Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Fall Favorites

New month, new season, new beginnings... September tends to signify change and so much more. Here's a toast to Fall!

Photo from Sutton Place Hotel Wordpress

1. Pumpkin Everything - from the classic pie to flavoured lattes, pumpkin is not only nutritious, but delicious! 

2. Changing of Foliage - Shades of crisp orange, golden yellow, and apple red, it's always a guessing game to take the best photo op with the full change over.

3. Blanket Scarves - The beginning of layering and warmth when out on those chilly mornings or early evenings

4. Fall Walks - I love the crunch of leaves beneath my feet and the beauty of nature changing with every step.

5. Change- This season doesn't last too long, but it's such a significant time of year that sets the tone for what we are to experience and expect. 

xo Sarah

Friday, 23 September 2016

African Wedding

For those who know me personally, they know I love all things weddings. I love the way a wedding is personalized to a couple's interest, commonalities, and tastes. I love the approach that is taken in planning a wedding and the process from concept-generating to executing every moment, detail, and vision. I love the incorporation of one's culture and customs and perhaps even faux pas additions for the modern lovebirds. I love being able to learn and gain new experiences and a few weeks ago, I attended a wedding that was a beautiful expression of all these elements.

I've never been to an African wedding before, and ironically, you don't need to know the couple personally to attend an African wedding as they usually extend an open invitation. Mind you, I'm not a wedding crasher! As timing would have it, an African community that utilizes my church's space happened to have a couple getting married and they extended the invite to the rest of the congregation. I was thrilled in anticipation to attend and see what the hype would be about. This is an inaugural testament of my experience first hand as a love story unfolded beautifully.

My friend and I attending the wedding. 

The Colours

Bright, bold, and vibrant. I loved the gowns! From traditional silky fabrics adorned in layers to bright A-line ballgowns straight out of Vogue. The details, embellishments, and charm was undeniably exquisite. The traditional prints adorned on the popularly-sighted maxis were simply gorgeous and a visual runway for the eyes. My favourite was this lime green strapless gown with bold spring flowers. 

My biggest dilemma was uncertainty of what to wear. Debating between going the western way of dressing or adding more traditional elements, I opted for a coral red maxi dress with a batik print I had got from Bali paired with a boxy black top. 

The Food

Home cooking at its finest. I enjoyed the traditionally seasoned meats paired with common western options of various salads, cold cuts, and potatoes. The food were served from large aluminium tins and were heated over chafing dishes to keep the food warm due to the later eating time. 

FYI, African weddings, have no time constraints, and tend to go on an unscheduled schedule. The speeches, story telling, and entertainment came first before eating which was different from what I was use to.

The Vibe

Upbeat, lively, and energetic. African weddings consisted of so many different beats and dances, and I loved every moment of it. The couple even hired dancers to do traditional dances throughout the night. It was really neat to see the bridal party dance down the aisle to a cultural beat - made you even want to groove right along. 

Overall, it was amazing to have this opportunity and have a first hand experience of an African community celebrating the love story of a very sweet couple. I would definitely go again, and this time, I'll know exactly what to wear! 

xo Sarah

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Fall Favourites

I can tell you what I'm not looking forward to about fall - having to wait warm up my car and waiting for the windshield to defog. Snarkiness aside, these are the things I look forward to this season.

Photo from Tumblr

1. Autumn Sunsets - When the light hits the leaves, it's as if the land is painted in gold. 

2. Tea Lattes - Bitter weather lends more reason to sip on tea lattes.

3. Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream - Village Ice Cream recently came out with Cinnamon Toast ice cream, and it was scrumptious. Rarely do I ever deviate from my Earl Grey and Phil & Sebastian Coffee combo. 

4. Boots - For me it's only something I wear in the fall/ winter months, but I love how boots can easily refine my outfit. 

5. Season Premieres - I'm excited for the return of some of my favourite TV shows for days when I need a distraction. 

xo Ann

Friday, 16 September 2016

Dressing for Iceland 101

Photo Credits: Karman Wong

Capping off my summer, I ironically went somewhere relatively cold with my three friends. Despite the word "ice" in Iceland, the country is fairly green, and though we did see ice we had to deliberately plan for it. Iceland was surprisingly a very easy travel pick as I tend to jet-set to places out of my comfort zone. English-friendly communication, easy to drive roads, and non crowded attractions made for a smooth and enjoyable journey. It probably helps that Iceland is also one of the safest countries in the world! 

However, there were a few things that threw me off. There's a running joke in Iceland where if you didn't like the weather wait five minutes - literally. Sometimes the weather changes on you before you can even decide what to wear. Sunny one moment, rainy the next, and blurry fog that can easily mist your view. Packing for Iceland required some thought since I tend to go to consistently warmer destinations, but it was definitely an insightful learning curve.

Below is my look book paired with our dynamic itinerary. 

All Aboard Cozy 

OOTD (me-center): Cotton tee, denim shirt, suede leggings, loafers
Destination of the Day (DOTD): Reykjavik

Arriving at 6am, we had a full day planned so it was important to wear flight cozy clothing that was city walk friendly as well. Loose fitting tops, comfy shoes, and leggings did the trick with a swap of accessories for a day out. We were also super blessed to have arrived on a sunny day. 

Tip: I like to pack an extra layer or outfit in my carry on for an easy change on the plane or in the airport.

The Great Outdoors 

With plans to go caving, snorkeling, and horseback riding, we had to wear the protective armour necessary for Iceland's outback adventuring. From insulated neoprenes to waterproof gear that fisherman still wear today (see my head to toe orange look above), it definitely kept us warm and protected from the elements of strong wind, indecisive rain, and the Arctic chill. 

Tip: Always have an extra pair of shoes in the car as you never know when the pair you're wearing will get drenched or dirty. Thankfully my Scarpa hiking shoes endured even horse poop! Plus, a change of shoes will do you good for various activities during the day. 

On the Road Comfort

OOTD: Cotton long sleeve, khaki pants, windbreaker, printed scarf, cross body bag
DOTD: Svartifoss Waterfall

Renting a car was the best idea to maneuver south of the island as with durable shoes, stretchy pants to climb in, and a textured long sleeves to keep warm. From my bag camouflaging with the gray-blue pebbles to my pants blending in with the eroded rectangular structures at Black Sand beach, I couldn't have fluked this outfit match better! 

 Tip: I had packed my backpack in the car almost everyday, but as most of our treks were fairly short, this leather cross body bag was light weight enough to carry everywhere, yet still being able to fit my essentials: camera, wallet, phone, and lip chap for on the go purposes. 

 Layering Up

OOTD: As you can see, we were layered in windbreakers, sweaters, toques, gloves and scarves brrrrr!
DOTD: Diamond Beach / Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon  
OOTD: Wearing layers easy to take on and off as the temperatures got warm
DOTD: Fjaoraglijufur Canyon 
DOTD: Dyrholaey

As you can see, the weather changed as diverse as the scenery this day. It was important to wear layers that could easily be put on or taken off as the temperature got warmer. My toque kept my head toasty as with the gloves on my hand. On a whim, I packed my blanket scarf and boy am I glad I did! It was the right amount of coverage and warmth when a jacket wasn't necessary. 

Tip: A blanket scarf is great for doubling up as a blanket in the car when the day feels chilly.

Street Explorer

OOTD: Printed tank, black blouse, high waisted pants, loafers

We were blessed to come across another sunny day during our city plans. Icelandic style tends to incorporate the athleisure trend mixed with casual pieces. Wool sweaters, cardigans, and accessories are common staples sighted among locals as with outer layers of their iconic brands: 66 North, Icewear, and Cintamani. Don't say I didn't warn you about the price tag for their immeasurably high quality.

Tip: Always have a pair of sunglasses on you as the clouds love to play hide and seek with the sun... plus you'll look extra ray-dient!

Lightweight Dressy 

OOTD: Tweed jacket, navy tank, black blouse, printed skirt, stone necklace

You don't often see locals or tourists dressed up, but as this trip fell closely to my birthday, we had decided to celebrate with a nice dinner out. Iceland had so many great photo op spots; from street art and colourful buildings to architectural landmarks, the opportunities were endless. I highly recommend the deliciously local restaurant Resto for a delightful meal out! 

Tip: Pack light weight and wrinkle-free clothing for special occasions where you'll probably only wear them once. Dressing up with separates are great to rework into a casual outfit. 

Overall, Iceland was a pleasurable experience to explore and dress for. With the abundance of flight routes via Iceland Air, it's definitely worth a stop over, if not a full on trip.

Happy Travelling!

xo Sarah 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Fall Favourites

Is anyone else wondering where time has gone and how we're almost half way through September already? This month each of us will be sharing our favourite things we love about Fall.

Image result for september photography tumblr

  1. Apple Cider - everyone might be going crazy for their PSL but as soon as the mornings turn crisp I'm all about the cider

  2. Fall TV Line Up - as a tv junkie I'm eagerly waiting for Project Runway and Scream Queens to start up again

  3. Dark Nude Lipsticks - see ya bright pinks, hello mauves, berries and browns!

  4. Ankle Boots - you can never have too many; I'm loving the grey suede this season

  5. September 2016 Playlist - can't get enough of these tunes

xo Steph

Friday, 9 September 2016

Troubleshooting "Brablems"

Let's be real, we all have "brablems" - problems with our bras. Is it even possible that the perfect bra exists out there? It's very well likely that there is no such thing as the perfect bra, but there are certainly ways to get closer to bra bliss.

ThirdLove would know because they are in the business to helping you comfortably find a great bra without the discomfort of having a stranger take your measurements. How so? By using their app! They also know that breasts don't come standard and have expanded their criteria when it comes to fit. If anything, it's with ThirdLove where you'll find the most comfortable, most "customized" bra for you. Not to mention we've got an incentive for you at the end of this post. But before we get to that, we're going to share our brablems paired with some solutions.

A photo posted by ThirdLove (@thirdlove) on

Steph// I may be one of the few who actually enjoys bra shopping. The feeling of fresh new undergarments is superb - or maybe I just love the thrill of purchasing new things? However, this does not mean I don't suffer from brablems still.
My biggest brablem: sloped shoulders = the constant annoyance of straps falling down.

Solution// It seems ridiculous to remind you to adjust your straps regularly but I'm 100% guilty of not doing so. Trust me this can help! But if you suffer from droopy shoulders like I do, look for racer back or changeable strap options.

Ann// I am one who doesn't believe push-ups bras are a form of "false advertising". If anything, I could use a little help with some foamy bits. I am susceptible to cup gaping, so I have to make sure not to pick ones that are 75% foam. Sure Victoria's Secret Bombshell bra claims to add two cup sizes, but on me they feel more like I'm being stuffed into a lifejacket.

Solution// I'll go for ones with just a hint of push-up, and I just need to make sure to get into the habit of regularly tightening the straps. Although perhaps my biggest problem is that I feel like I can never have too many pretty underpinnings!

Sarah// I tend to go bra shopping when there's a need for a specific bra in mind or the need for better support. Strapless for a special occasion? Supportive sports bra for the gym? These questions aren't hard to answer with the right bra, but my brablem is finding a bra that is able to give me leverage support without adding extra padding since I am on the curvier side. A bra that gives the right amount of lift, yet is comfortable and light weight would be perfect. As a modest girl, I like having full coverage and being able to feel like my bra is barely there.

Solution// Bands can loosen quickly overtime so it's better to have a tight band than to have a bra worn out too quick. Sometimes it's better to go up a size or wear an equivalent size to get the best fit. Don't worry too much about the number/letter, but rather prioritize how you feel in it!

We feel your frustrations with bras; let's conquer those brablems with these simple tips and tricks!

In a few weeks, we'll be revealing our favourite bras from ThirdLove. In the meantime, they would like to share with you a special discount code! If you're feeling a little on-the-fence, click here for their 30-day trial offer. We can't wait for ours to arrive! (Update: The promo code was changed to a working one.)

xo Meraki Connexion

Friday, 2 September 2016

Obsidian and Oxblood

Shorter days, chillier mornings, and more cups of tea to stay warm remind me of the pending fall season. Wanting a change, I returned my hair to a black shade and that inspired me to channel a darker look - perhaps a bit of that Wednesday Addams vibe. Getting me to wear black is a bit of challenge since the recurring comment is that I have all the colours in my wardrobe. This Boutique 1861 shift dress, for my pre-fall look, combines sweet yet edgy with the gunmetal grommets and laced detailing. If the days are colder or when I'm too lazy to shave my armpits, I would wear a long-sleeve blouse underneath the dress. Since I still need colour to a black outfit, oxblood is reflected in my patent loafers, satchel, and lips. A thank you to my best friend, Lauren, for taking time during her time doing her elective to hang out and take photos. Not having to photograph myself and having different background is a nice change!

xo Ann

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Meraki Monthly: September

We've returned from our mini hiatus refreshed and ready for a new month. Thank you, dear readers, for your patience! There was a lot going on but in a nutshell, Sarah was off travelling, Steph was pursuing a new professional endeavour, and Ann had been working on a few custom gowns over the spring/ summer months with a new one in the works for fall. Stay tuned in the weeks to come where we will unpack our experiences.

Tuesday Thoughts: A collection of our favourites for fall
Obsidian and Oxblood: Cooler weather beckons for clothes in sinister tones
"Brablems": A two-part collab post with ThirdLove lingerie
Fall Style: Our uber cool Steph is brewing up some duds for the season
Return from Iceland: Sarah recaps her most memorable experiences from her travels


September 2-3: Symphony in the City
September 3-4: Sonic Boom
September 4-5: Tour of Alberta
September 10-14: Trends Apparel Show
September 11-13: Kaleido Family Arts Festival
September 11: What the Truck?!
September 17-24: Western Canada Fashion Week
September 25-27: Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo


xo Meraki Connexion