Friday, 28 September 2012

Deal of the Week: Trade In and Trade Up with Trade Secrets

Save for a good cause?! Yes, ma'am! Right now, if you go into Trade Secrets with your gently used hair tools, you will receive 50% off one of the following items: 

GS Professional Solid Pro Hair Dryer: $149.95 $74.98

GS Professional Curl Flex Curling Stick: $129.95 $64.98 

CHI Turbo Hair Dryer: $299.95 $149.98

GS Professional Silicone Pro Flat Iron: $189.95 $94.98 

Your old hair appliances will be donated to Rosalie Hall and the Yellow Brick House, both local women's charities. Even if you weren't already contemplating buying hair appliances, we believe that this is absolutely the best reason to upgrade. Let your hair do some good!

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Transitioning with Tweed

Last week, I attended a birthday dinner after work and I thought it would be a good opportunity to share what I wore. Since it was almost sunset, Emma and I spent a good amount of time running around city high rises chasing the sun before it set behind some buildings.

If you work in a business casual environment like myself, a tweed jacket is a great transition piece from day to night. It takes an outfit that is seemingly casual like my pants and blouse and adds a little sophistication and interest.

I first came upon this jacket after a blogger that I follow, Extra Petite reviewed it on her blog. I was immediately drawn to the Chanel-like look of the jacket and even more so, happily surprised by the price tag - merely a fraction of what a real Chanel tweed retails for. For a thorough review see here

When I received the jacket in the mail from UniQueen, to my surprise I noticed that it was fairly heavily lined for a tweed blazer. This may feel a tad bulky to some but it is beneficial during the colder months so I tend to wear mine as a jacket rather than a blazer.


UniQueen doesn't seem to be selling this version of the jacket anymore but they have some other equally amazing options available in petite sizing hereFor a thorough review of the alternatives see here

I'm thinking about picking up another jacket but can't seem to decide on a colour. I'm thinking of cream, black or brown. Thoughts?

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Jacket: UniQueen - $93, Blouse: Jason Wu for Target - $20, Jeans: Gap - $16, Flats: Sterling - $30, Ring: BCBG - $8, Purse: Thrift - $4.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Toronto

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sunset Shadows

I bought this sleeveless knit cardigan as a perfect transition piece for fall, one of my favourite seasons for weather and fashion.

Although I bought this cardigan almost two years ago and have worn it many times over, it pretty much looks brand spanking new. And believe me, it's not because I'm extra cautious with my clothing. Most of my clothes spend 75% of their lives somewhere on the floor of my bedroom.

Many people know that after wearing the same sweater multiple times it will start to accumulate those ghastly sweater pillings - a fancy word for sweater lint, which is a tell tale sign that your sweater has been in your wardrobe rotation an embarrassing amount of times. I know I'm not the only who has experienced sweater shame...

Now at this point some people would just toss the item and purchase a new one, but if you can't afford that luxury like myself, then you invest in a handy device called a sweater shaver (found at any fabric store or online here.)

I love this item because it takes seconds to remove pillings and reduces the chance of snipping or damaging your garment if you were to use scissors. It takes absolutely no mental effort so I tend to do this while I'm watching t.v.

There are lots of ways to de-pill your sweaters so to find a way that suits you you can watch this video. I would love to know what your favourite technique is so don't forget to let me know by commenting below. A celebratory jump for extending the life of your sweaters this fall? Why not?

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Cardigan: Mendacino - $45 , Dress: Club Monaco - $90, Shorts: H&M - $15, Necklace: H&M - $15, Boots: ASOS - $36.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Hometown

Friday, 21 September 2012

Checkered Pink

This looks gives me good vibrations. I was attempting to go for a quirky school look ensemble but then the result came out more like a cross between Ellen DeGeneres and Miami Vice…I still like it. 

Now that it has been 6 months since the creation of budget brunettes, I thought I would start to talk more openly about my life (and this has nothing to do with the fact that I have exhausted all fashion related topics and can’t think of anything else to say). 

Since the temperature has begun to drop, it seems like everyone around me either WAS sick, IS sick or feels like they are GETTING sick. In order to avoid these vessels of infection, I have been staying away from closed quarters and religiously washing my hands.

I know my eventually fate - I will catch a cold. But, by the luck of the draw, it will start Friday night and be gone by Monday morning. A weekend wasted and back to work, contaminating others as they had contaminated me.

The only good news accompanying the recent temperate drop is that I have an excuse to put on more layers. I've been wearing a lot of layers on top but sticking with shorts on bottom. During this time of the year,  there is always such a drastic change in temperature between morning and evening that I like to be prepared for both options. In general I find that as long as my upper body is warm I don't have to worry about covering up the bottom half. 

Although it is way too early to pull out the gloves, I think I will have to start wearing them as a fashion guise to protect myself from germs. I have a busy couple of weeks ahead and can't afford wasting any days in bed. Good luck to you during this cold season!

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Blazer: H&M - $35, Shirt: H&M - $15, Shorts: Garage - $15, Shoes: Cole Haan - $48, Bracelet: H&M - $7, Watch: Thrift - $9.

Location: Hometown
Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Loco for Cocoa

After much internal turmoil, I have finally decided to share my obsession with all of you. My reluctance to make this public was fueled by fear that I would never be able to get my hands on a bottle of this liquid gold again because I know that once you read this you will want to grab a bottle of your own! What is "it" you ask?  The best body lotion I have ever used and I cannot quit!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula - $5.99

I discovered it quite randomly a few years ago and was lured by its very appealing price tag. At the time my sensitive skin was acting up and I had developed unsightly razor bumps. I was amazed that after using this lotion for about a week the bumps disappeared and scars from previous flare ups started to fade. 

Other benefits of this lotion include a slight tanned glow (a natural property of cocoa butter), it's moisturizing without feeling greasy and it smells like chocolate! Many retailers sell Palmer's products, however, I have only been able to find this specific product at Superstore recently. I swear by it for bumps, flakes, scratches and scars! 

Comment below and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

**Bonus insider's tip - on sale now for $3.99**

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Guest Post: Emma Kapetanovic

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Deal of the Week: Savings at The Body Shop

This is the last week to save big on beauty AND skin-care at The Body Shop!

The Body Shop has carried some of my favorite skin-care products over the years. One of the best little tools I keep stashed away in my "perfect skin" arsenal to fight blemishes is this:

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil - $9

On the make-up side of things, this product takes the prize in my eyes becuase of its durability. After ten years of abuse it still looks brand new and feels softer than some of my more higher-end brushes. Lesson learned - A higher price tag doesn't always mean better quality when it comes to beauty tools:

The Body Shop Face and Body Brush - $26

My tip for these kind of sales is to pick out items that are all approximately the same price since it is your lowest item that will be discounted at the register. By doing so you will maximize your savings.

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Deal of the Week: Extra 50% off Sale at LOFT

Going through my morning emails today I found this promotion waiting for me in my inbox – an additional 50% off sale items and select full price items at LOFT. Nothing puts me in a better mood than a morning sale surprise. Better hurry, sale ends today!

Thanks for following and happy shopping! 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Red Suspenders

Given that it’s the season of argyle, plaid, and cable-knit cardigans, I thought I would get into the spirit and dress geek-chic for today’s look. Inspiration? A middle school boy attending an all-boys boarding school. Are you really surprised? Let's leave the "sexy school girl" and the "naughty librarian" looks for Halloween.

 In order to give a little pop of colour to this otherwise neutral ensemble, I decided to pull out the big guns…my brother’s old red suspenders from when he was a child. Ahh…the benefits of being a daughter of a woman who never throws anything away... Gems like this are always around hidden in the basement.

I incorporated my chambray top as a little twist to replace the predictable white button-down shirt. I’ve been finding that this has been such a versatile addition to my wardrobe. Perhaps I should do a post on how to style chambray. What do you guys think? Comment below if you would like to see the aftermentioned post!

Sunglasses in the library? I know, but I needed a cool factor to balance the ultra-nerdy ensemble. Plus, it’s always sunny in Douche-ville!

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Blazer: Nautica - $65, Chambray: Zara - $60, Shorts: H&M - $25, Loafers: Cole Haan - $48, Suspenders: Vintage – Brother’s, Bag - Aldo - $35, Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters - $10.

Location: Hometown
Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monet Masterpiece

This dress was one of my first purchases from Winners…ever! Surprising right? It seems like a frugal shopper like myself would frequent these types of establishments, but in reality, I generally try to avoid them. 

Big box stores like Winners, Marshals and T.J. Maxx always put me off, I find the large amount of inventory overwhelming and sifting through endless rows of racks was never really my thing. More importantly, the target market always seemed a little…err… older.

Well there is something to be said about the saying “Older is Wiser” because these women know where it’s at. Although the average age of the consumers I joined were indeed in the forties range, there were plenty of garments that were well suited for their daughters as well. In fact, I found some really great brands better known in my age range that are normally out of reach of my purse strings at some very affordable prices. BCBG dress for $50? Betsey Johnson heels for $40? A pricing error? Apparently not.

 Luckily, I found this maxi dress, a key summer item that I have been looking to check off my summer list (previous post here). Although I’m not one to be on top of trends, by happenstance, this dress sported the high-low maxi that was popular this summer. More importantly, I think the peek-a-boo leg lengthens me while breaking up the pattern which can look overwhelming on my frame at times. 

You may be surprised to know that this dress is actually a size 10. Since this was the smallest size left, I almost didn't pick it up initially but I loved the print so much that I couldn't pass it up. The pattern reminds me of a Monet painting, especially the soft pinks and purples. 

Instead I tried it on and, shockingly, it fit more like a size 6! I can definitely get away with belting it since the fabric is light and the bigger size makes the dress more flowy instead of looking too large.

One pointer I can give is not to restrict yourself to the section allocated to your size when shopping at these types of stores. Since they carry a wide range of designers, sizes will vary accordingly - so a small in one brand could be equivalent to a large in another. I’ll definitely go back for fall wear. Hopefully, I’ll be just as lucky the second time. 

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Dress: Winners - $44, Heels: Nine West - $20, Belt: Vintage – Mom’s, Necklace: Ottawa - $75.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Toronto

Friday, 7 September 2012

An Essay on Fashion Faux Pas

Since the last long weekend of the summer has come and gone, I decided that I should start to sort through my closet and move all of my light, breezy and otherwise "summery” apperal to the more appropriate storage space under my bed. But then I thought, 'why'? Just because we are now in September, doesn't mean my wardrobe needs drastic changes! Given the hot temperatures, I could still get away with wearing the aforementioned summery items until at least the beginning of October. Hey! - why not wear white after Labour Day?

This got me to thinking about the “Dos” and “Don'ts” of fashion in general. Since fashion continues to repeat itself and “Dos” eventually become “Don’ts”and vice versa, why have rules in the first place? When I was younger, I remember one of the biggest fashion faux pas was wearing socks with sandals – translating that to a twenty-something year old woman today would make socks with heels just as shocking as wearing a-see-through blouse and bearing unshaved legs at the office. But nowadays, how shocking are socks with heels, really? I mean, what’s cuter than a pairing Mary Janes with patterned lace trimmed socks? If Dorthy can pull it off, why can’t I?!

What about the fashion faux pas of never wearing blue shirts with blue jeans? Denim on denim has been one of the biggest trends that has moved its way through runways, retailers, fashion blogs to the masses. A trend that my dad has been rocking since the 90s and continues to wear now, oblivious to the fact that his look has graced the pages of some of the most well known fashion magazines. 

This is precisely the reason I’m not a trend chaser. Who’s to say what colours, fabrics or silhouettes are fabulous one season and not the next? I definitely don’t have the same life style as the fashion elite so why should I blindy follow the trends they set? I’m not saying that I’m not influenced by trends, because I think most people are. It’s hard to know what we really like after being bombarded by the same images from different media sources all over the place. At some point, you will start to mistake “familiarity” with “liking”, or what I like to call, "Marketing 101".


So, in honour of all of you fashion rebels, rule breakers and free thinkers out there, I decided to dress in an all white ensemble decked out in sequins from head to toe. An outfit where people with fashion-centered-OCD may cringe at the fact that 1) It's past Labour Day and 2) I'm wearing sequins during the day time, but what are you going to do? I'll let you know if Emily Post rolls over in her grave.


Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Skirt: H&M -$30, Tank Top: Joe Fresh - $7, Scarf: Zara - $30, Heels: Nine West - $25, Bracelet: H&M - $7, Ring: BCBG - $8, Earrings: Nine West - $11.

Location: Toronto
Photo Credit: Mandi Taylor

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

I'm Doving It

If you have long hair then you also most definitely have something else. What is it? 
Dove Nourishing Oil Care, Anti-Frizz Serum - $4.99 at PC Superstore

Yaaaaay...*defeated sigh* Okay, so there is obviously nothing, not one thing, that is actually fun about those annoying, sneaky little guys. Wasting hours on end snipping away at each individual split is futile. So, what do you do when you’re trying to grow your hair out but you hate having your ends looking like frayed yarn? You fuse those evil split ends together!

Getting frustrated with how expensive high end oil treatments were, I snatched up this Dove Anit-Frizz Serum on a whim and to my surprise, it has been a wonderful little find! It’s all I use after I get out of the shower and on dry hair if I feel I need a little shine boost. I highly recommend it because it works wonders on my split ends and leaves my hair shiny and soft without being oily. On the plus side, I can go longer between haircuts without looking like I'm way overdue. At only $5 it's definitely worth a try.

I like it. Do you??? Let me know by commenting below.

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Guest Post: Emma Kapetanovic

Monday, 3 September 2012

Deal of the Week: Up to 50% off BaubleBar

In the wee hours of the morning, 3 am EST, as my boyfriend sleeps behind me, I am in the dark, on his computer, scanning the internet for Labour Day deals. If that's not a tell tale sign of an addict, I don't know what is. But let's leave those worries with my shrink and move on to the important stuff.

BaubleBar, a well known online jewelery site amongst fashionistas, style bloggers and the like is having a Labour Day Sale. This is a site that I visit quite frequently since they have a wide selection of jewelry at some very reasonable prices. Surprisingly, I have never purchased from this retailer before, but their free shipping to the U.S. and pre-paid return labels, convinced me to give it a try.

White Floral Drops - $22 $16 $11

Wrap Link Bracelet - $28 $18 $13

I reluctantly refrained from adding yet another necklace to my collection and ventured out to some other accessories, like this pair of earrings and bracelet. By evidence of these white and gold purchases, it seems as though I am still on my all white kick, as per my last post here, but I think these colours work all year round even though they are most worn during the summer and winter.

Since this was my first purchase with BaubleBar, I was able to score $10 off my grand total by creating an account, thus saving $5 from each purchase above. BaubleBar works off a point system, so the more you share the more you save, so make sure to pass the word along to your savy fashionistas.
Thanks for following and happy shopping!