Sunday, September 29, 2013

Learning to Love my High Heels - Dr Scholl's For Her Insoles

I love playing with different styles of clothing - statement necklaces, layering scarves, skirts - I'm open to trying the unexpected. But the one item I CAN'T experiment with is shoes...flats, flats, flats - it's pretty much all I wear!

It's not that I don't ADORE high heeled's just that I'm not comfortable in them. Imagine a baby Giraffe learning how to walk....that's what I look like when I wear high heels! My soles are burning, my arches are aching - I honestly don't know how women glide along in heels on a daily basis. But there are some occasions where heels are a necessity - and when those events arise, I have to slip on my heels and resign myself to a night of limited mobility.

With a couple of heels-required formal events planned for September, it was fortuitous timing to receive a selection of For Her products from Dr Scholl's, the company renowned for promoting foot health and comfort.

The four items in my foot care package:
  • Open Shoe Insoles (MSRP $12.99) - Two-piece kit designed for open shoes, with targeted cushions for both the ball and heel of your foot.
  • Cozy Cushions Insoles (MSRP $16.99) - Multi-layer insoles to absorb perspiration while insulating feet from cold and damp. Extra-cushioning support makes them perfect for cold weather boots! Available Mid-October 2013.
  • Sole Expressions Insoles (MSRP $16.99) - Slim patterned soles with notched toes provide all-day support for any shoe, even sandals. Contains 3 pairs. Available Mid-October 2013.
  • Rub Relief Gel Spots (MSRP $10.99) - Portable protection against shoe rubbing, pinching and friction. Each pack contains 3 different sizes.

Using the Open Shoe Insoles in my ZARA heels - top - before, bottom - after

The first package I opened was the Dr Scholl's For Her Open Shoe Insoles. We were going to attend a wedding - a lengthy affair encompassing cocktails, dinner and dancing - and I knew I'd need some serious help help keeping my heels on all night! The shoes I planned on wearing were my colorblock ZARA heels - they are gorgeous but the thin soles and pencil heels means that they look way better than they feel.

I peeled the plastic backing off the padded insoles and placed them at the ball and heel of my shoes. The gummy bottoms ensured a secure fit, yet made them easy to remove and reposition as necessary. As you can see in the picture above, the insoles are very discreet - and are not at all visible when you're wearing the shoes.

Can I just say - the spongy insoles added a bounce to my walk - with every step I could feel the ample padding! Other than the angle of my foot - it felt like I was walking in flip flops. I had also tucked the Dr Scholl's For Her Rub Relief Gel Spots into my bag, and as the evening wore on, I placed 2 small gels near the front of my shoes where my pinky toes were feeling pinched. They eased the pain immediately and I ended the night blister-less.

The bride had thoughtfully placed a basket of flip flops next to the dance floor for guests to use...but thanks to my cushion-y shoes - I can proudly say I kept my heels on all night - I even Gangnam-styled with them on! I SO wish I had had these insoles during last year's fashion week - I wore these same shoes and was limping by the end of the night!

Smiling bravely through the pain LOL - never again!

I'm very excited about this range of Dr Scholl's insoles. Although I love fashion, I'm not willing to suffer for it - so I'm glad these products can help me wear fancy heels without compromising on comfort.

Are you comfortable in high heels? Do you have any tips or tricks for wearing high heels?

You can find Dr. Scholl's on Facebook and on their Website. Find coupons for their products here.

DISCLAIMER: I am part of the Chatelaine Ambassador Program, and have received special perks in the form of products and monetary compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Loving my ZARA coats this Fall

I've noticed a trend this Fall - as the weather gets cooler, I'm frequently reaching for my ZARA coats. I have an assortment of different styles - and this is the perfect time to wear these lighter pieces.

ZARA Tweed Coat, Jeans: GARAGE, Necklace: BR (similar), Shoes: Forever21, Bag: Balenciaga First

This pink tweed coat is from last year. I'm in love with the fabric- it looks like something from Legally Blonde. My daughter is not as enamored with the coat as I am - she asked me why I was wearing "a shabby farmer's coat with loose threads" LOL!

ZARA TRF Quilted Jacket (similar), Top: GARAGE, Jeans: GAPFlats: Old Navy (similar), Necklace: F21

This faux-leather TRF jacket is really warm - I wore it out this morning but I had to take it off by the afternoon. I love the quilted material - it gives the jacket a more feminine edge.

Sweater: ZARA (similar), Necklace: Forever21, Jeans: GAP, Flats: Old Navy, Bag: Marc Jacobs
Although this top is a cardigan, it's quite thick and feels more like outerwear than a sweater. Since it's from the Girl's department, it's on the boxier side but I think it works well with the whole "shrunken-fit" look.

What coats are you wearing this fall?

DISCLAIMER: Not a sponsored post - I'm just seriously loving my ZARA coats!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

4 Outfits and a Hair Cut

I'd been growing my hair for ages, but it seemed like I spent most of the time with it piled on top of my head in a bun. So I finally cut it back to the length that I'm most comfortable with - shoulder-length. It's amazing what a difference cutting off 5 inches makes - my hair has a lot more volume and is so much easier to take care of. The first outfit pic shows my hair pre-cut (it's looking extra flat because my hair was still wet) and the others are all after:

GAP real straight destructed jeans
Sweatshirt: Old Navy, Necklace: Forever21 (similar), Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Forever21

The striped top is a recent purchase from Old Navy. They have a great selection of sweatshirts at the moment - in addition to this striped one, I also picked out these J.Crew-inspired sequin sweatshirts.

red jeans outfit
Sweater: Old Navy, Scarf: GAP (similar), Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Forever21

First picture post-haircut. It's getting chilly so I've been incorporating scarves back into my wardrobe.

lilac scarf
Sweater: GAP, Scarf: Old Navy, Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Forever21

GAP real straight destructed jeans
Sweater: ZARA (similar), Necklace: Forever21, Jeans: GAP, Flats: Old Navy, Bag: Marc Jacobs

What hair length are you most comfortable with?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Philips Beauty Blogger Challenge: Philips SatinPerfect Epilator and Philips Bikini Genie #PhilipsDaretoBare

I'm proud to be 1 of 10 Canadian bloggers selected by Philips to be part of the 30 Day #PhilipsDaretoBare Challenge. I'm a dedicated epilator-user and was eager to try out Philips' latest offerings.

What is #PhilipsDaretoBare Challenge?

Philips has recently launched their SatinPerfect Epilator and Bikini Genie. Since these products offer long-lasting results, I will be testing them out for a month and noting down my thoughts and experiences to share on my blog. The good, the bad, the will all be shared here!

SatinPerfect Epilator

Epilators use rapidly rotating tweezing discs to pull out hair by the roots. They can remove hair as short as 0.5 mm and the results are semi-permanent as some hairs never grow back.

Bikini Genie

Safely and easily trims hair down for a smooth bikini line.

My Current Hair Removal Process:

I'm a little neurotic when it comes to hair removal - I've divided it into zones (see below) - with a different method for each zone! Being able to use one product on different zones (underarms, arms and legs) will make hair removal SO much simpler. Check back in a month to read my thoughts on these 2 products!

Facial: Threading
Underarms: Epilation (will try SatinPerfect Epilator)
Arms: Cold Wax strips (will try SatinPerfect Epilator)
Bikini: Waxing or trimming/shaving (will try Bikini Genie)
Legs: Shaving (will try SatinPerfect Epilator...maybe!)

Do you have different zones for hair removal or do use the same method for all areas? What is your favored hair removal method?

DISCLAIMER: Philips sent me these products to review so that I could share my experience with my readers. As always, the provision of products doesn't affect my reviews - they are 100% my own opinions!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Staples: Distressed Jeans, Burberry-alike trenchcoat & Leopard heels

There are some fall staples that have been on my wishlist for a while: A classic trenchcoat, the perfect pair of distressed jeans and leopard print heels. 

Burberry inspired Trench coat
BR Trench Coat, GAP distressed jeans, Target Heels, LV bag, MAC lip pencil in Redd

Let's start with the jeans - it seems like I've been searching for the perfect distressed pair forever. I've tried and decided against MANY styles - some were too baggy, others were too raggedy or came in an unflattering light wash. This pair was ordered on impulse from GAP during their 30% off promo - I was SO excited to find that they fit perfectly and were distressed enough without looking ready for the trash can. (My order form has them listed as: 1969 Destructed Real Straight Jeans, however the current ones on the website look slightly different from mine. With the sale + promo I paid around $35).

Merona Melanie Leopard Pump

These leopard pumps are one of the reasons I'm SO happy Target is now in Canada. They are so comfortable and chic - yet they cost less than $30 - what a bargain for such a classic item!

Banana Republic Flared Trench in Coconut Husk

I'm not as certain about this trench coat as I am about the jeans and pumps. Perhaps because it is a pricier piece (though I purchased mine when BR had a 40% promo code). The color seems prettier in the website picture than in person. Also - while the flare reminds me of Kate Middleton's Burberry trench, it makes the coat more trendy than classic.

Kate Middleton's Burberry Flared Trench

UPDATE: Quick pic showing 2 ways of wearing the trench: buttoned up and with the lapels open.

Burberry inspired Trench coat

What are your fall staples? Do you think I should keep the Banana Republic Trench?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Healthy Breakfast: Low-Carb Egg Muffin

Eating a healthy breakfast is so important. When I start the day off eating right, I have more energy and end up making healthy food choices for the rest of the day. But sometimes I wake up hungry and don't have the time or motivation to cook something healthy...which is why I love these low-carb egg muffins. You can prepare them in advance and reheat each morning as needed!

I've seen these around on blogs and Pinterest (most recently on Veronika's instagram here) so I decided to make my own version.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice meat and vegetables (I chose broccoli, red onions and cooked chicken breast, but the combinations are endless!). Place in a silicone muffin tray (silicone makes it easier to remove the muffins. Mine has 6 cups/sections)
  2. Crack 6 eggs into a large measuring cup. Mix with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a splash of milk. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Top with grated cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. Enjoy! Refrigerate the rest in a tupperware and microwave (30 secs to 1 min) before eating.

The muffins were delicious - especially the broccoli and the cheese. I microwaved some for my kids when they came home - and they loved it too! I love how healthy and wholesome it is for them (since I used cooked chicken breast rather than processed deli meats). It's also a tasty way to use up leftovers.

I plan on making variations of this recipe - I'm going to try substituting egg whites for some of the whole eggs and see how they turn out.

Do you have any quick and healthy breakfast ideas? Please share - I'm always looking for inspiration!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Buyers Remorse & Monthly Must-Reads

Question of the month from Ella: Buyers Remorse - have you purchased anything recently that you wish you hadn't? What is it and why do you regret buying it?

I don't suffer from Buyer's Remorse often as I usually shop at stores with reasonable return policies (i.e. return or exchange for 30 days). But there is one item that I regret - and it bothers me everytime I look at it!

I purchased this bag 2 years ago. I had admired how it looked in the window display - very chubby and such a pretty shade of orange . When it went on final sale, I thought it was a sign that I should buy it. Here's why I regret it:
  • The white stitching looks cheap - and has already started coming out - even though I hardly ever used it!
  • It only looks nice stuffed with paper - it loses its round shape and looks distorted when you fill it with your stuff
  • Even though it was on sale, it was still pricey for what it is - I could have gotten a much nicer bag or two from H&M or Target...or put the money towards my designer bag fund!
Still -  I think a lot more carefully before purchasing any new bags (either budget or designer) - so I guess I learned a valuable lesson from this bag!

What do you regret buying? Would love to read about it in the comments!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Come Shopping With Me: My Visit to the Toronto Premium Outlets

After hearing all the internet buzz about Toronto's latest shopping attraction - the Toronto Premium Outlets - my bestie S and I decided to go on a shopping date and check it out. I took pics to share here - so that we could virtually shop together - hope you enjoy the sneak peek!

The main entrance - the layout is SO similar to the premium outlets I have visited in the US (especially Orlando). S and I joked that it felt like we were on holiday!

Coach factory outlet Toronto

Our first stop - the Coach outlet. We spent around an hour looking around. I was seriously tempted by the maroon & leopard print clutch (so IN this season - and marked down to $89!).

We then headed to the Michael Kors outlet - hoping to find the Selma Satchel, but they seemed to mainly carry outlet-only/made for factory items.

The Kate Spade store was full of candy colored bags and wallets. They had 40% off, with an additional 20% off certain lines - definitely great value for such well-made leather items!

J.Crew floral pencil skirt

J.Crew Factory was a delight. I have a soft-spot for their necklaces, and I finally got a chance to try on their famous pencil skirts. I ended up purchasing the tweed skirt, but am also smitten with the floral skirt - it would look amazing with a chambray shirt tucked in.

Garage crochet top

I ended up making most of my purchases at the Garage/Dynamite outlet. The lace dresses (I got them in black AND white) reminded me of an earlier Ann Taylor lace dress - and they were only $22 each! I plan on wearing the ruffled lace skirt with charcoal grey tights. The crochet top was only $7 - amazing deals! I find it so hard to resist Garage/Dynamite's classic pieces - and their fit really works with my body type.

Royal Doulton Rosebud tea set

We had a quick peek in the Royal Doulton store - loved all the rosebud pieces - they'd be perfect for hosting a fancy tea party!

We stopped off at the food court for lunch. We were happy to have a variety of options to choose from including Sbarro, Villa Madina, Umi Sushi and Subway...although a Starbucks would have been a nice addition!

We had a great visit - and we definitely plan on heading back soon - especially when they open the Cosmetics Company Outlet. Hope you enjoyed coming on my shopping trip.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Visiting the L'Oreal Red Carpet Beauty Lounge - TIFF 2013 CollectionPrivée

L'Oreal generously provided VIP treatment to Beauty Bloggers this past weekend with an invitation to the Red Carpet Beauty Lounge followed by tickets to a TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) screening.

With L'Oreal's Hugo Thibault, MomsMakeupStash, LinerGlitterGloss, and NelleCreations

The VIP Beauty Lounge featured products from L'Oreal's Collection Privée - a limited edition set of lipsticks and nailpolishes inspired by four red carpet beauties: Doutzen Kroes, Jennifer Lopez, Freida Pinto and Eva Longoria.

L'Oreal Collection Privee Lipsticks

The sheer lipsticks come in varying shades of nude with pink, golden, greige and violet undertones. The polishes are packaged in sleek mini-bottles with curved professional brushes which make application super-easy.

As part of our VIP treatment, we were invited to swatch and pick out our own lipsticks and nailpolishes - I opted for Eva's golden lipstick and Freida's parma nailpolish. (I later received JLo's greige nailpolish from the manicure station).

Downstairs, the L'Oreal Beauty Lounge is open to the public, with a lipstick touch-up bar, express manicure station and a ponytail bar.

After your beauty treatment, there's a fun photobooth to capture your red carpet look!

Glamming it up with Rica

The TIFF screening we viewed was Supermensch, directed by Mike Myers. Despite being a documentary, Mike Myers' hilarious interviews and edgy editing had us laughing through the whole film - it was definitely a memorable experience!

My blurry red carpet shot of Mike Myers; After the screening with Jenn, Ande & Rica.

If you're downtown this week - you should definitely head over to the L'Oreal Beauty Lounge for some pampering and the chance to test out Collection Privée products!

Location: David Pecaut Square
Hours: Mon-Fri 4-10 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am - 10 pm.
Date: September 5-14

P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered my LollyWatch contest - the winner is:

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Invitation to Breakfast at Tiffany's

It was the invitation no girl can EVER refuse...Breakfast at Tiffany's, in honor of the new flagship store located at 150 Bloor Street West.

The iconic blue entrance led through to the fine jewelry section, where we were invited to try on and photograph any piece that caught our eye...I immediately headed towards the rose gold and pink diamond offerings. I tried on the Schlumberger Sixteen Stone ring, the Hearts ring, and the Metro Hinged Bangle.

Then it was upstairs to the engagement ring room: I adored the serene blue furniture complemented by the Art Nouveau magnolia etchings.

"If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's... The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there." - Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Trying on a 4.89 carat engagement ring was definitely a life-changing moment!

Breakfast was laid out in the handbag boutique - but I was too excited to eat!

So I headed over to check out some of the more affordable options in the Fashion Jewelry room - loved the slim purse pens and the blue bow 3 piece feeding set ($150) - for the baby who has everything! I'd be tempted to use it for breakfast in bed instead - it's so chic! I also spotted the sweetest bow mini-bead bracelet ($195) - it stacked nicely with my pink enamel heart bead bracelet.

As we left, we were generously gifted with these engraved USB keys - I'm going to use mine as a paperweight too - it will make my workspace look so elegant!

What I wore to the event: Tried to channel Audrey Hepburn in my most lady-like outfit. And naturally, I wore China Glaze For Audrey on my nails!

Event Photos thanks to MacKay & Co.

Loved catching up with MomsMakeupStash, NelleCreations and LinerGlitterGloss.

Walking into the Fine Jewelry Section

The gorgeous Magnolia-pattern stairwell next to the handbag boutique.

Hope you liked the peek into the new flagship store!


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