YOUR BEST FRIENDS WEDDING | How to be an exceptional maid of honour

Your best friend is getting married and you’ve been asked to be the maid of honour. Obviously, you’re ecstatic! There are few things in life more exciting than watching the people you love get hitched – and being a part of the celebrations is the cherry on top.

If you’re taking on the coveted role of MOH, here are some tips to help you excel.

YOUR BEST FRIENDS WEDDING | How to be the best maid of honour

YOUR BEST FRIENDS WEDDING | How to be the best maid of honour the lady-like leopard melina morry

Planning and preparation

A wedding is, of course, about the bride and groom – but there’s a lot to do. It’s helpful to know that there are people around that are happy to help out. Let your best friend know that you’re available if she needs you. Perhaps she’d like some advice when it comes to deciding between two venues, or she’d appreciate your input with choosing flowers or centrepieces. Get together to chat about ideas, and help her track down dresses, wedding bands or designer cakes.

It’s often the little things that get on top of brides when they’re in the throes of planning. Just when you think you’re getting somewhere, you realize that you’ve still got loads to do! This is where you come in handy.

You can help with making calls, getting quotes, and checking availability. You can also source ideas for decorations, personal touches, and invitations. Look through magazines, search sites like Pinterest, and have a look at what you can find online. If you’re looking for invitations, for example, you can show her designs like those from Pure Invitation wedding invitations.

One of the best things about being maid of honour is organizing the bachelorette party. If you want to the event to be a surprise, sit down with the bride beforehand and get an idea of what she’d like to do. Ask her for a guest list, so that you don’t miss anyone off or invite people she doesn’t see anymore.

Once you’ve got a list of names, you can start contacting guests and throwing around some ideas for dates. Meet with the other bridesmaids, and go through some options for locations and activities. Work out a budget (this one is really important). When you’ve got numbers, you can start planning in more detail, and making reservations. At all times, bear the bride in mind. Remember that it’s not your party! If she didn’t want anything too crazy, don’t organize a wild night on the tiles.

De-stressing and having fun

Planning a wedding can be stressful so try and be there for your best friend, and encourage her to de-stress and have fun. If she’s had a hectic week, get the girls together for dinner, hit the shops, or pop round for a chat after work. Let her offload and rant if she’s stressed out or feeling frustrated. It’s important that you offer a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board. Try and keep her calm, and do something fun to take her mind off spreadsheets and seating plans.

Getting ready for the big day

For most people, their wedding day is the best (and biggest) day of their lives, so it’s important that your best friend looks and feels amazing. In the run-up to the wedding, book some hair and makeup trials, and go along with her to give her advice and help her choose the look she’s going for. Try and keep her relaxed. The night before the wedding, you could book a massage and have a girly night in!

On the day, be there to make her feel calm as she prepares to walk down the aisle. It can be overwhelming when you’re faced with a roomful of people who are all there to see you, and it’s reassuring to have your best friend beside you. Take charge of practical matters, such as holding flowers, arranging the veil, and topping up makeup throughout the day. Finally, have fun together. When your favourite song comes on, spin each other around the floor, or head to the photo booth to get those snaps you’ll display on your fridge for years to come.

Being maid of honour is not something you’ll do every day, so make the most of this responsibility and be the best friend you can be. Planning a wedding can be stressful and time-consuming – your friend may need your help and advice. Be there for her, help her out with wedding-related tasks and try and save her some time and effort.

Away from the spreadsheets and budgets, let her know that you’re there to listen, offer advice or just take her mind off everything and organize a fun catch-up. Make an effort to plan the best bachelorette party ever, be there when she needs you and try and keep the bride calm as the big day approaches. On the day, enjoy every moment and do everything you can to make sure the same applies to her!

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

WINNERS IN YOUR WARDROBE | Following fashion with what you already have

As a fashion lover, it can constantly feel like your budget can’t stretch to your desires. There’s always a new trend to try out or a new pair of shoes you just have to have. But what about things that you already own? You might have a few winners in your wardrobe that you’ve completely forgotten about. 

The fashion that we are meant to covet is usually expensive. The equivalent of a month’s rent for a single pair of shoes? It seems insane. Then we see the shoes, the beauty of the curved lines and heels that will make our legs look ten times longer, and all of a sudden it seems more reasonable. Or does it?

Inevitably, there are moments when we really, really can’t afford the things we want. Fashion is a world that constantly moves and it seems like a lot of the time, only the super-wealthy can keep up with the trendiest and most expensive items on the hot list.

For the rest of us, we make do with what we can as the styles change and we try to make our closets keep up – and try to find those winners that you already have. 

This is not something to worry about though! In fact, it should be celebrated – because not having the money to follow fashion religiously gives you a chance to do something else: be creative. When you have to think outside the box for every outfit you wear, you encourage yourself to be truly experimental.

So if you have found yourself splurging on expensive pieces, then not having enough for rent and wondering “will I have to sell my Rolex today so I can pay my bills?” – stop the cycle now! Instead, introduce yourself to a world where what’s in your wardrobe is sufficient – you’ve just not been using it right.

WINNERS IN YOUR WARDROBE | Following fashion with what you already have

tosstake

Wardrobe Win #1: Adapt your clothing

Say back in the 00s you had a pair of jeans that you loved. They fit like a glove and you felt fantastic in them. They were the perfect fit on both your waist and hips – really, how often does that happen?!

The only problem is that they’re bootcut.

The fashion has trended away from the style, but you still love the jeans. They still look great on – from the knee up, anyway. The same applies to skirts as the fashionable length moves up and down the leg constantly.

Repurpose them with the help of a good tailor. Switching from bootcut to skinny is a small job that will cost a lot less than a new pair of jeans. Skirt and dress hemlines can be raised with ease; lowering is a little trickier, but it can be done. You can breathe new, fashionable life into your wardrobe this way.

Wardrobe Win #2: Try A Simple Base

Cultivate a set of simple base outfits, which you can then layer new fashions onto. A pair of jeans and a plain shirt; a black dress; a skirt and cardigan combination. Keep the colours neutral so they work with anything. Then, when the new season colour or trend comes around, swap in a few accessories to keep things looking up to date. The same foundation of the outfit remains, but you only have to spend on a few pieces rather than a whole ensemble.

Wardrobe Win #3: Wear whatever you like

Want to wear something from former fashion glory days without altering it? Then do so. If anyone asks, just tell them it’s early vintage. It takes confidence to pull this off, but it’ll make your wardrobe timeless in one fell swoop.

This is one of my favourite way to dress anyways. I really don’t care what’s “on trend” at the moment. If I like it, I’ll wear it and that’s all there is to it.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.
Sex and the City photo: Pinterest.

 

WARDROBE RE-VAMP | How to re-vamp your wardrobe for a new you

New Year is a time for resolutions and many people decide to lose weight, quit alcohol or cigarettes, or generally improve their health. Though attainable, many of these goals take time, which is why so many give up, so taking small steps to improve confidence and well being on day one can greatly improve chances for success.

Unsurprisingly it’s often women that are aiming to improve appearance through weight loss and new fitness regimes. A recent Daily Mail article revealed that only 3% of women in the UK were actually happy with their bodies and that many felt that the emphasis on celebrities and unrealistic expectations by the media were to blame.

PERSONAL STYLE | How to re-vamp your wardrobe

personal style by fashion journalist melina morry of the lady-like leopard

Self-care is sometimes overlooked when parents have young children to look after and it’s easy to put health and appearance on the back burner. In an increasingly image conscious world many find it hard not to compare themselves with others, and while confidence should come from the inside, taking steps towards great health and well being can be a positive thing.

Eating a healthier diet, doing regular exercise and reducing stress can certainly help. Incorporating daily meditation and incorporating mindfulness techniques into the 9-5 routine is beneficial in promoting positive thought patterns. Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol can also health with weight loss, improve skin quality and increase energy levels.

But that’s just the start. While taking care of the inside it’s important to take care of the outside too and getting a new haircut, a facial or a manicure can give people an extra confidence boost, making goal achieving more likely. When you look better, you feel better and well-being is vital element for success.

Clothing and image can be important too and the first thing to address is the wardrobe. Aside from creating a nicer living space, de-cluttering can alleviate stress and promote well-being; throwing out all those unwanted sweat-pants, hole-y jumpers and only keeping items that bring joy can be liberating. Arranging clothing in colour order from dark to light also makes it easier to see see clothes and put together outfits that work.

This goes too for underwear drawers, an often overlooked part of the bedroom often inhabited by greying ‘full’ briefs, saggy bras and uninspiring pyjamas. Investing in some matching bra and knicker sets or some elegant nightwear from retailers such as Vanilla Night & Day bras and lingerie can be a good start to the wardrobe re-vamp.

Not only is a drawer full of neatly folded elegant lingerie a beautiful thing but wearing it may encourage the wearer to feel more confident, sexier and in control.

Feeling confident in the present is the key; losing weight is an admirable goal, taking long walks in the countryside and more sleep are all life-affirming resolutions… but beginning to feel more confident today is the challenge and dressing for the person that you want to become, is a pretty great start.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard. 

HOW TO ACCESSORIZE | 3 stylish ways to accessorize like a boss

Accessorizing your clothes has come a long way since the matchy-matchy styles of the 80s and 90s. If your belt, shoes, and bag are all the same shade of pink, then it is time to step away! Styles are more eclectic now as people choose to wear a variety of different colours, textures, and materials. Accessories really can make the difference with an outfit.

Think of a little black dress, for instance. It’s so versatile in its style, since it’s pretty much a blank canvas. But think how much better the dress would look teamed with the right pair of shoes or statement necklace. Some people are just naturally good at nailing their accessories – and some aren’t. 

If you need a little inspiration and guidance, read on. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you are accessorizing your outfits like a boss.

HOW TO ACCESSORIZE | 3 stylish ways to accessorize like a boss

IMG_7110

Mix Metals

When you think of jewelry or things like belts, it is a good idea to mix up the metals that you use. Layered rings is a popular trend at the moment, with above-the-knuckle rings and thumb rings, as well as different thicknesses and designs. But you want to avoid it matching where possible.

The best piece of advice is to pick your favourite shade; whether that be yellow gold, silver or rose gold, for example and make that your base for the accessories. Then choose some contrasting pieces to make the accessorizing look effortless. If you’ve got a rose gold watch, then you could have one or two rose gold rings. But mix it with some yellow gold rings too, to keep it fresh.

Personalize It

Though you might shop at non-designer stores, it’s easy to make it look like you do. It’s all about the accessories! Instead of choosing run-of-the-mill accessories from popular stores, think about some more unique and individual pieces. Look in thrift shops or vintage stores for some one of a kind pieces. You could also get things like stamped necklaces with a quote that is personal to you. When your accessories are personal, it gives your style a classy and designer edge.

Always Accessorize a Little

It is important not to overthink your style. But it is a good idea to accessorize at every occasion. You don’t have to do everything all at once either. It might not be a good day for rings, so you could think about accessorizing with a scarf or pashmina. Don’t leave the house without adding one to your outfit, especially when wearing all-black-everything. Add a cuff bracelet to a dress instead of a necklace, for a change.

You might think that when it is cold outside, there isn’t time to accessorize as you’re focussed on keeping warm. But there are things that you can do. Step it up with your shoe-game, for instance. They can make a statement when the rest of you is bundled in layers. Just always make sure you have something that gives a nod to your signature style.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

PREGNANCY STYLE | How to stay stylish during your pregnancy and beyond

When you are expecting, it can be hard to feel stylish. After all, the pleasures of things like morning sickness can make you feel less than perfect every day. However, there are ways you can still look (and feel) good while pregnant.

After all, just check out stars like Blake Lively and Natalie Portman on the red carpet while pregnant for inspiration! And after the baby is born, you can still look like a fashionista. So, here are some great tips you need to ensure you stay a style queen during your pregnancy and beyond.

PREGNANCY STYLE | How to stay stylish during your pregnancy and beyond

pexels-photo-54289

Focus on accessories

One thing that doesn’t have to change while you’re pregnant is your accessories. You can still wear those stunning necklaces and bracelets that you did before! You might want to go for a cute scarf which will be perfect for keeping you and your baby warm during the cold season. Don’t be afraid to go for hair accessories like a floppy hat or a cute bandana to complete that cool look.

Look into designer maternity wear

You don’t have to turn your back on trends just because you’re having a baby. In fact, some of the designer ranges have gorgeous maternity clothes. Therefore, you can still look fabulous while having a baby – just make sure you don’t spend too much on the clothes, after all, you’re only pregnant for a few months! Once your baby has arrived, you might be surprised to know that a lot of the ranges actually do their own baby clothes. For example, you can find Dior for babies so you can ensure your little one looks just as stylish as you!

Stick to your normal style

Just because you’re going to be a mom, it doesn’t mean your style has to change. If you’re a fan of skinny jeans and leather jackets, still wear these during your pregnancy. After all, it might make you lose confidence if you start dressing in clothes that you think you should be wearing, rather than ones you love. Stay true to yourself to still be a style queen during your pregnancy!

Go for simple colors

A lot of people make a faux pas when it comes to choosing clothes for their pregnancy. They tend to go for bright colours which end up not being very flattering. And patterns are also a no-no when it comes to pregnancy. Therefore, to ensure you look great during your pregnancy, you should opt for simple colours like black and grey which will give you a flattering look – even during the last few months and beyond.

Consider a staple wraparound dress

It’s hard to choose dresses when it comes to pregnancy. Some women go for tight numbers which show off their bump, while others prefer something a bit more subtle. One good option you should consider is a staple wraparound dress. As it says in this article, it shows off your bump while offering a comfortable fit. And the plunging neckline can help you to look appealing during your pregnancy too!

And remember to pick clothes which are comfortable. After all, it’s the most important thing during your pregnancy!

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

WARDROBE REFRESH | Create your fresh wardrobe with this quiz

If I won the lotto, one of the first things I would do is give myself a wardrobe refresh. I’d chuck out my entire wardrobe (well, maybe not my Zimmermann dresses or Calvin Klein jeans) and start fresh. I mean, really fresh. From new underwear and workout clothes to new gowns and fur coats, I’d do it all and I’d do it well.

Unfortunately, not all of us – or even many of us – are lucky enough to win giant sums of cash. That’s why we have to pick and choose our wardrobe refresh carefully. Is it time to throw out those scuffed up boots and trade them in for a pair of crushed velvet Dries Van Noten ankle booties? Or maybe trade in your last seasons crop top for a sexy, off-the-shoulder knit?

WARDROBE REFRESH the lady-like leopard melina morry victoria bc photo by morgan cross photography

These decisions can be tough. Which is precisely why Farfetch has created a special wardrobe refresh quiz to help you decide which pieces are needed to liven up your current wardrobe!

WARDROBE REFRESH | Create your fresh wardrobe with this quiz

the lady-like leopard's curated wardrobe

Refresh your own wardrobe here.

I love the pieces that were selected for me! Especially the ankle boots in the top row – they’re to die for. I’m also loving all the pants since trying out different styles of pants is on my 2017 resolutions list. I’m not exactly crazy about the dress in the bottom left corner, but this year I’m all about trying new things so what the heck, I’d give it a go.

Let’s say goodbye to the old and in with our new wardrobe refresh! What are you most looking forward to refreshing in your wardrobe?

WARDROBE REFRESH the lady-like leopard melina morry victoria bc photo by morgan cross photography

WARDROBE REFRESH the lady-like leopard melina morry victoria bc photo by morgan cross photography

WHAT I’M WEARING:

trench coat | GIFT FROM A FRIEND
ankle boots | KENDALL + KYLIE
cross body bag | SEED HERITAGE
pink sunglasses | PUBLIC BUTTER
pom pom | WITCHERY

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

Photos by Morgan Cross Photography (website, facebook) in downtown Victoria, BC. 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS | 10 fashion, travel and social media resos for 2017

According to my horoscope, 2017 is the year I should take centre stage. See? This is why I think horoscopes are a bit of a hoax – haven’t I been taking centre stage since the day I was born? (Kidding.) Anyways, this is the year that everyone who ever doubted my Gemini abilities will be biting their tongues as I shine in the spotlight. I can live with that.

I love to experiment and try new things. My New Year’s Resolutions are all about that. What’s the fun in living your same old life every year?

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

If there’s a new challenge, I’m up for it. If there’s a new trend, I’ll try it. And if there’s a new item on my favourite restaurants menu, you can be sure that I’ll be giving it a taste. (As long as my fave sushi spot keeps their Spicy Tempura Roll because I don’t want to try anything new there. It’s too good.)

New Year’s Resolutions can seem like a great thing at the start of the year but often fade into your busy life a couple months in. This year I’m going to try my best to keep up with every single one. I mean, 10 is pretty ambitious though so we’ll see how it goes.

The Lady-like Leopard’s 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

1. Choose well, buy less

I used to be (almost) as bad as Becky Bloomwood in the shopping department, but now that I’ve had a cold, hard dose of reality – bills, rent, groceries – I just can’t shop the way I want to. And trust me, I want to. But, there comes a time in every fashionistas life when she realizes that she can’t buy that DKNY velvet slip dress. Until it goes on sale.

2. Learn to accept compliments w/o being embarrassed

I’m one of those women who gets super shy when receiving compliments about anything other than how incredibly smart or funny I am (lol, should also work on modesty). For example, if someone says I look beautiful, I’ll usually give them a look like they’re crazy and say thanks. This year I will accept the compliment gracefully and try not to blush. (Ps. did you know that paying someone a compliment actually has a lot of benefits for you?)

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

3. Travel more (and maybe get some free flights)

Okay well, maybe not totally free, but a girl can dream, right? I didn’t plan any of my trips in 2016 – except for Sydney – and somehow I ended up in Paris, London, Annapolis and New York (twice). So maybe if I put it out in the universe that I want to go to Barcelona, Tokyo and L.A. it just might happen. No, it will happen.

4. Start wearing pants more often

It’s not what you think. I’m not running around without pants – at least not publicly. I just want to fully embrace the latest “pants on fire” trend, as reported in the January 2017 issue of Vogue.  I used to be completely opposed to wearing pants when I was a kid but as the years go by I’ve found myself drawn to the masculine staples. But they don’t always have to be considered masculine. David Koma of Mugler says “of course pants can be sexy” and the latest of the latest trend is wearing a minidress or tunic over top.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

5. Start working out more – in a fun way

I love working out, but sometimes just going to the gym can get a little repetitive and boring. I’ve been dying to try a ballet bootcamp, hit up more boxing classes and get back into Bikram Hot Yoga. Who’s with me?

6. Stop wasting time reading articles I don’t care about

You know when you’re scrolling through twitter or something and you see something about Rob & Chyna and you’re immediately disgusted but somehow find yourself clicking on it and absorbing every drop of grimy gossip? Ugh. That has got to stop. I’m ashamed.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

7. Stop wasting time on my phone, period

I’m on social media way more often that I would like to admit. Don’t even try to deny that you guys don’t look right at your phone when you wake up even though the screen is blinding your sleep-filled eyes. Sometimes I do my rounds of checking (instagram, twitter, facebook, etc.) and then I’ll start again even though I know there’s nothing new. It’s disturbing.

8. Be honest about how many drinks I’ve had this week

I’m thinking of doing a sober January. Oh, stop. I heard your *gasps* even through my computer screen. I can do it. Depending on what time of year it is, it can be so hard to limit alcohol because of events, media previews, parties and all that jazz. January seems like a safe month to cut back on the bubbly.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

9. Fluently learn Spanish (Aprende español fluidamente)

Señorita, I feel for you. You deal with things that you don’t have to. He doesn’t love you, I can tell by his charm… See how easily I get distracted? That’s why last year I played DuoLingo for a month and completely forgot about learning Español.

10. Work every single day towards my goals

One of my friends recently told me that what they love most about me is that I’m “incredibly hardworking and driven” and that sets me apart from the crowd (of half-naked instagram models maybe?). Apparently “there aren’t many people like [me] anymore” and I love it. That’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. This year I plan to set aside specific times for writing, blogging, pitching, working, loving, spending time with friends and family – everything.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS by fashion journalist Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography. Magnolia Hotel, Victoria, December 2016.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

lace-up dress | NAKED WARDROBE
earrings | ASSORTED
choker | BROOKLYN BLEU VINTAGE
lipstick | ARTISTIC BEAUTY

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

All photos by Morgan Cross Photography (website, facebook) at Magnolia Hotel & Spa

THE END OF 2016 | A year of highlights for The Lady-like Leopard

Is it just me or do years fly by even quicker the older you get? I mean, I’m only 25 years young but it feels like I was spraying champagne all over the streets of Newtown, Sydney ringing in the new year just yesterday. But alas, the end of 2016 is here.

A lot of people are saying that they’re welcoming the end of 2016 with open arms – that the year totally sucked. I prefer to focus on the bright side of things. I’m excited to ring in a brand new year but I’m also enjoying looking back on what I’d say wasn’t a total loss.

Sure, there were lots of events that I wish didn’t happen this year (like sort of getting fired from a job) but as with anything, you can always find a silver lining.

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography

JANUARY

The start of the year was spent soaking up the sun in Sydney, Australia. It was my first time back to my home away from home in almost 2 years so I spent a few months there catching up with my university friends, my family and making some new connections along the way. I also bought my 2nd Zimmermann dress!

HIGHLIGHT: Discovering new restaurants with my sister like Uncle Ming’s and Miss Peaches. I’d definitely recommend both.

FEBRUARY

I was back in Toronto by February. It was one of the coldest winters I’ve ever experienced. I thought by going to Sydney from November to January that I was skipping the worst of winter – I was very, very wrong. The grass was starting to look a hell of a lot greener in Australia.

HIGHLIGHT: Going to Montreal with my friend Stephan and discovering that it can be colder than humanly imaginable. Also, wolfing down authentic Montreal poutine.

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography

MARCH

Even though we didn’t know it at the time, this was the final month of Toronto Fashion Week. I wasn’t able to make it to all the shows but I made time for a few of my favourites: Hilary MacMillan, David Dixon and Mikhael Kale. I also started my position as Associate Editor at Vane Airport Magazine! It’s been my dream since I was a kid to work at a magazine. (Next stop: Vogue.)

HIGHLIGHT: Interviewing David Dixon backstage at Toronto Fashion Week about his Gene Collection and why it was such an important project for him.

APRIL

Lot’s of exciting things were happening in April. Besides meeting Coco Rocha at Greta Constantine’s collection unveiling party at Casa Loma, I got to travel to London and Paris. There was so much going on in Toronto too – the tattoo exhibit at the ROM, a collab I did with Lips by Danilea (best locally made lipsticks btw) and my opportunity to help film/assist a music video at KaSpace.

HIGHLIGHT: Sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Paris sipping a glass of white wine and thinking about how I had wanted to be in that city my whole life.

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography

MAY

This was a crazy exciting month! I went to New York City with my friend and editor Cristina (of Vane Airportand got to style Mya in head-to-toe Atelier Guarin for her Toronto concerts. This was my third time to NYC but that city never gets old to me. My dad told me when I was 6 years old I told my family I was moving there and that was that. I’ve also been obsessed with Mya since I was a kid and styling her was a surreal experience.

HIGHLIGHT: Hanging out with Mya backstage and chatting with her while she did her own hair and make-up. She gave me a great piece of advice that you can read here.

JUNE

June is my birthday month so whatever happens, it’s always fabulous. This year I got to go home to Victoria and spend my 25th birthday with my oldest friends and family. My friends threw me a house party and then we went out dancing! It was definitely a fun way to ring in twenty-five. I also went to Annapolis, Maryland for a birthday party the weekend before my birthday.

HIGHLIGHT: Spending the night at Magnolia Hotelpoolside partying in Annapolis and ringing in my 25th birthday with a shoot by Morgan Cross Photography.

JULY

Summer in Toronto is short and sweet so you’ve got to make the most of it while it lasts. It was a pretty lazy month lounging at the beach and having drinks on multiple patios (something I discovered is all the rage in Toronto). I styled backstage at Mississauga Fashion Week for my friend Paola and her line of ethical jewellery, Shilango. I also started copywriting for Harry Rosen this month and I love my job.

HIGHLIGHT: Meeting someone exceptional. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography

AUGUST

The majority of August was spent lounging by lakeside pools – but when that wasn’t happening I was hitting up TOM* Fashion Week and seeing my favourite singer JoJo live at Molson Amphitheatre. Other than that, it was a pretty chill month.

HIGHLIGHT: Obviously seeing JoJo was the best part of the month. I’d only been waiting 10 years for her to come back.

SEPTEMBER

Toronto International Film Festival happens in September and you can be sure that that’s where I was for the most exciting part of the month. My friends and I hit up many parties, had too many glasses of champagne (no, wait, there is no such thing as too much champagne) and shrieked with delight at our fabulous gift bags – oh, and maybe at some James Franco, Michael Fassbender and Stacy McKenzie mingling.

HIGHLIGHT: Getting to wear my two favourite Zimmermann dresses. They make me feel the sexiest, ever.

OCTOBER

I met up with my bestie from Australia in New York this month! We had been planning since university to go to New York together one day and we finally made it happen almost 4 years later. We were constantly talking about being in New York and I remember one girl telling us to shut up “because it’s never going to happen” – well, look at us now.

HIGHLIGHT: Pulling up in a taxi to Zach’s Airbnb and leaping out to give him the biggest hug of all time – and then everything else that followed in the next couple days.

THE END OF 2016 | A recap of a year in the life of The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry. Photo by Morgan Cross Photography

NOVEMBER

This month I quit one of my jobs. I rarely like mentioning it (because of the job, not because I quit) but I will just to show you guys that life goes on. It can be a terrifying thing to quit something that’s not adding to your happiness but ultimately, your life will be so much richer if you do. I also did a DIY project on my vintage Chanel slingbacks and was featured on CBC’s The Goods talk show for a fashion jeopardy segment.

HIGHLIGHT: Not letting people’s opinions affect me and taking charge of my own life. Also, being on tv was incredible.

DECEMBER

I got to come back home and spend Christmas with my family in Victoria this month! I was so depressed thinking about spending Christmas alone in Toronto and when I came across a deal of a lifetime on flights, I had to jump at the chance. I booked my flight 4 days before leaving! I was also interviewed by Perspectyve Magazine, which was pretty cool.

HIGHLIGHT: Surprising my best friend Jaimie by jumping out of a closet at her. I love surprising people and this surprise went exceptionally smooth.

All in all, whether I just choose to only see the silver linings or not, this year was a pretty good one for me – and my blog. I’d like to thank everyone who’s been a supporter and follower of The Lady-like Leopard and who has encouraged me to work towards my dreams every single day. Remember, stay humble with a hint of Kanye.

Love you guys! Hope you ring in 2017 with champagne, glitter, confetti, friends, finger food and a romantic kiss as the clock strikes 12. I’ll have all except one.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

black velvet dress | NORDSTROM
lace choker | DIY BY THE LADY-LIKE LEOPARD
earrings | ASSORTED

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

All photos by Morgan Cross Photography at Magnolia Hotel & Spa

TRAVEL RECAP | The top places I travelled to in 2016

This year I’ve been lucky enough to travel to 5 countries, catch 12 flights, take a 2+ hour Uber ride (see the Philadelphia heading) and make endless memories. In my 2016 travel recap, I’m taking one final trip: a gander down memory lane.

Honestly, that whole paragraph was so cheesy but it’s true. I’ve had so many opportunities this year to see incredible cities and fulfill a fraction of my travel goals. I’m super excited to see where I’ll go in 2017. Los Angeles, Barcelona and Tokyo are on the top of my list – and another trip down under is guaranteed too.

I’ve had moments this year where I’ve booked a flight only days before departing. Now my suitcases are within easy reach, I keep a cosmetics bag packed with ready-to-go essentials and I’m working on making an income from my laptop so I can jet off whenever I please.

You know I’m never one to turn down a chance to go somewhere. Let’s travel recap.

TRAVEL RECAP | The top places I travelled to in 2016

Sydney, Australia

I started the year off in one of my favourite places on earth: Sydney, Australia. I used to live there and have been there 5 times so far. Lucky me, I know – but to be fair I have an Australian passport so it’s a piece of cake (no visas, woohoo!). Plus half of my family lives there so there’s always an excuse to visit.

To ring in 2016, my friend Katerina and I went to a wild house party in Newtown. It was like something in the movies. She had told me we were going to a “chill house with a couple close friends” and so I wore a cute Kookai dress with a long black trench coat and peep-toe platform mules. Turns out, not the best outfit for stumbling over grassy sidewalks and empty beer cans.

We did get to pop a bottle of champagne with a crowd of people in the middle of the street though, which was incredibly fun (and convenient since the champagne exploded and that would’ve been a mess to clean up inside). My friend Cassandra came to meet up with us just in time for the champagne popping too! It was definitely a memorable way to ring in 2016.

Montreal, Quebec

The next trip was Valentines Day weekend in Montreal with my friend Stephan (of the award winning blog Why I Love Toronto). This was my first visit to Montreal and I had one hell of a time getting there. We happened to go on the coldest weekend of the year – not to mention of my entire life – and with the snow and icy roads, the normally 5 hour bus ride took me a long and drawn out 9 hours. Thankfully I had snacks.

The temperatures didn’t heat up at all when we finally arrived and at one point I actually had icicles hanging from my eyelashes. The silver lining was that we ended up spending lots of time discovering delicious restaurants, cafes and bars to stay warm in.

La Distillerie was a really cute pub we discovered with insanely delicious cocktails. My favourite was the Puissant – pear, jalapeno, ginger ale and alcohol, of course. The bar had a really cozy, friendly feel and they even served gold fish crackers in mason jars as bar snacks! So cute.

London, England

I got the opportunity to go to London through my position as Associate Editor at VANE Airport. Did I jump at the opportunity to go? Yes! I am a quarter British after all.

In reality, I had never given much thought to visiting London. For some reason I was under the impression that I wouldn’t like it at all. My mind was completely changed after only the short taxi ride to my hotel. Staring out the window in awe, I knew this was going to be a good trip.

I spent my days touring around the city (yes, I even did the Big Bus Tour and retained an incredible amount of fun facts about England – ask me anything) and my afternoons were spent working from my laptop in the hotel tea room ordering endless lattes and freshly made scones.

Turns out, I had a few friends in London and ended up going for beers in London pubs more often than I anticipated. But I still had to spend a couple nights alone dining on authentic London Fish N Chips and mushy peas – which in my opinion shouldn’t even exist at all.

Paris, France

While I was in London, I couldn’t resist a mini trip to Paris – the latest city of my dreams. I happened to have a free day and got up early to take the train to Paris. It took less than 2 hours to get there and I only had 6 hours to spend in the city but it was well worth it.

I pretty much had the most Parisian experience ever. I saw the Eiffel Tower, took a selfie with the Arc de Triomphe, checked out the view from Montmartre, savoured macarons, browsed vintage markets and chilled out at a sidewalk cafe sipping wine and munching on a cheese, bread and meat platter.

On the train back to London I read (well, struggled to read is more accurate) a French fashion magazine, ate my Parisian desserts and dreamed about the day I’ll get to go back. While sipping a plastic glass of champagne. Yes, the train had champagne.

New York, New York (x2)

One of the reasons I chose to move to Toronto from Sydney was the close proximity to New York City. This year I was lucky enough to be able to go to NYC twice! Once with my editor and friend Cristina and once to meet up with my best friend Zach who I went to school with in Australia.

The first trip was supposed to be more about work than play but obviously we had an excellent balance of both. I did yoga with a view of the Empire State Building, ate exquisite Japanese cuisine at Sushi Roxx, got beyond intoxicated at Bar Vandal and scored a pair of vintage YSL caged heels for $45 at Beacon’s Closet.

My second trip was more spur of the moment but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to meet Zach for his first time in my favourite city! We tried to do things both of us (obviously) hadn’t done before like walk the High Line, cross the Brooklyn Bridge and go to a random psychic after too many margaritas at Caliente Cab.

I also thought it was a good idea to wear my brand new Kendall + Kylie ankle boots to walk around the entire island of Manhattan. Turns out, even my love for fashion couldn’t make me suffer any longer. I had to run into the nearest Modells and buy some Nike slides. So embarrassing. At least they semi went with my outfit.

Philadelphia, Delaware, Maryland

This was the day I crossed 3 states in one drive. I sort of felt like Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember when she’s in 2 states at one time. Sort of.

We had to take a 2-hour Uber ride from Philadelphia to Annapolis, Maryland for a birthday party. I’m serious. We flew to Philadelphia and crossed 3 states to get to a birthday party. We love to celebrate, okay? A lot.

Our Uber driver was the most hilarious person. The shock on his face when we said we needed to get to Maryland was priceless (however, the bill was not). He also told me that I must have the worst taste ever if I thought Philadelphia Airport was as amazing as I was making it out to be. I almost choked on my Chipotle burrito laughing many times that ride.

Annapolis, Maryland

When I first heard we were going to Annapolis, I thought someone had made a typo and we were surely going to Minneapolis or Indianapolis or somewhere that I’d heard of before. Cris and I had no idea what to expect after our 2-hour drive from Philly to Annapolis. We were pleasantly surprised when we drove up to our weekend home.

We stayed on a compound right on Chesapeake Bay surrounded by beautiful views and eccentric people. We started off the weekend with margaritas on the balcony then took a boat to Pusser’s Landing for more drinks and crab cakes. The night ended with us on a private yacht popping bottles of champagne and blasting Justin Timberlake. (We were strictly forbidden from using social media on the yacht.)

The party was a whole ‘nother adventure in itself. We were celebrating a 50th and a 30th birthday combined for two pretty awesome guys (both of whom – as well as everyone else – I just met that weekend). We had caterers scattered about, a bar by the pool and DJ Panda spinning sick beats all night long. I can’t wait to go back to Annapolis!

Victoria, British Columbia (x2)

I’m always excited to go back to Victoria and see my family and friends who I’ve tragically decided to live on the other side of the country from. I am an island girl after all and you know what they say – you can take the girl outta the island but you can’t take the island outta the girl.

This year I had the chance to go to Victoria twice at two very important times: my 25th birthday and Christmas. I swear if I was a millionaire I would even fly home just for a long weekend, but until then I have to settle for once every 6 months.

Both times I’ve partnered up with the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in downtown Victoria. Once for a stay and once for a holiday-themed photo shoot. I’ve also spent time enjoying my favourite spots like Little Jumbo, Pagliacci and Shiki Sushi. (Wow, just typing that sentence made me realize that my life literally revolves around food. Omg.)

Anyways, that’s it for the travel recap! Where will I go next year? You’ll find out when I do.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

 

 

FULL VS. TRAVEL SIZE | Your guide to travel friendly beauty products

If you’re anything like me, traveling can have a way of forcing you into packing just the bare-bone beauty essentials needed for your trip. But what to choose? Your regular size beauty weapons or the mini versions of your must-have products?

The Lady-like Leopard, Toronto blogger, beauty tips

Let’s talk logistics

Take hair products for example – a 1 oz mini bottle of shampoo isn’t going to last you two weeks in Paris, now is it? What’s a girl to do? A mini toothpaste, however, can go the distance.

When you’re checking luggage, it’s easy – just throw everything in and call it a day. But when you’re confined to a carry-on, things can get tricky. Even though we think we are familiar with TSA Guidelines we still get in trouble at security – Ever had all your favourite products thrown into the garbage right in front of you? (Is there anything more tragic than trying to make your 4:30am flight and having your YSL perfume chucked out before your very eyes?)

There is the option, at many airports, to store your products for, a fee, until you get back from vacationing in Bermuda, but if you don’t want to part with your essentials, here’s what you need to know.

Opt for sprays vs. liquids

I’d much rather have liquid than dry shampoo, but when you’ve only got a carry-on, what can you do? There are benefits to skipping the suds anyways, like creating volume and reducing the heat you use on your hair (hello, no more blow dryers). Yes, the dry version does the trick but if you’re really in need of a liquid shampoo the world famous, Philip Kingsley makes great travel size Jet Sets that contain a fantastic shampoo, conditioner and Philip’s award winning hair mask, Elasticizer, that are substantial enough to get you through at least 10 days.

Pack travel size makeup

Even though most makeup is travel friendly there are some brands that create everything in perfectly travel-size packages. There’s a brand that I know, love, and use called Stowaway, based in New York City, that makes all of their beauty products in exactly the right sizes. You’ll never have to worry about your foundation being over the limit again! Another plus to having your beauty products in smaller packages is that you’re able to actually finish a tube of lipstick before it expires. How often does that happen?

Bring a reusable water bottle

This isn’t something that comes to mind straight away when thinking of essential beauty products but water is an incredibly important part of your beauty routine – especially in flight. Water helps you stay hydrated and in return, makes you look and feel more beautiful – win, win! But don’t bring your own water because there are plenty of hydration stations around the airport to fill up on-the-fly.

Stash away a couple products for the plane

Beautifying yourself shouldn’t start when you land. It actually begins during the flight. With all that recycled air and drying temperatures, it’s essential to begin taking care of your skin while your seatbelt is still fastened. Apply a light face mask halfway through your flight. Heaven Skincare Silver Bee Venom Mask is my go to. You can apply it directly over your moisturizer and leave it on, it seeps right in with a dose of hydration. Don’t worry about getting strange glances from fellow passengers when applying your mask; they’re just envious of your well-packed travel kit. It is also essential to keep your lips moisturized. I’m partial to B. Kamins Lip Balm SPF 20. It can be applied right over lipstick or gloss and contains UV protection in case you are sitting in a window seat. You can actually get burned through the windows of an airplane.

Remember that less is more

All you super light packets out there, this beauty product is for you. Introducing the one and only water spritz you’ll need to pack in your carry-on: Vine Minus Ion Care Water. This high-tech water, from Japan, does it all – seriously. It can be used for a quick refreshing spritz while in flight and on the go, but it’s also a hair volumizer & skin moisturizer, a makeup remover and setter and can substitute for toothpaste in a jam. So while this product is only one small bottle, it can take the place of so many others.

If you’re really missing your full-sized beauty routine and need to work in an extra beauty boost, check out the many airport beauty services you can find in most airports.

Enjoy flying in style!

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post originally appeared on Travel Beauty.