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

 

 

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.

GLO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE | My fabulous waterfront meal in Victoria

When you’re vacationing in a city as picturesque as Victoria, BC you definitely want to find a spot where you can enjoy a great view and get a fabulous meal (no one wants to sightsee when they’re hangry). I’ve got the perfect place for you: Glo Restaurant & Lounge.

Glo Restaurant is located right on the Selkirk waterfront, just opposite downtown Victoria. They have an amazing patio that looks right over to the inner harbour and down along the Gorge waterway. That’s where I sat, of course.

I had the chance to have lunch at Glo Restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I was really impressed with everything – from the food, to the service, to the interior and the overall layout of the restaurant. So, let me tell you a little bit more.

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My waterfront meal at Glo Restaurant & Lounge

It was a gorgeous day when I went to Glo Restaurant & Lounge. Everyone was sitting on the patio so I decided to get the full Glo experience and sit out there too (fun fact: not only did I get a delicious meal but I left with one hell of a tan).

We decided to start out the meal with a glass of prosecco – because there’s always a reason to celebrate, right? We then moved on to appetizers: crispy parmesan polenta sticks and bacon wrapped prawns, which are served with chipotle aioli and fresh pineapple salsa.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

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After appetizers, it was time to order our mains. We decided on the Thai Peanut Salad and the Tan City Salad. I was this close to ordering the Buddha Bowl but in the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t have room for dessert. That would’ve been terrible.

Thai Peanut Salad: “Your choice of either grilled chicken or pan-seared tofu, served with shaved red onion + carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, seasonal greens + snow peas with farkay noodles in a Thai peanut lime dressing.”

Tan City Salad: “Moroccan-style blackened chicken, chopped dates, roasted almonds, avocado, goat cheese, seasonal greens, oranges + fresh mint in a key lime dressing. Substitute blackened sockeye salmon.”

The salads were incredibly satisfying. The protein we ordered with them (chicken with the Thai, blackened salmon with the Tan) were both cooked to absolute perfection. The chicken was still moist and the salmon was so delicious I even ate the skin (and I never eat the skin).

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Last but not least it was time for dessert. My salad was honestly so filling that I didn’t think I could possibly eat another bite – until I saw the dessert menu. I have a sweet tooth in the best of times, and the worst of times.

The two we decided on were the Cinnamon Fritters and the Torched Brulee Cheesecake. Even being as full as we were, the desserts were still divine. Ultimately we couldn’t finish them and had to take them home. They were even better later on.

Cinnamon Fritters: “Cooked fresh to order, tossed in sugar + cinnamon, served with smooth cream cheese icing.”

Torched Brulee Cheesecake: “New York style cheesecake made in-house with a crisp brulée topping.”

What totally sold me on the cinnamon fritters was the cream cheese icing – so delicious. The only thing I would change next time is to ask for caramel sauce instead of chocolate. That’s just my personal preference, they were still delightful.

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Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

I don’t think we even walked out of Glo Restaurant after out meal, we rolled. It was definitely worth every single bite! Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals and definitely want to go back – hello, there’s a million other things on the menu to try!

Thanks for having us, Glo! I’ll definitely be back next time I’m on the West Coast.

Other photos from Glo Restaurant & Lounge

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

The front doors at Glo Restaurant.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

My favourite piece of art at Glo!

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Another interior shot.

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A view of the back patio.

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The view from the back patio.

Glo Restaurant and Lounge in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry of The Lady-like Leopard.

A beautiful spot to do a post-meal stroll.

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Just me, thinking about how great that meal was.

Melina Morry, fashion blogger at The Lady-like Leopard.

 

THE MAGNOLIA HOTEL | My one night stay in downtown Victoria

Hi guys! Recently I had the pleasure of spending a night at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in downtown Victoria, BC (my beautiful home city – for those who didn’t know). I took my girlfriend Jaimie Lewis (sometimes singer, sometimes ladylikeleopard contributor – hello, I can’t take all the photos myself) with me and we had the absolute best time.

We arrived to Magnolia Hotel with great expectations and after less than 5 minutes of being there all of our expectations were completely blown away. The hotel was stunning, the staff were incredibly friendly and I was a little bit shocked yet completely excited to be greeted with “ah, Miss Morry, we’ve been expecting you”.

(Also, the freshly made in-house tea that they had served in the lobby was delicious. I’m still thinking about it as I write this post from my apartment in Toronto. Omg.)

After having my car valet parked by one stylish man and having our bags generously taken by another, we were shown to our room: the Diamond Harbour View room. It was everything we could do to keep our cool while getting settled in. As soon as the door closed and we were alone to enjoy our top floor corner suite, our jaws dropped, our eyes bulged and I swear I heard some angels sing. It was incredible.

Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard.

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I was delighted to see a couple of welcoming gifts waiting for me inside our suite – totally unexpected but definitely appreciated. From Magnolia Hotel there was a card signed by the manager and director of sales alongside a box of Rogers Chocolates (a Victoria favourite) and a travel bag filled with L’Occitane products!

Tourism Victoria had also left me an info pack about Victoria, BC and a complimentary attractions pass so we could make the most of what beautiful Victoria has to offer. (We hit up the IMAX to see the mammoth movie and later, butterfly gardens and the aviation museum.)

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Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard.

Our room was so gorgeous we could hardly stand the thought of leaving it. As a pre-warm up to our evening on the town, we snuggled into our plush robes, climbed into bed and opened up a bottle of sauvignon blanc. If there was a ever a reason to celebrate, this was it!

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is known on Vancouver Island as “downtown Victoria’s favourite boutique hotel” and I can honestly say now that it’s mine too. Magnolia Hotel is located right downtown and is within walking distance of the gorgeous inner harbour, cool shops, tasty restaurants and endless entertainment.

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Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard.

After lounging around in our robes (they were incredibly soft) for probably longer than we needed to, we decided it was time to head outside and explore downtown Victoria. We went for a walk in the inner harbour, ate the best pasta ever at Pagliacci’s, stopped in for an Aviation cocktail at Little Jumbo and then returned back to our palace – oh, I mean hotel.

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Once again we crawled under the sheets, turned on a movie and soon went to sleep. I’m telling ya, they shouldn’t make the beds that wildly comfortable because I didn’t want to get up at all. But in the morning we eventually dragged ourselves out of bed to head down to the Catalano Restaurant for breakfast.

I had the Catalano Waffle, which is stuffed with double smoked bacon & emmental cheese and served with fresh fruit, vanilla whip and maple syrup – doesn’t get much tastier than that.

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Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC. Photo by Toronto fashion blogger Melina Morry for The Lady-like Leopard.

I was treated like a queen and couldn’t have imagined having a better stay than I did. I would definitely give the Magnolia Hotel my #ladylikeleopard stamp of approval and I can’t wait to go back! Next time you’re in Victoria make sure you book a room at Magnolia Hotel & Spa (book here) – and get ready to live luxe!

Thanks for having me stay, Magnolia! Look forward to coming back again.

2016 SIGNATURE tha lady-like leopard melina morry

INTERVIEW | Get trendy summer hair courtesy of Revlon hair stylist, Adrian Carew

For Revlon hairstylist Adrian Carew, helping you get the perfect hairstyle is nothing new – he’s been working in the industry for over 26 years. With a top Barbados-based hairstylist for a mother, working with hair was pretty much in his blood from day one. “The berry hasn’t fallen far from the tree,” he says.

I caught up with Adrian for a few tips & tricks for getting gorgeous summer tresses. Enjoy!

The Lady-like Leopard: What are the top three hairstyles this summer?

Beach Waves are holding on but more of an alternative direction with a looser feel to it. The natural curly hair vibe is being embraced worn to the effect of an Afro.

The Lady-like Leopard: How could you achieve these looks in a few simple steps?

Use a large barrel curling iron, wrap the hair around it in one direction and then wrap the other in the other direction (alternate directions). The use of setting hair in alternate size perm rods to attain different curl patterns and sizes to give you and amazing Afro.

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The Lady-like Leopard: What’s the best way (or product) yo get sea salted hair when you’re miles from the ocean? 

There are so many good products out there that cater to sea salt spray but nothing better than the original and authentic thing – straight from the ocean!

The Lady-like Leopard: After a weekend away with lots of sun, how can you replenish your healthy locks?

Condition! Get to know your products and how they can work for you. Use moisture and fatty acid based products to help to replenish and infuse some repair after exposure to the sun.

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

floral print kimono | KINIGLAM
white retro glam swimsuit | A BOUTIQUE IN SYDNEY (it was a bday gift)
statement ring | MIZDRAGONFLY

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All photos shot by Morgan Cross Photography in Deep Bay, British Columbia. 

TRAVEL DIARIES | Sasha Leah Nails: The best place for a leopard print manicure in Victoria, BC

A leopard print manicure? That’s right up my alley. So how did this come about from a person who usually sticks to neutral nails? Let me tell you.

Getting my nails done is one of my favourite ways to spend a relaxing afternoon – unless your manicurist has no idea what they’re doing and then it gets a little stressful. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry about that this time. My good friend, Sasha, recently started her at-home esthetics business Sasha Leah Nails & Waxing and she’s amazing!

I’m used to getting rather plain nails (nude, black, white, grey or red are my go-tos) but Sasha is a nail art master so I decided to go a little crazy. The first thing she suggested was a leopard print manicure – I couldn’t say no! I’m so happy with the way my nails turned out and definitely would recommend that you have Sasha do your nails when you’re in Victoria, BC.

Here’s a look at my leopard print manicure process!

Check out her Facebook page for prices and services.

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PHOTO DIARY | Ringing in the new year from Vancouver, BC

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I can’t believe that 2014 is over – what a crazy year it was. I spent the first month finishing my year long stay in Australia, moved back to Victoria, BC, bought a one-way ticket to Toronto and then ended up going back and forth from TO to Victoria four times during the year.

My blog also started taking off and I made a ton of friends along the way. Although there were plenty of negatives, I prefer to let the positives shine through and overall 2014 was a year to remember.

I spent New Years Eve in Vancouver with two of my beautiful blonde friends, Rae and Jordan. It was so good to get out of Victoria for a night and have laughs, champagne and matching fur #OOTNs with some of my good girlfriends. Unfortunately we didn’t get many photos – guess we were too busy living in the moment.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve and makes all their dreams come true in 2015.

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TRAVEL DIARIES | Join me on my Galiano Island getaway in Vancouver Island

I got back to Victoria last night from a relaxing, hilarious and much needed weekend away from the city on Galiano Island. I am a bonafide city girl, but I definitely enjoy getting back to nature every now and then. It was so amazing to be on the ocean for a few days. I adore Toronto but miss that ocean air – smells so good.

I had the best time being with my sister – who lives in Sydney, Australia – and with my dad – who lives in Victoria, BC. It’s so hard to be so far away from family but it makes our visits so much more exciting and special. My sister and I barely stopped laughing for long enough to wolf down hot dogs, chocolate bars, chips and ice creams – not the typical diet of someone who works in the fashion industry, but hey, nothing counts on a long weekend, right?

On Sunday morning there was a little flea market at the tiny Galiano Island town hall. I started on the left hand side of the room and worked my way around, searching for any gem I may be able to get my bargain-hunting hands on. When we came to the last table, we hit the absolute jackpot. The two ladies sitting at the booth had put out two bags of tangled vintage jewellery. “We’re just going to take this over here and sort through it,” we told them.

We laid out – and untangled – all the necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, and rings and each chose about 5 things. We took our goodies back to the table and the ladies said it would be $1 a piece. (No, you didn’t read that wrong – each piece was one dollar.) Fortunately – for us – the woman got lazy counting all the jewels and said “Let’s just call it $8.” SCORE.

Next we stopped in at a soap shop after the flea market. It was like Galiano’s very own Lush – except instead of being in a fancy mall it was in the middle of a farm surrounded by rolling hills, llamas and horses.

The soaps were incredible and all smelled so delicious. My favourites were the cucumber/melon and the coconut – heavenly. I ended up buying a couple candles for my room and some lavender + nettle tea.

Galiano Island is crazy for stinging nettle. It grows wildly all over the island. Did you know that nettle has more vitamins and goodness in it than kale and spinach?!

I love how cute and quaint the island is. It was like entering a different universe – a universe very different to my downtown Toronto lifestyle, but a very lovely universe indeed.

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