#yeg Spotlight: YEG Love Letters

I like to believe there is more good in the world than there is bad. Last week’s shootings in Ottawa, which claimed the life of an innocent and devoted soldier, tested that faith for Canadians.

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed that day, though, I was reminded of a really heart warming project here in Edmonton – Love Letters to Strangers. The name basically says it all; letters are placed in random and unassuming places throughout the city, containing uplifting messages, and words of love and encouragement. The fairy godmother behind this, Ashley Green, distributes them with no hidden agenda. Just a genuine desire to turn someone’s day around for the better.

Untitled #36

While I have yet to come across one of these letters for myself, I can imagine how good I would feel if I did. And it's these smile-worthy actions that create powerful ripple effects, serving as a reminder that a few words from the heart can really go a long way. Until I find a letter, I will continue to find joy from each Instagram photo I see, snapped just so, so the location remains vague and unknown.

You can learn more about Love Letters to Strangers by visiting the website (there’s even a way to donate to the cause!), or see what Ashley is up to more regularly through Instagram. A larger scale projects exists, as well, if you’d like to reach out to strangers internationally: The World Needs More Love Letters.

Enjoy, and have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

Oscar de la Renta

I feel it’s timely and appropriate to follow up my previous post on weddings with a commemoration for Oscar de la Renta, who passed away on October 20, 2014. What better way to do so than to take another look at the stunning bride, Amal Clooney, who wore his last creation.

Oscar de la Renta

A man who seems as elegant as each and every piece of perfection he handcrafted. Rest in peace, Oscar.

Also – a few words from Anna Wintour on her very special friendship with the highly esteemed designer.

Weddings, weddings everywhere!

While this is not what is typically known as “wedding season”, all things wedding have been on my mind. With my little sister getting married next fall, and another good friend soon after that, I can’t help but pour over the never ending inspiration that exists on blogs, websites and, of course, Pinterest. Hearing about another friend’s exciting engagement news last night (congrats MW!!) just confirmed for me that I don’t only love weddings when someone close to me is about to walk down the aisle; I just love them all the time! Here is where some of my excitement and inspiration comes from:

Kelsy Nielson Photographer

Kelsy Nielson Photography

Nicole Ashley

Nicole Ashley Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Katch Studios

Katch Studios

There will be sprinkles of wedding beauty on here as we near my sister’s big day, cause, I mean, I can’t just keep this dazzling and fun stuff to myself!

Also – the best of fall bridal 2015 and my favourite wedding website.

Have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

Giving Thanks

This weekend we gave thanks for delicious food, perfect fall weather, and most of all, our families that we were able to celebrate this savoury holiday with. Here’s what we feasted on (links to recipes, where available, are linked below):

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa || Caprese Panzanella || Green Beans with Mushrooms, Bacon & Herbs

The garlic mashed potatoes were a heavenly creation dreamed up by Alex, and we think (hope!) that they made up for us forgetting the best and most important part of a Thanksgiving meal known as stuffing. Our tastebuds still danced, nonetheless.

How did you celebrate this beautiful long weekend?

xo,
Kassey

Eye Fashion || A Partnership with Warby Parker

I’ve professed many times how much I love fashion, and it’s always during these fall months that the sartorial chambers in my brain are supercharged with inspiration from all of the fashion week events and Fall/Winter collections that come to life before the world. Eye wear is no exception to this excitement, as I think it plays an important part in how a look comes together. Needless to say, I was delighted at the chance to partner with Warby Parker for the release of their new Corner Collection!

Warby Parker comes from humble beginnings, as a start-up now headquartered in New York, and is one of those companies that just makes you feel good. Driven by the belief that everyone deserves to see, they bring their customers stylish frames at a seriously affordable price point, and extend their good will further by providing a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold. The more I have learned about this group, the more I have grown an obsession with them, so I encourage you to read their story, and check out their eyeglasses and sunglasses collections.

Below I have put together a few looks inspired by some of my favourite frames from the Corner Collection. This collection consists of five new frames – Hutton, Topper, Goodney, Teddy, and Quentin, and they’re all totally distinctive and a little bit irreverant.

The Meow Factor

Leather jacket, Ankle boots – sold out, similar here, Animal Print Mini Dress, MAC Lustreglass in Venetian

Goodney Rhubarb

Sweater, Jeans, Black Bowling Bag, Ballet Flats, Gold Bangle

What you will notice here is some experimentation with traditional shapes; think crisp keyhole bridges, sloping browlines, sharp temples, and straight-edged brow bars in a handsome mix of horn-inspired acetate and stainless steel. And ladies, in case you haven’t already fallen in love with the Rhubarb color like I have, it should be mentioned that it’s one of two new hues (along with Quartz), and this scheme rounds out an intense palette of autumnal and icy shades, terrific for indoors-y, cozy times and leaf-crunching rambles alike (even when the temps rise again, they’re still good to go).

Teddy

Striped Trousers, Black V-Neck Sweater, Brown Ankle Boots, Fair Isle Boot Socks

Topper

Wool Blazer, Weekend Bag, Dress Boots, Crewneck Sweater, Jeans

The Corner Collection goes live today, so be sure to check them out:

Warby Parker
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Hey…it’s almost the long weekend! Hooray for that!

xo,
Kassey

The Lovely Ordinary Turns One!

One!

The Lovely Ordinary is officially one year old! I remember this momentous day last year so clearly – Alex was in Toronto for a wedding, and I had decided to stay behind because I was very pregnant at that time and I wasn’t too comfortable with flying. As luck would have it, I had also come down with a terrible cold (or it seemed more terrible than usual because I couldn’t take my trusty Advil Cold & Sinus), forcing me to cancel plans of going to a Pecha Kucha event with friends, and turning down my cousin’s birthday festivities. So what’s a pregnant girl to do with several other hundred things adding up on her to-do list? Start a blog, of course!

Let me just say – it has been such a fun year learning and navigating the world of blogging! Other bloggers and media mavens I have met make me feel really cool just by associating with them. The local blogger community has revealed itself as a vibrant and supportive one, which is especially comforting for a novice like me. And the ideas and creativity that result from blogging, and following other blogs, have been exactly what I was looking for out of this maternity leave project. I am so excited to dive into learning more over this next year, but for now, please join me in wishing this fun little space a Happy Birthday!

I thought long and hard about how to commemorate this milestone – a contest? A giveaway? A collaboration? These are all great, and are in The Lovely Ordinary’s future, I promise. But instead, I decided to go with something near and dear to my heart. October happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so in support of all of the hard work and dedicated research towards finding a cure, I have made a $50 donation to celebrate this little birthday. In addition to this, I will make an additional $1 donation for every comment that is left here. Why this particular cause? Seven years ago, we sadly lost my grandma to the disease, so this is one of the many ways in which we keep her beautiful spirit alive and work towards a greater cause. It has been a near decade long tradition for my mom and sisters and I to actually Run for the Cure, but this year has each of us in a bunch of different places, whether it’s work or school or attending three year old little girls’ birthday parties :) This year, it is my monetary contribution that I hope will bring us even the slightest bit closer to discovering a cure.

A happy week, and an even happier October, to you. Hope it’s off to a great start. Oh, and get those comments in!

xo,
Kassey

My Favourites || Lip Products

You know the question “If you were stranded on an island and you could only take three things with you, what would they be?” One of my three things has always been chapstick, or a lip moisturizer of some sort. Are my priorities out of whack?! In any case, I thought I would compile my next favourites post: my long-time favourite lip products, along with some new finds.

The Basic: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Burt's Bees - The Basic

Who knew that a simple, beeswax chapstick would be come such a staple in cosmetic bags and purse pockets alike? This is, without question, my favourite and most reliable lip moisturizer. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter (super dry lip season) or summer (sun burnt lip season), this small tube of wonder smooths my lips at the worst of times. And at the best of times, it’s great to swipe on to give lips a healthy, conditioned look, especially with that subtle hit of peppermint tingle. Forever my go-to!

The Healers – Smith’s Rosebud Salve and Smith’s Strawberry Lip Balm

Smith's - The Healers

Once I have brushed my teeth and completed my skin care routine at night, there are three more things I do before tucking myself into bed: drink water, moisturize my hands, and slather on some Smith’s. This is one of those products where you just feel like you’re doing your skin, in this case lips, a favour. I’m a fan of both the Rosebud Salve and Strawberry flavours, so I alternate between the two. Both are beautifully aromatic, and both make your lips soft and supple come sunrise.

The Splash: Rimmel Color Rush Lip Balm & Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm

Revlon & Rimmel - The Splash!

When it comes to lip color, I always shy away from anything bright. I have even been known to buy a color lighter than my natural lip pigmentation to pale my lips out. I’m slowly learning, though, that a splash of color on the lips can be really fun (dare I even consider it an accessory to my outfit?) and even fool proof. I decided to try Rimmel’s Color Balm in “On Fire”, and I am happy to report that I rocked a red lip last week and loved it! It’s smooth and moisturizing, so it doesn’t leave you with flaky, somewhat colored lips. Though I have yet to try Revlon’s matte version, I’m excited to do so because their color palette for this collection is to die for (hello “Unapologetic”)!

The Secret: No Bleeding Lips – Secret Lip Liner

No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip LIner

Perhaps the reason behind me being so excited about, and successful in, sporting a bright lip is this very product. Appropriately named, this secret lip liner is clear, so it automatically won me over because I don’t have to worry about matching a lip liner to every color of lip balm or lipstick I buy from now on! Never having dabbled in lip liners (unless a pro was applying it to me) I’ve always been nervous about applying it too thick, only to end up looking like a 90s makeup don’t. So far, it’s true to it’s claim of no bleeding, so I feel like I’ve unearthed a gem, here, guys!

Any favourite lip products or new finds? Feel free to share them below! Also, feel free to let me know what your three must-haves are if you ever found yourself stranded on an island. I can’t be the only one with such chapstick love!

xo,
Kassey