This past trip to Italy was my first time overseas and we did quite a bit of traveling around.  From Florence, to Rome, to Amalfi, Positano, Capri and back to Florence and into the Tuscany countryside, I saw and learned a lot.  I'm sure there is plenty more to learn and easily plenty more to see but I wanted to share 10 things I learned while there:

1. Toilets & Restrooms | Often times restrooms are singles and not gender specific.  Additional, toilet seats are next to non-existent, so you're either squatting or sitting on the bowl.  I had also heard that sometimes you would need your own paper so always kept tissue travel packs on me, but never had that problem.  Also, it feels frowned upon to use a restaurant or store's washroom unless you're buying something there.

Today I'm sharing my kind of go-to look with my Naked 2 palette using three of my favourite shades.  It's pretty simple, with a ton of blending to achieve a very neutral, pretty and light everyday look.

Thanks for watching! xo



Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk & Cottage Cheese
Rimmel Scandaleyes Pencil in nude
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner in black
Elf Liquid Liner in black
Rimmed Scandaleyes Mascara in Extreme Black
Hardcandy Fox in a Box blush/bronzer




In this video I show you how I create my messy French twist I rocked a few weekends ago.  It's super easy, takes under five minutes and is great for day 2 or 3 hair.  

Hope this is helpful and if you rock this look, tweet/instagram me @acoest1984 and use the hashtag #acofrenchtwist  

I'd love to see your take on it!

Layer your dresses:
For look #1, I grabbed two dresses from my closet, this recently purchased colour-blocked navy/cobalt dress from Smart Set & a charcoal turtleneck sweater dress.  I layered the warm knit under the boxy shift for interest and warmth.  I threw on a faux leather blazer and my trusty Aldo wedge boots to finish off the look.
If you want to take your layering one step further, try a pair of patterned tights over your opaque ones.  Both my pairs are black but you could get creative with different shades if you wanted a less subtle effect.

Pair something casual with something dressy:
For look #2 I grabbed this Le Chateau silk blouse and paired it with a chunky, short-sleeved cardigan I've had for a while in my closet.  I always felt this sweater could only be worn casually but I've taken this look to office appropriate with the heels and jewelery.

Layer your accessories:
Stay warm and look chic in look #3 where I'm pairing my new fingerless gloves from Garage, layered over a pair of regular gloves.  This would work with mitts as well; feel free to mix in some colour to offer dimension & interest.  Not only does this look cool, it adds extra warmth in the winter.

* This post is sponsored by Place d'Orleans, the mall I vlog for.  As always, thanks for reading & for supporting my sponsors!  Be sure to check out the Place d'Orleans Facebook page for more information & promotions happening within the mall.

Since Fall has come in with a bang, now is the perfect time to show you how to distress your denim shorts. 


I took these photos a couple months ago but sat on editing them forever.  Well, here we are, almost halfway into September and I'm finally getting this up.  That said, you can still rock your denim shorts with some tights (are we still feeling that look?) or have them ready-set-go for your upcoming tropical vacation.

Read on to find out how I did mine...

Mine:  Colbretti men's jeans from Value Village ($6)

And of course a shot of me wearing them: 

See my old denim shorts DIY from a long time ago HERE.

For my tenth video as the Place d'Orleans Fashion Vlogger, I'm showing you exactly how to turn your maxi dress into a maxi skirt (via video!).  I absolutely loved the chevron pattern on this maxi dress from Urban Planet but sadly, as you can see, it's more than a tad short.  I couldn't pass it up though (it was $19; cheaper than buying the fabric itself!) and knew instantly what I wanted to do--I never even tried it on as a dress in the store, I simply tried it as if it were a skirt!

Watch the video below to see a very easy way to use your sewing machine to turn your maxi dress into a maxi skirt.

SIDE NOTE:  I added a waist-band to the skirt as it wasn't long enough for me without it (I'm 5'11), however, if you're shorter, or your fabric is longer, you could skip the waist-band part altogether.  Since this is jersey fabric, if you're not a sewer, or don't have a machine, you can simply cut it and wear it.  The jersey will not fray, simply roll a little, which looks charming anyways.

Stay tuned for more videos (specifically on the Place d'Orleans FB page). 

Have fun!

Other videos:
* Fall Fashion (video #1)
* Wardrobe Classics (video #2)
* Bundling Up for Winter (video #3)
* How-to Style a Sequin Skirt (video #4)
* What to Wear for New Years Eve (video #5)
* New Year, New You! (video #6)
* Accessories & a Hair Tutorial (video #7)
* What to Wear on a Date (video #8)
* Dreaming of Summer (video #9) 

See another maxi dress I turned into a skirt HERE (no waist-band and a simple stitch waist).

More videos on my YouTube Channel.

I made a video for my gig as the Place d'Orleans Fashion Vlogger about what you can wear on a date.  I decided to get creative and take three very different tops and style them in three different ways each.  I love the idea of dressing something up or down.  The more versatile something is, the easier the decision to purchase and wear for many, many months (or years) to come.

2.  Urban Planet top.
3.  Urban Planet sweater.

I have a ton of jackets (two closets full, which is a little cray) that I love, but being in a climate where we have four distinct seasons it makes sense.  Except when winter tends to be much longer than it should be and drowns out the milder times you wish you could wear all those lighter weight jackets. 

This year, I discovered a way to wear the jackets that I love, despite them maybe not being 'season appropriate'; layer them!  Two jackets are much warmer than one and tend to be just as warm as my warmest jacket.  Provided your jacket is slightly roomy, this method will work wonders and keep you warm without sacrificing style through the colder months.

How to do it:
1.  Start with a smaller, snug but warm jacket for the under jacket.  This one is an old Joe Fresh puffer; a warm leather jacket would work well too.
2.  Grab your roomier jacket and throw it on over top. 
3.  Add your accessories (long gloves, a scarf, ear muffs, whatever!).
4.  Zip or tie up your top jacket to hide your jacket underneath et voila!  Warmth & style.

* Tip:  if you can belt your coat to cinch your waist, it helps define your body under all the layers (but not imperative).

(Black bomber is Joe Fresh & herringbone coat with fur is Forever 21; both old)

Today I'm sharing with you how I have recently organized my pashminas.  Before, they were all stuffed into a huge bin at the bottom of my closet, which was out of the way, but I never wore them as it was such a pain to dig through and find the one I was searching for (additionally, as I cleaned them out, I found ones I had forgotten about!).

Now, using a very simple method (below), they are organized and easy to see.  If you have extra hanging space (I had to make some), this might be helpful for you to get your scarves out where you can see them to maximize their use.  I now use that pink bin to house extra hangers that were taking up valuable hanging space on my rolling rack!

A big ol' bin of scarves!

You may also like:
* Closet clean out (the top portion).
* How I organized my accessories/make-up/linen closet.
* A peak into my apartment.
* An up-close look at how I used to store my accessories (a few years ago).
* A box of accessories.
* How to tie a scarf (a video of me; super old!).
* All of my 'How To' posts.

In case you missed my 4 Ways to Wear a Sequined Skirt video, I thought I'd share the still photos I took while making it.

Since the holiday season is upon us, there are often holiday parties to attend and cocktails to sip.  And what if you don't have a holiday party to go to, but just want to wear those sparkly, sequiny, shiny and fancy items that are bedazzling the stores right now?  In this case, a sequined skirt.  Well, I've got an option for everyone.

From left to right:

1.  Casual glam.

Pair your v-neck t-shirt with your sequined skirt for a laid-back look.  Add some cap-toe pumps, a long necklace and chunky bangles to complete the look.

2. Office glam.

A patterned top and leather-accented blazer make the perfect business meets sparkle attire for the office.  Add some peep-toed slingbacks and a chunky necklace for some edge.

3.  Feminine glam.

A sheer campus top in a festive colour take this skirt from day to night.  Pair it with some sky-high bronze metallic heels and you're ready for dinner with your man.

4.  Edgy glam.

I took a men's white tee from Walmart and cut it into a tank top for this look.  I made the sides extra open so the black lace bandeau would peek through.  Add opaque tights, wedge booties and a chunky necklace to party all night long.

1.  Joe Fresh tee, H by Halston shoes, Ardene necklace & Bijoux Terner bangles.
2.  Jessica Simpson blazer, Smart Set top, Guess shoes, Bijoux Terner necklace & Detox cuff.

3.  Urban Planet top, Smart Set cami, Bamboo shoes & Ardene necklace.
4.  Walmart men's tee (cut up), Ardene bandeau, unknown tights, Aldo boots & Dynamite necklace.

Today we are getting a little serious.

Many of us have suffered the loss of a loved one, or gotten the news that someone close to us has fallen ill.  I cam across an article that points out what you should and shouldn't say.  

Ultimately, the lies we tell to someone in hopes of comforting them as they are battling a disease, illness or worse.  In reality, these lies don't help, they hinder, so let's take a look at some great tips and things we can say to hopefully lift someone's spirits:

1. DON’T WRITE ME BACK. All patients get overwhelmed with the burden of keeping everyone informed, coddled and feeling appreciated. Social networking, while offering some relief, often increases the expectation of round-the-clock updates.  

To get around this problem, I appointed a “minister of information,” whose job it was to disseminate news, deflect queries and generally be polite when I didn’t have the energy or inclination to be. But you can do your part, too: If you do drop off a fruitcake or take the dog for a walk, insist the patient not write you a thank-you note. Chicken soup is not a wedding gift; it shouldn’t come with added stress. 

2. I SHOULD BE GOING NOW. You’ll never go wrong by uttering these five words while visiting someone who’s sick. As Ms. Pogrebin observes of such visits, don’t overstay your welcome. She recommends 20 minutes, even less if the patient is tired or in pain. And while you’re there, wash a few dishes or tidy up the room. And take out the trash when you leave.
3. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME GOSSIP? One surefire tip: a slight change of topic goes a long way. Patients are often sick of talking about their illness. We have to do that with our doctors, nurses and insurance henchmen. By all means, follow the lead of the individual, but sometimes ignoring the elephant in the room is just the right medicine. Even someone recovering from surgery has an opinion about the starlet’s affair, the underdog in the playoffs or the big election around the corner.
4. I LOVE YOU. When all else fails, simple, direct emotion is the most powerful gift you can give a loved one going through pain. It doesn’t need to be ornamented. It just needs to be real. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You mean a lot to me.” The fact that so few of us do this makes it even more meaningful.

I have been doing the spray tan thing for almost two years.  The biggest struggle is getting my tan to last longer.  Usually after three or four days, it starts to fade out and you're in that weird in-between phase where you're not ready to exfoliate it off already but would like a bit more colour.
The other day I remembered seeing something on tv saying how there is alcohol in shaving cream.  Alcohol of course is drying, and in turn doesn't help prevent your tan from fading.

We all know that shaving removes a thin thin thin layer of skin, aka the spray-tanned layer.  So, while in the shower the next time, I decided to try something out:

Replace my shaving cream with body lotion instead.

And guess what?

My tan lasted two to three days longer on my legs (the part that seems to fade the fastest, other than my face, of course) than before!  Success!

Now, before you start thinking I used some special lotion or fancy-smanchey razor, I didn't.  I used the Equate 'Total Moisture' lotion (above) that is sold at Walmart (found this one in Florida) and a regular Bic 'Pastels' two-blade razor.

Once in the shower, legs wet, I slathered the lotion on one leg (about a pump and a half), and shaved it and repeated with the other leg.  Bonus: extra soft and smooth skin!
Will you try out this tip?

* Don't forget, the best way to prolong your spray tan is to moisturize on a daily basis, especially after you get out of the shower, which zaps a lot of moisture from your skin.  Water-based moisturizers are best.

 You might also like:

 Outfit deets:
* Gap dress (thrifted) which I've had for a couple years and you've seen belted with a turtle neck and tights and also with my favourite gladiator sandals.
* Gap denim jacket (thrifted recently) that I'm absolutely in love with.  It seems to trump all other denim jackets I own (which are numerous).
* Joe Fresh suede boots that I've had since Joe Fresh first opened (four years ago?) and I wore with a sweater/skirt/tights combo in autumn.
* Accessories:  Le Chateau pashmina & necklace, Michael Kors watch & random bangles.

Adding interest to an outfit can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.  Accessories are key and the possibilities are endless.

Above, I've shown the perfect (and easiest) way to add interest to an outfit with simple accessories: a necklace, jacket and pashmina.

I started with a basic a-line/tent style dress and casual flat boots (it was a sunny, semi-chilly spring day).  I added a wooden beaded necklace.  Then layered a denim jacket.  And lastly added a pashmina (which came in handy while sitting on patio later on when the wind picked up).

I personally tend to keep a jacket and pashmina with me at all times (throughout the spring/summer/fall) as the temperatures can be unpredictable and/or your day may run into the evening when the mercury tends to drop.  It is a simple and basic way to chic-ify your outfit and stay cozy too.

I am a later person.  Ask me to be there at 5pm, I'll be there at 5:15pm, or worse, 5:30pm.  It cannot be helped, I've tried to be punctual but never seem to succeed.  Sometimes my family tells me the time to arrive is half an hour before everyone else... just so I'll be on time.  Yes, they have resorted to tricks like that.

Sometimes my tardiness spills over into my work life.  I say sometimes lightly.  Fortunately, I have an amazing boss is who understanding and is cool with me being a few minutes late so long as I put in those few minutes at the end of the day (which I always do).  However, in an effort to be on time, I decided to style eight outfits one evening last week to make mornings a bit more efficient.  It helps, but I always tend to find something to do that results in me still being late.  Le sigh.

Here are my top tips on how to style an outfit:

1.  Start with the base.  For me that's the bottoms (it used to be shoes, but I don't like to plan my outfits around my shoes anymore if I can help it).  So pick a skirt, dress or pants.

2.  Pick a top.  A sweater, a button-down, a blouse, a tee, a tank... whatever!

3.  Pick your second top.  This is usually a layering piece like a cardigan, blazer or sweater.

4.  Lay your 'outfit' on the bed.  Now comes the fun part...

5.  Accessorize!  This includes belts, jewelery, hosiery and shoes.  

6.  Finally, the easiest step: bra & undies.

7.  Next, take a hanger and hang all items on it.  I like to fold my bottoms over the base of the hanger, hang the top over it, loop the hanger through my belt, along with my bra, undies and hosiery.  Grab a ziplock bag and put your jewelery in that, seal, poke a hole and hang it on the hanger.

8.  If you want to take it to the next level, pick out your jacket and cold weather accessories too, like gloves, a scarf/pashmina & a hat.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig