Warby Parker Fall Collection [Obsession of the Season]

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

Fall is my favourite season because it represents change. I love the changing of the leaves, the fresh coolness in the air, and Fall fashion. I’ve been trying to find ways to wear some of my summer favourites in the cooler temperatures. I’ve found the easiest way to go is to wear a sweater over any dress, put on a pair of booties, and add a fabulous necklace (seriously I’ve seen it on Pinterest).

The only thing that I can’t convert for Fall is my glasses. I LOVE glasses, if I could own a different pair for every outfit, I would. I love the frames I have now, but I could use an upgrade. I’d like a darker frame and maybe a completely different shape. I’ve been looking online for a reasonably priced pair of frames that suit my face, that are warm and sexy at the same time, but haven’t had much luck. When Warby Parker emailed me about their Fall Collection, I drooled.

FALL2014_stills“Personality is what makes a good pair of glasses great. Our Fall Collection is for those who own their style, exercise their wit, and add life to the party.”

I love how much they understand that glasses are a reflection of the person that is wearing them. They are an amazing accessory and for people like me, an absolute necessity. The Fall Collection features NINE new shapes and TWO new hues. I love the crystal and striped olive, but my favourite pair from the new collection is the Durand Whiskey Tortoise (bottom photo). If I can squeeze them into my budget (they’re $120 CAD including your prescription btw), you can bet I’ll be purchasing them. These glasses scream Fall and I feel like they represent who I am right now. I can so picture myself wearing them while reading a great novel by the roaring fire, wrapped up in a blanket, and holding a cuppa cocoa. Can’t you?!

 

Talk soon,
Vanessa

Disclosure: I was contacted by Warby Parker to write a post about their Fall Collection. I wasn’t given any form of compensation for this post, I wrote it because I simply love their glasses.

Women in Clothes [BOOK REVIEW]

Book Reviews, Fashion & Beauty

9780399166563

Women in Clothes is a collection of surveys about garments of clothing and how they shape our lives. It’s an intriguing 500+ page conversation that you’d have with your girlfriends, reflecting on all aspects of clothing, garments, and beauty. I loved the photos of real women’s clothing collections from the false eyelashes and dress sets, to grey sweaters and raincoats– proving that all women have a type of garment they covet more than anything. I enjoyed reading the various features and found that I had something in common with the way that each woman dresses.

I know the kind of dresser I want to be — a sophisticated, classy, vintage goddess with so much sass it turns heads. When I picture myself working and living in Toronto, that’s what I see. In reality I live so far north of the city it’s a mission to get down there, and the closest I’ve come to vintage is wearing the clothes my best friend gives away. She’s got great taste but our bodies are so different that her clothes never look right on me, I feel strange when I wear them, like I’m pretending to be someone else. Funds, patience, and the mindset that I don’t have to look great if I’m just running errands has dictated my style for years, but I am willing to change. I’m willing to take a good hard look at who I am and let my clothing express that. Even the best dressed women put on their pants one leg at a time.

There is no exact science to the way I dress but I do have a few rules for myself:

  • NEVER wear a tight top with wearing leggings or tights, make sure the top is loose and covers your crotch
  • if your pants are baggy wear a tighter shirt and vice versa
  • tuck in your shirts when wearing high-waisted pants
  • heels and a blazer make every outfit better
  • jewelry is your friend — your mom has a boatload for you to borrow

IMG_7510

Women in Clothes has so many layers of information, stories, and photos. I found the project called Ring Cycle truly interesting — fifteen women who work in a newspaper office photocopy their hands and talk about their rings. I enjoyed learning where and how these women came to own their rings — it made me look at the only ring I wear a little differently. My boyfriend bought it for me for Valentine’s day about four years ago, it’s technically a promise ring with a blue diamond (representing honesty, fidelity, and love) hidden on the inside of the band. He doesn’t call it a promise ring though, it’s a just because I love you so much ring. I wear it on the middle finger of my left hand because I felt it would be bad luck to wear it on my wedding finger. It’s white gold, simple and beautiful. I never take it off (except to shower and sleep) and I’ll never forget his bashful face or nervously sweaty temples when he handed it to me.

Another one of their projects entitled Mothers As Others was incredibly moving and wonderful to read. The premise was for women to send in a photo of their mother before she had children and write what they saw. While reading, I couldn’t help but wonder what their mothers’ reactions would be to what their daughters thought about them. Do they know how beautiful their daughters think they are? How much they inspired their lives, as well as fashion? I found a few photos of my mom before she had kids, these might have even been taken before she met my dad. She’s probably only eighteen or nineteen but she looks mature for her age. She looks confident and happy in her own skin, she appears strong and fierce, like she knows exactly where she’s supposed to be. She’s beautiful and her smile is endless. She’s got amazing hair (look at those bangs) and knows how to dress for her figure. I love the high-waist skirts and pants, the belts, and the collared shirts she wears. My mom still has a great sense for fashion (she helps me pick outfits all the time), a timeless style, and sometimes I see glimpses of the confidence she embodied all those years ago.

The best part about Women in Clothes is not the great writing or even the interesting surveys, it’s being able to place each survey or project into the confines of your own life. I learned so much about myself, my style, and the person I want to share with the world by reading this book. Although this book has a lot to do with clothes, how we wear them, and how we feel in them, mostly it shows the reader that they are not alone. There are so many women out there that think like you, that have the same insecurities and questions about clothing as you, just open the book to page one and you’ll find that out.

 “Taste is a wink, not a thud.”

Talk soon,
Vanessa
* Quote from page 22 of Women in Clothes
*Thanks to Penguin Random House for this book
*Thoughts are my own

 

Trind Nail Care [Product Review]

Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands

photo copy

I have a bit of an obsession with nail polishes. I love getting manicures but am perfectly capable of doing my  nails on my own too. I have pretty good nails they’re strong and they grow like weeds but since I’ve done shellac a few time I find that my nails haven’t been the same. They chip, they peel, and they look godawful most of the time. I’ve been yearning to test out Trind Nail Care since my editor at Chic Darling told me how awesome they are.

Trind Cosmetics is a Dutch company which devleps unique products in the field of nail and hand care. Trind products are distingushed from other hand and nail care products are they are based on the natural consistency of the nail, cuticle and hands.Trind products make the nail strong and beautiful without disturbing the structure of the nail. The basis of Trind is highly effective and active products that are uniquely formulated, consisting of nourishing ingreidents of Keratin and numerous vitamins.

unnamed

I received a press release a few weeks back from Charming Media, letting me know that Trind Polishes are now available on The Shopping Channel so I requested a sample and thankfully they obliged. They sent me Step 2 (Cuticle Balsam), Step 3 (Nail Magic Buffer), and Step 4 (Nail Balsam) of their 6 Step System. You’re supposed to use the Cuticle Balsam and Nail Balsam daily for two weeks and then after two weeks only once a week for maintenance. The great thing about these balsams is that you can put a colour on right after them too! Out of sheer laziness and nail neglect I’ve only been using this system once a week BUT I can already see a huge difference in my nails. They aren’t peeling as much, they’re harder, and my cuticles aren’t as dry, I can only imagine what they will look like once I use them properly!

Trind also has a huge collection of what they call Caring Colors Nail Polish that were specially developed to maintain the health and vitality of your nails after getting them in top shape from using our nail care products. Their colours are beautiful and vibrant. I especially love the Pastel Purple, Dark Tan, Ocean Pearl, and Light Salmon. I hope to invest in some of these beautiful polishes soon!

Trind-caring-colours-300x249

What do you think about Trind Polishes and their 6 Step System? Would you give them a try?

ENJOY LIFE, KICK ASS, & KEEP YOUR NAILS LOOKING PRETTY! 
VANESSA XX

* All italicized statements are direct quotes from the Trind Nail Care Website and/or PDF Manual

* I was given Steps 2-4 of the system by Charming Media in exchange for an honest product review

Darling You Can’t Do Both [Book Thoughts]

Book Reviews, Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

20604396

I flipped through Darling You Can’t Do Both by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk — the two creative geniuses behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. I call this post [Book Thoughts] and not [Book Review] because for the first time in a very long time I read the titles of the chapters and chose which parts I thought would be relevant to me.

I am not a busy married woman working my way to the top, in fact, I have yet to find somewhere to start working (at the bottom or otherwise), so I couldn’t exactly relate to some of the stories. However, I think many young and older women can. What I found most interesting was their advice on facing gender biases at work and how business is still a man’s world. I liked the way they approached the issue and discussed how to combat it, I liked their advice on how to juggle everything, I loved how they harped on the idea that you don’t have to be a workhorse (working 7 am to midnight) to succeed in the office.

I took to heart when they ask the reader to figure out what they want — to write a list of everything they want their life to include and to remember that list when they’re in the workforce. MY LIST: fitness, books, travel, writing, dinners with my family, playtime with my niece, coffee nights with my best friends, and date nights with my boyfriend.

I loved reading about their personal experiences, their trials, and how long it took to get things right. I admire and feel inspired by their BREAK THE RULES ATTITUDE. One of my favourite chapters is entitled Rule to be Broken: Nice girls don’t get in your face. In this chapter they tell the reader that she needs to speak up in order to get what she wants at work and in life. This is something I have always struggled with, no matter who I’ve worked for it seems like when I need to say something important or ask for time off or anything that might be a little bit uncomfortable, I freeze. I know, I know MY PEN IS MY VOICE and all that. I’ve mastered finding my voice on the page, it’s going from page to mouth that’s proven a little difficult.

‘My advice to any woman who feels like she’s been judged for talking too much is to keep talking, and to encourage her female colleagues to do so as well – it’s the only way that things are going to change.’

 — Jean Hannah Edelstein (The Daily Mail)

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

A stye in the eye and a silky smooth face

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

I don’t think I’ve EVER written about facial products but I feel like I have to share something with you. Last week I developed a nasty stye. I’ve never had one before and I assume that this one was caused by the self-imposed stressed that is eating away at my heart. Nonetheless, there were a few things that I had to do in order to ensure a speedy recovery — no makeup (including the little bit of mascara I usually wear to work), no contact lenses, and no harsh soaps or creams. Except for the engagement party, I’ve stuck to that. I also went to the walk-in and purchased some eye drops and have been putting warm compress on my eyes.

photo-2

 

In just a week my skin has completely changed. Blemishes have almost disappeared, I have no pimples, my skin is soft, creamy, and smooth. It seems that I have developed a new skin regimen that actually works, all thanks to this nasty, pus-filled, red, itchy stye. No soap on the face in the morning, simply washing my face with warm water and then applying a thin layer of Olay complete cream for sensitive skin. At night I just was my face with Dove shea butter soap and apply another thin layer of the cream. THAT’S IT!

I guess sometimes, negative things/styes/experiences can lead to good ones…

it just takes time.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Spark Sessions Workshops

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

ee8f9a163540b302a494b724a340f63bTo all of my fashion and beauty blogger babes, if you haven’t heard yet, Spark Sessions is doing full day workshops throughout 2014. If you’re looking for an intimate atmosphere where you can learn from your favourite top fashion bloggers, these workshops are for you!

sparklogo-website Spark Sessions Workshops are full day workshops to help you take your content to the next level. Our workshops are specifically designed with our attendees in mind, and intended to teach you all you the tips and tricks in a hands-on setting. We aim to provide direction, inspiration, and the knowledge to create the brand that you want.

Their first workshop is all about photography and it’s only two weeks away. The guest speakers for this workshop are: Casey Palmer from CaseyPalmer.com and Natalie from MyLittleSecrets.ca. I urge anyone who is starting their own blog (especially fashion) to take this workshop. Photos make or break a blog post, they add a visual aspect to your blog that people will remember. Some people may only read your post based on the photos that accompany it. There are still a few spots left, you can register HERE.

The second workshop is coming up in June and it will focus on SEO strategies and coding for bloggers and I am definitely going to sign up it. I blog often but I don’t really think about what I’m blogging about or why — in the sense that I take content as it comes — this is my diary not a money-making business. BUT I would LOVE to learn how to make it both. The third workshop is in August and it aims to teach you how to build partnerships and create the perfect media kit for your blog (I should probably sign up for this workshop too).

Are you going to sign up?

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Spark Sessions logo and quote taken from the Spark Sessions Website 

Tickets for each workshop are $69 +HST 

Girls Night Out with @FresitaCa and SPiN [Recap]

Bursting the Bubble, Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Restaurant Reviews, Toronto Adventures

_DSC0609

On a crisp Wednesday evening, my girlfriends and I headed downtown to SPiN on King West. Not knowing what to expect, we walked through an alley and down some slippery steps into a barely lit but incredibly warm room. The ladies at reception took our coats and lead us to a ping-pong table tucked in the corner (which was perfect because our balls went everywhere). As my ladies and I took our places around the table, DJ FeelGoodSmalls pumped up the music, making our night start off with a little dancing, a lot of laughter, and thankfully a few practice rounds of ping-pong before the other ladies showed up.

_DSC0544

_DSC0597

_DSC0663

After the arrival of fellow blogger babes (and their friends) Victoria Simpson @hautecanada and Melissa Hetu @melsays, appetizers were served and bottles of Fresita popped open. Fresita is a fruity, fresh and delicious all natural sparkling wine with only 8% alcohol. It’s sweet, refreshing, and it has a beautiful red colour to it. I’m thinking it would be the perfect signature drink for my bestie’s bridal shower. Kathryn attended the event with me (along with my other favourites, Lina and Stacey) and absolutely loved the taste of the wine. “It tastes like juice but not too sweet!” she exclaimed with a relaxed smile.

_DSC0580

That relaxed smile could be found on each of the event’s attendees; with a glass in one hand and a paddle in the other we ponged the night away. My favourite part of the evening would have to be the roundtable, where anyone at SPiN could sign up to play. Basically you ping-pong the ball around the table as you run around to table. If you miss it, you’re out! It was fun to watch and Victoria rocked that game in a wicked pair of heels from Le Chateau! I had such a great time at SPiN that I think it might be the place to have my 25th birthday — drinks, great music, a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly game of ping-pong — what more could a girl need for her birthday?!

_DSC0620

_DSC0726

_DSC0582

_DSC0744

Thanks to my lovely ladies for attending this event with me. Your attendance was the BEST part of my night! Thanks for the laughs, the great conversation, and some awesome memories. A huge thank you to Fresita Canada for the delicious libations and to SPiN for collecting all the balls that didn’t hit the table!

_DSC0543

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

PHOTOS BY: JEFFREY CHAN

Dinner with Santa @ToEatonCentre

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands, Restaurant Reviews, Toronto Adventures, Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I won a private dinner with 9 of my friends in Santa’s Log Cabin (thanks to My Fash Avenue). The cabin is located just outside the Eaton Centre, downtown Toronto. I chose to spend the evening with my sister, a few of my cousins, my cousin’s two-year-old daughter, and my best friend. After the missions we pulled getting there (Toronto’s subway system doesn’t really accommodate strollers), we stepped out into the crisp winter evening and spotted Santa’s Cabin. Excitement filled our lungs as we snapped photos of what would be our personal cabin for the next few hours.

IMG_5793

The cabin was exactly how I pictured it, warm and toasty, stocked with gifts, toys, a work station, and the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever laid my eyes on. We sat down to a beautifully set table in the middle of the cabin and did what we do best, eat and talk. It’s not very often that we can all find a day to get together and to have most of my favourite people at one table was truly magical. Call me crazy but I think it was a Christmas miracle.

1147288

After a delicious meal catered by Trattoria Mercatto, we waited patiently for Santa.

tumblr_mfkcwkhHro1rzx86uo1_500

His arrival was epic.

My cousin’s daughter became serene and silent, playing shy at first, but she answered Santa’s questions with thought and precision. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of Santa, seriously I don’t think she let herself blink!

g

The best part of the evening was not the food, or jolly old Santa, or the delicious desserts that ended the evening, the best part was spending time with my family and best friend. There were no distractions. There was no drama. Only laughter and smiles all around. It felt so good to spend time with my family, I may have even teared up a few times that evening (my heart grew two sizes that night). There was something entirely magical about the experience, it reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas, and I’ll never forget it.

Thank you to Deanne from My Fash Avenue, the Toronto Eaton Centre, Trattoria Mercatto, and the PR mavens that made the evening possible.

And to my dinner guests…

tumblr_mgglqs5wCo1rquhqmo1_400

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Trend Trunk Mystery Gift Cards… for you!

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

I’ve recently discovered an incredible website for the fashion-forward gal! It’s called Trend Trunk and they’re a company based out of Oakville who just so happened to appear on Dragon’s Den on November 6th. So, what is Trend Trunk?

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 7.49.53 AMTrend Trunk is a social marketplace where you can buy, sell, and donate amazing new and pre-loved fashion in a fun and simple way.  Their aim is to inspire and collaborate with the fashion-minded and budget-conscious community in a trustworthy environment. They believe that one person’s lonely wardrobe is another’s true love! If you’ve got items you’re not in love with anymore, you can ‘cash in your closet’ and use those funds to shop a users’ closet whose style you love, donate those funds to your favourite charity, or get the funds deposited directly into your bank account.

Trend Trunk aims to help you:

  1. Make money by cashing in your closet of all those stylish and fashionable items you have tucked away
  2. Save money by shopping fellow members’ closets full of brand new to pre-loved styles they love
  3. And look good doing it!

The best part about this website? They take care of all the nitty-gritty for you. THEY manage the payment and shipping, so you don’t have to. A seller receives a prepaid / preaddressed shipping label in their email when a sale is made. Simply print, pack, and ship. So there’s no need to meet up with someone in a darkened alleyway to sell your clothes or have someone haggle you to lower the price (unlike other websites). You avoid all of those creepy situations and can sell your clothes, shoes, and accessories from the comfort of your home. AND if you want to feel good and look good at the same time, they’ve combined fashion and fundraising through their Closets & Causes program which allows you to donate up to 100% of your net sale proceeds to any charity in Canada.  Plus, you’ll receive a tax receipt for the donated value—so it’s a win-win. Click here to find out more about the selling and shopping process.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 7.51.09 AMI already have my own account set up and a lust list that just keeps growing. But enough about me. How about something for YOU? I’ve partnered up with Trend Trunk for a fabulous giveaway. Here’s how it works: click the photo below or right HERE.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 4.37.43 PMThen enter your email address and could receive a gift card up to $250 to use on TREND TRUNK! Every card has a value ranging from $5, $10, $25, $50 and $250. Don’t forget to read the fine print and let me know what you buy!

Happy Holidays!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

WATCH IT! MAN.

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

Date-nights with my man are my favourite nights for many reasons, I like to dress up, I like to see him dressed up, I love our no cell phones /talking only rule, and well, I love spending some quality time with him. As far as the dressing up part goes, he looks so handsome with his dark jeans and black shirts, dress shoes, and swanky jackets BUT there is one thing missing. A watch. I know, I know, what the heck do you need a watch for when you have a cell phone? Who really cares about the time anyways? Time doesn’t run my life!  Even so, it’s something he’s always wanted and it really completes an outfit! So, since Christmas is creeping up on us I thought I’d share my favourite men’s watches with you. It’ll make a fabulous gift for the special man in your life.

Hugo Boss Orange $160 – for the sporty guy that brightens your world 

Michael Kors Oversized Lexington $335 – for the gold-lover 

Vestal Plexi $400 – for the guy that could actually pull this off 

Diesel Daddy Radar $420 – for the complex fellow

Emporio Armani $495 – for the simple and understated

Now ladies, I know what you’re thinking — what about ME? WATCH IT! has put together a CELEBRITY COUPLE ALTER EGO gift guide to help your man find YOU the perfect watch!

k2PqI6cPQqpMzZHtZ8ofv4kE5LBqsBbUWtwu8oRn0wU

Which celebrity couple are you?

Let me know in the comments!

Talk soon, 

Vanessa  Xo