Wednesday, 29 February 2012

NEW YORK MOVIE

Hi everyone :) I finally got around to editing all of the footage from my New York trip and I put together a little video to share my adventure with all of you! In case you're curious, the song in the background is Billie Holiday's "You're My Thrill". Better late than never...

video

Talk soon!
Vi

Monday, 27 February 2012

OSCAR STYLE

I love the smell of hairspray in the morning - it's Oscar time again!! Did you guys watch this year's Academy Awards? I had a mini Oscar party with my parents and we filled out ballots as part of our annual award night competition (we are a competitive bunch...) I won. Just sayin' ;)

This year there were lots of familiar trends. Old Hollywood curls were popular for the ladies, as were bow ties on the boys. White and orange-red seemed to be the colours of choice and lots of gowns featured beautiful trains. One thing that did surprise me, however, was how undecided I felt about most of the gowns. Usually I decide pretty quickly whether or not I like an outfit, but I was stumped by some of the choices. Maybe the bar was set too high after the great Golden Globes dresses. What did you guys think?

Let's start with my Top Four Best Dressed...

PENELOPE CRUZ
Oh Penelope. You've done it again. How can someone possibly look this good in periwinkle? Let's start with the styling. I really liked the 'simple' diamond collarette necklaces that were all over the red carpet last night and this one is no exception. I also love her hair and makeup because it lets her pretty face and lovely dress take centre stage. As for the gown itself (made by Armani), it really plays up Cruz's figure. The bodice is nice and snug without being tight and it shows off her bust without assaulting us with exposed cleavage. Sometimes full skirts can look too heavy, but the light colour and gauzy texture of the fabric suit the silhouette perfectly. Well played Ms. Cruz, well played.

ROONEY MARA
 
Let's be honest. Those bangs and that neckline are strange. They are also absolutely stunning. I really love the way that Mara has been glamorizing her super-choppy punk haircut from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo all through this year's awards season. Her unique sense of style is really shinning through. My favourite part of this Givenchy creation is the construction. The top half is so structured with its raised bust panels and U-shaped neckline, but it perfectly compliments the flowing skirt. This look definitely takes advantage of Mara's unique figure and daring styling. Love it!

LESLIE MANN
I first started loving Leslie Mann when she played Ursula in George of the Jungle (java, java, java, java...) Those curls...that safari-chic style...good times. This dress goes to show that she's still got it! Firstly, I really like that Mann embraces her pale complexion. The deep navy really plays up her nice skin.  Secondly, I like that this Roberto Cavalli gown has a classic column shape that is made interesting and dynamic by its detailing. The beaded detailing creates the illusion of a narrow waist and slim hips (even though she has a lovely figure as is) and the draping adds a nice element of visual interest. I also like the train. But I'm a sucker for a good train :)

KRISTEN WIGG
Last but certainly not least is Kristen Wigg. Gotta love a girl with a killer sense of humour and a killer sense of style. I was a little nervous after that brown silk number at the Emmys, but Wigg's J Mendel dress is picture perfect! The textural detailing really makes the dress. I love the transition from the woven bodice to the smooth hips into the feathered skirt. Her styling is great too. I love the diamond cuff (although - let's be honest - I'd be hard-pressed to find a diamond cuff that I didn't like), as well as her pinky-nude lipstick. I even like her dark nail polish - it seems to suit her personality. My only complaint is that I kinda wish that gown was a brighter nude, but the look is lovely nonetheless.

______________
Now for the dresses that left me scratching my chin. I just can't decide if I love them or if they're just so-so. Let me know what you think in the side-bar or in the comments!! Here are my Top Four Just-Can't-Decide Dresses...


GWYNETH PALTROW
I'm fairly certain that I love this dress. The lines are so nice and crisp. The whole thing looks clean and elegant and the colour is great against Paltrow's skin. And yet... No matter which way you look at it, girlfriend is wearing a floor-length cape. Generally speaking, I think that this particular fashion trend is best left to Gandalf, but there's no denying that I still kinda like it. Even though it looks like she pulled a sweater over her shoulders to keep off the chill. Even if she vaguely reminds me of the Flying Nun. I just can't help but like it. What do you guys thing?

ANGELINA JOLIE
Here's another example of a dress that I would love if there wasn't something about it that makes me hesitate. Maybe it's a little bit too big? I mean, without the slit it would probably look like she belted the draperies from Dita Von Teese's living room. But those shoes are undeniable fabulous and even with the weird side-volume, Jolie's dress is still gorgeous. On second thought, I think that I'm just being biased because I don't like her new lighter haircolour. Yes, I think that must be it. Thoughts?

MILLA JOVOVICH
Let me start by saying that - like with the other "undecided" dresses - I really do like Jovovich's gown. The old Hollywood glamour is spot on and her hair and makeup are super flattering. I also love the silhouette that she chose. The wrap-style shoulder is to die for and the mini train is so elegant! I think that maybe it's the fabric that I'm not crazy for. It just seems a tiny bit too heavy for the shape and style of the dress. The shoulder almost looks padded. What do you think - am I being silly or would this dress look better in a lighter (still shimmery!) material? Hmmm...

ROSE BYRNE
Love the bob. Love the shimmer. LOVE the back (it swoops into a plunging single-strap racerback-type number). Love the shoes. Not a huge fan of the draping around the hips and thighs. I don't know why it irks me, but I just can't get behind the bunching. It's not even that the dress is unflattering in the hips because Rose Byrne looks lovely as usual, but I just think it would have looked that much nicer with a straight column skirt. Especially with that fabulous clingy top part and the narrow bottom. What do you guys think?

Don't forget to vote for your favorite Oscar dress in the side bar!
Talk soon,
Vi

Friday, 24 February 2012

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Top: H&M (find a similar one here)
Skirt: H&M (find a similar one here) 
Shoes: Ecco (find a similar pair here)
Tights: H&M (find a similar pair here)
Glases: Fendi (find them here)

Hi everyone! Today there was supposed to be a giant snowstorm so my mom and I planned to get up early to shovel the snow, but the weather turned out to be so warm (up to 3 degrees!) that the snow didn't stick for long after all. My dad took some really cool pictures from our window during the peak of the 'storm'. The snowflakes were huge because the snow was so wet. 

This outfit is pretty simple, but the graphic top adds a great pop of pattern. I bought this shirt on Wednesday as part of my find-grown-up-work-clothes campaign :) I'm working on a "Building a Wardrobe: Work Wear" post that will focus on how to build a super versatile office-appropriate closet with a couple of staple pieces - hopefully it will be ready next week.

I really love the shape and print of this top. The faux-wrap style of this blouse is very flattering on most figures, especially if you struggle to fit a larger bust. The deep-v neckline, combined with the diagonal lines of the wrap shape, make your neck and waist look slender while controlling a big bust. Even if you have a smaller bust, the wrap style is still very flattering since it will slenderize your waist and flatter your chest.

Prints can be scary, especially bold black and white ones, but this top is an example of a great starter print. Since the actual design is quite small, you don't risk making your top half look bigger. Better yet, the bold print directs attention upwards so that people can admire your pretty face! H&M also has a fabulous wrap dress in this same pattern that I may or may not have bought ;)

Last but not least I added my cat-eye Fendi glasses, because - in the words of New Girl's Jess - 'they help me see."


Talk soon!
Vi

Thursday, 23 February 2012

WAITING

For me, this year has been a lot about waiting.

Waiting for law school results...
Waiting tables... 
Waiting for my broken heart to heal...
Wait-listed...
Waiting to get over the sting of rejection...
Waiting tables... 
Waiting for my dad's test results...
Waiting for my dad's surgery...
Waiting for my dad to get better...
Waiting tables... 
Waiting for LSAT studying to get easier...
Waiting for my test results...
Waiting tables... 
Waiting for law school results again...
Waiting for law school to start...
Waiting tables...  

I think these slumps happen to everyone. Those times in your life when you just can't seem to catch a break. Speaking as someone who is finally coming out at the other end, it will get better. It may not seem like it and it may take a while, but it will get better. Things will get easier and life will stop sucking the big one. Here's what you have to do...

Grit you teeth and refuse to let it break you. Make a list of fun things to do. Even if you lost someone you love. Even if you lost your job. Even if you didn't get the program/promotion/apartment/trip that you wanted. Even if you're living at home in suburgatory. Even if you're broke. Force yourself to have fun. Here are some of the fun things (big and small) that you can do to weather the storm:

Plan a Vacation with Friends
Plan a Staycation with Friends
Start a Blog (that's what I did ;) 
Go to a Local Museum
Take a Class
Get a Manicure
Track Down an Old Friend
Get a Pet
Take up a New Hobby
Go on a Road Trip
Start Watching a New TV Series
Join a Club
Throw a Dinner Party
Listen to an Undeniably Upbeat Song
Watch your Favourite Movie
Cuddle a Baby (preferably one you know...)
Go to a New Restaurant
Wear a Fun Outfit
Make a Vlog
Read a Great Book
 Explore a New City
Wishing you a slump-free tomorrow!!
Talk soon,
Vi

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

HOW TO: MAKE A BRACELET

Get ready - it's time for a big art attack!! This week I finally got around to making the buttons that I bought at the Chelsea Flea Market (read about my New York adventures here) into a bracelet. I'm so happy with the results and, better yet, it was easy and affordable to make!

The materials that you'll need for this project are pretty straight forward. I used a thin navy piping for the string part, but coloured embroidery thread would work equally well. To connect the two ends of the bracelet I used a hook and eye clasp, but a lobster fastening or any other type of hook would work just fine. Other than that, all you need are some basic craft materials (scissors, glue, etc.) and something to decorate your bracelet like a bead or button.

First things first, thread your buttons onto the string. Use a sewing pick to push the string through if it gives you trouble. I really like the look of the mismatched buttons - it gives the bracelet a unique touch. 

Next, attach one side of the clip to the bracelet. I tied the ends of the string into a double knot and then coated the whole knot with super glue to be sure that it didn't come undone in the shower. You don't have to worry about the length of the bracelet yet so just make sure that it's firmly attached.

Now you have to decide the length of your bracelet. I wanted mine to wrap around my wrist twice so I measured it accordingly. Make sure to add about 2cm of extra length to the end so that you have room to attach the clasp. When you're sure about the length, use your scissors to cut the extra string off. 
 
 
Last but not least, you have to attach the second half of the clip. Once again you're going to double knot the string and then coat it with super glue so that it stays put. If you value your arm hairs, make sure to let the super glue dry entirely before trying it on. Clip any extra string with your scissors and voila! One unique, pretty bracelet in no time at all! Easy peasy.

Talk soon,
Vi

Sunday, 19 February 2012

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Boots: Ecco (find them here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
 Jeans: Levi's Curve ID (find them here) 
Sweater: Zara (find a similar one here)
Jacket: Forever 21 (find it here)
Scarf: H&M (find a similar one here
Hat: Femme de Carriere (find it here) 
 
Today I went of a shopping adventure with my parents in downtown Toronto. We were on a mission to find a nice suit for me to wear to all of the upcoming law firm events that I have during the law school admission period. Who knew that finding a suit could be such a task!? Man oh man, it felt like I tried on a thousand!

In the end I found two really lovely suits. I got one blue pinstriped suit from Club Monaco and a grey and black blazer from Femme de Carriere, which I matched with a great pair of charcoal pants from Banana Republic. I'll do a better post on them and other business pieces in a "Building a Wardrobe: Work Wear" sometime next week(ish).

This outfit is one of my favourites because it's comfortable and cute. I am in love with this hat - it reminds me of something Indiana Jones would wear! I also can't get enough of these black Levi's jeans. I was really skeptical about their new Curve ID line, but they fit so nicely and they don't get baggy or loose after a couple of wears. As usual I wore my brown Ecco ankle boots. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit and they keep my feet warm in the snow. Since I knew that I was going to be inside all day, I wore my spring/fall bomber jacket instead of a proper winter coat. Last but not least, I threw on my floral scarf for a pop of pattern.

Talk soon,
Vi

Thursday, 16 February 2012

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Shirt: American Apparel (find it here)
Jeans: H&M (find a similar pair here)
Boots: Ecco (find them here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Glasses: Tru Trussarti TR 12703 (Find them here)
Blazer: United Colours of Bennetton (find a similar one here)

Hi everybody! I hope that you guys have been having a good week. I had a pretty laid-back week, but I did manage to get together with my girlfriends for dinner on Tuesday. Since the restaurant was about mid-level on the fancy scale, I paired my black Bennetton blazer with my lighter-wash distressed jeans. If the restaurant had been any fancier I would have opted for a more formal pair of jeans, but the blazer dressed them up so that I could get away with it.

I chose my comfy grey American Apparel t-shirt because I wanted to keep the look simple and easy. The v-neck shape is super flattering on most figures and it's a great way to open up the top half of an outfit when you're wearing a blazer. Last but not least, I added my favourite Ecco ankle boots. I can't get enough of these boots - they are super cute and they have a pretty decent heel (about three inches), but they are so comfortable! I even loaded and set up a catering event in them one day (side note: I was in the office and a staff member got sick so I had to do the event - I'm not crazy enough to intentionally wear heels on a delivery) without any pain!

Hopefully I'll get some good pictures this weekend. I'm going shopping on Sunday with my mom to flesh out my 'grown up office clothes' wardrobe for law school in the fall, yay!

Wishing you cute and comfy heels!
Talk soon,
Vi

Monday, 13 February 2012

SNAPSHOT INSPIRATION

Here's another great shot of Daniela. I took this picture during our New York Trip (read about our adventure here) while we were waiting to listen to the gospel choir at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. This picture really goes to show that you don't have to sacrifice style for warmth!
Special thanks to Alex, who managed to snap a picture of me while I was taking pictures of Daniela. It's a little photography love triangle :)

To see Daniela's summertime Snapshot Inspiration click here.

Talk soon,
Vi

Saturday, 11 February 2012

NEW YORK ADVENTURES - DAY 3

Pants: Joe Fresh (find a similar pair here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Scarf: Joe Fresh (find a similar one here
Sweater: Jacob (find a similar one here)
Belt: Borrowed from my dad (find a similar one here)

Today is my last NYC post! I've only been home a couple of days and I already miss the excitement of the city. On Sunday morning, Daniela and Alex and I all got up early and made our way to Harlem to see the amazing gospel choir at Mount Neboh Baptist Church. Daniela had read online that this was one of the best places to hear gospel straight from the source and she was definitely right!
The church was in such a pretty neighbourhood and the architecture was really beautiful. I was so impressed by how nicely all of the churchgoers were dressed. Most of the men were wearing three-piece suits and the women had the most amazing hats. It was such a welcoming and positive atmosphere and the music was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in gospel music!
After listening to the music at Mount Neboh, we headed back downtown to hit up the Chelsea Flea Market. What a cool place! The vendors had such a huge array of items for sale. You could buy anything from a vintage fur coat, to a two dollar necklace, to a 1920s issue of National Geographic, to a vintage children's toy. It was so cool to be able to walk through the aisles and see all the amazing treasures that people had collected over time - it was like being on the show floor for The Antiques Roadshow! I ended up buying a chunky beaded necklace and two little gold buttons, which I will hopefully be able to make into a bracelet.
Last but not least, we walked through the Chelsea Flower Market. Even though it was mostly closed up for the afternoon, we poped into the little flower shops and looked at all of their plants. There were these crazy plants in one store that were growing out of the wall! It seems like no matter where you are in the world, flower shops all have the same smell - it's like the smell in a butterfly sanctuary or the 'rainforest' part of a zoo :) On our way back to the apartment, we bought a little yellow tulip plant as a thank you gift for Daniela - thanks for letting us invade your apartment all weekend!! 

This trip has really reminded me that it's so important to set up little adventures for yourself. Whether it's driving to a local conservation area or flying halfway across the world, it's so nice to keep things interesting. Even though I'm living at home in suburbia this year, I'm going to make an effort to shake things up. Did you go on any adventures lately? Share them in the comments or send me an email!

Talk soon,
Vi


Thursday, 9 February 2012

NEW YORK ADVENTURES - DAY 2

Skirt: H&M (find a similar one here) 
Shirt: Gap (find a similar one here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
Scarf: H&M (find a similar one here)
Bag: Marche aux Puces Clignancourt, Paris (find a similar one here) 
Coat: Boutique in Montreal - I forget the name (find a similar one here)

The second day of our trip started with several cups of tea/coffee to clear our groggy heads, before we headed to the Times Square discount ticket booth. When I know that I'm going to be doing a lot of walking, it's very important that I feel comfortable in my clothes. I kept my outfit simple with a plain grey long-sleeved shirt and a high-waisted black felt skirt. I added thick black tights for extra warmth and stuck with my comfy black Ecco boots. Alex and I each bought a pair of cheap Duane Reade gel inserts after the first day because our feet were killing us from walking so much. Many "Are you gellin'?" jokes ensued.
We ended up getting tickets to see Seminar, a play about the students and professor of a fiction writing class. It starred Alan Rickman (read: Professor Snape) and Jerry O'Connell (read: the chubby kid in Stand By Me and hubby of Rebecca Romijn). Since we had about an hour to burn before the matinee, we walked around Times Square, met a Transformer and grabbed a delicious icing-covered cookie.
That night we decided to splurge a little on dinner so we made a reservation at Freeman's, a great restaurant on the lower east side with delicious artichoke dip and a slightly-pretentious 'rustic' decor. Daniela, Alex and I met up with another friend from university and we had such a nice time catching up! I ordered the oven-baked macaroni and cheese and then slipped into a cheese-induced coma...mmmmm...cheese....

We tried not to stay up too late that night, since we wanted to go to listen to the gospel music at Mount Neboh Baptist Church the next morning. Stay tuned for our last day of adventures!
Talk soon,
Vi

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NEW YORK ADVENTURES - DAY 1


 Jeans: Levi's Curve ID (find them here) 
Bag: Marche aux Puces Clignancourt, Paris (find a similar one here) 
Coat: Boutique in Montreal - I forget the name (find a similar one here)
Watch: Couturier, Tissot (find it here)
T-Shirt: Bluenotes (find it here)
Boots: Kolding, Ecco (find it here)
Necklace: Banana Republic (find a similar one here)
Sweater: Banana Republic (find a similar one here)
 
Hello :) I've finally had the chance to sort through my pictures from New York this past weekend and I'm so excited to share some with you. I went down on the overnight bus with my friend Alex to visit our mutual friend Daniela, since she lives in NYC. Even though we were pooped after the bus ride, we fueled up on some delicious hot chocolate and headed out to explore the city.

Since I am all bundled up in most of my pictures, I put together a little collage for each outfit that I wore. Keep in mind that the items in the collage are not the exact pieces that I am wearing in the picture - the exact items can be found in the listing underneath the photo. 

After a quick walk in Central Park, Alex and I went to see the new Art of the Arab Lands exhibit at the MET. I loved the carpets displayed on the walls - I couldn't believe how huge and intricate they were. We were also really lucky to have lovely weather throughout our trip. Look how sunny it is in this photo!

After the MET, we grabbed a bite of lunch and headed to Times Square to meet up with Alex's brother who was also visiting NYC. It was such a nice change to be in the city after being trapped in suburgatory for the past couple of months. We also scoped out some Broadway plays for the next day while we were there.

The Chelsea High Line was one of my favourite places that we visited this weekend. It was so warm that we were able to sit outside and watch the sunset. Better yet, since it was the off-season (or as close to the off-season as your get in New York), the High Line wasn't crowded at all. What a lovely view!

To top off our first day, we met up with another mutual friend from university and went to see the Nuyorican Poetry Slam. If you ever have the chance to go, I would definitely recommend it! Daniela had been raving about how cool it was before we got to New York, so we stood in line for an hour and a half and managed to get seats. It was such an amazing atmosphere and the poetry was great (if not slightly depressing theme-wise).

Stay tuned for Day 2 and more adventures!
Talk soon,
Vi

Monday, 6 February 2012

SNAPSHOT INSPIRATION

Hello :) I hope that everyone a great weekend. As promised I'm putting together a post about my trip to New York, but I still have to organize all of my photos so it'll be up tomorrow or the next day. In the meantime, here's a great picture that I took at the Golden Theatre on Broadway. I was there to see Seminar with Alan Rickman (side note: it was very funny and the acting was amazing - definitely worth seeing if you're in the area!). I was waiting in the monstrously long line for the ladies washroom when I noticed this girl's amazing style. I love that her nose ring and earring are connected!

Talk soon!
Vi

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

VI AND ALEX TAKE NEW YORK

Hi everyone :) This weekend I'm going to take the bus down to NYC with my friend Alex. Our amazing friend Daniela (see my Snapshot Inspiration post about her here) lives in the Big Apple, so we're all going to bunk up and explore the city together! I miss living two minutes away from these girls (or in Alex's case, a three-step walk down the hall) like we did in university!

Have you guys been to NYC? What do you most want to see? I'm going to try to do an Outfit of the Day post for each day that I'm there (I'll post the first one Monday when I get back) and I'll also sneak some pictures of Daniela and Alex's fabulous style. Alex and I are going to take the overnight bus (10 hours!!) from Toronto to NYC - wish us luck!

I don't know why, but I find packing to be such a drag. I'm always worried that I'm going to forget something important like my passport or money. My poor little Type-A brain can hardly handle it :) Here are some tips and tricks for packing effectively:

1. MAKE A 'PACKING' AND 'TO DO' LIST

Lists, lists, lists. I love them! If you're going away for a short period of time, the key is to pack only the things you will need and nothing more. Make a packing list that's organized into outfits instead of listing a jumble of clothing. How many days of clothes will you need? For example, I'm going away for three full days so I will need three day outfits, one night outfit (for a fancier evening outing like the theatre or a nice restaurant) and one comfy outfit for the overnight bus. By organizing your packing this way, you won't have to worry about matching once you get there. Make sure that you include accessories (jewelry, belts, bags, etc.), socks, shoes and underwear too!

Next, make a list of all the other things that you will need. Go through your daily routine in your head so that you don't forget anything. List things like pajamas, toiletries, electronics (and their chargers!), makeup, books and travel documents.

Last but not least, list anything that you have to do before you leave. Maybe you need to take out the garbage or exchange money or call your credit card company to tell them you'll be out of the country. Write 'em all down and then you can stop worrying about forgetting them. It will make the whole experience much less stressful!

2. LAY OUT YOUR CLOTHES BEFORE YOU PACK


This simple trick will help you so much! If you lay everything out, it will be quick and easy to see what you're missing. You won't have to wonder if you already put your earrings in your suitcase or whether you remembered to take your shirt out of the wash. Check each item on your list, outfit by outfit, and then pop them into your suitcase once they are complete. It takes all the stress out of packing :)

3. PACK YOUR HANDBAG THE NIGHT BEFORE

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but there's a method to my madness I promise. I always remember things that I have to pack during at night when I'm lying in bed, so by packing the night before I give myself all night to remember things that I've forgotten. The other bonus is that you won't have to scramble in the morning to make everything fit or run around trying to find something. This way if you hit a speed bump the morning of your trip, you will have left yourself plenty of time to deal with it.

New York, here I come :)
Talk soon,
Vi