Monday, July 24, 2017

Western Style for the Non-Cowgirl

I have never been one of those girls that sings country songs in the car, wears short shorts and cowboy boots, and love cowboys. When I was a kid, my dad would every once and awhile attempt to wear cowboy boots out in public, and I refused to go with him unless he changed. For the record, we lived in the suburbs, not on a farm. Western style was just not my thing.

So when we decided this month to do a girls road trip to Calgary for Stampede (a big rodeo event), I was less than enthused about finding some outfits to wear. Did I even have anything in my closet that was western enough for Stampede?? Did I even want to wear anything western??

As it turns out, if you're willing to get a bit creative and do some thrifting, dressing western doesn't have to be painful (and you might actually like it, even if you don't usually). This outfit combines three elements: some things I already owned, something new, and something thrifted. After all, I didn't want to break the bank for an outfit I may only wear a few times. I also wanted it to be something I actually felt comfortable in (ie. no stereotypical cowgirl style here). I started with the dress you see here, which I bought from Urban Behaviour years ago. I figured the ruffle would be cute, and the leather braided belt felt a bit western. I also had this perfect bronze antler necklace from BEL Jewelry Boutique (handmade in Alberta!) and thought it would be great for accessorizing.

Then I headed to Value Village and scoured the racks for anything western. I ended up finding these cute little suede ankle boots from Aldo that have a western style to them. I was so thrilled to find them, since I really wasn't keen on wearing cowboy boots. At $9.99 they were a steal, and I'm actually going to keep them after Stampede because they're pretty versatile!

Then I popped into Old Navy where I found this super cute denim jean jacket. I had searched the mall previous to this and came up with nothing cheap, but this one was just 30 bucks! I didn't mind buying this new, as it's an item I've been wanting this summer anyway. It looks cute with all kinds of dresses and skirts, so it'll definitely get more use. And for Stampede, I figured it would tie the western outfit together nicely. As you may have noticed, I managed to avoid the usual cowboy hat, boots and 'daisy dukes', but I think the outfit still feels somewhat country.

If you're struggling to come up with a western outfit, and aren't the biggest country fan (like me), then I hope this gives you some ideas for your own styling!

Jacket - Old Navy | Dress - Urban Behaviour | Necklace - BEL Jewelry Boutique | Purse - Gap (thrifted via Value Village) | Boots - Aldo Haviax (thrifted via Value Village)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Canada 150: Canadian Style

If you've been following along with my Insta Stories this past weekend, you saw that I road-tripped to Calgary with my best friends to go to Stampede. It was my first time attending Stampede (a big rodeo event held in Calgary), and also my first time visiting Lake Louise, a famous tourist spot in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. The photos you'll see below were all taken at Lake Louise on our drive over to Calgary. The water is the most amazing cloudy turquoise, and the backdrop is a truly stunning collection of local mountains. On the water, you can spot a few tourists who shelled out the cash to float along in one of Lake Louise's red canoes. It's a pretty incredible view - one that sums up why this part of Canada is truly amazing. We're very lucky in Canada to have so much beautiful nature like this in our own backyard.

I kept my outfit pretty simple for this adventure. After all, it was a 10 hour road trip to reach this incredible view. My trusty Converse Dainty Oxford sneakers, and my thrifted American Eagle boyfriend jeans from Value Village are my go-to for this kind of thing.

When I spotted this Canada 150 sweatshirt at the Hudson's Bay, I just had to have it for our all-Canadian road trip. Their Grand Portage collection fully embodies Canadian style for me. I love that it features the famous Hudson's Bay colours (green, red, yellow, blue), and the canoe: a nod to their fur trading days. The style is casual and outdoorsy. I also really want to buy their Canada 150 campfire mug (I can just imagine sipping from it while sitting in front of a campfire!). I've linked to some other favourites from the Grand Portage collection below as well. In case you're looking for some Canadian swag, they've got lots!

Have you been to Canada before? Where's your favourite place to visit?

Sweatshirt - Hudson's Bay Grand Portage Collection | Jeans - American Eagle (via Value Village) | Sneakers - Converse Dainty Oxford 

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, July 10, 2017

Thrifted Style: Looking Chic for Under $30

You know what's better than a well-styled, put-together outfit? One that's also thrifted! I had a great haul from Value Village about a month ago now, and while it rarely happens, all of the items could be styled together all in one outfit!

As you know, I always look for items that stand out when I'm thrift shopping: a texture, a colour, a could be anything. This Asos skirt ($8.99) caught my eye originally because of the volume - I always get excited when I see a full skirt or dress hidden amongst the aisles. Then I was even more overjoyed when I saw the lace trim along the bottom: how sweet! The top ($4.99) I found was far more basic that what I usually hunt for, but hey it's good to have some simpler pieces too. Here, I dressed it up by styling it with this white statement necklace from Nobis & Grey.

As for the purse ($4.99), the little bow on the front stuck out amongst the other bags (I have a lifelong obsession with bows, after all). Bags are a bit tougher to search for, since smaller bags and wallets are hung up and down the tops of many of the aisles. But if you've got some extra time, you might just find some treasures! Don't forget to check the pockets. You never know what surprises could be inside. I once found a clutch full of some brand new rose gold Aldo bracelets!

Last, I was over the moon when I found these simple single-strap high heels ($9.99). In fact, I found an identical pair in highlighter yellow too! And the kicker: both sets were in mint condition. I have been lusting over other bloggers' heels like these for quite some time, so to find them for such a deal was an absolute treat.

Have you been thrifting lately? What goodies have you found?

Top - Seduction (thrifted via Value Village) | Necklace - c/o Nobis & Grey | Skirt - Asos (thrifted via Value Village) | Purse - Gap (thrifted via Value Village) | Heels - Anne Michelle (thrifted via Value Village)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, July 7, 2017

Stampede & Summer Travel Beauty Essentials

One week from now, I'll be on a girl's road trip to Stampede in Calgary, Alberta! It's not a quick road trip: a 12-hour drive each way, but well worth it to see one of our high school friends and experience Stampede together. For those of you not familiar, Stampede is a massive annual rodeo event, full of parties, amazing eats and of course some western rodeo shows. I may not be the hugest western/country fan (like not at all), but it does sound like a pretty good time.

As I started packing for our trip, I thought I would share with you what I'm bringing along, as I think most of these would apply to any road trip or summer trip you're planning to do this summer. Keep reading below to see what to pack in your bag! I'm also hosting a giveaway on Instagram, so make sure to check that out as well - more details on that below too.

Travel-Sized Skincare

We're going to be staying with friends for a few nights in Calgary during Stampede, so I wanted to pack some travel-sized skincare. This handy mini kit from Di Morelli includes all 3 skincare essentials: their Cleanser, Vitamin C Serum for Face & Eye and SPF 35 UVA/UVB. It even comes with 2 samples of their Brightener as well. It's a perfect kit to keep on-hand for trips like this.

The light foaming Cleanser removes sweat (definitely going to be lots of that), makeup and excess oil without causing irritation or dryness. The Vitamin C Serum for Face & Eye firms, brightens and improves the overall health of your skin. It also stimulates collagen and protects the skin against environmental damage. I like that it's a face and eye serum in one; in a travel kit, double-duty products are important. Most importantly is the SPF! I find that usually most facial lotions are SPF 25 and under. As someone who burns easily, I appreciate a lotion that's as high as SPF 35. Especially during Stampede, when I'm likely to be in the sun all day, having a good facial sunscreen is key. The Brightener is a nice added bonus, used to exfoliate the skin with natural acids.

GIVEAWAY:  What to win a Di Morelli Essentials Mini skincare kit for yourself? I'm giving away one on Vancouver Vogue's Instagram right now! Head over there to enter.

Heat-Proof Must-Haves

I don't thrive well in heat. So I have a couple of secret weapons to help me feel...not gross. That includes mitigating sweat and keeping my skin hydrated. Dove's Dry Spray in Cool Essentials has been the only antiperspirant I've trusted over the last 5 years. I seriously haven't found anything better. It keeps my sweat under control, and the light fresh scent makes it good for re-applying throughout the day to keep you smelling good!

Secondly, I love this little travel sized bottle of Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray for keeping my face hydrated and refreshed on a hot day. It's all about the water's soothing and softening properties. The bottle is easy to stash in your purse during the day too. It's also great to spray on a sunburn (let's hope I don't need it for that though).

Eye Refresh

Don't get me wrong, Stampede is going to be fun from start to finish each day, but my face is probably going to show those long days and late nights. If I don't get enough sleep, my eyes do tend to get a bit puffy. To combat that on-the-go, I carry my e.l.f. Studio Eye Refresh and apply in the morning before going through the rest of my skincare routine. It's insanely affordable ($4.99 at London Drugs), and the roller ball applicator makes it easy to apply. It makes your skin feel cool and refreshed, helping to de-puff those tired eyes!


Now I already spoke earlier about the necessity of SPF for the face, but of course sunscreen for the body is also equally as important - especially if you're on a trip where you'll be out in the sun all day. For Stampede, it's a must. The best of the best is La Roche Posay's Anthelios XL Lotion SPF 60. La Roche Posay won the title of 'best sunscreen of 2017', after all.

Dry Shampoo

On any summer trip, dry shampoo is always a good bet. Especially when you're road tripping. And this, let me tell you, is seriously the best dry shampoo. This is actually the first dry shampoo I ever tried, and just assumed they were all this good - until I tried a few others afterwards, and they definitely didn't live up. You can find L'Oreal Professional's Techni Art Fresh Dust at select salons (like Suki's in the Vancouver area), or online.

Emergency Kit

These Minimergency Kits from Chapters Indigo are a must have! I keep one in my purse all year round, but it's especially useful when on a trip. It has SO many useful things packed into this tiny zipped package that you may find useful on a road trip or at a summer event like Stampede.

Here's what's included:

  • deodorant towelette
  • double sided tape
  • stain remover
  • pair of earring backs
  • an emery board
  • clear nail polish
  • clear elastics
  • breath freshener
  • lip balm
  • dental floss
  • bobby pins
  • nail polish pad remover
  • hair spray
  • safety pin
  • adhesive bandage
  • mending kit
  • tampon

That's it! Don't forget, if you want to kick-start your own summer trip beauty kit, you can head over to Vancouver Vogue's Instagram to enter for a chance to win a Di Morelli Essentials Mini skincare kit!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Versatile Exotic Print Dress

And the obsession with palm print continues! It started with my gold and palm print bathing suit, and then my all-time favourite palm leaf bomber jacket, and then there was my custom fit palm dress. When I was choosing a few new things from SheIn, I spotted this Tropical Print Double Cutout Choker Neck Dress and had to add it to the collection! While SheIn was kind enough to gift me the dress, it's available for a super affordable $18 if you're looking to snatch one for yourself too.

I've noticed over the past few weeks, since the dress arrived in the mail, that I've been wearing it non-stop! After-work patio drinks, birthday parties, or blogger events: it's been a go-to. Part of that is the awesome, but I also love that it's free flowing (good for hot summer days), and very comfortable with no bra strap issues, etc. It's great to have a couple easy dresses like this in your wardrobe for summer.

If you have a palm print outfit in your closet you're dying to wear (or are ordering the one I'm wearing!), here are a few styling ideas:
  • Gold accessories go really nicely with the green in the palm print. I think it makes it look more expensive! Here, I'm wearing my favourite roman numeral bracelets from Nobis & Grey. I've had them for a couple years, and they're a nice final touch especially to my green or blue outfits I find.
  • Bright white also goes really well with the palm print. I feel very 'resort-wear'-esque when matching the two together. It also helps to balance out the otherwise busy print. Here I chose a long sleeveless vest, since a blazer is probably a bit too warm for this time of year!
  • A sleek clutch polishes off the look. A palm print dress can easily go from day-to-night. Wear it to the beach, and then add a sleek clutch and you look evening-ready in a second. A pair of minimalist heels doesn't hurt either.

Vest - Forever 21 (similar) | Dress - c/o SheIn | Bracelets - c/o Nobis & Grey & Nobis & Grey | Ring - c/o Nobis & Grey | Purse - Aldo (via Value Village) | Shoes - Anne Michelle (via Value Village) (similar)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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