Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saint John on the web

Interesting links based on local happenings I've come across in the last week! This list rounds up a few giveaways, a newly opened store uptown, and a way to get home safely from holiday parties this season:

  1. The local giveaway marathon continues on Barbbarbbarb's blog: #30in30.
  2. I have so many lovely friends that are now expecting a bundle of joy in 2012! Check out uptown's new maternity store on Prince William: Belly Beautiful Maternity.
  3. Judith Mackin's  top 10 art tips- why bad art will never do. 
  4. Kiera Fraser strongly recommends shopping local for your Christmas gifts.
  5. You can now subscribe to the Telegraph Journal's new and (finally) improved website instead of getting the paper.
  6. Operation Red Nose, a great local (and free) service to get people home safely during the holidays, is looking for more volunteers.
  7. Tickets for the upcoming Saint John Wine Festival in February are now on sale.
  8. Cannon Security Inc is hosting a a Wonderland Facebook Giveaway.
  9. The Yoga Outlet is hosting a (free) candle-lit Winter Solstice session on the shortest day of the year- this Wednesday.
  10. Loving local blogger Candice's outfits on Brillant Sugar- many of the items from her closet have local origins. 

With less than a week to go, the countdown to Christmas is officially on! Wishing you a fantastic holiday season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

merry martinis....

Looking for a mid-week pick me up? Fusion Saint John is hosting Merry Martinis at the Trade & Convention Centre tomorrow evening, (Wednesday) December 14.

In support of Romero House, this party will kick off  with a red carpet entrance at 6pm. In your cocktail attire, tickets will provide you with 3 drink vouchers and hors d'oeurves at your fingertips. Tickets for this event are $50 and can be purchased at the Uptown Saint John office at 40 King Street. 

For more details, check out this video with event coordinators, Sean & Fran, chatting about this soiree:

To see the article written on Merry Martinis in support of the Romero House in the Telegraph Journal today, click here.

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the event myself, but would love to hear all about it! Hope those of you attending will let me know how it goes and have some pictures to post- have fun!

This post has been written by the author in support of Romero House, an extremely worthy cause, which is open 365 days a year and aims to serve one hot meal to Saint Johners in need. The soup kitchen is open 7 days a week, providing roughly 300 meals daily.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Saint John on the web

I"ll be honest- I don't know what I'd do without the internet. It's my source for catching up on the latest trends, tuning into world news, making plans with friends, or find out what's going on in Saint John this weekend. Here are some of my favourite links I've encountered this week that have local content:

  1. Professional photos by Kelly Lawson and Mike Capson from the Urban Glam Party posted.
  2. Perfumes Plus shares a sneak peak at the new Chanel Spring 2011 cosmetic line. 
  3. The Urban Shoe Myth is offering 25% off their holiday shoes for the remainder of the week.
  4. An article I stumbled upon that lists many reasons why it's important to shop local.
  5. Manchester Shoe Salon and Pseudio are both offering tax free from now until Christmas.
  6. Market Square is giving away a $500 shopping spree each Friday until December 23.
  7. Profile written on shop owner Kiera of Je Suis Prest Boutique.
  8. Brunswick Square is also doing a giveaway promotion titled $1000 reasons to shop locally
  9. Beat the Winter Blues Facebook Competition involving multiple uptown Saint John businesses.
  10. Fusion is hosting Merry Martinis, a cocktail party in support of Romero House, next week.

What was the best or most interesting thing you saw on the web this week? (Let me know in the comments below!)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'm kicking it off with a Christmas party tonight at the Delta- can't wait to wear a new dress! (It has sequins.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

telegraph journal

This past weekend my little blog received a little love in Saint John's Telegraph Journal. I mentioned a few weeks ago in this outfit post, that I had had the pleasure of meeting up with Kâté Braydon, photographer for the newspaper, at one of my favourite uptown stores, The Urban Shoe Myth.

Last month, I was contacted by report John Pollack about my outlook on shopping and retail growth in Saint John after he had come across my blog. He had already spoken to many business individuals on their perspective and I suppose my viewpoint would come from the (experienced) consumer. Although I'm credited as a "confessed shopaholic" in the article, I can't deny the the title given the name of my blog, I'd describe it as more of a whimsical reference to my consumerism and interest of what is available here in our port city. While I will admit I do love shopping, my "cash diet" method keeps me in check- and it is really my love of fashion and interest in pushing the envelope of style that keeps me writing this blog!

If you had an opportunity to read it, the article, titled The evolution of a retail destination (page 34 in the Saint John on the Move magazine insert), shares the opinions of myself, Imelda Gilman (president of the Saint John Board of Trade), and statements from a number of developers that Saint John's retail is growing. We've turned away the age old notion that people feel the need to leave our city to shop. As our city continues to evolve we're seeing more enjoyment and commitment in regards to supporting local.

Thanks to John and the TJ for the shout out on my blog! Although I made a special effort to buy the newspaper after hearing the article was out, I'm looking forward to the make-over of the Telegraph's website, which I hear is about to be released very soon.    

Monday, December 5, 2011

gift guide for her

By now most people are full into their holiday shopping (I've even heard a select few say they are actually finished!) I actually haven't even started. Well compared to the last few years, this might have me concerned, I remember as a student I used to leave my Christmas shopping until after exams, not even making my list prior to the 20th.

I am always committed to getting my friends and family gifts that I know they will love and use. The most important thing to me is getting something I know they will appreciate. I've been out browsing the shops in Saint John over the last few weeks, and here's my suggestions on where to shop for the women in your life!

Uptown Saint John 


Depending on your budget and who you're buying for, no girl is going to turn down a beautiful pair of shoes. Support local, purchase quality, and consider a classic pair of pumps or flats from The Urban Shoe Myth (King Street) or Manchester Shoe Salon (Market Square). If you're not sure of her footwear tastes or what she has in her closet, a gift certificate to use towards a new pair of shoes or a quality wallet is never a poor choice. It's common to hear gift cards are impersonal, but I don't agree. A generic gift that she may or may not like is impersonal, but if you provide her with a little credit towards something she really likes, that will be greatly appreciated. And for a cute pair of comfortable Toms, I believe Je Suis Prest Boutique may still have some in stock!


If you know her size or clothing preferences, there are many uptown boutiques to consider shopping. If you know her favourite store, a gift card is an option in this department too. Je Suis Prest Boutique (Brunswick Square) and Envy (Market Square) cater to a crowd of early 20s to 40s, depending on her personal style. If you know she shops at Je Suis Prest Boutique, be sure to ask the Prest girls if she has a shopping list there- they actually keep a list of their customers favourites to make holiday shopping easier! Kiera and Joy make a point to get to know their customers' tastes and give honest feedback so asking their option is always a great lead. For a girl in her teens to mid-20s I'd recommend checking out Pseudio (Brunswick Square). For the mature woman, try Collectables and Colwell's- it may be a little more expensive, but you can't go wrong with good quality. I'd say Silver Daisy (King Street) falls somewhere in between, serving unique and stylish clothing for girls in their 20s and 30s.


Accessories are always a great affordable choice for a gift. Baubles (Brunswick Square) and Silver Daisy Designs (King Street) are my favourite go-to locations for pretty earrings, necklaces, or bracelets.


Make-up choices like a lip gloss or nail polish are always fun gift ideas as well. Visit the girls at Perfumes Plus (Brunswick Square) and get them to help you pick out a fragrance, Chanel product, or OPI nail polish for the giftee. Did you know that aside from Halifax, this is the only location you can purchase Chanel products? Though you may not be able to afford a Chanel suit or vintage purse, the cosmetics lines is much more accessible price-wise. Their nail polish is my absolute favourite for quality and wear.


Get her a new purse from Je Suis Prest Boutique (Brunswick Square), Silver Daisy Designs (King Street), or Walsh Luggage (Market Square). For a modern shoulder or crossbody bag visit JSP or for a fun party clutch, try Silver Daisy. For something classic and long-term, try popping into Walsh Luggage.

Home Decor

If you think she'd appreciate something for the home, I'd recommend Decor 8 (Brunswick Square), English Butler (Brunswick Square) and Handworks (King Street). Especially if you don't know the inside of her closet as well. chances are you've gotten a better look at her living room or kitchen. A beautiful piece of pottery (Handworks), a unique kitchen tool (Decor 8), fun cocktail glasses (Decor 8), or a Yankee candle (English Butler) are always great choices.  

Hair and Spa 

If you think she'd enjoy being pampered and doesn't spend enough time on herself, try purchasing a treatment or spa service from Element5 (Market Square) or Perfumes Plus (Brunswick Square). You could also browse Element5's selection of Aveda products for a great quality shampoo and conditioner. Speaking of hair care products, you could also try Hairacy's (Brunswick Square) selection of Redken products.

What I like about shopping uptown in general is that these locally owned shops give much better service. They are interested and invested in their customers' wants and needs, so asking their opinions might help point you in the right direction. Familiarizing yourself with the uptown is a great personal shopping experience and you're supporting local! Remember, when in doubt, choosing to purchase a gift certificate from a store you know she likes to shop at is never a fail.

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the blog post I wrote last week for the Brunswick Square blog featuring the top 5 reasons for shopping at  the Uptown shopping centre.

Friday, December 2, 2011

luxury cars & brand name shoes

Last month I was invited to an event at the Mercedes-Benz dealership that mixed luxury cars with luxury goods (fashionable clothing that is). Am I in the market for a fancy car? Unfortunately not and while I'm perfectly happy driving my economical little Corolla, I certainly wouldn't shy away from a Mercedes if my bank account was grow by a good margin! For now, the most expensive new transportation I can afford is quality footwear!

The event, did perk my interest since it had a fashion aspect and had some of my favourite retailers involved. My initial thought was to wonder how do luxury cars and fashion mix, but then I remember the company and fashion industry are quite often making a partnership. After all, you do know that New York Fashion Week's main sponsor is Mercedes-Benz, right? Mercedes-Benz Canada has its own links to LG Fashion Week in Toronto: launching the Mercedes-Benz StartUp competition, which is in an initiative that is intended to provide a platform to discover and support up-and-coming Canadian fashion designers.  

Although I was unable to attend, I was sent a few photos to see how the local Mercedes-Benz dealership was mingling with fashion and supporting local at their annual customer event. Photos are the work of the lovely Kelly Lawson (Lawson Photography).

Ashley with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe
Dress: Je Suis Prest Boutique (Lipsy London) | Shoes: The Urban Shoe Myth (Michael Kors)
Jewellery: Goldsmith Studio | Watch: Goldsmith Studio (Gucci)

Natalie with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML Truck
Dress: Je Suis Prest Boutique (Mason) | Shoes: The Urban Shoe Myth (Nine West)
Jewellery: Goldsmith Studio | Watch: Goldsmith Studio (Gucci)

Mandy with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet
Dress: Je Suis Prest Boutique (DEPT) | Shoes: The Urban Shoe Myth (Stuart Weiztman)
Jewellery: Goldsmith Studio | Watch: Goldsmith Studio (Gucci)

My personal favourite was the outfit on Mandy. I love the faux leather dress- the fabric has a certain sex appeal and with tasteful necklace the mini skirt is definitely a go! I'm also a fan of patent leather and the rich red hue of the Stuart Weitzman pumps. 

All the models' hair was styled by ASAP Hair Studio and make-up was done with Chanel products at Perfumes Plus

This blog post is not sponsored content and is only my reflection on how this local car dealership mixed an element of fashion into their event. To support Maritime Shopaholic and have your fashion-related event officially covered on this blog, please see the Sponsor/Collaborate page for more details!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

shopbop giveaway winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Shopbop giveaway! Out of 520 entries, the winner was...

Congrats to Julia on winning the $100 gift card to Shopbop. And it didn't take long for her to decide exactly what she wanted- Julia tweeted me after receiving the gift card to let me know she had ordered a stylish pair of Boutique 9 pumps!

Perfumes Plus Holiday Party

A few weeks ago, you may have caught the announcement about Perfumes Plus' upcoming holiday party via the Brunswick Square Blog. The event date has since changed and Perfumes Plus will now be hosting their annual Holiday party tonight, in-store, at 6pm.  Perfumes Plus can be found on the ground level of Brunswick Square.

As promised, there will sales to take advantage of throughout the day, which include 30% off select products. Perfumes Plus will also be launching the Chanel's Holiday 2011 Collection. Chanel is bringing a lot of beautiful, limited edition products to the table with this holiday line made up of rich golds, festive reds, and beautiful neutrals.

The event will also feature make-up and nail demons, as well as prize draws. Every purchase today enters you in to a draw to win a holiday gift from Chanel!

There will be Chanel limited edition gift sets available for purchase, which include the brush set or lip gloss duo featured above.

Personally, my favourite Chanel cosmetic product (aside from their eye concealer I use daily) would be their nail polishes. They may cost a pretty penny, but they are honestly worth it- it's definitely one of those products that you get what you pay for. Above is my current collection of Chanel polishes. Last night I painted my finger nails with the Coromandel (second from the left above) and it only required one coat! 

If you love Chanel as much as I do, you should pop on over to Barb's blog and enter her giveaway to win for the chance to win a free Chanel manicure from Perfumes Plus! (Contest is open until this Friday, Dec 2, at noon.)

Need to pick up something pretty for your friend or sister, stocking stuffers, or a hostest gift? Be sure to drop by later today for some refreshments, shop the sales, and trial the new Chanel products at Perfumes Plus- I'll see you there!

Will you be dropping by for some time with Chanel today?

Monday, November 28, 2011

big changes...

I'll start with the most obvious of changes: not only did I update the blog header (designed by my friend Doug at dlb designs) over the weekend, but I've also decided to split my current blog into 2 separate blogs. 

I've been covering 2 main areas or niches (local happenings in Saint John and my personal style) that seemed to fit together initially but as my blog grew and changed, so did my audience.

A recent poll I conducted confirmed a statistic I was already familiar with: the majority of my readers reside in Saint John (67%) and a larger precentage (80%) live within in New Brunswick. 

For a while now, Saint John readers have been requesting to see more about local events and things happening in our city. As much as I wanted to do that, I didn't want to push away my other readers outside of the port city. 

So, I decided to transition Maritime Shopaholic into a source to promote shopping local and keeping people up to date about fashion-related events happening in Saint John. I have plans to shape it in a shopping and style guide for the port city. For all locally and fashion related content, I hope you'll continue to read Maritime Shopaholic.

Atlantic Style Diaries is the title of my new personal style blog on which I will share outfit photos, favourite trends and brands, wish-lists, etc. I wanted to be able to participate in the fashion blog community without boundaries to who I could share, network or collaborate with. For further content such as outfit posts, favourite brands and trends, as well as style projects, I hope you'll pop over and check out Atlantic Style Diaries! 

I've also made changes to my Twitter account in that you will now recognize me as @chelsdonaldson (instead of @mshopaholic).

I'm excited about these changes and new creative opportunities and I'll hope there will be a little more for everyone now! 

Please leave a comment- I'd love to hear your thoughts on these changes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

holiday wish-list...

My mom and sister right now are braving the Black Friday crowds across the US border. I almost went with them, if it wasn't for an expired passport (which I forgot about until there wasn't sufficient time to reapply). Of course a trip such as this means serious shopping, so making my holiday wish-list was prompted when my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas.

Plus, with all audio in stores being hijacked by Christmas music already, the crazy snow storm we had 2 days ago, and the fact that Santa comes in exactly a month from today it's starting to feel a lot like Christmas. So I thought I'd share with you what I have on my list!

I also asked for a handful of clothing items from Joe Fresh (this blouse, this top, and this dress for starters)- I browsed the last collection at the Superstore after a workout earlier this week and had to exercise restraint from walking out with half of the store! The great thing about items from Joe Fresh are how affordable they are- which makes for great gifts without breaking the bank!

I still like a surprise, so I put way more items on my list than I actually expect to receive. I was never that child digging in the closets or under beds looking for the presents before Christmas...that's how my sister discovered there was no Santa! (Haha.)

What's on your holiday wish-list? 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

sunday comfort...

With a snow storm like yesterday, there's nothing I'd prefer to do than curl up in a comfy outfit and hold up indoors with a cup of coffee and a movie, book, or my laptop. When it comes down to putting together a comfortable outfit, nothing beats a long sweater and a pair of leggings. On this particular day, B and I headed out for Starbucks and to run a few errands.

The Outfit  Faux leather jacket: Winners | Sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch | Top: American Eagle
Leggings: TNA | Purse: Coach | Boots: Town Shoes | Hat: H&M | Necklace: H&M

Happy Thanksgiving to my American pals! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

work it wednesday....

Sometimes it all comes down to the accessories. You can entirely change the tone or style of an outfit, depending on what you pair the main components with. Trade a necklace for a scarf or pull on boats instead of heels. For this week's Work It Wednesday, I was thought I'd take one simple piece and play with the accessories.  Inspired by one of Who What Wear's trend reports last week, followed by a tempting Diane von Furstenberg email- I decided to remix a classic but neutral Taya shirt dress

What I like about this dress is that it speaks comfort like your boyfriend's collared button-up but it has the potential to be paired with more than just flats. Here's a couple of examples I cooked up, for a look that's ready for a variety of occasions. With a modest frock, it allows for some serious bling or wild pattern.

How would you style this shirt dress?

Now if I could only fit this DVF dress into my budget!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

urban glam party...

This past Saturday local Je Suis Prest Boutique (JSP) and The Urban Shoe Myth (USM) debuted their holiday wear at their Urban Glam Party!

Upon entering the Saint John Theatre Company's space on Princess Street, the first thing my eyes were drawn to was the amazing decor that had been planned and put together by Design 4 Space. 

There were platform heels and Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling, 
graffiti art dominating the walls, and a hot pink outline for a runway.

There were two tables of delicious desserts prepared by the Bourbon Quarter.

Many lovely items were donated from suppliers' of both stores and be put up for silent auction. Proceeds from the evening are going to the Coverdale Centre for Women.

Nick was making a special candy cane cocktail while DJ La Reine spun hits all night long. 
The beautiful dresses and fancy wear were showcased in two separate runway shows during the evening. All clothing was Je Suis Prest Boutique and the shoes were from Urban Shoe Myth.

Lots of glamourous black with pops of colour, sequins, feminine silhouettes, and eye-catching backs were seen with the dresses. We saw a variance in height for holiday heels, but lots of glitter and even some feathers too!

The crowd watches on with great interest.

(Above): Shoes hanging from the ceiling, pretty cocktails, and Kate using Instagram to document some of the evening!

(Left): Katie & I  |  (Right): Kate & Candice

(Below) Me, Sarah, & Wendy  |  (Left): The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

(Left): Shelly (USM) & Kiera (JSP) pose together while having their photograph taken by Kelly Lawson. (Right): Right after Josh sprayed Adam (Hairacy's), Shelley, and Kiera with the silly string!

Overall it was a great night with a great cause supported. We followed up the party up with dancing the night away at The Canterbury Lounge!

Great news for all party attendees- all the tickets provide as a 20% discount at both Je Suis Prest Boutique and Urban Shoe Myth this week! Was there anything from the fashion show that you had to have? Which dresses and shoes were your absolutely favs? 

Be sure to check out the Facebook page later today for the rest of the pictures I captured from the Urban Glam Party!

Monday, November 21, 2011

pink lemonade margaritas...

Sometimes nothing is better than a Saturday night with your girl friends. Doing your make-up together, sipping on wine or cocktails, and laughing at each other's stories. I've had a lot of fun the last two weekends, having the opportunity to hit the town with some of my favourites.

Pink lemonade + skinny girl margarita= one tasty drink!
I need this Urban Decay palette Katie has.
Arm party!
I never really go anywhere without my camera.
We ended the night with an appetizer and socializing at Britt's pub.

The Outfit  Dress: Jack BB Dakota (Je Suis Prest Boutique) | Wedges: Aldo | Tights: Walmart
Belt: Eddie Bauer | Cuff bracelet: Esquared (Silver Daisy Designs) | Bangles: Aldo | Necklace: H&M
Sweater: Press (Je Suis Prest Boutique)

How was your weekend? My weekend was a blast- double date with friends at a local sushi spot on Friday, the Urban Glam party (featuring new holiday wear from Je Suis Prest Boutique and The Urban Shoe Myth) followed by dancing at the Canterbury, and then coffee and browsing the Christmas flea market yesterday. It's funny how the weekends are supposed to be our down time from the week- but I like to pack mine with as much time with friends as possible!

Stay tuned! Tomorrow the photos from the Urban Glam party will be up on my blog and the Facebook page. Thanks to the girls at Je Suis Prest, Urban Shoe Myth, and Design 4 Space for an amazing time! The added bonus is that proceeds from the evening went to a great cause: The Coverdale Centre, a drop-in centre for women in Saint John providing shelter and case management services to assist in addictions, mental health issues, employment and affordable housing.