Monday, 31 July 2017

Back To School Planners

I can't remember the last time I was this excited for school! The summer has flown by and September is fast approaching, but I feel like it couldn't come enough. I probably won't feel that way a couple weeks in to the semester, but for now I'm looking forward to living in a new city, going to a new university, living with new roommates, and meeting new people in my classes.

At this point, I've banned myself from buying any more summer clothes, so I've starting stocking up on fall clothes (bless the Nordstrom sale) and school supplies. As always, I will be picking up an agenda to keep me organized. I genuinely don't know how I would remember all of my "to-do's" for school, volunteering, and blogging if I didn't write them down. 

Obviously, there are the classic Lilly and Kate agendas, but I did some exploring and found a ton of other options. I leaning towards the customizable agendas from May Designs (#2) and Plum Paper (#3). They allow you to choose a cover, add a monogram or name, and personalize the inside layout. 

Which planner is your favorite?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Off The Shoulder Love

Dress:  Forever 21 // Purse: Tory Burch // Sunglasses: Sperry
Earrings:  Chayle // Sandals: Aldo

Just when I promised myself that I wouldn't add another off the shoulder item to my closet I buy this dress... The good news is that it's it's under $25! It's made of lightweight cotton which is perfect for a hot summer's day. You can pair it with Jacks or flat ankle strap sandals for a casual look, or dress it up with a pair of espadrille wedges. Already I've worn it out for a day of shopping (which you may have seen on my Instagram story - follow along here) and out for cocktails.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Costa Rica Packing List

Face Sunscreen: Laroche Posay // Body Sunscreen: Neutrogena
Sunnies: Ray-Ban // Statement Earrings:  Tuckerknuck
 Beach Tote:  L.L. Bean // Sun Hat:  Saks Off 5th
Sandals: Jack Rogers // Off The Shoulder Dress:  Mink Pink // White Linen Shirt:  J. Crew 
Sports Bra:  J. Crew x New Balance // Leggings:  J. Crew x New Balance
Denim Skirt:  H&M // Bathing Suit:  J. Crew

In a few weeks I will be flying down to Costa Rica with my boyfriend and his family! We're staying at a beachfront villa and I couldn't be more excited. His mom is quite the keener when it comes to planning, so we have plenty of activities booked including horseback riding, zip lining, and yoga. When we're not running around, I plan on lounging by the pool, reading, and napping ;) So, I'm packing a mix of active wear, swimsuits, and casual hot weather clothing.

I ordered this denim skirt and I think it's probably my best purchase of the summer. It's the perfect blue wash and isn't too short! If you're looking for an inexpensive denim skirt then check out H&M because they have so many great options!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

Let me start off this post by saying that I know everyone and their mother has posted about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, but I think it's one of the best sales of the year! It's such a great opportunity to stock up on fall items at a discount, instead of waiting until the season is almost finished. I personally enjoy reading about other people's favorite picks so I thought I'd share my own.

Today is the day that the sale opens up to the general public. I happen to be in Toronto for the weekend so I will be dragging my boyfriend with me to the mall bright and early tomorrow morning! I have my eye on the leather jacket and designer denim.

Follow me on Instagram (@plaidandpearls1) if you'd like to join on Saturday as I shop the sale and try on lots and lots of clothes :)

Thursday, 20 July 2017

English Country Garden Gin Cocktail

Gin is one of those things that you either love or hate, so this recipe is for you gin lovers! The English Country Garden is super refreshing, dry, and perfect for a hot summer's day. Yum!

I saw many different variations of this cocktail online, but this particular recipe is based on the one from my favorite local cocktail lounge. I guesstimated the quantities of the ingredients and it tastes exactly like the real thing!

-1.5 oz of Hendrick's gin
-0.5 oz of St. Germain elderflower liqueur
-0.5 oz of fresh lime juice
-2-3 oz of tonic
-a couple sprigs of mint
-1 thick slice of cucumber, chopped into small pieces

1. Add cucumber and mint to a glass and muddle
2. Fill the glass with plenty of ice
3. Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and tonic
4. Give it a quick stir and enjoy!

What's your favorite summer drink?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Ruffles and Tassels

Top:  Banana Republic // Tassel Earrings:  Bauble Bar
Jeans:  Abercrombie // Wedges: Franco Sarto

I love the tassel earring trend but I hate wearing heavy earrings that stretch out my earlobes. Bauble Bar makes these adorable tassel earrings in two sizes, regular and mini. I chose the mini size and it's perfect! The regular size would have been too heavy. Bauble Bar includes the weight in the description of all of their earrings which I love.

Also - how cute is this top? It's back in stock!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Hiking and Camping in Banff, Alberta

With my trip to Costa Rica fast approaching, I was thinking back to my travels from last summer and decided to share my trip to Banff! Last summer I was working about 3 hours away from Banff National Park in Alberta, so I decided to go camping there with my roommate and her friends. I've done several canoe camping trips, so I was excited to try something a little different.

We decided to hike the Paradise Valley trail, which takes you by a lake, glaciers, and waterfalls.
In preparation for the trip, we loaded up on cans of bear spray and a horn. Banff is filled with Grizzlies and you can actually get fined for not hiking in a group of 4 or more, since this reduces the chance of a bear attack. This was the sign at the beginning of the trail. This particular trail actually closes down during berry season in July and August because of all of the bears in the area! Fortunately the only bear we saw was by the side of the highway on the way into the park.
The trail was given a "difficult" rating and I wholeheartedly agree! At the time I considered myself to be pretty fit from running and pilates, but nothing could have prepared me for how hard the hike was! Carrying a massive backpack of camping equipment and walking uphill didn't help. I felt out of the breath for practically the entire duration of the hike.

For the first part of the trip, we walked through the forest. It was raining and after a while water started to leak through my rain jacket and hiking shoes.
This is Lake Annette. You can't tell from the picture, but it was actually snowing! (So much for the bathing suit I packed...). From this point on, the trail gained a lot of elevation and it snowed the rest of the way.
It was the end of June, but it was snowing like crazy. My clothes were pretty wet from the rain so I was absolutely freezing and genuinely worried about getting frost bite on my toes. For a brief moment we considered heading back.
Soon after, we reached the campsite. It was a relief to see several other campers there and made me feel safe about staying the night. This is where we pitched the tent.

After the tent was set up, me and one of the other girls peeled off our wet layers and crawled inside. Two of the girls who had on warmer layers made a fire and cooked couscous. You know when you're so hungry and tired that whatever food you eat tastes like the best thing in the world? This definitely was one of those moments.

After dinner I snuggled up in my sleeping back as best I could and dozed off listening to pieces of ice fall off a nearby glacier.
The next morning on the way back, we passed by the Giant Steps, which is basically a set of waterfalls. It finally started to warm up and I was actually sweating under all of my layers.
My hiking boots were wet, so I wore garbage bags over my socks to keep my feet dry. It was quite a look ;)
As the hike continued, the clouds cleared a bit and we got to see some amazing views. Lake Annette looked absolutely gorgeous.
Overall, this was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I got to see one of the most beautiful places in the world, and push my body and mind to its limits. I think that the pictures I took are gorgeous, but they still did not do justice to the sights. If you ever have a chance to visit Banff, I highly recommend going!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Secret Garden

Top: Zara // Earrings: Banana Republic x Milly (similarsimilar) // Chino Shorts: J. Crew // 
Sandals: Jack Rogers

I'm in love with all of the obnoxiously large bows, sleeves, and ruffles on everything this season, so when saw this top at Zara I knew I had to have it. The sleeves had a nice little twist to an otherwise simple off the shoulder top. It's great for patio drinks and date nights!

I ordered this top online and tried out a great new service that Zara is offering. You can order clothes online to store for free. Then, when you pick up your items in store, you can try them on immediately and return anything that you don't want. As someone who does a lot of online shopping I really appreciate not having to go through the hassle of mailing back something that doesn't fit. 


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