ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE DONE! #OOTD

Jacket – Zara

Jeans – Zara

Bag – Michael Kors

Sunglasses – Dior

I’ve had a blog for about 10 years now. It hasn’t always been “The Prettier Life”; maybe some of you can recall previous blog names!? Well, the main idea on one of my favorite previous blogs was OUTFITS! I used to work in retail so fashion was L I F E for me; non stop! I played around with my outfits and had so much fun with it!

SURE! There are days when I think back to those years and miss it. Those were some of the best young years of my life! But that’s how it should be right?

I definitely do not post as many #ootd photos as I used to anymore, simply because my style has evolved so much from those days! I now have classic pieces I revolve in my closet and I don’t get too creative – to be honest. I’ve found what I’m comfortable in, and I stick to it! I have staple items which I rewear, repurchase, and if I’m feeling crazy, buy in different colours. But THATS JUST IT! I’ve found what I’m comfortable in, and I find ways to adjust these staple items!

Honestly, this is one of the best things I’ve done!

This photo was taken a few weeks ago with the purest intention to write a post of the details. So, here it is! My heart wants to do so many more of these – it’s incredible!

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The Return of: THE LOOK OF THE DAY {Maternity Edition}

Do you remember those blogging days when all I posted were outfit photos – all the time? Well, I miss those days! I was looking back on my Lookbook.nu account and this wave of nostalgia came over me. My first thought was; why did I stop? Immediately after that thought, came my answer : life! That’s the hard truth; I got too busy too fast and couldn’t keep up with taking photos and writing weekly posts about my outfits! I know they say “no excuses” and really, this isn’t an excuse. I LOVE my life and I wouldn’t change my path for anything, but I do miss my outfit posts and sharing them with the world!

Therefore, I’ve created a new goal for myself – to post at least ONE outfit post during the month. I’d say that’s achievable. I’d of course like to do more, but the truth is, especially right now, I mostly spend my days in sweatpants and a hoodie at home under a blanket. PLUS; this beautiful baby growing inside my belly isn’t really allowing me to get all that creative. Although, I won’t lie, I’m still wearing all my regular clothes and they are fitting just fine {except for pants which I definitely cannot zip up…}.

Nevertheless, I am on a mission and I don’t take missions lightly 😉 here is my first take at a style/outfit post. Pregnancy and all; I pulled out my favorite pair of denim {undone, of course} and paired it with my one and only favorite poncho sweater. Autumn is hitting Ottawa quick this year, so I completed the look with a leather jacket, booties, a hat, and my darling LV Palm Springs Backpack. Honestly, I felt GREAT in this outfit! The spacious poncho gave me room to breathe, but also kept me warm enough during the cooler evening. I can’t live without a leather jacket so really no explanation needed there. The jeans; that’s another story but I wasn’t going to give in and wear leggings just yet { I still refuse to buy maternity clothes – I just have one pair of leggings and I hope to manage with that}.

Where did this outfit take me you ask? Well, right into the heart of Student Downtown Life in Ottawa for dinner with my husband and brother. Even though I didn’t actually eat anything here, I enjoyed taking photos of their food.

So, how about that for my first {maternity} look of the day!? Perhaps if I get good at this monthly routine I’ll have to start posting my outfits on external #OOTD sites again! HA!

Happy F R I D A Y !

#PlayingTourist in NEW YORK CITY

The Classic FLATIRON photo is a must have for any NYC trip!

New York City truly is one of the most amazing cities; you can find A N Y T H I N G and everything in this city. For some it’s a bit much; I personally don’t think I could live in NYC, but for others it’s a dream come true.

Visiting New York City during the summer is actually not the best idea, but we went for it anyways. For starters, if you hit a heat wave in the city, you’re basically doomed. The concrete jungle literally sucks in the days heat and beams it out day after day. There’s no letting up even in the evenings. Another thing about NYC in the summer is the amount of tourists – I mean, there are hundreds of tourists in the city no matter what season it is, but it just seems like summer is the most popular. If you’re not into crowds though, don’t let that stop you from visiting. There any MANY places you can visit that aren’t your typical crowded Times Square.

So simple, yet so unique!
This view could never get old!

So, there are dozens of NYC city guides out there so I won’t bore you with a what to do, where to go, what to see guide. I’d say, anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed a New York experience. Pick a direction and just start walking! Especially if you’re staying in the downtown core; manhattan anywhere, you’re guaranteed an interesting and entertaining experience!

THE Library of all Libraries!
One day…
We finally tried Chick-Fil-A and absolutely LOVED it! I highly recommend it!
Mandatory Shopping!
Finding gems in such a big city is one of my favourite things to do!
Bryant Park – right in between the Library and Whole Foods Market! Score!
It never gets boring!

Although travelling is one of our favourite things to do, I think this was one of our last “longer” trips for a little bit now. With everything else going on, between settling into our new home and our baby on the way, the focus is now elsewhere. But hey, once a traveller always a traveller, so I know we will go back to it as soon as the time is right!

2019-2020 PLANNER GUIDE

Every year, around the end of April I start my search for the perfect Planner/Agenda for the coming year. It might seem a bit early, but most Agendas start in August; so if you buy it later you’re technically loosing out on a few months of use.

I’d say I start this early because I want to get to know what to expect from the selection, and what choices I’ll have – brands, locations to buy, opinions of others if I’m going for something I’ve never used before, etc.

Usually around the end of June my mind is made up and I know what I want. Then the waiting game begins. Usually around mid-end July stores such as Chapters-Indigo hold a promotion on calendars and agenda (based on the agenda start time, this is genius and perfect for people like me), and this is the perfect time to pick up your chosen planner/agenda. This year, Indigo offered 30% off all Calendars, Agendas, and Planners for about a week.

Clearly, I jumped on this offer, picked out my top three favorites, and waited patiently for them to arrive in my mailbox. I really couldn’t make my mind up on which one I wanted this year so I purchased three different ones and decided I’d sit down at home and make my decision then.

My top three choices for the 2019-2020 year were:1. Fringe Studio 2019-2020 17 month pocket planner rose gold – $12.95

This planner made my top three list mainly because of its simplicity and size. The pages are clean, grey/white, and the layout is practical. Each new month starts with a summary page that includes a goals, birthdays, anniversary’s, and to-do section. The weekly day by day layout is minimalistic, clean, and each days spot is lined for good organization.

***

2. Ban.Do 2019-2020 17 month large classic planner – $26.00

Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram

Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram

The Ban.Do planner has been my go-to planner for many years now so naturally it was added to my top list. The Ban.Do planners are so much more than a planner – they have stickers, coloring pages, quotes, fun holiday reminders, and so much more. This year, you can even find a pair of 3D glasses in the back pocket. This planner is a bit larger than the other two, and is hardcover (as opposed to the other two which are softcover), but it’s still a small enough size to throw into a tote and carry with you anywhere you go.

Another great thing about these Ban.Do Planners is that they come in three different sizes and different cover designs! So many options to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them!

***

3. Studio Oh! 2019-2020 17 month stay magical planner – $16.99

This planner seemed to have it all – good sizing and lots of fun pretty designs! Every single page of this planner has a different color theme and design; each one suited for that time of the year. The planner has a spot for jotting down a list of books to read, movies to watch, and other notes needed.

***

So, I’m still not decided on which planner I will keep for the year, but I am leaning towards the Ban.Do – it just seems to be a yearly tradition now and I don’t think I can break it. Although it’s a bit bigger than what I was hoping for, for this year, the design and extras are so tempting and I don’t think I can resist!

Happy Shopping!

READY FOR SUMMER: DIOR MULES EDITION

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of my love for shoes – designer shoes. This season, the designs have reached another level for me. There are so many amazing pairs of shoes out there right now that it was really quite a difficult decision to make as to which ones to talk about first. But, here we are: DIOR MULES you have caught my heart.

Honestly, I think every celebrity and influencer owns a pair of these at this point, and the fashion house continues to make more; different designs and colours! The more reason to add to the collection.

When I shared a poll of my favourites on Instagram I got an interesting response – you loved all of them! There was a pretty equal split between each of the pairs I chose, which goes to show that there is really something for everyone when it comes to these slides! Good job DIOR!

So, let’s talk price point – are these affordable or more of a splurge purchase?

Well, that of course depends on how much you are wanting and willing to spend on a pair of summer shoes. If you live in a warmer climate and can wear these all year round, it might be a great investment for you, but if you live in Canada where we only get about a few months of hot summer days, maybe the price point isn’t so much on your side.

If you are travelling this summer, here’s my breakdown of the different price points of these mules in various locations (and the benefits you can take advantage of, for shopping in other countries):

CountryPrice PointCAD ExchangeKeep in mind…
United States$650 – $690$870 – $925*Taxes not included; as they vary per state.
Don’t forget potential import fees!
United Kingdom£490 – £540$822 – $906Shop at the airport! Remember to claim your
VAT return which may be up to 20%!
Italy €550 – €580$822 – $870Counts for any country using EURO. Remember to
claim your VAT return which may be up to 20%

The next question: are they even comfortable?

That’s a good question, and again, completely personal preference. You’d hope that for that type of price point a shoe would be comfortable, but if you think about it, many of these high end designer shoes are really not that comfortable, and really just a fashion statement more than anything.

If you’re comfortable in flats, these will work for you. There is a tiny “heel” on these shoes, but basically barely enough to make you feel it at all. So, let’s just call them flats. The single strap made of soft cotton and is a decent width size to keep the slide on your foot; basically like any other slide out there in that style. The cotton material definitely makes the shoe more comfortable, especially in the hot summer, in comparison to, for example leather.

So, in conclusion, there are a lot of pros and cons with these depending on what you’re looking for. The question remains; are these a seasonal piece or will these become a classic?

*Photo Credits: Damsel in Dior & Dior.com

ZIMMERMAN FOREVER

If there was one designer I would have to wear forever, it would definitely be ZIMMERMAN. Each season, I browse through the collections, staring at each piece thinking “I’d wear that”. Is that even possible? To fall in love with every single piece? In my relationship with Zimmerman the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.

Honestly, I don’t have a single Zimmerman piece, because well, who are we kidding, the prices are a bit higher than what I would like to spend on a piece of clothing like a dress or blouse… BUT one day, I will find that perfect piece and make the investment to buy my first Zimmerman piece. I promise you that.

Okay, let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces:

// Verity Gathered Yoke Dress, $950 // Goldie Scallop Short Dress, $750 //

// Goldie Spliced Frill Top, $480 // Goldie Spliced Frill Short, $375 // Goldie Spliced Short Dress, $850 //

// Honour Pintuck Panelled Dress, $1150 // Zippy Frill Dress, $795 (now $565) //

COLD, COLDER, FREEZING!

I’m not going to lie; Ottawa has been VERY COLD! We’ve been dealing with negative temperatures every day (and night) and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’m not complaining though so don’t get me wrong, I’m just stating the obvious and preparing anyone who plans on visiting the area. It really is COLD. But hey, I’ve been warned.

As long as you’re dressed right, it’s really not that bad though. The trick is though, to truly be dressed right. A simple warm jacket and warmer pants really don’t do the trick anymore; especially if you’re planning on being outdoors.

I can’t say that I’m a pro at dressing for this weather, but I now do know a thing or two about actually staying warm during these freeeeeezing Ottawa days.

1. THE COAT!

I remember as a teenager the priority for my winter jacket was how it looked, and how I looked in it. There was no way I was going to look “fat” in a coat! Fast forward a few years and my mentality changed drastically. The priority in the jacket was that it was long, puffy, and thick! My coat now HAS to be either to my knees or longer. With a few hits and misses I’ve finally nailed it down to TWO of my favorite most reliable winter coats; the Bancroft Park from TNA at Aritzia, or generally any winter coat from Canada Goose! The difference with choice being the price point. The Canada Goose coats are a bit expensive but if you think of the cost per wear; especially in colder climates, it really makes it worth it. I would definitely both of these options fairly equally.

2. THE ACCESSORIES!

I’ve always loved hats and mitts but again, they mostly always were just for “looks”. Now it’s about practicality, comfort, warmth, AND still the look. Last year I found a nice pair of mitts at Chapters – Indigo which I loved! This year, right before the cold weather started I went straight for the source and picked up an entire set – mitts, hat, and scarf. Unfortunately the scarf was a tad bit too short for my liking so I returned that, but I kept the mitts and hat (and actually went back and bought them in another color. There are so many different brands and places you can find accessories, so it really just matters how they’re made and if they’re lined! As long as they have some sort of lining you should be okay. The important part here is to always remember to wear them! If you remember to put your hat and mitts on before you go outside your body will retain its warm temperature for longer; therefore not letting you get too cold too fast.

3. THE BOOTS!

UGGs have always been a big part of my winter wardrobe but once it gets slushy and wet… and the temperature drops to negative 10 (without windchill) something much warmer is needed. A few years ago I came across this realization and went on the hunt for an even warmer pair of boots. Finally, I found the Sorel brand and a pair which I actually thought would work for me (see the post HERE )! So, here we are now, living in Ottawa, with these freezing temperatures, and these boots are PERFECTION! The Sorel Joan of Arctic boots now come in so many different colors and are available in many stores. I HIGHLY recommend these boots for winter!!

4. THE CLOTHES!

This is self explanatory – when it’s below zero and you plan on being outside for a longer period of time, a pair of jeans will most likely not do the trick. Layers are my trick – thermal leggings for starters, and thermal turtlenecks to keep your neck and chest warm. OR you can go a different route and just put in a pair of “snow pants” and those will keep you warm definitely!

5. THE MENTALITY!

This is a new tactic I’ve taken in recently – if you think happy warm thoughts you will be warmer. I once went outside thinking “omg it’s freezing and I’m frozen already this will be horrible”… and of course I was! Next time, I though, it won’t be that bad, I’m dressed in warm clothes, I won’t feel a thing”. Surely enough, it wasn’t THAT bad! Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress warm and think warm thoughts and assume that will work, because it won’t. The happy warm thoughts only help in the process of stepping into the cold and adjusting your body.

Stay warm friends!

L O N D O N IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA

I think it’s safe to say that the United Kingdom is one of my favorite places to travel to four main reasons:

  • Family!
  • Shopping! SHOPPING! Shopping!
  • Direct flight from Ottawa to London! + MANY direct and inexpensive flights from the UK to many major cities in Europe!
  • It’s a BEAUTIFUL country; from the heart of London to the flowing countryside; I can never get enough of the views!

Our most recent visit to this wonderful country was back in November. At this point, I think we’ve visited the UK during every season. I’d say there’s something I love about each season so I can’t say I like one more than the other.

During each trip, we visit our traditional list of attractions such as the heart of London, Primark, Wagamama, etc., but also try to see at least one new place we have never been to before!

This time, my husband made the call, and we visited Stonehenge and the nearby Town of Windsor. Both locations were definitely worth the trip! It actually felt important to visit Stonehenge because of its historical background; I definitely feel we checked something off our bucket list with this one. Next, the Town of Windsor; like many of these English Towns, was absolutely adorable! Filled with so many little shops, cafes, and restaurants, and of course, the Windsor Castle right in the middle of the Town. Check + Check!

Luckily for us, the weather cooperated better than expected as well. We were greeted with sunshine from the moment we landed, to the moment we took off at the end of our trip. Not only was it sunny, but it wasn’t at all as cold as it was in Canada, so – bonus! Walking around comfortable in a leather jacket in November is a win in my eyes.

Anyways, we will probably be back sooner than later because we just can’t seem to get enough of Europe recently!!

BLACK + WHITE #OOTD

Don’t you just LOVE when all of your blacks match? I mean; I know black is black but, do you ever find that your favorite pair of black denim {which you’ve probably washed 50 times or more} no longer matches your favorite leather jacket? And, what about your shoes – why do they look so dark compared to the denim!?

I have this “issue” quite too often and that’s why I usually never later on full black on black; I always have to have something in between; usually my top because it’s literally, right in the middle.

This weeks #OOTD follows this simple theory of mine; minimalistic + comfortable. I could honestly use the statement “{INSERT ITEM} is always a good idea” for each of the items I’m wearing in this post.

✔️ Classic black leather biker jacket – All Saints

✔️ Classic black purse – Chanel

✔️ Crisp white turtleneck sweater – Zara

✔️ Black ankle cropped denim – Zara

✔️ Minimalistic black ankle booties – L.K. Bennett

CÉLINE OR CELINE: MY VIEW ON THE RECENT CHANGES

If you’ve been following the PFW stories recently then I’m sure you’ve heard all about the crisis unfolding in regards to CÉLINE {or should I say Celine}.

First off, my opinion is definitely not as strong as many others on this subject matter {as I really haven’t invested in the brands products yet..} – but I’d definitely say that I was a Céline follower and I love(d) the brand; the ready to wear collections were right up my alley, and I felt I could always find inspiration in the styles.

First, let’s recap what happened.

In a nutshell; Phoebe Philo left the brand and Hedi Slimane {coming from Saint Laurent} became the Creative Director for the brand. Small changes started occurring; such as the removal of the accent in the E in CÉLINE, which threw the fashion world into alarm mode. THEN, the runway show occurred, and the fashion world went into crisis mode.

So here we are now; hours after the SS19 show at Paris Fashion Week… and there are SO many opinions floating around; but to be honest, I’m mostly hearing and reading negative opinions. People are disappointed at the major change in the style of the collection; going from an empowering modern feminine style to mini skirts + sequins confused and angered long time Céline fans – no kidding!  Let’s compare:

SPRING 2018 READY TO WEAR COLLECTION

https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2018-ready-to-wear/celine/slideshow/collection

SPRING 2019 READY TO WEAR COLLECTION

https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2019-ready-to-wear/celine/slideshow/collection

The major change from one collection to the other is the basic fact of vibe that has been created. Philo worked hard to promote a minimalistic; modern; “all and any woman can wear” style, which didn’t involve the pressures of showing off legs or tight silhouettes. This sense of style guided and empowered everyday females to build their wardrobes based on comfort and class. Enter Slimane. Looking at the SS19 show I no longer feel modern and classy; but rather “Saturday night luxy club scene” + “mandated trend follower”. All of the modern comfort has disappeared and been replaced with the street style curse and pressure to be on trend.

Now, these changes could be as a result of a few factors; the fact that we are looking at trends and styles from a year apart and the fact that the Director is now different.  BUT; a fashion houses signature style and tone of collection should not change THAT drastically from season to season no matter what the trends are calling for that year.

Either way, I think my final call on this is that I’m sad and disappointed. I’m sad that the fashion house now has an entirely different sense and feel. I had such respect for the brand because it kept to clean lines and simpler modern styles – and now that this has changed, I’m not so sure I’m happy about it either. After analyzing and comparing I think I’m starting to understand and agree with the term of “Celine Funeral” that has been floating around…

The question now is; are we supposed to go out and start buying all things Céline pre SS19? Will these pre SS19 pieces become vintage + highly wanted items in a few years? Will this affect the pricing of the pre SS19 pieces? I don’t know if I have the answers to these questions but I’m definitely searching for them!

What are your thoughts on the changes?