Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What did you eat today & Must-reads: October 2012

Question of the month: What did you eat today?

I try to follow a high protein/wholegrain carb diet - but healthy eating requires a lot of planning -and I often get caught in a cycle of exhaustion and unhealthy eating. I've been feeling overwhelmed recently - I'm trying to get back into exercising and eating right so that I have more energy!

TODAY'S BREAKFAST: Egg white omelet (2 eggs) plus grated cheese and turkey bacon. Mug of Green tea. (Ideally I'd have spinach instead of turkey bacon - less processed food!).

LUNCH: This is where it all falls apart...I often end up snacking with the kids when they get going to try limit myself to either freshly made juice, a smoothie or porridge.
EDIT: Have been good so far today - the kids and I are having fresh Carrot, Apple & Ginger juice.
DINNER (FROM LAST NIGHT): This was a healthy night: Grilled salmon with avocado salad. I usually have some wholegrain carbs with my dinner- but this was so filling.

I usually also have 1 or 2 mugs of instant coffee a day. I'm going to try cut it down to one cup - and try to eat 2 small healthy snacks in between meals and see how it goes - wish me luck!

What have you eaten today - please share - I'm so curious!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Attended My First Fashion Show!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was so excited to get the opportunity to attend the Express Canada Fashion Show last Friday night. I put on my highest heels, favorite Express shirt (featured here) and headed downtown to the Express tent at World Mastercard Fashion Week.
Posing with TOBeautyReviews outside the show. My outfit: H&M blazer & necklace, Express shirt, Garage jeans & Zara heels, bag: Balenciaga)

This was my first fashion show - and it definitely lived up to my expectations - glamorous crowd, party-like ambiance, beautiful models - and gorgeous, wearable clothes (no Lady Gaga-type outfits here!)
I was so grateful to receive an extra ticket for my photographer (AKA hubby!) I'm more of an iPhone/point&shoot user, while he's in charge of our "big boy" camera. Having him there meant I could focus on all the amazing clothes without worrying about taking photos of my favorites - and I had a LOT of favorites! The most popular trends at the show were: Black & White outfits, Ladylike Peplum and Flowing Party Dresses.

My personal favorites were the berry peplum tube dress, red pleated chiffon dress (modelled by supermodel Jessica Stam - as in THE INSPIRATION for the Marc Jacobs STAM bag!!!) and the black peplum dress with cap sleeves. They are so elegant and are perfect for holiday parties.

After the show, we were invited to the afterparty next door - I wanted some water so I stood in line for the bar...except - it was not a bar - it was a pop-up shop where they were giving party attendees free Express clothes!!! Seriously - how amazing is that?

The men had a choice of 3 button down shirts, while the women were given black editor pants...I've been wanting Express editor pants since last year (see the comment section of my post here) - so I was beyond thrilled to receive them at the party - it made an amazing night even better!
With TOBEAUTYREVIEWS and SPICED BEAUTY - all smiles after getting our editor pants & waiting for DRAGONETTE (!!!) to start playing!
I've loved Express since my university years in the US. I find their clothes super-stylish yet affordable - and suitable for both daily wear and parties. I am excited about the expansion of Express in Canada - with the launch of an Eaton Center store on November 21st! (click for Grand Opening event details here).

 In honor of their opening, Express is giving away a $1000 shopping spree - all you have to do is fill out the contest entry form. (Contest ends November 19).

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience - this is the first sponsored post I've accepted for this blog - but since it was for a brand I ALREADY know and love - it was an easy decision to make!

Huge thanks to my hubby for taking all the photos here (except for the first one) - they may seem a little blurry - but given the lighting and our seating position, he did an amazing job! My iPhone pics could not capture ANY outfit details - without him - my post photos would have looked like this LOL:

Which Express outfit is your favorite?
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

4 Ways to Wear White Jeans + Recent Outfits

I've been loving my white jeans from Garage - they're so timeless. It took me a while to figure out what to wear them with - here's a collage of the combinations that I like:
Outfits with white jeans
Jeans: Garage, SOLIDS: t-shirt: JoeFresh, necklace: F21, sandals: aeropostale. GINGHAM: shirt: H&M, necklace: F21, flats: Old Navy. STRIPES: sweater: Old Navy, Flats: Old Navy. CHAMBRAY: shirt: Garage, flats: Old Navy, bag: Balenciaga
I didn't think I'd get much wear out of them - and I'm so happy that they've turned out to be so versatile!

Here's the outfit I wore to Day 1 of the SCCTO conference:
Blazer, jeans and flats outfit
Blazer: H&M, Tank & Necklace: J.Crew, Jeans: Garage, Flats: Old Navy, Bag: Balenciaga
The navy blazer was a recent find - on sale for $35 at H&M. Let me tell you a secret - I sized down - so this blazer will NOT button up (I would always wear it open anyway)! I wanted a slim fitting blazer - but most blazers look boxy and matronly on sizing down, the blazer fits perfectly at the shoulder and falls open in a flattering way - I love it!

Casual outfit
Sweater: Jacob, Necklace: JoeFresh, Jeans: Garage, Boots: Old Navy (2011 version)
On day 2 of the conference I wore a combination I've featured before here - if it works - why not stick to it?

Do you like wearing blazers? Do you own white jeans? I'm still trying to figure out if I can wear them in colder weather -  any pairing suggestions for fall are very welcome!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Top Ten things I loved about the 2012 She's Connected Conference

So happy to be selected to attend the 3rd Annual She's Connected Conference (read about my 2011 experience here) - here are this year's highlights:

1) The Keynote speech by former Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Kate White
She has the BEST public-speaking skills - her speech was full of humor and inspiring life lessons. I loved her advice to schedule an hour-long coffee date with yourself once a week to look at the big picture with regards to your current job, your career path and your personal life. She mentioned she was 61 - which had everyone clamoring to know her beauty secrets (she suggested exfoliation and retinols).
Kate White at the conference; Her latest book published by Harper Collins
 2) Getting my hair and lashes done.
Blo Bar and had the best booths EVER! Loved getting the Holly Would (aka Kardashian-style waves) and lush Mink lashes (good for up to 25 uses!)
Why can't I ever style my hair like this myself?
3) Learning about key topics for a growing blog
So many relevant and useful topics - my favorite were: 'Claiming Blog Income: Blogger Compensation' (Hello tax implications...nobody wants to get audited!), 'Killer Media Kits & Rate Cards' and 'SEO Strategies For Your Blog'.

4) The McCafe
McDonalds had set up a lounge with a live band, massage & manicure stations - and unlimited coffees and smoothies! What more could you ask for?
I love my frothy cappuccinos!
5) Connecting with organizations that support worthy causes:
Learned about World Vision Canada, Food Banks Canada and Facing Cancer. Loved this beautiful turquoise bracelet - available through World Vision here - it would make the perfect gift: unique, hand-crafted and helping others!
Love my turquoise not taking this off!
 6) An unexpected meeting
At the TELUS booth I was surprised to find my former neighbor (@enapolano) - we've had so many chats over the summer while our kids took swimming together - yet she had no idea I was a blogger and I had no idea she was in Media Relations for TELUS!

7) Ford Fun
Ford was the biggest brand sponsor of this event - and they had SO many activities for us - from toy racetrack driving to "loading the trunk" challenges....AND mini-movies starring US (against "Escape" backdrops to highlight the 2013 Ford Escape) - everything was so much fun!
Screen shot from the video that made me a rockstar in my kids' eyes (Did you really jump Mommy?)

8) Engaging with great brands
It was amazing meeting so many great brands that were eager to work with bloggers. Everybody was so friendly and interested - it was a great place to network if you are looking to build brand relationships.

9) Random chats 
Along with all the lovely brand reps - I LOVED all the chats I had with fellow bloggers...I struck up so many fun conversations ranging from favorite mascaras to kiddy potty-training tips!

10) Swag
While you don't attend an event JUST for the swag - you have to admit it's a lovely benefit. Here's a peek at SOME of the amazing items I received:

Have you ever tried Mink lashes? Do you love McCafe items as much as I do?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New scarves & Flipping Through: Stylewatch October 2012

I love scarves - they are an easy way to incorporate color into my outfit - and they're much softer and warmer than necklaces! I purchased these 2 recently from Winners - they're both Indian-inspired - I especially love the mint one with tiny pom-poms!

Winners mint green scarf, Old Navy sweater, Garage Olive skinny jeans, Old Navy ballet flats

Don't you love flipping through a magazine with friends: pointing out your favorite looks and wishlist items, then tearing out pages for future inspiration? Grab a mug of Green Tea and see what caught my attention in this month's Stylewatch magazine:

Can't go wrong with Rachel Bilson on the cover - she's one of my ultimate style icons!

Her style secrets - I want to try Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers - I've never used them, even as a tween!


Classic example of Rachel's effortless style -  she always strikes the right balance between girly and edgy.

Reese Witherspoon's outfit is my favorite look from this issue - so casual yet put together - and easy to replicate!

Also like Jessica Alba's casual style - super-cute! Wish I could pull off pink jeans - they'd look ridiculous on me!

A collection of Jessica's casual outfits - I like the middle one with the dark J Brand jeans, cream sweater and cognac boots. She loves her scarves even more than I do!


Rachel Bilson is just SO beautiful - love her simple yet stunning hair & make-up.

Sienna Miller has similar hair & make-up to Rachel - although she's looking a little tired here. Still - I love the tousled waves and subtle, fresh make-up.

Lauren Conrad recommends the Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Powder in Terre Epice in her monthly column - am definitely going to try it since NARS Laguna didn't work out for me.

And lastly - I LOVED seeing Christy Turlington in this issue - I loved the 90s supermodels and it's great that they're still in the spotlight. And although her lashes don't look that natural - the Mega Plush mascara is definitely on my "to-try" list.

Hope you enjoyed flipping through with me. All images except the first are from People Stylewatch October 2012.

Are you a huge scarf fan?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hubby's Burberry Anniversary Present

So I FINALLY found a present for hubby for our 10th wedding anniversary (he is SO hard to shop for!) - a spring/fall jacket from Burberry Brit. Here's hubby in his blog debut - modelling clothes (now he can't tease me about my outfit pics anymore - ha ha!)
Burberry Shearling Collar Wool Field Jacket
This was more than we usually spend on clothes - but I think it's a worthwhile investment - especially since he'll be wearing it everyday - AND his last fall jacket was 10 years old (!!!) - so he definitely knows how to take care of his stuff! And although my present was late - I think it was worth waiting for - don't you? (Here's his present to me).

And now for some outfit photos from the past couple of days:
Gap shirt, Joe Fresh necklace, Old Navy Cords & Boots (mine are the 2011 version), Coach Sabrina bag

H&M shirt & clutch, H&M shirt, Old Navy Boots (mine are the 2011 version), Pashmina scarf from Turkey

What's your most memorable anniversary present (either given or received)?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheap & Trendy temptations....

Three current clothing trends are: anything peplum, colored denim and burgundy, burgundy, burgundy!

I was recently tempted into purchasing some cheap & trendy items at H&M and Old Navy. They were only $19 each, so I thought I'd see if I could fit these trends into my current wardrobe.

Colored Denim:
Old Navy Rockstar Jeans (blue & red) & Cords (peach) - bought during the $19 sale
The rockstar jeans were not a success - they don't suit my figure at all (drumstick legs - yuck!) - Garage skinny jeans are much more flattering on me (they are made of thicker material and suck me where I need it!). The rockstar cords fit well (and are nice and warm) BUT I don't really see myself wearing peach bottoms - especially in the winter months! I changed them for these brown ones - boring & safe, but much easier to pair with tan boots and cream sweaters.

Peplum tops in Burgundy & Black:
H&M peplum tops - $19.95
I liked the neckline and sleeves of the peplum tops - but the pleating above the stomach was strange and puffy - especially when viewed from the side. And I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the peplum silhouette on my figure. Even though these tops were a bargain at $19 each - they are not a good deal if I never wear them!

Navy Lace Dress:
H&M Navy Lace Dress: $34.95
I did find one keeper - although it is not a "trendy" item - I LOVE this navy lace tunic. I'm still trying to figure out how I will wear it - it's too short to wear as a dress, so I may pair it with dark skinny jeans or black leggings & black ballet flats.

Some outfits from this week:
JoeFresh necklace, Jacob top, Garage jeans, Old Navy boots (mine are the 2011 version) & Balenciaga bag
Was in such a rush that morning - I didn't have much time to do my hair so I twisted it up into a top knot using my trusty spin pins.

Old Navy Heart Sweater & Gingham Shirt, Garage jeans, Old Navy boots (mine are the 2011 version)
This orange shirt & heart sweater pairing was inspired by this outfit on pinterest (she must love shopping at Old Navy as much as I do!) - love her orange chambray shirt & the leopard accents she used.

Have you added any peplum items or colored denim to your wardrobe? Are you ever tempted to purchase trendy items just because they're cheap?


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