From the monthly archives: December 2011

Care to add touches of glamour to your life? If these little practices aren’t already in your repertoire, then January is a fabulous time to introduce them to your weekly routine

Sitting down with your favorite magazine and a piping hot cup of tea or coco in that mug you purchased while traveling

Wearing red lipstick

Fresh flowers for your home

Traveling: I like to make it an occasion. I plan a cute but appropriate outfit. I dress my Passport in a chic leather cover. I have my essentials in my carryon: lotion, eye mask, Pashmina scarf, lip balm and of course the necessary reading. And I strut all the way down the air shaft to the plane.

Stepping out of a car legs first, so as to show off your shoes

Treating yourself to a blow out whether it is salon or home done

Purchasing a little something lovely from that gorgeous-but-far-too-expensive shop that you adore so much, like a beautiful scented candle or piece of stationery

Lighting candles when you are home alone and curling up on the couch with a luxurious throw

Having your nails perfectly painted

Wearing your most fabulous sunglasses

Decorating your home for the seasons

Adding texture and layers to your home décor with a gorgeous wool blanket, ornate and modern picture frames, metallic accents, delicious scented candles and sheepskins

Accessorizing an outfit; it just feels good and fabulous – and don’t forget a cocktail ring

Showcasing just your most fabulous lipsticks on your bathroom counter – I like to feature mine in a glass canister, with crystal diamond paperweights

Wearing an agora beret, because it’s very French of you and rather adorable

Dressing for the evening in a glamorous natural fiber like silk, you can’t help but feel elegant, and it radiates

Ordering a peanut buster parfait for yourself just because. What diet?

That sweet moment of calm after a hard-working yoga class; you’re lying on your mat under dimmed lights with only your breathing to focus on… It is a moment of true serenity

Knowing you have proper stockings and garters on under your dress rather than the usual tights

Laughing freely

Speaking confidently in a group of people – how it becomes you!

Ordering your drink of choice at each restaurant, some call it boring, I call it a signature and exploratory

Having a signature: red lips, always in heels, a gold watch or consistently having perfectly done nails

How many can you check off your list?? xo

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My last post featured this new treasure: a Kate Spade that I just adore. And it was chalk of my “necessities!” As my second to last post of 2011, here is my second “what’s in my bag?” post! (Here is the first - WHOA look at that hair!)

{ From top left: LOVE + MARK’D cards: I always carry these now as people tend to ask what they’re about, much easier to show than to tell! Anna Sui lipstick: this is such a pretty and feminine pink, Chanel Chance lotion, Vaseline to cure those rough winter lips and hands, Benefit Hoola matte bronzing powder, Gal Collection Vaselina lip balm (c/o Barefoot Contessa), Essential Beauty brush, Pout blush in Pearly Queen: my most under-used beauty piece of 2011, Coach wallet, Blackberry (how I loathe thee), The Drake Hotel pen & Poppy Coach pencil (from a set) }

Echinacea: for trumping that sore throat! Mail: I am constantly at the post office sending off packages of pretty cards! Gallery Leather scheduler, uh ohh… need a new one in 2 more days! I would fall apart without this thing. Fossil watch. Keys with a Coach key chain that makes them remarkably easy to find, a Chanel USB stick (c/o a gift bag at a Chanel event about a year ago), Armani sunnies and oodles of stamps }

Thoughts… Looking into your bag and comparing it year upon year is rather interesting. My how life can change! And as we go into this new year, a perfect time for fresh starts, may I remind you that you most certainly CAN do anything you want. Just four months ago I was crazy enough to quit my job and pursue a little dream and selling my stationery. I had more than a few “grown-ups” with “real jobs” (a.k.a. conventional) roll their eyes at me. And fair enough, my vision may not pan out. But why not take the chance? Do whatever it is you dream of, there is near nothing more rewarding. (Or call me crazy. ;))  Bisous! 

{ Wearing: TNA Cowichan sweater, Ralph Lauren shirt, BCBG Max Azria pants, Browns ID boots, Bang-On belt, Kate Spade bag, H&M hairband & sunnies }

Today, as I mentioned on Twitter, I am off to Vancouver Island to spend a little holiday time with my Pops. I layered up for the occasion; a cozy plaid shirt has never felt more appropriate. Ms. Spade was a favourite Christmas present from the man in my life, which might usually be Santa, but this year is my very generous BF. Santa, you better up your game.

Ohmyheavens I can not wait until NYE! It is my favourite festive occasion this year, mostly because of all the sparkle and the noise that ensues. I want to wear a silly hat and have confetti rain down on the party. I know I can at least count on a good glass of champagne. Or two. Or three. I plan to celebrate. Are you looking forward to the end of 2011? Big plans for 2012? Fill me in! ;) AND what are you WEARING?!

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{ Another shot from the photo shoot with Jamie Lauren this past week – setting up this business was a huge goal for 2011! Wearing: H&M mens sweater, New Look shirt, Joe Fresh sequin shorts, Browns ID booties, Fossil watch, Storey Design leather bow bracelets }

With this impending new year comes the opportunity to redefine yourself! This is what I love about a new year, there’s something rather satisfactory about the idea of a fresh start. Deciding to re-organize your life or take on a new look is somehow less exciting in say, October. (Although, September does have a bit of the same allure, as Candy Pratts Price famously said in The September Issue: “September is the January of fashion.”) And so, I’m going to spend the next few days thinking about what I want my life to look like in 2012. I’ll start now:

1. I am going to commit to staying with an exercise routine. A classic example, yet somehow so hard to maintain! But having a job that entails sitting at a computer all day encourages the pounds to hit and stick, particularly around the waist and hip regions. Pounds be gone this new year!

2. I will be proactive with new ideas and get them going immediately, not sit them on a shelf in my brain where they will inevitably be lost. An idea is just never as good a month later. Maybe they have shelf lives. 

3. I would like to write a book. I don’t know about what (there’s a mother of a problem) and I don’t know if it’ll really be my strength, but I have always dreamt of writing a book. I’m going to have to sit myself down and start scribbling. 

4. I will NOT leave the house in sweat pants this new year. Now, it only happened a handful of times, but nonetheless it is unacceptable. I will not give up my Uggs though.

5. I will not procrastinate. Yeah right – that’s setting myself up for failure. Okay, I will procrastinate less! And not on the important things. I will be aggressive, be, be aggressive. 

6. I will read more books (both novels and real-life accounts) so as to broaden my worldly knowledge and increase my vocabulary. 

There we have it so far, the list that I hope will keep me in check in 2012 and make it a big, very-accomplishing type of year! Tell me, what have you got on the agenda books for 2012??

I’ve really become quite enamored with nail enamel, particularly with accessorizing my polishes. Just yesterday my nails were a sparkly silver thanks to Soulstice Spa’s Odessa (similar colour here) and a good dose of silver glitter, and today they’re a sparkly, textured red!

{ What I used: Joe Fresh Cherry, Sally Hansen’s New Lengths Clear topcoat and red glitter }

First I painted a coat of red, then not finding the polish tacky enough for the glitter, added a layer of clear topcoat. Then just using my fingers, I sprinkled glitter across all of my nails, careful to make sure I was coating each nail evenly.

To finish and set the glitter, apply one last coat of clear polish. Voila! Fabulous festive nails! I’m planning to use this technique on my nails for NYE, but with a hot pink! Merry Christmas! 

 

{ Wearing: Zara leather bomber jacket, Mexx fair isle (c/o Courtney Boutique), Momentous Moments shirt (c/o), Armani Exchange pants (c/o), ShoeMint Jolly booties (c/o, ps. this bootie also comes in leopard!!), Frances Cobiasia bag, Ralph Lauren scarf, Marc by Marc Jacobs Necklace, Camera necklace purchased in Paris, H&M men’s aviators, Stella & Dot ring }

2 sleeps until Christmas!! And just before that magical day arrives, I have some FABULOUS news for you shoppers! ShoeMint, StyleMint and JewelMint are now officially shipping to Canada as of December 26th! Hellloo shopping from home on Boxing Day! Quelle chance! These wedges, appropriately named the Jolly, because they make me so, are part of a 2012 collection designed by Rachel Bilson and manufactured by Steve Madden! *Awesome collaboration*

StyleMint, as we all know, features a line of perfectly comfortable and stylish tees from those Olsen sisters, while JewelMint gives us access to the tastes of Kate Bosworth and stylist Cher Coulter for all things jewelry. And signing up for these sites is the best part – you are presented with a range of images and styles and pick out the ones that suit you best, the sites then gauge your style and curates a selection for you to choose from! I’m always interested to see what they’ll recommend for me! What’ll they recommend for you??

I wish you a merry, merry Christmas and a fabulous new year! You’ve earned it. 2012, here we come! Bisous mes chéris!

{ Wearing: Basix II dress, Chanel shoes }

I spent a good portion of today doing a shoot with Jamie. The shoot was for both StyleStruck – mega fashion, and LOVE + MARK’D! I can’t wait to show you all the rest of the shots!

OH MY HEAVENS IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS. Santa, please make my Christmas sparkly. Oh! And LOVE + MARK’D tweets now! Have a wonderful Wednesday night – you deserve it. Xx.

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Custom cards are IT this year! These designers think so, and you know I do!

Check out Vogue‘s collection of designer’s custom Christmas cards here!

LOVE + MARK’D has entered the Twitterverse! Let’s get our tweet on! Follow, follow!  @LOVEandMARKD

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{Wearing: TNA Cowichan sweater (current), Merona shirt (purchased from Target in 2006), Fidelity denim (current), vintage scarf (previously seen here), Prada mary-janes, B. Makowsky bag, Armani sunnies}

Monday: I am happily running around town making card deliveries, and feeling a bit like an flight attendant with this vintage scarf.

A few days ago I made a dash up to Barefoot Contessa on Main St. wearing this same shirt, I’m having a bit of a white shirt moment right now. How do you style yours??

{Wearing: Tevrow + Chase jacket, H&M t-shirt sweater, Merona shirt, Mavi jeans (c/o), Nine West shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag}

5 days til Christmas! 

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{ Monolo Blahniks worn last week (purchased in 2008) }

Checkout my Instagram gallery: detail shots from my past two weeks.

And find me on Instagram! Bisous!

P.S. I will be contacting recipients of the LOVE + MARK’D cards giveaway today! 

 

{Wearing: Ralph Lauren sweater, vintage Liz Sport shirt, BCBG Max Azria pants, boots found at Winners, brand unknown, watches: Michael Kors, Fossil. Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Coach wallet.}

** Just launched today from LOVE + MARK’DThe Paris Collection! Très chic! 

You know what I love about Tuesdays? Well, this particular Tuesday? One, it is meant to snow today here in Vancouver (yes, yes, yes!! My Tretorn winter boots have been dying to go outside for aaages!) and two, today is Presents Tuesday!

I love you, you readers. You put the frosting on my cupcake, the sparkle in my diamond, the meow in my Marie. (Hahaa.) And I want to treat you! As you have been told a good many times may have heard I started up a little stationery biz and as such, I believe it is wonderful to send charming cards to those you love. So I want to send 25 of you a sweet note. Yes, 25! #LoveInBulk. Plus your very own card to go with it that you may send to your favourite person, and thereby as my my favourite hashtag goes: #SendSomeLove. = a pretty package in the mail from me.

{ I made this one for myself… }

{ Same case for this one, but I bet it applies to you too… oui? }

When was the last time something très jolie landed in your mailbox?? I want to make it happen! So let’s do this.

Two quick things to get your cards!: Comment on this blog post that you’d like to receive a card with your email address and “LikeLOVE + MARK’D Stationery on Facebook! Easy peasy.

And of course! Extra shots (think of it as stuffing the ballot box): Tweet, tweet, tweet! “@StyleStruck #SendMeSomeLove this year with a @LOVEandMARKD card! http://bit.ly/vHcFQA”

Stationery for all! Oh, sweet treats, they just make my day! I hope to make yours! xx 

Fine print: Ends on Friday. Enter as many times as you like! Bisous.

 

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{Wearing: vintage fur vest (once belonged to Mum), Talula army jacket, JNBY sweater dress (c/o), Fidelity denim, Converse sneakers, bag from Aldo. Yankees hat by New Era, aviators from H&M. Nameplate necklace was a gift.}

Spending the day attending appointments, a Main St. meeting and making cards. One fab thing about my line of work: everyday can be casual Monday, or dressy Wednesday – it just depends on what the boss says (me).

FYI – The next and last shipment of LOVE + MARK’D Christmas orders will mail on Thursday, arriving in the Vancouver, Lower Mainland area by Monday, Dec. 21.

The Christmas festivities are well underway: Saturday night was spent at Stanley Park’s Bright Nights Christmas Train! See picture tweeted here. (Wearing pink fur earmuffs from Holt Renfrew, coat from H&M.)

P.S. In case you missed it on Friday, here is my #FF feature on VanCity Buzz!

P.P.S. I wanna know, would you wear this outfit? If not, how would you wear the pieces? Tell me! Above, where it says comments. I dig your input. 

 

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Friday night I visited the One of a Kind Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre and happily discovered lots of treasures. I even picked up a couple gifts, thereby completing my Christmas shopping! (Yesss!)

Lusting after these bracelets by Biko Jewelry of Toronto.

Colorful make up bags by Vancouver’s Erin Templeton.

Geoffrey Lane, also of Vancouver, makes these classic scented soy candles. I picked up two “holiday spice” candles in tin containers. Perfect for gift giving. I kept one and burnt it Friday evening while I was cleaning my apartment post OOAK Show, it filled every room with the most delicious scent.

I’m a sucker for caramel and grey colored leather: hand-waxed bags by Hoi Bo of Toronto.

Also part of the Friday evening festivities at OOAK, we were treated to a teaser performance by the Goh Ballet, who is putting on a classic rendition of the Nutcracker this season! This will be my third time attending, I am such a fan of the Goh Ballet!

One of a Kind Vancouver does end today, you must visit before it goes!

Have a fab Sunday.

{Wearing: H&M coat, denim & gloves, Zara bag, Pashmina scarf, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, vintage Rayban Wayfarers}

Snapped strolling along Alberni St. this morning en route to FedEx – George (a.k.a. boyfriend), recently ordered custom suits from Indochino and they’ve just arrived. Has your boyfriend taken interest in Indochino??

Announcing the winner of the Barefoot Contessa angora beret giveaway! Congratulations @alison_elle!

* Thank you to VanCityBuzz and @Cwistal for the #FF feature today! *

P.S. FYI  - This coat was once $99.00 and is now on sale at H&M for $30.00. What a steal! 

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Today was a milestone day for my little business: today LOVE + MARK’D cards are officially available in stores! Two to be exact, both Barefoot Contessa locations on Main St. and Commercial Drive! I am so thrilled to provide a location where my cards can be found, and I hope to bring you many more! Many thanks to Barefoot Contessa for the support! Be sure to visit their stores before Christmas: they are beautifully merchandised and their gift selection is too good! (Something about a 2 for them, 1 for me ratio…)

And to continue with “All StyleStruck & Barefoot Contessa, all the time” programming, their blog is currently featuring my top picks for hostess gifts! (Along with a few well-placed Qs & As!My giveaway with Barefoot Contessa for the delightful angora beret ends tomorrow! Comment to enter the giveaway here!

Thank you for all of your support. Xx.

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TRUTH(S): So a couple months ago I started a new business venture (as you know), and thus, gave myself a pay cut. It seems brand new businesses don’t provide a consistent and dependable cash flow as corporations do. You gotta hustle for the money. Of course life has been different since having left my structured 9 – 5 office job, and while I am in no position to be buying Fendis or Pradas right now, I must say I am thoroughly enjoying the entrepreneurial ride. It is much easier to swallow the “I’m not allowed to go shopping” pill when you know you are building a business that will likely one day allow for a lot of shopping. (It better.) However, just because I am not currently shopping for myself (okay, so I might be picking up the odd thing here and there… like a pine scented Voluspa candle that was an absolute necessary purchase for the festive season! If I can’t have a Christmas tree in my apartment, I at least deserve the smell, right??), doesn’t mean that my family should suffer too. Holt Renfrew is currently having a designer sale (and a miserable one at that – slim pickings this year Holts) and I thought perhaps I’d be able to find a treat there for someone on my list. Even though I have been an avid Holt Renfrew shopper, and was indeed carrying a Cole Haan bag that I purchased there, I swear the sales people were looking at me like I was a bag lady looking to pop a bauble into my black puffer winter coat. One little sales associate followed me around. She sure killed my Christmas optimism. I wanted to punch her. I wanted to get in her face and say: “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I’VE SPENT HERE OVER THE YEARS?! THE ONLY BAG LADY I AM IS A KATE SPADE, COLE HAAN, MARC JACOBS CARRYING KIND OF BAG LADY!” But I didn’t. I kept it to myself. I found myself feeling rather blue because of the experience on my way home, thinking of the negatives rather than the positives (of which there are plenty and I must remember that) and so decided to find solace in the fact that Ms. Carrie Bradshaw at one point had some serious financial woes that would surely trump mine:

Or find the episode here. Relating to Carrie sure helped.

TIP: On the money-saving side of things, my Mum taught me a good tip years ago that I swear by today: when you notice that you’re hair is in desperate need of a deep conditioning treatment or one of those fancy hair oils to help tame the wild ends, go into your kitchen, get the olive/sunflower seed/whatever kind of oil and put a little drop in your hands. Rub the oil around the palm of your hands so that it is evenly distributed and then slightly rub the bottom half of your hair. You’ll see smooth, shiny looking hair instantly, and the oil is good for your hair! Just be light on the application and don’t go anywhere near your roots, we all know roots need all the help they can get for volume, and most products weigh them down.

TIP: The VOLTS (an exclusive, invite-only online sale site) wants to extend an invitation to StyleStruck readers to join! Join here and use invitation code: STYLESTRUCK. There’s some fab things on The Volts – things that would make you a great gift-giver! #ILoveDealsAtChristmasTime

TIP: Score yourself a pretty-something-new with my angora beret giveaway thanks to Barefoot Contessa!

TIP: One more tip, it’s about skin. For the past 8 years I have suffered through hit-and-miss boughs of acne. While it was never severe, those pesky spots always came at the wrong time, like popping up on a shoulder when I was meant to be having a beach day, or appearing over night on my chin when there was an event that evening. Even the memories make me shudder. What changed? A few months ago I was having dinner with a good girl friend who stays in fantastic shape seemingly effortlessly. I asked her what her diet was like, she said she had cut out pasta, most dairy and red meat. (Talk about will power.) I thought I’d give it a try. Cutting down on the red meat was surprisingly easy, and cutting out milk was no effort at all as I replaced it with almond milk. Pasta was another story. It was through this experimental diet that I found out I am allergic to something in milk. It seems milk creates spots on my skin. Since replacing cows with almonds my skin has dramatically changed, it is less oily, way smoother and noticeably spot-free! (98% of the time – stubborn little beasts.) If you are a regular milk drinker and have had skin issues by the likes that I did, I recommend trying cutting it out – there’s nothing to lose, other than regular concealer touch-ups. :) (Give it about three weeks, that’s when I saw changes.)

Now back to glittering up paper – the positives are back in sight! Yahoo! – Since we’re sharing, I’d love to hear your similar stories and comments! (Comment above.)

P.S. With the Christmas season now upon us and card-giving time fast approaching, I’ve put a 20% discount on all LOVE + MARK’D cards! Use code: CHRISTMAS at checkout! Merry card shopping! 

 

{Wearing: Vintage reversible cape, Momentous Moments shirt (c/o), Fidelity Denim, Steve Madden boots (old), Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Fossil watch, Armani sunnies, C.C Exclusives angora beret (c/o Barefoot Contessa)}

I mentioned in my last post that Sunday was to be a relaxing festive kind of day, and it was! We started with brunch in Yaletown and a little downtown shopping at my favorite Homer St. home stores, followed by the Santa Claus Parade and a midday pick me up (coffee and Bailey’s) at the beyond fabulous Hawksworth restaurant lounge. Sunday pretty much made other days feel bad… Except for today, because today is Giveaway Monday!

Thanks to Barefoot Contessa I am giving away this C.C Exclusives angora beret! Well, not this exact one, you get to have a new one! ;) Oh, and there are two colors for you to choose from! This taupe or a soft grey! Hmm, which color would look better with your fabulous winter coat??

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: comment (above) on this post that you want to add a beret to winter fashion-arsenal (your style is killer!) and tweet ”I want to win an adorable beret from @so_lovely & @StyleStruck! http://bit.ly/s7fdes” Berets are so French and so cute.

Pssst! For an extra chance at winning like StyleStruck.ca and Barefoot Contessa on Facebook! (Because you can never have enough extra chances at winning! Much like how you can never have enough diamonds.)

The giveaway goes until Thursday and ends at 4 pm PST.

P.P.S. The lovely Cassandra of Chanel & Caviar posted the sweetest write up about me and LOVE + MARK’D today! Thank you Cassy!


As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “I’m a lady of the arts, and I support ladies in the arts,” right before she had a serious melt down at the fact that the stick with no soul didn’t show up at the Ladies in the Arts Luncheon. Maybe she meant it in a different way – more like, “I’m a lady of the arts and you bet I’m going to show up Natasha with a dress that costs a months rent!” Anyhow, I am a lady of the DIY Etsy community and I support my fellow ladies! Of course you’ve seen them before, but just in time for your Christmas lists, how GORGEOUS are Monika HibbsBfrend bracelets?! Want.

It’s Sunday today (surprise!) and G and I are headed to Glowbal Grill in Yaletown for a delicious brunch, then likely to the Santa Claus Parade, and then wherever our fancy takes us. How often do you get a day to just go wherever your whim takes you? It’s quite a treat. Have a fabulous Sunday!

{Wearing: Molina Irish wool cape (military version here), cardigan – unknown brand, Brooks Brothers chambray shirt, Mavi Alissa denim (c/o), Zara shoes & belt, H&M aviators, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Versace for H&M folder & notebook (c/o), Fossil watch}

Congratulations to Lindsey R. for winning Bows & Sequins’ LOVE + MARK’D stationery giveaway!

Tomorrow is the Yellow Honey House Craft Fair! I will be there with oodles of festive (and not-so-festive) cards! I hope to see you there!

 

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