Saturday, 30 July 2016

Summer Patio Attire

When it's not thunderous and raining pellets, dining outdoors is the way to go! There's such jubilance with the warmth of the sun, a touch of cool breeze, great company, and scrumptious bites. At least no one will be hangry at the table. Here are a couple of looks we'd pick for casual dining on the patio or a picnic in the park.

White Lies

A feminine flair that deceives the eyes. Yes, this is a romper - no flashing those panties here! With the fitted bodice and sweet heart neckline, this piece is perfect to accessorize with a dainty necklace. Keeping it casual the coral sandals add a pop of colour (I've worn this romper with converse for a more streetwear vibe, and wedges for a dressier look). Topping it all off, you can't go out on the patio or to the park without a pair of sunnies. I'm obsessed with the Quay Australia mirrored sunglasses that go with everything!

Genie in a Bottle 

A playful, wrap jumpsuit (pattern found in Burda Style 05/2013) in mini florals is a fun alternative for dress. Let's hope there's no need for the washroom too often! In keeping with the boho look, I accessorized with a pair of lotus hoop earrings - one of my spoils from The Tin Box. I haven't been there since they closed their location in Edmonton two years ago and was experiencing withdrawal. Thankfully Canmore is only one hour away from my beloved Cowtown!

xo Meraki Connexion

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Blogiversary Rewind

It's amazing to look back at what can be achieved in a year. Alongside happily reminiscing, it's also hard to wrap your head around something that happened a year ago, when it feels like it was last week. That's exactly how I feel about looking back at our first few posts.

Favourite Post - YEG Ice Castle

There are far too many posts I've enjoyed getting dressed up for, but this post differentiates itself from all the others because it involved winter attire and exploring YEG. I love winter for the fluffy white blanket of snow the city becomes covered in, and adorning hats, coats, and boots (I'm all for cosy attire). This post brought content in fashion and experience - two of my favourite things to blog about!

Most Challenging Post - Tuesday Thoughts: Outfit Inspiration

Strange that I feel I struggled the most with this post, because I was the one who came up with this idea. This might be because I wanted to challenge myself to think outside of the box, and attempt a style I wouldn't usually go for. It was difficult deciding on who I would use as inspiration and how to pose "more like a boy". However, in the end I think this post turned out to have some of my favourite photos.

xo Steph

Friday, 22 July 2016


Outfits Of the Work Week

(A small snippet)

Well this week sure has been a whirl wind. Since I'm currently transitioning into a new job, I've decided to refine my closet a little bit (or maybe a lot after a few shopping hauls). While out shopping I kept in mind the word essential - what can be versatile with other pieces and different occasions. With a more business-like dress code and Edmonton's constant changing weather, as you can see my outfits are all about layering. I'm also really loving necklaces to accessorize and add the finishing touch to the look.  Let's all take a moment to acknowledge the fact that I made it an entire week without wearing leggings!

Top: Loft, Pants: Zara

Necklace: Cloud and Lolly, Tshirt: Zara, Pants: Zara

Top: Aritzia, Necklace: Borrowed from my Mom, Jeans: Zara

Cardigan: Forever21, Tank: Aritzia, Jeans: Abercrombie, Shoes: Vans

Necklace: Cloud and Lolly, Top: Forever21, Bottoms: Uniqlo

xo Steph

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Blogiversary Rewind

It baffles me that we have already surpassed a year with the blog! And it makes my heart happy that people are curious and supportive of our ventures. Although progress may be sluggish, I appreciate that we have tried to maintain the frequency of our posts despite the changes that have happened in each of our personal lives. Now for a little throwback to my favourite and my most challenging post thus far.

Favourite Post - Modern Chainmail

I would say this was also my most challenging post, but I really enjoyed how it turned out. Obstacles would include learning how to photograph myself - not to mention the many shots I had to take to achieve the correct poses. The days were short, so I spent a couple weeks just trying to capitalize on whatever amount of sunshine there was available. Yet I really enjoyed working on this post because it challenged me to experiment with different looks and styles that I may not often wear. I think this post also really solidified how much I love doing style posts, and it helped me rebuild my confidence.

Most Challenging Post - Miss Independent

The hurdle was creating content that was genuine and relatable without it sounding miserable or too serious. Of course, humour and sarcasm had to be interjected. This was something that was important to me, and I thought it would help to connect with others who may also feel like they're "falling behind" in a time where they feel like the world is getting married/ having children/ buying a house. But I think, as with myself, we need to remind ourselves that our lives move in the pace they were meant to move, that we are where we're meant to be, and that life was not designed to be a race. This is something that is still a struggle day after day, but it's okay not to be okay sometimes.

xo Ann

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Calgary Adventures 2.0

I might just write an annual post about my adventures down in Calgary seeing that it's been a joy every time I venture south. Having had such an unforgettable experience last year (you can read all about my highlights here), I had an urge to go down during a Stampede weekend again. Fortunately and with great timing, my friend Rachelle landed a spot with Market Collective and I had another reason to go assist her in featuring her jewellery line, Rimley. You may have recalled our collaboration with her last summer in this post

This year's highlights included the following:

Image: Bulgogi Fries & Shallot Chicken
Image: Mango Tapioca Sweet Soup

Late Night Eats

Driving in late on Friday,  we had a craving for chicken. Wow Chicken had good reviews and we decided to check it out. Indeed we were "wow-ed." The chicken hit the spot (though the shallots flavoured one could use more seasoning), and the bulgogi flavoured fries were a uniquely mix of sweet and salty, like kettle popcorn. Of course, we couldn't stop at that and went to the popular Dessert House in Chinatown to cap off with some HK style sweets like the steamed egg with ginger pudding, egg waffles, and mango tapioca sweet soup.

Rimley table & I

Market Collective 

Though I've shopped at MC before, being in the shoes of a vendor was a different experience. It was neat to share with others the story behind Rimley and talk with other artisans as well. It reminded me of my passion to have a business one day along with the highs and lows of being a business woman. I absolutely enjoyed the encouraging stories and supportive atmosphere from this show!

Enjoying our mini donut popsicles

Peking Acrobats

Stampede Fun

Due to the economy, the Stampede did cut back on some stunt shows and activities as compared to last year. However, it was still plenty of fun, and the Peking acrobatics show made our admission worth it. Speaking of which, you can save some money by purchasing 2 adult admissions for $27 at your nearest Mac's among other deals. My friend and I also fell in love with the mini donut popsicles with real mini donut pieces! Plus, you can never go wrong with the wine gardens when it pours. 

Container Bar
Image: Brasserie signage and interior

Hip Local Eats

My friends and I really wanted to go to the Container Bar due to its hip reviews and patio vibes, but since it wasn't opened early enough, we went to it's next door neighbour Brasserie for lunch. We knew it would satisfy us upon entry due to the occupied seats, friendly service, and cheery menu. To our luck, we found out that they used to be the same owner as the Container Bar, so their menu items overlapped! The food was scrumptious, fresh, and filling. I definitely recommend the Kensington area for local eats! 

Rafting along the Bow River towards downtown
My friend Sash and I

Rafting Adventures 

Last, but not least, the favourite part of this trip-rafting! Lazy Day Rafts has such simple and efficient services to offer you a great experience. It came to less than $20 per person for the four of us and since we were short on time, we chose the 1.5 hour rafting route from Shouldice Park. It was a great experience, and there was even a splash at the end when we hit a dip in the river. 

Calgary is definitely an accessible and fun getaway when you just need a mini hiatus from Edmonton. We were overjoyed by the volume of activities we could fit in without feeling overwhelmed with the time constraint. What is your favourite thing to do when in Calgary? 

xo Sarah 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Blogiversary Rewind

As you know, this month is our One Year Blogiversary! Meraki Connexion has grown immensely this year as we dived into the joy of writing, pushed creative content out, and ventured through the growing pains of running a lifestyle blog. 

This month, we want to rewind a bit and reflect on how this year went for us as we share about our favourite and most challenging post. We hope you take the time to check out or revisit our past posts as we wouldn't be here without your support.

Favourite Post - Wedding Guest Looks

This is still one of my favourite posts I look back on. I love the idea behind it as it was featured during the short but definitely sweet wedding season we had here in Edmonton last summer. I came up with this initial idea of doing a wedding guest look post since I was working in the wedding industry and always enjoyed the idea of dressing up for someone's big day. I love the personality that a couple brings into their wedding day and how it can be visually conveyed

It was also a lot of fun shooting in a spontaneously-discovered location hidden in a neighbourhood near the University of Alberta.  I feel it was also the first collaborative post that pushed the four of us to think about how to dress suitably for each theme. Some of the shots turned out very editorial and it was a post that garnered plenty of views and comments! 

Most Challenging Post - Tuesday Thoughts: OOTW

This post was considered the most challenging for me because it took a quite some time to compile. Each day I had to be mindful of the weather, the time of day, and lighting so that I could get that #ootd selfie I needed. It took some time to also practice angling my arm a certain way or pose tightly so that I could share my whole outfit.

Despite the struggle at first, I would totally do this again as it was a great visual diary of what I wore in a week. I also liked being able to see what patterns stood out and think about why I dress the way I do. 

xo Sarah 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Selection

If you ever have suffered from the following scenario, you and I have too much in common.

Cue, The Selection. If you have not read this series stop everything now and go get it!!
I had the first book sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year because I'm dumb. That's the only reason I've got. If the beautiful dresses on the book covers are not enticing enough for you to look into this series, I'm sorry but you're reading the wrong books.

If you're into anything along the lines of romantic, dystopian, young adult novels this is exactly what you will get. The series revolves around a young girl named America living in the country of Illea. There, people are living in castes that determine your quality of life. With a royal family in charge of their country, the heir to the throne, Maxon, must select a wife from a group of 36 young women.

Throughout the series I once again struggled with my emotional attachment to fictional characters. There were too many times I wanted to scream at America for what she was thinking and doing, but I'm glad Kiera Cass made her character someone I'd hate at times. (How boring would it be if she was just a goody two shoes?) Of the books in the series, The Elite was my favourite because I could not put it down and was forever wondering what would happen next with America! 

Without giving too much away, I'll just say this: I am secretly wishing for a real-life version of Maxon to exist. This is a must read if you're a sucker for mushy romantic boys or you've always dreamed of becoming a princess. I can't wait to dive into the next two books!

xo Steph

Friday, 1 July 2016

1st Blogiversary

Happy Canada Day! Our blog has officially turned one!

If you're curious or into a flashback Friday find our very first post here!

A lot can happen in a year. As this blog has developed, we've grown individually along the way. Carmen is no longer with us due to school commitments, Ann is taking on new adventures in Calgary, Steph is transitioning into a new job, and Sarah is anticipating change this summer. We've discovered the efforts necessary to running a blog, and are looking forward to what else may come about from this project.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog for the past year! With more new and exciting content to come let us know what you'd like to see on our blog in the comments below.

xo Meraki Connexion