How to Grow Your Instagram Account
I get a lot of questions about how to grow and build a business through Instagram so today I am sharing the tips and tricks that took me over a year to figure out!
In the past year, I’ve started using eye glasses as a fashion accessory for my everyday style. They complement and accentuate who you are, whether it be a trendy, preppy or hipster look. Glasses have become so fashionable and so much more affordable, that people are buying them to wear even without prescriptions. Purchasing eyeglasses online has become a really convenient and a great way to save money.
While on maternity leave, I refrained from getting a new pair of spectacles because I didn’t have benefit coverage. That is, until I noticed this adorable pair of glasses on former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe. I was determined to possess them. I finally found out that the “Notting Hill” frames were by a company called EyeBuyDirect. I quickly searched their website, silently accepting that I would be spending a couple hundred on these glasses until I saw that they were only $36. Huh? The cutest, trendiest prescription eye glasses for $36? Now $29 with coupon code harpershatsxebd !
And so began my EyeBuyDirect obsession. I am a big lover of this company. I now own 2 pairs of sunglasses and 4 pairs of eye glasses. My husband is constantly asking me, “don’t you have enough already?” The answer is “no, I do not”. I recommend them to everyone and get tons of fan questions about them on my Instagram. The quality it amazing and they fit great (even the $6 pairs!).
At first, I was a little nervous about buying before trying but with 6 pairs under my belt, I couldn’t be happier. You can read reviews and even upload a photo of yourself to “try on” the glasses. Their premium brand RFLKT is worth the upgrade too. These photos are showcasing the gorgeous Aurora sunglasses in Fleck Ivory and Horizon glasses in Nebular Blue.
Sign up for their newsletter and be the first to know of their awesome promotions, like BOGO. Get any pair of glasses for 20% off at EyeBuyDirect.com using coupon code: harpershatsxebd
P.S. These photos were taken in front of Calgary’s Cinnamon Barn, built in 1906, in the trendy community of Inglewood.
I hope that many of you have had the opportunity to experience at least a couple days of spring in British Columbia. Tulips, daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons, cherry blossoms and tulips trees in full bloom and they create these gorgeous hues of pink and red everywhere. It’s a short period before the petals start to fall like rain but it’s so worth experiencing it. While the rest of Canada is still under snow or stuck in that drab brown landscape, places like Vancouver and Victoria are blossoming.
I’m lucky enough to have made it to Vancouver twice the past two Aprils to model a dress made of toilet paper at the Grocery and Specialty Food convention. I know this sounds ridiculous right? So let me explain.
Every fall, fifteen Canadian bridal fashion designers each create a dress using Cashmere bathroom tissue. They are showcased on a runway in Toronto at an event to benefit Breast Cancer Research. The White Cashmere Collection is part of their annual support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. For every Kruger product that you buy with the pink ribbon (Scotties facial tissues, Sponge Towels, Purex and Cashmere bathroom tissues) they donate twenty-five cents to the foundation.
After the fashion show, one of the dresses is then chosen and flown to Vancouver for me to wear. I get to walk around the trade show and talk to people about the dress and the cause for a couple days. Kinda like Princess Aurora at DisneyWorld? Maybe not exactly, but I look forward to doing it every year! Half of the excitement is finding out which dress it will be. The dresses are all so different but I have no trouble feeling like a princess once I put one on.
My acting and modelling agents have given me some great opportunities over the past couple years. In the past, I got to some neat stuff on my own but now that my family dynamic has changed with little ones in tow, it’s opened up more opportunities. I’ve had the pleasure of spending a month on set filming Hell on Wheels with my youngest and a day with my oldest shooting Pottery Barn Kids (don’t worry, I’ll be sharing all about these experiences once I’m able to). It’s great quality time together doing something exciting and different. It’s even better when you get a call, telling you that your whole family is wanted for a photo shoot!
A month ago we got to work with a Calgary based stock photography company called Hero Images. Stock photos are done by professional photographers based on different themes and can then be purchased by anyone to use for commercial purposes. Hero Images holds local casting calls a couple times a year and offer some fun opportunities for the public to get some modelling jobs. I adore working with their team and have made a couple great connections.
I thought it would be fun to show a few photos from our “Modern Families” shoot on this blog post. Although the photos weren’t done in our home, it was still fun to lounge around in our pyjamas with the kids. That’s totally a typical weekend for us! This was the first time for my husband doing something like this and he was a pretty good sport. It was totally unscripted and as you can see, Harper just loved the attention!
Learn more about Hero Images and their bi-annual casting calls:
And you know where to find me:
“I am only as strong as the coffee I drink and the hairspray I use.”
Long waves are cause of a lot of hair envy in the beauty world. Those soft, touchable curls are the reason I’ve been growing my hair out for the past couples years. I rarely ever wear my hair straight anymore, as I find it just looks too thin. Curls are a great way to add volume and make your hair look thicker. It also gives your overall appearance a more classy and feminine look.
Washing and drying your hair everyday is extremely damaging. I like to get a few days out of my curls, so the Nume Classic Wand has been an amazing addition to my beauty routine. I love how quickly it heats up and the short amount of time it takes to curl each strand. This wand comes in three sizes: 19mm, 25mm and 32mm. I use the 25mm barrel because my hair doesn’t hold the curl if I go any larger. Don’t worry if your curls are a bit tight, as they will gradually fall throughout the day, giving you looser waves.
Tips for achieving this wavy curl with the Nume Classic Curling Wand:
A couple amazing offers for you, because you know I love a deal:
Have a good hair day,
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Love always, xoxo
For the past year, I’ve been wanting to share a personal story. So here is goes: I am Canadian and my Mom, Nancy, was American. Growing up, we took frequent trips to visit her family in Texas. We had good times filled with warm weather, tons of Mexican food, church visits and shopping. Each time, she always brought me to her favourite store: James Avery Jewelry. I’ve been wearing one of their simple silver crosses for the past 18 years.
I wanted to share a little bit of the history from their website:
“Then craftsman James Avery opened his garage workshop back in 1954, he established a standard of doing all things well. A tradition continued today, the iconic Avery style is achieved through meaningful design and skilled craftsmanship. Careful consideration and attention to detail goes into everything we create. Our jewelry is made to last and be enjoyed by you for years to come.”
Or in my case, generations to come. When my Mom passed away last February at the young age of 57, my family and I headed to Texas to say goodbye and collect some of her things. My mom’s husband showed up to the church with a James Avery bag, full of their signature orange boxes and jewelry. I knew that she loved James Avery but I had no idea how much. And now these rings and necklaces belong to my brothers and I. They are the most precious things that I have to remember her by and they have now become family heirlooms that we will one day pass on.
A couple years before she died, she sent me a charm bracelet in the mail from James Avery with three charms. She included a letter and a catalogue explaining that she wanted me to start my own bracelet but that “it was a work in progress”. When I returned to Texas last year, I drove to one of their stores and made a decision that although she started this bracelet for me, I wanted to finish it as a tribute to us and the things that we both loved: music, books, ladybugs and of course, Texas. It was something that we made together in life and in death.
Through my photos, James Avery miraculously found me on Instagram and after sharing my story, I struck up a friendship with someone special from their company. She was gracious enough to feature the photo of my charm bracelet in their new Valentine’s Love catalogue. When I received mine in the mail last week, I cried when I saw it. My Mom would have thought it was just so neat that our favourite jeweller recognized us.
I wanted to feature a couple of new pieces from the catalogue. The script initial rings in “x” and in “o” and the Flowing “Love” Hook-on bracelet… the perfect pieces for Valentine’s Day. Their new line dedicated to Love is just so meaningful, whether is signifies the love of a spouse, parent, or child, it resonates with everyone. My mom always ended her letters in “Love always, Mom xoxo” so these sterling silver pieces are just another little daily reminder of her.
Valentine’s Day has a new meaning for me, as it was the very last time I ever spoke to my Mom. If you’re looking for something timeless and special to add to your jewellery collection please got to: www.jamesavery.com
“Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.” -Herbert Spencer
I used to be a little bit of a lipstick snob. I love bold colours but I would only buy the expensive department store brands because the colours were always so rich looking. But, I have to say that in the past year, “drug store” make-up lines like Maybelline, Revlon, Rimmel, Covergirl and L’Oreal have really stepped up and made some beautiful, affordable colours that look anything but cheap.
The number one question that I get asked on Instagram, is “What lip colour are you wearing?”. So I figured it was time to round up my favourites and share them with you.
First, some tips on wearing a bold lip colour:
1. You need lip liner to make that perfect, pouty lip. The great thing about lip liner is that you if you buy a couple different ones (one red, one pink, one berry) then you can match them to those colour spectrums. They don’t need to be exact!
2. Choose matte! If you want colour that pops and lasts, then choose one from a matte collection. It’s easy to layer on gloss overtop if you want that wet look.
3. Own it!!! So many people tell me that they purchased a lip colour that looked great in the store but then they got it home and thought it looked terrible on them. A little secret: it doesn’t!!! You have to have the confidence to wear it! Try this: Wear the new colour for ONE day. Choose a weekend when you are staying home or doing errands. If you aren’t used to wearing lipstick then it can be a big change. Get used to looking in the mirror with it on. By the end of the day, then decide whether it can stay or go.
To help you grab some great shades, I’ve made a handy list for you:
My new favourite!!! The ColorBlur allows you to add a lot or a little colour with the use of it’s blending tip. The colours are vibrant and bold. Shades to try: Partner in Crimson (red), Fast and Fuchsia (pink, worn in photo), Plum Please (berry, worn in photo above). Although they have so many fabulous colours, you can’t really go wrong here.
Revlon Color Burst
Love these matte colours from Revlon. They have a hint of vanilla/mint scent and they are so easy to apply. Shades to try: Elusive (pink), (poppy red, worn in photo), Fiery (new, plum).
Hard Candy All Matted Up
A new line from Hard Candy. This red and pink matte colour is beautiful! Unfortunately, this is the only good colour that they offer in the line but it’s a great price and worth buying.
There’s no better time of year than summer to try a new lip colour!
I’ve got a bit of the blues. It’s January in Alberta and I’m starting to yearn for the warmer temperatures and flip-flops. As much as I love the beauty of the snow, it’s a long winter and the amount of sunshine we get in a day is pretty limited. When I leave to work in the morning, it’s completely dark outside, and when I come home, the sun has almost set. So to express my sadness, I’m wearing blue in this post: from sunglasses to shoes. But there’s nothing like a little shopping spree at my favourite store Express to chase those blues away.
My favourite new item? This super soft denim, boyfriend shirt. Why I like it? Because it can be worn so many different ways. It could be weekend casual or dressed up for a work day. The more versatile pieces you have in your closet, the easier it is to get dressed in the morning. And if you’re on a budget, I find it easier to justify spending my dollars on something that I know I will get a lot of wear out of. I am a big fan of the “boyfriend” look these days. Boyfriend watches, boyfriend shirts. It’s that over-sized comfy casual.
Great ways to wear this shirt:
*Tucked in with skinny jeans or bell bottoms. Add a belt!
*Buttoned up with a statement necklace or open with a more delicate necklace.
*Worn untucked over leggings.
*Tie the bottom ends together for a causal look over shorts, jeans or a skirt.
*Wear unbuttoned with a tank.
*Try the sleeves long or button them up to three-quarter length.
I promise, this will be a shirt that gets lots of wear until summer.
Get this glamorous outfit for $45!
Jumpsuit – H&M $20 on sale in-store! / Sequin tuxedo blazer H&M $25 also on sale in-store! / Rebel Necklace and Earrings / Bracelet / Nolita Clutch with removable strap / Shoes / Jamberry Nails in Gatsby
Oh New Year’s Eve. I remember when I was younger and the pressure I felt to make the absolute best plans for the end of year countdown. Now that I’m in my thirties, with two kids, my hubby and I can barely even stay awake for the countdown! So lame, I know. In our defence, it’s so hard to get a babysitter, make dinner reservations and to find taxis on December 31st, that we usually just stay home together.
This year I wanted to glam it up a bit so I braved the malls on Boxing Day for a cute outfit to wear this week. I found such great deals that I just had to share this beautiful ensemble from H&M that cost me a total of $45! I always love a good romper or blazer and I know I’ll get use out of them all year long. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I have an obsession with the colour red. There’s no better colour for the holiday season and it looks so beautiful pairs with gold accessories. Try a matching red lip and gold eyeshadow too!
Whether you are going out or staying in, have a safe New Year’s Eve and all the best in 2016! Thanks so much for reading and following along with me this year friends.
Merry Christmas friends! I hope you all had some quality family time during these past few days. I’ve been so fortunate to spend it with my family here in Calgary this year. It’s always hard missing my husband and I’s extended families in Ontario but it’s just so hard to travel during the busiest time of year with two little kids.
A little tradition that we started last year was to spend two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs right before Christmas. It is a magical wonderland during the winter in Banff, Alberta, Canada, but “Christmas at the Castle” is extra special. The hotel is filled with decorated Evergreens, giant gingerbread houses, a Santa’s workshop and even nightly bedtime stories.
Our kids spend a couple days swimming in their outdoor, heated pool and my husband and I spend a couple days relaxing. Getting away from the city can be just what you need to unwind.; leaving the daily stresses of work, schedules and household chores!
If you want to enjoy the snow, there is an outdoor skating rink, tobogganing hill and cross-country skiing trails, all surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains. Just don’t forget to bring your warmest gear as the temperature dips well below freezing during the day! Shop my picks for warm winter outerwear in the links above.
What are your favourite family traditions during the holidays?
Love, Kiki Davies