Keepin’ it Cozy!

I shop A LOT, I know.  But before I make a purchase,  I always try to make sure I can wear something multiple ways.

If you can’t think of at least two places to wear it, don’t buy it …. is a good rule to follow, I find.

Do you remember this fabulous acid pink dress I bought when AdditionElle opened their new Stockyards location?

Profs II-53Now, that we’re in the depths of January – a pop of hot pink colour is a sure-fire way to lift my mood and spring in my step.

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Wore this dress to the office the other day.  I simply threw on a warm, extra furry, black and white cowl-neck sweater (a gift I got for Xmas) over top of the dress … belted it … and voila!  Winterized and office ready!  Boom!

IMG_6362Belts can make everything better.  Either a skinny belt over a top, sweater or a sash on a wool coat; having something there to define where your waist is makes you look shapelier.  I really am pleased with how it transformed this furry sweater overtop of this dress.IMG_6369

I often pick out my outfits the night before – especially for those days I’m headed into the office.   I cannot tell you how many times I used to not bother, then be in a rush in the morning and just put on the first thing I could find in a hurry.  With a bit of pre-planning you’ll pick something practical, stylish and feel great, rather than rushing and feeling like a hot mess all day!

Plus it gives you time to pick out your accessories — which I had a habit of running out without when I would pick it out in the morning!  I feel naked without earrings and hate looking for the time only to stare at my bare wrist.  **grumble grumble**

A little planning the night before is totally worth the effort friends. 😉

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How I Got The Look: Acid pink swing dress, AdditionElle; Black n’ white furry sweater, LauraPetites; Sliver buckle belt, Reitmans; Booties, Nine West Outlet

What tricks have you been using to keep warm, cozy and cute during the winter months that help you make the most of your current closet offerings? Tell me about them in the Comments Section below.

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Asia: What To Know Before You Go

PPMeow! turned one year old a few weeks ago … and in an effort to make the most of this New Year,  I took a START-STOP-CONTINUE approach to help me focus on what I wanted to accomplish and focus on.

I promised myself to START Shopping Less, to Travel More!  

Well…I’m doing just that friends!!  I’ve taken the bulk of March off work to explore South-East Asia!

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In 2012, I was fortunate enough to finally visit The Motherland (India) …without being limited to strictly visiting one distant relative’s home to another, as I remember doing as a child on our only family trip to Calcutta.   This time I travelled with a gf  — we took 21-days to explore several cities in Northern and Eastern parts of India, which included: Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Jaipur – Pushkar – Udaipur – Goa – Mumbai.  This was the most adventurous trip I had ever taken – complete with 8 near-death experiences.  Click here for a few pics of that fab trip.

That was my first time travelling to Asia as an adult.  And in preparation, I did a bunch pre-trip research at that time.  Research that I needed to refresh myself on as I prepare for this next visit in a couple of months.  So I thought I’d share my tips with y’all in this post 🙂

According to The Rough Guide’s First-Time Asia there are 5 ESSENTIALS to know before you go…

1.  Visas & Boarders

A Visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued. The country issuing the visa typically attaching various conditions of stay, such as the territory covered by the visa, dates of validity, period of stay, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit, etc.   Many Asian countries issue visas free of charge on arrival at major airports and land-boarders. You simply show that your official your passport is valid for at least another six months and that you have a ticket out of the country. India, however, requires visitors to buy a visa in advance before arriving.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.16.32 PMThis table gives a broad outline of visa requirements in Asia, You should confirm the details of a visa requirements for a particular country before travelling as rules at each embassy changes often.   The forms can be lengthy and may require you to hunt down info that you may not know off-hand.  So, best to start the visa process early, if you can.

2.  Booking the Flight

Once you have your visa application, you can now BOOK A FLIGHT.  The travel industry is hugely competitive business so it pay to shop around! talking to a travel agent will help you come up with interesting alternatives within your destination as well.  Some of the sites I’ve had the most luck with are Flight Centre; CheapFlights.ca; and SkyScanner.
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3.  Travel Insurance

Whatever the length of your trip to Asia, it is strongly advised that you arrange travel insurance to cover medial treatment and perhaps the loss of personal possessions. If you get seriously ill or are involved in an accident, your insurance coverage will enable you to get the best care as well as medical evacuation to your home country, if necessary. The insurance industry is also a highly competitive one, so shop around and price compare on websites to help you make your mind up. Also check with your company benefits provider, as well your credit card providers –  there might be some cardholder deals available to you for travel insurance. 😉

4.  Vaccinations

Preparing for a great trip doesn’t just involve packing right, it also involves preparing yourself medically to ensure your travels are healthy and worry-free while you’re there and upon your return.

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This Incredible Map Shows All The Infections That Vaccines Could Have Prevented Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-of-vaccine-preventable-infections-2014-1#ixzz3OrGLkI6n

It is wise to get medical advice as early as possible about which vaccinations you require for your trip as many are given as a course of two or three intervals in order to be effective. You also need to find out early about the type of malaria-preventative medication that is recommended for other areas you are visiting as you may need to start taking tablets in advance of departure.  While your family doctor may offer some injections cheaply or free, you may want to contact a private travel clinic to make sure you get the most specialized information available.

5.  Budget

Last, but certainly not least, is determining a BUDGET.  When planning a big trip like this, everyone’s budget will be different and unique to them.

Now, the Western Dollar goes a pretty long way in Asia.  Here are a few “sample budgets” to help illustrate top-end…mid-range…low-end begets might work out when traveling to different parts of Asia.  Hopefully to give you a better idea of how much things will cost and how much you should expect to be spending on certain things.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.50.03 PMCongratulations —- You are now armed with the essentials to know before you go and travel Asia!!!!

Are any of you thinking of doing any big travel this year? Where are you off too?  Did you find this post helpful as a starting point to getting your travel ducks-in-a-row?  Hope it helped you recognize the importance of planning BEFORE a big trip.  Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

Ooooh…I’m getting excited (and nervous) for MY big South East Asia trip now!!!   I’ll announce the countries I’m planning on visiting this March in my next wanderlust post.  Stay tuned friends. xo

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Little Black Dress #4

Continuing with January’s  Little Black Dress series on the blog today.

If you missed any of the previous LBD’s….click here, here and here.

Today’s LBD is a brand new one I picked up during the holidays when there were crazy sales and deals to be had.

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Photo credit: Val Soo


LBD #3: Sheer Panel Swing Dress from CLEO

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Photo credit: Val Soo

This dress fit me like a glove right off the rack!!!

It’s the perfect length, no hemming required.  The arm holes required no pinning and the neckline didn’t reveal too much cleavage.

Plus, the broad straps easily allow for a regular bra to be worn – #winning 🙂

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Photo credit: Val Soo

Sheer panels seemed to be pretty fashionable this holiday season.  I like how it adds textural interest in a minimalist way to this all-black dress, bringing  lightness and breathability to heavy fabrics in the winter.

I really want to come up with ways to take this frock outside of being just a cocktail dress.  If you’ve got some ideas for how to do it – share them with me friends! 😉

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Photo credit: Val Soo

How I Got The Look:  LBD and jewellery set from Cleo (click here); Wine glossy pumps from BCBG; Sheer hosiery from Dollarama

Do you have a favourite Little Black Dress?  Where’s it from and how to you style it? Tell me your tips and tricks by leaving a comment below.

WANNA see the other LBD’s I’ve talked about so far – click #1, #2 and #3.

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Little Black Dress #3

Continuing with January’s  Little Black Dress week on the blog today.

If you missed any of the previous LBD’s click here:  #1 and #2.  Today’s LBD isn’t completely black I know….but go with me 🙂

I picked it up this Fall at SexyPlus Clothing’s Blogger Soirée   — to see how I styled it for Fall wear on my birthday, click here.

LBD #4: SexyPlus Clothing’s JAX Newsprint

FullSizeRender-5It has been bitterly cold in Toronto.  So keeping warm and cozy has been more important than ever.  Which means a perfect excuse to adorn oneself in faux furs!!!

FullSizeRender-4Regular hosiery options just wasn’t warm enough under this light Fall dress.  So I’m wearing thick leggings with tall boots instead.  Cover up as much of that skin as you can ladies. Instead of going bare-legged, consider wearing tights or thermal leggings  beneath your skirt or dress. Not only does it look more climate-appropriate in formal situations, your legs will remain softer since they won’t be as exposed to the elements. Just like scarves, leggings and tights come in many different varieties, so it is nearly impossible not find a pair that will work with your outfit and mesh with your personality 😉
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How I Got The Look:  LBD from SexyPlus Clothing; Grey fur scarf from Indigo; Black boots from Payless; Black leggings and earrings from Old Navy.

IMG_6301Do you have a favourite Little Black Dress?  Where’s it from and how to you style it? Tell me your tips and tricks by leaving a comment below.

WANNA see the other LBD’s I’ve talked about so far – click here and here.

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Little Black Dress #2

Continuing with  January’s  Little Black Dress  series on the blog today.

Today I took a cheap little summer office dress and transformed it into winter wear ….

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LBD #2: Belted Merona from Target

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This dress is pretty great.  The long silver zipper down the back adds this simple, sexy quality to an otherwise pretty modest dress.  These pictures don’t showcase the large buckle belt that comes with this dress.

My apologies for the poor photos quality in this post – it was pretty dark outside when I remembered to snap pics.  Pardon my winter-bun-headed look ….its the only way to keep my hair from getting crazy static once the parka goes on.

image2-3Here’s a zoomed in look at this fabulous hot pink sweater I picked up on sale at Winners.  It fit nicely under the dress as its quite light-weight and the details up the arms really add a little dazzle to break up this all-black look.
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How I Got The Look:  LBD from Target; Hot pink sweater from Winners; Glossy silver pumps from Payless; Sheer hosiery from Dollarama; Necklace & earring set  from LOFT

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Do you have a favourite Little Black Dress?  Where’s it from and how to you style it? Tell me your tips and tricks by leaving a comment below.

WANNA see the other LBD’s I’ve talked about so far – click here.

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TONI+ Wide Calf Boots

Curvy Canadian Ladies … designer plus size retailer TONI+ now  introduces high style genuine leather European boots for women with wide calves and feet!!!

Just in time for the winter season too! 😉

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 9.21.17 AMTHE PERFECT MEASURE: 

You may think you know your shoe size, but do you truly know how to get the right boot fit for your unique shoe and calf?  TONI+’s directions will help you to properly measure your feet and calves in 3 simple steps:

Step 1:  Length of your foot – Measure the length of your foot

Step 2 – Width of your foot – Measure the width of the widest part of foot (from the ball to just beneath your little toe)

Step 3 – Calfsize – Measure the circumference of the fullest part of your calf

Measure both feet and calves for all 3 steps. It is normal for one foot and calf to be bigger than the other. Always use the larger measurement to gauge your boot size.

TONI+s footwear collection features a stylish 100% Italian leather options ranging from ankle and riding boots.  And with this Personal Fit Code, they will ensure your boots fit perfectly. You can get professionally measured in-store or measure yourself at home using the above steps.

Click here to find a TONI+ location nearest you friends 🙂

My personal favourites are:

 

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Sydney Niada – $275
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Verona Maxima – $410
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Bradford Roxy – $295

Do you struggle to find boots that fit your calves and feet?  Where have you found the best selection and fit? Share with me in the comments below.

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