2011 Resolutions in Review

I initially intended to share my 2012 resolutions for the New Year, but had a better thought and decided to push that post to next week. I crossed my mind that before we move forward, sometimes we need to look back. Sometimes it's best to see if we already accomplished previously goals before taking on new ones. So that's why I'm pulling out the resolutions I made a year ago, at the beginning of 2011.

In the past year I've learned quite a bit from my readers (while still just writing Maritime Shopaholic- before the big divide)- an important part of writing (anything, really) is knowing your audience. While I focused inward on my blog and didn't end up achieving goals such as producing a piece for Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB)- as I continue to learn more, who knows! Perhaps I'll have something to share and submit to IFB this year!

I've learned a lot from having the chance to look back at the way I organize and put my wardrobe together on a regular basis. Like anyone else, my style has changed over time and the way I put together an outfit has completely changed since I started blogging almost 2 years ago.

The only personal style goal I didn't really break ground on last year was my dressing room, but I did collect a few pieces that will be used once I get the project under way. Next week I plan to share my hope for the spare room we otherwise don't have a lot of use for at this time. (I promised and agreed with B that if I get to redo this room, he gets majority say in how we decorate downstairs once we finish the basement!)

I hope everyone has a fun or exciting kick off to 2012! I'll be attending a party uptown with some friends and I'm still trying to come up with the perfect party outfit, but I'm fairly certain I'll use this as another opportunity to break out the sequins again! What do you have planned for New Year's Eve this weekend? 


style in review: 2011

It's always hard to choose favourites among my wardrobe, so it's not surprising when I have a hard time choosing my favourite outfits over the last year! I started out 2011 cataloging my outfits on Maritime Shopaholic, before shifting my style blog to Atlantic Style Diaries. A lot of things have changed in the last calendar year, and in many ways for the better! 

The above photos were taken with my Lumix point-and-shoot pre-July. At that point I had decided to upgrade and ask for a digital SLR for my birthday. I wanted to learn more about photography and taking better outfit shots. In the beginning of August, I picked out a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens (came with) and an additional 50mm f/1.8D lens. 

The above shoots were all taken with my SLR and among my favourite outfits from August until November. It's at this time I decided to split my blog into two and carry my personal style posts exclusively over to this blog.

The outfits above are my favourites I've posted since starting Atlantic Style Diaries in late November. Lately B takes most of my photos, but sometimes I have to rely on my tripod to help me out. I`m currently reading a book on digital SLR camera and photography for some additional self-taught knowledge. I received Photoshop Elements from my parents this Christmas and have a hand-held remote for my camera on my wishlist of things to buy (along with a flash softener or external flash) in the New Year!

I`ve continuously made efforts to use a variety of backdrops for my photos (which can be challenging in the winter months)! I`ve learned the importance of natural light and how/when to use my flash. 

In the past year, I`ve experimented more about accessorizing and breaking those long-held rules (i.e. no blue with black or brown with black). My basic style rule is to always wear at least three items- to have at least one additional layer beyond the pants and top- whether that be a belt, sweater, vest, or blazer. My style identity is often expressed in my favourite accessories- especially statement necklaces. I`ve learned more about only buying quality heels that will be comfortable enough to wear more often. 

How has your style changed this year?

Tomorrow I'll taking a look back at my resolutions for 2011 and setting new style and blogging goals for 2012.


winterfresh nails

1. Beige Petale (Chanel)
2. The Black Knight (Butter London)
3. Cherry Crush (Revlon)
4. Fair Game (Essie)
5. Mad as a Hatter (OPI)
6. My Lifesaver (Nicole by OPI)
7. Mademoiselle (Essie)
10. Do You Lilac It? (OPI)
11. Cocktail Bling (Essie)
12. Case Study (Essie)  

Over the last week and 1/2 I asked readers to tell me their favourite nail polish as of late (in order to enter to win that bottle of Chanel Peridot). Above are some of the popular choices this season!

My favourites lately (over the holiday season) have been OPI's Holiday Glow, Gettin' Miss Piggy with It, and Bring on the Bling. I've also favoured Chanel's Coromandel, Graphite, and Gold Lame.



holiday cheer!

Wrapping presents the day before Christmas Eve
Tuxedo cake...evil and irresistable
We had a white Christmas afterall!
Ornaments on my parents' Christmas tree
Endless supply of sweets (full day sugar rush)
Gifts under the tree
The darling advent calendar on my nephew's wall
Opening presents Christmas morning
Wonderful sparkly shoes from one of my sisters
I guess my Starbucks addiction is no secret!
Blogging tool: gift from my parents

Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays) from me to you! I hope you had a wonderful day and are enjoying the company of loved ones- I know I have been! Did Santa find you?

Aaaand the winner of the Peridot Giveaway is......Gillian G! Congratulations!


happy holidays

The Outfit  Skirt (similar): Silvian Heach (Je Suis Prest Boutique) | Sweater (similar): Abercrombie & Fitch
Tank top: American Eagle | Jacket (similar): Winners | Necklace: Swarovski
Belt (similar): Chinese Laundry | Boots (similar): Town Shoes | Purse: Coach | Hosiery: Walmart

I'll admit I've been a little obsessed this sequin skirt! I attempted to dress it down this week to go Christmas shopping- finally I'm all done (for the most part). Now to get wrapping! Just when it seemed we were out of luck for a white Christmas, I woke up this morning to find the grown covered in a blanket of snow! (Now just hoping it stays put for the next 2 days!)

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas! Hope you were good and that Santa finds you ;)


birthday parties

The Outfit  Top: Motel Rocks (Silver Daisy Designs) | Necklace: Joe Fresh
Faux leather leggings (similar): Hue (Je Suis Prest Boutique) | Blazer c/o Boa 
Shoes (similar): Steve Madden (The Urban Shoe Myth) | Coat: Joe Fresh

This is an outfit I wore recently on a Saturday night out which included a stop by B's uncle's birthday party and then an uptown stop at Happinez for my friend Saba's birthday. While these pants aren't my first choice for a family event, I was really wanted to wear them out later that evening! 

I love the pop of turquoise from this top - which, if you can believe, is actually supposed to be a dress! Would it have really been too much to ask for a few more inches of fabric so that you wouldn't offend (i.e. flash) people in it? I run into this problem sometimes- despite not being overly tall at 5'7", my legs are what give me height and leave me having to change some mini dresses into tunics.


Holiday Style

I love the holidays: the season with many parties and reasons to gather with friends and family. One aspect I love about the Christmas season is all the opportunities to dress up! This is a great chance to sport pretty sequins, festive jewellery, and take a lap or 2 in your favourite heels.

Holiday Style

1. Hair tutorial from The Beauty Department
2. Button London "Knees Up"
3. Jessica McClintock sequin pouch clutch (similar: Rachel Zoe, Steve Madden, Santi
4. Belle Noel star stud earrings 
5. Elizabeth and James Mabel dress
6. ASOS sequin bow tie (similar: River Island, Target
7. MICHAEL Michael Kors sequin skirt (in silver here and here)
8. J.Crew bubble necklace
9. Steve Madden Russhh pumps

I'm slowly growing my hair out, so one of my boards on Pinterest is purely dedicated to the fun styles I want to try once I have enough hair to do anything with! Right now, I'm loving The Beauty Department- a blog brimming with nail and hair DIYs and inspiration (one of the 3 girls who writes this blog is Lauren Conrad).

It seems that this season I just can't get enough of all the fantastic sequin options. I've been drawn to rich red nail polishes (especially when glitter is involved!) I like the idea of a fun bow tie (possibly left undone) around a the collar of a crisp white blouse. The above J.Crew necklace comes in black as well as red- I adore both options. And with all the jewel tones and metallics to sport over the holidays, often the best choice will be your favourite pair of neutral pumps- I recommend a platform for the extra height without the extra pain.

What have been your favourite pieces to wear over the holidays?


holiday sequins

Shlomit Ofir earrings I won a previous giveaway on Kate's blog.

The Outfit  Dress: Lady Dutch (Je Suis Prest Boutique) | Necklaces: Joe Fresh | Tights: Winners
Shoes (similar): Steve Madden (The Urban Shoe Myth) | Earrings: Shlomit Ofir

This is the outfit I recently wore to a Christmas party. I really need to invest in an external flash. Straight on flash is never flattering. Good quality daylight is hard to come by this time of year! If I manage to find time during the day to take my outfit photos, more times than not, the weather isn't exactly cooperative- especially when you have to take the time to set up and use the tripod and timer. I'd love to hear suggestions for sheltered (low traffic) locations with sufficient daylight. I only made the exception to use my living room wall this time while I have our Christmas tree to use as a pretty backdrop! 

Fellow bloggers leaving in cold climates, what are your strategies for getting outfit photos accomplished? 


digital recap (3.0)

Highlights of last week captured via snapshots from my Blackberry and Nikon.

A glass of wine to accompany dinner with Kate, Candice,
Kiera and Barb last week.

Caramel jello shots I made inspired served at our Christmas Party
(inspiration from Pinterest).
Pina Colada cupcake from Piece O' Cake.

A sneak peek of our Christmas tree.

Festive nail polish combo I sported last week on my fingers.

B & I at our Christmas party Saturday.

Have you entered the Chanel Peridot Giveaway yet? Contest closes this Friday!


NYE attire

Although the Christmas season is still in swing with holiday parties, it never hurts to plan ahead when it comes to kick off of the new year. A fabulous outfit is a must for New Year's Eve and if you happen to be attending a frock-worthy event, here are some of the dresses I would love to wear!

What are your New Year's plans? 

It seems I have yet to stumble upon a great party or event happening among my friends or in this city... I would love an excuse to glam up and hit the town!


Peridot Giveaway

My favourite nail polish, despite the fact that it can be a little pricey, is definitely Chanel. I find the price, at the very least, does reflect the quality: I usually only need one coat and it typically lasts much longer than other polishes. I'm always excited for their new fall collection- there is usually at least one or two nail colours I fall in love with. And Chanel is always a trendsetter for products- every year the competition in known to follow in Chanel's footsteps, trying to replicate their colours. Last year, from the Khaki collection, it was Khaki Vert I was coveting. This fall I had to have both Peridot and Graphite. Now I can't wait for the new colours in January!

Recently, a second bottle of Peridot came into my possession. Now there is no way I'll go through 2 bottles, so  I thought it would be a perfect thing to gift to one of my readers!

To enter to win a bottle of Chanel's Peridot nail polish, you must leave a comment below telling me what is your favourite nail polish colour is right now (include the brand if you can).

To earn additional entries, you can:

(+1) Follow Atlantic Style Diaries on Bloglovin':  bloglovin

(+1) Follow Atlantic Style Diaries via Google Friends Connect:   

(+1) Follow me on Twitter:  

(+1) Tweet about this giveaway :

Please leave a separate comment below for each entry to be counted. You can earn up to 5 entries in this giveaway! Giveaway closes 10pm AST on Friday, December 23.


military chic

The Outfit: Shirt: Mango | Dress: Jack (Je Suis Prest Boutique) | Necklace: Aldo Accessories
Belt: American Eagle | Leggings: C'est Moi (Je Suis Prest Boutique)
Booties: Michael Kors (The Urban Shoe Myth)

Find online:  dress, shoes

With the days of cooler weather, comes the necessity of layering. By putting a military shirt over this sleeveless dress, it is now can be worn as a multi-seasonal garment. Some prints and colours should clearly be packed away for the winter (I put mine in Rubbermaid tubs in the basement), but there are some pieces that could transcend seasons if only they were thicker or had longer sleeves- that's where layering comes in. Layering to create different looks with your clothing not only allows you to create the illusion that there is more to a modest wardrobe, but also helps to decrease cost-per-wear of your garments! (You can create more looks out of your closet and save your pennies!)

Look for another great giveaway coming up on the blog tomorrow! I'll give you a hint: no one can resist Chanel ;)