Tuesday, September 28, 2010

tiaraiconDiner's, Drive-ins & Dives

Ok, Ok, I know what you're thinking...isn't that the title of the Food Network show about greasy white-trash joints? Well, ok you might not actually be thinking that as you are probably not a big Food Network dork like me (and the funny thing is I love the shows but hate cooking!) Anyways, it's a show hosted by a blonde haired beefhead named Guy Fieri who visits American Diners, Drive-ins & Dives (hence the show title) and ravishes their speciality-whether it be pulled pork sandwiches or ten pound burgers.  The other strange thing is that I'm a vegetarian so it's not like I can eat any of the food he's reviewing but I think the visual sensation of watching a burger is almost as good as eating one!

So, this show got me to thinking- what are my favourite Ottawa diners, drive-ins and dives? Well as far as Diners go- the Wellington Diner is a 5 minute walk from my condo and it serves delicious perogies.  My boyfriend and I walked there on Sunday night for a breakfast-dinner (aren't those the best-especially if you don't wake up until 5 p.m. as I did!) I ordered a fruit and yogourt parfait (of galaxy proportions) and he ordered blueberry pancakes with sliced bananas.  On the walk there, we passed by some rather interesting fire hydrant sculptures mimicking various vegetables and local businesses.

Ankle Boots- Primark UK; Flower Tights- Wonder Bra

Long Black Sequin Sweater- Costa Blanca; Dress-Smart Set; Black Vinyl Clutch-Thrift Store

Headband-Aldo; Necklace- Smart Set

 Anyway back to my list of fav Ottawa diners, drive-ins and dives.

Diners: Elgin Street Diner (I go for the 24 hour service and the great people watching) & Zak's Diner (mmm deep fried Mars bars!)

Drive-ins: Burger King (I recently discovered their veggie burgers and mozza sticks-delish!) & Dick's Drive-in & Dairy Dip (get your mind out of the gutter!)

Dives: Ahora (a relatively unknown Mexican basement restaurant with great nachos and homemade guacamole at amazing prices) & Royal Thai ($3.99 girly coktails- need I say more?)

                                                   What are your favourite diners, drive-ins and dives?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

tiaraicon"When a Little Black Dress is Right, there is Nothing to Wear in its Place"

After spending all day on the couch watching re-runs of Criminal Minds and eating cheesy delivery pizza, I made the executive decision that it was mandatory to get out of the house. Luckily there was an occasion- my friend's Birthday event so I dragged out one of my fav and most affordable LBD (little black dress), spritzed on some of my new eau de toilette- Animagical by Puma and prepared to ease myself from the comfort of the L-shaped couch.

Putting on the obligatory red lipstick

Headband-Smart Set; Necklace-Vintage

Embellished Black Dress-Suzy Shier; Black & Silver Boots- Spring

With the partner in crime

tiaraiconT-shirts & Jeans done my way

So as to be somewhat contradictory and partly to amuse my boyfriend; I decided to buy a t-shirt and rock it with jeans and flats (like I said previously, I would never do trainers!) The weather was blah; I'd just spent hundreds of dollars on my cats at the vet and it was a couch potato day so why not? Plus, sometimes no matter how much of a fashionista you are, sometimes its a nice break to lay low. 

Jeans-The Gap; Black Flats- Payless Shoes; Purse-Vintage

Bow t-shirt-Jacob; Bow hairband-Peacocks UK

Saturday, September 25, 2010

tiaraiconA good hair style is a woman's best friend

Yesterday evening I had a hair appointment at the Hair Loft in Ottawa (such a great place and they even give you wine!) I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my hair- should I keep the length and darken it for winter or should I go blonder (for all my peroxide blonde peers out there you will understand the obsession to create that perfect white blonde look!) I decided to play it on the safe side and go blonder but with more layers and a lighter bang.  

My old hair style had bad roots, a boring length and big bangs.  My new hair is more bouncy, bodacious and beautiful! 

Authors note: I apologize for the au natural look- my makeup bag has gone missing! 

Ick hair! With Dress-Forever 21 and Strappy Heels-Andrew Geller
New bouncy hair! Military Blazer from H&M UK and boots from Salvation Army

Levi Jeans

Doesn't a good hair cut just make you smile :) Sparkly Vest-vintage

Friday, September 24, 2010

tiaraiconShocking Revelation

My best friend recently posted a link on my Facebook wall to a shocking research study conducted by researchers at Northumbria University... men don't even notice if women are wearing high heels!!!!

Now, the reason that this rattled me to my core is that I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend about how I don't feel appreciated as he rarely when I'm dressed up.  His response was that as much as I might be interested in fashion, he is not and prefers a girl in jeans, t-shirt and trainers.  Obviously this disturbed me as I would not even wear this clothing combination in the comfort of my own home (and certainly never trainers!)

I've been wearing heels on a regularly routine basis since I was 15 so the thought that men (especially my significant other) do not even notice these sexy shoes is quite revolutionary.  Oh well, I don't do it for them anyway! So ladies, if you're like me and love your heels, I say forget the men and let's wear them for ourselves and each other (nothing better than drooling over another fashionista's shoe collection!)

P.S. Check out this interesting story about A Day in the Life of a Fashion Week Model- not quite as glamourous as it looks!

I don't think I could ever give up these hot heels for these sneakers!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

tiaraiconSpring/Summer 2011 Runways Galore

I die for Spring/Summer collections (ok, maybe I've been watching too many Rachel Zoe episodes!) The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder so I've decided to combat my Canadian blues by checking out the Spring/Summer 2011 highlights.

New York Fashion Week was held in the Big Apple from September 9th-16th.  Don't worry about spending a lot of money transitioning from Fall/Winter to Spring/Summer- a lot of the trends stayed consistent (head-to-toe, longer skirts, minimalism, structured handbags and neutral palette). The top 10 trends for Spring/Summer 2010 as dictated by NYC are:

1) Head-to-toe white: Head to-toe colour is in for Fall, so for summer just transition into the lighter, breezier fabrics.

2) Mid-calf skirts: we are not teeny boppers anymore so say goodbye to the mini-skirts and hello to a longer skirt, grazing mid-calf.

Bright Young Things
3) Minimalism: not my favourite trend as I am a 'more is more' kind of gal but you can't deny it, 'less is more' is the new fashion wave.
L'Wren Scott
4) Sportswear from the 70s: don't freak out- I'm not talking neon colours and crazy hair-dos but instead beautiful hats and a street-chic emsemble.

3. 1 Philip Lim
5) Utilitarian apron belts: LOVE!!! Wear a neutral palette and pair with one of these wide apron belts and you will look like you were just cooking in style!
Donna Karan
6) Neutral palette: taken from the Fall/Winter collections of camel, beige, sand and blush.  If you're pale like me, wear sparingly or with a pop of red lipstick so you don't disappear into the clothes.

7) Python: au revoir leopard, bonjour python.  This texture icks me out a bit on clothing but on accessories it is original and fun.

8) Pointed toe stiletto: ahh my favourite shoe- a pointed toe stiletto (aka cockroach killers via my Dad!) You really can't go wrong with pointed shoe stilettos, they add sexiness and style to any ensemble!
Rebecca Minkoff
9) Structured bags: don't consign your Fall/Winter structured bags, keep them for the warm weather.  I found a great structured bag at Salvation Army for $3.99 (to be featured later) so no need to splurge.
Jeremy Scott
10) Fierce Dress: don't shy away from bold prints, patterns and colours.  It's all about the statement dress so wear it with confidence!

London Fashion week ended yesterday and here are the top ten Spring/Summer trends according to the Brits: 1) Pleats; 2) Pastels; 3) Digital Prints; 4) Luxe Sportwear; 5) Fringe; 6) Sheer shirts & dresses; 7) Perforated Leather & Suede; 8) Ruffles; 9) Pointed-toe pumps and 10) Silver.

The fashion world is now in Milan, Italy until September 28th and then to Paris, France from September 29th-October 7th.  Besides these international spectacles, there will be Canadian Fashion Shows: Montreal from September 27th-30th; Toronto from October 18th-23rd, Ottawa from October 28th-31st and Vancouver from November 3rd-7th.  So start following the runway reports and cumulate international and domestic trends together for an original spin-off.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

tiaraiconThe Chaos of Organization

Last night, my friend enlisted my help in organizing her wardrobe. It got me thinking about organization- at some point in the process the room becomes more chaotic than when you started! I love organization (my job as an Executive Assistant requires a lot of it!)but I especially love organizing my closet.  I am not blessed with a walk in closet, so I have to make use of my tiny closet and huge wardrobe in my miniscule bedroom.  I took a course last year on Organizing your Office, lead by a Professional Organizer but the teachings can be applied to any facet of organization.

The most important step (and subjectively the most difficult) is purging yourself of all those impulse buys that you have never worn.  My rule is, if you haven't worn it in the past season (for example if it's a summer dress that hasn't seen the light of day)than recycle it.  There are various ways of recycling- my favourites being consignment (selling your trendy, clean clothes for $); donating to a women's shelter (great for the social conscience) or organizing a clothing swap party for you and your friends (problem with this is you end up acquiring more clothes!)

Organizing guru- Julie Morgenstern- suggests the following techniques(SPACE) for tackling your closet:

S= Sort
This is a scary step because you will discover how much 'stuff' you actually own.  It may be a wake-up call for some but it is the best way to see everything.  Sort into piles.  I sort into tanks, t's, dress shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, skirts, trousers, jeans, party dresses and fancy dresses. 

P= Purge
This can be emotional.  You know your first pair of high heels and your Junior High Sweatshirt- sentimental= yes, necessary= no.  If you haven't worn it in the corresponding season, it's time to say goodbye.

A= Assess
Determine what organizational containers are necessary to help you with the process.  Ikea has a great selection of wicker baskets, shoe racks and wardrobes which are practical, affordable and beautiful.

C= Containerize
Now put those recently purchased containers and racks to use and hang everything up, fold everything away.  This is my favourite part of the process.  I organize everything by colour (from lightest to darkest) and by clothing (from tank tops to fancy dresses).  Undergarments, handbags and belts look great in wicker baskets (although not too many guests want to see your lingerie!)

E= Equalize
This is basically the follow-up which includes assesing whether or not your new organization technique is working.  Are you using those rolling racks or are they simply gathering dust? Are you confused as to how to find things? Label the baskets, write on the wood clothes hangers.

Be smart about organizing- don't do more than you can handle, grab a friend to help, blare some dance tunes and you will be surprised at how much more fun it is to get dressed from an organized closet!

And now the final product! If you are smart about it and allot yourself enough time you can go from atrocious to ferocious!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

tiaraicon"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine"

I have the travel bug...permanently!  So, my boyfriend and I (against our better financial judgement) have booked a few upcoming trips:

At the end of October, we are going to St. John's, Newfoundland for a week (I have to work, he gets to play).  Not so exciting and definitely not a fashion destination but beautiful none-the-less.
St. John's, NL

My Newfoundland attire

Then on Remembrance Day we are jet setting to the glamourous land of celebrities- L.A.- somewhere I have been dreaming of visiting since I was young.  We are starting off in L.A. (I can't wait for Rodeo Drive window shopping!) and we are then driving to San Diego (he has to work, I get to play!) I'm going to write my GMATS in San Diego but other than that the vacation consists of sun, shopping, sleeping and more shopping!!!

The famous landmark of LA

LA Fashion icon Lauren Conrad

And our final planned trip for 2010 is Europe.  On Christmas Eve we are flying to London, UK to visit my Mum and my Step-Dad and spend the holidays with them.  We are then going to take the Eurostar (speedy train) to either Paris, France or Brussels, Belgium.  I've already been to Paris and I hear that Brussels is romantically divine so we will have to flip a coin!

Trafalgar Square- my fav spot in London

'Wellies' for the London rain
 Louis Vuitton has published a European City Guide so since I love LV but can't afford the handbags, maybe I'll buy the book!

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." 

~St. Augustine

Friday, September 17, 2010

tiaraiconFashion for Rent

Remember in the First Sex and the City movie when Carrie's assistant (Jennifer Hudson) had a rental Louis Vuitton purse because she couldn't afford the real deal? I thought nothing of it at the time, until yesterday when I was reading the Rachel Zoe Report and she mentioned a website called Rent the Runway where you can rent designer dresses and jewellery for as low as $50 (including shipping and handling) So I registered yesterday and I already found a beautiful purple grecian gown that I would love to wear for an upcoming work Black Tie event! 

While I was on the topic of renting designer outfits, I found a website called Bag, Borrow or Steal  that allows you to rent brand name handbags and sunglasses for a subsciption fee of $60.  But don't worry, this money goes towards your first bag rental.  I found a great red Chanel purse that I would love to rent for a month (you can rent by week, month or season).

So, if you love designer clothes but can't afford to purchase them or would like to remain uncommitted, then check out these great sites for your next fashionable event!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

tiaraiconFantastical Fairycakes

Fantastical=whimsical, full of fantasy
Fairycakes=British slang for cupcakes

I have an Equinox Potluck at work on Friday so last night I decided to bake some fairycakes.  My culinary skills are lacking to say the least so I attempted a basic white cupcake recipe from my 'Cupcake of the Day' calendar.  The results were quite delicious and pretty cute for the Season. 

Baking in my "I kiss better than I cook" apron

 Fashion moment- Dress-New Look, UK; Blazer-Old Navy; Shoes- Fergalicious by Fergie :)

1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
pinch of salt
food colouring
sprinkles/candy for decoration
(I also added water since the mixture was not moist)

-preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175C).  Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans.  Combine all the cupcake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.

-spoon the batter into the cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until ready.  Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

-to make the frosting, cream the icing sugar, butter and salt with an electric mixer until smotth.  Add a few drops   of   food colouring and mix well.  Spread the frosting liberally  onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate as you desire.
 -ENJOY! :) Makes 18 cupcakes

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ลก ABC’s of Fall Fashion

A is for Animal print
Animal print has been seen all over the runways and in the stores.  For Fall/Winter 2011-leopard print is especially hot!

B is for Bib necklaces
If you want to spice up any drab outfit- add a statement piece of jewellery-such as the bib necklace and wham! Your outfit is now officially fabulous!
C is for Cargo pant and Camel
I never would have thought I would be pulling my cargo pants out again- but there you have it- they are once again hot! Try them in more form fitting silhouettes in neutral colours.  Camel is Fall’s hottest colour and since it is a neutral it can be paired with colour, patterns and different textures.
D is for Denim
Denim jackets, denim trousers and denim jumpsuits- it’s the season for denim as the days are getting colder so will your bare legs so throw on some denim (preferably dark wash) and you’re good to go!
E is for Embellished shoulders
I love this trend- its very chic and glamorous.  I just bought a plain grey t-shirt but the shoulders have some sparkle, making it a great transition from day time to evening wear.
F is for Faux Fur
My favourite celebrity stylist- Rachel Zoe is all about the fur- faux of course.  Fur is a great way to stay warm and remain stylish.  Forget Northface jackets- this season it’s all about fur jackets and fur stoles.  Be kind to an animal and buy faux- if you spend a bit more you can get very realistic looking faux. 
G is for Gloves
Cold weather= need for hats, scarves and gloves.  Driving gloves were spotted on the Fall/Winter 2011 runways in leather with feminine details like lace.
H is for Head-to-toe colour
Pick a colour you like and wear it from your nose to your toes! If you like camel, wear a camel coloured shirt, skirt and boots and then break it up with accessories in different colours. 
I is for Imagination
Just because something is in style, it doesn’t mean that you have to wear it.  Use your imagination, wear what you feel good in and rock it!
J is for Jumpsuit
Spring/Summer 2010 was all about rompers and Fall/Winter 2011 is all about the jumpsuits- the same concept with more material.  For a casual look, wear the jumpsuit with flats and a cardigan and for a dressier look, wear with ladylike pumps and a statement piece of jewellery.
K is for Knits
There is nothing better than throwing on a warm knitted sweater in Autumn.  This season, its all about chunky knit sweaters.
L is for Lace and Leather
I am so happy that lace has been cropping up in Fall Fashion. I think lace is beautiful, timeless and elegant.  In contrast to lace, leather has been dominating Autumn style and I love a little bomber leather (or in my case pleather!) jacket.
M is for Military
The Military look is probably the hottest look in the stores at this time of years.  Military ensembles-especially jackets-were all over the runways.  Pair the Military jacket with a pair of camel cargo pants and you are one trendy gal!
N is for Nail polish
I love nail polish and dark sparkly nail polishes are a hit!  Chanel has created a new line of camouflage coloured nail-polishes (think army green and beige) which are perfect for Fall.
O is for Oxfords
Not my favourite style, but none-the-less, chunky oxford pumps are the rage.  Wear with wide-legged trousers or an x-tra long skirt to stay warm and look posh.
P is for Ponchos
Ponchos and capes are back in style.  How to wear these sleeveless cover-ups? Drape over a leather outfit for a biker-babe look or pair with leopard print for a glamourous evening look. 
Q is for Quilting
Quilting often conjures up images of grandmother-types drinking tea and piecing scraps of fabric together….not this season! Quilting is all about the texture and looks great on skirts- as Chloe showed on the Fall 2011 Runway.  My favourite quilting look is on handbags- Chanel is no stranger to this trend and Alexander Wang’s new quilted handbags are divine!
R is for Red
Red lips, red heels, red capes and red leather.  Red is a sexy colour that when worn, evokes sexiness (many men prefer the colour red on women). I just bought a red lipstick for Fall and I can’t wait to buy sky-high red pumps to go with head-to-toe camel outfits.
S is for Sky-high heels
To me, nothing is sexier than a woman who knows how to walk in shy-high heels.  Lucky for us shoe lovers, this season it’s all about chunky heels so we can wear higher heels with less of the agony that stilettos provoke.  Ladylike pumps are a great look, comfortable and timeless.
T is for Thigh-high boots & socks
How do you keep your gams warm in the cold weather? Throw on some leather/pleather thigh-high boots and you have the solution!  Wear over jeans for the weekend or pair with utility dresses for work.  Thigh high socks are cute with skirts (to avoid looking like a naughty school girl- pair with a long leather skirt).
U is for Utility dresses
I love love love Utility dresses.  They are easy to throw on and depending on how you accessorize, they can take you from day to evening. 
V is for Velvet
It keeps you warm and it looks regal.  This season- wear velvet in jewel tones to look like the King/Queen that you are!
W is for Wide-legged trousers
Rachel Zoe alerted me to this trend and it has been seen all over the Fall/Winter 2011 runways.  Wear with chunky oxfords for some height and if you (like me) have short legs, ensure that you get them hemmed before hitting the streets!
X is for X-tra long dresses & skirts
I know I cheated on this one- but honestly- what starts with X besides Xylophone and Xenon- not sure how to tie those two into trends!  X-tra long dresses (aka Maxi dresses) and skirts are great for the fall and can be worn with tights and thigh high boots. 
Y is for Yves St. Laurent
He was an amazing, extraordinary designer.  In memory of Yves- check out his Fall/Winter 2011 line-it’s divine!
Z is for Zippers
Zippers are made funky this season by adding twists and turns to their usually, mundane plain jane zip!