October Favourites

I’m turning into a fall girl. The sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet as I go for a morning walk in the crisp air, bundled in layers of sweaters, scarves, knee socks, hats, and mitts, apple cider in my hands, boots warming my toes, in the presence of a rainbow of beautiful autumn colours in the environment. The smell of pumpkin chai tea steeping, pumpkin pie baking, pumpkin cinnamon candles burning, or fresh pumpkin seeds as you carve a jack-o-lantern. The taste of roasted squash, mashed turnips, diced rutabaga, or sweet corn. The beginning of cooler weather that is warm enough to withhold frost but cool enough that it prevents you from sweating. Saying grace around a feast of turkey and green beans in the company of my family on Thanksgiving. Haunted Houses, Scarecrows, Applesauce, Rain, Harvest, Butternut Squash Soup, Caramels, Trick or Treating, Raking, the list could go on and on. October Favourites1. Leather Driving Gloves 2. Posey Patch Cardigan 3. Fall Superfoods 4. Raw Edie Kalahari Purse 5. Cassette Society Spike Overall Skirt 6. Pins and Needles Chiffon Slit-Back Dress 7. Marlen Boots 8. Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Mason Jar Candle 9. Talula Trooper Jacket

October snuck up on me. Although it feels like I’ve been at school for longer than 4 weeks, September as a whole really flew by. Like any new month comes a new opportunity for change. Although you don’t really need a fresh month as a reason to embark on new opportunities, I find it easier and almost more promising to do so.

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I’m taking a month off from any major goals because I want to focus on just living. I’m not going to set any real expectations besides working on feeling good enough with my marks, my body, my nutrition choices and my social activities. I want to try Kabocha squash, I hope to post new recipes on the blog, I owe a few people letters especially with a new season having just started, I anticipate I’ll begin regularly reading blogs (and commenting) more often, I’m going to start knitting again, I will be making a DIY Halloween costume for myself, and there are a few meditation workshops on campus that I have signed up to take to better my health. Realistically blogging is going to be scarcer so I apologize for the odd timing or big gaps in between. Exams are approaching and school is my job so it should be a top priority.  Blogging still seems like a new concept in my world and with my ever-changing schedule I can’t expect perfection. Besides my life really isn’t that interesting any more, but my blog is a way to challenge myself to get out of my studying rut and complete a fun activity. That being said I’ve become involved in a lot of nutrition oriented clubs that seem applicable (hopefully not too boring) to share with you!IMG_3003 IMG_2970IMG_2969

So I guess I do have intentions but nothing too big or major, because everyday presents new opportunities and a concrete schedule isn’t manageable because of daily surprises. My ambitions for the month are just small fun things some of which I’m already doing, some of which I’ve done in the past and should reintegrate, and some of which have always interested me and been on my to-do list. What do you home to accomplish this month? Which season is your favourite? Can you believe I worked at Starbucks last autumn and have never tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte? ♥ Molly

“Autumn is a second spring when ever leaf is a flower. ” – Albert Camus

“Autumn, the year’s last loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant 

City Life and Shopping Tips

Today I am headed to Toronto. Despite living only about a half an hour way, I don’t make my way into the city that often. When I do go, the temptation of spending all my savings is so powerful as Toronto is home to some of the nicest shopping districts and boutiques in Canada. While I don’t exactly need a new wardrobe, I haven’t bought many summer items this year. My friend from High school, Megan, goes to the University of Toronto and has a Condo downtown. I see her on a daily basis as she is my gym buddy (she’s a great motivator and doesn’t take “I’m tired” as an answer), but the few breaks that we take in between laps at the pool don’t offer us enough time to catch up. We’ve been meaning to have a girls night for awhile now, and we decided that we wanted to escape Oakville for a fun shopping trip. I’ll be catching the train around 10:00 a.m. and then coming home tomorrow in time for my driving lesson at 3:00p.m. This leaves us lots of time to shop, chat, eat, and of course watch chick flicks. I really hope to go to Brandy Melville as I’ve never been, try out a Vegan restaurant called “Fresh” and then check out some of my favourite stores including Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. Since I have another shopping trip planned for later this week, I’m limiting my purchases to essentials only. I make myself sound like a “crazy” spender but in fact, I actually have trouble parting with money. I fall in love with so many clothes but by the time I reach the cash I’ve usually talked myself out of most of my finds. This being said, I do consciously think of a few tips before and during my excursions. I try to …

  • Shop with a list:  Today I hope to find a new sunglasses, a pair of cute sandals or wedges, a fashionable bathing suit, and a pair of shorts. These are all things that I need. Even though I probably have too many dresses, they are never frivolous purchases because they are something I wear frequently. I am going to try my best to refrain from buying one, but I won’t be that upset if I happen to find a cute maxi on sale.
  • Set a budget: I’m pre-setting a budget, because I don’t want to get caught up in the moment and overspend on things that I don’t need or won’t use. I’m going to try and use cash for clothing purchases as I find it helps me stay conscious of my total spendings. Did you know that statistics show that you are willing to pay up to 50% more for an item if you are putting it on your credit or debit card? Of course it’s not safe to carry too many lose coins and bills, so I’ll be using debit (lower limit) for food and travel expenses.
  • Start Early: We picked an early start time so that we don’t get stuck in traffic on our way into the city, the malls are less busy and we aren’t fatigued from a day’s worth of activities. We are also mid-week as opposed to the weekend in hopes of avoiding crowds since many will be working.
  • Set a timeframe: While we have all day to shop around the city, we have many areas to check out such as the Eaton Centre and Queen Street. We don’t want to be mindlessly wandering as we have other things on our to-do list.
  • Look Online: To be honest, I already have an idea of exactly what I want to buy. I’m not getting my hopes up since stores hardly ever have the exact item I am looking for, but it gave me a rough idea about sales, prices and what to watch for.
  • Pack Snacks: Nobody can have fun if they are hungry. Food courts don’t always offer the healthiest eats, and you don’t want to be wasting your time searching for a snack when you could be better using your time to try on clothes. I know that I get emotional if I am starving, and I don’t want to have a meltdown in the change room.
  • Trust my instincts: If you aren’t sure, put something on hold. It’s much easier to go back to a store than it is to make a return, especially if you only receive a “store credit”. Shop with a friend who’s opinion you value because it’s hard to trust a sales person who is more focused on selling than whether or not the outfit truly suits your body.

July Finds 2 July Finds July Finds 31. Brya Skirt 2. Solitude 3. Polka Dot Bikini 4. Antica Maxi Dress 5. Floral Wayfarer Sunglasses 6. Kimchi Blue Molly Jacquard Pinup Short

Happy Tuesday! What are you mindful of when going to a mall? Do you pre-shop online or do you like to be surprised when entering a store? What is your favourite trend right now? ♥ Molly

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek 

Family Fashion Show

It’s Fashion Friday… Only one day late! I had high hopes of publishing this post yesterday, but after a long night on the runway, I woke up too tired to do the event justice. My apologies in advance for the quality of photography, as I only had my iPhone to document the evening. I know what you are thinking… If you give me 7inch heels, I can pretend to be 6 feet tall, but the reality is, my frame is “petite” and I am by no means “runway” material. As a kid, I did a few modeling classes here and there, but I much preferred competitive dancing to posing. I’ve been told I could do “commercials” because I have a bubbly personality and a versatile look, but my face is far too “young” for the runway. photo-91 First Outfit

1. Sunstrip Pullover 2. Pilcro Hyphen Relaxed Jeans 3. Brixton Satchel

So when Emma came home from her job eagerly presenting this “Mini Fashion Show” opportunity, I didn’t exactly know what to say. Emma works a retail position at Anthropologie in Oakville. While my frame fits better into Urban Outfitters, a sister company, Anthropologie is by far Caitlin’s, Emma’s and my Mom’s favourite store! Their materials are durable yet feminine, their styles are unique but still trendy and their accessories can definitely take an outfit to the next level. Don’t even get me started on their kitchen and home décor section. If only money was unlimited!

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1. Shadow Bloom Top 2. Striped Remy Skirt 3. Matte Geo Shades

The great part about Anthropologie is that they really engage in appreciating their customers. Sometimes they offer complimentary lemonade as a refreshing treat, and in this case, they were putting on a fashion show at the Shops of Don Mills in Toronto for loyal shoppers! The fashion show did a great job representing a range of body types and ages. It was a family affair as my mom, Emma and I all modelled. My grandmother, Caitlin and Lottie also came to watch the event. Afterwards, they had cake pops, chicken skewers, tomato with boccaccini cheese and even Sangria. photo-93 IMG_2365-1 photo-94 The event was fun, and even got me thinking about how I can better dress my body, since their stylist chose out my two outfits. It was a great way to see clothing come to life, and to try on outfits you wouldn’t normally dress yourself in. Thank you Anthropologie for putting on a fun evening. ♥ Molly

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint-Laurent

DIY: Daily Calendar

Two Christmas’s ago, my sister made me a “Calendar a Day”. She knows that I have tried to journal, (unsuccessfully) and thought it would be a good way for me to remember fun activities that I participate in. We were supposed to start on January 1st 2012, but I still haven’t started yet … Whoops! My plan is to start today, as another July goal.


The idea is, each day you write down the most enjoyable thing that you did. The following year, you get to look back and reflect on how similar or different your memorable moment was to the year (or years) before.

You might have seen something similar in the form of a book or memory jar. I know Chapters sells journals that are 365 pages long, with a “Question a Day”. It gives you the space to write in the last two digits of 20__, so that you can see how your answer differs from year to year. I believe it works for 5 years. It’s a great way to track how your outlook and opinion on life matters is changing.

Our homemade daily calendar is pretty fun to make, and doesn’t take too much time. It’s also an extremely affordable craft. As I said, my sister Emma made me mine about a year and a half ago, but we made one together (Slightly modified) a few weeks back as a housewarming gift for a family friend. Here is a step by step, photo by photo, tutorial. All you need to gather is:

  • 183 Large Cue cards (Each is cut into two, you will have one half extra)
  • Alphabet Stamps and Stamp Pad
  • 1 pen (We used a Steadtler Fine tip Pen)
  • Scissors (We used a Paper Cutter)
  • Decorations
  • 4 sheets, regular size paper, Cardstock

Note: If you don’t have alphabet stamps, you can write the letters instead. If you have number stamps, you can use number stamps instead of writing the days of the month. You may also choose to print off the title of each month (Emma did that on mine) and or print off a picture for each month. To save some time, you could also buy smaller cue cards instead of cutting large ones in half. Just make sure the lines will be going the right way! 

Calendar A Day

  1. Slice large cue cards in half, widthwise.
  2. Divide cue-card halves into monthly piles (29, 30 or 31 days).
  3. Stamp (or write) the initial of the month, on each pile of cue cards. The first time we made these, we did the first three initials of each month, but that takes longer!
  4. Number each pile, from 1-29, 1-30 or 1-31 using a stamp or pen.
  5. Cut 12, slightly larger rectangles, out of cardstock. (About 1/3 cardstock paper each, trimmed)
  6. Decorate each cardstock to your personal liking, but be sure to include the title of the month.
  7. Buy a container to store the cue cards in. We used a fruit basket that we picked up at Anthropologie.
  8. Use it! Write a daily accomplishment each day!

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So there you have it. A personalized journal, that takes all of a minute to write in, each day. It’s not your typical “planning calendar”, nor is it a journal that you devote emotions in. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s definitely a great memory keepsake. Emma is always saying “On this day last year…” (The example above is actually hers) which helps us to remember small details about our past. Ceasare Pavese once said, “We do not remember days; we remember moments”. This journal calendar allows us to do both! ♥ Molly

“I’ve never managed to keep a journal longer than two weeks.” – J. K. Rowling

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” – The Wonder Years

July Favourites

It is hard to believe that it is July already, as it feels like June had just begun. This is by far my favourite month, as it contains 31 days, is usually the month for our family vacation, fosters reunions with friends that moved away for school, brings warmer weather, allows for beach trips, is the “in season” for fresh berries, encloses Canada Day and Independence Day and of course is the month my own birthday falls within! Here are some of the things I already love about July.

July Favourites1. Ivivva Double-Dutch Tank 2. Mini Latte Bowls 3. Nectarines 4.Sunglow Stripes Dress 5. Inspirational Quotes 6. “Word Art” Disposable Cameras 7. Clear Wayfarer Sunglasses 8. The Fault in Our Stars Novel 9. Rampup Wedges 10. iPhone Editing App. “A Beautiful Mess”

Since July is often very busy, I typically have less time for myself. While I love get-togethers, I don’t want to lose sight of my own goals.Along with a few academic and fitness aspirations (not mentioned), I have set five blog and five personal goals that are S.M.A.R.T.. This is what I am motivated to achieve for the month of July:

Blog Goals

  • Participate in Marvelous Monday and What I ate Wednesday at least once! I have been hesitant to join these movements as I am still unsure which direction my blog is going to travel in. I haven’t quite figured out my target audience, so I don’t know whether or not my readers will enjoy these types of posts. Regardless, both “link-ups” are great for earning new followers and I know they will enhance my blogging experience. I’d like to become part of the blogging community so that in future I can attend conferences such as the Blend Retreat, HLS and BlogHer.
  • Create at least 2 DIY posts. Right now my blog is more focused on recipes than my everyday living. I thoroughly enjoy crafts and I haven’t been sharing those that I do on a regular basis! I hope to feature more photos and less words, since lately my posts have been lengthy.
  • Comment on posts more often. I read my “blogroll” daily, however I don’t always take the time to let the blogger know I relate to his or her post. I know how much I appreciate comments, and I definitely want to recognize the effort bloggers put into their websites.
  • Try a new recipe each week and create a new recipe each week. I’d love to venture out from my cooking style by trying recipes that I can find off of pinterest, other blogs, cookbooks and the television.
  • Complete my first review. I’ve actually been sent some products to review, after a company heard that I am blogging. I’d like to feature my first giveaway this month! My only hesitation is that I still don’t have a ton of followers, but I guess that just increases everyone’s chance of winning!

Personal Goals

  • Try one new food each week. I love going to the grocery store and picking out products. This month I am going to challenge myself to cook foods of different ethnicities. I’d love to try new fruits and vegetables, especially those deemed “superfoods”. I’m currently working on exposing myself to more coconut since I am just beginning to like its flavour!
  • Develop a new hobby. My sister Emma is very talented at crocheting. So far I only know how to sew and knit. I’d love to learn how to crochet as well! I will also continue to improve my photography skills and baking techniques.
  • Finalize my summer plans! I have recently booked my flight for a trip at the end of August, but I want to work on some details for a family trip this July.
  • Read. I love reading but these days I seem to be too busy to spend time absorbing a good novel. The last novel I read was “Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult and it was so good that I finished it in two days. I hope to reincorporate reading into my bedtime routine so that I am spending less time exposed to bright lights, and more time winding down before falling asleep. It’s just one more thing that I can do for self-care and myself.
  • Be more easy going. Traffic, slow walkers and other things that throw me off of schedule, can really get on my nerves. I hope to become more patient and be less of a perfectionist. I want my summer to be enjoyable and relaxing, so I am going to try to go with the flow. This will include my appearance, as I want to spend less time straightening my hair and more time embracing its natural wave and frizz. While I am always optimistic, I do let others influence my mood, and I want to focus on finding the good in every situation so that I don’t take anything in my life for granted. There is always something to be thankful for!

What do you hope to complete this month? Do you take time off for holidays in July, or is it no different than April and June? What are your July Favourites? Have any inspirational quotes or tips that make you even more productive? ♥ Molly

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. – Albert Einstein

June Favourites

Yesterday I spent the day laying on the couch as I was feeling under the weather. My mom made sure that I stayed hydrated and helped heal my ears with drops.

I rarely watch TV, or if I do it’s usually through my laptop while I am completing another activity. I am not great at sitting still and often miss the key events of an episode since I daydream about things that need to get done. However, because you can only sleep for so long and I just didn’t have the energy to get up, I found myself browsing through PVR, The Food Network, TLC and of course shows like Ellen DeGeneres and Dr. Oz yesterday.

I also used this time to search for summer joys and accessories. Here are my favourite June finds so far!

June Favourites copy

1. “Bikini So Teeny” Nail Polish 2. Oh Hello Friend Blog 3. Bonjour iPhone 5 Case 4. Bloch Reidmayer Turquois Ballet Flats 5. Matryoshka Organic Hand Printed Organic Cotton 6. Confection Bow Earrings 7. Gardenhead Daisy Halo Headwrap 8. Petite Stitched Soliloquy Dress

What are your favourite things to do when you aren’t feeling at your best?  ♥ Molly

“A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” – Mary Poppins

Happy Sunday

Today I enjoyed the beautiful sunshine downtown with Lottie, Emma, Caitlin and my Mom. It was very busy on Lakeshore as there was a sidewalk sale.

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We visited one of my favourite stores Anthropologie, and stopped for coffee at Croissant Express. Did you manage to have a relaxing Sunday?  ♥ Molly

“The whole point of the week is the weekend.” – Angela Montenegro