Sunday 7 July 2013

My Favourite Shorts

So I've been instagramming some selfies lately that almost exclusively feature my new most favourite pair of shorts from The Gap.

As I mentioned back in the early spring, Summer equals cutoffs for me, and I rarely want to wear anything other than some comfy, slouchy shorts when it's hot out.

These shorts are perfect for many reasons. They're longer than the average denim short, which is ideal for tall girls like me, and girls who have thicker thighs (like me).

They're also the perfect wash and distressed enough to look cool but not disrespectful. I love that they're cuffed, and a higher waist, so that I can wear them with anything.

In conclusion. I might be going to The Gap again to buy some more of these puppies.

Do you have anything that you can't stop wearing in summer?

Tuesday 25 June 2013

A surprising update

I haven't had much time to blog lately, mostly because I've been kind of scatterbrained. Working two part-time jobs and trying to freelance while not going crazy on my days off has resulted in me making obsessive lists that include things like, "make your bed" or "feed the cats." I write everything dow
n just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off.

But really though, I've been enjoying my wonky schedule, by keeping busy riding my (NEW) bike or just running errands that I never had time for before.

One my favourite new activities is something I NEVER thought I would EVER say I enjoyed. I started doing studio barre at Inside Out Studios and I am OBSESSED. As someone who hates exercising, this is a HUGE deal for me. I try to go every other day; (minus two weeks ago when I had an unexpected summer cold) and have already noticed a difference!

The combination of pilates, ballet and core training is paying off. My arms are getting better definition and my legs feel stronger. It's amazing. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is looking to tone up or just become stronger and more balanced. I honestly cannot believe that I just gave out some fitness advice. It's THAT good.

And in other, unhealthy news...

I also went to Ribfest OMNOMNOM.

Monday 24 June 2013

Bash en Blanc Recap

Bash en Blanc came and went this weekend in a flash of white. The Government Convention Centre was turned into a white-hot dance party on Friday with some great DJ's, beatbox performances and a fashion show, all in support of the Snowsuit Fund.

My outfit was locally inspired. The top is Pink Stitch from Viens Avec Moi in Wellington West and the skirt was handmade for me by my AMAZING friend Hannah. She is honestly a whiz, it fit beautifully and looked like a million bucks.

I'm kind of new to parties like this, but it was really nice to see everyone come out in their best white outfits and dress up for a great cause.

After a few glasses of wine, white of course, I hit the dance floor with Emily from Tinfoil Tiaras and her man Maher. Emily was the winner of my contest last week and the pair of them looked amazing in their all-white ensembles.

After leaving the shin-dig I tempted fate with a McChicken with BBQ sauce and I'm proud to say that my pristine white outfit is still white...which means for the first time in my life I did not spill something on myself while wearing white. SUCCESS.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Bash en Blanc CONTEST

Bash en Blanc is coming up and SOON. June 21st marks the night of Ottawa's first all-white (or all white with black accents if that's what you're into) party.

It's less than a month away and I'm already scoping out my favourite shopping destinations to find something pristine to spill wine on at a party.

Not only will it be a wicked event with VIP treatment, cocktails, a DJ and a fashion show, but it's all for a good cause: this year's white-hot party is being held to benefit the Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa.

Last year the Snowsuit Fund provided 15,000 snowsuits to children under the age of 15. In Canada, where we have winter weather for more than half the year, staying warm is a definite need.

I'm giving away a pair of tickets to the party right here.

To enter just do the following:

1. "Like" The Snowsuit Fund on Facebook
2. In the comments below, indicate that you'd like to enter the contest and tell me what kind of all-white outfit you'd wear, leave your email too, or a way to contact you!

I'll announce the winner on Friday, June 14th.

The event is still a few weeks away, but I'll leave you with some all white everything inspiration. I know I'll need it while I'm figuring out what to wear!

Good luck!

Oh and if you want to just straight up purchase tickets, you can do so here. Hopefully see you there!

Monday 27 May 2013

Friday 24 May 2013

The Ropes

I'm a woman possessed. I'm obsessed. I'm crazy! What am I crazy about? Well, The Ropes obviously. Working part time at Viens Avec Moi is dangerous for me because I love great products and I love supporting local businesses. So if you put a whole bunch of great products in a local business like VAM, well you get where I'm going.

My latest obsession comes from Maine in the form of a nautical rope bracelet. I usually shy away from bright colours, opting to wear neutrals on top of more neutrals with maybe a pair of black jeans or dark denim. I get mistaken for being a lot older than I really am and I feel it has something to do with my wardrobe.

These bracelets are the PERFECT compromise for me. Wearing a little colour on my wrist looks youthful without feeling childish.

I can't wait to wear these bad boys all summer long.

Photo is from 

Thursday 16 May 2013

Party at Gatsby's! Er, St. Laurent Centre!

Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending St. Laurent Centre's Gatsby themed party in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Taking place in an unused store made to look like a 1920's parlour by designer Leanne Lacroix, the event was lovely and intimate while still capturing some of the great energy from that era.

People (including me!) dressed in their best Gatsby attire, since most of Ottawa's fashion lovers came out and every fashion-lover worth her salt cites the 1920's as one of their favourite fashion eras.

Waiters and bartenders kept the snacks and the drinks coming while beautiful models styled by Erica Wark drifted around, really adding to the feeling of being a part of The Great Gatsby.

But the real delight for me, came from installing myself next to the macaron table while chatting with a fellow blogger about the lusty appeal of a young James Spader. And at the start of the night there was even a dancing crew that performed and made me long for dance lessons, but only if my speciality was doing a breakdancing version of the Charleston.

A television installed at the back of the room played the original 70's adaptation of the book, which was also a great conversation piece, "Hey! It's that guy who plays in Law & Order now! What's his name? No clue, ooh look, Robert Redford!"

I loved getting dressed up for this event, and seeing all the guests get dressed up too. It absolutely did nothing to cure my Gatsby Fever, in fact I think I have it worse now. Get me a doctor Old Sport! 

Monday 6 May 2013

Chop Chop See You Later!

In the most recent issue of FLARE, assistant fashion news editor, Emily Ramshaw chronicles the week before lopping off 15 inches of her precious, precious hair.

I wasn't working at FLARE when Emily had long hair, so seeing her with the short hair wasn't a big deal, but reading the her article and seeing how stylish and chic she looks every day has totally inspired me to do my own long goodbye.

My Inspiration:

It's ok, I'm a limo driver.

I saw this picture of Olivia Wilde and I was sold. I had been turning it over in my mind for weeks to chop off my mane, but Olivia sealed the deal for me. I showed the pic to my boyfriend and his response was, "That looks great! But then again, it's Olivia Wilde, she could have a Lloyd Christmas haircut and still be hot." I'll take that as a vote of confidence!

The Stylist:

I only trust the best, and I'm lucky because I happen to be related to her. My cousin Stacy works at Synergy Spa in Orleans, which you should totes check out. It's a really great spa, totally worth the trip to Orleans!


I used to have this free for all spirit about my hair. "It's just hair!" I would say, "It'll grow back!" But after growing it for a few years and having it to shield me when I was at my most self conscious, the thought of chopping it all off is not only scary, it's actually anxiety-inducing


So it's been about a week since I had it all cut off, and what a week it's been. Literally a roller-coaster, I went from loving it, to hating it, and thinking I looked like an ugly boy. Don't get me wrong, the cut is fantastic, it was my face that seemed to be the problem. It was mostly when I was around pretty girls with long hair that I felt left out. I can't be in the pony tail club anymore. Unless they're accepting girls with David Beckham-esque teeny half buns. But once I've got my outfit on, and my makeup did, I decided that I really like it. Like REALLY like it. In fact as I'm writing this out, I'm even thinking about going shorter...


Monday 22 April 2013

Summer is coming.

I love summer fashion in theory. For example I think so many girls look so cute in all sorts of different summer outfits and dresses and skirts, but for me, summer is the time of year where all I want to do is run around barefoot in a pair of grungy shorts and a pony tail to keep my mane off my neck. The only accessory I think I can pull off in the summer is the pile of freckles that are going to start popping up on my visage as soon the sun starts to make itself known.

I think last summer I tried to be too sophisticated for my own good. I found myself feeling uncomfortable and sweaty in tight fitting skirts or like a whale in A-Line empire waisted dresses. This summer I have learned and therefore I present to you my new summer 2013 uniform.

Shorts, Rag & Bone, Nike Dunk Sky Hi's, Madewell, "Perfect" Belt,  Sandals, Michael Kors, Sunglasses, Tory Burch, T-shirt, Wilfred, Bracelet, The Ropes (From Viens Avec Moi!)
What do ya think? See you in June?

Thursday 11 April 2013

Fashion Crimes: The BIG Debate

Last night I went to a really informative and inspirational discussion. No, I'm not talking about Oprah. While no one gave up their Jimmy Choo's at the event I attended, I still enjoyed the panel discussion Fashion Crimes: The BIG Debate held at the ROM in Toronto. I headed over with a PR friend of mine who heard about the panel while trying to research cool things in Toronto for us to do together.

Five panelists included Canadian designer Jeremy Laing, Ryerson University School of Fashion chair Robert Ott, branding and fashion lawyer Ashlee Froese, VP and buying director for The Room at The Bay Nicholas Mellamphy and the always electric Jeanne Beker who acted as moderator.

The discussion of the evening ranged from talking about the pros and cons of fast fashion, marketing and branding in a social media obsessed world and the blogger phenomenon, the panel gave great insight and a few laughs about what it means to be involved in the fashion industry in Canada today.

When it came to talking about fast fashion Canadian designer Jeremy Laing acknowledged that while he is no proponent of the trend, it's not something that bothers him. "It's the reality of the business," he said. "If anything [when I see the high street ripping me off] it inspires me to do something different in my next collection."

The panel itself seemed a little bit split on verdict of whether supporting fast fashion is sustainable, and whether high street fashions cheapen designer labels,  but they all seemed to agree that it's something that is not going anywhere, anytime soon. 

The other part of the discussion that piqued my interest was when the panel turned their spotlight on the explosion of fashion bloggers over the last five years. "I have a journalist friend who laments at the six billion journalists in the world today," said Ryerson chair Robert Ott. "I always tell him, 'just think about the 12 billion fashion critics. Everyone is a critic twice over, of their own style, plus a critic of what everyone else should be wearing."

Laing for one says that the blogosphere explosion is having a more adverse effect on him, and he believes it's a trend that will soon pass. He no longer looks at websites or blogs for fashion inspiration. "I have friends who are very successful bloggers, and I'm definitely proud of them," he said. "But I don't look at their blogs every day. If anything, this attention on bloggers makes me focus more on my own work."

"I think that one day people will get tired of dressing for the internet, wearing bright coloured patterns on patterns, and put on a black jacket again," he said.

When Beker posed the question to the panel, "Where do you get your fashion from?" The speakers fell silent. Not one of them could give a solid answer on where they gathered fashion inspiration. It was Ott who offered some wisdom on the subject.

"We are consumers looking for taste-makers, but we don't know who they are today," he said. "Do you trust the magazine editor, or the 'wild west' that has become the internet?"

A thought-provoking, yet short panel. At an hour and 20 minutes, I would have liked the discussion to be a bit longer and to come to a few more definite conclusions, but leaving the debate open-ended left lot's of room for a post-discussion wine and cheese fest in Yorkville. No complaints here!

Monday 1 April 2013

April Showers

I'm not sure what's been inspiring me lately. One day I want to dress like a French women, the next day I want to look like Blade Runner. Some days I want to be decked out in colour, and other days I want to be monochromatic. I'll pledge to myself to never wear anything but black because there's nothing more chic. But then I find myself falling in love with colours and spring since the snow is melting as I type this.

One of my favourite things when it comes to personal style is how often it changes, I guess this is growing up.

Friday 29 March 2013

Differences and the journey so far

Having been in Toronto for a little under three weeks now I feel it's safe for me to make my observations public. I'm past the first impressions, but I'm not yet jaded by the lights and the sirens and the easily accessible brands that we have to scour the countryside to find in Ottawa.

Packing for the big "move" was tough, especially with a fatso cat sitting in my bag.
That being said, Toronto is a bit overwhelming. Meeting new people and telling them that you're from Ottawa usually results in them treating you like a Make a Wish kid at Disneyland; "Oh wow, how does it FEEL to be in Toronto? Are you having trouble adjusting?"


For the uninformed, Toronto is about five hours away from Ottawa. It's in the same time zone, has the same climate and is just as culturally diverse as Ottawa.

My first day called for a totally spring outfit, I even co-ordinated my nail polish to my sweater. When I got to the office I was immediately given a new issue and then found this lonely shopping bag under my desk, what was in it you ask? No it wasn't a Birkin, just a bunch of booklets and papers...*sigh*

The only thing I need to adjust to in Toronto is the fact that in Toronto all the girls wear Rudsak winter jackets paired with Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C clutches instead of TNA jackets with the Marc by Marc Jacobs pouches that every girl in Ottawa has. They wear Tory Burch boots instead of Michael Kors and the taxi service here makes me want to hug and kiss an Ottawa taxi until I'm banned from Blue Line service altogether.

I've also probably seen more Audi R8's in my 2.5 weeks in Toronto than I have watching every season of Top Gear on Netflix.

My second week was disastrous/awesome all at the same time, Monday morning I discovered I left all of my makeup in Ottawa, so I had to rush to Shoppers and buy all new stuff. I also got a taste of the "rich" life, the Winners on Bloor carries YSL, Dolce & Gabbana and more (INSANE RIGHT?) I tried GlamGlow for the first time (TOTALLY RECOMMEND) and I got to check out some cool beauty products.

From what I can tell, having spent a little time in Toronto, it seems nice. I do like it. I think if I ever lived in Toronto, I would need to be very wealthy because the temptation of shopping would be out of this world. But I also am not sure if I could ever get used to sour sewer smell that lingers at random street corners, in Ottawa that kind of smell is usually reserved for the sewer pipes pumping sewage into the Ottawa River behind the Parliament Buildings.

At the same time, the excitement in Toronto is kind of a lot to bear. I've been staying there for over two weeks and I still haven't got over the fact that every day I want to do something. Sitting at home and watching TV doesn't seem to be an option, even though I don't do much of that in Ottawa, everything in Toronto is NEW and EXCITING.

The second weekend was my favourite. Charles came up and we walked all around Toronto all day long and went to a Supercross race, then topped it off with a midnight snack in Dundas Square. 

I think my ambivalence towards the newly minted fourth largest city in North America, is that I'm there, essentially alone. I mean, not alone ALONE, but you know what I mean. My boyfriend, cats, closet and king size bed are all in Ottawa. Despite being in this arguably great city, I'm always going to focus on the things I don't like just because my life isn't really in's in Ottawa, no matter what I'm still just a guest.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

An update...

I've begun to neglect my little bloggy again. It seemed that in the past weeks I had started writing some really interesting content but since then I've become a little too bogged down with everything else going on to write any compelling entries.

In the past I would have just made up some baloney posts just to say that I was still posting, but I think the key going forward is going to be quality over quantity.

One of the reasons I haven't been posting much is because in the past week my life went from (semi) boring to insane. On Wednesday of last week I found out that I had been accepted to a really cool editorial internship at FLARE in Toronto.

So in less than one week I packed my things, arranged lodging, picked up and left for Toronto. I'm staying with a smart and beautiful friend and her amazing roommate, who graciously said I could stay with them.

It also worked out perfectly since they are literally a stone's throw away from the offices where I now work at.

I'm also staying spitting distance from the amazing Holt Renfrew on Bloor, where a Miu Miu boutique just opened. (I'm also probably the first person to ever say they were spitting distance away from Holt Renfrew while at the same time knowing how to pronounce Miu Miu.)

The way things worked out could not have been better, my hosts are probably two of the nicest girls I have ever met, my immediate boss is a complete gem and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun and learn so much. (That sentence totally feels like a beauty queen answer to me, but it's so true.)

Putting all the amazing and exciting things aside though, I will say that just being away from the little family I have cultivated in Ottawa is hard. I miss my boyfriend constantly, and I fear that our little kitty-babies will think that I have abandoned them.

For the next while I'm going to be splitting my time between Ottawa and Toronto, trying to go home as much as possible. It's going to be tiring and just thinking about all the money I'm forking over to Via Rail from now until the start of May makes me really bitter, but hey, what can you do when you live in a (very fashionable) shoe?

Monday 4 March 2013

The Tiger

I'm finding out lately that being interested in fashion isn't enough. While I will always love clothes, fashion and art, I'm figuring out that I'm more than just a fashion-head.

One of the things that has led me to realize that there's more to the world than shoes and bags and clothes was reading a book for my journalism class. It couldn't be farther from the books I usually read. It didn't involve Grace Coddington driving to the Hamptons with a car full of cats and it had nothing to do with being a shopaholic with a credit card problem and a sexy boss who the heroine always embarrasses herself in front of.

It was the farthest thing possible from those things and I really enjoyed reading the entire thing. I wanted to share with you guys my little review for The Tiger: A Story of Vengence and Survival, by John Vaillant.

The often-forgotten Russian Far East is the setting of this devastatingly interesting book by John Vaillant. The Tiger takes us to the area of Primorye, where people live on the edge of civilization and poaching isn’t just a sad effect of greed, it’s a way of life.

The boreal forest or Taiga becomes the most important character in the book, of which all of the other characters are just merely background to the massive presence that the forest has in the minds of the locals.

But as fabled and revered as the Taiga may be in Russia, it doesn’t compare to the veneration of the Amur tiger.

An endangered species that locals both fear and admire, the Amur tiger has almost mythical status in the Taiga, and most hunters know that if you cross a tiger, it will never forget.

The Tiger centres around Yuri Trush, an ex-military enforcer with Inspection Tiger, a now-defunct organization that worked in the Taiga to crack down on poaching.

But in post-perestoika Russia, times are tough. Many in Primorye need to poach to survive.

The story weaves in an out between the history of the area and it’s ties with tigers and focuses on an instance where a tiger turned against man and went on a rampage of odd behavior that included hunting and killing the poachers that once hunted him.

Parts of the book focus on Trush and his team hunting the man-eating tiger, while going back and forth between historical anecdotes and a narrative that gives the reader a look into the mind of a tiger out for revenge.

Filled with chilling facts that cause the reader to look for any excuse to bring up tigers in subsequent conversations; this is non-fiction at it’s finest. The interesting subject matter combined with Vaillant’s colourful and descriptive writing style leave the reader wanting more at the end of each chapter.

While the non-linear narrative can be confusing at times, this book weaves seamlessly between generations and gives the reader a thorough understanding of one of the most misunderstood areas (and animals) in the world. 

If this isn't enough to totally get you hooked on learning about Russia and Tigers, then you won't mind me telling you that in 2014 this book is going to be adapted into a movie starring...(wait for it)...Brad Pitt!

I think it's really important to broaden your horizons, and even though I tout myself as being totally obsessed with fashion, I'm obsessed with other things tigers.

Monday 25 February 2013

Freedom to read and be inspired

Freedom to Read Week is happening right now, it's a celebration of exercising your intellectual rights, a week planned to promote the idea that banning books and magazines in a free country like Canada is wrong.

I love the fact that in my house I can have my Harry Potter next to my Catcher in the Rye. These books inspired and comforted me in my formative years. Recently, I’ve been finding inspiration in fashion biographies, and coffee table books.

Photographer and stylist, Justyna Baraniecki has just finished reading Stylists by Katie Baron.

“If someone wants to get into styling, it’s a really great book to get,” she says. “It takes 100 to 150 of the top stylists working today and interviews them and takes a look into their aesthetic and what inspires them, I look at that one often.”

Local fashion designer Amy Scarlett Donovan is currently reading Grace, the biography of Vogue’s “unsung hero”, Grace Coddington.

It's wonderful,” Donovan says. “I'm falling more and more in love with her every page. She's very honest and candid and shares so many amazing little secrets about her encounters with people within the industry.”

“It's really special and I encourage anyone who loves fashion, Vogue, or the September Issue to absolutely read it.”

Donovan says that as a visual person, she gains inspiration from fashion books such as the official Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood books.

The premise of Freedom to Read Week seems to go hand in hand with Freedom to Find Inspiration. And isn’t that what books are all about?

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Love Joe Fresh? Enter this!

I'm sure you all know that Joe Fresh is opening up at the St. Laurent Centre in a couple weeks, last I heard it was opening on Feb. 27, and to celebrate, St. Laurent is hosting a pretty cool contest.

As a brand, it's pretty impressive that Joe Fresh has gone from being sold at select Loblaws to opening stand-alone stores in such a short period of time. They are even showing at Toronto Fashion Week again this season! 

You guys probably already know how much I love supporting local and supporting Canadian, and Joe Fresh totally fits the bill. But did you know that Joe Mimran, the designer who created Joe Fresh also launched Club Monaco once upon a time? Cool Huh? 

It also doesn't hurt that Joe Fresh is still great quality for the price. Some of my favourite items in my closet came from between the soft-drink isle and pharmacy, and I'm super excited for them to stand-alone at St. Laurent!

Enter the contest at St. Laurent's Facebook Page.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Girl's Got Courage

Being a part of last year's Bust a Move committee inspired Ottawa native Carolynn Lacasse to amp up her game and raise even more money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation in 2013.

Late last year she designed, produced and began selling two beautiful bracelets for charity. Her original goal was to raise $2,000 by March. After reaching that before Christmas she has since doubled the goal she originally set in December and is looking to raise $4,000 by the end of February.

Photo taken from the Courage Brand website.

The bracelets have a very simple design that compliment any style and are the perfect addition to a stack of bracelets, or 'arm party' as we've come to know them.

"The bracelet idea came to me while shopping at Viens Avec Moi, I love that store and they have a really good collection of jewellery," she says. 

"One time I was shopping there, buying a bracelet for one of my girlfriends and I thought, 'this is a really great gift' it was really simple -- one bead -- and I thought, what if I made it myself? What if I did it as a fundraiser."

Lacasse brought her idea to Viens Avec Moi co-owner Renee Morra, who was completely behind the idea of creating a bracelet fundraiser right from the get-go.

"I thought it was a great idea and 100 per cent of proceeds go to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation," says Morra. "Cancer pretty much touches everyone in a certain way, for myself it has on my mothers side, that’s why when Carolynn came to me with the idea I thought, OF COURSE."

Morra and Lacasse brainstormed together and decided to sell the bracelets exclusively at Viens Avec Moi. 

All of the branding and supplies were donated to Lacasse and she puts the bracelets together herself, which allows the entire profit from the bracelets go straight to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

The "Fearless" bracelet, taken from the Courage Brand website

The "Traverse" bracelet, taken from the Courage Brand website

Lacasse says that the name in front of the brand – Courage – serves as an inspiration to everyone who may be affected by cancer.

“I think that after being close to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, I realized that everyone in that organization has a lot of courage, the people who go there who are facing cancer, also the families and friends who are touched by it,” she says.

“Those people have a lot of courage and give a lot of support, that’s why I chose it,” says Lacasse. “That’s not the only reason though, every person goes through things that they need courage for, and its just a little reminder on your wrist to have the courage to do what you want.”

Lacasse says that she may continue the brand over to the Fall or even design a new line of Courage bracelets for the Spring.

Both designs of Courage bracelets are available at Viens Avec Moi, and sell for $20 each. So far Lacasse has raised $2,640 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and with a little under three weeks to go, I am positive that she will reach her new goal.