Transition Into Fall Flawlessly

Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons. It isn’t too cold, the colors outside are beautiful and most importantly fall fashion is gorgeous! Because I am living in the year round summer sun, I thought I would share some of my fall favorites that will allow you to transition from your end of summer vibes into full pumpkin spice.

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Fall is all about neutral colors and plaids, so why not mix the two together? This is a perfect example of doing just that and also layering. It often is cooler in the morning and in the evening so be sure to wear layers, so you aren’t too hot during the middle of the day!

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Jean skirts are the perfect way to show off the last of you summer tan before it gets cold outside! Pair a jean skirt with a knit sweater for the ultimate fall look.

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Who says you can’t wear white after labour day? My rule is that as long as there isn’t snow on the ground, white is a go! Pairing jeans with a cute sandal or wedge is a great way to transition into the fall weather.

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I love all things knit and this knit dress is giving me the feels! Pair long sleeved dresses with a short bootie for a classy and cute fall look.

Here are some more of my fall favs:

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Click here to buy this super cute cardigan!

Well I hope these looks give you some inspiration for your fall wardrobe. As for me, I’ll be in my bikini for the rest of the weekend soaking up the sun.

Love,

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Back to School

As soon as August hits, I know the end of summer is near and back to school shopping begins. Though this year my school uniform will be an assorted array of bikinis, I thought that I would do a “Back to College/University” fashion guide, in honor of no one in my family being in high school anymore. With Ivy going into her second year at the Wilfred Laurier University and Elle attending the University of Waterloo, their style game has got to be perfect. I’ve already given them the inside scoop and today I’m going to share that with all of you.

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To see this look click here!

An oversized knit sweater: This is a fashion must have! When sitting in lectures in a freezing cold auditorium you’ll be happy to have a cute and cozy layer! In September and October, be sure to wear a light shirt underneath so when the afternoon sun comes out you can transition your outfit like a pro.

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To see this look click here!

Stripes and Black Jeans: I love everything striped and checked because it is so easy to dress up and down! This outfit is chic and casual at the same time (you don’t want to look like you are trying too hard!). If you don’t own a pair of black jeans be sure to put them on your shopping list, not only do they match everything but they can be worn from school, to work, to dates!

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To see this look click here!

Who says you can’t wear white after labour day?: In personal experience, in some classes you have to dress nicer than others, whether it’s to stand out, impress the teacher or even fit in with everyone else! This outfit is a perfect example of how to “dress up” when going to class! My key rule is you can wear white jeans until it starts snowing (otherwise you will blend in)!

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To see this look click here!

No more bad hair days!: College/ University comes with many new found freedoms and in my cases no dress code. You can now take use of your entire wardrobe, even when you’re in class! Throw on a hat when you’re running late and no one will even know you were having a bad hair day. Work the accessories girl!

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To see this look click here!

T-shirt dress: I love a good t-shirt dress and they are perfect for back to school and fall. Add a jean jacket or army coat when you need a layer and you’ll have the perfect outfit!

Overall, just be yourself! Wear what makes you comfortable because that is what’s going to make you happy! Have fun back to school shopping and a huge good luck to anyone going into their first year of college/uni (especially my little sister Elle Belly).

Love always,

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If you are in need of more ideas be sure to check out my Spring Style post! You’ll be sure to find some other great options for this weekend and for Spring!

From Chicago to Cambodia

Sometimes you meet people when you’re little, you stay friends with them for a few years and then move on with your lives. Well that is not the case with Bella or any other member of our girls group. About 15 years ago a group of us got together and we became friends for life. Today, some of us are living in Canada, the others in the U.S and Bella all the way in Cambodia. But we still try to see each other at least once a year. No matter how long we are separated we always pick up the conversation right where we left off, and that my friends is a great friendship. I am delighted to have this beautiful woman on my blog today and I hope that you enjoy reading a glimpse into her Cambodian life. 

Love, Libbey 

Two years ago I unexpectedly found myself living in Cambodia-home to the historical burdens of a genocide and communism, Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia and shares a border with Thailand and Vietnam.

Being brought to Cambodia by a job opportunity, the original plan was to stay here for 2 months. 2 months easily turned into 2 years as more of my energy was invested into a counter-trafficking project and the Cambodian communities.

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Many of my co-workers call me “Khmer” (Cambodian people are commonly referred to as being Khmer).

I laugh because although I eat the street food, speak a basic level of the language, ride a motorcycle and have taken on many mannerisms of my community etc.- I will never be Khmer, nor should I strive to be.

I am an American. Growing up in this nation is embedded into me in both conscious and unconscious ways. Wherever I go, I bring with me the foundational beliefs and values of our nation. To deny the American in me would be to deny a core of my being.

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Although I have made a home in Cambodia for an extended period of time, I am a guest. As a guest in Cambodia, I can kick my shoes off and relax, but must do so respectfully with a full understanding of my place in the Cambodian community. In doing so, my ability to take a continuous learner’s perspective comes naturally.

Although it has been two years striving to understand Cambodia- the behaviors of its people, the possibilities for growth and burdens of the country, I am always finding that any conclusion or insight I find always has a deeper layer to it.

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The reasons for traveling or living internationally can be broken down into 2 motivations. Either an individual is 1) running away from something 2) running towards something. Whether you fit into either of this motivations, the perspective you take on as a traveler will determine your ability to benefit from your traveling.

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These pictures serve as a tribute to those people who have helped me understand my role as a guest.

~ Bella McKay

A European Adventure

Hi everyone! Today I am super excited to introduce one of my childhood best friends Jessie to The Blonde Traveler. Jessie is here to tell you about some of her adventures from her cross Europe tour she took in May!

Love, Libbey

Oh hey there readers of Libbey’s blog. I’m Jessie and I went to Europe for the month of May! I have previously done the “backpacking thing” and didn’t want to go through the whole planning process again so one my best friends and I decided to do a Contiki tour and then a couple countries on our own afterwards. The tour was great! It took care of all the transportation and accommodations and I met some absolutely amazing people! 

My trip began in London and then I travelled to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Venice, Rome, Paris and Brussels. I covered a lot of ground during the three weeks I was in Europe, so I’ll just mention some of my favourites.   

Numero uno: Elan Café in London. One of my favourite things we did while in London was going to the Elan Café. Not only did they have fabulous desserts, but its décor made for some totally insta-worthy pictures. The one we went to was within walking distance of Hyde Park so we spent the day there and then headed over to the café for dessert and tea.

2) Edam. During our stay in Amsterdam, we took a short drive to this little town that’s known for their cheese. We all got to ride granny bikes and see how beautiful this place was and then we made our way to a clog- making demonstration with a cheese and wine tasting. This is where I also discovered my love for stroopwaffels- they’re flattened waffles with a delicious syrup in the middle.

3) In Prague we took a guided bike tour of the city. It lasted about three hours and it was amazing how much we got to see during that time. The architecture in Prague is beautiful and it was just nice to walk around and explore. Some of my favourite things included their chimney cones (basically a donut cone stuffed with ice cream) and beer garden which had a beautiful view of the city. It was also fun getting to write on the John Lennon wall. 

4) A Mozart and Strauss concert and Prater park in Vienna. My tour group went to a concert in the Grand Opera Hall in Vienna. We all got to dress up and listen to some beautiful music and opera and then later on we went to Vienna’s amusement park, Prater park, and spent the night on roller coasters.

5) Perogies in Krakow. I have had perogies before, if you count the kind that comes frozen from the grocery store, but they are nothing like true polish perogies. While in Krakow, they had a market set up with tons of little booths and vendors, some of which sold perogies, some fried, some not, both delicious. I also tried dessert perogies stuffed with raspberry jam and they were also super good.

6) Architecture and food in Brussels. I love my fries and I’ve heard that the ones in Belgium are wonderful so for that reason, Brussels made it onto my list of countries to travel to this summer. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed, the frites came in a huge cone and they were super yummy. I was also a fan of their waffles, my fav were the Liege ones because they were super sweet. The architecture in the Grand Place was gorgeous during the day and at night it was fun just walking around the city. My inner science nerd also loved going to The Atomium.

I had an incredible trip with incredible people and I can’t wait until my next adventure. It truly was the trip of a lifetime and an experience I’ll never forget.

I also would like to shout out Romana Gelateria for having theeee BEST gelato and Libbey- it was an honour to make a guest appearance on your blog!

Xoxo,

Jessie (a brunette traveller)

Summer Thrifting

The other day, my Mom came home and told me she bought some patio furniture at a garage sale. I just gave a “oh” nod and walked away, mainly because I thought it was going to be old ugly junk. The next morning when I woke up and went outside, I saw the coolest, vintage patio furniture sitting in our driveway. I couldn’t believe my Mom had only paid $35 bucks and walked away with some pretty sweet additions for our porch.

I love summer and I love patio season even more. I love waking up and sitting on the porch drinking my tea, or watching the sunset in the evening. Something old does not mean it is junk. This summer I challenge you to embrace other peoples old things and turn them into your “new”. Thrifting is so easy, plus its almost always cheap, and who knows you could find your next “it” piece. I encourage you to stop at a yard sale or your local thrift store and I can almost guarantee you’ll have fun and maybe some laughs!

I fell in love with vintage clothing when I was in grade 8 and it brings me joy to find old and rare pieces that I can make mine. The best part is, the chances of you seeing someone in the exact same vintage piece on the same day you’re wearing it is extremely rare. Find joy in finding the unique pieces that represent who you are, because hardly ever do people talk about the jeans you bought at Abercrombie.

Love,

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The Traveling Girls

I have some pretty amazing friends that do amazing things on a daily basis. I’ve been friends with some of these girls since I was five and some I met on my first day of university. Almost all of my girlfriends are older than me, so once they left for university and other adventures we made a pact to get together at least once a year, even if it is only for a few hours. This summer more than a few of my girlfriends are going on adventures of a lifetime; some are off visiting new countries and others are working around the globe. My beautiful girlfriends have agreed to share their experiences with you and I could not be more excited to be able to feature this segment on my blog which I will be calling The Traveling Girls! Once a week starting in June, I will be featuring one of my friends adventures on the blog! I am beyond grateful to have met each and one of these beautiful women and the fact that I get to live vicariously through them is even more special.

I hope that each and every one of their words inspires you as they inspire me on a daily basis.

Love always,

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