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 ūüôą. 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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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 ‚̧ԳŹ 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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WINTER COZY

Decor, Fashion / By / December 22, 2015 /   2 Comments

imageimageIMG_3093IMG_3095Coat | BootsIMG_3108IMG_3114IMG_3119IMG_3123

Vest (last season, cute option Here) | Sweater | Bracelet | MugFinally wrapping presents.. #thoselittledogsthough #tistheseason #merryandbright #currentlydoing #winnersfabfinds

Wow.  This has been the busiest Christmas season for us. It has been so nice to spend lots of time enjoying some holiday cheer catching up with family and friends.  We are so blessed to be surrounded and supported by the most amazing people.

It is so fun and easy to layer and bundle cozy pieces this time of year. I love this beautiful Anthropologie coat, and I picked it up for a steal on a 20% off sale-price sale! ¬†I got the XS and it’s still huge so size down as much as you can. I have outfit details linked above, but in the spirit of being real, outside those perfectly posed Insta-worthy photos, I thought I would share our Christmas tree episode with you guys hehe!

In the midst of Christmas parties, shopping for gifts and baking goodies to impress my in-laws(?), we were really late to set up our Christmas tree this year. I love our tree. It looks as close to real as they come, has soft white lights and is the perfect height for our living room. A few weeks ago, while Ella was napping, we put the Christmas tunes on, sipped on cinnamon tea and set up our lovely tree. ¬†After arranging each branch to perfection (OCD much?!), I plugged in the lights and saw a few (ok QUITE a few) sparks fly from the connection between the plug and the cord on the tree. I figured, meh, it’s probably fiiiiine. I had visions of last minute tree hunting in sold out stores so I decided, no need to mention anything to Brad. VERY Griswold of me lol. A few days later, the sparks were a little more intense, so I mentioned that the connection “might” need a little electrical tape… Isn’t that what it’s for? ¬†(Apparently the answer is no). Bless my hubby’s heart, a phone call to the manufacturer in China and two shipping days later, we had new parts in hand. Seriously, this is why I married him. More than a handsome face that guy. I am grateful for him this holiday season annnnd that I didn’t burn our house down ?

I hope you all have a safe, relaxing and joyous Christmas. I absolutely can’t wait to spend this one with our precious little girl. ¬†She is the best gift in the world.

Lesley

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BOSTON

Fashion / By / November 24, 2015 /   No Comments

imageCoat|HauteLook¬†Toque|Forever 21 (Similar)Boots|Nordstrom Rack ¬†Jeans|Rag and BoneIMG_2744IMG_2758Brad’s Jacket|Zara last season ¬†(Similar)IMG_2698IMG_2694imageJacket|Nordstrom Rack (cute ones Here & Here) Bag|Burberry (old) Sunnies|Nordstrom (Similar) Boots|Nordstrom last season (Similar)Jeans|Nordstrom¬†Top|Banana Republic Factory Store (Similar)

Last weekend Brad and I did a quick trip to Boston, just the two of us.  He is a proud Notre Dame alumnus and their football team was playing against Boston College at Fenway Park.  We met up with some of his college friends and teamates who are the nicest and most genuine guys and ALL of them married amazing girls.  It is always so fun to reconnect and see everyone.  We decided that this trip we would leave the kids at home, and have a few days of adult only time.

Although I was excited to go, I was also a bit nervous to leave Ella. ¬†I am the first to admit that before we had her, I would hear parents say similar things and I would think “Don’t be weird. ¬†It’s important to spend time with your partner without kids. ¬†How is that not obvious?” ¬†Haha. It is. On paper. But Mom guilt is REAL. ¬†What if she thinks I am abandoning her and not coming back? ¬†What if we never go back to Boston and she doesn’t get to experience it (which is ridiculous since she is one)? What if something happens to her and I’m not there to be with her? ¬†To all you parents wrestling with this… GO! ¬†If you are as lucky as we are to have wonderful grandparents willing to come take great care of your little one, it makes it easy. Saying goodbye and driving away was hard and I fought back tears. ¬†Wearing white cashmere that was still white at the end of the day, not hard. ¬†A full, HOT cup of coffee, not hard. ¬†Sleeping in, NOT hard! ¬†Just because you take a few days away, doesn’t mean you are selling out on parent duty. ¬†In fact, I truly think recharging my Mom batteries was the best thing I could have done. ¬†I also was reminded of how much fun Brad and I have together. ¬†It was such a treat to have a few days, responsibility free, to just enjoy each other.

Bostonians are great. ¬†For some reason, having never been there, I pictured two things when I thought of Boston: Red Sox and Kennedy’s. ¬†Jersey clad, sports crazed middle aged men and Jackie O. ¬†Fenway is amazing and has the most magical feel and the Newbury street shops had me dreaming of iconic fashion but Boston is friendly, unpretentious and beautiful. ¬†And Boston is “wicked” FUN (as the locals would say). ¬†There are pubs on every corner and an endless energy. ¬†The history is everywhere and fascinating. Note: I would leave the driving to the cab drivers! ¬†If you go, be sure to take a Duck Tour. ¬†Old military style vehicles take you on a land and water tour and give you the Cole’s notes version of all things Boston. ¬†It’s cheesy and I wouldn’t call it luxurious but we had a great time and learned so much. ¬†Last note, we stayed in the best location at a great boutique hotel, Boston Park Plaza.

It was a fun, restful weekend and the best part was having Ella run to greet us with a big kiss upon our return. ¬†Happy, content and seemingly unscathed from having Mom and Dad leave for a few days ūüôā

Lesley

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THE LITTLE THINGS

Fashion / By / November 11, 2015 /   3 Comments

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Vest: Anthropologie ¬†Booties: Nordstrom ¬†Sweater: Zara ¬†Ella’s Boots: Next ¬†Jacket: Old Navy

Motherhood is the hardest and most important job I have ever had. ¬†Ironically, it is also the least glamorous. ¬†There are days when the house is a disaster, the laundry continues to mount, supper isn’t made, and I think to myself, “I’m not good at this”. ¬†Shouldn’t a responsibility of this magnitude come with more coffee breaks, a hot lunch, or I don’t know… Sleep?! But being a Mom has¬†brought me so much more than I ever expected. ¬†I knew that I would love and adore this little person, but I didn’t realize how much she would teach me. ¬†I so often catch myself in an unending quest for “more”. ¬†More recognition for a job well done, more things, more travels, more skills, more knowledge. ¬†Constantly striving for bigger and better. ¬†Now, I’m not saying these things are bad, and goals are important, but in the pursuit to achieve and out-do, I sometimes forget to let myself enjoy and be grateful for the moment. ¬†Ella reminds me every day to slow down, take it in, and appreciate the small things.

This weekend, as we spent the afternoon playing outside, I was reminded of how amazingly blessed I am to be her Mom. ¬†Watching the world through her eyes, I see the amazement in watching snow fall for the first time or the crunch that leaves make in the Fall. ¬†I am wrapping my head around the fact that “more” can be measured differently. ¬†It can be the feeling of pride in hearing a new word from my little mini, the excitement of watching her giggle on the swings at the park, the bursting of my heart when she leans in for a kiss. ¬†These things may not be building my resume, but they are certainly building me as a person. The experience of raising a child is truly better than any paycheque or award, dishes and diapers and laundry included. ¬†I can’t wait for what is to come, and I often think about what the future has in store, but right now is pretty great, just how it is.

 

Lesley

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FALL BLANKET CAPE

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

Cape: Winners (Some cute options  Here, Here 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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MAUI WRAP UP

Baby, Fashion / By / October 29, 2015 /   No Comments

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My Suit: Swimco, Sunnies: Prada (Similar),¬†Ella’s Suit: Coolibar

Rompers: Old Navy & Baby Gap (Not available), Bow: Baby Wisp

Dress: Baby BonBon Boutique Shoe: Micheal Kors

My Dress: The Bay¬†¬† Ella’s Dress: similar here¬†& here, Shoes: Teepee Tots & Co

Back to real life today and missing beach days with my little bestie #hawaii #snorklife #sunfordays Ella's hat is @theposhplum and Suit is #babygap. Ps - loved the @honest swim diapers this trip!

Suit: Old, similar here, Hat: ThePoshPlum (Seasonal)

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Dress: The Bay  Sandals: Similar Here

We recently returned from a beautiful family vacation to Maui. ¬†It was so nice to get away from the hustle of everyday life and take in precious memories with Brad and Ella. ¬†We were there for a family wedding and were fortunate to have a few babysitters (thank goodness for Nana’s!), so Brad and I snuck away for a couple evenings out, just the two of us! ¬†We celebrated our second Anniversary by going on a sunset dinner cruise with Sail Trilogy. ¬†It was a beautiful evening on the water, the food was delicious and it was so nice to spend time together, away from all our usual distractions. ¬†The day after the wedding, the bride and groom treated us all to a catamaran sailing trip, again on Sail Trilogy. I LOVE being out on the open water. ¬†There is something so relaxing about ocean air, I swear it is good for the soul.

Now that we are travelling with a babe, luggage space is limited! ¬†Hawaii is amazing because the weather is so dependable and it never really gets cold, so light dresses and rompers filled my bag. ¬†I planned my outfits for the week in advance and didn’t bring much extra. ¬†I found a couple great pieces (black swimsuit in pic) from Swimco before we left. ¬†When visiting the beach, a suit that makes you feel good is a must. ¬†The other suit pictured was a random find in a shop next door to our resort in Maui! ¬†Resort/beach vacations are really fun because colours and prints look great and are so fun to wear. ¬†I find myself departing from my usual monochromatic tendancy and and going for bolder items. ¬†For the Catamaran trip, I thought the black dress with the cutouts worked great. ¬†It is a very lightweight knit, comfortable, easy to move in and it was CHEAP. ¬†Like under $20 at Winners. ¬†I love finds like that!

Ella was honored to be a flower girl in the wedding. ¬†The bride ordered her dress off Etsy and it was adorable. ¬†The lace detail was gorgeous and the champagne colour looked so good with the rest of the wedding decor. ¬†I splurged on the Micheal Kors shoes and I don’t regret it ūüôā ¬†They have hard soles, good support, are super comfy and are adorable. ¬†She wears them a ton and they looked great. ¬†I have about 10000 photos of Ella on the wedding day, but didn’t snap any of my dress ūüôĀ

I struggle a bit with swimwear for babies. ¬†There are such cute little bikinis and suits but I hate the constant sunscreen struggle/sunburn worry! ¬†So I trend toward rash-guard type styles. ¬†The floral print suit with the hood has been a lifesaver and I LOVE it. ¬†I found it online at Coolibar, and even though it was pricey, the stretchy fabric makes it last a long time and it is so worth it. ¬†Ella went through a “I hate hats” stage, and this was helpful haha

I have linked as many pieces as I could find for you.  My closet is a mix of new and old, investment pieces and really affordable finds.  I hope you enjoy!

Lesley

 

 

 

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