Friday, May 31, 2013

A Look Back at May

May was a great month and I'm ready to welcome June!

This month I got my new summer tires put on my car, spent a day with Peanut and wore neon & chambray.  I rocked a ton of arm swag (better late than never?), filmed a cool video about what to wear to a summer event (weddings anyone?) and was part of the #PDOPinUpGirls contest

I rocked a faux side shave, bought some Prabal Gurung (for Target) shoes and rocked more mint.  I broke out the Louboutins for the first time this year, visited Kingston with my boo and came home one day to a special surprise waiting in my apartment after work.

I made a cool bracelet (because I couldn't afford the real deal), got silly in glasses for a friend's birthday, left my car at the dealership for almost two weeks (she's back as of last night + thank goodness for warranty) and got my first set of knuckle rings (which I'd prefer to call 'top rings').

Other look-backs:


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What kind of shopper are you?

I love to shop, that's clearly no secret and I think pretty common among women (and some men).  Just yesterday I was doing some online browsing and thought to myself how wide our access has grown to aquire different things.  Think back to just a decade ago when online shopping didn't exist.  Imagine your life without it; would you be affected?

Do you prefer online or in-store shopping?

I love online shopping, the convienence but mainly the accessibility.  I love that I can get something from halfway across the world or simply from a store here in my city that no longer has my size.  Then you receive your parcel in the mail a bit later and it's always so exciting opening it up.  It's awesome.

That said, I still love shopping at the mall more.  Touching and trying on the clothes, the rush you get when you walk out of the store with your new purchases.  Holding that tangible item immediately.  Hard to beat.

What about the type of shopping you do:  Are you a sale shopping or will pay full price for the latest and greatest?

I am a big sale shopping and don't tend to pay full price for something very often unless it's shoes (my size, 10, is rare and sells out quickly).  When I do purchase something full price I often feel guilty because I know it's going to be on sale soon.

That said, I have been trying to make a concious switch in my shopping within the past month or so.  Instead of buying cheaper, trendy items, I'm looking for more quality-made, staple pieces.  Items that will stick around in my closet for a while that are well made.  I kind of came to this realization about two months ago while shopping at Forever 21 and then stepping into Zara.  Now, for the record, I love F21 and you can find some great pieces there and I'm not discounting that, but going into Zara immediately after and loving almost every beautiful piece that came across my vision made me think twice about where I'm spending my money.  Investment pieces aren't really something I was interested in purchasing up until now, and while I can't pass up a good sale, I also am trying to focus my purchases towards slightly higher end items.

Lastly, do you ever return items or have buyer's remose?

I return stuff like nobody's business and have become quite good at keeping my receipts organized just in case.  I have no problem returning something if I've changed my mind; no point letting it sit in your closet and throwing away your money, find something else that you will love instead.  While returning can be a hassel, thinking about what you could purchase instead is my motivation.  When I've purchased something I cannot return, I'll either keep it in my closet and let it go to waste, or take it to a consignment shop try to make some money back.

Sound off on the (lengthy) topics above!

(Top photo at my favourite store in Montreal in 2007; in Syracuse, NY in 2008)


What I Keep in my Gym Bag


Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

Friday night I got together with my bestie and her man for a little double date action.  We went out for dinner and to watch the Sens game.  Despite not being a big hockey fan, I figured watching the game was inevitable since it was such a make-or-break game so I suggested the four of us go somewhere.  I had the delicious French Onion soup at Big Rig, which is becoming a tradition.  Despite the Sens loss, we had a nice time.

Saturday morning (er...late morning) we went out for breakfast and then did some shopping.

It's been a while and this tasted extra good (I only ate half my toast).

 The new lamp I bought (you can see the before lamp HERE) from Home Sense.  Which, btw, I'm so excited about.  I haven't bought much new stuff for my apartment (other than organizational items like rolling racks, an armoir, decorative storage bins, etc.) because I already have so much home stuff (most of it being stored currently at my parent's house).  However, when I saw this lamp, I fell in love and and decided to pull the trigger.  The shade on the previous lamp was black which ultimately was not matching my chocolate colour scheme but I was making due.  This helps the space feel closer to being complete; next up: swap out half the curtains which are black, and borrow, for dark brown.

Saturday night impromtu date night at Genji.  I had never been and it was amazing.  It's been so long since I've had really good sushi out as for the past while I've been doing the all-you-can-eat thing.  This was fresh and so delicious and the atmosphere was gorgeous.  Afterwards, we walked about 10 blocks to get Gelato.

On Sunday I spent the day just relaxing, filmed a couple vlogs (which still need to be edited) and later went out for some groceries.  My apartment was freezing because I like to keep the windows open and since it was so chilly yesterday, I was walking around in a hoodie and a blanket to warm up (after shutting the windows, obvi).  I made some tea to help me warm up.

For Sunday night I made chicken shish-kabobs for a BBQ we went to.  Turns out, it wasn't much of a BBQ, more of a make-shift foil/charcoal BBQ, haha, but it still worked and cooked the food.  Summertime with friends is where it's at.

Sunday's outfit (once I finally rallied and got dressed).
Outfit deets:  Joe Fresh circle scarf, Gap denim jacket (thrifted), H&M sweater tied up (thrifted), Seduction jeans (which I purchased maybe two or three years ago and wore for the first time last night!) & Aldo wedges.


Xtreme Waterparks Promo

Remember back on Labour Day weekend when I, and three friends, filmed the Ottawa episode for Xtreme Waterparks for the Travel Channel? 

Well they have finally finished filming, all over the world, and put together the promo for the upcoming episodes set to air this summer.  Apparently we have an air date of July, so we are anxiously awaiting that.

Check out the video above and see if you recognize anyone around the 31 second mark (watch carefully, it's super fast!).

In case you missed it:


Friday, May 24, 2013

Currently Loving: Strappy Heels

I'm currently obsessed with strappy heels.  I'm on the hunt for a black pair to 'complete' my collection for this summer; but then again, is a shoe collection ever complete?

I love my Zara sandals that I bought online about a month ago.  Normally I try to give all my shoes a fair shot and rotate through them the best I can--we all have favourites, right?--but these ones are getting worn multiple times per week.  They have become my go-to and since they are nude, and I'm wearing them so much, I'm worried they are going to get scuzy looking quick. I was debating ordering another pair until I saw they are sold out in my size. 

The other strappy ones I recently acquired are the neon lime Prabal Gurung (for Target) heels.  They aren't nearly as comfortable as the Zara ones but I love the look and pop of colour.  I am beginning to understand the common complaint of the ankle strap coming undone sometimes while you walk but Kelly shared an awesome tip which is to move the leather loop over the buckle closure to keep it closed and secure.  Genius!

I'm finding every morning, when I get dressed, I look at my shoes and am instantly drawn towards these two, mentaly debating if they work with my outfit.  They usually do, and so I wear them, again and again and again.  Although up until a month ago, my other shoes seemed fine, now they feel dated to me and I will barely look at anything with a platform or chunky wedge.  Strange how quickly the tides change, right?  I'm sure I'll re-love my other shoes again, but for now, strappy heel kick it is.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Healthier Rice Pudding

As I've gotten older, I've developed a mad love for rice pudding.  I know, kind of weird, but I just love it.  I don't eat it often, maybe a few times a year, but it's at the top of my favourite dessert-like foods.

When Sarah brought a healthier version to work that she made at home, I forced her to share the recipe with me so I could share with you.  Behold, healthier (ish) rice pudding!

Healthier Rice Pudding:
1 C Brown Minute Rice (the parboiled stuff that cooks in 10 mins normally)
½ C skim milk
2/3 C Stivia (or Splenda)
2 T melted butter (or margarine)
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
½ t nutmeg
1 C raisins

Pre-heat overn to 350 degrees Celcius.

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart baking dish. Mix well.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring after 15 minutes and again when pudding is done.

Sarah's notes:
It will seem a bit runny, but the mix thickens as it cools...if you feel it is too "thin", leave in for another 5-10 mins, not longer than that or it starts to separate and doesn't create a pudding (too thick).

Sprinkle with cinnamon or cinnamon sugar when finished or before eating a serving. Enjoy!







...I'd take these also.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do you have more girl or guy friends?

I am a girly-girl, no question about it.  I love fashion, shoes and getting dressed up.  I can roll with the guys, but prefer to roll with the girls.  I absolutely have more girl friends than I do guy friends; I simply love bonding with women. 

I have a few guy friends, and they are great as there is never drama and it's a simple friendship, but not much can beat a shopping trip, gossip sesh or brunch with my ladies.

I know there is that stereotypical drama thing that can happen, but what's a little drama when the ultimate benefits of women friendships are so wonderful.

Do you have more girl or guy friends?


Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

Typically the weekend starts Friday night but on Thursday I came home after work for an amazing surprise:  flowers sitting in my apartment with a sweet note and gift card from my boyfriend.  What a little trickster!  A better look at the bouquet HERE.

On Friday morning I got my car back from the dealership (unfortunately, I've been having a reoccuring problem that they can't seem to solve.  Fortunately, I have a warranty and have been given loaner vehicles during the interim).  I was so happy to have her back!  Sadly, she acted up again on Saturday and is alas, back at the dealership as you read this.

 Friday night thai take-out.

Home-made breakfast on Saturday morning; yes, that is a bacon basket & I only ate a quarter of my toast (weekends are for indulging).

Saturday afternoon I spent the day shopping with a friend. I ended up scoring three items: a white sweater (see below & in background), a lilac crochet skirt (see below) and a sweet open thing bangle-cuff (see below).
Outfit deets:  Garage denim jacket & Joe Fresh dress (old).

Saturday ended up being a beautiful day so I snapped a shot of my view.  I'll never tire of looking at this (although I will eventually be moving.  Eventually).

Saturday night was an all-girls' birthday dinner for a friend (we all wore silly glasses).  Since we went to an Italian restaurant, everything was pizza and pasta (well, almost everything) so I opted for a gluten-free chicken & portabello pizza.  Honestly, it tasted like crap and I won't be doing that again.

Saturday night outfit.
Outfit deets:  unknown brand top (from Marshalls last year & I finally ripped off the tags to wear it this night), American Eagle skirt (new!), Zara heels & studded Aldo clutch.

From left to right: American Eagle (the new on I was talking about, above), gifted chain-link, F21 gun metal, Swarovski, gifted square bangle & F21.

On Sunday I met up with a girl friend for brunch and then headed to my parent's place.  Later on I did groceries and poked around Joe Fresh and snapped this shot after I tried on some t-shirts (but didn't purchase anything).
Outfit deets:  Gap denim jacket (thrifted & DIY bleached), unknown sweater from Winners (new!), Sirens shorts (seen HERE in pink) & unknown sandals (old).

I spent the afternoon detailing Kiki and she's lookin' so nice now (despite being at the dealership #wahwah).

I got to hang out with this little girl, Peanut, while working on my car.  She's so cute: I had my mats out of my car because I was washing them and while they were on the ground drying, she kept trying to lie on them!  What a weirdo.

On Sunday evening I threw on my new (thrifted) Mexx jacket and some jeans and ran out the door.  Monday looked rainy and then it turned sunny and I had a pre-season beach volleyball practice in the afternoon, which was fun.  The evening was low key so I didn't snap any pics.

Let's Chat sesh coming up this afternoon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Off Day

Hey guys, just wanted to check in but not going to do a full post today.  I'm having a bit of an off day, so I'm going to leave it at that.  I'll be back to regular posting tomorrow, with a long-weekend recap.

Hope you had a great weekend!  See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Welcome Back Friday!

Outfit deets:
* W118 by Walter Baker peplum top (from Winners; newHere in red & blue).
* Mexx bubble skirt (old) which you've seen (a long time ago!) with a denim jacket & belted (this post is almost embarassing), and in my parent's garage & similarly in grey (on contrary, love this post).
* Zara heels (new!) which I've worn the heck out of in a matter of two weeks.  I love these shoes so much and they are comfortable (way more comfy than my newest Prabal Gurung neon heels).
* Urban Expressions purse; I normally carry this purse only in the fall, but recently broke it out and am loving it for Spring. 
* Accessories: Auslini bangle, H&M necklace & Gucci shades.

Happy Friday everyone!

Last night my bestie and I hit up Le Nordik nature spa, which is like an indoor/outdoor spa with tons of different baths (read: pools) that have different temperatures, various saunas, lounges, an infiniti pool, a restaurant, fire pits, bean bag chairs, hanging chairs, hammocks, and loung chairs distributed throughout the property, which is located in the the middle of a forest.  It's stunning and beautiful, and oh-so-relaxing and it was my first time there.  We spent the majority of our time in the hotter baths and experienced a really cool sauna aromatherapy show (I almost didn't last in there, it got that hot).  After a few hours, we bunked up in our fluffy towels in the lounge and had some wine and gourmet appetizers (I tried a wild bison sausage and she had a roasted olive plate).  I didn't snap any pictures as I left my phone in my locker and it was a night to disconnect and unwind; you know, without technology.

This weekend is a long one and I'm so glad it's finally here.  The days seem to be filling up, which is so much fun because I love being busy, but with relaxing type plans, know what I mean? 

Tonight I'm going on a date, tomorrow there is a shopping date with a girl friend, tomorrow night there a birthday party for another girl friend and on Sunday morning I'm getting together with a different girl friend for brunch.  On Monday I have a volleyball pre-season practice for the upcoming session which starts next Thursday.  See?  Busy, but enjoyable, relaxed plans.

What are you up to this weekend?  Have a great one!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fashion Vlogger Video #14: Summer Event Wear (weddings, showers, prom, etc.)

For my twelth video as the Place d'Orleans Fashion Vlogger, I'm sharing some beautiful dresses and accessories that you can wear to those fancy upcoming events this summer.  
Wedding, prom and bridal/ baby shower season is right around the corner and it's often hard to figure out how to re-wear those items you purchased specially for the event.  In this video I'm giving you some ideas on how to rock 'em after in the months to come.
Stay tuned for more videos (specifically on the Place d'Orleans FB page).
Other videos:
* Fall Fashion (video #1)
* Wardrobe Classics (video #2)
* Bundling Up for Winter (video #3)
* New Year, New You! (video #6)
* What to Wear on a Date  (video #8)
* Dreaming of Summer (video #9)
* Spring Trends (video #12)  
* Biggest Spring Trends (video #13)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Do you compliment strangers?

My best friend pointed something out to me a couple weeks back:  I frequently compliment strangers. 

I hadn't given it much thought, but am aware that it's something I do.

My thinking behind it is (1) it's awesome to get a compliment in general, and (2) coming from a stranger is unexpected and can really brighten someone's day.  Bottom line, why not?

I think we sometimes think that people who are close to us that compliment us are just saying it because they have to (which isn't true, typically) but from someone who doesn't know you, it's an unexpected surprise.  I know we all compliment each other in the blogosphere a lot, but in person puts a new meaning behind it.

Do you compliment strangers?  If not, will you try it today?


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prabal Gurung Ankle Strap Sandals (Mine!)

Yay!  They have arrived.

I bit the bullet and purchased the Prabal Gurung, Ankle Strap Sandal (remember when I was coveting them HERE?) and am quite pleased.  I purchased them through eBay and the seller, Ann, was great to deal with.  At first, I accidentally bid on the wrong size with three minutes left in the auction; I got excited and clearly thought I was bidding on my size--duh.

Needless to say, I won the auction and then realized they were a size too small.  I decided to take a stab in the dark and emailed the seller to see if she would be willing to cancel the sale as I purchase the wrong size but figured I'd be on the hook to pay and didn't expect much.

As luck would have it, she happened to have a size 10 for sale and said she would simply swap them and send me the correct size!  She was so sweet and I am so fortunate.  She's based out of the US too, which I like--and they arrived within a week.

I'm on a huge strappy sandal kick right now.  I've been wearing my Zara heels non-stop--which is kind of unlike me as I like to rotate through my shoes, if possible--and now I just need a black pair to complete my summer collection and I'll be good.  Haha.

Want to snatch up a pair for yourself?  There are loads of them on eBay right now HERE.


Monday, May 13, 2013

US Walmart Haul + Winners


Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

Friday night after work outfit, ready to head to Kingston for the weekend.
Outfit deets:  Maison Scotch jacket, Winners tee, Parasuco jeans, Ardène flats, Mat & Nat duffle & Urban Expressions purse.

After visiting with family, we hit up Bubba's Pizzeria for a late night indulgence.

The next day we drove around and stopped down by the water for some photos
(picture of the bf & I HERE).
Outfit deets:  Maison Scotch jacket, Zara cardigan, Urban Planet ruffle cami, unknown dotted jeans & Cleo belt.

Some beautiful buds the the road home in the evening (love that it was still this bright out around 7pm!).

On Sunday I went to my grandparent's senior residence for Mothers' Day brunch.
Outfit deets:  Forever 21 jacket, Dynamite lace top & tube top underneath, Aeropostale denim & Zara heels.

We ate like kings and they came around and served us eggs benedict too.  There was a sizeable dessert table too but I only had some fruit a a very small piece of carrot cake (but wanted more!).

Sunday late afternoon and evening was spent editing a video for a dental office that I've been hired to do.  It's almost complete, which is exciting for both parties.

Lastly, I forgot to share this bracelet holder with you sooner, but I picked up two of these off eBay (one was broken when it arrived s I'm waiting for a replacement) and quite enjoy.
Bracelets: F21, The Bay, Suzy Shier, The Bay, Dillards, Mexx, Mexx, Dillards & Joe Fresh

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