What I Wore: Summertime Sadness

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This is my last outfit post from my birthday trip to France…I know I’ve milked it for months now, but I guess I just didn’t want to let it go. And now that it’s October, it feels pretty appropriate to say good-bye to summer, and hello to fall. Those of you that follow me on Instagram, already know that I dyed my hair, so the next outfit post will definitely show off that new side of me…but in the meantime, here’s the last bit of summer in October. 

I’ve always thought of Monaco as a very glamorous place. Before visiting, the word brought on visions of Grace Kelly, fancy hats, fast cars, and gleaming sailboats. But reality wasn’t quite as fabulous. Perhaps rainy weather had something to do with it, or maybe the fact that we visited on a Sunday, when all the shops and restaurants were closed, but I just didn’t love it.

Sure, there are a few pretty buildings to look at, and the views of the sea are pretty breathtaking, but underneath it all, it felt more than a little gauche – the casino that charges an entrance fee, show-offs in their tricked-out cars, horrible food at the only restaurant open for business, over-the-top yachts…none of it felt glamorous. Perhaps I would have a different view of the place, had we stayed overnight…apparently the parties and the clubs are a must-do in Monaco, but something tells me I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed those either. Do I sound like a crusty old lady yet?

Either way, we made the best of our little day-trip, enjoying the views and the public art, but to be quite honest, we couldn’t wait to run back to the train station to catch the next train back to Nice and our cozy, yet decidedly not-so-glam apartment.

Have you ever been to Monaco? Did you have a different experience? Share in the comments.

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More after the jump!

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Shopping: La Vallee Village Outlets Near Paris

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For a shopaholic like myself, a visit to Paris is never complete without a shopping spree or two. But you really don’t have to spend a fortune in order to get something memorable to commemorate your trip, there’s always La Vallee Village to help you get the most bang for your euros. What’s La Vallee Village, you ask? Well, it’s a designer outlet mall, located a quick jaunt away from Central Paris, and just a skip and a hop from Disneyland Paris, and last June, I had the pleasure of shopping there!

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GETTING THERE

From Disneyland

Since we were staying at Disneyland, getting to La Vallee Village was a breeze! Direct shuttles are available from each Disneyland hotel, you just need to request one at the concierge desk. However, on our trip, we opted to take the RER instead. We got off at Val d’Europe/Serris Montévrain station, before walking through Les Terrasses shopping mall that carries all the usual suspects from H&M to Zara, as well as a few European brands that have yet to make their way to North America. Entrance to La Vallee Village awaited just outside Les Terrasses - super quick and easy.

From Central Paris

RER is a great option if you want to visit from Central Paris (destination station Val d’Europe/Serris Montévrain). The trip will take around 40 minutes, depending on where you board. But if you want to ride in style and comfort, then La Vallee Village Shopping Express is your best bet! This daily bus departs from Central Paris (near Louvre) and takes around 30 minutes. If you plan on buying a lot of things, I would highly recommend this shuttle. We took it at the end of our shopping day and loved everything about it. And the best part is, it’ll only cost you EUR22 both ways. Can’t beat that!

And finally, if you prefer the luxury of riding solo, then Chauffeur Drive might be for you. I am not exactly sure how much that service costs, but you can definitely inquire here.

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DESIGNERS

For all the brand obsessives out there, La Vallee Village has a seriously great selection of designers on offer – from Armani, to Burberry, to Celine, to Valentino – if you’re looking for designer deals, this is your place. The day I was visiting, I saw great deals on Celine leather totes, Carven dresses, Kenzo leather jackets, and Marni necklaces. They even had Valentino rockstud flats in fun colours, but limited sizes. After spending what felt like an eternity deciding between a dozen cool Marni necklaces, I finally settled on just one (even though I wanted them all), while my friend picked up a travel bag from Longchamp for a steal! To refuel, we stopped by Natalie’s Cafe for some delicious lunch, before heading out again to do some more shopping.

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If you’re wondering whether the deals are worth the trek, in my experience they were, but it really depends. As with other outlet malls, selection can fluctuate, and depending on the month/week/day, you can either leave with bags of loot, or with only a couple of things. Prices of certain goods aren’t necessarily cheaper for North American shoppers (don’t go expecting to buy Ralph Lauren wares for less than in the US), but a lot of European brands are. Just like with my much-adored Florence outlets, La Vallee Village is now part of my must-visit spots in Europe…and I can’t wait to come back!

More after the jump!

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Alexander Wang for H&M Campaign and Lookbook!

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So, we finally have more photos of the Alexander Wang for H&M collection, and…I am not sure. Some pieces have caught my eye, but right now I am not drooling at the sight of these campaign images. Maybe it’s because I am not a sporty girl, or maybe because of the hockey imagery? I am just not feeling this for some reason. You? Check out the rest of the photos below and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Photos after the jump!

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You Are Invited: Blogger Bazaar Fall 2014

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Due to the overwhelming response we received after the last two Blogger Bazaars, we’ve decided to get together for one more in 2014! Who’s excited?

This Saturday, September 27th, join us as we put some of our fave fall clothes and accessories up for sale at Toronto’s Soho House. This time around you can expect to see lots of coats, boots, and other fall essentials – all for a steal! If you are looking for a perfect coat, or a cool designer bag, this sale is not to be missed! Once again, there’ll be a mix of vintage, brand new, and gently used items available, and there’ll be gift bags with purchase too.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, our swag bags are pretty awesome if I say so myself, and will include items from ALDO, Cake Beauty,  Call It Springessence, H&M, RootsvitaminwaterYorkdale, along with other faves of ours. Additionally, just like last time, 10% of all sales will be donated to charity – this time – Dress for Success. So many reasons to come out and spend your Saturday afternoon in the company of fun Toronto bloggers! Hope to see you there!

WHERE: Soho House, 192 Adelaide St W, Toronto
WHEN: September 27, 2014 12-4pm
GIFT BAGS WITH PURCHASE (minimum purchase of $30, while supplies last)
CASH ONLY
10% of all proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success

What I Wore: Saint-Paul de Vence

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I am so hopelessly behind on posts, that even though I don’t even look like the photo above, I still have a few of these to go. And while it’s currently 13 degrees in Toronto, this post is all about summer heat and vacation glow. Seeing these pics makes me want to pack up my bags and hightail it out of Canada for a destination much warmer than Toronto. Alas, I just got back from New York, and as a 9-5er, vacation days are a precious, precious commodity not to be trifled with…so, I suppose fall is inevitable.

These photos were taken while on a day trip to Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera. There were beautiful art shops on every corner, delicious honeys and jams sold at charming little shops…The sun was scalding that day, so we made a pit stop at a small gelato shop, watching a local wedding at the nearby church. Happy faces, delicious ice-cream, honking limo, and lots of bougainvillea bushes is what I remember the most from that day. We walked up and down the winding cobblestone streets, completely charmed by this tiny town, and all of a sudden, the lengthy bus ride from Nice seemed really worth the hassle. If you’re ever in the area, try to stop by Saint-Paul de Vence. It won’t take very long to see, but you’ll be glad you did.

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More after the jump!

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TIFF 2014: Favourite Moments

Another TIFF came and went, and while I was only here to catch the first few days of the festival, this year’s celeb sightings were pretty memorable to say the least. Below are my top 5 TIFF experiences this year. Grab some snacks, it’s going to be a long one.

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1. Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew

Last year, Variety Studio was definitely a highlight, but this year…oh, this year was juicy! After enjoying my amazing Moroccanoil hand/arm massage just like the one celebs were getting (hey, Jemy!), I settled down on the couch to people celeb-watch, and let me tell you, being a fly on the wall at one of these things can be very insightful. While there was no Fassbender action this year, I did find myself in the eye of the Cumberbatch-Redmayne-Worthington-Goode-Knightley-Jones-Leech tornado…the Brits taking over the room in a loud, accented storm of hugs, compliments, and camaraderie. You could just tell that all those actors are truly fond of each other, and are definitely not “over it” all just yet.

For all the Cumberbatch fans out there, your beloved did seem to be genuinely nice and funny. Upon arrival, he checked out the Moroccanoil station, trying a bit of cream on his hands, before joining the rest of his group for a lively chat. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch were hugging right above me as I shrinked back into the leather couch, trying not to trip anyone with my feet and knees. That’s when I overheard Redmayne exclaiming post-hug “You smell…delicious!” to Cumberbatch. Must’ve been the Moroccanoil. Redmayne’s fiance Hannah Bagshaw was in the room too, looking lovely and normal, sharing a hug with Cumberbatch, not stuck to Eddie’s side, navigating the room on her own. But back to Cumberbatch…at one point, when the cameras were rolling for a Sam Worthington interview, and a Variety staffer yelled out: “WE ARE ROLLING! QUIET, PLEASE!”, Benedict cheekily and loudly quipped: “Rolling with Sam Worthington? Let’s talk louder then!”, before peeking behind the interview curtain to wink at Worthington.

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Out of all the hot Brits in the room, Keira Knightley was actually the one I wanted to get close to (not in a creepy way, I promise!). She’s one of my favourite young actresses, and I was most definitely starstruck. I tried to summon the courage to ask her for a photo, but she was never alone – either chumming it up with her co-stars, or chatting with her hair and makeup people. She wore a beautiful Chanel dress, and I tried to inconspicuously sneak a few shots for my Instagram. She smiled a lot, laughed a lot, shared that she was tired, but definitely didn’t look it. She looked happy, thin, but not frail, healthy, and so very beautiful. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush?

Other notable moments at the Variety Studio included: grabbing a photo with the delightful Bill Nighy, who was walking around with an apple in his hand, never having the moment to himself to actually take a bite, and who made eye contact with everyone in the room, instead of ducking his head and avoiding the normals; watching Richard Gere chatting up the hot tequila girls; realizing that the woman on the couch next to me is Elizabeth Banks, who changed out of her white pumps and into some Birkenstocks for comfort; observing the insanely handsome Matthew Goode and super-stylish Jena Malone light up the room with their larger than life personalities (on two different days) – definitely not wallflower types; sitting on the couch next to Downton Abbey’s Branson’s publicist, before Branson Allen Leech himself leaned over me to talk to her; sharing a serendipitous moment with Mark Ruffalo outside the Variety Studio’s bathroom – if life was a movie, that would’ve been our meet-cute.

More after the jump!

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Styled By Nelia: Timeless Outerwear Trends

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With fall on our heels, it’s time to start updating our wardrobes. Sandals and shorts may not have as much wearability once rainy weather sets in, so off they go to the back of the closet, and out come the sweaters, the boots and the leather pants. As with every new season, there’s excitement in the air, and temptation to buy lots of new trendy clothes. And while I don’t discourage you from jumping on the trend bandwagon, sometimes a girl can’t handle any more one-season-wonders in her closet. Last month, I stopped by Mendocino – one of the trendiest stores at Yorkdale – to find 3 items that are in this season, but won’t go out of style for at least a few years, and maybe ever! I focused on outerwear, because living in Toronto, you really can’t have too many coats and jackets, and here’s what happened:

Three Timeless Outerwear Trends After the jump!

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What They Wore: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party

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The last week and a half has been a whirlwind of parties, celeb sightings, TIFF lounges, and more parties. It all got kicked off with a bang and an oyster bar at the Toronto Life’s Most Stylish soiree at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville, celebrating this city’s most stylish denizens, featured in the latest issue of the Toronto Life Stylebook. Star-studded guest list included my fave gossip maven Lainey Lui (one of the 25 most stylish), brothers Dean and Dan Caten of DSQUARED2, Elisha Cuthbert with hockey hubby Dion Phaneuf, one half of the Property Brothers, model Stacey McKenzie, Suzanne and Chloe Rogers, Kimberly Newport Mimran, Joe Mimran, among many others.

After a bit of exploring, my buddies Sharon and Tara Ng and I parked ourselves next to the seafood bar, loading up on crab, shrimp, and oysters, before walking over to explore the charcuterie station. Needless to say, the food was terrific. The beautifully-decorated ballroom was buzzing with excitement and Toronto’s most stylish partying under one roof made for some great people-watching.

This city is such a vibrant place to live, and every time I go away for a bit, I return a little more grateful for all it has to offer, so it is truly amazing to see a publication celebrating its own stylish peeps, instead of focusing on the usual suspects from other countries and cities. I already can’t wait to see who’ll be featured next year! Who would you nominate? Share in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!

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What I Wore: Nice Would Be Nice

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This summer has been a bit of a letdown…at least weather-wise. Augtober is nearly over, and we maybe had 10 hot sunny days this month. All of this Canadian weather yo-yoing is making me wish I was still in Nice, soaking up the sun, lounging around on the pebbled beach, and eating way too much delicious food. I didn’t expect to like Nice as much as I did…but truth is – it was lovely – a perfectly relaxing getaway after the craziness that was Paris. And now, I am itching to get back to the South of France. Does anyone want to buy a little villa near Nice with me? Anyone?

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More after the jump!

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H&M Studio Collection Fall 2014 Lookbook

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We are almost in September, which means a couple of things – fall and fall fashions. And while I’m certainly not a fan of cold weather, I am usually all about fall collections. Last February, I posted photos from H&M Studio’s Paris Fashion Week show, and now, we finally have official lookbook images, and photos of most pieces that will be hitting the stores on September 4th.

I have my eye on a few things from this collection, including the faux fur jackets, and that gorgeous striped dress. And while I do hope that warm weather will stick around just a bit longer, living in Canada comes with a few certainties, and one of them is – winter is coming…eventually, so it’s never too early to buy a plush faux fur coat.

Will you be checking out the collection next week? Which pieces are you coveting? Share in the comments!

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