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I Heart StyleLikeU

It’s not everyday that you get to meet your Instagram crushes, but that’s exactly what happened to me earlier this year when the amazing pair behind StyleLikeU materialized before my eyes at a press event. Helmed by mother-daughter duo Elisa Goodkind and Lily  Mandelbaum, the StyleLikeU mission seeks to empower people to discover a sense of unique personal style and, in turn, create a society that values and encourages individual expression. What I love about their work is how it focuses on being different as a good thing – cuz it is. Which is probably because I grew up feeling very much different – cuz I was. Anyhoo, I had the privilege to write about their endlessly gorgeous & newly available book True Style is What’s Underneath. It’s a full-on manifesto overflowing with inspiration for your closet and your spirit, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in personal style, self-acceptance and/or looking to ignite a creative spark. One of my fave quotes in the book is this nugget from Amy van Doran: “I had no chance of being normal, so I always tried to own my weirdness.” Now what’s not to love about that?




Coat Tales… à la Canadiana

Pink! Curls! Legs! Silver! Isn’t this shot everything?! Loved styling this fall fashion story with amazing Canadian-designed coats.

Photography by Alvaro Goveia / Makeup & Hair by Diana Carreiro / Canadian beauty by Anna, Elite Models / Styling by me. Thanks Jute Magazine for running it!

Clothing credits below…

Coat Tales 1

Coat Tales 3

Coat Tales 4

Coat Tales 5

Coat Tales 6

Look 1: Ellie Mae pink coat, Browns boots

Look 2: Sentaler purple trench

Look 3: SØSKEN checkered coat, MICHAEL Michael Kors boots

Look 4: Sentaler moto coat

Look 5: SØSKEN yellow coat, Browns boots

Look 6: Rudsak red moto and slip dress

No Safe Shades!!!

Because on the first day of summer, I wanna wear all the brights!


Here’s credits for everything in the vid:

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Lavender Jam, $30, Sephora

Susana Monaco Philomena Dress, $203, Shopbop

Banana Republic Italian Suede Accordion Bag, $215

H&M Textured Skirt, $60

Timex Weekender Fairfield Watch, $95

J. Crew Tie-Waist Romper, $149

Birkenstock sandals, Arizona (pink), $129, and Madrid (yellow), $99,

Oscar de la Renta earrings, US $425, Net-A-Porter

French Connection Celia Sequinned Dress, $90 (green) and $80 (pink)

Stella McCartney The Falabella Mini Bag, US $1055, Net-A-Porter

Zara PomPom Sandals, $90

Budget Dresses to Buy Now

I had a real hankering for a wardrobe update last week and fully intended to satisfy my sartorial craving with a pretty top of some sort. I had my eyes peeled for something off the shoulder or printed, you know, anything that felt new & now. I gave it a real good effort but for whatever reason, price point or dissatisfactory fabric, it did not happen. However, in my travels I came across this dress, above, that did everything I asked of it. My demands were: easy-to-wear cut (ruching = buh bye belly), not-so-basic detailing (asymmetrical reads as cool) and budget-friendly price (under $100). I wore it out the next day, which is always a good sign. In fact, Jenn Rogien, the costume designer for Girls AND Orange is the New Black (NBD!), once told me that if you buy a garment and don’t want to wear it immediately that you should return it. It’s just not speaking to you strong enough and will end up being a waste of space in your closet. Wearing my winning frock (you’ll find the particulars below) only made me want to have another budget dress, or 10, STAT. So, that brings us to the following gems…

Express Demin Off The Shoulder Trapeze Dress

A humble chambray dress in an oh-so-trendy shape? Sold!

Express Denim Off The Shoulder Trapeze Dress, $60

Topshop Striped Knot Dress

Stripes with figure-flattering strategy are a DO. The play of skinny and wide bands, plus the knotted detail, create a dress that resists adding width.

Topshop Stripe Knot Dress, $60, Hudson’s Bay

H & M Layered Dress

Love that this one offers a breezy layered shape in a rich colour, a major day-to-night winner.

H&M Satin Dress, $40

LOFT Marina Tie Waist Dress

I tend to avoid deep V-necklines, so this halter style is perfectly pretty yet modest in my eyes.

LOFT Marina Tie Waist Dress, $94

Nasty Gal Walk in the Park Gingham Dress

Oh, hi there, oversize check, nipped in waist and slit skirt! Thanks for giving preppy gingham a cool quality.

Nasty Gal Walk in the Park Gingham Dress, $105

Old Navy Eyelet Slip Dress

What’s a spring wardrobe update without a lil’ bit of eyelet? I very much enjoy the refined hemline detailing and the pleated top half, too. P.S. Old Navy consistently turns out some stellar dresses that are a total steal, always worth a look-see.

Old Navy Eyelet Slip Dress, $50

Zara_Lace Midi Dress

A lace dress that’s in relaxed t-shirt dress shape and an unexpected colour works for me.

Zara Lace Midi Dress, $119

Joe Fresh Stripe Print Crepe Dress

Brightly coloured stripes are a big deal this season, people. And it doesn’t get much easier than wearing them in this simple t-shirt dress.

Joe Fresh Print Crepe Dress, $39

Endless Rose Contrast Lace Midi Dress

Considering the lacy texture, sweet shape and pastel stripe bonus, this is a whole of pretty for not a lot of money.

Endless Rose Contrast Lace Midi Dress, $92,

P.S. The dress in opener image is Willow & Thread, $85, part of the new-ish upscale collection from Reitmans. Really.

My Greedy Gift Guide

My holiday shopping is all wrapped up, which leaves just enough time to indulge in my own wish list. Hence, the title of this post and a gift guide of five prezzie suggestions. A few lean more towards want than need. A couple are things I already own and love – and therefore never want to run out of. And yes, while these are things I shamelessly admit to lusting after for myself, I guarantee any stylish gal you know wouldn’t be mad to receive them. Happy Holidays!

H&M Pattern Coat1. Gimme A Chic Coat!

With Mother Nature being on her best behaviour it only seems fair to reward her by stepping out in an eye-catching lightweight coat. I like my outerwear packed to the gills with personality, so this printed one is right up my ally.

H&M Pattern Coat, $60




Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask

2. Gimme Gorgeous Skin!

As a clay mask aficionado I can attest to this being a must-have beauty product. It’s splurgy, for sure. But its ability to suck the gunk out pores while leaving skin super hydrated is worth every penny. If she likes skin care, she’ll love this.

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask, $80, available at Holt Renfrew 




Jenny Bird x Indigo Bastille Cuff Bracelet3. Gimme A Beautiful Bracelet!

I’ve had my eye on this gold baby since early fall, and you know good things come to those who wait, right? Only someone as cool as Jenny Bird could give pearls such a modern spin, and I love that Indigo has been championing Canadian jewelry designers over the past few seasons.

Jenny Bird X Indigo Bastille Cuff Bracelet, $49



4. Gimme A Pretty Clutch!

Because a girl can never have too many bags. Full stop. Fine, I’ll embellish. This is exactly the type of bag I’d swoon over in the store but talk myself out of in favour of a more ‘practical’ everyday-ish purchase (read: tote bag). BUT, once in my possession would I use it for every night out and pack it along for every vacation? You betcha. And would I find it handy to have, er, on hand to toss into aforementioned tote bag for optimal organization? Most definitely. I rest my case.

 Banana Republic Studded Large Pouch, $95 


Saje Natural Wellness Pocket Pharmacy

5. Gimme A Healthy Fix!

On the wellness front, this has been one of my favourite discoveries of the year. A zippered pouch houses five tiny vials of essential oil blends that can heal ailments ranging from stress to headache and muscle pain, grumbly stomach to sore throat. Once you own a set you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one, and it’s what I’m gifting all my girlfriends who already have everything.

                                                                                 Saje Natural Wellness Pocket Pharmacy, $60

Winter Garden

Here’s what happens: I buy something new for my wardrobe and it automatically becomes the only thing I want to wear. Like, to an embarrassing degree. My latest obsession has been with a floral print dress I picked up when I was in London awhile back. It’s dark in palette, easy in shape, and the kind of item you slip on and instantly look extra polished in – like you could run into anyone that day (former boss, an ex, what have you) and feel pretty darn good about yourself because you know you look gooood. Amy Poehler knows what I’m talking about, she chose something similar to wear to her Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony. My floral frock has become a go-to garment this winter, which makes getting dressed on any given day super quick (add tights and booties, done), but there’s only so many times in a week I can bust it out. Hence, I’ve rounded up a few potential candidates that would make chic new friends. Check ’em out in the slideshow. More floral dresses? Yes, please!

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Back to Black

BestHealth NovDec 2015 Backless Jumpsuit

Ok, so, sticking to black for holiday dressing isn’t anything new (it’s basically the ‘Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking’ festive equivalent), BUT I swear that updated silhouettes, textures and details make the go-to neutral as exciting as ever. We’re going well beyond the LBD. See slideshow below to peep my favourite options which include sexy jumpsuits, body skimming fits that are more covered than not, oversize lace and sequins in new shapes (j’adore that kimono wrap dress!). Don’t forget to add statement jewelry, I’m big on big earrings at the moment, plus a deliciously dark lip colour and any style of flashy footwear. I’ll be in silver flats, FYI.

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Best Health Nov/Dec 2015

Photography: Genevieve Charbonneau / Hair & Makeup: Cia Mandarello

Art Direction: Jackie Shipley / Styling: me!


Yoga, Girl, Yoga

This image of Caley Alyssa Yavorsky, yogi supreme, in an incredible backbend yoga pose has been seared into my brain since I came across it in Self magazine last summer. I think it’s a jaw-dropping image of beauty and strength, and I find it majorly inspiring. So much so that I may or may not have nabbed the pic as my avatar image on my MindBody app log-in. It’s all about visualization, people! Am I anywhere near as flexible? Hells no. But I’m working on it, and have been committed to hot yoga for the past few years. I remember thinking “I’ve never sweated this much in my life, I love it!” during the very first class I tried. Now it’s all I do in terms of a workout and I can’t imagine life without it. Going to class and sweating to death keeps me sane and kicks my butt. Every. Single. Time. At the beginning of November I decided to embark on a 30-day yoga challenge, which, no surprise, is an attempt to hit the mat every day for a month. It had been a couple of years since I did one and I needed something to focus on to ward off the doom of winter. Plus, November seemed like perfect timing: prior to December’s packed social calendar (what, I’m popular!) and before January when classes get crammed with everyone and their mother who takes on the activity as a New’s Years Resolution. I was on a solid two-week streak when I had to call it quits due to an unexpected trip out of town, but it was great while it lasted. Getting to a class became a daily obsession, it was non-negotiable regardless of how ‘busy’ my day appeared. And by Day 4 I felt like a super star, it was a real look-what-I-can-do! high. So, as motivation to get at it again I’ve compiled a shopping wish list of stylish yoga wear updates, a dream wardrobe if you will, plus bonus item essentials I use on the regular.

  • For me it all starts with a cute sports bra. I like bright colours because they’re pretty and practical, i.e. easy to spot in a pile of laundry when I’m running late to class. This amazing geometric find is from Alo Yoga
  • Cropped leggings are my preferred style of yoga pants and these ones from Old Navy are a long time fave. They contain some technical magic that makes legs look fantastic, they’re super comfy and stand up to multiple washings no problem.
  • When you’re catching a glance of yourself at your most drenched you might as well be wearing a sexy tank top, right? Michi, a Canadian company, offers some of the best on the market.
  • Vega Pre-Workout Energizer is a plant-based powder that you mix with water to achieve a pre-class boost. I refer to it as my Go-Go Juice, sipping it on the way to studio. I stock up on the sugar-free version in Acai Berry, which is the superior flavour in my opinion.
  • In hot yoga, the last thing I need/want is trickles of perspiration messing with my focus, literally. I’ve found a headband or lack thereof can make or break my ability to enjoy a class. Wide styles, like this one from Hyba, are ideal.
  • My ultimate outfit for running to and fro class is built around elevated comfy separates. Thanks to the athleisure trend there’s no shortage of options for cute, slim cut joggers, like these from Joe Fresh, and sweatshirts that have come a loooong way since my tweenage Cotton Ginny-lovin’ days. Try Gap for similar quilted beauties.

Coat Check

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Winter is legit coming, which means the time is now to secure yourself a super chic coat. My advice when it comes to outerwear? Embrace a print, shake things up with a bit of sparkle or leather details, get wrapped up in a fluffy texture or try a surprising colour. Basically, anything but basic black is the way to go.

Coat Check story, as seen in 1968 Magazine

Photography, Alvaro Goveia

Makeup and hair, Jukka

Model, Karis at Elmer Olsen Models

Styling, me

Slough Call

A key component of my skin care routine strongly disagrees with a certain TLC anthem, because, yes, I DO want some scrubs! I especially want them on my face. At this stage in the age game I can’t imagine trying to keep my mug in top form without exfoliating on a regular basis to encourage dead skin cells to move along, minimize my chief nemeses (aka acne scars and hyperpigmentation, grr) and to achieve something resembling glowing skin. As we head into the bosom of cold weather, which is when I really step up my sloughing game, I thought I’d share my top three faves.

  1.  My longest love affair has been with NeoStrata Skin Resurfacing Duo, a two-step crystalline scrub and liquid activator system. It’s my go-to when I want to banish dull skin and basically get a new face. After all these years it never disappoints me, delivering maximum radiance while smoothing skin to baby soft status.
  2. Holding steady on the gentler end of the sloughing scale and perfect for daily use, IMO, is Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. The rice-based powder transforms into a paste with a few drops of water to create a just-right polisher.
  3. The newest addition to my exfoliation nation is Vasanti Brighten Up! It’s an enzyme-rich grainy formula that I use for weekly buffing, either as a spot treatment or for quickie-style pampering (which means I leave it on for a few minutes in the shower). Bonus points: it’s made by a female-founded Canadian company and the large tube lasts forever.

What exfoliators do you swear by?