Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Summer Dresses & What to Wear them With

Happy Memorial Day to my friends South of the border! Nothing says summer like the May long weekend, whether you are celebrating Victoria Day in Canada like we did last weekend, or firing up the BBQ in honour of Memorial Day.

Seeing as the summer season is officially upon us, I put together a little short list, below, of 5 great summer dresses that caught my eye:

The Maxi Dress: This Raquel Allegra Tie Dye dress from Net a Porter is perfect for a day of shopping or a casual evening on the patio.
The Bargain: At only $16, you can't afford not to add this simple tank dress from Joe Fresh to your wardrobe.
Wear Anywhere: I love this muscle tee dress from Rachel Roy. With the right accessories it can take you from a day time BBQ to a night out.
For the Beach: This cute and comfy cover up from J Crew is perfect to throw on over a bikini
For a Special Occasion: There is no doubt that summer is a season of celebrations. I love this dress from Kate Spade's Saturday Collection - you'll look festive without outshining the guest of honour.

So what to wear these great dresses with? A few key pieces below:
1. Keep your melon cool with this sleek panama hat from J. Crew
2. The denim vest is back this season...I like this crisp white version from the Gap.
3. Try a flat but fancy sandal like this laser cut suede pair by Jimmy Choo
4. Add a pop of colour with a coral polish...try Lara's Theme by Deborah Lippmann

 PS - Are you barbecuing tonight? Try these yummy Southwestern Turkey Burgers With Sriracha Lime Spread, paired with a Coconut Ginger Lime Margarita.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thaw Out Your Beauty Routine for Spring!

Despite the fact that it has taken its sweet time to get here, it seems like Spring is finally creeping its way in in Ottawa. As the warm weather approaches, it's always nice to update the ol' beauty routine to suit the season. Here are some swaps to shake up your make up bag...

You're using: A matte lipstick
Swap it for: A lip crayon

The best thing about the latest lip crayons (like those from Nars and Clinique, above) are their goof-proof application. You get a great pop of colour that is not too heavy, and these babies will be able to hold up to the heat on a warm summer night. Perfect for re-applying on a girl's night out.

You're using: Your signature scent
Swap it for: A summer fragrance with some heat

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I am a HUGE fan of Bobbi Brown's beach perfume. It is always part of my summer repertoire. This year, however, I've branched out with Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess fragrance. One whiff of this coconut tinged tropical scent and I was instantly transported to every sea side vacation I've ever had. Another option (for the chic bottle alone!) - Island by Michael Kors.

You're using: A foundation
Swap it for: A BB Cream

Ever since Beauty Balms hit the cosmetics mainstream a couple of years ago, every company under the sun has come out with their own version. The great thing about a BB cream - you get a myriad of benefits - illumination, priming, moisturizing, sunscreen...along with light coverage, in a single step. Perfect to pare down your routine for the summer months and let that sun-kissed glow shine through. Some of my picks - Estee Lauder, Garnier, and Stila.

You're using: A powder blush
Swap it for: An illuminating liquid bronzer

What better way to top of your new BB cream than by blending in a light bronzer for a little faux-glow. If you haven't noticed the theme in this post, I recently went a little wild at the Estee Lauder counter. I couldn't resist picking up this bronzer!

Happy beautifying you change up your beauty routine for the summer months?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Girl's Getaway: Old Montreal

Hello Birdies and Happy Easter! It feels like forever since I have had the chance to blog. It is such a shame when real life gets in the way. However, I am back with some great posts to kick off the spring!

One of the last posts I did back in February was about my essentials for a girl's weekend away. I am happy to report that two of my best gals and I had a fantastic weekend in Old Montreal at the beginning of March, so I thought I would share some of the fab spots we visited. A little inspiration for your next weekend with the girls!

Hotel Place D'armes

Beauty Sleep: We stayed at the Hotel Place D'Armes, steps away from Notre Dame Cathedral and less than a 10 dollar cab ride away from all the shopping downtown Montreal has to offer. For a decent rate we got a spacious room, complete with fireplace and rain shower.  I loved the little perks the hotel had to offer, like a complementary happy hour beverage at their bar, and coffee to start the morning.

Grab a (complementary) pre-dinner cocktail at the Hotel's restaurant and bar

Wine and Dine: Thanks to the recommendations of a good friend, we were spoiled with dining options over the weekend. Friday evening was tuna tartar, scallops, and duck salad at La Grange. Saturday night we had a delicious meal at the beautifully decorated Barroco, where I also discovered my new favourite cocktail, the black tea mule.


Beautify: After a hard day of shopping on Saturday, it was time to re-charge at our hotel's spa. I don't think there is anything more luxurious then throwing on a robe in your hotel room and padding one floor down to the spa. Rain Spa offers an array of treatments that also include access to their hammam, a giant, peaceful Turkish-style sauna. 

Brunch: On Sunday we hit up Le Cartet for brunch. Bright and airy with communal style dining tables, it made for the perfect place to fuel up before our trip home. Not to be missed is their boutique where you can pick up gourmet chocolate and other foodie gift items. 

Snapshot of the snack section at Le Cartet

Hope this little post provides some good ideas for your next girl's getaway. Until then, enjoy what is left of this beautiful long weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Travel Essentials: Girl's Weekend!

Is there anything more rejuvenating than a weekend away with your girlfriends? Whether we are shopping, spa-ing or just catching up over glasses (bottles?) of wine, I always come back home feeling refreshed.

I am heading out of town for a girl's weekend this weekend which was the inspiration for this post. Packing for a quick out of town weekend is a bit of a science - you need to pack your necessities and outfit options for a range of activities, while ensuring you stay within (annoying) baggage restrictions and maybe even leaving a bit of extra space for some fun new purchases.

Some of my tricks? They are pretty obvious but I'll share them anyway -I keep a stash of all the beauty samples and trial sized products I accumulate over the year and use them for trips. I buy travel sizes of my favorite products and keep them in my gym bag for every day use and throw them in my suitcase when I travel. When my girlfriends and I travel, we'll coordinate who is bringing what hefty hair appliance to save space in our respective suitcases (you don't need three flat irons in one hotel room!). 

Lastly, a few fashionable, fun, and functional essentials:

1 & 2. Bring a shower gel and body lotion in a scent you love and you won't need to pack a perfume...I love the travel sized scents from The Body Shop - like Satsuma.
3. A weekend of shopping requires foot wear that can withstand a day of walking and still make you feel stylish - I love these sneakers by Superga for spring.
4. I always travel with a bag I can wear cross-body so I can keep my hands free. This one from Aldo is the perfect size for shopping essentials, and will brighten up any outfit.
5. If you're sharing a hotel room, why not amp up the slumber party vibe with fashionable PJ's? I love these from Joe Fresh.
6. Stash a few packets of Emergen C in your purse - perfect for recovering after a big night out or replenishing your energy while you're on the go!
7. Erase the sins of late night wining and dining with Yes to Blueberries Eye roller.
8. These Kate Spade earbuds are perfect for looking stylish while entertaining yourself in transit.

Happy travels!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Saturday?

I couldn't agree more with the tagline for Kate Spade's new line, Saturday. Saturdays are the bright spot in my week, when the weekend still feels fresh and endless hours of "me" time stretch ahead. The Saturday line celebrates all that is weekend, with fun dresses, functional tech accessories and stationary, and the perfect objects for enjoying a coffee and OJ at home. 

My favourite items? I'm partial to the stationary, but I can see myself toting the multi-coloured bag to the gym for my Saturday boot camp class, followed by taking those yellow-toed flats out for a spin for some afternoon shopping.

Just when you thought the weekend couldn't get any better...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

10 Ways to Love Ottawa this Winter

It is hard, I mean really hard for me to muster up the motivation to get out and do things in the winter. Sure, I'll go about my usual work / gym / errands / doggie walking routine, but other than that, when it's minus twenty degrees Celsius and there is a foot of snow on the ground, who wants to leave the house? I'd much rather wrap myself in a fleece blanket and see what Netflix has to offer.

Lately, I have been trying to beat the winter blahs by doing my best to get out and DO stuff around the city. It has been easier recently with great events happening like Ottawa Fashion week and Winterlude. In that spirit, here are 10 ways to love Ottawa this winter...try one per weekend and the next thing you know, it will be April!

1. Celebrate Febrewary with Beau's brewery...they are releasing seven beers in five weeks at different restaurants around the city. Sample the Bog Father with a great app at one of my fave spots, Two Six {ate}, or take a day trip to Vankleek Hill for a Five course beer brunch at Vert Fourchette on February 24.

2. Treat your body and mind to a sweaty hot yoga class. My preferred studios are Moksha and Pure Yoga. Suddenly, the cold air becomes a refreshing reward after class.

3.Sip a coffee, grab a magazine and bask in the artful floral arrangements at Blumenstudio.

Blumenstudio on Parkdale

4. Sauna it up and detox at Bleu spa in Cantley.

5. Hit up Supply and Demand, the newest addition to the Wellington West strip for a taste of summer at the raw bar - oysters, sea scallops, tuna...yum!

6. Start your spring detox of my fave places for lunch on the run is Simply Raw Express. They also offer a diet re-set for every need...from a fully guided detox program to a 1 week juice cleanse.

7. Warm up with a guided coffee tasting at Bridgehead Roastery...or just pop by with a pal and enjoy the industrial yet bright setting.

8. Shake up your Monday night in the Market... low key diner Mellos becomes a gourmet dining experience with Monday night chef take overs for their Supper Club. Tomorrow night the chef from Social will be serving up something delish.

9. Take a class or check out one of the many tasting events at The Urban Element on Parkdale. What caught my eye? A wine pairing dinner on February 20 featuring Town Restaurant, and a cooking class called For the Love of further explanation necessary!

10. If you MUST stay in, cast aside typical take out in favor of a fresh, organic and local meal from The Red Apron. I personally love their smokey tomato and red pepper soup!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fashion Week Street Style

Have you been following NY Fashion Week? Whether you're lucky enough to actually BE in NYC, or you're like me and taking it in through Twitter, Instagram, and live streaming on, we can all agree that #NYFW is a bombardment of eye candy.

The street style during fashion week is almost as closely followed as the runway shows themselves. Here are some of my favourite images from around the web:

Via Fashion Magazine:

Via Tommy Ton for