Last Minute Gift Ideas

clockIt’s that time of year when all of my colleagues are posting holiday shopping guides. And of course, I am no different.

Or am I?

Well, kind of.

Since Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, I have put together two gift guides with suggested items for those “hard to shop for” people in your life. You know, the ones you haven’t gotten anything for yet because you have NO IDEA what to get them?!

People like the Babysitter/Nanny, your Boss, your Assistant, your best client, or that super stylish friend who has it all.

Well, no worries. I’ve got you covered. I’ve even made it SUPER easy by creating two cheat sheets (one for my fellow Canadians and one for my friends in the U.S).

And if that wasn’t enough, everything is under $100 (some items are less than $50!). I also made sure that all of the items on each cheat sheet are from the same store, just in case you have more than one hard to shop for person – you can get it all done in one stop (or one online order if you’re like me).

You’re welcome!

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For the Canadian Shoppers, all items above available at The Bay

Faux Fur Vest, Statement Necklace, Metallic Backpack, Monogrammed Business Card Holder, Tartan Scarf

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For the U.S. Shoppers, all items above available at Nordstrom

Faux Fur Vest, Statement Necklace, Metallic Backpack, Monogrammed Jewellery Box, Tartan Scarf

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Stand Out at Your Next Holiday Event

partytime

It’s that time of year again!

What in the world are you going to wear to that Holiday party?

Well lucky you!

Because whether it’s a work party, family function, or girls night out – I have the perfect solution! And the best part? It will work for ALL of the previously mentioned events.

So, what is it?

Skinny pants! Yep, skinny pants.

Not just any type of skinny pants though – I’m talking sparkly, shiny, textured.

Like, stand out from the crowd, super comfy, “holy moly, you look awesome” skinny pants!

Now, I know this look isn’t for everyone (quick side note though…skinny pants aren’t just for skinny people).

But if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and don’t want to blend in to the sea of holiday party dresses– this is something you should try!

Maybe a faux (or real) leather detailed pair or even some sequined ones…both of which are VERY popular this season.

Here are some ideas for you…

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For the work party

 

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Girls Night Out

 

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The Family Gathering

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The items that have GOT TO GO!

PicMonkey Collage

Holy Monkey! Can you believe it is the end of the year?

AKA…my fave time of year for de-cluttering!

There’s just something about getting everything “sorted out” for the New Year that I just can’t resist. Kind of like “The Real Housewives of (anywhere)”…I just can’t seem to turn away when those shows are on!

Seriously though, whether it’s that junk drawer, your make up bag, or the kitchen cupboards – clearing and cleaning out spaces that have been neglected for far too long just FEELS. SO. GOOD.

So, of course, because I am who I am, I want to talk about cleaning out your wardrobe. Not in the usual, step by step, “how to” way. This is the busiest time of the year, like you really have time to clean out your entire closet right now.

But I know you DO have time to get rid of at least a handful of things. And to make things simple, I have made a little list of the things that NO ONE should keep. EVER. And I’m sure you’ve got at least one or two of them in your wardrobe…

1) Those really cute shoes that you always end up taking off before you even leave the house because they are killing your feet within 2 minutes.

2) Anything with a stain that hasn’t come out.

3) Anything that you can see through that you aren’t supposed to be able to see through.

4) That bridesmaid dress you know you will never wear again.

5) Bra’s that no longer support you.

I want you to take 5 minutes this weekend to do this. Just you, your closet, and a garbage bag – and of course, maybe a little “Blank Space” playing in the background (really , just when I think that Taylor Swift can’t make a catchier song, she goes ahead and gets me again, dammit!).

Really though – 5 minutes is all it should take to get rid a few SUPER obvious things that can go.

I’m sure there’s more you can purge, but we can save that for the New Year – and the next annoyingly catchy Taylor Swift song.

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3 Simple Tips for Mixing Prints & Patterns

prints and patterns collage

Once upon a time, there was a story about the dangers of mixing prints and patterns (side note – in case you’re wondering what the difference is, a print is something that is “printed” on the material whereas a pattern is woven into it).

So, some would say, “You can’t mix flowers with stripes” or “Argyle doesn’t go with polka dots.” Well, like all of the other fashion fables, the idea that you can’t mix prints/patterns is a tale of the past. In fact, doing so is very current and looks super chic, as long as it’s done the right way.

If you’re ready to try it for yourself, here are my top 3 tips to keep in mind when mixing prints and patterns…

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1) More classic examples would be a polka dot, stripe, check, or gingham with only two colours in them.

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2) Make sure your top and bottom has a unifying colour within each of the prints/patterns.

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3) So, if you are mixing a floral pant with a striped sweater, if the pants are a large print, the stripes in the top should be smaller.

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What your favourite Friend can teach you about your wardrobe

If you follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t, get on it already would ya! HA HA), you may have seen my post the other day about the story that Jennifer Aniston is having a $60,000 drive in closet built in her new home.

jennAfter getting over the initial shock of hearing about her new 24×36 foot closet space, it got me thinking a little bit deeper. No need to worry, I promise not to get too deep on you here…

But it got me thinking about why ANYONE even has that much stuff in the first place that they would need that kind of space to store it. Seriously. Unless she is a hoarder, I can not see why she needs that much space! Surely someone of her means could afford to buy whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, that she doesn’t need to hold on to EVERY. PIECE. OF. CLOTHING. she has ever acquired. Or does she?

Maybe it’s like those tabloid magazine stories: Stars, They’re Just Like Us!

You know the ones that show them “Using a Crosswalk!”, or “Grabbing their own coffee from Starbucks!”. One of my all time faves? “They reach for the top shelf!”

Us weekly..jan jones #1 10-9-13

Hilarious – those always make me laugh!

But getting back to the point…maybe they are just like us! It’s all relative, right?

Am I really in any position to judge Aniston for having that much stuff? How many pieces of clothing do I have that I don’t really need or even wear anymore? What about you? Do you have a closet full of pieces that you’re holding on to?

Maybe you are scared to get rid of it because you may gain or lose the weight.

Maybe you paid alot of money for it, so it feels wasteful to get rid of it.

Or maybe you just like the feeling of having “more”…it makes you feel like you have lots of options.

Whatever it is, the truth is that having a smaller, more manageable wardrobe is the true key to style success.

A modest sized wardrobe of items you LOVE is worth waaay more than a closet full of stuff that is just “okay”.

(click here to tweet THAT out!)

This is something I am currently working on actually (both personally and professionally) and will be telling you about in the weeks to come. In the meantime though, think about your own wardrobe. Are there pieces you are holding onto for all the wrong reasons? Could they be taking up the space for more valuable pieces that will make you excited to get dressed?

PicMonkey Collage

Not to get all WOO WOO on you here, but everything has an energy and if you are holding onto things that don’t make you feel good great, you’re not going to, well…feel that great! So, take some time this week and think about that. Bonus points if you actually are able to get rid of a few things!

And if you have any questions while trying to decide on whether or not to get rid of something or get stuck and want a second opinion, feel free to message me – I’ll be there for you (get it? Friends?!).

Yeah, I know…it’s only funny when you don’t have to explain it. :-)

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A love letter to you…yes, you!

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As a Personal Stylist, you can imagine how often I hear about how much women dislike certain parts of their bodies.

To give you an idea, it’s about as often as you hear rumours that Jennifer Aniston is (for realz this time) pregnant. AGAIN.

No matter their size (and I have worked with women sized 00-18), I have heard it all from my clients…

Chunky thighs, chicken legs, bubble butt, pancake butt, fat knees, wide hips, no shape, muffin top, flabby arms, big bust.

It. never. ends.

I wish it would though.

I wish you could see how awesome you look in those cropped printed pants, sassy ankle booties, pretty fitted sweater in that “oh so perfect for you” colour, and those ah-mazing accessories!

Because when I look at you in that outfit we put together, all I see is a super cool looking, well put together woman wearing colours that make her sparkle, in a head to toe look that reflects her sassy personality, and styles that show off her great shape and assets.

Instead, all you can focus on is your less than toned upper arms, or your wider than you’d like hips.

Don’t worry, I am not about to go on preaching about how we should all love ourselves just the way we are and get all kumbaya on you – I know you have heard that a GAZILLION times before and it drives me crazy too.

What I am going to say though may be something no one has ever said to you, and could be somewhat shocking to hear, and I am fully prepared that I may get some flack for it. You ready? Here goes…

Get over it.

When did getting dressed become all about how to hide and not get noticed or “fix” your shape instead of being about having fun and expressing yourself?

I get it – we all have things we would like to change about our physical appearance.

1) Sure, I would like to have thinner thighs but I am not prepared to alter my diet and work out like a mad woman to make it happen. On the flip side though, my hubby thinks they are shapely and sexy and thinks it’s weird looking when women’s thighs don’t touch. And I must say, they do fill out a pair of skinny jeans quite nicely!

2) I wish my tummy were a little bit flatter, but it’s that way thanks to my little 13 month old baby boy who loves to snuggle into it when he’s not feeling well. And again, I’m am not willing to do the work it would take to get it flatter.

3) And yes, I wish I had long luxurious thick hair, but I don’t. So, I have found an amazing hairstylist that cuts it in such a way it looks thicker and now that it is shorter, I have never loved my hair so much in my life!

When I work with clients, the first thing I have them do is a fill out a Style  Assessment form, and one of the questions I ask them is to name 3 physical features they love about themselves, and 3 they don’t. Can you guess which one gets filled out more often than the other? Sad, but true.

The purpose of this post is to ask beg you to try and do the opposite.

When it comes to our physical appearance, instead of focusing on our “flaws”, let’s celebrate our assets. Tweet that yo’!

If you can do this one thing, shopping and getting dressed will soon become fun again. Or maybe for the first time!

I promise, no one is focusing on those “flaws” of yours except you. So, instead of dressing to disguise, let’s dress to celebrate who we are and have fun expressing our personalities.

I dare you.

I double dog, printed cropped pants dare you.

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My “Rules” for Style (and life)

this-i-believe-0011Hey sugar!

You can imagine that as a Personal Stylist, I am often asked about fashion & style. Like, as often as you see a Kardashian on the cover of a Gossip magazine often.

The top questions are the stuff you would imagine. You know…

What’s the “rule” for (fill in the blank)?

How do I dress thinner?

Where should I shop?

That sort of thing.

But recently, someone asked me something different – I was asked about my Manifesto. EEK!

At first it felt like a really heavy/deep question. A manifesto sounds SO serious – something I am not. Well, maybe when it comes to sleep, organizing things, and eating chocolate every day – those are things I am hands down SERIOUS about. But when it comes to fashion and style… not so much. Surprising, right? Considering what I do for a living.

But even though I may not be serious about it, I do have some seriously passionate opinions about it. And to be honest, once I started thinking about them all, I couldn’t stop. They started whirling around in my head as much as ‘Shake it Off‘ has been for the past month.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is – my Manifesto. Of course it is mostly about fashion and style, but I threw in a couple about life as well.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

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P.S. I’ve been getting lots of feedback about it already and being asked by others if they can share it. My answer? YES PLEASE!

So, feel free to use those handy little Share buttons below to share the style love on social media with your friends.

P.P.S. As well, hit me up on Facebook and let me know what you seriously believe in when it comes to fashion and style…I’d love to hear from you!

Until then – get out there and have some fun playing “dress up”!

P.P.P.S. I never knew what P.P.S. meant – just looked it up. It means ‘Post Post Script”. Huh!? You learn something new everyday, right? Or maybe you knew it already – show off!

finalmanifesto

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Five Ways to Freshen Up Your Look

falledit

We are well into the Fall season now, and I don’t know about you, but for me Fall has always been a time of year that has felt like “a fresh start”.

For me this year, that meant a new look for my site and a new hair cut and colour (more professional pics to come soon!).

myhair

Sure, it was scary (change always is, right?) – but more often than not after you take the plunge, you wonder why it took you so long to do it in the first place!

So, whether you are ready for something BIG or prefer baby steps, I have offered some suggestions below if you are ready to “shake it up” (she says singing to the tune of Taylor Swifts ‘Shake it Off’…seriously, it’s burned in my brain) and make a change.

Ready? Let’s do this!

1) It’s one of the quickest and least expensive ways to switch things up, but the power of a new lipstick or gloss is undeniable. Berry is a super popular colour right now, and there is one for every skintone.

 

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2) Sticking to the beauty theme, what about trying a new nail polish? Something that you’ve always been interested in but maybe too nervous to try? Maybe it’s a darker or brighter shade than your usual colour, or maybe even a printed nail wrap!

I am currently crushing on Jamberry Nails. And no, I am not saying that because I sell them – because I don’t.

They are just so much fun and come in TONS of designs. But the best part is, they stay on my “always chipping” nails for @ least 10 days at a time. A miracle for this busy working Momma!

nails

3) Try a new trend. Whether its the colour or pattern of the moment, you can start small and incorporate it into your wardrobe via accessories. For example, Merlot is popular this year, how about a statement necklace?

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Everyone is mad for plaid right now too. Maybe you’re not ready to go full out and invest in a plaid coat, but you could always grab a soft plaid scarf to add to your neutral fall coat.

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4) To some they may be considered accessories but depending on where you live – a hat, gloves, and scarf are more like necessities. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them!

Try a new hat style this year, or instead of trying to be all “matchy matchy” or neutral with them, why not do something different and go for contrasting colours and/or mixing some playful prints and patterns? Like a neutral navy coat with coral/yellow/tan accessories. Yes, really.

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5) The last fresh start suggestions takes a bit more courage, but will give you the biggest bang.

What about a new cut or colour? Is there something you have always wanted to try but been too afraid to do? Make an appointment with your hairstylist for a free consultation to ask their opinion.

myhairagain

Or what about a Wardrobe Makeover? Do it yourself, with a friend, or hire a pro. You can go all out or just go for a seasonal update.

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to Freshen Up for Fall?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge change to have a significant impact. If you’re nervous, start small and work your way up.

But if you’re ready to just give er’, good for you – go for it! I’ll be sending virtual fist pumps your way.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to do ‘Denim on Denim’

denimondenim

Call it the ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ or the ‘Texas Tuxedo’ – but whatever you want to call the denim on denim look, it’s once again a H-O-T trend right now.

It’s one of those looks that when done right, can look super cool. When it’s wrong though, it’s REALLY wrong.

So, how do you make sure you’re doing this popular Fall 2014 trend correctly?

There are really just 3 things to keep in mind…

1) Make sure that your two denims are different shades. They don’t have to be drastically different, but one should be obviously darker than the other so it doesn’t look like you were trying to match the two.

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2) To up the cool factor, go for a juxtaposition. So, make sure your denims have opposing styles. If you are wearing a dressier pair of jeans, wear a more distressed looking denim shirt…and vice versa.

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3) Lastly, don’t forget to break it up. Add in some other colours, textures, and prints with your footwear, belts, scarves, vests, jewellery, etc.

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Keep those 3 things in mind when you go to put together your denim on denim look, and you can’t go wrong. Yee haw!

And if you’re looking for some more denim tips as well as learning how to pick the perfect jeans for your body, make sure to sign up here to get a FREE copy of my ‘Denim DNA Guide’ delivered straight to your inbox.

 

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New Denim Trends for Fall 2014

 

patchworkeditHere we go again…JEANS!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s one of my favourite things to talk about (and wear).

So much so that I created a FREE 25 page guide to help you figure out how to find the best style(s) for you.

So you can imagine how excited I was when Canadian Press Reporter Lauren LaRose asked for my input on some of the hottest new Fall 2014 denim trends.

From black jeans to boyfriend, patchwork to plaid – yep, I had alot to say.

Get the scoop right here.

 

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