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This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Newfoundland with Ford to test drive the new Ford EcoSport. The trip marked the launch of the subcompact crossover SUV to North America, as well as my first visit to the East Coast of Canada! Talk about an epic weekend. I loved exploring a coast that is unlike anything I’ve seen out west, as well as chatting with as many Newfoundlanders as I could along the way; they’re some of the most welcoming people I’ve had the chance to meet. To top it off, the Ford Ecosport was the perfect adventure companion for the journey. Follow along as I take you through what we did and how this vehicle made it all happen both comfortably and safely.

Cape Spear

We had a 4:30 am wakeup call on day one for a sunrise drive out to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. Yup, that means we woke up to the first sun in the continent. The lighthouse on Cape Spear is a national historic site that was kept by the same family for 150 years until it recently became automated. Located at the tip of a rock point, I will never forget arriving and looking back to a long line of Ford EcoSports cresting the hill just as the first light came over The Atlantic. It was amazing!

You all know that I’m no professional car person, so if I step into a vehicle and instantly feel confident means that it’s something special. Normally, it’s a bit of a process for me to feel comfortable in a new vehicle, but I felt right at home in the EcoSport. It’s compact, so fit perfectly on the little St. John’s roads. If I hit a dead end (it happened a lot), or made a wrong turn, I could turn around no problem… even if I was right next to a cliff! I mean, the backup camera and sensor system definitely helped too. Anyways, the vehicle is seriously manoeuvrable.

Jelly Bean Lane

Naturally, we visited Jelly Bean Lane as soon as we had the chance. What I didn’t expect, was that almost the entirety of St. John’s looked like this! I had never been somewhere that was so consistently and aesthetically on point. This town has you covered if you want an overload of doorways to take OOTD pictures with.

Although it’s compact, the Ford EcoSport is technically an SUV (Ford’s smallest), so it still provides you with the freedom to pursue adventure and activity. With two comfortable raised front seats, it gives you the field of view and safety functionality of a full SUV, in addition to two spacious seats in the back. The trunk opens to the side instead of upwards and uses hydraulics to ensure it doesn’t accidentally close. There are movable panels in the trunk for optimal storage in the form of shelving. You can even fit a full bike in the back by lowering the rear seat! Although in my case, it’s more likely a million changes of outfits….

Petty Harbour & Quidi Vidi

Growing up on the West Coast, having the opportunity to explore the East Coast was more exciting than ever. They’re so different! I’ve always had a thing for harsh, somewhat desolate landscapes. This is why Iceland and the California Desert hold such important places in my heart. What I didn’t realize is that the East Coast is a bit like that too! It’s almost like arctic tundra in that the trees are kind of stunted and everywhere is rocky. It’s beautiful! To top if off, the coastal fishing villages such as Petty Harbour and Quidi Vidi are home to quaint, but colourful little homes that are so quintessentially East Coast that it’s almost too good to be true.

The Battery and Signal Hill

Another must-see in St. John’s are The Battery and Signal Hill...

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The most notorious party of the year is back on May 31st at The Power Plant in Toronto. This year’s theme is Carousal: combining Carnival and Arousal into an evening of art, gastronomy and a whole lot of fun. Last year was my first Power Ball and it truly was an unforgettable evening. They literally had an edible marshmallow wall, so naturally, I’m more excited than ever to be heading back again this year because now I know just how epic it is.

The Power Ball is a fundraising event that raises vital funds for the Power Plant, Canada’s leading non-collecting, contemporary visual art gallery. In 1980 this gallery moved to its current location on the Toronto waterfront, inside a decommissioned coal power plant, and has since become not only a visual landmark of the city, but a cultural one too. With many programs providing education to children and youth, as well as investing in contemporary visual artists, the Power Plant has become an institution in Toronto.

All in all, I am so excited for the party and can’t wait to share it all with you on my Instagram Stories (@APOElise). If you feel like joining in the fun, you can still get your own tickets for the event here. I hope to see some of you at this year’s edition of The Power Ball! Be sure to say hey!

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A PIECE OF ELISE by Elise - 1w ago

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For some reason I love dresses again!!! For the past year, I’ve barely had any in my closet, but I’ve found myself gravitating towards them again as the weather gets warmer. It all started with the dreamy Ganni maxi dress I found at Hudson’s Bay and then I found two more amazing silk ones too. Now dresses are all I want to wear! The one in this post is CMEO Collective and super short, so totally out of my comfort zone, but was ok in the forty degree heat of Palm Springs. I’ve linked some of my current favourite dresses for you above!

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Our day trip to Salvation Mountain was one of the most fun days we had on our holiday. Although the art installation (mountain) itself is pretty cool, there are a few less famous, but just as interesting things in the area. There are two places in particular that ended up being my Palm Springs holiday highlights.

The drive from the city to Nilands (where Salvation Mountain is) takes about an hour on a small two lane desert highway. It feels like another planet. Bring drinks because we didn’t and wished that we had. I would also recommend making sure you have gas in the car. We also didn’t, but everything turned out ok.

About halfway there, in the middle of the desert, you get to the biggest lake in California called The Salton Sea. Although this region has hosted a body of water many times throughout history, the current lake as we know it was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River flooded and blew out the Palm Spring’s regional irrigation canal. Water poured into what was called “The Salton Sink” for 18 months filling it up with fresh water. Eventually the water was diverted into the Sea of Cortez, but a shallow lake covering almost a thousand square miles of land had already formed.

As Palm Springs began to develop as a desert resort in the 1950s, Salton Sea grew alongside it. Towns like Salton City and Bombay Beach appeared along the shoreline with activities like watersports, fishing and swimming, as well as yacht clubs and hotels for evening entertainment. Meanwhile, the fish that had been introduced to the lake flourished and it became the most productive fishery in California. Eventually, the Salton Sea was drew 1.5 million visitors yearly!

Then things started to change. Leading up to the 2000s, it became clear that the agricultural runoff which sustained the lake was filled with fertilizer, pesticides and large quantities of salt. Over the years, the salinity grew enough to kill off the freshwater fish species. Eventually, salt levels increased to a level much higher than the ocean and it killed the saltwater species too. As the urban developments in the surrounding areas need for water increased, the runoff was diverted and there were no longer any sources feeding the lake. Salton Sea began to shrink quickly from the high evaporation rates leaving behind an almost apocalyptic landscape of dry dust and fish carcasses.

Today, the region surrounding the sea is almost entirely deserted. The beach towns are abandoned and all that remains are faded billboards about water skiing, old cars rusted from the salt and buildings covered in a thick layer of toxic dust. The air smells like petrol and rotting fish. The shoreline is green sludge. It looks like the end of the world! The craziest part of it all is that there were so many fish in the sea that have been killed resulting in the beach being made entirely of fish bones. It’s hard to believe, I know.

Next up on the list of must-see places if you’re going to Salvation Mountain is Slab City. Located just past Salvation Mountain on the same little road is California’s renegade desert town. We hadn’t heard of it, but saw a small sign on the road with an arrow saying “Slab City This Way”, so we decided to check it out. As we continued down the road we began to see a lot of seriously sketchy looking camper vans and homes made out of pieces of garbage popping up randomly along the road. We had come across a town of squatters! People were hanging out all around, mostly in lawn chairs, spraying themselves with water to try combat the crazy intense heat of the desert. We chatted too a few people (all of whom were very, very dusty) and we learned that they shower with vinegar because it’s a disinfectant, but doesn’t really wash the dirt well, so you turn kind of brown!

Anyways, we made two friends in particular who told us a bit about the town and how it grows immensely in the cooler months with people who stay for part of the year, but in the hot months (such as now) a lot of people leave because it’s so unbearable. Everyday life involves heading into town for groceries, getting water trucked in and I didn’t ask about the bathrooms because I didn’t want to know.

The community organizes several events each week which include lots of live music and an open mic night. There is even a full on bar/music venue that opens on the weekend, as well as hostel. There are a few camper vans available on Airbnb too!

Within the town is a little art community called East Jesus where they have made all their living quarters our of garbage and they turned anything that wasn’t useful into art. They even have a crashed plane! It makes for some pretty great photo opportunities.

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Dress: Ever New – Earrings: Jenny Bird – Jacket: Zara – Boots: Topshop

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I rarely wear dresses, so I was really surprised when I fell in love with this one from Ganni at Hudson’s Bay. Not only is it a dress, but it’s floral. When was the last time I wore floral? Either way, I love it. Since getting this dress, I’ve proceeded to get two more from The Bay! It’s becoming a thing.

A big reason for my new found love of dresses is that I realized they don’t have to be too feminine when they’re styled correctly. It’s possible to toughen up a dress enough to still maintain the cool girl vibes. Here’s how.

  1. Keep an eye on colour. Although this dress is floral, it’s black green and gold. If it was pink, purple and baby blue, this look would change completely.
  2. Layer with an oversized jacket. Whether it’s a blazer, jean jacket or leather, if it’s cropped it will bring back the girly. Stick with the “stole it from my boyfriend” vibes.
  3. Boots. I mean, I went for the super obvious with these biker boots, but subtle black booties would do the trick too.
  4. Easy on the accessories! I save my sparkly earrings for when I’m wearing a pantsuit.
  5. Simple makeup. Keep it neutral, or go with a dark lip or eye.

Photography by Ian McIver.

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Leopard print on leopard print might be a little bit extra, but I fell in love with these Ganni pieces at Hudon’s Bay and decided to get both of them. And then wear them together. The jacket is basically spring outerwear dreams come true and in true Elise fashion, I layered the dress over jeans. The denim is by The Kooples and it’s waxed so it looks like leather. They’re the perfect comfy alternative to actually wearing skinny leather pants. What do you think of leopard on leopard? Let me know in the comments!

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Simons has been in my life since our Grade 5 school trip to Québec City. Growing up on the west coast, getting to travel across the country with all your friends was a big deal and I distinctly remember being very excited to get new clothes from Simons. Apparently even as a child I was already into fashion.

Simons has been a part of Canada since 1840 when John Simon opened a small shop in Québec City. During his time he made 70 Atlantic crossings to purchase the latest in goods from Europe. That’s passion! In 1870 the shop moved to 20 Côte De La Fabrique, where it remains to this day with its original 19th century facade.

Jumping forward to the sixties, we saw the birth of Simons exclusive brand, TWIK, which was made for the new young woman. Then, over forty years later, I fell in love with it too upon visiting Simons for the very first time. It was everything my little heart wanted in a fashion brand. The best part is that the love remained as I grew older. If I couldn’t make it to the physical store, I was shopping for it online. There’s something about TWIK that’s exciting, fun and always well made, which is another core value that has stayed true at Simons.

With all this in mind, I’m excited to be partnering with them on this year’s World Earth Day (April 22nd) to celebrate their latest collaboration between TWIK and Alvéole, a Canadian company that promotes beekeeping in urban environments. Their mission is threefold: to increase the local production of honey, to improve pollination in cities, and to make urban dwellers aware of the importance of bees in the ecosystem.

Simons and Alvéole are working to combat the declining honeybee population using one of my favourite things: fashion. Designed in Old Québec, they’ve created the 12 piece Bee the Change Collection collection under the TWIK brand using prints and colours that echo the world of the honeybees. To help bring awareness and support this endeavour, $8 from each item sold will be invested in the project. Click here to learn more about the project.

To top it off, Simons has placed Hives on the roofs of select stores and will be selling the honey that’s produced in the fall! How cool is that?

In terms of the collection, I love the blue, pink and yellow colour palette that exudes summer vibes. The flower designs make me smile and I love having honeybees on my shirt. I’m sure there’s something for everyone in this limited edition collection. We know I love stripes, so it’s no surprise I went straight for the blue and white striped shirt. The pink dress is up there on my list of favourites too.

If you do choose to support the cause by picking up one of the pieces, be sure to plant tag because it’s filled with seeds for flowers that product nectar and pollen, the honeybee’s source of nutrition. I’m obsessed!

Let me know what you pick and where you plant your seeds. It’s fun when fashion gives back!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of La Maison Simons. All opinions are 100% mine.

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The 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver | Shot on iPhone X - YouTube

As a millennial working in the digital world, my iPhone is pretty much an extension of my hand. Seriously though, I can pretty much get everything work/social related done using only one hand and only half paying attention. I can even be eating with my other hand while having a conversation walking down the street and that little piece of technology is still getting stuff done for me. You know how it goes. iPhone is basically life at this point!

Having said that, this wasn’t always the case for photos. The more I got into photography, the more I felt like I needed to be shooting on a big fancy camera to get results that were even good enough for Instagram. Then I tried the iPhone X. It’s a game changer! Within three days I had returned a fancy new vlogging camera I had purchased because the video on my phone was just as good (I’m talking 4K video at 60 FPS with unbelievable image stabilization). Then I fell so in love with the camera that I went on a press trip to Iceland and only brought my phone with me (check out the blog post and video here). Once again, Apple has changed my life lolsss! I can’t remember the last time I did anything work related and didn’t have a clunky camera on me, so using iPhone X has been wonderfully refreshing,

In retrospect, I had no idea of the freedom that would come from simply using my phone for photos. I mean, the thing is pretty much always in my hand anyways and I can use it without even looking at it, so being able to capture the moments I want on that same device has made my life a whole lot simpler.

In this post, I’m going to take you through my recent trip to The Juno Awards and share some moments I captured on the iPhone X. The following images have VSCO filters on them because tone consistency is important to me, but I haven’t made many other adjustments. I want to share the images relatively as they were shot. I am also going to take you through situations in which I love shooting on iPhone, as well as adjustments I make to capture those moments to their full potential.

HDR Functions on Landscape & Interior Shots

For those of you who are new to HDR (you will see the icon appear in the top left corner sometimes when you’re taking photos), it’s basically a camera function that takes both underexposed and overexposed photos and overlays them taking the best exposure from each to create a well lit photo. That might sound confusing, but a quick google search will help haha! Basically, the HDR function appears when there’s a lot of light in a certain part of you photo and exposing for that section will render the rest of it super dark. A prime example is a lot of backlight and a really dark subject.

The HDR function was active in the following two photos. Without HDR, the ground on the bottom left image would have been really dark and mountains likely not visible in order to obtain a blue sky. The bottom right photo would have made the inside of the building super dark to capture the sky in the windows. Basically, it’s a great way to shoot landscapes on sunny days and interiors with windows or bright lights. Although some people love the HDR look on images of people, I find that it looks a bit unnatural, so prefer to save it for places.

Food & Restaurant Photography

I love shooting my foodie adventures on my iPhone. Although I don’t really know why, food flatlays always look best on my phone. As mentioned above, I also love the HDR function for interiors. The below photos was taken looking into a bright window, but HDR compensated for that and the photo turned out great.

Natural Light Images

Although the below image isn’t really good from a composition standpoint, I just had to include it because the iPhone X did an epic job from a technical standpoint. Although you can’t really zoom on a blog post like you can an iPhone image, this photo is so clear that you can zoom right into the icing sugar and see the little grains. It’s crazy!!! When you have a nice amount of natural light, the iPhone X has unbelievable performance.

Flash Photography

Although there are a lot of bloggers out there who are very anti using the flash, if you know me you will know that I love it. When it comes to iPhone X, I get a photo that I like about 60% of the time when using the flash in the dark. If you’re taking a photo of people, it’s important to get them standing still and then tap their face to ensure focus. I’m fairly happy with the photo below, but you can see that Humble (in the middle) was moving a bit, so he’s not as crisp as Gelsea and I. If I were to edit this photo, I would probably remove the shine on my face (lol), brighten the highlights so that we stand out even more and then darken the shadows so the background is almost black. Voila! You have a great iPhone X photo taken in the middle (literally) of the night.

Low Light Photography

It can be tricky to capture good photos without flash in a low light situation on any camera, but the exposure adjustment function on iPhone really helps with that. The below photo would have been a huge blur had I not tapped on Kardinal to focus and then dragged the exposure slider way down. The hands in the foreground are still blurry, but I actually love that because it brings movement into the photo.

The next two images were taken in the same manner as above. I find that the automatic exposure on iPhone in low light is always too bright, so dragging down the slider is often the best way to capture a crisp photo. I actually love how iPhone captures lights in dark situations and the following two images are prime examples of that. The sparks in the second image are seriously cool, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of underexposing to capture these low light moments. If it’s too dark, you can always brighten a bit afterwards, whereas you can’t really make things darker. Remember that!

Photos of People

When the light is soft like in the image below, or in natural light, iPhone X captures beautiful images of people. When the light is dark or really harsh, I find that people look a bit freaky. It’s like this on almost any camera though, so it doesn’t really have anything to do with iPhone. I am super not into the two images of me below, but I probably would have been happy had I used flash to remove the shadows on my face. All in all, people photos in dim lights are tricky.

Portrait Mode

This is one of the things I was most excited about on the iPhone X, but I have actually been using it way less frequently than I thought. I think I need to get in the habit of remembering it’s there! Anyways, portrait mode is basically a digital take on a really low focal post (aka blurring the background) in the same way a fancy lens with a low f-stop would. I have been told by friends that it works best in natural light, but unfortunately I wasn’t in many daylight situations during The Juno Awards.

Two examples of Portrait Mode in low light are below. You will see that the image of Ian looks a little bit weird. I think that the camera had problems differentiating the subject from the background because of the dim lighting and unclear lines. You can see that it got confused on what to blur around Ian’s hair and ears.

Having said that, Portrait Mode worked perfectly, when it came to objects with easily definable lines like the drinks below. Honestly though, I think I need lots more practice with Portrait Mode!

Flatlays!!!

When it comes to flatlays and product shots, iPhone X is my all-time favourite. Images are the most crisp in natural light, but if it’s just for Instagram they’re often sharp enough in dim light too. As usual, I suggest tapping on a focal spot and reducing the exposure to ensure your image is sharp. You can always brighten it after.

iPhone X Moments

In closing, I want to share some not so amazing photos, but seriously memorable moments. One of the best parts about always having a camera on hand (literally) is the ability to take a quick snap in a flash when something really cool happens. The image below left is super creepy (sorry, not sorry) of Ian and me in the elevator with the Barenaked Ladies (!!!!!). The photo below right is Michael Buble leaning against the barrier in front of our seats. Both totally epic memories and fine examples of the benefit of having a camera at your fingertips.

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Design March 2018 in Reykjavik, Iceland | Shot on iPhoneX - YouTube

You probably already know from Instagram, but I had the opportunity to attend Design March in Reykjavik as part of their press tour a few weeks ago. I knew it would be epic because I was going to THE beautiful Iceland, but I had no idea just how much I would love the people and culture (cliché I know), or how impressed I would be by the art and design.

We all know Iceland as a place with otherworldly natural beauty, but the people are just as beautiful too! Yes, physically (those Nordic genes), but also in the mind. Icelanders (not “Icelandic people” as I quickly learned) are some of the most creative people I have encountered. In retrospect, it’s not wonder Design March is such a success, but truly, for a population of around 330 000 (aka tiny), their creative industry is one of the most developed I’ve seen. Perhaps it has to do with long winters on a giant volcanic rock (seriously though, I don’t think I saw a single tree), but everyone seems to be making art, designing something or appreciating what others are creating around them.

I would love it if you took a minute to watch the Youtube video above. I’ve never made a travel vlog before, so it’s a bit amateur, but I hope it gives you a little look into what the trip was like for me. Although it’s more about the setting than my experiences with people (it’s hard to capture that in video), I think it does provide a bit of a look into the Reykjavik design scene. I love to experience people and culture when I travel, so Design March was the perfect trip for me.

Follow along as I take you through a few photographic highlights, as well as some designer spotlights from the trip. Although I’m no expert, there were many designers that really stood out to me, so I hope you love them too. I also hope that this post helps inspire you (I know it did me) to make Design Weeks around the world a reason to travel. I can’t express how much and how quickly I was immersed in the creative society of a city. It was a cultural dynamic that I had never before experienced as a tourist. I left Iceland with many new friends (it’s so small that people say hello when I’m walking around downtown Reykjavik), as well as a vast shopping list of local fashion, furniture and art pieces. I’m already excited for Design March next year!

This was also the first trip in years where I didn’t take my D-SLR. Having just received the iPhoneX before I left, I decided I would give iPhone photography a try and was really, really impressed. I still can’t believe that the video turned out as well as it did too. I will be talking more about the iPhoneX camera on the blog soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy the iPhone photos below.

Note that the designer spotlight images are courtesy of the designers and not taken by me.

Meeting President Guðni Th Jóhannesson

Definitely more than a trip highlight, but probably a life highlight too. We had the chance to attend the Design March Reception at The President’s Residence which was one of the coolest things ever. The residence was seriously epic and The President was truly inspiring. I mentioned that I was loving Iceland and he said that I would continue to love it, so long as I didn’t convert anything into Canadian currency lol. We managed to take the selfie below and I must say, he’s better at one-off photo opps than I am.

Reykjavik Flea Market

If you go to Reykjavik, definitely go to The Flea Market. It’s not super touristy, but somewhere that Icelanders actually shop. There is lots of great vintage and more Icelandic Wool than you could know what to do with. You can find Icelandic Sweaters that were actually knit by a little old grandma. I was told several times that the ones for sale on the main streets are mostly imported, so yah, Flea Market it is!

Harpa Music Hall

Maybe one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen, Harpa Music Hall is both a musical venue and conference centre, so we attended several Design March events in the space. The glass you see in the photos below has lights behind that flicker and move across the wall in the evening (kind of like a Harp?), so that’s where the name comes from. I attended Sonar Festival (check it out in the video above) hosted in the building while I was there. After attending formal Design Talks during day, it was mind blowing to see it turn into one of the biggest electronic music festival venues at night.

Perlan Museum

On the last night of Design March, we celebrate their ten year anniversary party at Perlan Museum which is a must visit while in Reykjavik. It’s basically five huge water towers with a gigantic glass dome on top making for a museum, observation deck, restaurant and event venue. Coolest place ever. There’s footage from the party (top ten parties I’ve ever been to) at the end of the youtube video above. Although it was closed when I was there, there is also a man-made glacial tunnel inside one of the water towers (!!!!) where you can learn about glaciers. I mean, how cool is that?

Blue Lagoon

Do I need to say anything else? It was everything I ever dreamed and more because they have a swim up bar in the lagoon lol. Seriously though, I never thought about how The Lagoon would be in the middle of a lava field, so it truly is otherworldly. There is no other way to describe it. To top it off, the facilities themselves are stunning. They are currently in the process of opening The Retreat at Blue Lagoon which will be a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant right on the water and I really really want to check it out. Stay tuned for that soon (I mean, a girl can dream).

Wave by Genki Instruments

Wave by Genki Instruments is basically a ring that controls sound. You can hook it up to have certain effects allocated to certain movements of your hand, so it gives musicians more control over what they’re playing. If you watch the Youtube video you will catch us busting out some dance moves that literally control the music were dancing too. How fun is that?

The Living Objects by Folk

There were so many amazing glass, stone and ceramic designers during design week, but there was something..

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Elise Purdon Backstage at the 2018 JUNO Awards - YouTube

In case you didn’t already know from the 897598374 photos on my Instagram, I had the chance to attend The Juno Awards as part of the official blogger team again this year. I had basically been excited for this weekend since The Junos last year because it’s that much fun. To top it off, it was in Vancouver, so I got to venture back to the west coast for all the festivities. Follow along as I take you through the weekend.

We arrived on Friday to the Parq Vancouver and met the blogger team over Afternoon Tea at Honey Salt. With a few new faces, as well as some old friends, we tried all the delicious treats and were then ready to enjoy a weekend of Canadian music.

Here’s the crew:

Isabelle, Gelsea, Samantha, Me, Tyler, Ania, Humble, Viranlly

We stopped by the Ready Player One Activation and it got me really excited for the movie! I LOVED the book and can’t wait to see how they bring it to life in film. After that, I popped in to Nine West and picked out some amazing bags and shoes for the weekend.

Time to check in! We arrived to an ice cold bucket of Steamwhistle (Toronto represent!) in our room at JW Marriott Vancouver, so naturally Ian and I cracked one open. I proceeded to unpack AKA make a beautiful mess of the beautiful room while getting ready for the evening. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water and all marble everything, our hotel located in Parq Vancouver was basically blogger heaven. The bed was like a cloud too. Total dreams!

Next up was The JUNO Welcome Reception presented by Music Canada! Wearing Paige and Nine West, we found the dreamiest staircase in the Parq Vancouver lobby to take some outfit photos before heading to the party. Many of the industry members and artists were staying at Parq Vancouver because it was JUNO “home” for the weekend. This meant that excitement was everywhere! I had a few musical hero run-ins in the lobby, as well as elevator rides with Jann Arden, Bob Rock and the Barenaked Ladies. I had to try really hard to keep my cool.

Once inside The Welcome Reception located in the Parq Vancouver’s conference facilities, I was excited by all the people watching opportunities (lol). There’s nothing like a room full of rockstars to bring out all the epic leather and fun tinted glasses. So much coolness. It was also clear to me through everyone’s friendly interactions that the Canadian music industry is a really supportive community. It was the perfect way to begin the weekend.

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After a quick change into sneakers, we headed out for the first night of JUNOfest. The two nights leading up The Juno Awards Live Broadcast, the host city comes alive with performances by Canadian artists. It’s a fantastic way to discover upcoming artists, or catch a show by those you already love. We watched Jesse Roper because he’s from Vancouver Island like Ian and me.

The next morning we attended a seriously unforgettable #BeatsPerMoment yoga class hosted by Lululemon. Felix Cartal was DJing live the entire class! I’ve been listening to his music since I was teen, so was pretty giddy about this experience. It was also a wonderful way to begin the day with a quiet mind. Thanks Lulu. I can’t wait for the next one!

Then it was time to get ready for the day. I loved the bathroom in our room at The JW Marriott Vancouver. It was spacious, marble and had good lighting (which never seems to happen in hotel bathrooms). Shoutout to MAC for selecting the best products for my face and adding me to the #FixFam. I don’t know how they did it, but they chose all the perfect colours for my style and skin tone. I also used my Apple Watch all weekend to keep me on schedule (I had it set to vibrate and give me calendar notification when I needed to move to the next event). I was also listening to The Apple Music JUNOS playlist in my room all weekend.

Then it was time for The JUNO Gala Cocktail Presented by SOCAN! Wearing the dreamiest Paige Kimono, we headed to The Vancouver Convention Centre for the event. It had the most beautiful balcony overlooking the water AKA the perfect spot for some outfit photos.

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