is too aggressive for this girl. Dating is tough to begin with, and the set up is made to breed crazzzzzy. Show content aside, I love that The Bachelor makes for a fun social environment and topic of conversation. Whether you have the girls (or guys!) over for a viewing party every Monday, call your bestie the next day to discuss or join a “Bachelor Pool” at work, there is something great about following the season together. It’s not changing the world, but sometimes I think we could all take ourselves a bit less seriously and have more fun. Ben seems like a genuinely nice guy and I hope he finds the right girl. Amazingly, some of these relationships really do work out (Trista and Ryan! My all-time fav’s. That’s throwing it back old school for you true fans lol). I’m not sure who my money is on yet, but this week there was definitely a connection with Lauren B.. We shall see. I’m going to take a wild guess and say it’s prrrrrrobably not Lace ?.

I picked up this poncho wrap early in the season from H&M and have gotten so much use out of it. For the $35 I paid… totally worth it! The warmer temperatures this past weekend had me searching for something a bit lighter in my closet, so this was perfect. I ❤️ this camel colour.  I didn’t get a close up of my necklace but it has an E stamped on it to remind me of my little Ella Bella. I picked it up for $15 at a Hospital gift shop of all places, but I linked a similar option.

I hope you all have a great week!

Lesley

Ps – For everyone who has been inquiring about me getting a liketoknowit account, I’m working on it! I just need to grow my following a bit, so follow along on Instagram @mamabydesign and hopefully it will be up and running soon ? I truly appreciate all your support.

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FALL BLANKET CAPE

Fashion, Uncategorized / By / November 3, 2015 /   No Comments

Cape: Winners (Some cute options  HereHere and Here)  Boots: Nordstrom (Similar Here and Here)    Jeans: Nordstrom    Sweater: Zara


I love Fall and Fall fashion.  Time to dust off the boots, trenches and scarves and have some fun with layers.  This year, ponchos and blanket capes are everywhere.  I think this is such a fun trend and a really easy way to add some colour and texture to those standard go-to basics.  I will admit, I was a bit hesitant to leave the house in what is basically a Snuggie…but I love the look and feel.  It’s a bit edgier than a simple cardigan but just as cozy and easy to style.

For this look, I gave the outfit a bit of a 70’s feel by layering a turtleneck underneath and paired my favourite black midi boots with the ensemble.  I wore jeans for a more casual look, but this outfit could easily go from day to night by swapping the jeans for a cute pair of leather leggings.

This specific cape I found at Winners for $29! (really).  I am crazy about this cranberry colour for the season and I loved the woven texture.  While I am a believer in purchasing some investment pieces, there are so many items like this in my closet that are beautiful and truly affordable.

Want to hear the real life story behind the Instagram worthy shots?  I wore this on the weekend to get some family photos done..in freezing rain and gale force winds.  My little peanut was being a typical toddler and refused to sit still or smile.  Seriously, she was the human version of  Grumpy Cat until we took her to the vehicle to have a break and let her sit in the driver’s seat (don’t worry, ignition was off).  She instantly lit up with that smile I had begged for earlier. Murphy’s Law.  I guess it’s a wind blown Adam’s Family Christmas card for us this year haha!

Lesley

 

 

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