Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vacation Haul: J. Crew, TJ Maxx & Target

I love shopping in the US: prices are cheaper and there's more selection than in Canadian stores. As we spent most of our time on the road, I only went in to a few shops...but I found a LOT of good things!

Loving my new arm candy
JEWELRY: 

Target watch (similar in orange) / TJ Maxx & J.Crew Factory Bracelets / J. Crew Factory Necklace / La Mer Watch

The watches are from Target. The mint one is a fun & cheerful piece for the summer. I've always loved the wrap & chain style of La Mer watches (I'd seen them on Andi's blog and Pinterest). Since it was on clearance for less than $25 I HAD to pick it up.

The bracelets with semi-precious stones & rose gold charms are from TJ Maxx - love how sparkly they are!

The gold and crystal link bracelet is from J.Crew factory and is a dainty version of their popular pave link bracelet...I prefer the more delicate look of this for my wrist.

The Crystal Cupcake necklace in Creme de Menthe is also from J.Crew factory...since Emerald is one of the pantone colors of the year, I thought this would be a pretty way to incorporate it into my spring wardrobe.


HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIES:


I wanted to buy a colorful satchel like this from Target, but they were sold out. I did find this  cross-body bag instead - love the classic colors and the faux-ostrich material.

The fuchsia wristlet is also from Target - it has a smartphone pocket and slots for credit cards. It's a lovely sleek piece for when you want to carry only the essentials.

I was looking for a smaller everyday wallet. This coach wallet is a bit LOGO-tastic but I loved the white flower print - and I'm hoping the coated canvas material means that it will be easy to keep clean.

The pink oversized GUESS sunglasses were $20 at TJ Maxx. It's hard to find flattering sunglasses when you need them - so I like to stock up on cute & affordable back-ups when I find them.


CLOTHING:
J. Crew Factory top / Target lace top / Spanx / Mint & Faded Target denim

 The J.Crew Factory Colorblock Stripe Boatneck Tee is a copy of this popular J.Crew top - I liked the fun pop of hot pink AND the factory sale price (less than $25). 

The lace peplum top was an impulse buy from Target - I love the combination of classic (cream lace) and trendy (peplum waist).

I've read rave reviews about Target denim - so I picked up these mint skinnies (now on sale for half price!) and these faded boyfriend ones. I wish I had seen these Mossimo supply jeans as I've heard they fit better.

My last purchase was an essential one - I can't live without my Spanx...they suck everything in and make clothes look better on. I've tried several different styles over the years and I can ONLY recommend the high-waisted mid-thigh shapers. The mid-waisted version leaves me with a lumpy muffin top and the brief-style version doesn't suck me in enough.


Hope you liked seeing my vacation haul - which item do you like the best?

P.S. Since Google Reader is closing in July - if you follow me on Google Reader, please click here to add me on Bloglovin.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roadtripping: Carolina in my mind...

We just came back from a 10-day family holiday in South Carolina & Georgia.

There was lots of driving:


Daily malted milkshakes:


Beautiful gardens (Charleston, SC):


Interesting Museums (Massie School House in Savannah, GA):  



And most importantly....lots of family fun! (My kiddies in Myrtle Beach, SC):




I've got unpacking and laundry to do - then I'll get caught up on my blog-reading. I'll be back in a couple of days with my US shopping post :o)


P.S. Here's my favorite version of Carolina In My Mind.

P.P.S. Just read about Google Reader closing in July - if you follow me on Google Reader, please click here to add me on Bloglovin.

If you want to know how to import your Google reading list of Blogs over to Bloglovin - check out this helpful post on IFB.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Decor Update: KEEP CALM and CARRY ON!

I haven't been focusing much on decorating recently - so much of my time seems to be taken up with day-to-day activities, and it's hard to find time to focus on the big picture. However, I couldn't ignore my TV room any longer - the bareness and lack of color coordination was bringing me down!


BEFORE: I really started to dislike the black and pink combination...and those bare walls were getting on my nerves!


AFTER: Much better...I got rid of the pink and replaced it with aqua and cream. I bought the fluffy pillows at Home Outfitters (similar here) and the chevron ones from Etsy. Finding appropriate artwork for this wall was quite difficult - I wanted one large piece but hadn't found anything suitable ANYWHERE! I decided to put up several smaller prints to fill up the space. I went with my favorite "Keep CALM" posters - purchasing several different shades from Etsy to create an ombre effect.

Ideally I'd still love to find a large piece to fill the wall (love the one Jen suggested in this post), but I'm happy for now...Everything feels much more cheerful and chic - and for some reason, I always feel CALM in this space ....wonder why?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Healthy breakfasts & Weekend Outfits

Thought I'd share some trying-to-be-healthy breakfasts I've made recently. First up is my morning smoothie.

Here are some examples of what I make - on the left is a Blueberry-Mango smoothie, and on the right is a Mixed Berry & Banana smoothie.


My smoothie must-haves:

Flaxseed, OJ, Almond Milk, Spinach & Kale cubes, Banana, Berries and Yogurt.

Since I can't use protein powder (even vegan ones break me out!)  I use frozen bananas or mangos as a thickener. I freeze a lot of the ingredients as it makes the smoothie's consistency nicer - and you don't have to worry about things tasting off (there's nothing I hate more than overripe fruit or wilted greens).


I buy pre-washed Kale & Spinach leaves and blend them with a little OJ - I got the idea from this post on the Social Home. You can buy pre-made spinach cubes in the freezer section - but use them at your own discretion. My internet research told me that they may not be safe to use raw since they're intended for cooking before consumption (unlike frozen berries, which are meant to be eaten raw and are therefore prepared differently).

When I have more time, I like making this omelet (completely inspired by Catalina Su): 2 eggs (1 whole, 1 white only), red onions & turkey breast fried together and topped with Sri Racha. Avocado mashed on the side with lemon juice, kosher salt & garlic powder.


I only wish I had the motivation to make these for breakfast every morning... but I'll often end up with deli meats on a wholewheat pita and a mug of coffee. Definitely not as healthy!

WEEKEND OUTFITS: I had some family events to attend but it was SO cold...so I planned my outfits around my trusty fleece leggings - so warm & comfy!

Saturday outfit: I bought this New Look dress 3 years ago but have only worn it once, so I layered it over a charcoal grey long-sleeved t-shirt and wore it with fleece leggings and black Old Navy boots.


Sunday outfit: A repetition of my Christmas party outfit: H&M lace dress, grey cardigan & Forever21 necklace.


In between family parties, I ran into the Bay to pick up a new foundation - and spotted these gorgeous Coach bags. I'm really LOVING their Legacy line (I posted about the Penny Shoulder purse earlier) and these mini-Tanner totes are AMAZING! They remind me of the Celine Luggage Nano bag but at a 10th of the price! Aren't they gorgeous?

Coach Legacy Leather Mini Tanner Tote
Coach Legacy Leather Mini Tanner Tote

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Monday, March 4, 2013

ZARA Online Shopping Haul #DearCanada

A couple of days ago I received the BEST invite in the mail: It was an invitation AND a gift card to shop at the launch of ZARA's Canadian online shop. We've had ZARA stores in Canada since 1999, but there was no online shopping option...until now! The website officially launches on March 6th - and I got the opportunity to shop on the preview site.

 


I placed my order on Thursday when the preview site launched, and look what I found waiting for me this morning:


Want to see what I ordered?



A ZARA girl cardigan (size 14) and a TRF faux leather quilted jacket in Black (size S).

How I plan on wearing them:
ZARA TRF quilted jacket faux leather black

I absolutely ADORE both pieces! The black quilted jacket is a classic and versatile piece, while the ZARA girl cardigan satiates my desire for a shrunken tweed-effect jacket.

I am SO excited about the launch of ZARA online shopping on March 6th! ZARA is one of my favorite stores (see my previous in-store purchases here).
  • ZARA items are VERY popular. I often see ZARA shoes or bags that I love on other bloggers - I like the option of purchasing it online and having it sent to my local store so that I'm sure to get my item before it sells out.
  • As a mom with 2 kids who doesn't always have the time to go to the mall, I appreciate the option of buying online instead of in-store - especially since they have a generous return policy (1 month from date of purchase).
  • Home Delivery is super-efficient. As soon as I placed my order, I received an order notification, followed by a tracking number so that I could see where my package was at all times. My package originated in Montreal and was shipped to Toronto using Purolator - it came within 3 working days!
  • You can pay using Credit Cards or Paypal. FREE SHIPPING for orders over $50!

Will you be ordering from the ZARA online shop?


 DISCLAIMER: I received a gift card from ZARA - but I shop there all the time ANYWAY!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pink Favorites & Monthly Must-Reads

Question of the month from Kristen: Inspired by Valentine's Day...What are your favorite Pink items?

I loved this month's question - I know it's a cliche but pink is my FAVORITE color. I've been known to purchase things JUST because they're pink, such as my Pink Brita Jug and Pink Clarisonic. Having pink things around me cheers me up. My favorite shades of pink are blush pink and rose gold - everything looks amazing in those 2 shades!

Since I'm SUCH a fan of pink, answering this question could take a while. To narrow it down, I thought it would be fun to combine my favorite color with my favorite accessory - bags:




SO much eye candy! I've been wanting the pink Cambridge Satchel for a while now - I think I'll be purchasing either that one or the Minkoff Mini MAC in the near future...

Which of these bags is your favorite? Would you carry a pink bag?

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