Wednesday, 30 November 2011

OUTFIT OF THE DAY


Sweater: H&M (find a similar one here)
Skirt: H&M (find a similar one here)
Necklace: Ardene (find a similar one here)
Scarf: Club Monaco (find a similar one here)
Coat: A boutique in Montreal (find a similar one here)
Bag: Lisa's Cosmetics Warehouse (find a similar one here)  
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here)
Tights: H&M

Hi everyone! Here's what I wore to the library today ... only three days 'till the LSAT! Today was the first time that it snowed enough for it to stick to the ground. Check out the pictures below to watch it happen.

I raided my mom's closet this morning and ended up wearing her skirt and sweater. I really like this light pink colour, because it's flattering on fair complexions like mine. A fitted sweater is perfect with a high-waisted skirt, since it's keeps your silhouette nice and sleek. This khaki skirt is a great neutral piece. It has visual interest in the pockets and the buttons, but it's still versatile. I will be stealing this one more often ;)

Since the weather is getting colder by the day, I abandoned my bomber jacket and trench for a warmer pea coat. This one has a great belt that adds extra definition to the waist to offset the heavier fabric. It's also nice and warm. I took my extra large purse to lug around all of my study materials. To finish it off, I added a pair of simple pearl earrings and my black leather boots. Easy peasy.

Talk soon,
Vi

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

1000 VIEWS!

video

Wowee! Today we hit 1000 views! I made the video above - it's my first foray into film-making so judge accordingly :) - to express my thanks to all of my readers. It means so much to me that you continue to visit my blog and leave me comments, because I really enjoy doing it.

If you have any suggestions about the kinds of posts that you want to see, questions about the blog or if you just want to say hi, please don't hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from you guys! Here's how to get in touch:


Talk soon!
Vi

Monday, 28 November 2011

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM & HER

1. TV Series or Movies

   

Does your loved one have a TV series or movie that they just can't get enough of? Why not try something that you guys can watch together? TV shows and movies are great because you can choose a gift that you know they'll love. Try Discovery Channel shows like Shark Week or Man vs. Wild if you're stuck on ideas or if you're shopping for a tough crowd. Those people pleasers are bound to bring together any family! Here are some other ideas:

For the Sci-Fi Fanatic:
Firefly or The Fifth Element

For the Romantic Comedian:
Life as We Know It or Moonstruck

For the Action Hero:
Sons of Anarchy or Thor

For the Classic Collector:
The Godfather or Some Like it Hot

2. Event Tickets 
Another great holiday gift is a set of tickets for you and your friends or family to enjoy. For an artsy friend, a trip to your local ballet or opera could be just the thing. If you and your family love to laugh, check out local comedy clubs and casinos to see if there are any good comedy routines being hosted. My personal favourite - warning: this gift is not for the faint of heart (or stomach) - is Body Worlds. I bought tickets to the brain exhibit for an old boyfriend (who happened to be majoring in neuroscience) and we had a blast. It's definitely a great gift for the adventurous couple! Here are some other cool ideas:

For the History Lover:
Try an exhibit at a museum like The ROM

For the Movie Buff:
Get tickets to a local film festival like TIFF

For the Comedian:
Check out the comedy routines at Casino Rama

For the Music Connoisseur:
Cruise Ticket Master for upcoming shows

3. Homemade Spa Kit


The homemade spa kit is a personal favourite of mine, because you get a lot of bang for your buck. Admittedly this is a more female-friendly gift, but it could also work for a beauty-conscious boy. Put together a bunch of your favourite bath products in a pretty basket, wrap them all up in clear paper and add a bow. Try looking in wholesale beauty stores that are open to the public, like The Beauty Centre in Whitby, Ontario. Add a homemade body scrub by combining two parts brown sugar and one part olive oil and then scraping it into a pretty jar. Here are some suggested items:

For the Nail Buff:
Your Royal Shine-ness by OPI or Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails

For the Lotion Lover:
Cake's Glow-rious Glistening Lotion or Shea Body Butter from Body Shop

For the Fragrance Fanatic:
Twisted Peppermint Candle or Warm Vanilla Sugar Mist from B&B Works

For the Accessories Person:
Smooth & Renew Loofah Pads from Body Shop or Expandable Wash Cloth from B&B Works

4. Magazine Subscription   


Magazine subscriptions are a great Christmas present because they are easy to tailor to a specific person's interests and they  There really is a magazine for everything! Check out the website World Newspapers and Magazines for a more complete list of the magazines out there, as well as links to their websites. Here are some quick suggestions:

For the Adventurer:
National Geographic or Archeology 

For the Fashionista:
Vogue or Elle

For the Boyfriend:
Sports Illustrated or GQ

For the Political Savant:
The Economist or Time

5. Jewelry or Clothes

Although this category is far from original, it's always an old favourite. Steer clear of shoes and pants, since they are particular in fit and require the person to try them on beforehand. Watches are always a good bet for the men in your life, since there is a wide range of prices and styles. Men's watches also make great gifts for women too! When choosing jewelry consider what you see them wearing and then go from there. Do they wear silver or gold? Are their ears pierced? Here are some other ideas:

For the Watch Wearer:
Twisted Leather Watch from Fossil or the PRC 200 by Tissot

For the Necklace Lover:
Beaded Rolo Chain Necklace or the Turtle Pendent Necklace from Forever21

For the Ring Bearer:
Gold Ring or Flower Ring (above) from H&M

For the Fashionista:
Faux Wrap Dress from Jacob or the Festive Sweater Dress from H&M

Hope this helps beat the holiday heat!
Talk soon,
Vi

Sunday, 27 November 2011

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

 
Jeans: Forever 21 (find similar ones here) 
Shirt: American Apparel (find it here)
Boots: Leros Boots, Ecco (find them here)
Necklace: Forever 21 (find a similar one here)
Belt: Vintage - my dad's (find a similar one here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)

Today was a rainy t-shirt and jeans kind of day. Sometimes the nicest outfits are just simple and easy. I love this American Apparel t-shirt because it's super comfortable and the fit is very relaxed and flattering. I usually find that their clothes are pretty overpriced, but their t-shirts and bathing suits are definitely worth the money.

To make the look a little more polished, I tucked my shirt into my jeans (which are a lot darker than they appear in pictures) and added a nice leather belt. This braided belt mysteriously made its way from my dad's closet into my own :) I think it adds a nice bit of texture to the outfit. A wide brown leather belt would also look great. 

As usual, I kept my accessories pretty minimal. I wore this great layered gold necklace that I got at Forever 21. Long necklaces draw the eye downwards and help to elongate your figure, which is always nice. Last but not least, I wore my gold fish stud earrings. Since I have a nose ring, I try not to wear bold earrings and a bold necklace because it can be a bit overwhelming with so much metal near my face, but if you don't have facial piercings then a bolder earring would look really nice with this outfit.

Talk soon,
Vi

Friday, 25 November 2011

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

 Skirt: H&M (find a similar one here)
Sweater: Joe Fresh (find it here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Earrings: A boutique in Chora, Andros, Greece
Necklace: A vintage belt via my mom's closet (find a similar one here)
Tights: H&M 

Good morning :) As usual, I spent the day in the library studying for the LSAT...zzz. I can't wait until it's over and I can start doing interesting things again! I bought this new mustard sweater yesterday at Joe Fresh. Although it may seem like any other sweater, this is a pretty big step for me; I haven't worn mustard since the traumatic mustard-coloured sweater incident of '98. "What could that possibly entail?", you may ask. Well, when I was in grade two I won a competition to go on the local network television channel and be featured in a cake-making class at a grocery store nearby (look out!). All of the students were supposed to wear our navy blue school sweatshirts so that we would look uniform. However, my parents - rebels that they are - decided that it would be easier to pick me out of the crowd if I wore a bright colour. So instead of appearing at the grocery store clad in my school colours, I turned up in a bright mustard sweatshirt. While this may not seem overly embarrassing, I was a pretty gawky 8-year old and I stuck out like a sore thumb.

That being said, I have decided that I am grown woman and I need to get over my aversion to mustard, especially since I actually really like the colour (which probably explains why my 8-year-old self owned a mustard sweatshirt in the first place). I am happy to report that I am quite pleased with the results :)

A bright pop of colour is a great way to add interest to an outfit. I paired my sweater with a high-waisted black felt skirt for a simple, polished look. When you wear a skirt that hits mid-thigh or higher, it's usually a good idea to balance it out with a pair of opaque tights. I chose a grey pair to keep it light. You can't see them in the picture, but I wore a pair of black leather flats as well. I kept my accessories simple with a pair of gold studs and a long gold necklace. This is a good example of 'less is more'. Simple, easy to wear and chic!

Working on a "Building a Wardrobe: Earrings" as we speak :)
Talk soon,
Vi

HOW TO: ORGANIZE YOUR SHOES

As you have probably guessed, I'm a bit of a Type A personality. A nice organized closet means that you can easily access all of your clothes, making them readily available to wear and style. Shoes are particularly easy to organize because they come with their own boxes. Here are the 3 easy steps to a fantastically formulated closet:

Step 1: Take pictures of your shoes

Take a clear picture of each pair of your shoes. Leave a bit of room at the top of the picture for your description. Load them onto your computer.

Step 2: Add a description

Drop a text box over your picture and add a description of the shoe. Record the colour, style and make. You could also use a pen to write this information directly onto the photo.

Step 3: Print it and stick it


Print off the updated pictures (use a screen shot if you're having problems). Try the Walmart Photo Centre if you want a real photo-finish. They print 4x6 photos in under an hour for only $0.20.

Hint: If this process is too time consuming for your busy schedule, buy clear plastic shoe boxes to store your footwear. That way you can see which shoes are in which boxes the moment you open the closet door!

Talk soon,
Vi

Thursday, 24 November 2011

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

 Dress: Burdines Florida, now Macy's (find a similar one here)
Bag: Lisa's Cosmetics Warehouse (find a similar one here
Cami: Pure Body Cami, Gap (find it here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here)
Tights: Joe Fresh

Check out the spectacular photo quality (the top pic) of dad's new camera! We decided to take some pictures outside so that the lighting would be better, but we seriously underestimated the weather. Brrrr...it's definitely too cold to go outside without a coat on now. That's melted frost on the interlock, not rain!

Today I wore this pretty patterned dress that I borrowed from my mom. It really goes to show that a well-cut dress is universally flattering. My mom is a lot taller than me with a smaller chest, yet this dress suits both of our figures. During the summer, she wore it with sandals and without the cami for a sexier vacation look. This dress is also really comfortable and forgiving, which is great. Look for dresses with a deep V-neck to elongate your figure, making you look taller and slimmer.

This is the new bag that I got yesterday at the Christmas sale at Lisa's Cosmetics. To read the funny story about how I came across it click here. I love the size because it's great for days when you have to carry around a ton of stuff. Today I manged to fit my laptop, two huge LSAT books, my wallet, my makeup pouch and two glasses cases inside it without even straining the zipper! It'll also make a great carry-on bag for when I travel. Perfect :)

Talk soon,
Vi

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

GET YOUR STUDY ON


This is what happens when your father gets a brand spankin' new camera when you are in the midst of an LSAT study bonanza. I was uploading pictures for tomorrow's OOTD and I found these gems. I know, I know. You are probably still speechless at the sight of my fashion-forward outfit. In awe of my artful bun. Don't worry, you too can become a study diva like myself. All you need is one part pencils, two parts pajamas and three parts nervous desperation. Good times.

For those of you who don't know, I'm taking the Law School Admissions Test on December 3rd - eeep!! Only ten more days of studying :S If you guys are in high school, university or pulling an all-nighter for work, then I feel your pain. Keep calm and carry on :)

Wishing you good grades and good luck!
Talk soon,
Vi

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

LISA'S WAREHOUSE COSMETICS SALE


It's warehouse madness! This week I went to Lisa's Cosmetics warehouse in Markham (near Toronto) for their annual Christmas sale. My friend Lauren turned me onto it last year and I couldn't wait to go again. They have the craziest sales and markdowns! This year I picked up some great cosmetics for myself along with a couple of Christmas presents for my friends and family. The whole place reeks of perfume and it's crazy crowded, but it's definitely worth the trip. I spent the whole time clinging to the shreds of my self-restraint; I could just walk through the bins going, 'I want this. And this. And this. And this."


Here's what I got for myself. I would also show you the great Christmas presents that I bought, but I'm too afraid that the recipients will see them here before the big day. First, I bought a new Marcelle Velvety Powder Blush (find it here) in Dust to replace the one that I just finished. It's the same brand and colour as the one that I featured on my Top 5 Beauty Products post, but they have a new packaging. All of their Marcelle products were only $2.49, wow!

I also got a travel size Smashbox Photo Finish Light primer (find it here) for less than half price, as well as a great eyeshadow. The box doesn't have a colour code on it, but I think it's Cinnamon Toast (find it here). It's a nice warm brown colour that will be great for the holidays. I can't wait to wear it!


Last but not least I got this great faux-crocodile bag, which is sitting on my bed so that I can admire it :) It such a funny story about how I found it! I never even bother to look in the clothing/luggage area of the warehouse since they usually have pretty tacky things, but as I was waiting in the checkout line I noticed this women carrying a fabulous purse. I ran up to her to ask where she got it and she said that she had just decided that she liked the black version better and handed it over! I couldn't believe it! Better yet, it was half off. Yay! It was meant to be. It does have that funky new-bag-smell though, so I'll have to toss in a dryer sheet to freshen it up.

If you are in the Toronto area, the sale continues this weekend so check it out.
Talk soon,
Vi

Monday, 21 November 2011

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Trench: Forever 21 (find a similar one here)
Dress: Urban Outfitters (find a similar one here)
Cami: H&M (find a similar one here)
Cardigan: Joe Fresh (find a similar version here)
Scarf: Marche aux Puces Clignancourt, Paris (find a similar one here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here)
Earrings: Tiffany & Co (find them here)
Belt: Forever 21 (find a similar one here
Tights: Joe Fresh

"London calling to the faraway towns." For some reason this picture reminds me of England. I think it's the grey weather and the pretty brick house in the background. It's actually a building outside of the Whitby Public Library, where I go to study during the day. Only 12 days until I write the LSAT eeek!

Today I wore an outfit that I wear when I don't know what to put on. Do you have an I-don't-know-what-to-wear-so-I-wear-this outfit? This distressed Urban Outfitters dress is great with a pair of grey or black tights. I usually wear it with a skinny belt to add some structure and emphasize my waist. Dresses are great because you can get away with a long or short cardigan.

I also wore a silky cami underneath my dress to add a bit more interest and to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions. If you find that camis ride up when you layer them under a dress, tuck them into your tights. It looks soo funny before you put the dress on, but it works like a charm :)

I kept my accessories super simple with a pair of pearl earrings - which were a gift from my friend Alex (thanks Allie!) - and a lightweight patterned scarf. Last but not least I wore my black Ecco boots. The poor things are getting an intense workout this fall; I'm practically living in them. They keep my tootsies toasty as the weather gets colder!

Talk soon,
Vi




Sunday, 20 November 2011

HOW TO: SET A DINNER PARTY TABLE


I love hosting dinner parties! They bring together all of your friends, introduce you to new people and give you an excuse to eat extra delicious food. Added bonus: you get to dress up :) In order to dress up your table, however, you have to know how to properly set it.

Since people don't really study etiquette anymore, full table settings have become reserved for restaurants and weddings, but don't let that stop you from spicing up your table at home. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it looks! I've worked for a catering company for a couple of years now and I'm pretty sure I could do this in my sleep. Practice makes perfect.

1. Dinner Plate
This one is pretty obvious. If you are putting dishes on the table where people can serve themselves, then put the plate in the centre of your setting. The bottom of the plate should be flush with the edge of the table. If you are plating dinner in the kitchen and then carrying the full plates to the table, then leave an empty spot in the setting where you can set it down when the time comes.

2. Soup Bowl
If there's a yummy soup on the menu, plop the bowl in the centre of the dinner plate. Again, if you are serving in the kitchen beforehand then just leave a space.

3. Cutlery
This is where it gets a little finicky. First put down the dinner knife. It goes directly to the right of the dinner plate, facing inwards. Slide it down so that it's flush with the edge of the table. Next, put the soup spoon to the right of the knife. It should also lay flush with the table edge. After that come the forks. Put the dinner fork opposite the dinner knife; directly to the left of the plate and flush with the table. Then lay down your salad fork. The salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork, but you have to slide it up so that it's about two inches above the table edge. I have no idea why it's done that way, but there you go. 

Last but not least, you have the dessert fork and the coffee spoon. These go horizontally above the dinner plate. The spoon goes right underneath the coffee saucer, with the bowl facing towards the left. The dessert fork goes underneath the coffee spoon, but facing the other way. I always remember this by thinking that the forks aren't allowed to look at each other :)

4. B&B Plate
The bread and butter plate is next. Put it down to the left of the salad fork. Easy peasy.

5-6. Glassware
Finding the right spot for the water glass is simple; it goes just above the dinner knife. Then, use the water glass to measure where you put the wine glass. The wine glass should go behind the water glass on a slight angle towards the left. If you have a champagne glass on the table as well (fancy pants!), it also goes behind the water glass but on a rightwards angle instead.

7. Coffee mug and saucer
Last but not least is the coffee cup and saucer. If you are bringing a coffee jug to the table, then it's easiest to put the cups and saucers on the table too. On the other hand, if people are going to the kitchen to get coffee, then just leave them off the table. Slide the coffee saucer down the table so that it sits right above the coffee spoon. The rim of the saucer should cover the spoon just a tad. Next, place the coffee mug onto the saucer, facing up. Some places turn the mug upside down, but etiquette-wise it should be facing up (not that it really matters).

ALL DONE!
If you want to add fancy cloth napkins, here are two ways to fold 'em up.

Option One: The Water Glass

Step 1: Lay the napkin flat. Pinch the centre and pull up so that the napkin falls into a triangle shape. It doesn't have to be perfect, they'll look the same at the end.


Step 2: Fold the bottom (pointed) part upwards. Collect the whole napkin in your hand and push it into the glass. The folds will make it stand up straight. All done!


Option Two: The Pocket Fold


Step 1: Lay the napkin flat and then fold the top edge about 1/4 of the way down.


Step 2: Next, fold the bottom edge up to meet the top fold.


Step 3: Fold the left edge over so that it meets the middle of the napkin. Do the same on the other side, but only fold it halfway to the middle.


Step 4: Lastly, flip the shorter folded side over. Leave about a 2'' gap (see below) and then turn it right side up. If you have a printed menu or keepsake, slip it into the pocket (see above).

With a couple of easy steps, you'll have the nicest table in the neighbourhood :)
I'm working on an 'outfit of the day' post as we speak, so it should be up shortly!
Talk soon,
Vi

Saturday, 19 November 2011

BIRTHDAY BOY

Hello! Yesterday night I went out to dinner with my parents, my sister and my parent's friends to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday. To see what I wore click here. The evening was full of laughter, great food and funny stories :) We all had the best time together. Happy Birthday Daddy! 

Now we have to recharge after the 'friends party' and do it all over again tonight for the 'family party'. Can't wait.

Birthday kisses!
Talk soon,
Vi