One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 was to really take an interest in the kitchen, and finally learn how to cook. It’s embarassing to admit, but I really did not step foot in the kitchen and take charge until after having my son. I am extremely fortunate to have married a spectacular cook, who has spoiled me for years with his delicious creations. After becoming a mom, I couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to make healthy meals for my family. I don’t always see my resolutions through every year, but this one I was determined to.
I have learned to enjoy my time in the kitchen, and now find it quite therapeutic (especially with a glass of vino in hand). I have relied heavily on cookbooks, websites & food blogs for direction, as I have not quite built the confidence to create my own dishes from scratch.
Here are my absolute favourite references that I have used time & time again this year. I focus on healthy eating, as my little man has developed a certain level of pickiness. I also LOVE healthy baking (although I will be the first to admit, it’s a serious trial & error process). Check out these great websites/cookbooks for some inspiration in the kitchen!
1. Chocolate Covered Katie – THE dessert blog (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com), Instagram: @chocolatecoveredkatie
2. What’s Cooking Good Looking – Vegetarian goodness (http://www.whatscookinggoodlooking.com), Instagram: @jodiwhatscookin
3. Hemsley Hemsley – Two sisters creating healthy, wholesome meals (http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com), Instagram: @hemsleyhemsley
4. My New Roots – Delicious plant-based eating (http://www.mynewroots.org/site/), Instagram: @mynewroots
5. It’s All Good – Cookbook by Gwenyth Paltrow. No website, but details here (http://shop.goop.com/products/its-all-good-personalized)
6. Oh She Glows – Amazing vegan dishes, both savoury & sweet (http://ohsheglows.com), Instagram: @ohsheglows
Well, hello!! I am making a return after a long hiatus. Sorry about that. My recent trip to the desert was lovely, and a wonderful break from the freezing rain here. However, I STILL managed to catch that nasty cold going around which put a damper on the getaway. Regardless, time away is always nice!!
I picked up this James Perse sweater dress from the Desert Hills Premium Outlets. This exact dress was on my current wish list and conveniently, was in stock! I already have the raglan sweatshirt (seen here), and find great use for it on a regular basis. As easy as it is to reach for denim everyday right now, I thought it would be refreshing to switch it up. A casual sweater dress makes me feel like I’ve put in some extra effort, without comprimising comfort. I can still perform my mom duties successfully without having to constantly adjust (bonus!). This look is easily obtainable (with other versions here & here) – and with a button up underneath, makes for a polished yet relaxed outfit. Complete with a menswear inspired watch & a trench for some added sophistication!
I am sure most of us are on the same page this time of year. You are frantically running around trying to wrap up your holiday shopping, feeling a lack of creativity, stressed, unmotivated – all while the clock is ticking!
No matter who is on your list, I have rounded up some of my faves from Instagram for everyone – including some local and/or handmade pieces!! I hope you can gather an idea or two, or some inspiration, and ease a little of your stress
Here are the accounts whose gits ideas contributed to my collage..
1. @delishgeneralstore - black growler (local!!)
2. @minimodelgallery – kids boots/pillow (Canadian)
3. @iseenoiseprints – wall art (local!!)
4. @thetinyco – wooden cameras
5. @scandinavianminimall – mini tipi
6. @shopripeshop – necklace
7. @everlane – tablet case
8. @eastdane – men’s shaving kit
9. @chaptersindigo – old-fashioned book (local!!)
10. @mansurgavriel – camel leather bag
11. @helloleuie – children’s book/stuffed toy (local!!)
12. @nineteentenhome - playing cards (local!!)
Photos by: Kim Forrester
Brrr!!! It’s getting chilly!! I can’t believe that Christmas is around corner. These crisp, beautiful Vancouver days with a light dusting of snow are putting me in the festive holiday mood!
I have been wearing this zara blanket scarf over everything, making it my daily staple. In the perfect blend of greys, it suits my favourite neutral colour palette, and keeps me nice and cozy! If you have not yet discovered the comforts of a blanket scarf, I highly recommend it
I have escaped to Palm Springs with King for some warmth for the next ten days, so it will be rather quiet on the blog. I do apologize, but I will be back with a fun Christmas DIY project shortly!
Until then, be sure to follow along on my desert journeys on Instagram. I will have plenty to report about there!
I am so incredibly honoured to be featuring Evelyn Iona Cosmetics on the blog today. I first met Lisa (shown above) at an event where we were both presenting. After I heard her speak and learned the inspiring & touching story behind Evelyn Iona, I knew I had to share it with you. Fortunately, Lisa is absolutely amazing and was more than pleased to tell me more about the product (made from organic, natural ingredients). Simple, minimal, natural – their line focuses on the basics, and the beauty within.
Read my interview with Brandi & Lisa below to learn more about their line…
S: Evelyn Iona is fresh on the market, launching just last fall. How did the company come to be?
B: The company really came from a place of love, determination and healing. I realized that I was very lucky. Sometimes it takes losing everything to recognize this. In 2012, I lived in a woman’s shelter after leaving an abusive partner. I lost everything at a very young age, and gained everything at the same time. I am ‘starting from the bottom’ ( <3 drake ) and determined to create my own success story from tough circumstances . The work that organizations like our partners at YWCA Canada do for women and girls is crucial. Evelyn Iona is just my way of giving back to these organizations & creating change, and who doesn’t like make-up! I want to see change in our justice system and the processes that take place surrounding domestic violence. I believe, in order to create change we have to speak the language of those who hold the power to help us. These people talk business… so, I created a business that we are growing to a level that they respect with thousands of woman who back and believe in us. Respect = talking. Talking = understanding and understanding = REAL change.
S: Your brand message speaks about caring for oneself and others (giving back). Can you elaborate on that?
B: We’re so different than other companies that give-back because we did not build a company and then decide to give back. The company is just a give back machine while also being profitable towards our own success story. We impact lives positively every day and this will always be our first mandate and goal. One of the first things every woman does in the morning is put on make-up. We make it possible to put a smile on a woman’s face who really needs it just by putting on your own. And to change the lives of woman in future generations simply by wearing make-up, it’s really simply! We donate $1.00 from every product purchased and participate, volunteer and facilitate community programs with our partners, YWCA Canada and Beauty Night Society. Every decision that we make in the business, we always remind ourselves WHY we are doing what we are doing.
L: We firmly believe in everyones beauty and enhancing ones natural beauty – so you will find our palette is natural so you are enhancing your gorgeous self and caring for YOU each and every morning you look in the mirror. We want to put a smile on your face and why not create a product, in our case a line, that is universally used but able to give back to others.
S: Where is the product made, and where is it currently sold?
B: All of our product is made in the U.S and is sold across Canada, U.S and Australia. We hope to grow to the UK soon! for a list of stores visit http://evelyniona.com/pages/retailers
L: Monthly beauty subscription boxes are trending – keep your eyes peeled for us to appear in some very recognized ones across the nation soon
S: The line focuses on the beauty basics. Will you expand into making eyeshadows, or are you more about the “less is more” natural look?
B: We are definitely ‘less is more’ kinda gals. Melanie (Co-founder) and I actually rarely wear more than some concealer and mascara. But, We do have a ton of exciting new additions to the line that are classic splashes of bold color! Lisa is our wild cat that is adding some spicey inspiration to the line… it’s all about real woman wearing what makes them feel on top of the world. That’s why each of our products is named after or by women who inspire us
L: I am dubbed the ‘bad-girl’ (especially after they meet Brandi) my style and beauty regime refelcts this! I am often seen donning violet purple lips, cornrows in my hair, lots of leather and of course my shoe game is on point…it’s ok to be a little gangsta, isn’t it?
S: What can we expect from Evelyn Iona in the months to come?
B: World domination of course (kidding, kidding ) We do have a very exciting collaboration with our friends at YWCA Canada for their Rose Campaign (www.rosecampaign.ca) We have launched a limited edition box set (lip gloss & lip stick) that we have made special with YWCA Canada. $5.00 is donated to the Rose Campaign. It has been such a fun process for an amazing cause and we are so excited to share it!
I started this blog after having my son to document & show women that moms can be stylish too, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. As shown above, there are many influential moms who prove this to be true. It’s comes down to what speaks to you, what is most important, and staying true to yourself (avoiding certain looks/trends that may not work for you).
You can still look polished in casual wear. These mommas are showing us how it’s done!
In addition, check out these awesome accounts (not just fashion related) which made it into my top 5 of the week…
1. @_zilvi – Interior decor. Adorable wall art for your littles, all the way from Australia!
2. @emily_luciano – gorgeous Canadian fashion blogger, just about to release her own collection of wool panama hats (which I am VERY excited about!)
3. @kayla_itsines – Personal trainer from Australia who creates bikini body workout ebooks. I know this is completely different from my usual suggestions, but if you saw this woman’s body, you would also be intrigued in what she has to offer!
4. @givelandeau – simple & beautiful flower delivery based in Vancouver. Order online. The packaging is perfection!
5. @lilliesandleon – Stylish NYC momma doing it all. Capturing her adventures with her little through instagram.
As mentioned in this post, I have been taking the less is more approach when it comes to introducing new items to my closet. When you are a busy mom on the go, you need your wardrobe to be functional & user friendly.
I have had my eye on MANY things (the list is never-ending, as per usual), but these selected items were the front runners – and are making me pleased to say there is no buyer’s remorse here..
A pair of metallic sneakers are the perfect casual sneaker – elevating a look, and are a fun replacement to your regular basic coloured footwear. These gap sneakers were all of $13 at the outlet (not shown online), and were a total steal in my opinion.
A pair of black boots – a no brainer. You will always find ways to wear them for both day and night. This Alexander Wang pair are on the high end of the spectrum, but will see me through many fall/winters for years to come. The fun silver backing adds an unexpected edge, and they are SO unbelievably comfortable. If there is a place to splurge, it is on boots…
A basic white t-shirt – even at this time of year, I find myself grabbing for t-shirts. Pairing them with sweaters, jackets, blazers, and with denim, skirts or cropped trousers. A basic white v-neck should live in everyone’s closet. Both men & women can be particular when it comes to the brand/style/material of their t-shirts. I personally have fallen for the tissue tee from J.Crew. The quality & shape remains the same after several washes, and at a cost of $25 you will have no regrets.
Black chunky knit – paired with denim & heels, it is the quintessential “cool girl” look. There’s many colours you can choose from, but as I am still on my basic black & white kick, I felt the colour choice was an obvious one. Mixing this from day to night, all while feeling wrapped up and cozy, the chunky knit trend is one to follow. I happened to luck out and snag this at the Aritzia warehouse sale for $60 (!!!), but I still feel like it would be worth it at full price ($165).
White shirtdress – a classic. I have been after a white shirtdress for AGES. I have come across many, but none of them were the right material. This Aritzia version is perfect for many reasons. It is light, airy, comfortable, and long enough to wear on it’s own, or with something on top. Easy to accessorize, wearable through all seasons – I will never get bored in styling this piece. ($95)
The blanket scarf – A must have accessory this season. This oversized version of a typical scarf can be wrapped in multiple ways. It adds texture, pattern & colour to your look, and will keep you warm through the cold months. I love my greys, so when I spotted this Zara one (for $30 I might add!! ), I was immediately sold!
The menswear watch – This highly popular androgynous trend is getting a lot of attention. Daniel Wellington watches have been spotted everywhere as of recently, and for good reason. This unisex version is my favourite. It is bold yet simple, classic & is perfect for the “borrowed from the boys” look. I was over the moon about this birthday present, and it is now my everyday accessory ($229)
What are your favourite pieces this season??
Happy Sunday!! This week’s Insta Faves is by far one of my favourties, because it showcases all local boutiques in Vancouver! Sharing some local love, these fall pieces have me excited to shop close to home. Check out their instagram pages for constant updates on new arrivals..
4. @shoponeofafew - This gastown shop has been killing it since ’05. Always a beautiful collection of unique pieces.
5. @heyjudeshop – A new vintage pop up shop on Kingsway. Their instagram account is one to swoon over..
7. @shopnoul – Vancouver brand, simple designs. I can never walk away empty handed.
8. @woo2cu – East meets West. Asian & European designs found in Yaletown. An exceptional collection of minimal style accessories.
9. @musefashion – If you are ever in the Surrey/White Rock area, this store is a must. A perfect collection of versatile pieces, must have basics, and dresses. If you don’t find yourself out that way, they just launched their online site, so check it out!
top: muse social fashion house/ necklace: jq vancouver
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chelsey Andrews, the beautiful face & creative talent behind JQ Vancouver. I was first introduced to Chelsey’s brand while shopping at Muse Social Fashion House. I loved the simple display of dainty, long chains & elegant designs. A collection of everyday wear pieces (which I have proved by wearing one of her designs here, here & here), Chelsey’s creations are completely relatable – making it possible for women to find that perfect “go-to” piece.
S: When did you start designing jewellery, and how did you get into it?
C: I started designing jewellery in March of 2013 after graduating from Fashion Design School the previous year. I’ve always loved jewellery, especially long pendant necklaces; I found they seemed to complete any outfit I was wearing. I really jumped two feet in with the knowledge I gained in school and throughout a career in the Fashion Industry. I started to research necklace trends, where to order supplies, and through trial and error learned how to put all the individual pieces together to create variations of necklaces and bracelets.
S: What is your favourite source when searching for current design trends, before starting a new collection?
C: My top two favourite sources for current design trends come from observing what women are wearing in their everyday lives, and pinterest is also a great source of inspiration! Once I’ve noticed the current trends that I think are a great fit for JQ Vancouver I then try to come up with ways to create a necklace that will be different then what I’ve seen!
S: Describe your target audience…
C: My target audience is women anywhere from teens to the well-aged beauties. I find that with delicate and modern designs any woman can find something in the JQ Collection that will suit her!
S: What is your current best seller?
C: The current and consistent best seller is definitely the Silver Double Pendant necklace. From the moment it hit stands to over a year down the road it has been the front runner… and great news, JQ has now added a Gold Double Pendant as well! In stores and online the styles do vary a bit, with the Gold Antler becoming a great seller around the world through online!
S: Where are your pieces sold, and what is the price range?
C: JQ Vancouver is sold at Muse Social Fashion House in South Surrey, Mad About Style in Winnipeg, Mountain Maven in Montana and through Etsy online! Our price range is pretty consistent – staying around the $32 mark which is a great price point for gifts and adding to any wardrobe!
I am so excited to be giving away this gorgeous gold double spike necklace (featured above) to one lucky reader! I will be announcing the winner next Tuesday, November 18th!
A BIG thank you to Chelsey Andrews!!
In continuation of my weekend wear theme from Monday, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite images of the week – all emphasizing comfort, while remaining oh so cool. Friday can’t come fast enough..
Annndddd.. the top 5 accounts this week are..
1. @kateoliver – Her three ridiculously adorable boys are pictured above. She is my #wcw!!
2. @primecutbags – handmade bags from Portland. LOVE.
3. @semblanceboutique – minimal/contemporary/cool
4. @kindredoak – mother/designer (daughter shown above). I am obsessing over everything she has to offer!!
5. @whentheyfindus - A guide to creative Vancouver. The perfect place to discover what’s authentic & local in this city.