Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hostess Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday parties are always aplenty this time of year: work parties, family gatherings, festive evening with friends... Personally, I love playing hostess. It's always a blast coming up with fun cocktails to serve from my bar cart, making cute and delicious appies to serve, and baking Christmas-themed desserts to share. Let's be honest though, it's a lot of work hosting a Christmas party (and can be pretty pricey too), which is why when you do attend someone holiday shindig, it's nice to take along a gift that says thank you. A bottle of wine usually does fine too, but if you're looking for something different to take a long, here are my top picks for holiday hostess gifts!

You may notice that everything on this list is from Chapters. This is entirely accurate to what my Christmas shopping looks like. I'm pretty sure last year, 80% of the gifts I bought were from Chapters. They just have such a huge variety of unique and stylish gift ideas that I end up finding stuff for everyone! My favourite sections of the store, hands down, are entertaining and home, and these sections are perfect for finding fabulous hostess gifts. Basically, I want all of them in my home! I've picked out some of my favourites, with a mix of prices so you can find the right gift depending on the party and your budget.

Happy Gifting! xo

~ Britta

Monday, November 28, 2016

Travel Style Diary: Einsiedeln, Switzerland

The next stop on our Eurotrip was Switzerland – specifically Einsiedeln, a tiny town about an hour outside of Zurich. I have family there, and it was a nice relief after Florence to have a more home-y feel. It was definitely a shock to the body though – we went from 25 degrees Celsius in Florence to now just 4 degrees in Einsiedeln. We were definitely up in the mountains now! Good thing I packed some cozy blanket scarves, my favourite bejewelled toque, and some warm coats.

The first day, we explored the Kloster, a world-famous monastery, and walked up the rolling green hills behind the Kloster to get a better view of the town. I bundled up in my winter accessories, but because it was super sunny, I figured I could get away with a midi bodycon dress underneath and not be too cold. The inside of the Kloster really is a sight to be seen: picture the grandest church you can imagine, and it’s even more grand than that. Around the back, you can walk by their resident horses in their stables, and then wander up the grassy hill that snakes up and around to give a view of all of Einsiedeln. Along the way, we said hello to the local cows, all wearing their signature Swiss cowbells, ringing away!

Our stay included a solid dose of Swiss food, from beer, pretzels and weisswurst, to a cheese-tasting night – all courtesy of my welcoming family! Their Einsiedler beer is a must-try (it’s nice and light), as well as my other favourite Swiss drinks: Kafe Schnapps and Schumli Pflumli. If you’re ever in Switzerland, you really must order a Schumli Pflumli (pronounced like Shoomly Floomly), just to say the name. It’s utterly hilarious sounding, and if you’re familiar with the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, just picture yourself saying it in his voice. Oh and it’s delicious! It's a combination of sugar, coffee and plum schnapps (or plum brandy, as that's all I could find when I got back to Canada - don't fret though, it tastes exactly the same!). Perfect as an après ski drink to warm you up.

We also took a trip up a local mountain to do some hiking, walk their massive suspension bridge, and channel our inner adrenaline junkie on their summer taboggan. The taboggan shoots down a metal track, with a metal lever on the taboggan to control the speed. Unlike most rides in North America, the brake is clearly not a suggestion but a necessity, as we learned pretty quick. That thing sure flies!

It’s on to Zurich, Switzerland in my next post, stay tuned for it next Monday.

Jacket - Zara (similar) | Scarf - c/o Nobis & Grey | Hat - Aldo (similar) | Necklace - c/o Nobis & Grey | Dress - Forever 21 (similar) | Purse - Florence Leather Market | Shoes - Adidas Stan Smith

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, November 25, 2016

European Beauty: Les Merveilleuses Ladurée

Ladurée, well known for their fashionable little macaron treats, has become a brand that embodies everything lovely, pretty and feminine. Their storefronts are beautifully decorated, their afternoon tea service is dreamy, and their macaron boxes are utterly adorable. If you ever want to live in a pretty Parisian fantasy, Ladurée is your place. So when I was in Paris a few weeks ago, I knew I would have to stop by the iconic Ladurée store on the Champs Elysées and pick up some macarons - and a little souvenir too.

Beside the obligatory box of macarons, I decided on a cute little keychain that, to be honest, I've been eyeing on their website for the last 5 years. They had some gorgeous candles and home fragrances too - it was a tough choice! I gleefully walked down the Champs Elysées with my prettily packaged little goodies in one of their signature mint green bags. It wasn't until a couple of days later during our time in Paris that I remembered that Ladurée also has a line of makeup...and what better place to track it down than in Paris!

So I did some cyber sleuthing and found that Ladurée's line of makeup, Les Merveilleuses Ladurée, is sold in the Sephora on the Champs Elysées, much to my delight. (Side note: the Sephora on the Champs Elysées is insanely INSANELY massive. It was Boxing Day packed in there on the middle of a Tuesday. Insane.) Anyways, I managed to track down the little section featuring Les Merveilleuses Ladurée and decided on the gorgeous cameo-shaped blush you'll see below. Isn't it stunning?? A lovely Parisian Sephora employee helped me choose a shade, a dusted it on my cheeks to try out. The colour was perfect! A nice flush of matte colour. The packaging is so sweet, just like everything else Ladurée creates. What I thought was really neat too is that blush refills can be purchased separately, so when you run out of product, you don't have to buy a whole new compact. Not to say this blush is cheap - this was a total splurge for me (and totally worth it!).

If you're hoping to snatch one up, you can check it out on Sephora's French site here, or take a peek on the Ladurée website

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, November 21, 2016

Preppy London Style with Clearly

What better place to break out the preppy style than London, England! One of my favourite parts of fall and winter is getting to layer up my look with preppy shirts over sweaters, and shades of wine paired with camel and cognac. Plus, I've always felt that trench coats are a great preppy add-on, and they're an essential part of any London-inspired outfit!

I picked up my coveted copy of the newest Harry Potter book (or script, rather) while at Shakespeare and Company in Paris earlier on my trip. I took to reading it on the go, to pass the time when on our train and bus rides. I brought along my trusty new Clearly glasses from the brand Love, which I've been using when I'm in front of the computer or reading. They have a special Blue Reflect coating so that UV light can't pass through the lenses, helping my eyes to relax more while on my laptop! 

Anyway, I picked out this Love L770 tortoise design from Clearly's collection because I knew it would go great with all my fall-coloured outfits, and they totally fit my preppy style! It looks like they're sold out of my particular style right now, but if you're looking for a pair that's similar to mine, you can check out these Love glasses in Love 771 Tokyo Tortoise (the same pattern as mine). I had a super tough time choosing between the tortoise glasses and these deep red Eva glasses from Kam Dhillon. They're such a unique red colour, and looked very flattering. They were a very close second!

You know I'm always looking for a style steal too, so of course these glasses are super reasonable at around $70 (including Standard Air Lenses, plus free shipping and returns (yippee!). You can browse Clearly's Love glasses online here. With glasses this affordable, you know I'm going to want like 10 pairs in every style imaginable! Glasses are definitely one of my favourite accessories.

Glasses - Love via Clearly (similar) | Coat - Joe Fresh (thrifted via Value Village) | Necklace- Nobis & Grey | Shirt - Winners | Sweater - Tommy Hilfiger (via Winners) | Scarf - thrifted via Salvation Army | Boots - Just Fab | Purse - Just Fab

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, November 18, 2016

Girl's Night In with Racinne Skin Care

I am a big fan of pampering every once in a while. Who isn't, really? Sometimes it's nice to put away the devices, sit back and relax with an old fashion magazine and sip some champagne with a face mask on. Do you feel me?

I know sheet masks have been having their day right now, but I've gotta say Racinne's Delicare Perfection Soothing Masks, which are like a cream rather than a sheet, are my new favourite. It really does feel super soothing! It gives just the slightest cooling sensation when applied, and I loved that. They're also packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help replenish the skin's moisture barrier and restore its natural function. Even more important during the winter months! I leave it on for about 15 minutes and then rinse off with a nice warm damp cloth.

Then, just to treat my skin to a bit more R&R, I apply Racinne's Aqua Blanc Brightening Eye Care under and around the eye area. Just like the mask, it helps to replenish and protect the skin's moisture barrier against the elements, plus it targets hyper-pigmentation (buh-bye dark circles). For the rest of my face, I apply Racinne's Hydra Perfection Optimal Fortifying Emulsion all over. Not only does this make a phenomenal makeup primer, but it also helps to lock in moisture so my skin doesn't dry out after applying foundation. The emulsion also reveals the next layer of fresh skin underneath, which is what makes your complexion look so refreshed! Something tells me this super hydrating skin care routine is going to come in even more handy when it starts to get really cold and dry here. Especially after a ski day.

Once that's all done, I just lie back with my glass of champagne, savouring a peaceful moment before it's back to reality!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for the Budding Beauty Lover

I remember my early makeup days: I always loved beauty kits with lots of different colours and textures to play with. It's an exciting time, experimenting with different looks, finding what works best for you. That being said, I wish I knew about these makeup kits when I was first starting to play with makeup!

Now that the holidays are just around the corner, I've teamed up with London Drugs to share with you my top picks from Beauty 101 and Beauty Scene that I think would make the perfect Christmas gifts for the beginner beauty buff on your shopping list. You can watch the video below to check them all out: you'll need to see it to believe how much makeup they've packed into these kits!! It's crazy!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Travel Style Diary #2: Florence, Italy

One of the coolest parts of Italy for me is the history of the Medici family. If you’re not familiar, go watch D’Avinci’s Demons or Reign (although Reign takes a whole lot of liberties with the storyline). There’s also a new TV show coming out soon called Medici: Masters of Florence which looks like it’ll cover the history of the Medici family in detail. Anyway, we visited the Duomo (read: church) in Florence, which is the famous church in the heart of the city, which the Medici family would have frequented back in the day. Pretty cool to see it up close – the sheer size of the church is massive, with towering ceilings and al fresco paintings.

After that, we stopped for the best pizza in Florence (in our opinion) at Gusta Pizza. Guy Fieri, well-known American foodie, has even stopped by this spot for a bite. We were happily surprise to find our pizzas come out of the oven in the shape of hearts, something my friend says she’s never seen there before – and everyone else’s pizzas were just round! You can see them in the series of Instagram photos below.

We did some shopping nearby the Ponte Vecchio before stopping on the bridge for another photo op. The view from there is pretty amazing, looking out to the other bridges over the Arno river. It isn’t anything like the Pont de Arts, but there are locks padlocked to wrought iron fixtures along the bridge at different points. Friends and couples who have left a souvenir behind.

As we were doing a lot of walking around, I pulled out my new Adidas Stan Smiths (purchased from Need Supply before the trip), and paired it with comfortable jeans, a t-shirt and leather jacket over top. The weather continued to be stellar, so I ended up ditching the jacket for part of the day and just wearing the t-shirt: at this time of year!

Jacket - Zara | Shirt - Zara | Jeans - Simons | Shoes - Adidas Stan Smith (via Need Supply) | Purse - Just Fab | Earrings - Nobis & Grey

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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