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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WELCOME BABY Z!

Decor / By / May 20, 2016 /   No Comments

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Hey All!

Here is the wrap up from the baby shower I hosted for my new neice last weekend! It was just a relaxed brunch at my place with lots of baby snuggles and visiting and of course the cutest gifts for baby Zoey.

When I host, I always like to include some personal touches, so I made the “Z” that lights up and a little booklet of wishes for baby. They were both super easy crafts, and I just bought the supplies at Michaels. The letter came in a kit, and I added the floral background with scrap booking paper that I had on hand. The kit came with a template, so it was really easy. The lights just pop in and turn on with a little battery pack that tucks in the back. It’s a cute decor piece that would be adorable in a nursery or playroom after! For the baby book, I bought the plain cardboard onesies as part of a bunting kit. I traced the outlines on cute scrapbooking paper and glued each onesie to make them all different patterns. I chose light enough colours on the inside so that guests could write wishes for baby and advice for mama and I attached them all together with a couple rings at the top. The writing on the front is just a stamp. It was a total experiment, but I think it turned out cute! Lastly, I made the favor bags by stamping these mason jar cutouts and glueing different flowers to the top of each. Then I attached to a plain white bag. I popped a macaroon in each and sealed them with a cute sticker on the back.  This took no time at all but looked great!

For the food, I made up quiches the week before and froze them. This worked great and saved me time in the scramble the day before. My brother’s girlfriend, bless her heart, came and cut up the fruit and veggie and meat/cheese platters and helped me so much while I chased Ella and attempted to make my house look less like a Toys r Us 🙈. We put out a big jug of lemon water (Tip: we sliced and removed the seeds from a few lemons, froze them overnight and used them as ice cubes the next day. Brilliant Karolin!), as well as a peach bellini with prosecco and a watermelon mint lemonade that I made from scratch (recipe below)! The paper straws are from a local Calgary shop called Dixie and Twine (find her @dixieandtwine or on Etsy!) and are a gorgeous touch to any event. The amazing cake, adorable sugar cookies and delish macaroons were done by the very talented Lindsay Eakeatt Cook (@lindslorane). They turned out so cute. Finally, I whipped up these lemon blueberry cheesecake bars (recipe below) the morning of the shower and they were SO yummy. I got this recipe from my Grandma and since anything that comes out of her kitchen is delicious, I knew they would be a hit.

For a vintage, feminine feel, I wrapped my flower vases and the bottom of the cake in lace burlap. It was a 5 min project but it changed the look and made everything feel cohesive which I really liked.

I truly love hosting and it was such an honour to celebrate beautiful Zoey. It won’t be long before her and Ella are getting into trouble together 🙂

XO Lesley

Watermelon Mint Lemonade:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 small bunch of mint, plus additional for garnish

1 cup lemon juice

8 cups water and ice

3 cups watermelon chunks

Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Add bunch of mint. Remove from heat and allow to steep and cool, about 30 minutes. Discard mint. Purée Watermelon in a blender until smooth. Combine watermelon purée, mint syrup, lemon juice, water and ice. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Crust:

1 1/4 cup butter at room temp

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1 tbsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

Filling:

2 cups blueberries

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 250g blocks cream cheese at room temp

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

2 eggs

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang the pan

2.Beat butter with 1/2 c sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in flour, 1 tbsp lemon zest and salt until combined

3.Press dough over bottom of prepared pan and bake until edges are golden, 25-30 min

4.Combine blueberries with brown sugar, 2tbsp lemon zest and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally until berries are just soft, about 8-10 min. Set aside to cool

5. Beat cream cheese with 1/2 c sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixture until smooth. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Scrape mixture onto warm crust and smooth top. Dollop blueberry mixture all over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 min.

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SOMETHING ABOUT A RED DRESS

Fashion / By / May 16, 2016 /   No Comments

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Dress (Same dress, different color)

Hi All!

I hope you had a great weekend enjoying the sunshine! It was baby shower central for me this weekend. I attended one on Saturday and I hosted on Sunday! It is so wonderful to see friends and family welcoming these new beautiful little souls into their lives. There is no better feeling than becoming a mama and my heart was so full seeing a room full of happy people celebrating these perfect bundles. Also, I was so impressed by how calm and cool these new Moms were! Anxious Annie here would have been sweating from my upper lip (ya, it’s cute) if my babe fussed or cried at all, but these ladies didn’t skip a beat.

This Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply wrap dress is so pretty and light. I originally bought it for a trip to Hawaii but it has become a favorite and is perfect for wedding/baby showers or a dinner date with my hubs. I love that it is machine washable and so easy to throw in a suitcase. Oh and I loooove the color red. It can be a tricky because it’s so bold, but a pattern like this floral can help soften it up a bit. Sometimes it’s nice to toss the neutrals aside for more of a fun statement piece. If red isn’t your jam, I have seen some gorgeous pink and blue pastel versions of this dress that would be lovely too. I couldn’t find the red one online, but I linked the exact same dress in a cream color which is gorgeous.

We ended the weekend with a walk to the park where Ella ran for miles, watched the ducks swim in the canal and befriended the other kids and neighborhood dogs out for a walk. I love standing back and watching her explore without having too many rules. It’s so relaxing and fun.

Stay tuned for a wrap up of the baby shower I hosted complete with a couple yummy recipes!!

XO Lesley

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OUR WEDDING VIDEO

Decor, Fashion / By / May 13, 2016 /   No Comments

Hey Guys!!

With wedding season upon us, I just thought I would drop this in here in case any of you brides to be are considering wedding videography. Brad and I debated long and hard if this was worth the cash. It turns out this is one of my absolute favourite memories of our wedding. Wedding budgets are difficult and decisions have to be made but I think everyone should have a keepsake like this! We used a company out of Lethbridge called Airau. They travelled to Banff with us, were totally behind the scenes and nothing short of phenomenal. We are so grateful we went ahead with it.  I hope you enjoy!

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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A STEP BACK…

Fashion / By / March 20, 2016 /   1 Comment

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Shoes | Bag | Sunnies

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I have blogged. Sorry guys 🙈. Here are my excuses:

-I have been working like crazy

-I just found Scandal on Netflix and it is consuming a lot of free time

Not in that order…lol

In all seriousness, I wanted to take a small step back and think of what I want from this blog.  I’m still not sure, but here is what I know. I love fashion and decor. It’s also something I feel naturally good at. It sounds silly, but I love the way clothes make people feel and how they allow you to showcase your personality. When I walk into a room of people, I’m actually pretty shy.  I’ve never been the life of the party and I’m not that person that people are just drawn to. I often leave a conversation thinking “that person was bored”. But my comfort zone is my clothes. They let me feel current, elegant, fun. They are how I take risks and feel sexy. When I think about it, it’s the easiest way for me to express myself. Before I started this blogging adventure, I would see other fashion blogs and think “I could do that. Why am I not doing that? I want to do that”. I was pretty sure that after a month, I would be blogging a few times a week, have 68.7k followers on Instagram and I would need an assistant to sort through all the collaboration deals I was being offered. And then that didn’t happen. And it was frustrating. And disappointing. So I took a step back.

But I really missed it.

I realized that success here isn’t about how many likes I get on Facebook.  It’s in creating this wonderful outlet for me to both share something I enjoy with you and to form an amazing chronicle of our lives with a funny, witty, sassy and beautiful 1.5 year old who seriously grows and changes every week. I have decided to change my expectations. I am going to get my head around the fact that if I only get 30 likes on my Instagram picture, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad picture. It’s a good photo because I like it. If I get rejected from “like to know it” AGAIN, I will keep moving forward. Is it hard not to compare? Of course it is. But I am going to let this process grow organically and continue to share what I love. If I never get a free stroller, well who cares.

XO Lesley

ps – I found this great bag in Winners for half price!

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FASHION CAN BE AFFORDABLE

Fashion / By / February 15, 2016 /   No Comments

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Jumpsuit (Similar Here and Here)| Pumps | Earrings |

I admit it. I definitely splurge on a new to shelf, full price item every now and then (usually from Anthropologie.. it’s an addiction). BUT, SO many of the items I wear are really, truly affordable. Don’t assume because something looks cute and wears well that it is expensive. Not always the case! I can’t tell you the number of high quality designer gems I have found at Winners and Nordstrom Rack for an absolute steal. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as leaving the mall with those carefully wrapped items in their status symbol bags, but trust me, you will get over it when your Visa bill arrives! I also like that at the discount stores, there are often only one or two of each item on the shelf, so it becomes a piece that is unique to my closet (this poses a bit of a problem for linking items on the blog, but I try my best to find good alternatives for you guys!). I truly believe that the secret to great looking clothes is impeccable fit and quality fabric. A label won’t make any difference if either of these two things are lacking. Think about your favourite go-to item in your closet. I guarantee you love it because it makes you feel good! It makes you feel good because it fits like a glove (and it probably fits like a glove because the fabric is great ?).

The photos above are from Brad and I’s Valentines date in Phoenix last week. We went to an amazing little restaurant in Scottsdale called Virtu. We loved it and it was so nice to have a romantic dinner, just us two. I bought this blush pink jumpsuit from Winners early last season for $29! I intended for it to be an easy post-baby office outfit but I find I also wear it for evenings out or Sunday brunch. If you haven’t jumped on the one piece train, you should. It’s the easiest thing ever. No matching involved. Pair with shoes and you are out the door. No brainer. I look for a defined waist, as it is more flattering for my body type, but there are so many fits and fabrics available, there is a onesie for everyone! These cute Kate Spade bow earrings were a Nordstrom Rack find and so were these nude pumps (I only paid $45 for them and couldn’t believe full price when I found them to link ?)

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Happy deal hunting!!

Lesley

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