Today's post is going to be short and sweet, and more like a ramble since I feel as though I've figured out the key to happiness and I just needed to share it. Okay, here goes:
I've always considered myself to be a pretty positive person, but with a bit of a salty edge. While I could always be counted on to see the bright side to a situation, a silver lining, there was always a part of me that seemed to be clouded with a little gloom. 'Nothing to worry about,' I would think, 'that's just what makes me, me.' Well I don't know exactly when it happened, but one day I just woke up and decided that kind of happy wasn't good enough for me, and made a small little change to my thinking and perspective: I stopped giving a shit about other people.
Okay, not giving a shit about other people is a bold statement, and it's mostly just for impact but there is validity to it. I stopped paying so much attention to the actions of others, what other people where doing and how they were living their life. Sure, I still cared and still do; but there's a difference between taking a genuine interest in someone, celebrating them and then moving on - as opposed focusing on the lives and actions of other people and having that affect your own life. The end result is that you're left with more time to pay attention to your own life and focus on your own happiness.
Not giving a shit about other people also means not participating in gossip, which admittedly is hard to do. Our culture is so absorbed in gossip, and with social media it seems to be everywhere - we've even coined cute little phrases like spilling the tea to describe it! The thing is, does anyone really feel good about themselves when participating in gossip? I know that I certainly don't. Once I made a conscious effort to step back from gossip, I noticed a drastic change in my overall happiness and mood. You guys, if you take anything away from this post let it be this: gossip is 100% making you miserable. It really is. I'm not perfect and sometimes indulge in petty gossip and it always makes me feel like shit. There is a correlation. Stop talking about other people and you'll start to feel better about yourself.
There's another happy side effect that comes along with not giving a shit about others; you assume that nobody is giving a shit about you. It's so liberating to go through life without being aware of the judgement of others!
Do I sound like a crazy person yet? I just feel as though I've stumbled upon the key to happiness and I just want to share it with anyone who will listen. I stopped caring so much about the actions of others and it in-turn has made me a happier person. I'm sure that this new way of thinking isn't anything new, and I'm sure that there have been many a self-help book written about it, but not giving a shit is something new to me and it's made a huge difference in my happiness and overall mood.
Just try it. What do you have to lose?
I'm interested to hear what you guys think? Did anything ring a bell, or is this old news to you? Is there anything that you've done to improve your mood and happiness? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Although I'm not originally from Toronto, after living here for eight years I now consider it home. Growing up in a military family, we moved around quite a bit. Its refreshing finally feel like I have a city that I can see myself staying in for the long-haul. With each passing year spent in Toronto I feel as though my roots grow stronger in the city.
That being said, Toronto can be a tough city to live in sometimes - especially when it comes to housing. Our housing market is definitely not for the faint of heart, and it seems like lately it's all that's being talked about in the news. Between rising interest rates and changing mortgage rules, the Toronto housing market is now more confusing than ever to navigate.
Brian and I have always rented our condo in the city, with our eyes open to buy either a larger condo or a small house of our own. Whenever I tell people that we're still renting our condo in Toronto, they're shocked; after all, we're both working professionals with steady income coming in and are both natural savers with our money. Although I would love to buy a place of our own in a year or two, I don't want to stress our finances too much and becomes house-poor. Keeping this in mind, I started doing some research to see what we could comfortably afford down the road, especially with the new stress-test mortgage rules that came info effect this year. I found that BMO’s mortgage site was really helpful in giving me the information I needed
As someone who is cautious about not stretching our finances to the maximum when purchasing a home, I really love how BMO's mortgage site really focuses on true affordability and gives you a realistic picture of what your family can comfortably afford in today's housing market.
What I discovered is that I definitely overlooked the importance of stress-testing mortgage rates, especially now that we're seeing mortgage rates on the rise for the first time in almost a decade! If you're like me and are looking to buy a home in the next year or so, I would highly using BMO’s mortgage calculators to stress test yourself. Just use your lender’s rate plus 2%, or the Bank of Canada’s rate (5.14% right now) whatever is higher; it’s so important when it comes to affordability, and very eye-opening.
Knowing your pre-approved mortgage rate is one of the most important facts you'll need when looking to buy a property. With the information that I got using the calculators on BMO's site, I feel more prepared than ever while navigating the pre-approval process. I also wanted to mention that BMO has increased the rate guarantee period to 130 days, which is amazing because it's the longest among all Canada's major banks. Really helpful, especially since if I've learned anything while looking to buy a home in Toronto is that any any bit of convenience we can get goes such a long way.
All in all, I'm so grateful for BMO's mortgage site and I love how it focuses on affordability and totally aligns with my housing philosophy of wanting to own comfortably without sacrificing lifestyle. With all of the different narratives of the Toronto housing market in the news, I'm happy to just focus on the facts and know exactly where I stand mortgage-wise.
While we're comfortable renting now, I'm so excited to be able to buy our own place in the near future. Toronto is my home, and I'm looking forward to growing my roots in the city with a property and still being comfortable enough to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
What do you guys think? Do you rent or own? Have you gone through the process of buying your own property or done a stress test? Let me know!
This post was created in partnership with BMO. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Y'all, let get real here - I've been shaving my legs for as long as I can remember. Ever since I overheard a friends in middle school talk about how they started shaving, I begged my mother to buy me a razor to start the process too and never looked back. That being said, after doing a particular grooming habit for over two decades now, one gets into a routine - I always use a good-quality shaving cream, a great razer and shave in a upwards fashion - never down, and certainly never both at the same time. This all changed when I was introduced to the new Schick Intuition f.a.b.; a razor where you can shave safely using both upwards and downwards motions. I know it sounds crazy, but stay with me here.
The razor itself is pretty cool to see. There are two rows of blades; the top ones shave up and the bottom ones shave down. There is also Advanced Moisture Gel on the outer layer of the razor itself to help it move smoothly along your skin. The result is a really close shave that's really comfortable - no irritation or sensitivities - you never even need to lift the razor from your skin!
Although it took a while to break the shaving routine that I've had for the past hundred years, I can honestly say that I'm converted. I feel as though the closer shave has actually extended how long I can go without shaving and the whole process is just easy.
What do you guys think? Have you been shaving for years and years like me? Have you ever thought about shaving both frontwards and backwards? Let me know!
xo Joëlle This post was created in partnership with Schick Canada. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that one of my favourite activities is running around Toronto taking photos for my feed. As much as I love finding a new café, or experiencing a new spot for brunch, the whole process can start to get expensive. A coffee here and there can really add up, and sometimes I just want to take a quick photo of my outfit without having to spend any money. I have a list of my go-to FREE Instagrammable spots in Toronto; locations that are consistently Instagram-worthy, and cost nothing to photograph. Here are some of my go-to free spots in Toronto for when I want to shoot a quick photo on Instagram.
The Pink Door Beside Café CanCan
While Café CanCan is its own pink paradise, it can be quite a costly spot for brunch. I prefer the adorable pink door that's right beside it, for when you want a cute shot for the 'gram - it's free, and you don't have to put up with the atrocious service that the restaurant is known for.
Sugar Beach Sugar Beach is one of my favourite free spots in Toronto that is 100% pure Instagram goals. The pink umbrellas, white chairs and light sand make the most beautiful backdrop to any photo. The location can get extremely busy in the summer, so it's always best to visit during the week if you can.
Exhibition Place The architecture at Exhibition Place will have you forgetting that you're in Toronto and thinking that you're in Europe.
*Note: I've heard stories of security guards preventing people from taking photos at this location. While I've never had any troubles myself, it's worth mentioning to keep your eyes open.
Sweet Philosophy Can you tell that I have a think with pink doors? I always make a point to snap a quick picture in front of Sweet Philosophy's beautiful pink door whenever I'm in Mississauga.
King Street East With Toronto's new pilot project limiting cars on King Street, it makes it so easy to snap a quick street style photo! I just love the architecture on King street between Jarvis and Yonge, and it's even easier to capture the beauty of it without the distraction of cars.
The Columns at The Esplanade There's a walkway on The Esplanade in Toronto thats lined with beautiful columns, and is the perfect spot for taking a photo for Instagram. This area is also covered, so it's my go-to spot for shooting photos in the rain.
That's it! My list of tried and true, FREE spots to shoot your Instagram photos in Toronto. I would love to know if you also have some go-to locations that don't cost a cent for taking photos? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Hey y'all! Another week has come and gone and while it was an amazing few days, this weekend's ice storm made all plans come to an abrupt stop. As sad as I am to have missed some pretty fun events this weekend due to dangerous driving conditions, it was kind of nice to just stay in during the day and have some quiet time to myself.
I'm in the midst of a huge bedroom overhaul and the result has left out condo looking like a disaster zone; having some time to be able to organize and clean has done wonders. Brian and I also summoned up the courage to finally watch the movie 'It,' a movie who's original version left me deeply scared as a child. I'm happy to report that the newer movie was definitely not as terrifying as the first and I was able to sleep soundly last night, with all of the lights off.
Anyways, with all this in mind, I thought that it would be a good time to round up my outfits and give you details on where you can find the pieces for yourself!
By now you guys know that I like nothing more than lazing about in my underwear. But what you may not know is that, once I decide to put my clothes on, my biggest fashion pet peeve is underwear lines. Honestly, I've never been one to follow any fashion 'rules' but I can 100% get behind the faux-pas that is a visible panty line.
Enter Chantelle and their new innovative 'Soft Stretch' line. I've actually known of Chantelle the lingerie brand for years, but associated them with their signature, beautiful lacy pieces. This new 'Soft Stretch' line is a totally contemporary addition to the brand, and made for the modern woman on the go.
The 'Soft Stretch' line is basically my perfect set of undergarments. While I love a beautiful, elaborate lingerie set for special occasions, I need something more minimalistic and understated for everyday. I love the simplicity of Chantelle's Soft Stretch line, from the look of the underwear right down to the sizing - it's all one size fits all! The result is a super comfortable everyday underwear that won't show under any of your clothes. This set has been my go-to since receiving it, and I'm actually thinking of bulk ordering more of the underwear for my upcoming travels - these are seriously the perfect airplane undergarments!
It's been just over a month since Sabrina and I flew from Toronto to Los Angeles to attend Create & Cultivate. This would be my first blogging conference that I've ever attended, so I didn't have any expectations - especially as a Canadian attending an American conference; all I really wanted out of the experience was to have fun and to leave inspired.
Well, needless to say that Create & Cultivate definitely exceeded my expectations. I could not get over the amount of work that was clearly poured into making this conference not only beautiful, but inspiring as well. I really enjoyed the panels of industry leaders, and the opportunity to meet some people I truly admire in person. It was a long day, but a fun one and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to attend. I left my first conference feeling inspired and motivated like never before.
One of the biggest questions I got after attending the conference was 'Is it worth it?' That all depends. I think that a conference like this would have been so valuable when first starting to blog. A lot of the tips and tricks that the speakers and panels mentioned I already knew, but through experience, as well as trial and error (lots, and lots of error.) It would have been amazing to have known of these lessons in the beginning. That being said though, I'm still very happy that I was able to attend Create & Cultivate. I left feeling so inspired, and it was genuinely a good time.
There was a lot of information being shared that day, but here are three key points that really stuck with me from Create & Cultivate.
1. Focus On What You Own
Blogging has changed so much, even in the few years that I've been doing it. It seems like the focus has shifted from blogs to social media, and while it's important to keep up with the changing landscape of the industry, you still need to focus on the one thing you own: your blog. It was refreshing to hear industry giants who have massive followings on Instagram talk about the importance of having and maintaining a blog. Think of your blog as your home-base, and all of your social media channels as gateways to draw new audiences to the blog.
While it seems like all of the sponsors and attention are on Instagram these days, in the end we all don't own the platform and we're all just subject to the next app update (hello algorithm change.) Your blog is the platform that you own, and that you can control. Don't neglect it, and keep it your priority.
2. Batch Your Content This was so interesting to hear, since I've been doing this for years but never knew the proper term for it: batch content. That means that rather than flying by the seat of your pants for photos, blog posts, videos, etc. you dedicate entire days to gathering content to set you up for the coming weeks. I remember unconsciously making the shift to batching my content last year, where I would dedicate an entire day to shooting photos for my Instagram and blog and have them go live through the coming week and it was huge game-changer for consistency.
It was refreshing to hear that most other bloggers do this as well. I'm going to take this principal to my new Youtube channel to try and batch my content with filming videos so that I always have consistent content going up.
3. Ask For What You Want While it's easier said then done, the one constant that was heard from inspiring women in the industry was that if you want something, ask for it. This lessons applies on all aspects of the blogging industry, but can be especially useful whenever money is involved. If you think that you should be getting paid when being approached by a company, then ask for it. If you have a problem with a contract that you're about to sign, then say something. Ask questions. Speak up. We hold the power and in order to exercise it, you really need to be comfortable asking for what you want.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with the lessons from Create & Cultivate? Have you ever been to a blogging conference? What was your experience? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Over the course of the years, the format of La Petite Noob has changed. While before I mostly just shared my outfits with you guys, I feel like now we know each other on a more personal level so I can share so much more; my thoughts and feelings, my travels, things like that. With all that being said, I still want to keep the element of personal style to the blog so now I'm happy to be sharing another outfit round-up with you guys - what I've been wearing lately, and details on how you can find the pieces too. Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions!
For me, feeling beautiful in my own skin means being totally comfortable. I try to maximize feeling good about myself each day by practicing positive self-talk, taking time out each day to do something I love and to make sure that everything that I wear is comfortable - right down to my underwear. I not only want my undergarment to be comfortable and beautiful, but I also want them to be concealed; a special treat just for me that I can enjoy no matter what outfit I chose for the day. It sounds like I'm asking for a lot, but you can find it all in just one beautiful bra; the WonderbBra multi-way convertible bra.
I was turned on to the WonderBra multi-way convertible bra, and since haven't looked back. This beautiful piece is literally the perfect compliment to every outfit, and will be your best kept secret - seriously, nobody will ever be able to see it. With up to 49 inner hooks (depending on a size) and removable straps, you can wear this same bra 8 different ways! I'm talking asymmetrical necklines, strapless pieces, halter-cuts; you name the trend and this bra can accommodate. And it's beautiful to boot, with beautiful lace accents that are virtually undetectable under clothes. The cups are unlined and foam-free, so this beautiful bra is incredibly light and comfortable - so comfortable in fact, that I often find myself lounging around at home in just my bra!
In my quest to be kinder to myself and celebrate my own beauty, it always amazes me how feeling truly comfortable can work wonders on your self esteem. Starting from my undies and working outward, I'm happy to have the WonderBra multi-way convertible bra as my secret weapon to feeling comfortable in any outfit I chose for the day.
You can find the new WonderBra convertible multi-way bra at The Bay and on Thebay.ca
People's opinions about Los Angeles are always very polarizing; you either love it or hate it. I myself absolutely love visiting LA and always try to visit as much as I can. There are definitely some irritating factors to consider about Los Angeles (mainly, the traffic) but I feel as though most of these irritants can be eliminated by choosing the right hotel.
For this particular trip to LA, the main purpose was for Sabrina and I to attend the Create & Cultivate conference. The conference itself was downtown, but we knew that we wanted to spend the majority of our free time exploring different areas around the city: West Hollywood, Venice Beach, Silver Lake, etc. This meant that we would need to find an area to stay in that was in the middle of all of the places that we wanted to visit to cut down on the amount of driving that we would have to do. From which hotel we stayed at, to how we chose to get around, here are the logistics to our recent trip to Los Angeles.
Hotel: The Hollywood HotelLocated in East Hollywood, the Hollywood Hotelis where we settled on as our home away from home while in Los Angeles. The hotel itself has recently undergone a renovation, and both Sabrina and I were drawn to the retro vibes of the new design. I'm so glad that we ended up choosing The Hollywood Hotel for our stay for a few key reasons:
Location: While we didn't spend a lot of time exploring Hollywood, we found it to be the most central spot for us to hit up all of the areas we wanted to check out on our list while still being close to DTLA for our conference.
Breakfast: Most people don't find themselves too hungry when they first wake up. I'm the opposite - I wake up ravenous. Because you need to drive almost everywhere in LA, I knew that our hotel needed to have coffee and a breakfast facility so that I could eat as soon as I woke up without any hassle. The Hotel Hollywood has an impressive breakfast, with a made-to-order omelette station and waffles that is complimentary to guests. Bonus points for hot coffee and orange juice too - a great way to start our long days of exploring!
Design: I love smaller hotels with more boutique designs. Call me crazy, but I book all of my hotels with photos in mind and I just knew that Sabrina and I would have a great time capturing photos at Hollywood Hotel. From the beautiful courtyard, subway-tiled bathroom, to the pool with yellow-striped pillows, it was a photographic mission accomplished.
Price: Hotels in Los Angeles are really expensive, and I didn't want our entire LA budget going towards a hotel. Hotel Hollywood is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the area, and one that ensures that you have lots of travel budget left over for exploring what Los Angeles has to offer.
How We Got AroundThe decision between renting a car and Ubering everywhere was an easy one for us: we chose to Uber. While it was slightly more expensive, the ease of not having to fight for parking was a huge benefit for us. Plus the traffic in LA is no joke, and it's a lot less stressful to deal with when you have someone driving for you. Because Sabrina and I weren't leaving the city limits at all, Uber made more sense for us.
What do you guys think? Have you ever been to LA? What are your thought processes when booking a hotel? Let me know!
Thank you Hollywood Hotel for our stay. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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