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

 

 

TRAVEL DIARIES | My guide to a fashionable week in London

Before I went to London, I was hesitant about how much I was going to love it. People kept telling me I wouldn’t ever want to come home but truthfully, it had never been high on my list of places to go (Paris was a completely different story though and you can read about my single day in Paris here). However, I ended up having a wonderful, exciting and fashionable week in London after all. 

It was such an amazing city with tons to do, great shopping, cool bars and an exciting vibe. I could’ve (and did) spent all day walking around taking in the city. I guess Samuel Johnson was right when he said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”.

I stayed at Home House for a few nights when I first got to London before moving into my friend Jen’s apartment (we hadn’t seen each other in 7 years so it was time for a thorough catch-up). Home House was stunning! The photo below shows my “office” where I would go and work on blog posts after a day of sightseeing. Isn’t it gorgeous? 

Anyways, my time in London was definitely time well spent and I can’t wait to go back. Hope when you guys go I hope you have a fashionable week in London too! 

How to have a fashionable week in London

fashionable week in london - the lady-like leopard - melina morry

Grab coffee and see the hot spots: Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Covent Gardens

As was once said by Friedrich Nietzsche, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – especially when you’re walking around a foreign city with a coffee in hand. Wandering around is one of my favourite ways to see a new city – if I can avoid it, I’ll skip public transport all together and just walk. Unless my heels are too high, of course. My block heeled Windsor Smith ankle boots were just right.

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See a play in the theatre district

I went to see Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre. I’ve been obsessed with Roald Dahl books since I was able to read, so it was a must see! It was a hilarious show and so well performed. I was jaw-droppingly impressed with the children actors – I can’t even imagine having to memorize all those lines and dance moves! There were a lot of laughs too. It was a great way to spend an afternoon. Buy tickets here.

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Take a bus tour – yes, a bus tour 

Okay, this is definitely the least fashionable thing you could do all week but I definitely recommend it. It’s an amazing way to see all the sights while sipping on a cafe-au-lait and getting a bit of a tan! I also left the trip with an abundance of “fun facts” about London that I was able to share with my friends for the rest of the week. Do you know where the phrase laughing my head off came from? I do…

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Have a drink or two at Rules Cocktail Bar and Mr. Foggs

These are definitely two of the best bars in London – but they are extremely different. Rules Cocktail Bar has a very old fashioned London feel with classic cocktails, red leather seats and stunning wooden bars. My friend Katie and I sipped on sherry while at Rule.

Mr. Fogg’s on the other hand is a very hip and vibrant bar where you can get a variety of seriously amazing cocktails. I tried a marmalade + gin + a-bunch-of-other-amazing-ingredients cocktail that was served in a teacup.  I felt very posh (and a little tipsy). 

Eat with a view at Fenchurch Restaurant and enjoy fine Chinese dining at Park Chinois 

If you’re looking for a spectacular 360 degree view of London, then definitely hit up Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky GardenWe started off with bubbles and oysters and then moved on to lamb and let me tell you, every single thing was amazing. Sometimes restaurants known for the view aren’t so known for their food, but that definitely wasn’t the case here.

For dinner we went to Park Chinois for fine-dining Chinese style where there are about 100 (maybe an exaggeration) different staff working at a time – some for filling water glasses, some for explaining the menu, some for bringing your food. It’s insane and also insanely delicious. I had the best duck pancakes of my entire life and now they’re all I can think about. (Serious question: Where can I get duck pancakes in Toronto?!) They also have a live band with 3 singers decked out in floor length sequinned gowns singing jazz-remixes of Destiny’s Child.

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Here’s to hopefully having another fashionable week in London as soon as possible!

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TRAVEL REVIEW | Rimowa luggage from Toronto to London

I’ve done my fair share of travelling – although, not nearly enough – but I’ve never put much thought into the luggage that I take with me. For a recent trip to London, UK with VANE Airport Magazine I was able to step up my suitcase game with a set of Rimowa luggage and let me tell you, it made all the difference.

My editor thinks I’m completely insane because I smile more when talking about my Rimowa luggage than any guy I’ve been talking to on bumble.

Maybe I am, but if you’ve ever travelled with a set of Rimowa polycarbonate, patent red, grooved, Salsa Deluxe suitcases, you would understand.

rimowa lugagge from toronto to london

First of all, it was a piece of cake to whip around the airport (and down the sidewalks of London on the way to the hotel) and the four wheels on the bottom made it really convenient to keep the suitcase right by my side while dashing from gate to gate instead of dragging miles behind me.

Secondly, it looks amazing. You can’t discount the visual appeal of your suitcase when you’re supposed to be travel blogging in style! It matched my dark red leather trench coat that I wore on the plane and the red accents all over London. Hello – the phone booths, buses, Pret-a-Manger takeaway coffee lids.

It also matched perfectly with my hotel room! What a coincidence. (Photo below.)

travel review - rimowa salsa deluxe luggage

My other favourite feature of the Rimowa luggage was the inside packing system. There is tons of space in the pockets to fit smaller items and there’s an adjustable flap that closes over your belongings to make sure everything stays snug inside. The adjustable part came in extremely handy after making a few purchases up and down Oxford Street…

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I would definitely recommend travelling with Rimowa for your next trip! There are heaps of different suitcases and features to choose from – you’re bound to find one that fits in with your travels and your travel wardrobe.

Rimowa has also launched the first ever digital check-in for your luggage – meaning you can check your bags from home and simply drop them off once you get to the airport. I’m hoping I’ll be able to test drive one of those to show you guys sometime too!

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