Saturday, September 29, 2012


Dress, Belt, Blue Nail Polish & Shoes- Target; Blazer- Thrifted; Hosiery- Lilac Lingerie; Necklace- Laura; Sparkly Nail Polish- Today was a Fairytale by Deborah Lippman

Americans, you are a lucky group of people. Why? Because you're the home of Target stores, that's why! I spent a fair chunk of my weekend in New Jersey, perusing the aisles of the local Target. Being that it was my first time in the store, I was in bargain heaven! After trimming my shopping cart by half (I couldn't justify needing a drag queen pair of faux snake skin boots or psychedelic spandex!), my total came in just under $300 but I bought so much! Clothing, Halloween candy, curtains, measuring cups & nail polish (of course!), what more could a girl ask for? 

I'm excited to debut some of my Target purchases including this floral dress, pink heels & belt and the colourful skirt, sparkly tank and burgundy blazer in the second outfit featured below

Skirt, Blazer & Sparkly Tank- Target; Necklace- Laura; Bracelet & Belt- Thrifted; Shoes- Payless; Nail Polish- Purple Pop by L'Oreal Paris & Purple Diamond (sparkle top coat) by Santee Plus

But don't despair Canadians, in 2013 we are saying goodbye to Zellers and hello to Target in 125 locations across the country (Ottawans, we're getting 3 stores!) So get ready to shop (the red bullseye) until you drop!

Are you a Target addict?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

tiaraiconseeing red

Red Jeans (worn like this), Blouse, Purse, Belt, Brooches & Shoes- Thrifted; Necklace- RW & CO; Sparkly Tank- Ann Taylor Loft; Ring- Zellers; Sunglasses & Bracelet- Aldo

"Seeing red refers to when someone becomes so angered that it controls them, enraging the person." (Urban Dictionary)

 I'm no bull but I am a ginger (my natural hair colour is auburn) and you know what they say about redheads and their... tempers! Sometimes I think that I get more easily frustrated than others and sometimes I think that it's because I tend to over-commit (trying to change this as part of 2012's New Year's resolution) which ultimately leads to me becoming stressed, irritated and then angry.  I am so lucky that my man has the patience of a Saint because I have been known to see red from time to time (especially in the kitchen, there's just something about a botched meal that really enrages me!) and it ain't pretty!

Seeing red when it comes to throwing temper tantrums might not be attractive, but seeing red on coloured jeans sure is!

Are you a person that sees red or are you more of a 'keep calm and carry on' type?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

tiaraicon9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Tights- Target; Ring- H&M; Shoes- Swapped; Scarf, Dress (worn as a skirt); Blazer, Belt & Sweater- Thrifted; Nail Polish- First Class by Revlon & Today Was a Fairytale by Deborah Lippman
After suffering from a mild case of writer's block I was relieved to stumble upon Enter Kelly's post yesterday ( borrowed from Life, etc...) which is a countdown of random facts, stemming from body parts (that sounded creepy, just keep reading, I promise!

(You know you're a foodie in a committed relationship when... the list was supposed to start with 9 celebrity crushes but I could only think of 3 so I swapped the order of cute boys for yummy food!)

Eat with your stomach (9 yummy treats): 

  • Homemade guacamole (which I make on average 3 times a week)
  • White wine (well this is more drink with my mouth than eat with my stomach but it's one of my self-care techniques and I'm not selective- as long as it's not red!)
  • Fresh mango
  • Popcorn with nutritional yeast & chili powder topping
  • Applesauce
  • Purely Decadent dairy free 'Turtle Trails' flavoured icecream
  • Mushed up bananas (sounds revolting but ironically enough this is my cure for nausea!)
  • Green smoothie (with kale, hemp hearts, chia seeds & various fruit)
  • BBQ tofu & veggie skewers

Love with your heart (8 loves of my life): 

  • My man
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Cats
  • House
  • My clothing/shoe/nail polish collections
  • Vacationing 
  • Plant-based diet

Smell with your nose (7 favourite scents): 

  • Gasoline (is it weird that's my first choice?)
  • Pumpkin nutmeg pie scented candle by Candle-Lit
  • Juicy Fruit
  • Tweety Bird by Aquolina perfume
  • Homemade bread
  • Christmas trees
  • Currants & acai scented reed diffuser by Glade.

Talk with your mouth (6 addictive sayings): 

  • Cheap & cheerful
  • One woman's faded and outdated is another woman'e sleek & chic (that's my personal thrifting motto)
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've  imagined
  • Dare to reach your hand into the darkness to pull another hand into the light 
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

Listen with your ears (5 favourite sounds):
  • Rain drops on the window panes
  • Country music (currently addicted to "Love like Crazy" by Lee Brice)
  • Hearing my man say "I love you"
  • Purring cats
  • Heartfelt thank you from a Dress for Success client
Create with your hands (4 things you created that you're proud of):

  • A poem about dementia that I wrote about my Nana in grade school which was later published in a Nova Scotia journal
  • A Remembrance Day poem that I read in front of the school assembly in Junior High (sounds like I need to start writing poems again!)
  • The life that I created for myself in Ottawa (6 years ago) away from everything (and everyone) familiar
  • This blog
                            Look with your eyes (3 celebrity crushes):

  • Shane West (love at first sight after A Walk To Remember!)
  • Channing Tatum (and this was before I saw Magic Mike, now he's on a whole other level of sexiness!)
  • Dean Geyer (the new character, Brody from Glee)
                           Weak in the knees (2 things that make you swoon):

  • Romantic comedies
  • My cats cuddling (which is a very, very rare sight!)
                 Walk forward with your feet (1 thing you want to accomplish):

  • Take a leap of faith and start my own business to channel my inner entrepreneurial spirit

Do you see any similarities in my list to what you would answer?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

tiaraiconDIY blackboard menu

On tonight's menu is a DIY that's so easy it's almost embarrassing to feature but I had fun doing it and I love the end result so I present to you- the blackboard menu!

You will need a frame with backing (I bought this wood piece from a local thrift store for $1.99); chalkboard paint (can be found at a hardware store for less than $10); painter's brushes (if you cheap out on these like I did you may find that the bristles come loose and stick to the wet paint so better to invest and wash carefully afterwards so they can be reused) a plastic container; painter's tape (I couldn't find any so ended up using whatever was in my junk drawer which did the trick) and chalk (in any colour you desire, I chose basic white).

Step 1: Line the edges of the frame with tape.
Step 2: Pour a generous amount of the chalkboard paint into the plastic container and apply onto the (clean and dry) frame with your painter's brush.  Apply thinly in a vertical stroke. 

Step 3: Wait for the chalkboard paint to dry and apply a second coat as needed.  The paint may look patchy but will even out as it dries.  

Step 4: To clean your brushes, use cold running water if the chalkboard paint is acrylic based or mineral turps if the paint is oil based.  Mineral turps has a very unpleasant odour and since my brushes were cheap, I just bagged up the brush & plastic container and threw them away.  

Step 5: Allow the blackboard to dry overnight before using. 

Blouse- Zara; Capris, Shoes, Necklace & Ring- Thrifted

Step 6: Now you have a great DIY blackboard that can be used for your office, as a grocery list or when menu planning.  You can either use a store bought chalk brush or wash the surface with warm water and a rag to remove chalk marks. I only used about 1/3 of the can of chalkboard paint and am already planning my next project!

Do you use blackboards at home?

Monday, September 24, 2012

tiaraicona weekend to remember

Skirt, Top, Scarf & Necklace (worn as a bracelet)- Thrifted; Bag & Tights- Aldo; Shoes- Priceless UK; Raw Opal Ring- Vintage (Inherited from my Grandmother)

Sometimes it just takes getting out of your regular routine to have a weekend to remember.  Last Thursday afternoon, my best friend and I piled in her car for a road trip to New Jersey to spend time with her family.  After the 7 hour drive, we spent our days there devouring New York style bagels (much fluffier than Montreal bagels), manic shopping at Target (my treasures to be debuted soon), relaxing with her family (who live in Basking Ridge, which is an adorable area with a colonian times town centre), attending my first football game (to see her 13 year old brother play in the storming rain) and a late night spent in Brooklyn (dinner at The Burger Bistro & drinks at Mission Dolores).  It was my first time in both New Jersey & Brooklyn and I thoroughly enjoyed both (I would even go so far as to say that I would prefer to live in Brooklyn over Manhattan if I was ever so lucky to make the big move to NYC!)

My only complaint about the weekend was barely taking any photos.  But that's the good thing about a weekend to remember, the moments are embossed in your memory!

I clearly enjoy this textured blue top & floral scarf together, having worn the same combination last Christmas season.

Have you recently enjoyed a weekend to remember?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

tiaraiconOttawa Victim Services Day

Dress- Bought from Dress for Success' Hidden Treasures Sale; Cardigan, Rings & Shoes- Thrifted; Belt- Vintage; Necklace- Laura
The Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, declared today (September 19th), Ottawa Victim Services (OVS) Day to appreciate the great work that the victim rights organization does in the community.  I've been involved with OVS for over 5 years now as both a volunteer and paid staff (previously blogged about here & here) and am thrilled that the organization is being recognized at a municipal level.  

I wore green today to represent the OVS colours and my name tag (photo taken back when I was a platinum blonde) is used to identify myself when conducting crisis work with clients and fellow volunteers. 

Ottawa Victim Services is operated by (a small team of) staff members and (a large group of) volunteers who are on call 24/7.  I volunteer as a Team Leader a couple of weekends a month, meaning that I am responsible for responding to the pager and dispatching front-line workers as needed. The most common calls for support are police accompaniments, safety plannings, sudden death support and transportation where volunteers provide emotional and practical support to victims of crime and tragic circumstances. 

As distressing as the work can be, it is also extremely rewarding to be able to assist, even in the smallest way, when clients are lacking support and resources and simply need a listening ear or a helping hand.  

If you're interested in finding out more about Ottawa Victim Services, you can visit our website or watch an interview with our Executive Director that was aired on the local news this morning.

Do you have a victim services organization in your community?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Dress- Jacob; Skirt- The Bay Shoes & Earrings- SpringBlazer- Marshalls;  Belt- Thrifted; Ring- Boutique in St. Kitts
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for me to participate in the Place d'Orleans vlogger search. I was SO excited to be chosen as one of the top 10 finalists and this past Sunday I was invited to the mall for a live, radio broadcast shop-off.  We were each given $200 in gift cards and 90 minutes to shop the stores for pieces that represented these 4 categories: trendy fall colours, patterns, textures & shapes.  

This is what I wore to the live shop-off (to prove that you can do just about anything in high heels & a sock bun!) and I will feature what I bought in a later post.  My dress, skirt, heels & earrings are all from Place d'Orleans and my goal was to showcase how to dress creatively and uniquely with retail clothing.  I think I passed the test because many audience members commented afterwards how much they loved my outfit (the shoes were especially popular!) and how fun the skirt over a dress idea was.

I wasn't the winner (congrats to the lucky lady Amanda!) but I had an amazing afternoon in which I conquered my fear of public speaker, met some wonderful local bloggers (hi Jen & Darcy!) and was given money to go shopping, it doesn't get much better than that! Among my audience supporters were a group of young girls who were delighted to find out that I too am a Belieber & a woman I'd never met who was rooting for me and when I didn't end up winning, she gave me a gift certificate for a free pedicure! The support and kindness from strangers was wonderful and I felt truly honoured to be a part of the competition.

Have you ever entered a mall competition before? How did you do?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

tiaraicontwo bums up

No this isn`t a toilet review (although my new energy efficient Kohler is fabulous, just sayin`), but instead a look inside the brand spanking new eco-friendly store in Ottawa, terra20. I was very fortunate to have been invited to the media launch this past Tuesday and I spent my lunch hour perusing the aisles with a knowledgeable tour guide.   I`m a dietary vegan (meaning I avoid consuming animal products) and I also do my darndest to use household and beauty products that aren`t tested on animals and wear sustainable clothing (which is why I`m a huge advocate of thrifting; to reduce, reuse & recycle!) The great part about terra20 is that it allows consumers to shop sustainably & ethically without sacrificing style, quality or price.  On their website, terra20 states that:

 Small daily changes can have a big impact on our planet and our future. We are here to help Canadians explore a better way, and to make it easier by offering a one-stop eco store.

Now that`s a philosophy I can give the green light to!
{Handmade Purple Urchin products.}

{I love the whimsical patterns of Pure Living`s Lucia collection which has won various design awards.}

{Green products for all the bambinos in your life.}

{The creator of Piggy Paint knows exactly what goes into her nail polishes and demonstrated by licking the nail polish.  Now that`s not something you see every day!}

{These packaged Thymes candles would make beautiful gifts.}

{Plant based catering from Credible Edibles, where I take all my cooking classes.}

{The beautiful models including (Editor in Chief at Ef Magazine), Malorie & (Founder of Hub Ottawa), Jane.}

{Just because you're wearing sustainable clothing, doesn't mean you have to wear burlap sacks!}

{I already have a Matt & Nat vegan wallet so now all I'm missing is a purse and this emerald green sack caught my attention!}

{One of my favourite elements of terra20 was their ecobar where you can purchase and refill eco-friendly dish detergent, cleaners and laundry products.}

{I would enjoy doing laundry more with these retro containers.}

{You can tell that I'm a home-owner now because I gravitate towards the dishes and glassware.}

{Recycled paper made from elephant dung, the profits go towards promoting elephant welfare, conservation & the natural environment.}

{Quintessentially Canadian moose & wood decor.}

And it wouldn`t be a fashion blog without an outfit photo so here is what I wore to the terra20 launch, a sustainable (thrifted & vintage) outfit because we all know that green is the new black! 
Dress (worn like this) & Earrings- Vintage; Blouse, Belt, Jewellery & Shoes- Thrifted

For all you eco-friendly Ottawans, terra20 is located at 2685 Iris Street (in the Ikea plaza) and you can find store hours, read up on the products and find out what it means to be green, on their website
Are you a sustainable shopper?