Our featured influencer this month is Joëlle Anello, a Toronto-based bon vivant who has been sharing her life online since La Petite Noob‘s inception in 2013. —Noa Nichol
Hi Joëlle! Tell us a bit about yourself to start.
As an Ottawa native, I’ve always felt the draw of a big city lifestyle and all of the variety that comes along with it. When the opportunity presented itself to live and work in Toronto I barely had to think twice before schlepping my stuff, my Chihuahua, my man-friend and myself to settle into Old Town. Fast-forward to present day where we’ve added a little guy to the family, our son Benny, and have moved to a house in Leslieville. I’m glad that we were able to stay in the city, and have been having the best time discovering a new neighbourhood and renovating our builder-basic house.
How do you use your platform to impact those who follow you?
I try to use my platform to show my life authentically as it happens, both the good and the bad. I’ve had my blog since 2013 and my audience has seen the evolution from different career paths, life changes and, most recently, trying to navigate new motherhood during a pandemic. Although I live a simple life, my goal has always been to lean into what makes me different to hopefully provide some solidarity to someone going through a similar situation. Whether it’s making a huge career change in your 30s, waiting until I’m older to have children or potentially only having one child, it’s all out there and being shared!
What’s your personal style/beauty mantra?
My personal style has always been rooted in keeping it simple. I’ve been a small-space city dweller for the past two decades, so closet space has always been hard to come by. As a result, I’ve learned to adapt a less-is-more philosophy and choose pieces I know will last me a long time and have huge versatility. I don’t believe in a seasonal wardrobe (nor do I have the space for one) so you’ll see me wearing my summer dresses well into the winter with a sweater and tights, and using my winter sweaters as light jackets in the warmer weather. And always with a touch of pink! The same philosophy goes for my beauty routine. I have been known to use the same lineup of products for years and always use up the products that I have before trying another. Less clutter and less waste! I think this is one of the secrets to a simpler and happier life. (The only thing that I take a more is more approach to is beauty treatments. I’m a spa girl and am always down to try any treatment at least once!)
O, Christmas! Are you a holly jolly junkie?
Admittedly, I used to be a bit of a holiday scrooge … until I had my son. Now being able to experience the magic of the holidays through his eyes has completely changed my tune and I can’t get enough! My son’s holiday excitement has given me a new lens, and I get giddy when we see the first signs of Christmas! Some of my favourite Toronto holiday activities are catching the tree-lighting ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York, as well as sipping a festive cocktail at their over-the-top holiday bar The Thirsty Elf. The Distillery Winter Village is also a must in Toronto during the holiday season, and I love how it’s fun for the whole family. We’re also very lucky to have an abundance of green space in Toronto, compared to other major cities, so tobogganing and using our many outdoor skating rinks are a holiday must—and free!
How will you be spending the holidays this year?
The holidays has always rooted in family time for me growing up, and that continues now that I’m a mom. I love being able to be with my parents and siblings for the holiday, which gets harder to do as we grow older. Our main holiday celebration is on Christmas Eve, and we enjoy a delicious seafood feast. It’s a delicious meal and I look forward to it every year! There’s also something so magical about decorating our Christmas tree with our son. He gets so excited to see all of the ornaments and loves putting them all on the tree! I also love all of the little ornaments and crafts that Benny brings home from preschool. There’s no décor theme at our house, all of the ornaments go on the tree!
What’s your fave type of gift to give … and do you give back in any way?
I love finding unique gifts from the many small businesses that we have in Toronto for the holidays! Whether it’s a Toronto-specific print from SnaptureThis or a gift card from one of Toronto’s amazing restaurants. For giving back, we try to give back as much as we can as a family, especially to the Daily Bread Food Bank, both in time and donations.
Christmas wish time: what is at the very top of your personal gift list?
After the last few years, I’ve learned the power of gratitude and how important it is to appreciate what we have. I feel so thankful with all of life’s blessings. BUT if someone wanted to toss in a spa day at the Miraj Hammam Spa, I wouldn’t say no!
Follow Joëlle on Instagram.