Wednesday, June 29, 2011

dear Coach....

I'd just like to say,

I would love (and be beyond honoured) to be your next guest blogger.....95% of the time I'm carrying around one of your beautiful bags. I have to travel out of province or order online to access your products, but it's worth it. I enjoy the quality of your brand and respect you for embracing and involving bloggers in your creative process. I do blog for myself and as well as a local shopping centre, Brunswick Square, so I am familiar with presenting and working with products from other businesses. Over the last year I've explored my own style and worked on finding my own voice through this blog. I am often fawning over your latest bags and always have a Coach wish-list in the back of my mind (purses and accessories). If you were to consider me as your next guest blogger, I'd love the chance to represent one of my favourite brands!

If you hadn't heard, today is the last day to submit submissions to be considered for a position as Coach's Fall guest blogger. Although there are so many great style and fashion bloggers out there and to put yourself up for consideration you tweet @Coach with the hash tag #CoachBlogger, I thought I'd shout a little love to a favourite brand of mine (whose 25% off invites I always succumb to)!    

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

neon & neutral: behind the scenes...

As I mentioned last week, I've had the pleasure of writing the fashion blog for my favourite shopping centre in the city, Brunswick Square. Last Monday I was scouting out clothing and models for a trend (amateur)photo shoot. The trend I decided to try and capture was "neon and neutrals". I personally haven't put this look together myself, but it's been commonly popping up in some of my favourite fellow bloggers' posts (i.e. Pretty Shiny Sparkly and Atlantic Pacific).

I decided to pull clothing and accessories from a few shops in Brunswick Square (Je Suis Prest Boutique, Baubles, Colwell's Mens, Colwell's Ladies, and Pseudio) to put together a few outfits that demonstrate the neon and neutral trend on a few real-live people! Lyndsay, Doug, and Julia volunteered to be my models! Laura, Chanel make-up artist at Perfumes Plus, lent her skills and time to do make-up. And my friend Allie came and helped me out with her camera and worked it like a pro! (And our other friend Katie came to help out and watch Allie's adorable 6 month old son Klein.)  

Julia checks her jewelry in the mirror at Baubles.
Models (Left to Right): Doug Belding, Julia Higgins, Lyndsay Lovely
Laura Smith does Lyndsay & then Julia's make-up for a natural, warm look.
I try different accessories on Lyndsay and Julia.
Adjusting Julia's outfit during the shoot.

It was a lot of fun to step behind the camera for once and play creative director for an afternoon. I am planning on continuing with blog posts like this for the Brunswick Square Shopaholic- so I'd love to hear what trends you'd want to see me try my hand at putting together!

To check out the finished product on neon and neutral, be sure to check out this week's blog post on Brunswick Square Shopaholic.

Monday, June 27, 2011

cats and dogs...

...well raining them, I mean. That's what happened on Saturday, along with a Starbucks coffee date, followed by shopping uptown with friends. When these photos were taken on the deck later that afternoon, it was pouring...hard! Somehow I always manage to wear the longest jeans I own on wet, puddle days...

The Outfit
  • Jeans: J Brand- Envy (SJ, May '11)
  • Top: Abercrombie & Fitch (Bangor, Aug '07)
  • Wedge sandals: Calvin Klein- Manchester Shoe Salon (SJ,
  • Necklace: H&M (Toronto, Dec '08)
  • Feather earring: Little Burgundy (Montreal, June '10)
  • Leather cuff: ESquared Jewels- Silvery Daisy Designs (SJ, June '11)
  • Purse: Coach (Toronto, Sept '10)

After wearing my Guess jeggings every chance I got this Spring, I decided it was time to bring the real denim back into my wardrobe. I realize I never captured what my shoes like in these photos...refer here. I typically cannot find pants that are long enough. It was after I was lucky to score these J Brands on sale that I realized I needed to wear a 4" heel like these Calvin Klein wedges to not drag my hemline in the dirt! For a girl with a 33-34" inseam, it's a bit unusual!

People may have heard me looking for models last week on Facebook and Twitter for a photoshoot. Last week a couple of volunteers agreed to let me dress them up in the neon and neutral trend for the Brunswick Square fashion blog. Be sure to check that post out here later today and stay tuned for my behind-the-scenes look at that photoshoot here on my own blog tomorrow morning!


Friday, June 24, 2011

3 things: make-up basics

It seems that I'm always runnings late or rushing from one thing to another. I don't always have time to get detailed with my make-up so sometimes I need to prioritize! If I could only pick just 3 things to apply in the morning before I run out the door, I'd have to say these 3 items would be it:

Waterproof Mascara

Long-time wear without the undereye smudges- I always choose a mascara that is waterproof. While I'm not partial to this specific type, Cover Girl's Volume Exact has been the cost-effective choice laying on my dresser lately. 


When your skin is as naturally fair as mine, a little bit of a tan can make a difference! Rimmel's Natural Bronzer is a popular choice among my friends. Under $10 and accessible from almost any drug store, this bronzer comes in a few shade varities, applying fairly and blending fairly evenly. A quick brush across the cheeks, nose, forehead, and under the eyes quickly adds a little colour.


This item may be more of an investment, but it is definitely worth the cost. I've tried many concealers to combat and cover-up my undereye circles and this is my favourite product to date! I've been using Chanel's Lift Lumiere since Laura at Perfumes Plus introduced it to me. Another great aspect- it colour corrects. This eye contour concealer only comes in two shades: light and dark, but they work on a wide variety of skin colours! The product applies as a liquid and goes on smooth, effectively covering the desired area without appearing too thick.

If you had to narrow your make-up bag down to only 3 things, which would you choose?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

florals on harbour passage...

So I made my way along the Harbour Passage at least once before the closed it for the summer (unfortunately).The particular spots in my photos were actually a little off the beaten path so that I wasn't totally consicuous with my tripod and camera. Sometimes it's still a little nerve-wrecking when people wonder what you are doing, posing for photos solo.

Though I've accepted running into those awkward moments from time to time, one thing I've grown a little tired of is my point and shoot camera. At first, I liked it because it allowed me to blend in and not stick out while snapping photos at public events. Now I feel a little silly amongst the big lenses taking serious photos. I know that you can still produce good pictures with an amatear piece of equipment, but after being attached to my camera for over a year now, I'm ready to learn more. That's why I've asked my family for a DSLR for my birthday next month!

The Outfit
  • T-shirt: American Eagle (SJ, Oct '10)
  • Belt: American Eagle (SJ, 6-7 yrs ago)
  • Skirt: H&M (Moncton, April '11)
  • Necklace: Aldo Accessories (Toronto, June '10)
  • Sandals: Steve Madden- The Urban Shoe Myth (SJ, April '11)
  • Earrings: ESquared- Silver Daisy Designs (SJ, June '11)
  • Sweater: American Eagle (SJ, Sept '08)

Now that I'm back from the business of marriage and getting back into blogging, I have some big modifications and improvements I want to make on my blog! Just like summer in Saint John is the season of construction, so will be the case on my blog!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nautical nostalgia...

Who can resist a sale? I'm certainly no exception when it comes to a woman's typical response to the temptation of discounts, especially when it involves one of my favourite stores! A couple of weeks ago, Je Suis Prest Boutique announced a secret 25% off sale to their Facebook followers. Did you get the chance to take advantage of the opportunity? Perhaps use it as an excuse to purchase a new summer dress or a cute top?
I've had my eye on a purple Alternative Apparel hoodie for the last couple of months- and now I happen to be wearing it while typing up this post! (It's so incredibly cozy- I may even love it more than my Lululemon hoodies and am feeling an urge to also get the black or grey one!) I've also heard so much talk about Toms over the last year or so, and with Je Suis Prest now carrying them in stock, I was sold on these nautical blue ones when I put them!
The Outfit
  • Tank top: BB Dakota- Je Suis Prest Boutique (SJ, Feb '10)
  • Cardigan: Joe Fresh Style (SJ, April '11)
  • White crop jeans: iT jeans- Je Suis Prest Boutique (SJ, May '11)
  • Shoes: Toms- Je Suis Prest Boutique (SJ, June '11)
Although I may appear ready to hit the deck for a day of sailing, we actually just went up to Fredericton for my grandmother's 80th birthday and had brunch at Crowne Plaza, followed by hanging out on the back deck of my grandparents' well groomed and gardened back yard.

It seems the nautical look is always finding it's way back into our wardrobes- I even just bought a cute navy blouse last week with tiny anchors on it!


Monday, June 20, 2011

the next level of style...

Since March of this year, I have had the pleasure of writing a blog for my favourite shopping centre in our great little city: Brunswick Square. As you all know from my posts and tweets, I practically live there anyways! Taking on this project has also given me the opportunity to give credit and attention to some of the great stores in Uptown Saint John. To take a look at the blog posts to date, be sure to visit Brunswick Square Shopaholic! New blog posts are featured Monday & today, my post on the Live Life Awards and who was wearing what from Brunswick Square shall be up!

Launching Brunswick Square Shopaholic was just part of Brunswick Square's online make-over. If you haven't seen their new website, click here to pop on over and take a look! Pulse Communications was responsible for Brunswick Square's new virtual look while Hemmings House shot the photographs for the website revival. In the video below, get a behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot that took place throughout the shopping centre and featured fashion from some of my favourite stores within: from Hemmings House Pictures on Vimeo

If you haven't connected with them already, be sure to follow Brunswick Square on Twitter (@BSQCentre) and Facebook!

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 things: where our wedding photos were taken

Now that life is starting to- relatively- go back to normal and I'm back to blogging, I'm also bringing my Friday feature back into the picture. To bring this week's blog posts to a close and kick off the weekend, I'm going to share with you 3 of the spots we had our wedding photos taken on our big day by photographer Lynette Mason (Mason Photography).

Since we had such an early ceremony at 1pm that Saturday afternoon, that left for plenty of time for photos before the reception at 5:30pm. I was really pleased to say, we actually made it back in plenty of time to greet our guests as they came in the door at the Lily Lake Pavillon- the location where we hosted our dinner and dance.

Here's where we were after the vows and prior to the big party:

1. Outside of Our Lady of the Assumption (Catholic Church, Lower West Saint John)

Photos: Right- Mason Photography; Left- My friend Katie

The photographer also snapped some group photos outside of the church following the ceremony.

2. Martello Tower (Lower West Saint John)

Both photos: Mason Photography

Also taken at this location: family shots at the base of the hill & group photos in front of the actual tower.

3. Uptown Saint John (around Kings Square & random alley off Charlotte Street)

Both photos: Mason Photography

We got some really fun photos uptown: walking along the street, huddled in the alley, climbing on top of stone walls & ledges!

My dress, veil, and hair accessory came from Lockhart's (Sussex). Hair was by Reflections Day Spa, bouquets and boutineers from Sandra Miller Floral Designs (Quispamsis), and make-up was done by Lindsay Thorne Makeup!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you Monday!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

wedding hairdo...

For my wedding, I wanted to go with a hairstyle that reflected my everyday style: something that was simple, wavy, and looked effortless but well-composed. Initially I thought about just wearing my hair down as per usual, but then reconsidered when I found an updo that I actually liked. The hairstyle I chose for my wedding day was inspired by updos previously worn by Carrie Underhill and Taylor Swift: a curly, loosely formed side-bun.

Over the last few weeks I found myself at Reflections in Heather's chair: firstly for highlights and then the trial updo the week after, a few days prior to the big day. (I also went the week following the wedding to chop off my hair to the shorter bob I'm currently sporting.)

We were wondering prior to the trial if I would actually have enough hair to accomplish the look I was going for. I'm fairly easy to please, so I was really just looking for a loose interpretation of the pictures I had brought in. I'd been growing my hair out for the past 6 to 8 months, but it seems that sometimes hair doesn't grow fast enough! Randomly, the receptionist randomly found hair extensions the salon had previously had for sale and amazingly they just happened to match my hair!

Below is a shot, on the trial day, hair post- hot rollers with extensions added in.
Heather begins pinning curls to the side.
Then come the accessories!
(Bird cage veil and feather hair fascinator, both from Heavenly Gowns.)
Finished product (on trial day)!
The final look for the wedding:
Photos from Mason Photography

Thank you to Heather for doing such a terrific job with my hair (and for coming in an hour early the day of the wedding)! Coming up tomorrow: a sample of photos from our wedding day taken by friends and family- and a complete look at what I wore on my wedding day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

live life awards...

Last Thursday, Uptown Saint John hosted their annual Live Life Awards at the elegant White Room. The vision, as developed by artistic director Judith Mackin, principle of punch inside, was fashion meets design meets theatre. An evening of glam, all participants and guests of the event were dressed in varying combinations of black, white and metallic. On display mid-stage was a tableau vivant of Saint John personalities: frozen on spot with the occasional direction to alter their pose.

The crowd mingles prior to the award show's official start.

(Left to Right): Peter Smit, Tanya Suzanne Hyde, Lauchlin Ough

(In black): Steph Downey (K100)

(In black pants suit): Melissa Spangenberg

(In silver sequin dress): Apryll Stansfield

(Left to Right): Jesse Vergen, Candice McLean, Josh Middleton

(Left to Right): Jeff Roach, Manamia Fukuda

Here's living proof that the sheer maxi trend isn't just a urban myth worn only by fashion bloggers!

Beauties Nadine Parsons (Envy) & Christy Reardon

These two gorgeous redheads are the creatives behind Esquared Jewels: Emily Keller & Erin Caines

Myself & now-husband Ben Donaldson
(Wedding photos to be up on the blog this week!)

That afternoon, I decided to shead my locks post-wedding for an asymmertical inverted bob-
time to shakes things up a bit! My hair was cut & styled by Heather Keenan at Reflections Day Spa.

The Outfit
  • Dress: Je Suis Prest Boutique (SJ, April '11)
  • Necklace: Silver Daisy Designs (SJ, March '11)
  • Shoes: Aldo (ordered online, May '11)
  • Leather cuff: Esquare Jewels, Silver Daisy Designs (SJ, June '11)
  • Earrings: Silver Daisy Designs (SJ, March '11)
  • Wristlet- Coach (Freeport, Nov '10)

A truly fashion-forward scene, Judith Mackin awed us down to the details! A red carpet was rolled out front of the beautiful stone building and I've never seen Saint Johners look so good! Photographers Kelly Lawson and Sean McGrath were on hand to capture every moment on scene- cannot wait to see their photos from the event! The models' hair and make-up were amazing- fabulous work of Adam Donnelly (Hairacy's) & Carrie McGrath (Persona Bella).

What's next Saint John? As I've been saying, here's another demonstration that Saint John has really embraced style and fashion in the last year or so and it's tangible. You can see it in what people are wearing, the new venues that are popping up, the sort of events that are being held, the conversations being held: there's a strong, cultivating interest. And I have to say, among many other reasons, I love my city for it. Saint John may be small, but it's got culture and charm: and there's always something happening. This past Thursday evening it was the Live Life Awards!