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THE TRUMP AMERICA | Yes, there are still reasons to visit the USA

A few days ago President Trump (I don’t even like calling him that but whatever) was sworn into office, and I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about is your American travel plans. Trump has already started planning changes to the country with his administration but the main theme certainly seems to be Nationalism. So, what does this mean for people heading over to visit the country of stars and stripes in 2017?

THE TRUMP AMERICA | Yes, there are still reasons to visit the USA

THE TRUMP AMERICA | Yes, there are still reasons to visit the USA - The Lady-like Leopard

Getting In Could Be Fun

With regards to immigration and visitation, nothing has changed yet but it might worth keeping an eye on the Official ESTA website. It’s quite possible that Trump will start making it incredibly difficult to travel from some countries into America. Particularly, if you were paying attention to any of his promises while he was on the campaign trail.

There was even talk of banning all Muslims from entering the country. Disgusting. This idea seems to have been quietly abandoned but now that Trump’s in power it could easily turn up again. Chances are any changes to travel are only going to affect immigration. So as long as you are staying for less than 90 days you should be fine. (Key words: should be.)

Womens March 2017 - The Lady-like Leopard

Tensions Are Running High

When visiting America this year, remember only around 23 percent of the country’s population voted for the sitting president. So, you will definitely be entering a divided population. It’s best to stay clear of politics completely and instead enjoy the sights, the sounds and the beautiful scenery of the grand ol’ USA.

It’s impossible to predict what America is going to be like in just a few months from now. But it’s almost a guarantee there’s going to be a large part of the country’s population that isn’t happy about it. After all, let’s not forget that the protests against the president attracted a larger showing than the actual inauguration.

Broadway, New York - The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry

Hamilton’s On Tour

There is some bright news, though – the fact that depending where you go in America, you might spot a showing of Hamilton! The massively popular and constantly sold out musical is now on tour. You can see it in Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and many more states through the year.

It’s well worth checking out, if you can get a ticket. Despite the increase in shows it’s still incredibly difficult to get a seat. The shows often sell out in minutes and privately sold tickets can cost thousands. But that just means if you do get a seat, you won’t be disappointed.

Disney World, Florida - The Lady-like Leopard by Melina Morry

Avatar Land Is Finally Opening

After years of wait, Avatar Land will also be opening in Disney World Florida so it’s the perfect time to finally take the kids. Traveling there you’ll see floating mountains, cyberborg plant life that responds to touch and of course the Na’vi. You’ll also get the chance to ride a banshee and it’s certainly not the only reason to visit Florida this year. There’s also Universal Studios new water park built around an artificial volcano that gushes out litres of water!

So, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the USA this year. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom, even though it can definitely feel that way right now. For an anti-Trump must-see that I can’t wait to visit, check out Shia LaBeouf’s latest performance.

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This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

WHO’S THAT GIRL? | How to get even more fabulous in 2017

Have your new year resolutions fallen by the wayside already? The excesses of the festive season can leave you feeling physically and mentally exhausted – and you might have gained a few extra pounds in the process. So it’s entirely understandable if you’re feeling a little jaded and lacking in self-confidence. It’s not too late to make 2017 your best year yet, so here’s what to do to make sure that you feel your most fabulous ever. 

WHO’S THAT GIRL? | How to get fabulous in 2017

WHO'S THAT GIRL? | How to get even more fabulous in 2017 - The Lady-like Leopard

Exercise regularly

Yes, there is a little effort involved, but it really is worth it. You don’t have to take up marathon running to reap the benefits of regular exercise – your routine could be as simple as taking a brisk walk every day. Your skin will look great, your clothes will fit better, and you’ll feel mentally able to cope with anything.

Drink more water

Many people don’t drink enough water, believing fizzy drinks or tea and coffee to be just as good for staying hydrated. Start your day with a glass of cool H2O for a cleansing and invigorating way to wake up. Drinking water throughout the day means that you are much less likely to overeat, and you’ll feel much more energized and alert than usual.

WHO'S THAT GIRL? | How to get even more fabulous in 2017 - The Lady-like Leopard

Eat like a queen

You can’t expect to feel on top of the world if your diet is filled with cheeseburgers and chocolate. To feel and look your best, cook homemade meals from scratch that include fresh ingredients and lots of veggies. It might take a bit of time and energy, but your mind and body will thank you for it!

Rejuvenate your skin

Sleeping in your makeup, tiredness and stress can all cause your skin to look tired and even a little more lined than you’d like. Make your skin glow with a great new moisturizer and regular cleansing and toning routine. If you need a bit of extra help to keep the march of time at bay, consider Botox injections to reduce wrinkles.

WHO'S THAT GIRL? | How to get even more fabulous in 2017 - The Lady-like Leopard

Update your wardrobe

Assess your clothes collection with a critical eye, and decide what works and what doesn’t. If nothing else, this will give you a great excuse to hit the shops! Get great advice on how to give your wardrobe a boost, and you’ll look forward to getting dressed every morning.

Change your mind set

It doesn’t matter how great you look if you don’t feel good inside. Try affirmations to help your mind catch up with your body in the greatness stakes. Repeat affirmations like ‘I am a beautiful, confident woman’ (or whatever words work for you) in front of the mirror every day. If you do this often enough, you will believe it – and then your confidence will soar!

WHO'S THAT GIRL? | How to get even more fabulous in 2017 - The Lady-like Leopard

Ditch the dead wood

You know those ‘friends’ who drag you down with criticisms and ‘helpful’ suggestions on how you can improve? Steer clear of them, or cut off contact altogether – you’ll feel better almost instantly!

You deserve to be brimming with self-confidence, so take control by taking action. You won’t regret it!

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This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard. 

 

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!

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This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION | What happened when I deleted all my apps

Usually I’m pretty adamant in saying that I do not have an addictive personality. Coffee? I love it, but don’t have to have it. Smoking? Tried it a couple of times and I wasn’t impressed. But checking my phone constantly and lighting up alongside my notifications? Yes, you guess it. I have a social media addiction.

It’s bad. First of all, I check my phone when I wake up in the morning even though the screen blinds my sleep-filled eyes. Then, to say I check it again multiple times during the day is a gross understatement. Finally, I do a nightly scroll before going to sleep.

Or at least I used to do all these things.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION | What happened when I deleted all my social media apps

social media addiction - fashion journalist melina morry at the magnolia hotel photographed by morgan cross

I’m tired of being addicted to my phone and social media. Not only does it eat up countless hours of your life – and sometimes, your day – it can also have a profound affect on your mental health. Think about it for a second. If you’re constantly looking at perfectly styled, made up and edited photos of beautiful human beings, what’s that going to do for your self esteem?

Sometimes (okay, maybe more than sometimes) I find myself so caught up in admiring and slightly envying these online people that I forget to compliment, love and embrace the fact that I am also a beautiful, intelligent and real woman.

social media addiction - fashion journalist melina morry at the magnolia hotel photographed by morgan cross

A little while ago I had a mini freak out about the pressures of social media and decided to cut myself off from it cold turkey. I woke up and thought, no online obsession is going to rule my life! I deleted all social media apps from my phone and even went as far as deactivating my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I lasted a day and a half.

See?! It’s actually really hard. But with big names like Kendall Jenner, Kanye West, Daisy Ridley and Justin Bieber deleting their social media accounts at one point or another too, is detoxing from social media every now and then necessary to live a “normal” life?

I feel like I don’t even know what a normal life is anymore. But I can tell you that I miss the days of not knowing everything about everyone right away. One of the coolest things you can do is maintain your mystery. Nobody – and I mean nobody – needs to see what you’re up to every second of the day.

social media addiction - fashion journalist and blogger melina morry photographed at magnolia hotel by morgan cross photography - the lady-like leopard 2017

So far I’ve actually deleted my Snapchat, Pinterest and one of my Tumblr accounts – with no regrets or second thoughts. I just can’t be concerned with keeping up with more than I need to. I’ve made it one of my 2017 resolutions to cut back on my social media addiction and if you’re willing, I recommend you try it too.

My advice? Live in the moment, appreciate the real life people in front of you and remember to love yourself even if your hair is a mess, you don’t have any make-up on and you’ve just binged an entire bag of guacamole/habanero Doritos while watching Key & Peele.

Ps. If you’re considering deactivating your Instagram account, beware that when you reactivate, it will re-tag everyone you’ve ever tagged before. It was so awkward to get all these messages from people asking “uh, why did you just tag me in that photo from 2014?” – oops.

WHAT I’M WEARING

velvet slip dress | NORDSTROM
velvet skirt | VINTAGE
‘FINLEY’ ankle boots | KENDALL & KYLIE
lace choker | DIY

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

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

 

 

MONEY SAVING CHALLENGE | Check out my money saving tips for 2017

Who doesn’t like to save money? Even me, the self confessed shopaholic. (I may have been told that a few times from other people too.) But seriously, one of my biggest joys is when I log into my online banking and find out that I actually have more money in there than I thought.

What a miracle! That’s where the money saving challenge comes in.

What if I told you that it’s actually a lot easier to save money than you think? Take me for example – I’m writing this blog post at home on a weekend night instead of going out. Sure, I risk #loser status but at least I’m saving money. Suckers.

I’ve teamed up with Earnest to bring you an easy-to-follow chart to show you how to save money this year. Honestly, no one needs to take Uber five times a week with a Starbucks in hand. Also, if you struggle with student loan debt, try looking into options Earnest provides to refinance student loans.

MONEY SAVING CHALLENGE 2017

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money saving challenge - melina morry the lady-like leopard

money saving challenge - melina morry the lady-like leopard

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SELF ESTEEM | What’s really knocking your confidence?

Confidence is something most of us wish we had more of. Some people seem incredibly confident, but the truth is that every person has their insecurities. It’s human nature to have a crisis of confidence from time to time, but it can be hugely beneficial to try and be more confident.

As a new year begins, it’s a great time to reflect on what’s really knocking your confidence, and try and find ways to make yourself feel better.

SELF ESTEEM | What’s really knocking your confidence?

The top 3 spring trends 2016 | Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard

Other people

The relationships we have with other people can have a major bearing on our confidence. Some people build us up and make us feel invincible. Others can make us feel 2-feet tall. You wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t take some comments to heart, but try not to dwell on the negative things people say.

We all have flaws, and unfortunately, some people use words to hurt us or make us feel vulnerable. Surround yourself with people who make you feel loved, and try and forget about the ones who bring you down. Sometimes, it can take time to find your real friends, but you’ll get there eventually.

The top 3 spring trends 2016 | Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard

Your looks

Hands up if you’ve ever had one of those days when you stand by the mirror working your way through a hundred different outfits, and you feel like nothing looks good? Almost every person in the world has days when they don’t feel like they look great. In today’s society, we pay more attention to our image than ever before, and this can make us over critical.

One bad photo, and it’s enough to question our appearance for the rest of the day.

If you don’t feel confident about your looks, ask yourself why. Do you have specific issues – like weight – that are getting you down? Are you conscious about the shape or size of your nose? Or are you simply being a bit too hard on yourself? We’re not all supermodels and we don’t all have a glam squad on hand to help us create the selfie mere mortals could only dream of.

But is it really that important that you look incredible on Instagram? If you have deep-seated confidence issues, of course, it’s beneficial to address them. But it’s also really helpful to be kinder to yourself. If you hate your nose, for example, may wish to consider getting in touch with doctors at places like The Rhinoplasty Center  – but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. You should never feel pressured to do something you don’t want to.

The top 3 spring trends 2016 | Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard

Your expectations

When you’re young, you tend to make plans for the rest of your life. You’ll be married at 25, buy a house, land your dream job, and have a family by the time you’re 30. It’s good to have an idea of how you want your life to pan out, but don’t beat yourself up if things don’t fall into place as you expected. Sometimes, it takes longer to hit your goals, but this doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. Make sure you have realistic expectations. If you expect too much of yourself, this will affect your self-esteem.

If you struggle with confidence issues, try and pinpoint the cause. Be rational, have some perspective, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

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This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard.

COSMETIC SURGERY | The pros and cons you should consider

Cosmetic surgery doesn’t have the best reputation. We’ve all seen celebrities with frozen faces who can’t lift their eyebrows and who can’t completely smile thanks to strange face lifts – and we’ve all seen women whose cosmetic surgery has left their bodies very different from how they used to be. Is it possible to have cosmetic surgery and to still look like yourself?

The answer to that is absolutely yes. There are people you walk past every day who have had surgery that you would never have guessed about. If you’ve been considering surgery for a while, read up on these pros and cons to make up your mind. 

COSMETIC SURGERY | The pros and cons you should consider

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PRO: It could help your confidence as you get older.

For women particularly, ageing can be rough. We get told by the media that we have to look a certain way, and we get criticized when we don’t reach certain standards (which are usually set by men!). If you have signs of ageing prematurely, for example wrinkles around your eyes, then why not get the years taken off with some cosmetic help?

You can’t put a price on feeling happy with yourself and the way that you look. The fact that cosmetic surgery isn’t ‘natural’ doesn’t mean anything. Bodybuilders use protein shakes, a lot of women wear makeup, people get tattoos, everyone cuts their hair to look as good as they can. Everyone makes changes to their body to feel happier with it.

CON: People have argued that it won’t help with your self esteem.

For instance, if you have a problem with your nose and you get it fixed, you’ll just start focusing on another part of your body that you hate. This is definitely not necessarily true. Although that could happen with some people, there are far more happy success stories. However, it’s always a good idea to talk to a therapist before you go under the knife to make sure that your issue isn’t deeper than it seems.

PRO: It can correct medical issues.

For instance, if you want a breast reduction, then you’ll find afterwards that your back and shoulder pain is vastly reduced without the extra weight on your chest. You might also find it easier to get healthy and lose more weight if you’ve had a breast reduction or liposuction. Chances are, your cosmetic surgery will also lead to better emotional wellness: if you’ve been feeling bad about yourself then that could lead to problems with depression and anxiety.

CON: Your surgeon could make you get surgery you don’t really want.

Of course, cosmetic surgeons do their jobs to make money – we all do! No one does their job out of the goodness of their heart. But very few people go into medicine without the direct aim of helping people. Choose a reputable surgeon and read reviews online – for example, check out Dr. Aaron Kosins – to make sure you’re going to a good place, and you won’t have any problems.

In conclusion, it’s your body, therefore you can do exactly what you want with it. If you want cosmetic surgery, go for it! After all, you only have one life to enjoy, so that’s what you should do.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

This post was contributed to The Lady-like Leopard. 

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

MAGNOLIA’S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria

I’m back on the west coast in Victoria, BC for Christmas this year! I’m so excited to be spending my xmas season in this city – I love it. One of my first stops was the Magnolia Hotel & Spa (where I had a stay last June). In my room was their Magnolia’s Festive Trail guide of what to do this December in Victoria. Of course, I had to check it out.

First, I enjoyed a Bailey’s hot chocolate compliments of the hotel – a signature staple for their holiday stays. It was beautifully presented with a packet of delicious hot cocoa powder, a mini bottle of Bailey’s and came with an individual packet of mini marshmallows. Oh, and served in a glass mug. How charming is that?

Get to know the city of Victoria better and dive head first into the Christmas spirit with Magnolia’s Festive Trail.

MAGNOLIA’S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria

MAGNOLIA'S FESTIVE TRAIL | How to spend your xmas season in Victoria | melina morry the lady-like leopard

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: 25th Annual Festival of Trees

“Discover a forest of festive trees – watch for Magnolia Hotel’s tree and vote for your favourite!” These trees are actually amazing! There are so many to look at too so make sure you grab a hot cocoa (Bailey’s optional) to sip while you take in the sights.

Where: The Bay Centre, 1117 Government St. and Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
When: Until January 5th 2017

the lady-like leopard melina morry magnolia's festive trail

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Christmas at Royal BC Museum

“Explore the Old Town gallery with its festive holiday decor.” I went to the Royal BC Museum last time I was in Victoria, so unfortunately I didn’t go this time but if you go, let me know how it is! I’m sure it looks super cute with all the holiday decor.

Where: 675 Belleville St.
When: Until December 31st 2016

Magnolia's Festive Trail melina morry the lady-like leopard

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase

“Wander through amazing all-gingerbread works of art and watch for Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar’s creation!” Warning: Do not go to this exhibit on an empty stomach! The gingerbread houses look good enough to eat, but unfortunately you’re not allowed to touch. End of story.

Where: Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St.
When: Until January 2nd 2017

magnolia's festive trail melina morry the lady-like leopard

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

“Weekend horse-drawn rides circulate downtown with stops!” I always feel like I’m in a movie when I go on a horse-drawn carriage. It doesn’t help that I’m obsessed with horses and wish I could take one home with me! It’s always been my dream to own a horse, but a short & sweet winter ride will have to do (for now).

Where: 50 Bastian Square, 3 Centennial Square, Willie’s Bakery and Capital Iron

magnolia's festive trail the lady-like leopard melina morry

Magnolia’s Festive Trail: Christmas in Old Victoria Walking Tours

“Discover how Christmas was observed in early Victoria with a leisurely 90-minute historical walking tour through Old Town with Discover the Past.” This is a fantastic way to really get to know the history of Victoria! It’s a beautiful city that is best seen by walking through it. If you only have time for a couple of activities from this list, make sure this one is on it.

Where: 26 Bastian Square
When: Until December 31st 2016, 2pm-3:30pm, $15/person

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Other Festive Activities

  • Take in the sights and sounds of the holidays with a stroll around the inner harbour
  • The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens
  • Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle
  • A holiday cocktail in the lounge by the fireplace at Catalano

For more about Christmas in Victoria, visit the Magnolia Hotel’s website here.

melina morry signature - the lady-like leopard

All photos by Morgan Cross Photography at Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.