What I Wore: Express Yourself

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Toronto summers are so fleeting. All of June, I’ve been waiting for proper summer weather, and now that it’s getting “hot in here” and we are already halfway through July, I am scrambling to take advantage of every single sunny day. Weekends pass by in a blink of an eye, and by the time Mondays roll around, I can’t even remember what I did on my days off, like I suffer from some kind of weekend amnesia. Thank goodness for outfit photos, or I would never remember anything.

Speaking of…le bf and I have a few trusty backdrops for my photos, but it was a nice surprise to discover this wall of flowers on one of our walks. Of course, a wall of flowers calls for a photo op…and here we are. I’ve been wearing this EXPRESS dress a lot this summer…it’s so breezy, colourful, and simply perfect for those sticky hot days. The hat is another staple – straw boaters are having their fashion moment right now, and I really don’t mind, since this one helps shield my face and hair from the sun.

So tell me, what do you reach for in the summer? Do you have a few trusty summer staples that you can’t live without? Share in the comments!

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What I Wore: Belong Anywhere

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending one of the funnest events in a long while! Airbnb hosted a little lawn bowling tournament and we had a blast learning all about this fun sport, while hanging out with blogger friends and Airbnb Canada team.

Dress code for the event was all-white-errythang, so I wore one of my fave LWDs, and my new “catlady essential” Charlotte Olympia kitty purse. It was an easy-breezy outfit for a fun day outside. Our team ended up winning at lawn bowling, and we all slowly but surely improved our game, in between taking silly photos with the Airbnb bus, of course.

If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, it’s truly groundbreaking! I’ve used their services several times in different cities – each a huge success. This past March, le bf and I stayed in a stunning Parisian flat owned by a bridal designer. We were located steps away from the Eiffel Tower and had the entire 2 bedroom apartment to ourselves for around CAD $300 for 3 nights…total! In Paris! If you were to book a similarly situated hotel room, it would be a lot smaller and A LOT more expensive. Thanks to Airbnb, it’s never been easier and more affordable to travel the world, and feel like a local at the same time!

If you’ve never travelled with Airbnb before, you can sign up using this link and get $32 off your first booking. And trust me, once you try Airbnb, you won’t look at travel the same way again.

So tell me, have you ever used Airbnb? Share you experiences in the comments.

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Styled By Nelia: Summer Trends from Forever 21 +

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Ever since Forever 21 opened their new store at Yorkdale, I’ve been obsessed! Huge selection spread out across the 27,000 square foot boutique – what’s not to love?! Well, last month, I got to check out the brand’s plus size collection, aimed at the curvy girl who loves trendy clothes. While most fashion-forward brands don’t carry plus sizes, Forever 21 + collection goes up to size 3X, and carries a wide selection of cool girl essentials season after season. On the latest episode of Styled By Nelia, I helped Andria to incorporate a few key trends for the upcoming summer season.

Joggers
While skinny jeans are a staple for many curvy girls, wearing tight jeans in the summer may not be the best idea, which is why I am such a huge fan of tailored joggers. These versatile pants come in a variety of prints and fabrics, can be dressed up or down, oh, and the super comfy stretchy waistband doesn’t hurt either! If you’re looking for a cool alternative to your trusty jeans, give these pants a try.

All White Everything
White on white is a huge trend this year, and is a fashionable way to keep summer heat at bay. Curvy girls can get in on the trend by choosing figure-flattering silhouettes, loose layers, and a mix of shades of white for a fresh and fashionable look.

Boho
This trend is a summer staple, and is the easiest to incorporate into your wardrobe. Pick up a brightly-printed maxi dress, a fringed caftan thrown over a pair of flared jeans, or a flower-child crochet lace top…your options are limitless!

So tell me, do you love Forever 21 + selection at Yorkdale? What’s your fave trend for the summer? Share in the comments!

Photo and Video by Max Kopanygin

What I Wore: And It Was All Yellow…And Blue

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Yup, I added yet another coat to my winter outerwear collection. This one’s from Forever 21, and it’s surprisingly warm, and well-made. It has a bit of a cocoony feeling to it, so if you’re into the slim look in your winter coats, this one’s probably not for you. But personally, I love all the layering possibilities this one brings. Last weekend, I wore it with my trusty Prada faux fur stole, adding even more colour to an already bright coat. You know my philosophy – if it’s gloomy outside, there’s nothing like colourful clothing to snap you out of the funk. And I must say, it worked like a charm!

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Style Days of Christmas: $200 Forever 21 Gift Card

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Here’s the thing, I’m not 21, nor have I been 21 in quite a while now, but the truth is…I shop at Forever 21all the time. The site is bookmarked on my laptop, and once a week or so, I click through and browse their selection of trendy, affordable wares. I’ve been a fan of the brand for many years now – ever since I was first introduced to it in Texas (which come to think of it, was over 10 years ago!) – and still have pieces I bought a while back. Not everything from Forever 21 lasts forever, but a lot of pieces do. I love their stores for printed tees, cheap and cheerful jewelry, and their fun summer dresses. And I couldn’t be more excited about Forever 21 opening at Yorkdale on December 20th at 9am! First customers in line on grand opening day will receive $21 gift cards. And because we’re cool like that, we are also giving away a $200 Forever 21 gift card right here, so you can buy whatever your heart desires at their brand new store. Don’t miss out, and enter below!

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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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What I Wore: From Odette to Colette

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While I usually tend to avoid the touristy Latin Quarter in Paris, this year, it was on my “to go” list. Why? Odette. After seeing countless photos of those photogenic French puffs on Instagram, I knew I had to try them. So after a leisurely stroll from our Airbnb apartment, we found ourselves in front of Odette. The place was tiny with limited seating, so we grabbed some petit-choux, and began to devour them right on the street. My verdict – they were ok. The coffee ones were my fave, but in general, I found them way too soggy and not as good as the ones from Nadege in Toronto. Nadege offers petit-choux that are light, fresh, decidedly not soggy, and so very flavourful. They may not be quite as pretty as Odette’s, but in my opinion, they are way superior in all other aspects.

After our petit disappointment, we walked back towards our Parisian apartment, exploring rue Saint Honoré. As some of you may know, rue Saint Honoré is home to one of the coolest shops in Paris – Colette, so of course, that’s exactly where we ended up. We nosed through the store’s trendy book selection, picked up some souvenir postcards, featuring Anna Wintour and other fashion notables playing soccer (it was World Cup season after all), and gawked at the gorgeous clothes displayed on the second floor – designs from Christopher Kane, Carven, Kenzo, Mary Katrantzou, Comme des Garcon, and so much more. There wasn’t a huge breadth of items available, but the curated pieces were enough to set my heart aflutter.

Sadly, I limited myself to postcards, and a fragrant melon that I picked up at a fruit stand nearby. The melon was sweet and the postcards were adorable, and even if I didn’t buy any fab clothes, my day was still quite perfect. As cliche as this may sound…I don’t need much when I’m in Paris…a walk through its charming streets is all it requires to make me realize just how freaking lucky I am.

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What I Wore: Let Them Eat Cake

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The Palace of Versailles has always been a place I wanted to visit eventually…what with all the drama, intrigue, excess, and history surrounding this royal château, I knew it would be worth the trek. The only reason that I have avoided visiting Versailles for so long is the fear of endless line-ups and tourists. Usually, with the exception of the Eiffel Tower, we try to stay away from crowded and touristy places, but this time around, we decided to just go for it.

As expected, the place was teeming with people…SO.MANY.PEOPLE! But not to worry, after about 30 minutes of waiting for our tickets, and then lining up to get in, we were finally inside Marie Antoinette’s stomping grounds! The palace was definitely very impressive, with rooms full of beautiful art, ornate doors (and ceilings, and floors), and of course, plenty of historic tidbits to glimpse and learn – totally worth it the wait.

But as cool as it was to see the Hall of Mirrors and the grand apartment de la reine in person, the gardens were a highlight for me. After hours of frolicking around, lying in the grass, sipping iced chocolate on Angelina’s terrace, and taking way too many photographs, I don’t think we covered even half of the massive grounds. I guess another trip to Versailles is in order…maybe next year!

Have you ever visited Versailles? What was your favourite spot? Share in the comments.

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What I Wore: Easy Does It

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One of my favourite things about summer (other than endless sunshine, BBQs, beach days, and ice-cream) is dresses. I wouldn’t call myself a girlie-girl, but once summer rolls around, dresses is all I want to wear. I’m sure I’ve blogged about that before, but here I go again. This one in particular is from Zara, and it was love at first sight. I bought it when it was still wintery and snowy outside, daydreaming of those warm afternoons when I would be able to throw it on, tie those faux sleeves around my waist and go – so easy and comfy.

I wore this on a neighbourhood discovery walk I took with le bf recently. Since we bought our house a year ago, we haven’t really had the chance to explore our new hood, and now that it’s summer again, we are making an effort to discover the cool things about the place we call home…like this amazing park we stumbled upon – with a stunning ravine, fun splash pad, and this beautifully-painted wall. Definitely a gem that we’ll keep in our regular rotation.

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What I Wore: Checkmate

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Toronto Fashion Week officially starts this week, and that means long days, sleepless nights, and lots of “nothing to wear” moments, which is why I am so happy to have this awesome Ann Taylor coat to save me from closet indecision. The print is perfect for spring, and all I have to do is throw this coat over almost anything for an instant touch of polish. Looking put together has never been this easy.

Also, I apologize in advance if I’m MIA for the next few days. Should be back to normal after fashion week.

Happy Monday and Happy Toronto Fashion Week!!! Let the craziness begin!

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