I am so excited to announce that we are expecting Baby #2 AND Baby #3 at the end of this year.  In case the math didn’t quite add up for you…I am pregnant with twins!  We are so incredibly excited for our family to grow.  Yes, it was a big surprise and yes it took a while for it to sink in.  It still feels surreal at times.  I am currently 17 and a half weeks along.  I’m happy to be coming out of hiding…lol!…and ready to be proudly bumping now.

 

Summer arrived a little late here in Vancouver, but it’s now here and it’s hot!   I’m a sucker for all things bright and cheery in the hot weather.  To celebrate Summer in this glorious city, I thought I would share some of my Summer essentials.

1) My phone…obviously. I used to carry my big camera with me everywhere but find with a toddler in tow, my phone is just way easier.
2) A hat. On Tuesday I went for a big walk with my mother-in-law and Maddie. We stopped for smoothies and of course had ample play time at the water park. My mom wardrobe that day was all worked around wearing this hat. I picked it up the last time we were in Maui.
3) My prescription sunnies. I have been wearing these non-stop since I got them. They are from the Clearly Contacts Camilla d’Errico collection.
4) My hair goes up and back a lot when it’s hot. If I’m not wearing a hat, you will probably find me in one of my I Wear The Headdress turban hair wraps. This yellow is everything!
5) My Swell bottle goes everywhere with me. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
6) Sun protection is so important, but I like to use natural options. I just started using this one from Boo Bamboo Suncare. It is available at Whole Foods and also comes in one for your kids.
7) Picnics, time at the beach, or just relaxing at the park are all the best parts of Summer. This gorgeous  Everyday Family Blanket from Sunday Dry Goods is a must for all families or for those who’d like someone to curl up with them at the beach. They are a local Vancouver company too! Trust me you want to get your hands on one of their Turkish towels.
8 ) Fresh bright blooms in my house are the perfect way to bring a bit of the outdoors in. I often snip a rose or two from my garden, but sometimes I like to swing by my fave local florist, Tala Florist, for something different.

 

I am so excited for our annual double date night to Diner en Blanc.  This will be our 4th year attending.  Each year we get smarter about what to pack, what to wear, and what to pass on, so I thought I’d share some of our 4th year wisdom with you all.

Pack:

Pretty Linens can make your table scape so much more lovely then a boring white tablecloth.  Think lace, eyelet, or even layering a couple cloths to create a unique look.

Flowers for your table are a must.  This is the one area where colour is permitted.  We tend to not go too bold with the colour.  Soft pastels look gorgeous popped against all the white.

Lighting is always pretty on a table. Diner en Blanc is fire free, so start hunting for those little LED candles.  Bring a few light weight items for your candles to twinkle in.  Decorative birdcages, lanterns, or whatever other creative items you can think of.  Just remember you have to pack and carry it so don’t get too crazy.

Your table leader will make sure you get checklists of all the things you need to bring, but here are a few musts I bring every year.

sparklers

garbage bags

ziplock bags (for left overs)

dishcloth/ tea towel / paper towel (for spills and clean up)

things on wheels (so much easier to pull something with wheels rather than carrying everything)

lighter (for the sparklers…the little bit of permitted fire)

camera (it’s a spectacular event and you’ll want to capture every beautiful moment)

Wear: 

Wear head to toe white.  I know this sounds like a given, but I am always amazed by the girl who shows up in a gold dress.  Really? This happens every year.  Sure everyone may give her a look, but it totally takes away from what the event is all about.  Just wear some beautiful pure white and make it your own.  There are other ways to stand out in the crowd.

Add embellishments.  There is no need to keep your look boring.  I’m not so much into the over the top “costumes” people show up in, as it’s just not my style.  It gives us all something fun to look at though.  For tamer fun ideas…why not wear some jewelry in your hair?  Try topping off your glam boho look with a floral crown?  Add a dramatic caplet to your simple frock?  Just be sure to plan your outfit ahead of time. I am usually running around at the last minute trying to find something to wear.  I am happy to say my new dress for this year is hanging in my closet already.  I ordered it online so now I just need to work on the details.  For guys, embellishments can be a bit trickier.  They can still have fun though with cuff links, a bow tie, hat, and of course, the perfect pair of shades.

Pass: 

Ladies, hard pass on wearing your heels to the event.  You will be lugging stuff to the soiree, so keep your footwear cute but comfy.  A pair of white sandals are the perfect thing to make your life a whole lot easier.  If you can’t live without your heels, change into them once you are set up.  Just remember that, as the location is a secret, there’s no way of knowing ahead of time if you will be on grass, sand, or some other kind of dangerous surface for heels.  You’ll also be happy to have a pair of flats in your bag for the end of the night.

Don’t make overly complicated food.  We made this mistake our first year.  We spent the whole day cooking and prepping our dinner.  It was delicious but we were exhausted by the time we got there.  We have stuck to a more picnic style menu since.  We love charcuterie plates, salads, breads, olives, fruit, and of course a dessert.  I also totally recommend a thermos of cappuccino to cap off the evening.

Ladies, you really don’t need a purse.  I find it’s just one more thing to carry.  I often throw a tiny clutch in one of my bags with a lipgloss, some cash (cab fare for afterward), and my cell. It will be all that you need.

Lastly, make sure you take it all in.  Once your table is all set up, take a walk around and see all that the event and the venue has to offer.  There are sure to be some surprises around every corner.  Snap those pics!  Wishing all of you going this year a Happy Diner en Blanc!  Don’t forget to head on over to Alicia Fashionista for more fab info on Everything you need to know about Diner en Blanc!
Photos by: Alicia Winnett, Kerry Lawrence Photography, and my own.

 

I have been busy testing out some new beauty product and want to share some of my favourite Summer products.  The best part is that they are all drugstore brands so  they are affordable too!  Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these products the next time you are browsing the beauty department.

1) Makeup Revolution Blush Palette: This is a new brand to Canada!  Originally from London, they believe that quality products can still be affordable.  This palette has a more bronzy/metalicy look to it.  Perfect for sun kissed skin.

2) Jergens Hydrating Coconut Moisturizer: This big bottle of coconut deliciousness is sitting on my bathroom counter.  It makes my skin feel amazing and smells divine.

3) Nyx Ombre Blush: This fashion inspired blush adds a radiant flush of colour to my cheeks. It goes on silky and blends beautifully.

4) E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer:  I don’t like to cover my face with loads of makeup in the Summer months.  I have actually replaced my foundation with this awesome face primer.  It makes my skin look smooth and soft.  It evens out my skin tone and is the perfect base for my bronzing blushes.

5) Jergens Natural Glow self tanner:  I have been using Jergens for years and years for my gradual self tanning needs.  Their newest formula contains black tea to help enhance your colour without streaks and that weird sunless tanner smell.

6) Ogx Weightless Oil + Lifting Tonic:  It’s easy for your summer locks to look dry and limp.  This gravity defying tonic can be applied to either wet or dry hair and will boost and hydrate your hair.  This fresh formula with moisturize, volumize, and breathe life into your hair.  This one you’ll want to throw into your beach bag for a quick hair refresh.

Look for all these products at the London Drugs beauty department.
(Pretty floral cosmetic bag from Ted Baker)

 

Over the weekend I did a huge closet purge and organization.  I kept all my favourite pieces.  The ones I wear over and over again and truly love to wear.  My 20′s were all about having fun with my style.  I chose fashion over function and shoes were a big part of this. It still amazes me that I used to wear heels to work everyday, and I was on my feet all day. I can barely last a couple hours now.

Now in my mid-30′s, I’m all about the comfort.  Comfortable doesn’t have be ugly or outdated though.  I find I now buy brands that are timeless, versatile, and feel like butter on my feet.  Miz Mooz seems to be one of fave Summer shoe go-to’s.  When I was cleaning out my closet, overtime I picked up a pair of my Miz Mooz I’d say “Oh, I love these ones.” The top pair you have seen a few times on the blog this season.  They are the best everyday shoe.  The second pair I got last year (they have them back again this year) and are a great all season flat.  These were my updated solution to the ballet flat.  The bottom pair I also bought last year and have been great for weddings, events, or a dinner out with the hubs.

I am feeling excited about living with less, wearing the items I have more, and truly loving what’s in my closet.  Don’t ever feel like you “should” buy something just because it’s a trend.  Instead think about your lifestyle and what you like.  These items will last  you more than just a single season.  This is good news for the environment and for your bank account.

This post was not sponsored.  All opinions are my own…as always. 

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