Tag Archives: spring

Marine Wildlife at Stanley Park

Sea lion in Cantonese: 海[hoi2] 獅[si1]

Stanley Park is the place I would always want to go whenever the sun comes out. It’s my third time visiting Stanley Park since my arrival in December (fourth time in total because I paid a visit a few years ago). The first time I came for the sea wall, the second time I came for the cherry blossoms and the third time I came to show my father around.

It’s a sunny day and 420, I cannot think of other places to visit when downtown is filled with the smell of weed. Originally I wanted to show my father the cherry blossoms in Stanley Park so he can take photos, unfortunately, most of them have wilted already. I guessed the best time to visit was two weeks ago when all the flowers were in full bloom.

It was a bit disappointing not seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom, so we just casually walked around the park and enjoyed the sunshine. While my father was taking photos of two ducks on the sea, I spotted a black smooth surface floating above the water and quickly dived again. We waited for several minutes and it appeared again. I immediately took some photos. Guess what is it?

It’s a sea lion!!!!!!

I have never seen a wild one before, I hope we’ll get to see more of them during our trip to Tofino in 4 days time! Let the travel marathon begin!

Click here for more photos taken today!

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Cherry Blossom!

Cherry blossoms in Cantonese: 櫻[jing1] 花[faa1]

It has been raining all week except for Wednesday, so I went to Stanley Park to look for cherry blossoms! It wasn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be because when I see the photos on Instagram, they look very pink, but when I see them in real life, it is much whiter than what I saw on Instagram (looks like people have photoshopped too much!)

I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, so instead of taking pictures of the cherry blossoms, I took pictures of people who are taking photos of the cherry blossoms. At first, I noticed a lady who was sitting under the tree smiling. I took a photo of her. She later started walking around and I noticed that I accidentally took quite a lot of pictures of her, so I thought it’d be polite to send her the photos. It was my first time to walk to a stranger and tell her I secretly took pictures of her. Imagine if someone walks to you and says things like this… Luckily, she was very friendly and was happy that I took photos for her! She has never been a model and has people take photos for her because she never knows how to pose, which I have the same struggle. So I kept chatting with her while I press the shutter in order to capture her most natural look.

I am so happy that she likes my photos and I can make her feel special and confident! Maybe I should do that more often when I secretly took photos of strangers, that could be one way of making friends. Who knows?

More photos that I took on Weds here!

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Fashion favs for spring

FINALLY. SPRING IS HERE. We are finally able to dress for warm weather without being too cold. I have some fashion favourites when it comes to spring fashion and I’ve been waiting to talk about it.

A t-shirt dress is a must. It is super easy to just throw on and pair with any jacket and any type of shoe. You can pick up these type of dresses in many colours so it looks like you are wearing something different each time. They are also super comfortable to wear.

The next item I think is a must to have in your closet for the spring and summer time is a pair of white pants. White pants are a staple because they look fresh and bright! You can pair them with any coloured shirt and pretty much any type of shoe.

I believe that it is crucial to have a skirt in your collection. Plaid skirts have become very popular again (even if your not in private school) and they are super cute to dress up, or dress down.

The last item that I am going to share is a long silk dress. I think these types of dresses are so cute because you can make them super dressy or super casual. They are very pretty on anyone and they look perfect for an occasion.

Hope you guys like some of these items and check them out online! You will find many more items like them on the Aritzia website. Thanks for reading!

xx

Latest trend: Blush is in this season

Trend alert! So, much to my surprise, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet but… blush is on trend this season. For those who are blush lovers, and for those who are on the fence, like myself, you just have to take a look at some of the gorgeous pieces available in the Stella & Dot Spring collection.

So, let’s dive in.

First, we have the Chrissie Collar Necklace.

Next, the beautiful Pink Alexandria Chandeliers. While I’m not normally a statement earring kind of girl, I find myself really wanting to give them a shot. Anyone else not normally a statement earring girl?

Okay, the Double V Sweater is absolutely a major favourite this season. It can be paired with just about anything thanks to the neutral colour.

This Yves Wrap Bracelet is definitely on my list. I love a wrap bracelet and it looks really good when paired with these Montague Stretch Bracelets.

And last but certainly not least, the Waverly Petite (Neutral Braided) fold over clutch that doubles as a crossbody purse! What’s not to love there? Plus, bonus…. two looks in one!

Tell me your thoughts, comment below. Are you on the blush bandwagon?

The post Latest trend: Blush is in this season appeared first on Veronica Aarstad.

Take a look at the new Spring line

It’s here! The newest collection from Stella & Dot was launched a few days ago and the response has been crazy which is super exciting! Today, I’ll show you some of the most popular items of the collection, surprisingly most of them are tops.

My samples are on their way but let me know if you’d like to see anything or have any questions.


Crush It Backpack

This black quilted backpack features a zipper pocket inside, a shoe compartment at the bottom, a cell phone zip pocket on the back side exterior and… get ready for this…. yoga mat straps! Perfect for going to work, the gym or yoga class.

While it’s on the more expensive side, if this is a piece you’re dying to have, why not host a style session and get the backpack for free! Contact me.

The Crush It Backpack
The Crush It Backpack – Black Quilted

Stone Rebel Pendent

This is a new take on one of my favourite necklaces. It’s versatile, there are two ways to wear it. Gold on one side, calcite stone on the other. Also comes in rose gold and larvikite stone.

If you’re not a fan of the stone look, the original Rebel Pendant is still available in gold, rose gold and silver.

Stone Rebel Pendant – Gold

Erika Long Sleeve Top

This beauty has a V-neck, faux-wrap look and is perfect for layering your favourite necklaces. It comes in black and white and looks great with jeans.

Erika Long Sleeve Shirt – Black
Pictured with the Rose Gold Stone Rebel Pendant
Erika Long Sleeve Shirt – White
Pictured with the Amour Disc Pendant

The Zip Pullover

The bright colour of this Zip Pullover is just in time for spring and it’s definitely a bold choice. Throw it on with some leggings and pair it with the 3-in-1 Francis Lariat Necklace.

If you’re not a fan of the bright colour, there are three others available: camo, black and burgundy.

The Zip Pullover – Cobalt

Ren Slouchy Knit Top

The ever popular Ren Slouchy Knit Top now comes in navy and tomato red! Choose to do the one-shoulder look or not and it looks great with a layered or pendant necklace.

Ren Slouchy Knit Top – Tomato Red
Ren Slouchy Knit Top – Navy

You can see more pieces, bags and accessories on my Stella & Dot website at any time. And feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

The post Take a look at the new Spring line appeared first on Veronica Aarstad.

Outfit of the Day — March 31, 2018

This is the outfit I wore on a chilly spring day by the lake. For weathers like this, I put together a cute, yet warm and comfortable, outfit by layering! This oversized denim jacket has become one of my go-to clothing pieces; It’s comfortable due to the oversized fit and I can easily layer sweaters or hoodies under it. For days with wet weathers, I always choose my Timberland boots because they are waterproof and lined with fleece. So they keep my feet warm and dry. You can also always add a knit beanie or a cute scarf if you want some extra warmth.

Grey sweater: Forever 21
Oversized denim jacket: Forever 21
Black jeggings: American Eagle
Boots: Timberland

The post Outfit of the Day — March 31, 2018 appeared first on Simply HelenJ.

My top 5 Stella & Dot favourites for March

So it’s the first day of spring! It feels like the last few months have gone by so quickly. So, to get ready for the new season, I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite pieces from this month’s Stella & Dot style drop. The new pieces are such great compliments to the Spring Collection that was launched in January and I can’t wait to introduce them to you.

Here we go!

1. The Vacay Bag

This bag is so versatile and can fit just about anything you’d need for your spring or summer holiday. It’s got a removable and adjustable vegan leather shoulder strap so you can have your hands free. Just in case you want to pack a few extra things, the vacay bag is also expandable! Don’t even get me started on the palm leaf pattern… pick one up in time for your next trip! Bonus: there’s a cute matching hanging cosmetic bag.

2. Bianca Knit Tee

This top screams spring and the bright coral colour is one of my absolute favourites. It’s sure to any outfit up a few notches. The poofy ruffled sleeves are so fun and give the Bianca Tee the right amount of flair. The crew neckline is just perfect to showcase your everyday essential jewelry, simple or statement. Just in case you’re not a fan of the bold colour, it also comes in white. Add one to your closet!

3. Ulani Pendant

This shiny silver pendant necklace is simple piece yet a great addition to any outfit. You can wear it alone or layer it with other delicate necklaces to change it up a bit.

4. Unity Wishing Bracelet

I chose this piece not only because of how cute it is but because it’s also a reminder to be inclusive of all people, from all walks of life and to be united! Until the end of April, Stella & Dot will donate the net proceeds from each Unity Bracelet purchase to benefit autism awareness. Together, we can work to achieve something amazing!

5. Antibes Tote

Say hello to your new beach bag! The Antibes Tote is your perfect companion for relaxing beach days. It’s got more than enough room to carry your sunscreen, sandals, water bottle and beach coverup. The outside palm details are embroidered and I think the fringe adds a little something special, don’t you? Why not grab one for your next vacation?

 

Okay, so that’s my top five for the month. Stay tuned to see my favourite pieces from the style drop next month!

Before I go, just in case you need a reason to shop…. I’ve got nine here for you. Shop now to receive exclusive offers during the month of March.

The post My top 5 Stella & Dot favourites for March appeared first on Veronica Aarstad.

Flowers in Leeds

Way back in my first blog post, I mentioned that I spent a semester abroad in the UK. Specifically, I went to Leeds, which for those of you who don’t know, is in the northern part of the country. They have there what is called a ‘northern accent’ (This is in contrast to the ‘southern accent,’ which is what everyone thinks of when they think of a British accent). Essentially, you can only understand about half the words out of anyone’s mouth. And it doesn’t help that everyone speaks really really fast. Any-who, Leeds is located in the beautiful county of West Yorkshire. I discussed this and shared some pictures of the quintessential West Yorkshire countryside in my first post. You can read it here if you would like.

Every single day on my walk to either university or the city centre, I would pass by Hyde Park. Hyde Park was a beautiful octagon-shaped park that had flowers lining its edges as well as interspersed throughout the whole park. I remember being really surprised when, at the end of February, still in the clutches of winter, the crocuses started blooming. Here is what they looked like:

There were some beautiful white ones too, but I didn’t manage to take a picture of those. Around the end of March, I noticed something else strange happening: the crocuses disappeared and daffodils took their place. I found it funny how one flower just replaced the other. I know next to nothing about flowers so for all I know, this is probably not weird at all. But all of a sudden, instead of a sea of purple and white, Hyde Park and the surrounding areas turned into a sea of yellow. I could swear I took pictures of the daffodils but unfortunately I cannot find any so perhaps I didn’t. But just to supplement my lone picture, here is a picture of one of the many pathways in Hyde Park:

I absolutely love spring time when the flowers start blooming and the leaves return to the trees. Unfortunately, it seems Vancouver has yet to get the memo. We seem to be stuck in perpetual winter. That is why I am reminiscing about this time last year, when English spring was in full force and warm weather was on its way. I hope Vancouver will follow suit shortly!

Vanilla Chai Tea Baked Donuts

As the months have rolled around to March already, I’ve found myself in a baking rut because of all of my homework from Midterm season. These past few weeks, my work in the treat department has mainly been some of my go-to, easy, twenty minute cookie recipes. While those are delicious and satisfy whatever sweet cravings I may have, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary for this blog post.

For inspiration, I went rummaging through my cupboards and came across a gift I had forgotten was stored away since Christmas: a donut mold baking pan! Normally donuts are fried, but you can also bake a denser cake-like version in the oven. They’re also easier to make at home if you don’t have a deep-frier handy.

This recipe uses some freshly brewed Vanilla Chai Tea to give the donuts a warm, spicy and sweet flavour. You can choose to cover them with a cinnamon-sugar dusting or a chai tea glaze. I went with both options.

 

Vanilla Chai Tea Baked Donuts


Makes 6 donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Chai Tea, brewed and cooled
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 3 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Chai Tea Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp Chai Tea, brewed and cooled
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt) and whisk together. In another large mixing bowl, combine the tea, vegetable oil, vanilla, and egg. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until just combined. Fill baking molds 2/3 of the way full (To do this, I put the batter in a pastry bag for better control when piping into the donut rings). Bake for approximately 10 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the toppings, either brush the donuts with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixed together. Or, stir the glaze ingredients together and drizzle or dip the donuts into the mixture.


Slightly Adapted From: The Chunky Chef