DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments

Good Morning!

It’s been oh soooo long since I’ve posted.  When you have a ton going on and only 24 hours in a day, something’s gotta to give.  Lately it’s been the blog.  However, I managed to squeeze in some time to share a great low cost DIY holiday gift idea. I know that for me as the holiday parties and gatherings approach and I see all the festive, sparkly clothes and shoes, I just want to buy new clothes and shoes for every event.  Not realistic budget wise, and let’s be honest, there are very few occasions to wear the green sequined dress or  super blinged out shoes so it’s not all that practical either.  Today I’m sharing a quick and easy way to add some inexpensive drama to your outfit with DIY holiday shoe embellishments.

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We all have 1 or 2 (or 20) pairs of plain heels. And yes, any heel adds something to an outfit. But for party season why not add something and make them stand out?  And it’s SO easy.

All you need is:

1) Clip-on earring backs (I got mine at Michaels)

2) Button backs (optional)

3) Glue gun

4) Feathers, faux rhinestones, beads or whatever embellishments you to add.

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 Step 1:  Take the clip-on earring back and glue on the button back. The button back is optional, as you could just use the flat part of the earring back, but I wanted a slightly larger surface area for mine.

Step 2: cut and and glue on the feathers in a circular pattern on the base.  I used finer end part of the feather for these but you could use any part of the feather.

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 Step 3:  Glue on your rhinestones/beads to the center in whatever pattern you want.

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Step 4: Clip on to you shoes!

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This simple accessory adds so much flair to a regular shoe! And it only costs a few dollars to make dozens of the them! You also could use them on flats or sandals if you wanted.  And there are so many options for things to them embellish with that you can easily customize them to any ladies on your gift list.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments

You could also make cute ones for kids shoes. And they make a great gift for a Secret Santa that has a low price limit.  So many options!  And if you want to find other great handmade gift ideas, search the hashtag #CDNHandmadeHoliday on your social media feeds.

XO,

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Rustic Masculine Desks

Good Morning!

It’s been busy few days, which will continue for the next next couple of weeks. My parents are here visiting from New Brunswick and we had a full weekend of visiting relatives and getting out on the town. They leave on Thursday morning and then I fly to NYC on Thursday night until Monday night! A whirlwind week to be sure. I always prefer being busy to bored, so I’m not complaining at all. This is my parents first visit in a year. They usually come at Easter, but this year while they were en route here they got word that our town was hit with a massive flood so they had to turn back.  The arrived home to 1.5 ft of water in our finished basement.  This was in April, and they only just recently got everything cleaned up and renovated.  My father moved his law practice to the house a few years ago (also in the basement), and the flood really forced him to re-organize and purge his space. And now that it’s re-organized, it’s much more clear that his office needs some design help.  He has a HUGE old desk that takes up 3/4 of the room, and it’s definitely not going to be winning any beauty contests.  There are 2 standard office chairs for clients, also pretty ugly, plus a bunch of cabinets and shelving units. I mean, it’s OK, but the space could  use some TLC.  First thing on the agenda would be to get a smaller more efficient desk.  My dad’s style would be best described as rustic and traditional with some nautical twists.  He likes furniture with a heavy sturdy look and decor inspired by the woods and the sea.  A rustic masculine desk is what he’ll need….but in a size that is more appropriate for his office. So today I’ve rounded up some potential options for a new desk for my dad’s office.  Half of these are definitely outside what he would spend on a desk, but I included them anyway so he can see what is available.

Rustic Masculine Desks

 

I really like the steamer trunk desk from Restoration Hardware, and also the light and dark wood one with the metal legs from Uncommom Goods.  But really, any one of these would fit the bill!  They are handsome, have some storage and have a rustic feel.  However, I’m going to guess he will automatically gravitate to the most expensive one….just like I always do.
XO,

My November Essentials

Good Morning!

Holy mother of all that is good and pure, it’s November already. How did that happen? Despite it creeping up on me, I actually really LOVE this month. There are 2 big reasons for this. Firstly, with that pesky Halloween out of the way I can officially start my crazy holiday planning. Yep, Christmas music, Christmas crafts, a regular Christmas love fest. It’s never too early for holiday cheer for this girl. Secondly, the air is crisp, which I love. But more importantly, CONSISTENTLY crisp, which means no more seasonal wardrobe issues. I can wear tights and be warm in the morning yet not sweat through them in the afternoon. I can wear wool and not feel like I’m having a hot flash on the streetcar on the way home from work.  It’s officially early winter cold, no more ambiguity. And this kind of cold, while not bitter and frigid (yet), certainly gives you permission to get cozy and nest a little more. Today I’m sharing some of my November essentials, filled with things that help me (or will soon help me) get through this lovely late fall month.

November Essentials

 

Starting from top left:

1) Candles: I’ve only recently really started to enjoy candles and having a lovely scented candle burning definitely provides a cozy atmosphere for this time of year.

2) Wooly goodness: I recently purchased a wool Reiss coat almost exactly the same as this style except in a light mauve shade and I love it.  And I got it for an absolute steal at TJMaxx at the outlets in the US.  It’s warm, yet stylish.

3) A fall hat:  It’s not quite time for my fur-lined hat to come out but it’s nice to have a hat to keep the heat in.  I really love hats but strangely I have very few.  I am liking the wide-brimmed hats, like this one, that I’ve been seeing this fall.

4) A snuggle-worthy throw:  When coming home after a walk in the cold, wrapping up in a pretty warm throw is a lovely way to warm up. I have many of these on hand.

5) Black heeled boots:  Another great thing about fall is that it’s boot season. Woohoo!  I’m searching for a pair of heeled black ones with a heel that are comfortable, yet stylish.   I’m not sure if these ones are comfy, but I do like how they look.

6) Tights:  Tights are a MAJOR essential for me.  I’m a dress person, and I own very few pairs of pants compared to dresses.  So in the winter I have to keep warm with tights. Also, pantyhose are the anti-Christ. I wear them with certain outfits when I haaaaaave to, but I don’t like it.  Tights on the other hand are awesome. And a great way to jazz up a basic dress, is with coloured tights like these fun wine-coloured ones.

7) Cashmere sweater:  I’ve always been terrified of cashmere.  The cost and the extra care required has always seemed too much for me, so I’ve never invested in it. But in the recent years it has gotten much easier to find inexpensive cashmere basics. So, let me tell you….this girl will be getting on the cashmere train because, it is the softest, coziest thing you could ever own. Perfect for November.

Click on the links above to find the items on Polyvore.  Have a great day!

XO,

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Halloween and New Projects

Good Morning!

Happy Halloween!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but Halloween has never been my favourite holiday. I’ve never been into scary.  Scary movies, scary stories….nope, not my thing.  Plus, for me it gets in the way of Christmas, and if you’ve ever read my blog your know that I’m obsessed with the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do totally understand the excitement of getting dressed up in costume, but thinking up a good costume idea is always stressful for me.  I don’t always carve a pumpkin at home since my entrance is in the back of the house and and so I don’t get trick or treaters.  However, my company does a pumpkin carving contest every year which is really fun.  This was our teams’ submission this year….

Halloween and New Projects - Pumpkins - Copy Our CEO’s name just happens to be Bert, and one of our EVPs’ name is Ehren so we just did a bit of a name change to add some humour to our submission.

As for tonight, due to some other commitments I have this weekend as well a project deadline, I’ll be spending my Halloween night giving these gorgeous mid-century Danish designed dining chairs (+4 more) a new look for a client.

Dining Chairs

And starting promptly next week, I’ll be starting another new project for another client….

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These two darlings are OLD, and will require some major work, but the frame is in great condition and the shape/curves are awesome.  Can’t wait to see them finished.

Have a lovely Halloween!

XO,

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Convert it! The Waterhouse hotel in Shanghai

Good Morning!

In a country like China where new design, manufacturing and technology are so commonplace and lauded, it’s really nice to see when a historic space is reused. The Waterhouse hotel in Shanghai was converted from a 1930’s Japanese Army headquarters built in the 1930’s. NHDRO  architects’ designed the hotel which included the restoration of the original masonry and concrete walls, and new additions built using Cor-Ten steel, creating a very cool modern industrial 19-room hotel.  They also designed the interior of the hotel, attractively melding the old and new creating stark yet interesting common spaces and comfortable, modern rooms for guests. And the rooftop patio has gorgeous views of the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline.

Via this post by Deseen (Photos, 2 – 5 by Pedro Pegenaute, photos 1,6,7,8 by Derryck Menere)

Brilliant conversion. And I would expect staying there would be a really cool experience.

By any chance have any of you stayed there before?

XO,

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Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014: Brunch with Brian

Good Morning!

A few weeks ago I had a great opportunity to attend a great event on the opening day of the Princess Margaret Lottery showhome.  Brian Gluckstein, the man behind the design of the home, hosted a lovely blogger event called Brunch with Brian.  We were given an exclusive first look at the showhome guided by Brian himself, and got some great insights into how it all came together.

The house is located in a pretty neighbourhood in Oakville, Ontario, and this is what it looks like from the outside.

oakville_house

We started with food (great way to start!), and the spread for the brunch was fabulous and beautifully displayed outside on the back patio.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day.

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Then we started the tour in the beautiful kitchen.  Sadly with all the food, drinks and people I didn’t get any great shots of it but it was amazing.  Lots of mixed metals, an island with a waterfall counter top, and giant oven.

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Below I’ll be sharing some of the highlights of the tour, not every room, but you can see the entire space over at the PM Lotto Site.  So, we started on the main floor and the first room to catch my eye was the 2-storey sun-room.  It has floor to ceiling windows and has a REAL tree planted in the corner. They had to install special heat in the cooling functions so the room isn’t constantly fogged up due to the condensation in winter.  A very cool feature space.

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The living room is one of the most calming spaces in the house.  I loved the colour palette of muted greens and creamy whites.  And the white marble fireplace mantel is gorgeous.

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Then we came to one of my favourite rooms in the house.  At first glace you might think, “Sure, it’s niiiice but what is so special about it?”  For that you have to look more closely at the wallpaper by Fromental, behind the table.  It is hand painted and hand-stitched! You just don’t see this kind of intricate handiwork anymore and I was is total awe of the skill and time it would take to create something like this.  You can see in the pictures below the kind of detail that went into this one panel.  Although it is extremely expensive (and so it should be considering the work that goes into it!), it is nice to know that there is still a market for the craftspeople who do this beautiful work.

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The first thing we came to when we went upstairs was the hallway. This area was originally slightly more narrow and would have just been an open space which was somewhat wasted.  But instead they added just a few inches on either side and were able to create a much more functional and usable  small office/library.  A great example of smart design.

Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014

Another example of maximizing space was in this kids bedroom.   This bunkbed nook above the bed looks great and adds more sleeping space.  Very cool

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The nursery was really sweet and I loved the idea of the crib being located in the middle of the room.

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Brian always designs great bathrooms.  And the master bathroom is NO exception.  The vanity and mirrors in front of the mirror were an interesting change from the typical bathroom but make a huge amount of sense given that it’s where all the natural light is.  And the tub is to die for.

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Here is Brian explaining how the mirrors are mounted using a pair of curtain rods cut to size and mounted using shower curtain rod hardware to the ceiling and vanity and then the mirrors were mounted to the rods.  A pretty clever and inexpensive way to mount a mirror in a difficult location.

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In the basement the large family room boasted a huge gallery wall, simple modern lines and a cool travel & escape vibe.

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And for all of us creative blogger types, the addition of a craft room to this years show home was a BIG hit.

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As was the case last year, all the artwork was provided by Art Interiors, my favourite place to get art in the city.  You can read more about their philosophy in my post about their Festival of Smalls here.  I particularly loved the elephant in the nursery ensuite bathroom.

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Another thing I loved about this year’s house is that they made a point to design the new house around the old trees on the property rather than knocking them out to build bigger.  Sure, the new landscaping was beautiful, but there is just something about mature trees, don’t you think?

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Perhaps it was the guided tour, but think I liked this show house even more than last years’, and I really liked that one!  It had a much cozier feel to it.  You can see more photos of the rooms I didn’t take pictures of here, and see the source guide, here.

Ok, brace yourself.  While at the brunch, they organizers took video of some of us talking about our favourite room in the house.  And I did it.  Yes friends, I am officially making my Vlogging debut today on the blog.  I  loved lots of rooms in the house but the wallpaper in the living room was a standout feature for me, putting it over the edge.

I watched it once and that was enough.  Thank god for editing.

If you haven’t already got your PM Lottery ticket yet, you should!  Aside from this house there are a TON of other amazing prizes.  And it’s for a great cause!

Have a great day!

XO,

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A Feminine New Orleans Home

Good Morning!

I have a tendency to decorate with a feminine flair.  I like pinks and mauves, pastels and the occasional floral. And as a single gal, I just can. No need to compromise by adding some masculine pieces, unless I want to. Now, I suppose this means I’ll have to add to my list of dating requirements “can tolerate pink”. And with the success I’m having in the dating department, I really don’t need to be adding MORE things to that list. However, when you see this feminine New Orleans home designed by Hal Williamson, which is full of gorgeous girly details, you will understand what I mean.

via House Beautiful photos by John Kernick

Every room is a beautiful calming space.  You can see more from this lovely space over at House Beautiful website.

On a side note, I hope that all my Canadian friends and family had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I certainly did.  Even though we should be thinking about how grateful we are everyday, it’s nice to have a holiday set aside just for thankfulness.

XO,

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Fashion Friday: High-Low Draped Fall Coat

Good Afternoon!

It’s a beautiful fall day in Toronto, and we’re on the verge of the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend and there is lots to be thankful for.  For today’s Fashion Friday I’m looking at draped fall coats.  I need a fall coat and, for a long time I was set on investing in a trench coat. But I have changed my mind for 2 reasons: my boobs.  It seems that no matter what brand I try on, the trenches are too tight across my chest, but if I go up a size the rest of the coat is swimming on me.  I have decided it’s just not the best coat for me and I’m moving on….to, you guessed it, draped front coats.  I’ve sharing some very expensive (and super gorgeous) versions as well as some excellent affordable (under $250) options for you today.

HIGH

Investment: Draped Fall Coat

 

 LOW

Affordable Draped Fall Coat

 

In the high category, I’m in love with the burgundy Burberry blanket coat in the bottom left.  But I have to say there are some fab options in the low category.  My personal faves are the grey-blue ombre one from BB Dakota and the mauve-pink one from ASOS.  Click on the photos above to see the details and prices for all of these coats from my Polyvore sets.
Have a great weekend!
XO,

Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 2014

Good Morning!

Today I’m exited to share with you an amazing event I attended about 3 weeks ago called Le Diner En Blanc®.  The concept is a chic all-white picnic held in a public space in the city. A congregation of people, food and fashion creating a magical atmosphere which is neutral in both decor (all-white) and space (public place).

Le Diner en Blanc Toronto

Participants only find out the location of the event about 2 hours before it starts. You have to wear all white, bring your own food, white dishware and table linens, and depending on the location, your own table and white chairs.  Given that this event is held in a public space, there are many “rules” of the evening which allow for it to come together quickly and efficiently. Here they are (from the Diner En Blanc Toronto website):

  • In order to participate, one must be invited by a participant from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
  • Once confirmed, the presence of each guest thus becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event is held regardless of weather conditions.
  • Seats are allotted on-site in a very specific manner.
  • Table seating is symmetrical with men seated on one side and women on the other.
  • Participants arrive and depart at the same time by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
  • Depart with one’s belongings, leftovers and trash, leaving the place as clean as it was upon arrival.

Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but let me tell you that a little bit of work from everyone results in something which is truly a visual masterpiece, as you will see.

But first a little history. This event originated 25 years ago in (no big surprise) Paris, France, when François Pasquier assembled just a few of his friends for an all-white picnic. It has grown rapidly over the years and today Paris’ Dîner en Blanc draws nearly 15,000 people.  It doesn’t hurt that Le Diner En Blanc® in Paris has been held in some of the most magical places like Versailles and under the Eiffel Tower.  The event has since expanded to dozens of other cities worldwide.  You can learn more about the event at Le Diner En Blanc® website.

The setting for Le Diner En Blanc Toronto this year was Echo Beach at Ontario Place, which was a fabulous location because it has such a stunning view of the City.

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Now, I was lucky enough to get media tickets from a blog who wasn’t able to attend (thank you Girls on Bloor!) which meant that I didn’t have to bring all my own food and wine. As mentioned above, all attendees arrive and depart together, but because media could  arrive a little earlier than the crowd I was able to take this awesome photo of the city with just a few of the organizers/volunteers dressed in white in the foreground.

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Being there early also meant I got to take some great photos of the 1500 people arriving and setting up. Yes I said 1500.  And considering the numbers it took very little time to get everyone in place!!

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Adding to the beauty of the setting were ballerinas dancing near the entrance for the attendees to enjoy on their way in.

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The dinner is officially started with the waving of white napkins. And then people get down to eating, drinking and generally having a good time. There was a band that kept everyone entertained white they ate by candlelight, and a dance floor for post-Diner fun.

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I will apologize now for the quality of my pictures after this point.  I only had my iPhone with me for the event (still deciding which camera to invest in since I lost my mine) so the night-time pictures are less than stellar. But even had I had an amazing camera with me, I think it would be hard to really comprehend the beauty of this event just looking at pictures, without experiencing it in person.

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At the end of the evening everyone was given a large sparkler and the sea of white around me slowly turned into a sea of white and fire.  Another ridiculously cool sight to behold.

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And as you can imagine, the fashion is to die for.  So many gorgeous ensembles.  And there were prizes for best dressed, so people had a vested interest in looking fabulous. When the woman in the picture below walked in I said to myself, she is soo the winner for best-dressed.

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But as it turned out, she was actually the JUDGE for best dressed contest so she wasn’t eligible.  But she most certainly looked the part. I loved the fur, fascinator and her dress was absolutely gorgeous.

The woman below MADE her fabulous mask she is wearing….the detail is just amazing.

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But ultimately best dressed went to this woman, with her classic sophisticated look and beautiful fascinator.  You can see both the male and female best-dressed and other Diner en Blanc style on the Got-Style blog. 

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This is the only picture I have showing what I wore, taken unbeknownst to me by my friend Monisa who was my +1 for the festivities.  And given the weird things I do with my face when I know I’m being photographed, it’s probably better I didn’t know.

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It was really amazing to part of this event and was for sure one of the many highlights for 2014.  You can see more reviews and photos of the event at Best of Toronto, Toronto Life and Got Style blogs.  I’m definitely getting myself on the waiting list for the next one…..I’ve already started planning about my outfit!

XO,

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Convert It: The Darling Foundry, Montreal

Good Morning!

As some of you know I spent the Labour day long weekend with some of my girlfriends in Montreal.  Lots of food, wine and fun in a great city. Such a great city especially the beautiful Old Montreal. In today’s Convert It post, I’m highlighting an adaptive reuse project in…you guessed it….Montreal! It’s the Darling Foundry buildings.

The Darling Foundry buildings were constructed between 1880 and 1909 by the Darling Brothers for their large metal works operations in Griffintown.  At one time, this foundry was the second most important foundry of Montreal, with more than more than 100,000 ft2 of space. The Darling got its nickname, “the snake,” from the elaborate rooftop ventilation system visible to passersby. The Darling Foundry continued to prosper until 1971, when it was sold to Pumps and Softerner.  The building remained in operation until 1991 and was then was abandoned for 10 years.  The group Quartier Ephémère, which was founded in the early 1990’s, stepped in and raised funds to create a compound of art galleries, artist studio’s and workshops in the old foundry.

Photo by Lori Zimmer via Inhabitat

The first phase which included Quartier Éphémère’s offices, and the two public exhibition galleries opened in 2002 and was designed by 02, and was conceived by the architects In Situ (www.insitu.qc.ca). Phase 2, which houses artists  studios and workshops was designed by  the environmental architectural firm, “L’Œuf.

“Courte-Pointe” the visually bold installation at the entrance to the Foundry is by Philippe Allard and Justin Duchesneau, and is made from milk crates.

You can also rent out some of the space including the main hall shown below.  What a cool space for an event!

They also have an artist’s in residence program so artists from all over the world can come and create beautiful art at the Foundry.

 

Except where specified, all photos via Darling Foundry Page

On top of this being a really cool reuse of old buildings and preservation of the industrial history of Montreal, Quartier Éphémère’s vision for this place as a way to support and promote art in Montreal is pretty awesome.

XO,

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