Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

5 Key Accessory Pieces

11 Mar

This post outlines some key accessory items I think every woman should have. This is not an exhaustive list and it is totally expected to have multiples of some of these items but having at least one of each will help keep your wardrobe afloat.

Sunglasses– Of course you need a pair. Sunglasses walk the line between function and fashion. They shield your eyes from uncomfortable sunlight and protect them from UV damage. Choose a pair of sunglasses that suit your face, goes with most of your wardrobe and that fits in with your budget.

A tip for prolonging the life of your sunglasses is to keep them in their case once you aren’t wearing them. Don’t drag them onto your head, don’t hang them onto the neck of your shirt and don’t just cram them into your bag.

Clutch– A small compact bag to stash your essentials in for a night out. Select a clutch that can hold your phone and keys along with some lipgloss. The colour and style are totally subjective but of course, neutral colours will get the most use.

Whatever style you chose depends on you but I have two recommendations when looking for a clutch apart from ensuring it can fit enough stuff. The first is find one that has a few card slots or at least a small pocket for a card slot. That way you don’t have to worry about a purse/wallet. The second is try and find a clutch with a strap, preferably a detachable one so you get more versatility in terms of wear.

Scarf– Yes, a scarf! I’m not talking a long woolen winter neck warmer, although that’s key in some people’s wardrobes as well. I’m talking a classy, printed silk square. A scarf can add that splash, that personal touch to your overall look. You can wrap it around your head or make it into a headband, you can tie it around your neck or (my fave) tie it around a bag handle elevating it.

A tip for buying a multi-use scarf is to get a wider longer one, that way it can comfortably be used lots of ways.

Hat– A hat is definitely key. For sun protection while on vacation or to add some flare when you’re feeling groovy. My personal favorite is the wide-brimmed felt hat but hats literally come in all shapes and sizes and can reflect who you are.

When storing your hats, place some crumpled paper or plastic bags in the head portion to help it keep its shape. Unless you have a hat form. Or a hat box. Those work too.

Belt– And bringing up the rear is a belt. Belts also sit on the line of function and fashion. They help keep your pants and skirts in place but they can add so much to an outfit. You can add a skinny belt to a work outfit to look more put together or wear a thick waist cinching belt with a loose-fitting dress or top to make things more interesting.

If you find you wear mostly gold jewelry, you should get a belt either with a gold, brass or copper buckle and if you wear more silver, chose belts with silver and pewter buckles.

What accessories do you consider essential to your wardrobe? Let me know and have an awesome day!

“Inspired By” Fashion… Is it Fair?

18 Feb

Teddy Blake Caty

” Caty” bag by Teddy Blake New York


This is a discussion about items that have been clearly inspired by another item. In other words, a knock-off or a dupe.

The terminology itself can be rather problematic as it can mean one thing to me and something entirely different to you.

Another problem, the bigger one is how ethical is “inspired by” fashion.

So let me begin the discussion by defining these terms as I understand them.

Inspired By- This is an item: a bag, a dress, a pair of shoes which in its design and production has gathered elements from pre-existing items. This is a broad definition. One may say, everything is inspired by something but for these purposes we mean a bag that looks a lot like another bag which likely is far more expensive.

Knock-Off/Replica- This is when something looks almost exactly like something else and seems to be manufactured that way to make that item appear as if it were the original item it is copied from.

So, those are my interpretations. A better way to discuss this concept however is by examples.

Example 1 “Inspired By” A few years ago, three to be precise I recall looking at some vacation photos of a friend of mine. I immediately noticed her shoes because I had seen a similar pair in PayLess Shoe Source (an affordable brand) the weekend before. Two things stuck out to me: 1) The shoes didn’t really look like the Payless shoes, they only resembled them and 2) This friend wouldn’t be caught dead, alive or in spirit form in a pair of Payless shoes. About two weeks later while browsing a magazine I saw the shoes my friend had been wearing. They were from a high end brand and definitely not from Payless. I liked these shoes but there was no way I would or could pay a high end price for “vacation shoes”.

On retrospect, the shoes in PayLess didn’t look a whole lot like these higher end shoes but rather shared a few basic design elements. In fact, it is likely that the shoes in PayLess were inspired by multiple higher end shoes with a similar design. I consider these shoes to be “Inspired By”


Example 2 “Knock-Offs” There is a company which seems to be gaining popularity even among hardcore luxury lovers. This company makes some beautiful, high quality bags. The catch is that these bags very strongly resemble a well-known luxury brand bag. The brand may or may not rhyme with Lermes. These bags resemble this brand so much, that to see a picture of them online, one may assume it is the MUCH higher end bag. Many bloggers and vloggers review these bags (that have been gifted to them) and attest to the impressive quality. These bags, though nowhere in the price range of the ones they so highly resemble are still fairly expensive. I consider these bags to be “Knock-Offs”

So now comes the real question: “Is this fair?”

Designs whether in fashion, architecture or technology come from skilled, hard-working persons who often have gone through years of studying, observing and working their way to success. When someone designs something, it is her or his intellectual property.

When someone else comes along and reproduces these designs for profit, they are essentially stealing said intellectual property. This, in my opinion is wrong.

What muddles or confounds this scenario is when it isn’t obvious that the design is completely ripped off. This maybe because the person or company doesn’t want to be known as a rip off so they change certain elements OR it could be a case of being inspired by a style and making that your own.

Another factor which must be considered is the cost. Most knock-offs are far more affordable than the originals. They tend to be made by relatively unknown or up and coming brands or they are mass produced by budget friendly fast fashion chains. This means that materials will tend to be lower in quality and these companies will not have a name behind them to charge excessive amounts of money. This alone, makes these types of products far more appealing to many. Most of us are on budgets and tight ones at that, and it makes far more sense to buy something that looks like what you want for a literal fraction of the cost.

So, is it fair?

Let’s consider a few points:

Most knock-offs are made from lower cost/quality materials.

Most knock-offs or dupes are far lower priced.

Many higher end products though typically made from better quality products and use artisanal techniques are still vastly overpriced.

Some high-end brands also mass produce their items, including those sold in boutiques.

Some companies who sell dupes or “inspired by” items use very good quality materials and they are handmade.

Making a product that heavily resembles another one can be considered theft of intellectual property.

Some companies make their own designs even though they may be inspired by another pre-existing design.

Some higher end companies also get “inspired by” other designs whether another high-end fashion house or a lesser known brand.

Someone who buys a “rip-off” may be completely unaware that there is an original more expensive version in existence.

So, will you partake in purchasing dupes or knock offs or “inspired by” items? My suggestion is to view each product individually.

For me I appreciate when a brand has given their own input into a design so that even if the item, a bag for example has a similar silhouette to another one, if it has its own touches, like a different flap, unique colours and hardware it becomes something entirely different and sometimes even more beautiful than the “original”. I am comfortable purchasing these types of products. I am firmly against purchasing items that obviously rip off the design of another.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day.

Hermes Birkin

“Birkin” bag by Hermes

Galentines Day Bash!

4 Feb

It is often said that art imitates life. Sometimes however, the reverse is true. Galentine’s Day was first born on an episode of sitcom “Parks and Recreation” in 2010. Since then Galentine’s Day has become increasingly well known and celebrated with 2017 bringing it a trending spot on Twitter.

This holiday is celebrated on February 13th (the day before Valentine’s day) and it is seen as a day for gals to celebrate and uplift each other in a social scene where girl on girl hate is so prevalent.

This is right up my alley. An excuse to celebrate anything but especially something as positive as friendships between women.

I came up with a few very Pinterest inspired ideas to throw a Galentine’s bash for you and your gals.

Pizza Heart Bites

This is so darn cute. Heart shaped pizza bites are tasty and great party food to pick up and nibble on.


Pizza crust -I used ready made flatbread crust


Tomato sauce

Other toppings- I used mushrooms and Italian herbs

Heart shaped cookie cutter


1) Cut out heart shapes from crust.

2) Top crusts

3) Bake until cheese is melted and you’re done!

Pink Love Donuts


1) Donuts

2) Icing– I dyed it three shades of pink

3) Toppings– sprinkles


1) Dip each donut into the corresponding glaze

2) Top with sprinkles, nuts etc and set into fridge to harden.

Sorbet Fizz Cocktail

For the cocktail portion of the evening, we combine a refreshing dessert with some fizzy wine.


Sorbet– I chose black cherry to stick with the pink theme

Sparkling wine– Prosecco, Brut, sparkling rose etc.


1) Place a scoop of sorbet in glass.

2) Pour sparkling wine over it and serve!

Guest gifts

I feel as if no celebration is quite complete without a little something for your guests to leave with. I also like giving gifts that are useful. I am also mildly obsessed with succulents…

Succulents are affordable, beautiful and hard to kill. To seal the deal I stuck a little label with a love note on the pot.

I hope this post can give you some inspiration for your own Galentine’s party or Valentine’s party or whatever party you have!

Have an awesome Galentine’s Day!

Make 2018 Great!

7 Jan

Hello and Happy 2018! Something about the calendar switching from December 31st to January 1st incites thoughts of change and resolve to be a new and improved version of yourself. 

While some resolutions can be a bit far reaching and cause undue stress I do believe setting some realistic goals can help you become a more effective, efficient and fulfilled individual. Here are a few of my tips for making 2018 great!


What nutritionist/doctor/lifestyle guru hasn’t mentioned this at some point? There’s a reason for that, water is life! It’s our gift from nature. It is good for you because it keeps you hydrated, quenches your thirst and helps with pain. Drinking more water definitely makes you feel more alert and better.

I want to sidebar to point out that there is no minimum amount of water you should drink per day. I also want to point out that I mean regular water not water that has been electrolysed or ionized or galvanized.


I’m a self proclaimed environmentalist. I feel that each of us can do a little something everyday that will have a positive impact on our environment. I know it isn’t realistic for most people to build a home in a forest and only live off the land. However, there are some things we can incorporate into our daily routines. Some things you can do are ; turn off lights whenever you leave a room, unplug appliances whenever they aren’t in use and use reusable bags.


Meal prep it and you won’t regret it! I did meal PREP relatively consistently throughout 2016 and I can’t find a good reason as to why I fell off in 2017 because meal prepping is awesome! Here’s why:

It saves time- By planning all, most or just some of your meals for the upcoming week you shave off hours in the kitchen. You spend a couple hours making multiple meals instead of slaving away morning and evening daily.

It saves money- By making all of your own meals, ahead of time no less you avoid having to buy those meals which will invariably be more costly.

It’s healthier- Whenever you make something yourself, you can control what goes into it and hopefully that means you whip something healthy or at the very least less UNhealthy than the stuff you pick up at drive thrus.


I’m an unapologetic list maker. Having some plan creates order and makes it easier to keep track of what you need to do. You can invest in a beautiful designer planner and follow along with the planning community on YouTube or you can scribble on a notepad or you can type up on your phone. 

Whatever method you chose, chose something. You can get very detailed planning down to the half hour or maybe you just create “to-do” lists for the week but have a plan!


This one is a bit wide. I think we need to find a little time to do things that make us feel human or normal or happy. The emphasis is on a little. In our busy lives it can be next to impossible to anything apart from work, sleep and eat but if you just set aside a small pocket of time to focus on yourself, you will, feel regenerated and inspired.

Here are a few things I want to take a little time for:


I used to be a book a week type of reader but somehow I lost that. And I hate it. I love to dive into the world that an author creates and I plan to find more time to incorporate more reading.


You may not have time to book in a massage and pedicure on a weekly basis but you can put on an overnight hair mask or a 15 minute face mask, or you could do an at home foot bath, or paint your nails or…you get the idea.


Regular physical activity is super important for everyone yet it’s something we can easily neglect for lengthy periods of time. Sneak in a mini early morning YouTube workout or get your squats in at night before bed. Skip, but dont skip exercise.


Painting, writing poetry, horseback riding…whatever tickles your fancy embrace it and spend a little time with it.


Light a candle, put on Enya and relax or meditate or pray. Just find some time for reflection and regain some mental balance.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, fruitful and successful 2018.Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

New Years Eve on the Cheap

29 Dec

New Years is one of the few things celebrated by all cultures, ages, places. The way it is celebrated is as varied as the human species but it is definitely one of those celebrations that can easily add up. Between the dress and the shoes, the drinks and the transportation you can shell out well over a few pennies for what is essentially a night out.

I have a few suggestions being someone who both loves to have a good time AND save my money.

1) Let Sparks Fly

As we know, many places set off fireworks on NYE and depending on how close you are you can enjoy the light show for free. Find a great look out spot for fireworks e.g a beach, a park, a friend’s backyard.

Put on a jacket, round up your squad and pack a bottle of wine and bag of chips. Get there a couple hours before the light show and have a chill nighttime picnic that ends with fireworks.

2) Hotel Hoopla

A beautiful luxurious hotel room with a balcony with a view and a Jacuzzi can rob you of a significant portion of your paycheck…IF you book it by yourself and IF you book for many nights. 

However, IF you and your crew put together and pay for one night it suddenly becomes a lot more affordable. Be sure to get a room where the amount in your party are allowed to be at one time and ensure the noise level rules are complied with. Everyone brings a bottle and the fun can begin.

3) Burger Queen

Another great NYE activity is to go out for dinner. Usually, you have to book well ahead of time, contend with a crowd and pay through your nose. You can still have a nice dinner in your best dress just as someplace with a few less frills.

The clan and you decide on a clean, safe and extremely affordable spot and agree to meet up wearing something nice.  Being dressed up in a casual setting will definitely make it feel more special.

4) Lucky Lady

Casinos can be a place of indulgence and decadence and financial ruin, but it need not be. Find a casino without a cover charge and grab your gals and guys and go . Decide on a low spending limit e.g $20 and spend it slowly. Order a drink or two and your night is made.

5) Night In

Have a proper night in. Decide whose home will be host to your group. Everyone brings their pjs and a snack. Binge watch a series and play monopoly. Then in the morning everyone helps cook up a casual brunch. So little money spent, so much fun had.

If you’re looking for good clean cheap fun, hopefully something here has given you am idea or two. Have an awesome day and an awesome NYE!

Ginger Pear Moscow Mule

17 Dec

Today I bring you a festive cocktail; a ginger pear Moscow Mule.



Pear nectar

Ginger beer

Can of pears

Fresh pear- I got a red pear


Muddle a pear half and place in the bottom of the mug

Pour pear nectar over pear

Pour ginger beer and prosecco 

Garnish with a slice of fresh pear

This is a delicious drink. It’s slightly fizzy with mild but complimentary flavours. A great option for a festive event!

Have an awesome day!

DIY Gift- Homemade Soap

10 Dec

Welcome to another DIY gift! This is a method for making your own soap right in your kitchen. Homemade soap is an excellent gift or addition to your own home.

Cold Process vs Melt and Pour

There are two major methods of making soap. The first and more traditional method is cold process. This method uses lye and requires a curing process.  It requires a bit more skill and is not ideal for children.

The second method is melt and pour. The name is self explanatory. You use a soap base and melt it then pour it into a mold. You can purchase soap base from craft stores in either white or clear. Alternately you can purchase ready made bars of soap and melt it down.

In this post I use already made soap bars as I was unable to get soap base and it worked fine.


Soap base (craft store soap base or readymade soap)

Scent-essential oils or soap scent

Add-ins- I used loose leaf tea. You can use soap add ins or other herbs, dried flowers etc.


Bring water to a boil in a saucepan 

Place shredded soap into a heat safe bowl  and place that on top of the boiling water.

Add water as needed to mixture until it becomes thick and smooth.

Add scent and any colouring desired.

Spray mold with cooking spray to make removal easier.

Pour soap into mold and add add-ins

Spray the top of the soap mixture with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.

Place into refrigerator or a cool dry place and allow the soap to dry out. Note that the more water you add in the melting process the longer it will take to dry.

Remove soap carefully from mold.

Lightly score the soap to decide where to cut.

Once you have sliced the soap you can allow it to completely dry out 

Wrap and gift!

This is an awesome DIY gift, the type of thing your friends will want to receive. Try it out and have an awesome day!

%d bloggers like this: