From the monthly archives: March 2012

{ Wearing: Joe Fresh sweater (last seen here), Zara trousers, Vince Camuto shoes, Kate Spade bag, Fossil watch, Storey bow bracelet, diamonte bracelet – unknown: (bracelets close-up), H&M sunnies (my favorite), Stella & Dot stackable rings }

Miss Alicia Fashionista and I met yesterday morning for an indulgent cup of chai tea latte at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s divine cafe, Bel Cafe. It’s amazing what an invigorating conversation can do for your mood. After our drinks we crossed the street to the Vancouver Art Gallery where I have been wanting to snap shots for some time now. Alicia took these for me. TGIF! Have a fabulous weekend! I plan to spend mine finishing Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich, watching a couple episodes of Dexter – George and I can’t get enough, though I squirm at the gore-insinuated bits, and going for light jogs – summer trousers are less forgiving than winter denim.

 

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{ As tweeted, I love reading Vogue }

Vocabulary is something I have been particularly enamored with ever since fifth grade when Ms. Johns assembled the class spelling test chart. Every Friday we were given a test; a series of increasingly difficult words to learn and understand, and then spell. Those who knew their words received a gold star on the test chart, and when it came to academic achievement and awards, I wanted the recognition. So it became my fifth grade mission to learn every new word put before me. To this day my spelling is still something I pride myself on. But as social media has pressed on and the new language of texting becomes more prevalent via tweets and quick Facebook comments, it seems we have lost the appreciation for proper grammar, and most certainly spelling. (Seeing “your” instead of “you’re” makes me cringe.) And not only that, we have completely dropped some beautiful words out of our day-to-day language, particularly adjectives. When was the last time you heard someone eloquently describe the hotel they visited, or the smell of their cappuccino or the feel of the sun on their face. Rather, when was the last time someone really mentioned a small part of their day that triggered happiness like the cappuccino or the sun? Few and far between, but that is beside the point tonight, tonight we discuss words.

This topic comes at the hands of American Vogue writers, those who write with such beauty, especially in their descriptions of a mood, or a certain colour. I cannot know if these writers speak as well as they write, I am likely to think not for some of the prose found in the magazine may turn off the average listener for sounding pompous, or maybe even confuse. (I’d be victim of that.) Every now and then I like to add a flourish of a word into my sentences and to my delight my audience generally does not mark a difference, or perhaps I was just speaking too fast as I do. For those who do not read Vogue as avidly as I do, you may think “prose” is the wrong choice of word to be describing articles based on footwear, the end of an era for a historic Parisian hotel or a mood fashion evokes. When people ask if I read, I proudly say American Vogue (among other titles), and then I challenge them to a duel of words at their disdain* for considering a magazine worthwhile reading (kidding, but I might like to…). Below you will find various words and excerpts I have noted as I read (and hope to incorporate into my own vocabulary) from the April 2012 issue:

  • profferedHold out (something) to someone for acceptance; offer. ex: “When a fellow actress asked me if I thought I was an alcoholic, it was an though she had proffered me a key.” (Devon O’ Brien, page 136)
  • firmamentThe vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky. ex. “… their life as constants in the glittery literary firmament in England and the US…” (Devon O’Brien, page 136)
  • malingering: Evading duty or work by pretending to be incapacitated. 
  • intrinsicBelonging naturally; essential.
  • *disdainThe feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect; contempt.
  • “They’re all very special girls who are so talented, but each is so different,” says designer Ulyana Sergeenko, 32, whose billowy, Tuileries-sweeping dresses would have found clients in Tolstoy’s heroines.” (Katherine Bernard, page 156)
  • sensibilities: Refined awareness and appreciation in matters of feeling.
  • the notion of:” A mental image or representation; an idea or conception. A fanciful impulse; a whim.
  • gossamerSomething delicate, light, or flimsy. 
  • underpinning (not in referral to undergarments): the foundation, or groundwork. ex. “On the occasion of the publication of Alber Elbaz, Lanvin (Steidldangin), he discusses how shape informs his collections, sharing the backstory underpinning his lighter-than-air frocks…” (Lynn Yaeger, page 180)
  • ungainlyLacking grace or ease of movement or form; clumsy. ex. “Every undergarment showed through in most unglamorous fashino; the thick waistband caused a ripple, the ungainly leg band a rumple.” (Lynn Yaegar, page 182)
  • proselytizer: He or she who means to induce someone to join one’s own political party or to espouse one’s doctrine.
  • triumvirate: Any group of three things associated in some way. ex. “… in no time she has grabbed a triumvirate of Chloé: unlined beige trousers, flat-front shorts and a filmy white dress.” (Lynn Yaegar, page 184)
  • “a full complement of:” The full number of items in a collection.
  • irrespective: ex. “Sweeping from floor to floor, she accumulates a roster of purchases, irrespective of provenance.” (Lynn Yaegar, page 184)
  • provenance: A place of origin. 
I hope you enjoyed this evening’s installment of the Thursday PM series, and perhaps you even agree with me and will take joy in learning  and incorporating these new words into an arsenal of vocabulary. If there is a word you love and wish to share, please do tweet it to me with hashtag: #fortheloveofwords. See you tomorrow, mes chéris.

Wearing: Talula coat, Icone blouse  last seen here (c/o Simons.ca), J & Co. denim, H&M scarf & sunnies, ShoeMint shoe-boots (c/o, last seen here), Marc by Marc Jacobs cotton tote, last seen here }

Seen here, I am a big fan of the quality do-it-yourself hair dye. I am an even bigger fan when the dye comes in the form of a foam that doesn’t drip and ensures even colour-coverage! I used John Frieda’s Precision Foam Colour in 10N to capture the colour I was after, and am so pleased with my results. (Note: When the colour wasn’t quite where I wanted it after one application, I waited a day and then applied the foam in the same shade again. Presto! I got what I wanted.)

On Saturday, John Frieda set up one of their live billboards featuring local model Jasmine Tera Mooney (see the others on their Facebook page!). The billboard, which stopped lots of people in their tracks – it was hard to capture an image that wasn’t swarmed! – was placed at the corner of Georgia and Granville Street for the better part of the day. What a fun way to bring awareness to a new product! Also a fun way to introduce ladies to DIY hair colour? I’ve got a code just for StyleStruck.ca readers to get your very own voucher redeemable for one John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Colour kit (value $14.99)! I’m only giving away 50 vouchers though, so get yours right away! How?…

Input code: JF-B3RQW on the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Facebook page to get your voucher!

The John Frieda live billboard will be at Howe and Georgia (in front of Pacific Centre), on Saturday, March 31st and Sunday, April 1st. If you spot the live billboard, snap a photo and tweet it was the hashtag: #JohnFriedaFoam to let the team know you’ve seen it! Street teams will be around the billboard also giving out vouchers to lucky passers by!

{ Wearing: Icone blouse (c/o Simons.ca), Zara trousers & shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag & long necklace, H&M sunnies, pink necklace purchased at a street market in Cassis, France, vintage ring }

It’s a quiet Wednesday working from home. These kinds of cloudy, windy days are perfect for a big hot cup of coffee, or as I prefer, hot chocolate enjoyed over a good book. I’m currently reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich – highly recommended! Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Oh, to be a supermodel, if only for a day. Find below Longchamp’s charming short film for their S/S 2012 campaign: “Oh! My bag!” featuring Coco Rocha! (She’s also featured here dancing around for The Bay’s The Room.)

And also the making of “Oh! My bag!” I just love short films, they’re the perfect dose of inspiration!

Speaking of cute short films, check out this site: Daily Spots for adorable short films that capture various fashion personalities!

Two images from a little project I’m putting together for the LOVE + MARK’D brand. Looking to get yourself some cute and fabulous cards for spring? There’s always a birthday, a need for a thank-you card or perhaps a friend of your just got engaged! We have you covered. You can find LOVE + MARK’D online here, at Barefoot Contessa on Main & Commercial and very soon at the Make It show, April 20-22 at the Croatian Cultural Centre! Can’t wait for Make It!

{ Wearing: Twik coat (c/o Simons.ca), Icone gingham shirts (c/o Simons.ca), Fidelity waxed denim, Shoemint shoe-boots (c/o), H&M aviators, Aldo bag (old) }

It’s not often my boyfriend and I find ourselves with a day when neither of us are tied to obligations. When we do, we savor it spending the day doing exactly what we please.

Morning started with a leisurely sleep in. After a medium roast coffee (well-doctored with cream, sugar and lots of cinnamon) and a long, sunny stroll down Coal Harbour’s sea wall (Aritzia’s cowichan sweaters are perfect for brisk Vancouver mornings), we pulled on proper clothes and took ourselves for the most delicious, fresh bagels in Vancouver. Bagels led to picking up groceries at Costco, and a butter chicken sauce I can’t wait to try. I had George snap a few shots of my love for gingham and then we made our way home to curl up on the couch with a sweet movie: WALL-E. (Just loved it.) As I’m sure many of you know, Mad Men season 5 premiered last night, so the rest of our evening was spoken for: having dinner (red wine and a bocconcini, tomato, basil pizza) while we enjoyed the antics of Don Draper’s world. A perfect Sunday.

You may have noticed a lack of jewelry, save for my nameplate necklace. While I adore the right amount of decoration, there are times when piling on the baubles and jewels just irritates me. Sometimes you want to go about your business without your wrists clinking and bangling about you. Sometimes, you just need to be free of all that entanglement, you know? I am most certainly one of those girls who once through the door, removes all jewelry, cinching belts and constricting garments. Clothes are fabulous, but so is my monogrammed Four Seasons hotel robe.

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{ Wearing: Zara bomber jacket, cardigan & blouse, Twik denim (c/o Simons), Chanel shoes (instagramed here), Clutches of Karma clutch (c/o), Forever 21 necklace, Social Experiment cocktail ring (c/o) }

On Wednesday night, just shortly after I landed in Vancouver, Brendan Bailey PR threw an exclusive fashion party for author Jacquie Somerville‘s new about-to-launch book, My Fat Little Rule Book. The event was held in the luxe two-floor penthouse of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. The suite was incredible, from the upstairs patio overlooking all of downtown Vancouver and most notably the Hotel Vancouver, to the cocktail reception room downstairs offering plush velvet chairs and beyond chic furniture. Jacquie read an exciting excerpt from her guide book, featuring rules to live by for a fashionista battling between food and fashion. With an underlying message of dream big, score big, the book delivers a frothy take on  self esteem issues, reaching goals and Marc Jacobs vs mousse cake. Come April My Fat Little Rule Book will launch first as an eBook, and then in print. Jacquie is a Vancouver gal, maybe you’ll bump into around town!

Check out VANCOUVER DAZE’ coverage and many images of the event here!

{ I had to have these Dior pieces at the time… tray from Paris & liptsick from Holts }

Ladies, let’s talk about something kind of taboo tonight: MONEY. Yep, that thing we all like to pretend we have so much of (you qualify if you own a designer bag, or two, or three – guilty! Aren’t we all…) and certainly like to spend (hello $5 lattes and new “I-needed-those!” shoes – guilty again). For some reason I feel that talking about money is still rather awkward, I mean it’s not like we want to go around saying, “Oh hey, yeah, I’m carrying a balance on my credit card – how ’bout you!?” but I think it would be admirable for women to be honest with themselves and with each other about what they can and can not afford. Like last week when my girlfriend and I went for lunch at Cactus Club in English Bay. While lovely, it really wasn’t in my I’m-about-to-go-on-a-fashion-related-trip-and-I’ll-likely-want-to-shop budget. But for some reason I didn’t man women up and tell my bestie that I shouldn’t be spending the $15 – $20 it would cost.

{ A famous story of lavish spending gone wrong… Marie Antoinette’s bed chamber at Versailles - and oh yes, that’s real gold and ostrich feathers }

So why don’t we talk about our finances more? I’ll tell you right now I am genuinely curious about how much you make and how you manage your cash, because I can likely learn a trick or two from you, or maybe you from me. I bet you’re curious too, actually I know you are looking at the responses I got from this transparency about blogger finances post from last week. A few years ago a great Vancouver-authored book came out about the benefits of being open and honest, and knowledgeable, about your finances: Smart Cookies. The five women who co-authored the book prove that they gained a lot, particularly in the form of happiness, pride and confidence, from sharing about and discussing money. Lately I’ve become really very obsessed with Gail Vax-Oxlade’s Slice TV show Til Debt Do Us Part (and even more I love her personal site). The show looks at couples’ finances and talks about the perils of debt. It has inspired me to think more about what and how I spend. And it makes me despise my credit card debt (full disclosure: I keep a low limit to ensure a low amount of debt, but any amount of debt gives me anxiety). So, in light of all this honesty and money talk, here are a few easy ways to control what goes out of your account every month:

Spend less, keep the fabulous:

  •  Take advantage of local event offerings, like a make-up tutorial or a free eye brow shaping session at boutiques and department stores (Vancouver is certainly event-heavy so these kinds of events happen often and are usually open to the public). Find these special events advertised on your favorite local blogs and on Facebook pages for stores like Holt Renfrew and The Bay downtown Vancouver.
  • Coupon & daily deal sites. Those pesky daily emails you receive can sometimes offer real gems! Like half price manis and pedis (my favorite), online shopping discounts and cafe treats at a great rate. The key to using these types of sites is to check them often and compare the discounted rate with the usual rate. If you don’t receive the daily emails, you can simply Google coupons for places you wish to visit, likely there is something available to lower your cost. I’ve been told some real shopping success stories by deal-savvy spenders who check Google for coupons first!
  • However, as per every good deal offered your way, a “good deal” is not a good deal unless it is for something you were already planning to purchase, or something you need. Take for instance the “free gift with purchase” offer at make up counters. That free gift is likely not a good deal because it warrants your spending an unplanned amount on make up you probably do not need (or have room for!) just to get the freebie.
  • Look at your credit card statement every month – know what you are spending.
  • Okay, so now I’m going to take a page out of my gal Gail’s book: Comparing rates and terms for credit cards and loans, and comparing prices for products at several retailers is a great way to save money. Comparing prices at several retailers for a product, or checking with several credit card companies to compare rates and special offers can be time consuming, but comparison sites offer consumers one place to compare prices, rates, special offers and terms; saving time and offering convenience. Giving yourself time to read all of the offers listed on the site and deciding which one is best for you is essential. I’ll bet most of us are paying a ridiculous amount every year in interest on our credit cards and don’t even know it. I know it’s a pain, but it is so worth it to call your bank and see what you’re paying in interest, and then ask them to lower it – they often will. Planning ahead before opening a new loan or making a purchase will gives you time to take advantage of comparison sites and make the most of your hard-earned money. Some credit card companies even allow you to compare their extras offerings online, like American Express who offers a credit card comparison service for all of their travel rewards card offers. We like this.

Despite how much we love our new shiny things, we also love seeing our balance grow. The sense of calm a growing account brings is just brilliant. So then, when was the last time you checked up on your financial health? Are you also guilty of spending when you shouldn’t be?

{ Guilty cat. You know she loves her fashions, as evidenced here and here }

Bisous, ladies, and happy saving! 

{ Before: A darker, very-visible-roots blonde }

As I first mentioned in last week’s post here, my hair is now home dyed! I am a big fan of the box dye job, as long as you know exactly what you’re doing and are using a quality product. If you’ve been with me for some time now, you may remember that when I first started this blog my hair was very, very short and very blonde – that blonde was also created at home!

{ After: Short (cut care of Joy Mitchell) and very blonde! }

John Frieda hair care has just recently come out with a new foam product for colouring your hair at home. Precision Foam Colour eliminates the worry of uneven colouring. (This video explains the uniqueness of the foam!) I’ve been planning on cutting and colouring my hair back to a bright blonde for a while now and the opportunity to try John Frieda Precision Foam Colour put a date on it, because in all honesty, I’m not sure when I would have! I can be very spontaneous about my hair, but I can also get a tad too sentimental about these things, but I am so thrilled I did it!

The first step is to figure out your perfect shade. If you haven’t been dreaming of a shade for weeks as I have, and aren’t sure of what will be best for you, here is an easy shade selector that will determine your colour for you! I am 10N, as shown below.

Setting up… What’s handy is that John Frieda Precision Foam Colour provides these videos with tips for before and during the colouring process }

{ During the colouring process I loved how the Precision Foam Colour pumped out into my hand into a very neat foam and applied without any drips. The foam makes it far easier than I’ve experienced before! }

{ Waiting for the colour to do it’s magic! }

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour will be at Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court in Burnaby and on the corner of Granville & Georgia Street, Vancouver on Saturday, March 24 & Sunday, March 25. See a very special live billboard & pick-up a voucher to try John Frieda Precision Foam Colour for yourself!

Spot the live billboard? Snap a photo, tweet it @JohnFriedaCA and hashtag it!: #JohnFriedaFoam

And find John Frieda on Facebook

{ Patrick’s (part of the H&M PR team) binder for the “H&M Gets StyleStruck” project at the shoot – my StyleStruck image is by Jamie Lauren Photography }

I realized today after my post was published that it might be a good idea to post the media advisory mentioned, seeing as some people may be interested in reading it and getting the full scoop! Below is H&M’s official media advisory that was sent out today at 5pm EST.

And how about some behind-the-scenes photos from our shoot today!? These were all shared via instagram throughout the shoot by H&M Canada, photographer Jalani Morgan, the Hermann & Audrey Photography Agency team and various others.

What a truly fabulous day that I will always cherish. I can’t wait for all of the details to unfold around the collaboration!

Major thanks to the H&M team and to the photographer, Jalani Morgan (above), who brought such a positive and bright energy to set today! That was so, so fun.

 P.S. Follow me on instagram and twitter for all the latest! 

{ The Big Meeting outfit, wearing: Wilfred blazer, H&M t-shirt & trousers & sunnies, Zara flats, Franchi clutch }

This has been one of the best days in my blogger history. Here’s how it went down, event by event:

10:30am – Woke up. Oops. I had set the alarm for 8:30am intending to start the day early, enjoy breakfast and get some work done. Wellll, that didn’t quite happen. But I did manage to pull together a cute outfit for a morning out.

11:00am – I made it down to the hotel restaurant for a delicious buffet of french toast, sausages, rye bread and fresh fruit.

11:30am – Grabbed a cab and headed over to Holt Renfrew on Bloor St. Yorkville looked so lovely in the sunlight, and it is a shopping paradise full of gorgeous boutiques in quaint, charming buildings and a wide variety of luxury designers. Holts is no exception, their displays are heavenly showing Balenciaga bags, loads of glittering Miu Mius and Pradas in the shoe salon and lipsticks in the makeup department for days.

11:40pm – Popped into Zara for a quick look, had to leave with these billowing pants.

{ Wearing: Zara shirt & bag, Fidelity denim, Manolo flats (last seen here), H&M aviators, Fossil watch, Storey bow bracelet, Tiffany’s bracelet }

12pm – Met Ryan Michael Cheung, digital editor at Flare Magazine, for a light lunch at Holts’ Cafe. After having had that enormous fantastic breakfast though, all I could manage was an overpriced sparkling water. Don’t you just hate those people who watch you eat?? So Manhattan socialite of me.

1:15pm – Time for a latte! Particularly after Sunday evening’s cocktails.

1:30 – What was intended to be a lovely stroll through Yorkville turned into a sticky, uncomfortable jaunt and a quick trip back to the hotel to freshen up, as seen in the above printed-pant picture. Besides, I needed a little more H&M in my look. Why? Because…

2:30pm 2:45pm – After getting slightly lost I was finally standing in a glamorous glass-encased lobby, the lobby of H&M Canada’s head offices for a very exciting meeting.

2:50pm – I find myself sitting at a sleek conference table in a room overlooking downtown Toronto with a print out of H&M’s Tuesday morning media release placed in front of me. The first line reads: “H&M launches the Conscious Collection at Pacific Centre guest curated by Vancouver fashion blogger Olivia Lovenmark of StyleStruck” and all of a sudden it hits me, it’s not just a string of emails anymore, it’s real! Patrick Tackney, part of the PR team at H&M Canada discusses with me what “H&M Gets StyleStruck” (H&M’s first blog-in-shop!) will entail. The collaboration is based around my acting as a guest curator of the Conscious Collection (see the pieces here! And also see the oh-so-glamorous Exclusive Conscious Collection that will be available April 12!), as the media release reads, meaning I’ll be styling up a section of Pacific Centre’s H&M store for an event happening in April! (Fun!! Like a kid in a candy store!) We also discussed Tuesday’s photo shoot for the promotional images, which is what has brought me to Toronto.

~ What is the Conscious Collection? It is a collection of fashion-forward items for men, women and kids made from environmentally adapted and sustainable materials, like organic cotton, Tencel and recycled polyester. H&M has delivered other news-worthy initiatives to protect the environment that you can check out here!

3:10pm – Patrick, a well-heeled Netherlands H&M PR trainee and I make our way into the showroom; a crisp white room glittered with neon clutches, a well placed couch adorned with an array of pink pillows and of course the next fashions to hit H&M’s floors, to see the Conscious Collection that will be featured in the shoot. I spied a pair of soft silk scarf-esque shorts that are going to be a must-have, as well as a pair of pink drop earrings I know I’m just going to have to wear come spring.

3:40pm – We head down to the H&M store in Eaton Centre to pull accessories and shoes for the shoot! Belts, flats, hair pins, bags and bracelets, oh my! So many pretty things to choose from! Pulling clothes is like shopping without a budget: dangerous for a fashion-loving girl. After combing through the racks, and two full bags, we surely have enough items for the two or three images we’re after, but like RZ says, “options, options, options!

4:20pm – Back to the Hotel for a much needed chit chat with George and an outfit change before taking a rather long and leisurely stroll down Queen St. West, where there is some major shopping. I, however, window shopped. (*pat on the back!*)

{ The sun sets on the shops of Queen St. West }

8:00pm – Back at the hotel for some R & R, and when it was too late to go out to get myself dinner, some overpriced room service. (Darn it.)

10:00pm – Blogging, catching up on some television (bad, bad blogger!), more blogging…

11:55pm – Still writing this blog post… Time for bed! I CAN NOT have baggy saggy eyes tomorrow! I’m really going to try to smize, wish me luck!

{ Wearing: Joe Fresh silk blouse, BCBG Max Azria pants, Ballin shoes }

Yesterday afternoon after touching down in Toronto, I made straight for my hotel (in this). After waking at 5am and enduring a connecting flight in Edmonton, I was beyond tired. A little nap and a shower and a whole lot of excitement was all I needed to go out on the town later on, stopping at a new hot spot, Yours Truly on Ossington.

Today, after a delicious breakfast at the hotel restaurant, and a very light lunch at Holts’ Cafe on Bloor, I am off to the head offices of a favorite major retailer. Details to be shared tomorrow! I’ve just given my nails a quick freshen-up, and am about to change outfits and off I go, no coat necessary. The weather here is insanely gorgeous, sunny and highs of mid-twenties. Toronto, how I adore you.

 

Last night I finally got all of my things together for my trip, and actually properly ironed everything for the first time in ages! I decided to pack light, just a carry on and a tote bag carrying my lap top, magazines and purse. Currently sitting at the Edmonton International Airport waiting to board my next flight to Toronto. Oh – boarding time!

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{ Wearing: Tevrow + Chase jacket, H&M trousers, Zara heels, Kate Spade bag }

Have a marvelous weekend! 

{ Wearing: cardigan – brand unknown, Prada dress (last seen here), Bang-On belt, Zara shoes, vintage Pierre Cardi clutch, Aldo elephant ring, vintage cocktail ring, H&M aviators, bracelets from NYC }

Yesterday was the big day! I day I had all of my a lot of my hair chopped off! And for the job I couldn’t have picked a better stylist. After working with Joy Mitchell (thejoyofhair.com), a couple times doing Breakfast Television segments I knew she is a real professional. I am so very thrilled with the results, having short hair is fun! I no longer dread wind, in fact I welcome it! Talk about a reduction of maintenance, I no longer despise my hair dryer. As I mentioned previously, the colour comes courtesy of a home colouring system! Much more on that later.

The weather is finally allowing for less layers and cute shoes and I certainly plan on taking advantage of every minute of it! These yellow Zara sandals were purchased in 2009 and remain a favorite amongst my heel collection. It’s Friday! Have a wonderful weekend – I can’t wait for the weekend; a big sale and travel!

See you tomorrow! Bisous!

Let’s set the tone for this little read…

Tonight I am fully ignoring my to-do list. It is racked with items attached to impending deadlines, goal-related to-do’s and a laundry list of chores. I’m not sure why, but instead of getting super productive I chose to re-paint my nails and watch an episode of It’s a Brad, Brad World online. Time well spent. Stepping into Brad’s world was like connecting with fashion in the middle of a week that is fashion-less (until Saturday! Blogger clothing sale!). Having a fashion moment (or an hour) amidst the paper work and writing tasks keeps me happy, it’s like that smile a dog gets when you scratch its ears and under its chin, that’s what fashion does for me. And even though I perhaps could have been checking things to do off of my list in that hour, I appreciate that that time was spent devoted to what I love. I suppose it’s like stopping to “fill up,” or “re-charge” in order to keep your internal happy level topped up.

What are the little things that make you happy in your everyday? The things that put a smile on your face or make you laugh out loud? I can share a few of mine. These are the experiences that make me happy to be me and quite dramatically, to be living (not that I wouldn’t be, or that I ever plan to not be, except for when I do eventually die and then can someone please make sure I am buried in my Chanel shoes?). *Note: this post is not to be stepping on the toes of my previous “Living Your Best Life,” this one is far more self-indulgent. Like chocolate. 

  • Flipping through the latest Vogue and dog-earing pages with pieces of inspiration, like a Fendi ad shot by Lagerfeld and featuring Arizona Muse with her darling short hair (even though it looks as though she’s currently growing it out… traitor)
  • The first bite of a lemon tart… It makes me pinch my face at the tartness and then relax in delight as the sweetness sets in
  • While I find the idea of having to carry about a coffee as though it’s a must have accessory repulsive, I can not deny the joy that can be found in being able to savour a soy chai tea latte while on the go
  • Purchasing a fancy coffee, like the above mentioned. I find the pricing of coffee absurd and therefore generally order a tea, or admittedly, a hot water for my tea bag. $5 for a cup of coffee, are you joking? Just ten of those and that’s a lovely new blouse. (I’m all about the math.)
  • Walking past the Vancouver Art Gallery. I don’t know what it is, but it makes me smile and want to plan a grand photo shoot on its steps. Perhaps I ought to go shoot there one day…
  • Wearing sunglasses, it’s like insta-chic
  • Luxe seating, like at Hotel Georgia’s gorgeous lounge/bar, 1927 Lobby Lounge
  • A very well made cosmo, like the ones at the Fairmont Pacific Rim‘s Lobby Lounge – to die for
  • As evidenced, the environment of a beautiful hotel. I just want to stand in a beautiful hotel, just being there you soak in glamorousness. Want to really treat yourself? Take yourself down to the bar of your most favorite hotel lounge and order a cocktail or martini – straight out of the Upper East Side, no? I do this with my boyfriend and sometimes even by myself. I am not in the position to splash out on a hotel room for an evening, but for $15 I can take in the ambiance and mysterious travelers for at least an hour. Not to mention the excuse to dress up…
  • Snuggle under a blanket on the couch and without any distractions (ie TV or a magazine), just sit and be. I like to let my mind wander and just being gives me a chance to appreciate where I am in my work and life. I suppose you could call this “reflection time.”
  • A crisp gala apple. It’s like my candy. Give me an apple and I’ll love you forever, not joking.
  • And the final thing that makes my heart sing? A pedicure. Seriously, a pedicure just makes my week. I feel if you’re going to wear beautiful shoes you need your feet to look beautiful too.
  • Oh! And watching Fashion Television with Jeanne Beker, it makes me feel like a dreamy 16 year old again.

All of these experiences make me feel lucky, though I can’t say for what reason. They just make me feel appreciative for being able to experience them I suppose… (And the Vague Award goes to me!) I would genuinely love to know what the moments are that you like to savor in life? If you do care to share with me, tweet me @StyleStruck and hashtag your tweet with #thelittlethings. Let’s get our appreciation on!!

P.S. By now you’ve realized that I am a big proponent of positive thinking and all that. At some point am I going to need to balance out these posts with a: “Here is What I’m Sour About?” Kidding… Kind of. 

As you have seen, every now and again I like to bring together a round up of all the best things I’ve seen and found on the web in the past week or so. I hope you enjoy these tidbits of fashion:

{ Wearing: Vero Moda coat, Joe Fresh blouse, skirt – I made it back in eleventh grade sewing class!, Aldo shoes, vintage head scarf, Armani sunnies, Marc by Marc Jacobs clutch }

I can not tell you how very excited I am that Mad Men will be returning to TV later this month, it has become a serious favorite of George and mine, we watch it with a bag of swedish berries. The fashion, the scheming at the office, the ad campaigns… the fashion, particularly Betty’s. Today’s outfit: headscarf and buttoned-up checked look, looks to be my #Bettying take on the latest hashtag meme of “#Draping,” as in to casually drape an arm. Oh what will those kids think of next?!

I recently had a lovely chat with a blog-savvy lady, sipping soy lattes, discussing the transparency of fashion bloggers. How much do we love, or hate, the fact that many of the world’s top bloggers seem to have an endless supply of $$$ at their disposal to spend on Birkins (there are no words…) and the latest Fendi, Alaia, Chanel, Celine, YSL, etc, etc? Owning big brands and buying the very latest trendy pieces no doubt gives some bloggers a better chance than others at being taken seriously in fashion – just look at the bloggers who sat at Chanel this year for example. Now this doesn’t mean I’m hating on the guys and gals behind the labels, I’m just saying it like it is, it can be an uneven playing field, which is where the significance of good personal style comes into the argument. What I’m thinking of here is the idea of being transparent about what we bloggers do for a living, where all of the clothes come from and how it’s all possible. I can only start with myself. As I’ve shared before, I used to work in an office – that was before Europe. When I got back I ditched the roller chair for a more stylish black worldly version and headed into the home office. What I call work these days is a mix of the card biz – focusing heavily on custom corporate orders, and blogging, as it can certainly be a viable biz through means of sponsored advertising, promotions, links and posts. The clothes that you see each day are a mix of past purchases from many years back, vintage hand-me-downs, designer discount sales, freebies from brand partnerships, gifted pieces sent for sponsored posts and items that I purchase myself. I’ve been wanting to share about this topic since December when I received a comment from a reader letting me know that just because I am wealthy does not mean that I have style I (in her/his opinion). I was a little shocked, not at the style part, but at the wealthy part. While I fully intend to one day be pulled around in a diamond-encrusted carriage by gleaming white ponies (ha), I am sustained solely by my own businesses. (Full disclosure: sometimes my boyfriend purchases me a nice treat – call it a red bag – for a holiday, like say Christmas, thereby perhaps making it look as though I am richie rich.) Perhaps I’m getting a bit too real here. Next thing you know Vogue will be featuring real size women on the cover and sharing the most covert method of shoving your designer shoes into your tote bag as you hurriedly slip on your weekend job’s uniform shoes. (How else you gonna buy them designer shoes?? Been there.) No they won’t. They like ‘em rich and hardly working. I digress. Do you ever wonder what bloggers’ credit card bills must be like with all those brand-spankin new sparkly baubles hanging off their wrists? I do. From my blogger perspective, this industry, as with most, is part genuine and part smoke in mirrors. I’m interested in having a conversation about all of it, I enjoy a good balance of show and tell. Let me know what you think here, or tweet to me @StyleStruck.

- O. 

P.S. Thanks for reading that never-ending train of thought!

Wearing: Vintage fur vest (once belonged to my Mum), H&M top, J & Company jeans, BCBG Generation shoes, Franchi bag, House of Leather (!!!) cap, vintage earrings, Clinique All Heart lipstick (seen here this morning!), Stella & Dot stackable rings }

See what I did there with the title? In-VEST-ed?? Yeah?! Yeah?! Ha. I sure do love a good vest, and since I was about ten I’ve been waiting to wear this one. This vest, with its enormous, fluffy arm holes and show-boat nature needed the right dose of fashion confidence, which I longed for as a fifth grader. At the time though, runners and jumpers were more my speed.

There’s something else a little different today… I’m delighted to be back to a bright blonde! And it’s home done!! (More on that later, I’ve documented the whole process and plan to share it this week!) I have more plans for my hair… chop, chop, chop!

I need a coffee. Au revoir!