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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Packing for a Mini-break

I'm going away on an overnight trip with my family at the end of this month. With the gorgeous warmer weather we've been experiencing, I'll need to pack light and airy clothes.

I've been invited to take part in Walmart's #LooksforLess challenge - I was given a $100 giftcard and challenged to find trendy Spring pieces to incorporate into my wardrobe. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to buy clothes for my mini-break!

For my day outfit I chose this turquoise and black g:21 maxi dress ($16) paired with a George modal wrap ($12). Both pieces are so soft and lightweight - they feel like lounge wear but look dressy! I added these super comfortable g:21 gladiator sandals ($22) and a long draped George gold chain ($10) with teal and coral accents.

Soooooo... my night outfit may not be what you expected - no heels and a slinky dress here! But this is the reality of my life - I need an outfit for relaxing in the hotel room while cuddling together and watching family movies. The George pink elephant PJs ($13) are 100% cotton, with Spring-appropriate short sleeves to keep me cool, while the Tender Tootsies bedroom slippers ($15) are so soft, flexible and cushioned. The non-slip soles will be especially handy once I return home - I'll be able to run up and down our wooden stairs without worrying about slipping!

Here's the breakdown of my shopping total - how did I do? I LOVE shopping challenges - they're so much fun!

DAY ($60)
g:21 dress - $16
George black wrap - $12
George necklace: $10
g: 21 tan sandals - $22

NIGHT ($28)
George pink elephant pjs -$13 (on sale from $19)
Tender Tootsies Beulla bedroom slippers - $15

TOTAL:  $88 plus tax = $99.44

What do you think of my finds? Have you shopped for Spring clothes at Walmart before?

DISCLAIMER:  This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada, as part of the #LooksForLess Shopping Challenge. In exchange this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own. The Walmart Look Book is available to view and download on the Walmart.ca flyer section here.

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pink and Roses for Spring PLUS Crabtree & Evelyn Giveaway

Spring is the perfect season to fill my wardrobe with my favorite prints and colors - so basically anything pink or with lots of roses!

Pink Spring Coat
Coat: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Shirt: Forever21 / Necklace: J.Crew / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Heels: Marc Fisher (similar)

I wore this coat in the beginning of Spring - back when it was sunny one day and freezing the next. It's definitely easier to face cold weather when you're wearing something so cheerful!

Roses Wrap Top and Black Pencil Skirt with Minkoff Quilted Affair in Black
 Romper: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Necklace: J.Crew / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Shoes: Old Navy / Skirt: Old Navy (similar)

This rose top is actually a romper that I plan on wearing over my swimsuit at the beach...but I wanted to see if it could pull double-duty and work as a blouse when paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt.

Black and Pink Roses Wrap Dress with Minkoff Quilted Affair in Black
Dress: Fairweather (cute option) / Necklace: J.Crew / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Shoes: Old Navy

And this rose dress is one of my $20 finds from my Dixie Outlet Mall challenge - I wore it recently to a blogger dinner in the Distillery District.

Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Perfume and Handcream

When it comes to pinks and florals - nobody does it better than Crabtree & Evelyn. When I lived in London, I used to visit their High Street Kensington store just for the gorgeous atmosphere - everything was so pretty and smelled so good!

Since I am such a huge fan of their products, I was excited when I was contacted recently asking if I wanted to choose some products to try AND giveaway to my readers!!! I picked the Rosewater Eau de Toilette ($50) and the Hand Therapy Sampler ($35). The Rosewater spray combines rose essence (from Rosa centifolia: the hundred-petal rose) with violet, peony, foliage and musk - it's basically an English country garden in a bottle! The scent is delicate and oh-so-sweet - I think it's going to be my signature scent for this summer. The hand cream sampler contains six of Crabtree & Evelyn's most popular fragrances (Rosewater, Pomegranate, Citron, Lavender, La Source and Gardeners) mixed with a moisturizing Macadamia Nut and Shea Butter base. At 25g, these hand cream tubes are easy to slip into your pocket or handbag. They're also great to share with friends or to include in gift baskets. For more gift ideas, check out Crabtree & Evelyn's gift guide.  

If you want to win the Crabtree & Evelyn products pictured above, follow me on instagram and regram this image. Then come back here and post your instagram username in the comments section. The contest runs until May 22 and is open to US & Canadian readers - good luck!!!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Bargain Outfit Reveal

Last week I mentioned that I was taking part in the Dixie Outlet Mall She Who Hunts Finds Blogger Challenge. I was given a $200 giftcard and challenged to "save as much money as possible, while building a Spring outfit I love." I'm SO excited to finally reveal my finds!

Pink Kenneth Cole Reaction Dress Red Danier Clutch

So what do you do when you're challenged to find a Spring outfit you love in a mall full of bargains? You end up buying TWO outfits! First up is this gorgeous pink dress I spotted at Winners - designed by Kenneth Cole Reaction, it was marked down from $188 to $60. I love the light material, midi length and small sleeves.

Nine West Black Snakeskin Heels Red Danier Clutch

To accessorize, I added these sleek Nine West Heels (priced at $60 instead of $100) and this luxe leather red wallet clutch from Danier. I can't tell you how much I love this clutch! Similar in size to my Chanel WOCs, it's made of saffiano leather yet was on sale for $25 (down from $69).

Black Floral Wrap Dress Red Clutch

I had my dress, heels and bag BUT I also had quite a lot of money left on my gift card - so I headed to Fairweather to check out their dresses. Nothing says Spring like florals - and when a dress is marked down from $80 to $20 - you HAVE to grab it, right?

Here's a breakdown of my spending - I paid $165 for $437 worth of clothes - saving $272 in total. So if I saved more than I spent, does that even count as shopping LOL? I really enjoyed my Dixie Outlet Mall experience - I felt like I was able to find classic pieces at bargain prices. Where else could I spend $165 and end up with two amazing outfits? You'll have to tell me - which of these dresses do you prefer - pink or floral?

I'm so excited that one of my readers will be able to go bargain-hunting at Dixie Outlet Mall too, because I have another $200 Dixie Outlet Mall gift card to giveaway. Enter the rafflecopter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER: I received a Dixie Mall Gift Card so that I could participate in this challenge.
OUTFIT PHOTOS: Thanks to Shizzy!

UPDATE: Winner is Tammy Mitchell

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Floral Kimonos and Spring Makeup

Floral kimonos are so delicate and pretty. I've been looking for an ivory and pink kimono wrap ever since I missed out on this H&M one - it took me a year but I was able to track down an identical version! Wearing a kimono doesn't take much effort - just slip it over a camisole and jeans, and you're good to go. I paired mine with a metallic necklace and silver heels for a touch of sparkle.

Ivory and Pink Floral Kimono Outfit with Jeans and Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair Bag in Black
Kimono: c/o WalkTrendy / Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Heels: Winners (similar)

If you love this floral kimono as much as I do... be sure to scroll down to the end of this post and enter my INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!

But first, let's talk about spring makeup - I've been in the mood for brighter, fresher and pinker make-up to complement the floral outfits I've been loving.

Guerlain Meteorites Pearls Stardust Illuminating Powder 03 Medium Swatches
Beauty Blender / eos Balm / L'Oreal Blush / Guerlain Meteorites / Philosophy Loveswept Perfume / imPRESS nails

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I was invited to the Guerlain Boutique during fashion week to learn a bit more about their iconic products. I was especially intrigued by Meteorites pearls - a collection of powder spheres that add a luminescent finish to your makeup. Each color has a different property - yellow to counter redness, purple to catch the light and pink to add freshness. The pearls are handcrafted in France - there are only four people who have the knowledge and skill to make them. And these four are responsible for supplying enough Meteorites to meet global demand!

Guerlain Meteorites Pearls Stardust Illuminating Powder 03 Medium Swatches

I've been trying Shade #3 (Medium). When I take each pearl individually, I get a pigmented swatch, but when I apply it with a kabuki brush - it just adds a general glow without any frostiness or color change. While it can be worn as a highlighter, my favorite method of application is to swirl my brush in it and lightly apply it all over my foundation. It's like a flattering instagram filter in a powder - it diffuses light and makes your skin look airbrushed. The price tag is definitely on the high side, but the workmanship, quality and packaging of the powder make it a worthwhile treat.

Similar light-diffusing products on the market include: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, NARS Light Reflecting Powder, MAC MSFs and Physician's Formula Pearls.

Have you tried any light-diffusing powders? Which is your favorite?

And now for the Floral Kimono Giveaway - there are only 3 steps to enter!

1. Register on http://www.walktrendy.com/
2. Follow @ellaprettyblog on instagram
3. Leave a comment below with your registered email address AND instagram user name.

Giveaway ends May 8. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Good luck everyone!

UPDATE: Winner is Heather (IG: Sibleyh)

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Putting my Bargain-hunting Skills to the Test!

I love shopping...a LOT. And I love finding good deals...a LOT. So when Dixie Outlet Mall asked me if I was interested in participating in their She Who Hunts Finds campaign - I said YES in a heartbeat! My challenge? To save as much money as possible while putting together a Spring outfit that I love.

Armed with my deal-hunting kit (gift card, calculator, water and coffee) I headed to the Dixie Outlet Mall (which is located in Mississauga, just off the QEW). Since I'm a TRUE bargain-hunter, you must realize that this wasn't my first time shopping here...remember this $139 jacket I scored for $29? I bought it at Dixie! With over 130 stores, I knew I would find a lot of my favorite brands - from the Garage outlet (nearly all my denim jeans are from Garage) to the Nine West Shoe Studio and Winners.

Valentino Rockstud lookalike shoes

My first stop was Urban Planet - which had a wide variety of cheap and cheerful shoes - from these $35 MAJORLY Valentino-Rockstud inspired shoes...

...to this adorable bunch of jelly sandals for the summer - my favorites were the Tiffany-blue bow sandals - aren't they so pretty?

I admired the Antigona-alike satchels at the GUESS outlet (they were all 25% off!)

And then headed into Danier to browse through all the leather goods at ridiculously bargain prices. These $15 wallets are a luxe yet practical gift idea.

At Danier I also spotted this pretty bow bag...very Ferragamo. It's pure leather and was on sale for $79!

Spring Dresses

I ended my shopping day at Winners. They had such a pretty selection of Spring dresses...I'm not supposed to reveal my final outfit yet - but one of these dresses made the cut...can you guess which one?

Challenge SUCCESSFULLY completed. I chose a new Spring outfit from head-to-toe! Come back next week for my outfit reveal AND the chance to win a gift card of your own!

DISCLAIMER: I received a Dixie Mall Gift Card so that I could participate in this challenge.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekend Travel, Shu Uemura Breakfast and Recent Outfits

These past few weeks have been very busy - but in the best way - with lots of time spent with friends and family. It was my mother's birthday last week - so the whole extended family got together and we all went back to Muskoka. I guess we're creatures of habit - when we find a place we like, we stick to it! One of the things we love about the JWMarriott is the gorgeous decor - here's a pretty hutch I spotted near the library - doesn't it look like it belongs in a magazine?

Country Shabby Chic Hutch Decor

One of my favorite parts of traveling is packing all of my makeup and toiletry minis - it's fun to change things up and use teeny tiny products! I can't live without my tangle teezer - so I'm glad I finally have a compact version. The click-on cover makes it very travel friendly - I don't have to worry about dirt or fluff getting caught in the bristles.

Tangle Teezer / High Beam / They're Real / Lollitint / It's Potent / Nars / Daywear

Here are a couple of the outfits I packed for the trip - the floral pants I posted about last week:

Floral Pants Spring 2015 Trend
Shirt: H&M (similar) / Pants: Old Navy / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

And this emerald colored dress:

Emerald Wrap Dress
Dress: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Necklace: similar / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

Before leaving on our trip, I headed downtown for a media breakfast hosted by Shu Uemura to launch their collaboration with Yaz Bukey (she's in the picture below wearing star earrings).

Yaz Bukey is a Paris-based accessory and jewelry designer. She has collaborated with Shu Uemura to release a colorfully packaged range of makeup. There is quite a fun concept behind the collection - Yaz imagined four girls (Red = Sexy Yaz, Green = Smart Lola,  Yellow = Romantic Betty, Blue = Daring Tina) all competing for the love of one man...Mr Shu Shu! There was a LOT of work behind the formulation and packaging of each product as Yaz wanted them to perfectly reflect her vision. Below are the products I received  - aren't they SO pretty? I don't think I've ever worn such a true orange shade on my lips, but the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte lipsticks are noted for their deep color pay-off - so I'm excited to try it. The POREraser Mousse (in the pink can) is a unique product - it is a lightweight mousse with an SPF of 35 that reduces the appearance of pores and minimizes shine - bonus: it can even be used as an eyeshadow primer!

Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Collaboration

Here's what I wore to the event - the lighting is strange because I had to leave the house SUPER-early to catch the train and make it downtown in time for the breakfast!

Tweed Jacket Casual Outfit
Jacket: Jacob (similar) / Necklace: H&M (similar) / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Have you tried Shu Uemura makeup before? Which products are your favorite? 

P.S. Click here for my best foundation application tips and here for the hottest bag trends for Spring 2015!

Nine West / H&M / Old Navy
Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Favorite Spring Trend: Floral Pixie Pants

There are so many Spring 2015 clothing trends to love - from pastels and metallics to gingham prints. But if I had to choose just one trend, I'd go with these floral pants.

Spring 2015 Old Navy Pixie Floral Pants Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair
Shirt: H&M (similar) / Pants: Old Navy / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

I love how floral pants add a burst of pattern to brighten up your outfit. This pair (Bargain alert - I got them on sale for $25!) is light and fitted, so it can be styled as leggings, but it has a zip and pockets, so you can wear them with tucked-in shirts too! As we learned during the colored denim trend - darker colors are easier to wear - so choose darker floral prints for a more figure-flattering look. Here are a couple of my favorite floral pants:

I used to do a monthly must-reads post with a group of blogger friends - but life got busy and we took a break. Well...we decided to get back together for a reunion post today - hope you like it!!!


I wanted to finish off with a special treat for our must-reads group - an update from Andi (Saltwater Dreams) - whom we've ALL missed ever since she stopped blogging - it was SO good to hear from her!

Andi Saltwater Dreams

"So as for me, my 7 and 8-year old keep me quite busy with their wonderful spirits, imaginations, and activities. In 2013 I moved home to South Florida, and after a 7-year hiatus, went back to work full-time. In 2014, I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, which was an incredible experience on every level. Soon after that, I became certified to teach kids yoga as well - what a rewarding and enriching gift that is! In addition to my yoga and photography passions, I try to read, cook and travel as much as I can, but I admit that my fashion and product knowledge is definitely not up to speed these days.

Given my much more hectic lifestyle, I have a few go-to products that I love, and which simplify my life. I adore Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge, Honey I Washed my Hair Shampoo Bar from LUSH, Algenist Genius Anti-Aging Serum, and Tarte's BLUR face primer. Life has been really beautiful, and I've enjoyed each chapter as it's unfolded. I am so happy to hear that everyone is still in touch, and I'm honored to still be included in your fabulous blogger family. I miss everyone and wish you all the best in your respective pursuits. Much love!!" ~ Andi

What's your favorite Spring Trend for 2015?

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Designer Bag Dupes - Celine Luggage Tote, Saint Laurent Sac de Jour & Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with handbags - I love reading about the hottest it-bags and making a virtual wishlist. A side effect of my obsession is that I can always spot which 'store' bags are inspired by designer versions (designer bags for less)...it's like a sixth sense! Although I love saving up for a special bag - sometimes it's better to get an "inspired" version - either because it's a better fit for your budget, or you think you may get tired of the style - OR you might want to test out the type of bag before investing in the designer version. Here are a couple of great dupes I saw on my last shopping trip...but believe me - I could go on for days! If you have a specific bag you're looking for - leave me a comment and I'll tell you if I've spotted a dupe somewhere!

1) Saint Laurent Sac de Jour ($$$$) vs. Express ($$)

2) Saint Laurent Matelasse Shoulder Bag ($$$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$) 

  • The perfect evening bag!

3) Celine Micro Luggage Tote ($$$$) vs. Michael Kors Colette ($$$) 

  • The Colette is currently on my wishlist - I love structured bags and I adore the cheerful yellow color.

4) Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC ($$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$)

  • Such a cute cross-body bag for the summer.

5) Phillip Lim Pashli Mini ($$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$)

  • The Forever 21 version is actually an exact dupe of the "Target Pashli". Although I already have a Taupe Pashli - I'm crazy for this Mini Pink one!

Speaking of bright colors, I've been wearing a lot of jewel tones recently. I've wanted a cobalt blue dress ever since Kate Middleton's engagement photos (please tell me I'm not the only one!) so I decided to give this dress a try. Of course the style is very different from Kate's Issa one but I'm a huge fan of crocheted/lace dresses. It's slightly shorter than my usual picks so I paired it with opaque black tights.

Sheinside Blue Short Sleeve Hollow Floral Crochet Bodycon Dress
Dress: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Boots: c/o Cougar / Necklace: ZARA (similar 1, 2) / Bag: Chanel (similar)

I wore this orchid-colored top to a Photography course I took with Elaine. The color reminds me of this dress that I borrowed to wear to a wedding.

Shirt: Forever 21 (similar) / Necklace: Forever21 (similar) /  Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Bag: LV Speedy (similar)

Which bag dupe is your favorite? Mine is the Michael Kors Colette!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dressing Up for Fashion Week

Dress:  Rachel Sin / Jacket: ZARA (similar) / Bag: Chanel WOC (similar) / Shoes: Old Navy / Necklace: Forever21 (similar)

World Mastercard Fashion Week is such an exciting time - I usually try to head downtown for at least one day. This season I chose Tuesday - and it turned out to be SO busy! Aside from the fashion shows, there were also a couple of blogger events all scheduled for the same night.

Jenelle and I were excited to get the opportunity to wear dresses from a Canadian designer to the fashion week events. We're both wearing floral Rachel Sin dresses from the Spring 2015 collection - mine is the Taylor Dolce Rose Dress while Jenelle is wearing the Floral Scuba Dress.

I loved the print and the fit of my dress - it's hard to find a flattering midi-length dress - but this dress felt sleek without being too revealing - the perfect balance!

I spotted Nicole from Dainty Girl outside the tents - she was dressed in Narces - isn't her outfit SO gorgeous?

Once inside, Jenelle and I visited the Maybelline and Pandora booths before heading to the studio to watch the Helder Diego Show.

After the show, we rushed up to Bloor Street to the beautiful Guerlain boutique for the #GuerlainSoParticular Blogger event (more on that in a future post)!

We finished the night at the Glam Canada Fashion Week Insider Dinner. The Italian food at Terroni - was soooo delicious ...thank goodness for stretchy dresses!

Thank you to Rachel Sin for lending us these gorgeous dresses so that we could get fancy for Fashion Week! And HUGE thanks to Shizzy for shooting the outfit photos in this post.

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cape or Coat?

Coat: c/o Sheinside / Sweater: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Hunter / Bag: Minkoff

I've been looking for a Camel coat, so when Sheinside offered to let me pick some clothes from their site, I went for this cape/coat/trench coat hybrid. I love the color and fit of the coat, but the style will take some getting used to!

For starters, this coat looks best when it's buttoned up...and secondly, it doesn't really have sleeves, so it doesn't work for VERY cold weather. On the plus side, you don't have to worry about over-heating, since you can stick your arms out at any time!

If you're looking for a cape coat, here are a couple of options:

1. Nasty Gal / 2. Sheinside / 3. Sheinside / 4. Romwe / 5. The Limited

Here's the outfit pic I shared on Instagram:

Would you wear a cape/coat?

p.s. Winner of my LG G3 contest is Adrienne Pham (@hopefulshoppaholic). Congrats - please check your email! 

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'm in a Magazine!

Last week I received a text from a friend - she had seen my picture in Glow Magazine. I was so excited that my Clairol #shiftashade experience was printed in a full page feature (page 59 here)...I can't wait to get hold of a print copy!

We recently returned from a mini-break to Muskoka - it was quite a change from our visit in the summer! We had so much fun playing outside and learning how to snow-shoe. By the way, my H&M crossbody bag is going strong 4 years later - it was the perfect bag to take outdoors: it kept my cellphone safe and I didn't have to worry about it getting ruined.

Speaking of old favorites, I'm still loving my Old Navy fox sweater!

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Louis Vuitton Speedy 25, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Since I can't stop wearing plaid blanket scarves, I've added this new one to my collection. When I'm not wearing them around my neck, I like to fold them in half and wear them as shawls.

Shirt: Express, Scarf: c/o Sheinside (similar), Bag: Louis Vuitton Speedy 25, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Another recent arrival is this stunning metallic necklace from Pink Lovebird - I love pairing it with my new metallic heels!

Shirt: H&M, Jeans: GAP (similar), Heels: Marc Fisher (similar), Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird

Speaking of shoes - I'm desperately stocking up on all the Target goodies I can find before they leave Canada (sob, sob...I'm still sad about this!) I think the cap-toe espadrilles will be especially popular this summer - they're very Chanel-inspired! I'm also keeping an eye out for these gold glitter sandals - they're SO beautiful!

Cap Toe Espadrille Flat / Grey Sparkly Flats / Cognac Ballet Flats

Do you have any bargain favorites that are still going strong - like my H&M bag?

UPDATE: Hubby picked up 2 copies of GLOW magazine:

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 


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