Spring Style

Spring is officially here and before you know it, you’ll be packing up your winter coat until November (in my case I will be packing it up until winter 2019!). In honor of the first day of Spring, I want to share some style inspo so you can clean and freshen up your style!

First, clean out your closet! I use the rule that if I haven’t worn a piece of clothing in two years it is time to get rid of it. A quick and easy way to get rid of old clothing is to donate it to the goodwill. If you have name brand clothing that is still in good condition try selling online to get some money back such as on Carousell or Poshmark in the U.S. My sisters and I give a lot of our old clothing to our younger cousins which you could do within your family as well!

Styles are forever changing and once you’ve gotten rid of your old clothes you have reason to buy some new pieces! Here are some outfit ideas for spring that you can easily replicate for elegant and effortless style.

I recently added a pair of overalls to my wardrobe for under $50 and I absolutely love them, plus they are perfect for spring! Hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday!

~ljd

The Detailing of a Perfect Bride – Brought to You by Women in Windsor, Ont

Though some may say the dress is the most important part of a bride on her wedding day, I want to take you in depth at all of the other elements that capture a beautiful bride. Last week I was very fortunate to get a backstage look at some of the major components of weddings today in the “White Room” at the Water’s Edge event center! From the venue, to makeup, flowers, and more – there are many things that one might not even think of when it comes to this very special day.

VenueWater’s Edge

Located on Windsor’s Riverside drive, this old church has been completely revamped into a beautiful venue center! The shoot was located in the “White Room” where many wedding and baby showers are held! Upstairs the grand ballroom is used for weddings and receptions. If you are looking for a traditional venue with a twist, this is a must see!

Wedding DecoratorSoirée Event Extraordinaire

From table cloths to chairs, Soirée does it all! I had a chance to meet Rosemary and see her amazing work of table settings. The simple elegant look that she created has become a timeless classic for weddings today. Decorated with small tea lights and large candle pieces at the end, the table looked absolutely beautiful. My favorite part was that each plate was finished off with a unique and vintage broach that have been repurposed as napkin holders!

To see more work by Soirée click here!

FlowersPetals Floral Design

Some may say that faux flower arrangements are the new thing but I beg to disagree, especially after I saw Kaleigh’s work. Kaleigh Hayes started her own business named Petals Floral Design about 5 years ago and has been blooming ever since. For the shoot Kaleigh decorated the table and chandlier with garland, and had a center piece and bouquet filled with garden roses. Kaleigh told me that the upcoming trend for brides is long garland running along the tables! Petals Floral Design specializes in weddings and events, so if you’re in the market for beautiful and fresh flowers, Kaleigh is the one to call!

PicturesNina Keast Design and Photography

Pictures are memories that last a lifetime, and when it comes to your big day, you’re going to need perfect pictures. Nina Keast is 25 years old and started her business 4 years ago in Windsor. Nina should become your go to girl, from wedding to pregnancy shoots, she captures everything in beautiful images.

To see more of Nina’s work click here!

The CakeSweet Bay Cake Decorator

Macaroons and cakes are some of her specialities, Laura Gentili is a baker that you must check out for your big day!

Chalk SignsThe Chalk Shoppe

Chalk signs have blown up in the wedding industry and are a great way to add a personal touch to your special day! Dayna Martin is a chalk sign fanatic and you should definitely check her out for your next great art piece!

MakeupElizabeth Bassett

Certainly last but not least is my beautiful cousin Elizabeth Bassett. Liz, has had a passion for fashion, hair and makeup for as long as I can remember and in January she obtained her certificate in Makeup design from George Brown School of Makeup and Esthetics. Recently she opened her own business Elizabeth Bassett Style specializing in makeup and style aid. From anything to prom makeup to helping pick out your wedding dress, Elizabeth is one of the best Windsor and Toronto has to offer. For the shoot Elizabeth styled all three models with hair, makeup and dresses.

To see more of Elizabeth’s amazing work click here!

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At the end of the day I was very impressed with all of the work done by the ladies in Windsor. In a few weeks I will make a new post with the professional pictures from the shoot!

~ljd

Taco Soup

When I cook the key things I think about are convenience and quickness. A few years ago I found a recipe on Pinterest for taco soup, and I fell in love. Over the years I have made my own tweaks and improvements, perfecting the taco soup.

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions:

Place all of the ingredients into large pot. Fill one of the emptied tomato cans with water and mix in with ingredients. Cover pot with lid and place on medium/high heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until hot. (If you are not in a rush for dinner you can put the pot on low/medium heat for 1-2 hours and then reheat for dinner for additional flavor.)

If you want to freeze the soup for a later date, let cool before putting into containers. To serve hot, fill a bowl and put a large spoon full of sour cream in the center. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the soup and finish by crushing a few tortilla chips over the top!

This is a very simple recipe with no prep! I have made this soup for a ton of people and everyone loves it (even those who don’t normally like beans). I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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~ljd

Raw Bars

You may have heard of a blogger named Song of Style or Aimee Song. A few months ago Aimee started to make what she called Raw Bars and she posted her own how to video on how to make them (without measurements though!) So I decided to take matters into my own hands and give you guys a step by step with measurements, so that you too can make these very healthy and yummy bars at home!

Ingredients:

  • Quick oats (or half whole oats and half quick) – 2 cups
  • Chia Seeds – 1/4 of a cup
  • Walnuts – 1/3 cup chopped
  • Sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup
  • Coconut oil – 1/3 cup (or two large table spoons)
  • Pinch of salt (pepper optional)
  • Dates – Pitted (12 large or 15 small)
  • Coconut flakes – Sprinkled on the top (I used bigger coconut pieces but the choice is up to you!)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cover the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with a little bit of olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl mix oats, chia sees, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and coconut oil. If coconut oil is hard put in microwave for a few seconds until soft. Work in the coconut oil with your hands removing any chunks.
  4. Pour the oat mixture onto the baking sheet and place into the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the pan and mix the oats around. Place back in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Once golden brown remove the oat mixture from oven and let cool.
  6. Once cooled, cut dates into small pieces and squish into the oat mixture.
  7. In an 8×8 pan lined with parchment, put mixture into the pan and press down firmly.
  8. Sprinkle coconut flakes over the top and lightly press into the bars.
  9. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until solid.
  10. Cut into rectangles or triangle bars and place into a container or wrap with parchment.

And there you have it! Super easy and healthy “Raw bars”. You can choose to keep the bars on the counter or in the fridge depending on if you want them room temperature or cold!

 

Let me know if you try the recipe and how it worked out for you!

~ljd

Goodbye Toronto!

In January I got accepted to go on exchange to France. Now you are probably all thinking, Oh My Goodness! She’s going back on exchange… that’s awesome! Well sorry to break it to ya, but not exactly. You see the thing is that I didn’t just apply to go to France.

Last summer I was joking around with a few of my co-workers that I was going to go and live in Barbados. Because my Mom also worked at the Golf Course she quickly found out what I was planning and shut my plans down. Fast forward to November when I am trying to figure out my life (which by the way still has not happened) and I realized that the chances that I would be put into a University in Paris were very slim, like very. Not because I don’t have good marks or references but because my university likes sending English and French majors to Paris, not Political Science students. I needed to find a back up plan and fast because the application deadline was creeping up on me.

Then in January I got accepted into Paris (and the surrounding area). ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! So I accepted the offer. Meanwhile I was still waiting to hear back from my other application. So I waited, and waited, and waited. And a few days ago it finally it came.

I am very excited to announce that I will yet again be an exchange student but this time at the University of West Indies – Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. I will be continuing my education there in a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and French. Obviously this is a little different as I am currently obtaining a Bachelor of Arts and I will also be a senior because university is only 3 years in Barbados.

I just want to thank everyone for being extremely supportive in my decision, especially my parents. (Oh just so you know, once my Mom and Dad realized that I would be taking half of my courses in French and the other half in English they loved the idea of me going to another country). 30 degrees all year round sounds pretty good to me!

And so the Blonde Traveler is on the move yet again.

Love,

Libbey Jean

 

Start Focusing on the Good Stuff

Have you ever noticed how much time people spend on their phones? Or how much time you spend on yours? Recently I was sitting in a cafe with my mom, drinking lattes and eating croissants and as I watched people walking down the street I noticed people staring at their phones.

I continued looking out the window and groups of twos, threes, and fours would walk by and at least one person was on their phone while the others talked. I couldn’t believe that on such a beautiful day and spending time with friends or family that some people cared more about whatever was going on online.

I brought the topic up to my mom and she had an amazing thing to say. “Imagine you pay a couple hundred bucks to go and see your favorite singer in concert. Some people are so worried about getting the perfect picture or video that they aren’t even paying attention to the actual concert. Why spend a lot of money on someone you want to see in real life , when you are still looking at them through a screen.”

A few weeks ago I forgot my laptop in Wheatley and for an entire week I didn’t have it in Toronto. I could not believe how many situations I was in where I was like “Wow I wish I had my laptop right now!” The amount of time I spent on the internet is horrible, so I’ve tried to make it a mission to spend less time in the virtual world and more time focusing on the real one. Try putting your phone down and going for a walk, or hanging out with friends (sans cellphone!). Once I started focusing on the good stuff I felt at ease. I wasn’t trying to take the perfect picture, I had no one to impress on social media, I was actually there in the moment. Life is short so instead of walking down the street with phone in hand try talking to your friends.

This weekend I encourage everyone to take a break from the internet, from facebook, from texting. Put your phone, iPad , or laptop down for just a few minutes and enjoy the good view.

~ljd

Unexpectedly Warm Weekend

Reading week quickly came to an end and before I knew it we were loading up the car with kids and luggage to head back to school. Saturday we dropped Ivy and Declan off in Waterloo before heading to Toronto. Mom and Elle spent the night with me because Elle had her last official India meeting before she leaves on FRIDAY!!!! We are all extremely jealous! She is going to be the first person in our family to travel to India where she is going to be spending a little more than two weeks teaching children English and touring the country.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early to drop Elle off at school and then Mom and I went out for coffee. Our go to spot has been Bobette and Belle but we wanted to try something new so we walked across the street into a little bakery called Patisserie Sebastien. Let me just say it was extremely French and delicious. Mom and I both got lattes and a croissant to share. That was our first mistake and we ended up ordering another croissant and more lattes. The chef was French, so Mom made me order in French just so she could listen to me (it was extremely awkward lol).

We did some shopping at Yorkdale and after we picked up Elle we returned so that she could buy a few more things for her trip. Mom dropped me off at school in the early afternoon and they left for home. The rest of the afternoon I did some reading in my window sill as it was so nice and sunny and I watched The Zookeeper’s Wife. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! It’s on Netflix, so watch it while it’s there.

Today was a regular Monday, except my school is bustling as there is a very high chance that we will be going on strike as of next Monday. I really hope that it is avoided so that we can just continue the semester as normal, but it doesn’t seem like my wishes will come true. As many of you know I have been working extremely hard on a piece for my art class and I have been trying to get as much as possible finished in case we do strike. Today I finished about 4 more panels and I am super excited to share what I have finished so far with all of you. (A huge thank you to my Aunt Chris for helping me pick out the best paint!)

I hope that you all have a fabulous week! Talk soon,

Libbey

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Why it’s Important Companies Have Good Customer Service

I can without a doubt name my favourite customer service agents for companies. Lululemon, Starbucks, Otterbox. When I am buying a product, I want to know that if something goes wrong or I am unhappy with its service, that the company will step in and try to help me. I’m not going to lie, I complain a lot. Like a lot, a lot. People in my family even ask me to complain for them because they know I will get them results (which is true, I do get results).

I actually enjoy buying a good quality product that I can recommend to people. If this product is $100 and the generic product is $10, if I know that the $100 product will go with me in the long run and if something did happen to it, customer service would help me out, then you can be darn tooting that’s the one I’m buying. I never cheap out, ever.

Over the past few years, Lululemon has been offering new fabrics (luon or mesh tights), some of which I have not liked. In the summer I had purchased a pair of tights with mesh, and after one wear the mesh started to rip. After a quick chat through customer service, the agent was happy to send me a gift card for the full price of the tights (you have to send the ripped tights back to the company). Even if the prices of their tights range from about $60-120, I don’t mind spending a little extra money knowing that I am going to be getting a good quality tight. And if not? Customer service will find the best solution to make you happy.

The key thing I tell people is that big companies pay people to help you. So if you ever have a question about products or services, it’s only a quick email or call away. As my mom always says, it never hurts to ask. If you feel entitled to a certain quality or service, then let the company know how they performed. All in all, don’t skip out on products because most of the time they will disappoint you in the end. If spending a few extra dollars means a guarantee for a good product or customer service, then to me it is with it 100%.

~ljd

20! 20! 20!

20 on the 20th is the slogan this year baby! I’ve been excited for my Champagne birthday for years and today, it is finally here. I just wanted to thank everyone sending the love and best wishes today, it really means a lot. I hope that this year is filled with new friendships, new adventures and a lot more laughs.

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15 years later and still a sunbathing beauty

Even though today is my birthday, it is a very sad day for my family. As many of you may know my Uncle Doug passed away and today is the viewing. We are all truly devastated. I am asking for prayers for my entire family, but especially for my beautiful Aunt Karen ❤

Love,

Libbey Jean

Spring Break Can Still Be Stylish

Spring Break is just around the corner and I could not be any more excited! For many of us Spring Break is an excuse to hit the beach all day every day for seven days, and not worry about much except for what swimsuit we are going to wear the next day. Instead of throwing on a random pair of shorts when you go into town try these alternatives for a chic upgrade.I always dress up a little when I go out to town or for dinner, it means if there is a perfect picture op you will look your best!

Pro Tip: Whites, blacks and bright pinks will make your tan pop!

All sources can be found on
https://www.pinterest.ca/libbeyd/clothes-clothes-clothes/

~ljd