Ananasa – for the people, by the people

Categories, Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands


Founded in 2011, is an online marketplace that enables artisans, artists and designers in the Middle East to sell their creations worldwide with no barriers. As a new and potential customer to it’s wonderful to see so many beautiful, unique, and handcrafted products. I have three favourite stores already and I need to share them with you! 

I love accessories so I spent my morning looking through their products and various stores that they deal with. My absolute favorite is Misk. Misk is a story located in Egypt – it is a line of handcrafted women accessories, “each piece is an idea of its own, carefully selected, and designed”. Their lockets are beautifully designed and engraved with heart-felt words like ‘My heart and its key belongs to you’  and ‘May the light within you guide the light within me and may the light within me guide the light within you’. These words are written in Arabic Calligraphy, adding an extra element of beauty to each piece. Their necklaces would make a wonderfully thoughtful gift for any loved one in your life. 

Another store that I love is Peaches by Farah Saheb – located in Jordan. Peaches “is an online store where each item is designed with love. The store provides cushions, mobile covers and canvas artwork”. The artwork is bold, fresh, and exotic. A canvas from this shop would make an excellent focal point for any room in your home. I love the Pink City print and the Earrings print — so different and warm from any prints I’ve seen at our local IKEA store. 

Lastly, Peau Féroce or  Wild Skin is “a high-end fashion brand that creates a limited edition handmade products of 100% genuine leather material at affordable prices for both men and women”. From shoes to handbags to belts, I’m telling you that I’ve never seen anything like them. I know that Vintage is in but I think that unique and limited edition products is more what people want than anything and THIS store (located in Lebanon) is JUST the thing you’re looking for. 


Their Chikes Nili S bag is probably my favourite item of theirs. The colour is so vibrant  — I need to have it!

Have you checked out yet? 

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Happy 25 Years, Ted!!

Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands


Last night, Casie Stewart (THIS IS MY LIFE) hosted an event for Ted Baker London at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Although I would have loved to attend this event, I decided to sign up for a seminar at Ryerson instead (which means I have zero spending money left this month). If you RSVP’d to the event you got 25% off your in store purchase (or any online purchase). I know my wallet is thankful that I didn’t attend since EVERYTHING on their website seems like something I would purchase. Here are some of my favourite pieces – I have a recent obsession with dresses and peplum.

Thanks to Casie I’ve fallen in love with a new brand!

I’m looking forward to walking into Ted Baker London sometime soon to splurge on something special for the summer

— a girl’s got to treat herself once in a while 😉

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

P.S. What’s your favourite piece from the Ted Baker London website??

I love LOFTing (not loafting, although that’s cool too)

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

Yesterday I got to Party Like A LOFT Girl thanks to Valerie at Charming Media. It was my first time stepping into a LOFT store and only my second fashion event — I’m hoping to attend them more often, I’m learning so much about fashion and I’m finding my own style. You can read my recap on Chic Darling but here’s a sneak peek to hold you over!

Needless to say I had an awesome time, I took my best friend and I was happy to see that she was enjoying herself as well. We shopped, we mingled, then we went to grab a coffee — something we haven’t done in a few weeks. Gosh I missed my best friend, thanks for coming with me Katri! ❤

This happened.

This happened.

Apart from the lovely event I attended I was in one of those moods all weekend — you know those moods where anything can set you off, make you nervous, make your skin crawl with anger? I was the crabbiest person I’ve been in a while and I took it out on the wrong people.

<— And then this happened. My heart melted, puddles formed in my eyes, and I wondered why the heck have I been such a bitch this weekend? I can’t even tell you the answer to that. It might be nerves, it might be anxiety. Either way, I forgot about everything the second I bent down, reached behind my tire and picked up the five dollars that were hidden there.

*Cue goofy smile, guilty heart, and lifted soul.*

Note to self: don’t take out your sadness, fears, or frustrations on anyone — least of all the people who love you and think about you even when you’re being a bitch.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

P.S Stay tuned this week for some FOODIE FUN! ❤

There’s Nothing MINimal about IT… #Fashion #Giveaway #Toronto

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

Since attending the Spring Preview of the new label MIN, I’ve been in love with Minling Pan Studio. Have you seen the line of handbags yet?! A few of my personal favourites are:

At the event, I was lucky enough to win the round shape studded purse and I cannot wait to rock this one-of-a-kind piece! The MIN label launches in Spring 2013 and as I mentioned in my post for Chic Darling, each piece was designed by Minling with YOU in mind. Now, more about YOU — the wonderful Minling has offered to give away a gorgeous necklace right here on My Pen, My Voice.;*

You can WIN a Vintage inspired statement necklace worth $45.00!

Told you it was gorgeous! 😉

To enter YOU MUST:

LIKE Minling Pan Studio on Facebook

LIKE My Pen, My Voice.;* on Facebook

TWEET I’d love to win some neck-candy from @MinlingStudio and @VANESSAGrillone!

(If you don’t have a Twitter account please COMMENT on this post letting me know which purse above is your favourite!)*


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Contest Rules:

*Contest open to Canadian residents only. Winner will be chosen by – #4 on the list will be the winner. Contest ends February 20th, 2013*

Reconnecting with Roots!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

When was the last time you walked into a Roots store? Mine was the other day and I loved the feeling that I got the second I walked in. I felt Canadian. I wanted to grab a pair of boots, a cozy sweater, a few friends, and go up to Muskoka, or for a hike, or on a camping trip.  I wanted to say “eh” a lot and enjoy the changing Canadian weather, the crisp nip of Fall on my face. I don’t think I’ve ever felt all of that when walking into a store – normally I’m overcome with dread.

When I finally got over my feelings and started to check out the clothes and try them on, I remembered why I love Roots so much. Stylish, comfy, and great quality. I live for comfort and I hope to look cute while doing so – Roots can accomplish both.

While walking around I was introduced to their Travel Alberta campaign.

You can check out the Travel Alberta look book here.

I tried on a the Vintage Long Sleeve Tee, a Beaver Intarsia Crew, and the Maple Intarsia Cardigan. The Cardigan is adorable and with a pair of tights and leg warmers, you’d make a great Fall/Winter outfit! I decided on a black Vintage Long Sleeve Tee, a Roots key chain, and a Roots leather coin purse (Thanks Roots!).


I have to admit that I spent the most time checking out their boots, purses, and wallets (Leather Heaven as I named it in my head). I had no idea that Roots carried such amazing leather handbags and wallets. There’s something “woodsy”, Canadian, durable, and yet totally feminine about all of their leather products. Next time I go in, I think I’m going to get a zip-up wallet to match my coin purse *cue drool*.

photo copy

The best thing about Roots is the quality of the clothes. You can tell just by feeling the material that it’s going to last more than a few cycles in the wash, in fact I have a few pairs of sweat pants and sweaters that I bought a good five to seven years ago that are STILL warm and looking new.  So, I’d take a venture into a Roots store next time you’re walking by one, bring the boyfriend with you – their men’s section is super stylish and comfy!

You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you’ve been missing!

Let me know if it makes you feel CANADIAN, Eh?

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

*Post previously on Roots Buzz Blog (September 2012). Roots Canada now has a fabulous Tumblr blog, check it out*

Moda L Boutique, Where Fashion meets Love

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

I found this place that I really don’t want to tell you about. Yes, you read that right, I don’t want to share it with you. Why? Simply because I’ve finally found a boutique (close to home) with unique pieces for every occasion and I don’t want you to end up wearing the same thing as me, that’s why!

Fine, fine, you broke me down – I was being a little bit crazybeautiful  selfish.

The boutique is Moda L Boutique in Woodbridge. The owner is a lovely lady named Linda Lupo and the boutique is beautiful, simple, and chic (decorated by Dianne Carbone).

The jeans are to die for, I wanted to purchase about three pairs!

PERFECT for an evening out or a day in the office – depending on your accessories and shoes!

See that blank spot in the top right box? I bought the necklace that was hanging on the mannequin as a Christmas gift – beautiful and affordable.

Favourite evening look. Sexy, simple, and classy.

Favourite casual look – the vest is so soft!


As you can see, Linda carries a huge selection of clothing, jewelry, scarves, bags, and shoes. She carries a long list of great brands including Valentino, Missoni, Etro, Pink Violet,  Paracuso, Sevens, Miss Me, and many more.

There is so much to choose from, whether you’re looking for work clothes, evening wear, a date-night outfit, a prom dress, or everyday costume jewelry. Now do you understand why I didn’t want to tell you about this place?!

I got a chance to talk to the owner (a friend of my Mama) and asked her if I could write about her store; she was humbled. She told me that she’s always loved working in retail, and dressing people – making other women look and feel great. She owned a boutique  for about 12 years but decided to close because she wanted to raise her two boys. She always knew she would do it again and lucky for us, she has.

So, what’re you waiting for?

Check out this FAB boutique and tell Linda that I sent you! 😉

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Vanessa loses her…

Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures


I’d like to direct you and your spectacles to Vintage Living Magazine. I wrote a guest post for them yesterday after my adventure with Steven to Kensington Market. Please check it out here. You can take a look at my other guest posts by clicking the “Elsewhere on the Internet” tab above.

Thank you to Shannon, from VL for allowing me to guest post on his fabulous blog!

And thank you to Steven for being my Vintage Shop Virgin date!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Because… I Am A GIRL

Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

I first heard about Flurries Sheepskin from Valerie Stachurski, Director at Charming Media Inc. Their brand is 100% Canadian – which is enough of a reason for me to love it – and they have amazing products. I’ve been waiting to treat myself to one of their fabulous items (boots, slippers, flats) but couldn’t decide on what I wanted.

Today I purchased these puppies:

Why today? Well, because today is the International Day of the Girl and Flurries is donating $2 from every purchase (online or in stores) to Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl movement. You can learn more about this movement on Valerie’s blog or the Because I Am A Girl official website. I checked it out yesterday and I was moved by their mission:

“It only takes ONE girl to change the WORLD!

Plan’s Because I am a Girl initiative is a social movement that’s unleashing the power of Canadian girls, women – and everyone who matters to them – to claim a brighter, safer future for girls in the developing world.

  • Girls have the right to be educated.
  • Girls have the right to eat.
  • Girls have the right to be safe.
  • Girls’ rights are human rights.”

As a girl who has been lucky enough to be educated, to eat, to feel and be safe, and to have basic human rights, I need to get involved. I realize how easy it is to take things like education for granted and I think it’s time that we hold hands and help other girls receive all of the things they are entitled to. It’s time for The Girl Effect…


So, I get a great pair of cozy slippers shipped right to my door AND I get to help a great cause. Why don’t you? We can be Slipper-Buddies (is too a thing!).

Love Always
Vanessa Xo