Big Ruffles

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Ruffle Blouse | Microsuede Mules | Dark Skinny Denim | Beige Saddle Bag | Pink Sunglasses | Two-Tone Watch

If you have jumped on the off-the-shoulder bandwagon, you will have likely run into an issue with your #OTS with your top. If you have a puzzled look on your face right now, let me explain. Often these tops are made with elastic in the shoulder to allow them to fit over your shoulders – a key component of the off-the-shoulder style. The only issue with this elastic is that every time you go to wave, lift something, hug someone, or really just move in general, your top snaps up off your shoulders and becomes a high neck crop top in an instant. Sound familiar?

If you are on the hunt for an off-the-shoulder top that you can actually move around and be comfortable in all day, and be able to hide your food baby after demolishing a Mile High Brownie at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, you need to get yourself one of these tops! You can also do like me and buy them in multiple colours! Did I mention, it’s less that $20!?

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Floral Kimono

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Floral Kimono | Chiffon Cami | Lace Up Heels | Distressed Denim | Earrings | Tassel Bracelet | Necklace | Cross-body Purse

Lately I have been desperate to wear any, and all, things springy. This past weekend was rather dreary (you may be able to tell from the lighting of these photos) so I tried to brighten things up with this fun floral print kimono. I wore this after church on Sunday, when Josh and I headed out to grab some food and pick up my bridesmaid dress for one of my best friend’s weddings! The wedding is just two months away and I am SO dang excited. This girlfriend of mine lives a few hours away from me, so I don’t get to see her as much as I would like to. I am spending the weekend with her in early April to help with some of the wedding planning – perks of being an event planner by day – I’m really looking forward to it! I can hardly believe that ten years ago she and I headed to prom together and now, exactly ten years later, we will be celebrating her marriage!

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Coconut Coffee Scrub

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There are so many great things you can do with Coconut Oil, from hair treatments to cooking, this is one versatile product. One of my favourites uses for coconut oil is this coconut and coffee scrub! Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple years, you probably know that coconut oil has been a popular beauty and health foods staple for a while now, and for good reason!

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I feel like I need to preface this with why I love this so much. I have struggled with Eczema for many years. My first memory of it was on my face in grade two, then my arms, then my hands starting in tenth grade. I remember a time when I worked in a restaurant, after washing my hands with harsh soap over and over again throughout the night, I would wake up crying and shaking in the middle of the night because my hands were bleeding, raw, and incredibly itchy. It was so painful at times that I felt hopeless for a solution. My eczema has been an ongoing battle for me, I have medicines, I’ve taken a variety of different vitamins, and tried a few different diets to help stem my symptoms. I now have a system going that seems to work pretty well. One of the main parts of that system is this scrub; it not only exfoliates, but also hydrates my skin.

I started using coconut oil on my skin a few years back and I absolutely love it. Last year, I stumbled upon some coconut and coffee scrubs on Instagram. I was intrigued after reading of some of the benefits, but just couldn’t justify spending $18 – $30 on a product I knew I could easily make for myself. So, I decided to try it out at home.

The first time I made this scrub I used this PC coconut oil, which costs a whole $4, and some coffee grounds after brewing a cuppa Jo. I loved how it left my skin feeling, I also LOVE how this smells. Since that first trial, I have continued to experiment with this scrub to find the perfect mix for me.

Honestly, I have had this post in draft for a solid six months, slowly testing out different options and adding notes to make this as fulsome of a post as I can give you. So, lets get into it.

First, the recipe. As you may have guessed, this is basically the easiest recipe ever. Take two parts coconut oil to one part coffee grounds, mix them up, and slather it on your skin in the shower. You have a few options here that will make a big difference in how this scrub turns out. No matter how you put this together though, you will end up with coffee grounds all over your tub or shower. Be prepared to clean up after this.

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Option 1: Take two parts coconut oil, mix in one part ground coffee after brewing. Throw it in a bowl or mason jar, mix it together, and use in the shower or bath.

Option 2: Use the same mixture, but swap the brewed coffee for freshly ground coffee beans. This is best if you haven’t had coffee yet that day. The first time I tried this I didn’t really think through the fact that your skin absorbs the caffeine in the coffee, and if it hasn’t already been brewed, there is a lot of caffeine left. So, don’t do what I did and drink two cups of coffee before using this in the shower because it will make you H-Y-P-E-R. Seriously. I was wired for many, many hours after that combo.

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Option 3: One part coconut oil, one part shredded coconut (I used what was left after making my own coconut milk – eliminating dairy helped with my eczema), and one part coffee grounds. This is my favourite combo because you get both the gentle exfoliation of of the shredded coconut and the deeper exfoliation of the ground coffee. I also particularly love putting this mixture into muffin tins and freezing it. I find it both helps minimize some of the coffee mess in the shower, and the cold scrub mixed with the warm water is an invigorating way to wake up….along with the caffeine of course.

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I hope you guys enjoy this easy, and much more affordable DIY coconut-coffee scrub. I think I will try incorporating some lavender or other essential oils in the next mixture. Let me know what you guys think, and if you have other variations I should try out!

 

 

Weekend Ready

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Over the past couple months I have gotten into a good weekend routine, which I look forward to each week. Saturday morning I get up early, tidy up all the things I have left laying around the house over the week, then head over Moksha Yoga to get my butt whooped in Barre class, then a smoothie stop before heading to the Terra Winter Market with my girlfriends. I have loved going to the market during these cold months. It’s like a little slice of summer in the midst of those damp, chilly, days. When we head out to the market, I like to throw on something casual and comfortable. This combo has quickly become my weekend staple for running errands – sometimes I like to switch it up with a knit sweater and my New Balance sneakers; Josh claims they’re not my style. I disagree  – I love the easy of a simple chambray shirt with white or black denim and this camo jacket adds the perfect bit of edge to this simple look.

Camo Jacket | Chambray Shirt | Distressed Denim (size down at least two sizes) | Studded Booties (old, I liked a similar pair under $100 – another studded bootie option that is available in all sized and under $60) | GEO Crossbody Purse (this bag has become my go to and is worth every last penny *insert heart eyes emoji*)

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Valentine’s Day Nails

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Though I’m not one who likes to go out for Valentine’s Day, I do love dressing up for it! If you were to peak into my closet, you would see that there are a lot of white, pink, and red pieces in there. I love to wear bright pinks and reds, I feel like they are very flattering on blondes even if it’s just on your nails.

When I was younger, my mom would often do my nails for me for Valentine’s Day. She would either paint them pink for me, or she would paint little red or white hearts on my nails. This post started with the intention of showing you those cute heart nails, but I am not as skilled of an artist as my mother, who has an art degree and is quite a talented artist. After three tries at painting delicate little hearts, I got frustrated and moved on to these easy polka dot nails. These polka dots are much easier to achieve!

First thing you need to do is start with a white base. I used Blanc by Essie. I have tried a whole variety of brands, ranging in price, and Essie is my favourite! The quality is just so much better than the others I have tried.

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Once you have two coats of the white, you can start on the polka dots. Simply dab your colour of choice onto a nail art stick and dot that onto your nail. I bought wooden sticks from Joe Fresh (a pack of 12 is $4 – I can’t find them online, but you can pick them up at Shoppers or Superstore, or get 100 for less than $4 on Amazon) and just brushed the nail polish onto the tip of the stick. It helps if you can get a bit of a good amount of nail polish onto the stick so you get a good sized dot. I chose to alternate Mod Square with Double Breasted Jacket to have a mix of red and pink. It’s as simple as that! If you try this out be sure to tag me in your post @theemalexander.

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My Costco roses (bought two weeks ago) finally kicked the bucket this weekend, but I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye so we had some fun using them as props in upcoming blog and Instagram photos.

 

 

 

Valentine's Day Nails

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Though I’m not one who likes to go out for Valentine’s Day, I do love dressing up for it! If you were to peak into my closet, you would see that there are a lot of white, pink, and red pieces in there. I love to wear bright pinks and reds, I feel like they are very flattering on blondes even if it’s just on your nails.

When I was younger, my mom would often do my nails for me for Valentine’s Day. She would either paint them pink for me, or she would paint little red or white hearts on my nails. This post started with the intention of showing you those cute heart nails, but I am not as skilled of an artist as my mother, who has an art degree and is quite a talented artist. After three tries at painting delicate little hearts, I got frustrated and moved on to these easy polka dot nails. These polka dots are much easier to achieve!

First thing you need to do is start with a white base. I used Blanc by Essie. I have tried a whole variety of brands, ranging in price, and Essie is my favourite! The quality is just so much better than the others I have tried.

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Once you have two coats of the white, you can start on the polka dots. Simply dab your colour of choice onto a nail art stick and dot that onto your nail. I bought wooden sticks from Joe Fresh (a pack of 12 is $4 – I can’t find them online, but you can pick them up at Shoppers or Superstore, or get 100 for less than $4 on Amazon) and just brushed the nail polish onto the tip of the stick. It helps if you can get a bit of a good amount of nail polish onto the stick so you get a good sized dot. I chose to alternate Mod Square with Double Breasted Jacket to have a mix of red and pink. It’s as simple as that! If you try this out be sure to tag me in your post @theemalexander.

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My Costco roses (bought two weeks ago) finally kicked the bucket this weekend, but I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye so we had some fun using them as props in upcoming blog and Instagram photos.

 

 

 

Lace

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Lace Blouse (similar layered lace blouse ) | Levi’s Skinny Denim | Black Tory Burch Flats | Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag | Red Lip Stain

Last spring I was scrolling through Pinterest and spotted a couple beautiful outfits put together with a white lace top. I have been a sucker for lace detailing for as long as I can remember. In fact, during my preschool photos I picked out my favourite gold dress with lace detailing, and paired it with my favourite burgundy belt with a big buckle. My mother wasn’t entirely thrilled when she received the photos and saw that I had managed to convince my preschool teacher, and the photographer, to let me keep my outfit in its full glory. I, however, was, and still am, proud of myself for sticking to my guns and styling my outfit as I pleased.

I’ve come a little ways since that day in preschool. Now, I choose to pair my lace with more versatile pieces, like these jeans . I am so in love with this lace top and can’t wait to style it with pleated midi skirts this spring, and my favourite bright minis this summer! I will always go for a feminine piece that I can get lots of use out of. More on that to come! 

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A Taste of Spring

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Pink Bell Sleeve Dress ($35 with no tax, duty or shipping added!)| Nude Pumps (under $50!) |  Crossbody Bag (under $40) | Bracelet | Necklace | Lip Stain | Earrings

I must admit, when I heard the Groundhog Day prediction was an early spring, I was pretty dang happy about it. I do love the snow and enjoying winter activities, like skating and skiing, but I am ready for spring to show its pretty self as soon as it’s ready. I’ve been itching to pull out my spring pallet so when we had a couple days of milder weather I took advantage of it and threw on this feminine bell sleeve dress. I can’t wait for spring to really be here so I can pull out more pretty pastels.

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Treat Yo Self

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Pajamas: Kate Spade these are only available at the outlet store, so I linked my favourite heart print pajamas here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Coffee mug: Starbucks

In the past I wasn’t really a huge fan of Valentines Day. I spent years working in a restaurant during college, and my post-grad, and I always dreaded working on Valentines Day. People would always get SO worked up about it, the restaurant would be jammed all night, and couples often seemed overwhelmed by the day, rather than enjoying their time together. So, Josh and I have always opted instead to go out for dinner another time, and just treat our selves to a relaxing night at home. It’s so nice to put on some luxe pajamas, curl up with some sweet treats, and watch a good movie at home. This year, I encourage you to skip the big pressure filled night and, treat yo self, to a cozy night in.

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Blue // Blush

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Coat: Precis (more sizes available here) | Denim: Old Navy (go one size down) | Scarf: bought from a local vendor in the Bahamas, I’ve linked a very similar leopard print scarf that is under $35 | T-shirt: J.Crew this t-shirt and the tissue t-shirts are by far my favourites, I own four of them and wear them all the time! | Cardigan: Max Studio (similar cardigan under $35) | Booties: Sam Edelman | Sunglasses: Prada | Purse: She In (under $40)

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Hi there, I hope ya’ll had a great weekend! This weekend was/has been (I’m writing this on Sunday night) crazy busy, but so good! By Friday I was feeling like I was in a serious funk (you may have noticed the lack of post last Friday. Sorry, I just couldn’t get it together last week) so Josh and I decided to get out of the house and go on a date night. We headed out for dinner, then went to see La La Land. The first few minutes of the movie had us both worried about what we had gotten ourselves into, but it was actually SO good. Josh may not be willing to admit it, but we both really liked the movie.

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On Saturday Josh headed off to work, and I started my day with the hardest Barre class I have done yet. I should mention this was only my fourth class. After Barre, I headed out to play Archery Tag at Archers Arena. I was pretty hesitant about playing since I was already so sore, and it was just me and my guy friends from grade school, who are all very competitive, but once we got into the games it was a heck of a lot of fun. I will admit, when you get hit straight on with one of the arrows from the heavier weight bows, (there are three weight options) it does hurt, but it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. If you have played paintball before, you are more than prepared to handle playing this.

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That brings us to today, yesterday for those reading this the day it goes live. I was in teaching Sunday School this morning, then met up with Josh after and headed out to grab some coffee and food at a couple of our favourite local restaurants. I wore this outfit to church, then out for the rest of the day. For those of you who are used to wearing your Sunday best, the church I attend would be a big shock to you. I love that it is casual there because that allows me to actually get in on helping with all the messy crafts and the activities without worrying about ruining my clothes. I love finding pieces, and putting together outfits, that are comfortable, stylish, and still very practical, so that I can actually get out and do the things I want to without worrying. The pieces shown here are some of my go-to picks when I know I’m facing a busy day of errands and activities, but still want to be put together enough to not worry about running into someone I know. That may sound like a weird thing to be thinking of, but after Barre on Saturday I ran into the grocery store to pick up a couple items so I could make lunch. I looked like a HOT MESS. I mean seriously, I think I was still half asleep when I grabbed my outerwear. I had on multiple different colour plaid prints, big clunky rain boots, I was sweaty and gross, it was just a mess. As I walked up to grab spinach, I noticed my new boss standing there with a friend. Normally I would have said hi, but I was such as mess and was dreading running into anyone, so I bee lined it in the other direction to get the one other thing I needed. By the time you read this I will have already told her about it, and likely been teased about it by my colleagues. I deserve it haha. Anyhow, my point here is that I think it is important to not leave the house looking like a mess in the name of comfort, because you never know who you are going to run into.

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Well that was one long paragraph. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through that. I am pretty zonked (by that I mean sleepy) while writing this so I really hope I am not rambling on. I hope you all have a fabulous week!

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