If you guys follow me on Instagram or Youtube, you will have seen that Sabrina and I visited sunny Los Angeles a few weeks ago. While the purpose of the trip was to attend the Create & Cultivate conference, our second priority was to run around like madwomen searching for the most Instagrammable spots in LA - and we definitely were not disappointed. Here are some of my favourite, most Instagram worthy places in LA to mark down on your map for your next trip to Los Angeles.
Alfred's Tea Room If you're someone who loves the colour pink as much as Sabrina and I, consider Alfred's Tea Room your mothership. This quaint, beautifully decorated little tea shop boast's an extensive tea menu, all served in Instagram-worthy cups. We visited this place multiple times and both agreed that, while the tea-based drinks are good, it's their pastries that really stand out.
The Beverly Hills Hotel I knew from before we even landed in LA that I wanted to have brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel Cabana Club, and it did not disappoint. The entire hotel is one big Instagrammable moment and, except for the pool area, you're able to take photos wherever you want. The brunch itself was delicious and while price-wise it's definitely a YOLO meal, in my mind it was well worth it for the experience.
Mansur Gavriel Store The newly opened Mansur Gavriel store on Melrose is almost too beautiful for words. While the store itself is beautiful, with an in-house café with indoor seating, I just loved the flower-lined courtyard outside.
Sorella Boutique Another gem on Melrose, Sorella Boutique is where you will find the Instagram-famous Girls Tour wall. Grab your girls, grab a tripod (or a fellow tourist who also wants a photo) and grab this photo.
Carrera Cafe Another Insta-famous café on Melrose, Carrera Cafe is where you will find your quirky lattes with fun art like Drake and a crying Kim K. The whole shop was definitely created with Instagram photos in mind, from the lattes to the floor tiles to the beautiful mural right outside.
The Assembly If minimal is more your vibe, The Assembly is a gorgeous café that will be right up your alley. Sabrina and I enjoyed strong americanos and some gourmet doughnuts in this light-filled space.
Alfred Coffee Beverly Hills There are a few Alfred Coffees around LA and while all of the locations are ridiculously cute (and serve ridiculously good coffee) my favourite location is the one in Beverly Hills. A pink hearted mural on the side of the café? Yes please.
Venice Beach Venice Beach is one of my favourite, quirky places in LA. You'll find plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities, from the giant Venice sign to bike riding along the boardwalk. For a plethora of Instagram-worthy spots away from the chaotic beach, Abbot Kinney is the street you need to hit. So many beautiful shops and restaurants including The Butcher's Daughter, a beautiful plant-based restaurant and café.
There are so many beautiful shops and cafés in LA that would make your Instagram feed proud, but these ones are definitely my favourite and the ones that I will be repeating when I head back to sunny Los Angeles in September.
Have you been to LA? What are some of your favourite spots to visit? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Yesterday I was looking through my calendar, trying to plan the upcoming week when it dawned on me that I have now been blogging full-time for over a year. Looking back now from when I first made the decision to pursue La Petite Noob as my full-time career, it's incredible to think of how much has happened and how far I have come. While I feel as though I've documented my journey since starting to blog full-time, I have never really touched on the feelings and decisions I had to make when making that fateful decision to stop working a day job and commit myself fully to the blog. Seeing as how some of the most questions that I get have to do about blogging as a business, I thought that I would share 5 questions to ask yourself before deciding to blog full-time.
1. Am I Making Enough Money To Sustain Myself? This seems like the most obvious question to ask yourself before making a drastic career move, but it's also the one that is most overlooked. Here's the thing; if you're making money from your side-hustle, it's easy to feel as though you're doing well-enough financially to support yourself. For me anyways, while I was working I was using my paycheque to cover my bills and savings, and anything that came in from the blog was mine to play with - I felt like I was rich! This financial arrangement made it easy to fool myself into thinking that I would be able to easily support myself with only my freelance income. When I really sat down and did the numbers, calculating all of the bills and necessities that would need to be covered, I soon realized that my blogging income would just cover my basic necessities - a far cry from the disposable income I had to play with while working a day-job.
After sitting down and getting real about the numbers, I was able to make a more educated decision about what life would be like when blogging full-time. As much as I was tempted to fudge the calculations, or under estimate how much money I would need to pay all of my bills to make the decision to go full-time with my blog easier, it was to my benefit to be as realistic as possible. The process of realistically evaluating my finances helped me to manage my own expectations about life as a full-time blogger, and helped me to make an informed decision about choosing to blog full-time.
2. Do I Have Savings? I'm a huge advocate for having financial savings, no matter what situation you're in work-wise. Living paycheque to paycheque is a difficult way to live in general, and is particularly stressful when those paycheques aren't coming in consistently. Having a savings account to fall back on to get you through slow periods while blogging is absolutely paramount before making the decision to quit your job and blog full-time. Even if you feel ready to make the leap into blogging full-time, but don't have a ton of money saved up, I would definitely recommend delaying that decision by a few months to help build up your savings account. No matter what level you're at with your blog, there will be slow periods. Having financial savings to carry you through the slow periods of blogging not only will help you from making bad career decisions just for the money, but will also give you some peace of mind.
3. Do I Have The Support Of My Loved Ones? This is a tricky one for me, since I don't necessarily believe that having the support of the people around you is imperative for making the decision to blog full-time - but it definitely makes that decision a lot easier.
When I was first toying with the idea of pursuing my blog as my full-time career, my husband Brian was definitely not thrilled with the idea. I don't blame him; it's a new industry without any guarantees, and we're a young couple trying to save for our future. It took me a long time to slowly try to change his mind, but with time (and a few meltdowns) I was able to show him that my side-hustle could really work for us if I made it my career.
As much as I love blogging full-time, it's still a job and with any job there are hard days. Especially in the beginning, I had a really tough time adjusting to being my own boss and had a lot of bad days. Being able to talk about the hard days with your loved ones is so important, and so much easier when they understand and support your career move.
4. What Is My Plan? If you're thinking about quitting your job to pursue your blog as a full-time career, you need a plan. A business plan, a plan for your content, a plan for budgeting, a plan for your weekly schedules, a plan B, a plan for absolutely everything. Your side-hustle will turn into your full-time career, and that transition will be so much smoother if you take the time to plan and become as organized as possible. While I wasn't nearly as organized as I should have been when I start started blogging full-time, I quickly realized the importance of having a plan.
5. Is This My Passion? The decision to quit your job and blog full-time is difficult, and you need to ask yourself some really tough questions and be honest with your answers. The number one, most important question to ask yourself is if your blog is truly your passion. Being your own boss is not an easy feat, but it is all 100% worth it if your company is your true passion. Having a passion for your own blog means being driven to continue, even when times get tough and the money isn't coming in. Having a passion for your blog means that you're able to go to bat for yourself when others are trying to negotiate your worth. The passion you have for your own blog will be your motivation and what drives you forward. Everything else can be sacrificed, but passion is paramount.
I love being able to have La Petite Noob as my full-time gig. The decision to blog full-time wasn't easy, but I'm glad that I was able to ask myself these 5 questions to make the transition a little easier.
What do you guys think? Are you thinking of making the jump to blog full-time? What questions did you ask yourself if your blog is your full-time career? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Do you guys have a travel bucket list? I definitely do, and while mine is full of exotic locations to visit, it also has hotels and properties that I've always dreamed to be able to stay at. The Shangri-La has been on my travel bucket list for years; ever since I saw a photo of their floor-to-ceiling white marble bathrooms. I've visited their Toronto property for high tea and to enjoy their spa, but have never had the opportunity to stay in one of the Shangri-La's opulent hotels.
With this in mind, you can imagine how elated I was to find out that I would be making a night's stopover in Vancouver before flying home to Toronto, and staying at the Shangri-La Vancouver.
Located in one of my favourite areas in Vancouver (where all of the high-end designer stores are located,) the Shangri-La Vancouver wow-ed me from the moment I stepped foot into the property. The lobby is impressive with high ceilings, cascading lighting pieces and grandiose floral arrangements. An upscale lobby can sometimes be intimidating, but the warm smiles that greeted us when we first walked into the doors had us completely at ease and set the tone for our stay. The attention to detail and hospitality of the staff is what set the Shangri-La apart for me, and is what transforms this property from a beautiful hotel to an experience that I will never forget.
The Room I had a room to myself for the stay, and it did not disappoint. The room itself is large; with a seating area, a desk for working, generous closet and the Shangri-La's famous white marble bathroom. The flow of the room put my energy immediately at ease, and what I enjoyed most about my stay was how the features of the room seemed to be intuitive. If I wanted to raise or lower the blinds, I didn't even have to look twice to find the switch that would allow me to do so. It was the same for the lights as well as the curtains; even the 'do not disturb' button could be easy found inside.
Once I got settled into my room, I immediately changed into one of their lush white robes (a ritual I tend to stick with in all hotels) and brewed myself an espresso with the in-suite machine. I still have vivid memories of being completely at peace in this moment, enjoying the cityscape view from my room with the ocean and mountains in the distance.
The Spa The fact that we were able to enjoy another spa treatment on our West-Coast trip was absolutely incredible - and for that spa treatment to be done at Chi, The Spa at the Shangri-La was icing on the cake.
You guys know that I love a spa treatment, and the treatment that we had done during our stay at the Shangri-La will forever be remembered as one of my favourite spa treatments that I've ever experienced. Lauren and I both chose the spa's signature Aroma Vitality and it was 80 minutes of pure bliss. I love a multi-step spa treatment and this one did not disappoint. A foot bath, a eucalyptus steam treatment and a massage are all included in the Aroma Vitality treatment and the most luxurious part is that you experience all three steps without having to leave the treatment room. After our treatment, we were invited to relax in the relaxation room where we indulged in chocolates and deliciously addictive ginger tea - seriously, I must have had 10 glasses.
I can't stress this enough; if you find yourself in Vancouver and want to treat yourself to some self-care, please head to Chi, The Spa at the Shangri-La. I'm already looking forward to my next trip to Vancouver so I can experience the same treatment.
Dining: MARKET by Jean-Georges As if our relaxing stay at the Shangri-La in Vancouver couldn't get any better, we were treated to an incredible meal at MARKET by Jean-Georges, an up-scale restaurant that's housed on the hotel property.
I would definitely recommend MARKET by Jean-Georges as another treat-yo-self experience should you find yourself in Vancouver. Some standouts of the meal for me were the scallops as an appetizer, a delicious short rib for my main course, and an absolutely decadent peanut butter chocolate bar as dessert.
Before I knew it my short trip to Vancouver had come to an end, and I reluctantly checked out of the Shangri-La to head to the airport. I'm so grateful to have been able to experience the luxury of a Shangri-La property, and look forward to doing so again for my next trip to the west coast.
If you guys follow me on Instagram you'll know that for the month of January, I started and stuck with the Whole30 program. What is Whole30 you ask? Whole30 is an elimination-type diet that gets your body back to basics and focuses on consuming real, whole foods for 30 days. There's obviously a lot more to it, and you can read all about it on the proper Whole30 website, but here's the basics on what you can't eat for 30 days:
No Refined Sugars
That being said, for someone who survives off of a solid diet of carbs and sugar like me, this was definitely a challenge. While it was a tough 30 days, I'm happy to say that I stuck with the diet for it's entirety and didn't cheat once! I tried to share my experience as much as I could on my Instagram stories, but a lot of you had a ton of questions about it so I decided to answer them all in a proper post, and share as much of the Whole30 journey with you as I can.
Why Did I Do It?
The biggest question that I got while doing the Whole30 diet was 'why did I do it.' Some people assumed that it was about losing weight, and to be honest it really wasn't for me (I'll touch more on the weight-loss part of it later on.) For me, I was just so tired of the cycle of sugary foods, over eating and take-up that I had fallen into while over the holidays. I was also traveling a lot, and as such over-indulged big-time. For me, as much as I would love to be someone who can practice moderation, I'm someone who thrives with limits, so I knew that the only way that I was going to clean up my diet was to have clear boundaries set and a very firm "can't eat" list to stick with. I also really liked that Whole30 was only 30 days, so it was a good challenge with a clear end-date, which helped for motivation and to keep focused.
What Did I Eat?
Another question that I got a lot was having to do with what I ate. I was actually surprised by the variety of different foods, recipes and flavours were available to me on the Whole30 diet! Just a quick browse on Pinterest alone shows that there's a recipe or food pairing for any palette, and I can honestly say that I was never left unsatisfied. Although there were never a shortage of recipes, I did tend to stick with a few core meals for the entire 30 days - what can I say, I'm a creature of habit!
For the majority of the 30 days, I had a variation of the exact same breakfast every single day. Scrambled eggs with a little but of coconut oil in the pan, a couple different chopped up vegetables, half an avocado and Bomba (a spicy Italian sauce that's essentially vegetables in a chile oil.) Changing up the veggies saved me from becoming bored, and I was always left feeling full and satisfied for hours with this breakfast!
For lunches, I would usually heat up leftovers from dinner the night prior. I'm not a huge lunch person, and I don't love cooking, so leftovers were always the way to go for me. One of my favourite dinners to make was a shrimp stir-fry with cauliflower rice and a coconut amino replacement for soy sauce. This dinner was so good, and would also leave me with plenty of leftovers for my lunches.
Dinners were when I typically could be found in the kitchen, and the meal that I had the most variety for. Even still, I found that I stuck to a few key recipes that I knew were easy to make and tasted delicious. My absolute favourite recipe to make was a Whole30 compliant Chicken Alfredo recipe, that used spaghetti squash instead of noodles, and a mixture of cashews, coconut milk and chicken stock for the sauce. You guys. This dish was delicious. I'll definitely be making this recipe for months to come.
Other than my beloved Chicken Alfredo, our dinners were usually variations of lean meats with roasted vegetables. My favourite lazy meal would be for Brian to pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work, and I would roast some heirloom carrots, brussel sprouts and zucchini. So good.
The biggest thing that Whole30 taught me is that the majority of my snacking is due to boredom, or just because the food is available. It's amazing how much less I snacked during the day when I actually had to prepare my own food.
My go-to snack for the 30 days was cut up apple with cinnamon and almond butter. I also loved fruits in moderation, and would have 1/2 of a pomelo almost every night. Almonds and cashews were also good snacks to have on-hand, although I found that I reached for them less as the 30 days went on.
My Tips For A Successful Whole30
While I'm no expert, I certainly learned a lot during my 30 day Whole30 diet, and most of it came by trial and error. Here's a few of my biggest lessons and takeaways from the challenge:
Plan your meals. I know that this sounds like the most generic advice out there, but it's honestly the make-or-break key to a successful Whole30. Sit down one night a week, figure out recipes, write up a grocery list, purchase said groceries and stick to your plan. You'll find out quickly that there aren't many options available in the way of eating out, so you really need to be prepared to eat the majority of your meals at home. It's not as hard as it seems, but planning your meals is definitely key.
Always carry a snack. For me, I had a steady supply of Lara bars available for emergencies (the cashew and apple flavours are Whole30 compliant.) Nothing gets in the way of willpower like hunger, so if you just have a snack on hand for when you feel yourself getting hungry, you'll be fine.
Don't pay attention to "how you should be feeling." There's a timeline on the Whole30 website that I won't even link to, because I found it to be so counter productive. If you're feeling good, and then you read that you're supposed to be in the angry stage - well, you'll inevitably start to feel angry! Just focus on yourself, what your body is telling you and how you're feeling.
As a result of having my food selections limited, and not being able to drink alcohol, my social life definitely slowed down for the month of January. To be honest though, it was actually a good thing; I felt as though I was getting a mental cleanse as well. By allowing myself more down-time than usual, and to slow down a bit, I felt more clarity than I had in awhile. So the bad news is that you probably won't be going out as much. The good news is that this won't necessarily be a bad thing.
So Did You Lose Any Weight?
The million dollar question that I seemed to get was if I actually lost any weight. This is hard for me to answer, because I don't actually weigh myself, but I do think that I did lose a little bit of weight - but not as much as I thought I would. The fact that you eliminate legumes in this diet made it hard for me to find any meatless alternatives that would leave me full and satisfied. As a result, I ate way more meat and potatoes than I normally would, so I feel that this counteracted any weight-loss benefits that I would have seen from not eating sugar and carbs for a month. I have, however, heard of people who lost tons of weight so I guess it just depends on your body and how you react to things.
Although I didn't lose a ton of weight, I did notice a huge benefit in another area: my skin cleared up! I've struggled with hormonal acne for over a decade, and nothing has cleared up my skin more than changing my diet. While I'm now trying to figure out if it's refined sugars or dairy that causes my acne (or both), I'm happy to know that I am able to have clear skin.
Would You Do Whole30 Again?
Yes, I would absolutely do the Whole30 challenge again, even though I didn't lose very much weight. To me, eating real, whole food for 30 days was a huge eye-opener for how much I previously relied on eating out. Another benefit of Whole30 is that it finally got me in the kitchen cooking, which isn't as intimidating as I had always thought it was. While some people may find the strict rules irritating, I actually really liked them - it took any questions about what I can/can't eat out of the equation so I could just focus on nourishing myself with real food.
Whole30 can sound like a difficult diet, but to me the positives far outweighed any negatives. I'm now making an effort to cook at home more, am more aware of the foods that I put in my body and just all-around feel more in-tune with myself.
What do you guys think? Have you ever tried to challenge yourself with a diet? Have you tried Whole30? Let me know!
What a month! It seems as though I've blinked and we're nearing the end of February. I've been lucky enough to go on two trips so far: Quebec City, as well as visiting Whistler and Vancouver (I'll have a post going up on that soon.) With another trip to sunny Los Angeles coming up in a few days, it's safe to say that my priority has been geared towards travel this month. That being said, while I realize my content on the blog hasn't been as consistent as I like it to be, I can promise you that there's a lot of really exciting posts in the works! While I'm between trips in Toronto, I've still managed to get out to meet up with friends and snap a few photos of my outfits. Here's what I've been wearing this month, and details on where to find the pieces (where available.)
This whole outfit is from the Zara sales rack last season. Boots: Le Chateau, Beret - Amazon
That's it! I hope you guys like these outfit roundups. As much as I would love to link to everything, I'm someone who remixes the pieces I have in my wardrobe quite frequently so a lot of my pieces are from previous seasons. The good news is that I've done a bit of damage for my upcoming trip to LA, so I'll have some new pieces for you very soon! Until then! xo Joëlle
Early last week I was lucky enough to go on a secret trip of sorts with my friends at L'Oréal. I didn't know much, other than we were going to learn about the newest line to be added to the L'Oéal family, and that we would be visiting the famous Hôtel de Glace in Québec City, a hotel made entirely out of ice and snow! I'm always game for a good adventure, and am so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this trip.
The brand we were all curious about was revealed to us when we first landed and were settled into the Valcartier Hotel, the same property that holds the Hôtel de Glace. The mystery was over, it's CeraVe that's the newest addition to the L'Oreal family. I had never heared of CeraVe before, but was both blown away and moved by some of the personal testimonials we heard that vouched for the product; people with sensitive skin, eczema, extremely dry skin who's conditions were negatively impacting their lives that found solace in CeraVe products. One of the girls on our trip shared an extremely personal story about how CeraVe was the only thing to work on her infant son's severe eczema, and we were all in tears. As someone who has extremely sensitive and reactive skin, I'm always extremely hesitant to try a new product and I'm happy to report that my skin was not irritated whatsoever after using CeraVe products for the whole trip.
Once the product was revealed to us, it was easy to make the correlation between it and visiting the Ice Hotel; a product that can keep your skin calm and moisturized even in extreme conditions. And let me tell you, Québec City in the winter is no joke - especially when you're visiting a hotel that needs to stay ridiculously cold so it doesn't melt!
The whole experience was amazing, and I would highly recommend paying a visit to the Hôtel de Glace. I was blown away by the structure; the ice carvings, the attention to detail and the bar that served all drinks in ice glasses - even a champagne flute made of ice!
Here's a few memories of our 24 hour whirlwind trip to Québec City to visit the Ice hotel. I've also included my travel Vlog that best documents the entire experience. Enjoy!
Hôtel De Glace | The Ice Hotel | Quebec City Travel VLOG - YouTube
I hope you guys like this recap! While I normally like to do a more in-depth review for my travel posts, because of the nature of this trip I thought it would be fun to do more of a photographic diary.
Would you stay at an Ice Hotel? What's your favourite place to visit in the winter? Let me know!
xo Joëlle Thank you CeraVe and the L'Oréal family for this amazing experience!
I love just love Valentines day - and it's not for the reason you think. While I believe that we should be showing love toward one another every day, Valentines day is a dream come true for the pink-obsessed like myself. So, when I had the idea for a girly, very pink and whimsical photoshoot come into my head, I knew I had to act on it. Thankfully I found women who not only enthusiastically hopped on board, but also contributed their own ideas, expertise and flare to the project and turned it into something totally unique and reflective of everyone involved. I've poured over these photos so many times, just in awe of what can materialize when you get local Toronto women and creatives together for the sole purpose of creating.
I want to take this time to introduce you to all of the women and business involved in our cute Valentines Day shoot.
You probably recognize Sabrina from My Miaou since, when we're not both being hermits, we pretty much spend all of our time together! Sabrina is the kindest soul, beautiful inside and out, and creates the prettiest and most delicious content over on her blog and Instagram. Martha Stewart weeps for her baking - seriously you've got to check it out!
Autumn is someone that I just met recently, and I'm totally in awe of her creativity, drive and ambition. This photoshoot was done in her amazing space which, by the way, is available for rent! If you have a project that you need a high-ceilinged, light-filled, beautifully-styled space, then definitely get in touch with Autumn.
All of the photo were taking by the beautifully talented Jessica Charuk of Charuk Studios. Jessica is one of the newest residents of Toronto, and her photography is just gorgeous. Jessica has the most positive energy and was a true professional during our whole photoshoot, always down with any visions that we had and not afraid to give direction and feedback - which I love! I can't wait to see how this talented lady takes on Toronto.
When I think of balloons and beautiful balloon displays, the only thing that comes to mind is Balloon Bar. I was turned onto Balloon Bar's work while attending a party in the summer and was immediately taken by one of their sweeping balloon displays. I was so excited to have Balloon Bar on board with this project, and am already thinking of any parties that I can throw in order to have a room full of pink balloons again.
All of our dresses are from a chain of Toronto boutiques called Honey. You guys know how much I love Honey, and I've featured them countless times on the blog. They're my go-to when finding a special occasion dress (I wore their dresses to my engagement party and bridal shower, and those were years ago!) If you're in the Toronto area, you need to check out Honey stores for the ultimate in girly shopping experience.
The flowers used for this shoot were all provided by my friends at Flower Maiden. Olivia had provided the flower crowns to my last holiday creative shoot, and I was so happy to have her creations again. We were all so impressed with the large centrepiece display filled with pink and red flowers, and had so much fun playing with the long-stemmed red roses.
All of our shoes and fun accessories can be found at Aldo shoes, and you will definitely want to check out their valentines day selection. My shoes with the hearts at the heels are actually some of the cutest shoes I've ever seen, and I will definitely be wearing them well after Valentine's day. The heart-shaped cat eye sunglasses are also an item that will be styled for many photos to come, and I can't wait to wear them in LA!
I hope you guys enjoy the photos as much as I do - it was hard to narrow down which ones to post! This is the result of when you get women together for the sole purpose of creating, and I think the result is beautiful. Enjoy.
Valentines day in a photoshoot. I had so much fun with this, and I hope to do more collaborative creative shoots to come.
What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on Valentines day? Do you ever just get people together for the sole purpose of creating? Let me know! xo Joëlle
It's an interesting time to characterize yourself as a blogger. With multiple controversies that have gained international media attention, coupled with social media as a platform for people to voice their opinions, the blogging industry has been having a tough go of it. I've read scathing comments, from calling bloggers entitled, taunting them to get a real job, to seething comments about creating a curated, unattainable life. While these comments can be hurtful to read, especially when you not only classify yourself as a blogger but it's also your livelihood, I can brush them off as people not understanding the industry. There is one comment that does get under my skin though, and that's people's perception that this life that we live, the media we create, it's all purely just superficial and, as such, should be dismissed. While I'm not here to argue, or go toe-to-toe to change anyone's opinions, I do have my own story to share and I hope it helps to shed some light on why I'm here to defend the superficial, and how it kept me from drowning years ago.
I've mentioned multiple times on my blog and social media channels that I was working as a Funeral Director when I first started La Petite Noob. What I never mentioned is the toll the job was taking on my mental state and physical well-being. Without going into too much detail, the fact that my days centred around death started to really take a toll on me. Life can get messy, and the fact that I was dealing with the darkest that life had to offer on a daily basis lead to my own life feeling heavy. So, so heavy. Couple this with long hours, shift work and a brutal commute to-and-from work and I found myself having a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings. While the burden I was carrying felt like a weight that was keeping me just below the surface gasping for air, I still loved my job too much to quit and was searching for any lifeline to be able to continue working while still keeping afloat.
It was at my lowest point, after a particularly brutal day where I was confronted with the fragility of life, I decided that there's no time like the present. I wrote up a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I turned 30, linked it to my first post and thus La Petite Noob was created. Suddenly I had an outlet, a safe space that I had created all for myself that I could indulge in all of the lightness and surface topics that I so desperately craved in my day-to-day life. I would post about apartment décor, I would catch a breath of air. A post about outfits and holiday planning and I felt like I could kick myself up to the surface. Pretty soon I was posting regularly, and I started to feel like I was treading water on my own. Life became lighter. I needed this safe space to indulge in the superficial to keep me sane, combat the brutal truths about life I was facing on a daily basis, and keep me breathing.
While my case is definitely in the minority, since I'm sure very few people are coming from a place of working in funeral services, I do think that this sentiment can ring true for many. You guys, life is hard for everyone, no matter what the circumstance. And while I'm not here to argue, or try to prove a point, I do want to make my case for the superficial; why indulging in it doesn't make me any less of a person and how it nearly saved my life.
I hope this made sense! I hope that this post helps to shed some light into why I try to keep La Petite Noob a positive, happy place and the history that lead to that decision. I'm definitely very interested to hear your thoughts. What do you do to keep a lightness in your life? Have you ever created something to help protect your mental health? Let me know! Thank you so much for reading. xo Joëlle
It's been a minute since I've done a good, old fashioned outfit post so over the weekend I got dressed up in my Sunday best, grabbed my camera and a reluctant Brian and took some outfit photos. If you guys watched my newest Youtube video, you would have seen that I picked up this fuzzy pink coat from the Zara sale. I need another pink faux-fur coat like I need a hole in the head, but this coat is honestly everything and the one that I have been reaching for me most. I love dressing it up like I did in these photos; paired with a sweater dress, some over-the-knee boots and a white beret. Later that night, we drove over to my parents house for dinner and it looked just as good worn with black skinny jeans, booties and an oversized sweater.
Jacket - Zara (found in-stores), Dress - c/o Tobi, Boots - c/o Le Chateau
Zara Winter Sale Haul + TRY ON 2018 | Sneaky Prada Purchase | Joëlle Anello - YouTube
Check out my video to see what else I scored from the Zara sale!
What do you guys think? Is there an item in your closet that you just can't stop buying? Have you jumped on the giant faux-fur coat trend? Let me know! xo Joëlle
I don't know if it's just the freshness of a new year, or the fact that I'm getting older and more aware, but lately I've been reflecting a lot. When I look back, I feel as though I've lived many different lives, which each different location, career, love and experience contributing a different novel to the series. While I've made my fair share of mistakes along the way there are a few things that, looking back now, I am truly grateful happened in my twenties. There experiences helped to shape who I am today and while some of them were really difficult at the time, they provided huge learning opportunity. Here's 5 things that I'm glad happened in my twenties that better shaped who I am in my thirties.
1. I Changed Careers
I changed my major in University, and it nearly crushed me. I remember feeling so ashamed that I changed course, that I hadn't 'gotten it right' on the first choice. Fast forward a few years, and I was faced in the same situation when I was debating going back to school, this time to college for Funeral Services. I again felt self conscious, thinking that going back to school meant that I again hadn't gotten my life's decisions right. Thankfully I fought through my insecurity and completed my course to become a Funeral Director. Going back to college was eye opening for me; here I was so embarrassed to be starting over, and meanwhile I was one of the youngest people in my class. There were so many grown adults excited to be starting a second career, and their excitement was contagious. I began to realize that changing careers isn't a slight on your character, it's simply following your own path as you grow and change as a person. Having experienced this in my twenties made the decision of pursuing my blog full-time a little easier. I know now that it's okay to go off-course, try new things and to challenge yourself when it comes to your career.
2. I Was Single
I guess you could call me a serial monogamist; I was in serious relationships from sixteen onward. Then in my twenties, without much warning, a relationship that I had really invested myself in ended abruptly, and I was left feeling intense heartbreak for the first time. It was awful. Whereas most of my other relationships has ended with me loosing interest first and able to jump into another one right away, this one hurt and I was wasn't in the right place to start another relationship. So I didn't. I learned to embrace being by myself, invest in the relationships with my friends, have more fun and eventually preferred being single to being a couple. It was so freeing, and really taught me that no matter what happened in my love life, I could be happy on my own.
3. I Lived By Myself
As a response to my heartbreak, I needed to find a place to live quickly and it didn't leave much time for making arrangements with roommates. This lead me to signing the lease to my first studio apartment where I would be living in completely by myself. Living alone for the first time was a huge adjustment. It really forced me to take responsibility for my own actions and to be more proactive. If the dishes weren't done the night before, they would be there the next morning - and would continue to be there until I did something about it. Living alone also taught me to be proactive with my social life; if I wanted company or to see friends, I would have to be the one to reach out and make plans. I also learned a lot about paying bills and budgeting while living by myself. Ultimately, living on my own forced me to take responsibility for myself, my actions and decisions.
4. I Moved Cities
While I'm no stranger to moving (my dad was in the military and we moved a lot growing up,) I had gone to both high school and University in Ottawa and considered it home. Ottawa is where I had all of my friends, my apartment, knew the city to drive around inside and out and had all of my business connections (which in my twenties meant knowing bouncers at various bars so that I could bypass lines, ha!) Ottawa was my comfort zone and I had no desire to ever leave - that is, until I had to move to Toronto to go back to school for Funeral Services. All of a sudden I had to start from scratch, from friends to living situations, to even the smallest things like figuring out the public transit system. It was uncomfortable at first, but like most things it eventually became easier. I learned valuable lessons about making friends as an adult, and learned how important it is to be open to change. Now Toronto is home and while I don't plan on leaving anytime soon, I know that if I do it will be okay.
5. I Traveled
While I didn't travel a whole lot until my late twenties, I did take a pretty epic summer-long trip to Europe with one of my girlfriends and I can honestly say that it changed my life. Not only did I learn so much about different cities and cultures, I learned how to connect with different people around the world on a more personal level. There are friends that I made on that trip that I still talk to now, and at the time I couldn't even tell you what they did for a living - we just knew that we got along and enjoyed each other's company. I also learned the importance of experiences vs. things. Now I travel as much as I can, and I credit that trip to Europe that I took back in my early twenties to sparking my love for travel and new experiences.
What do you guys think? Is there anything that you've done in your life that you're thankful for? What were some of the events that lead to lessons for you? Let me know! xo Joëlle
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.