shop my closet

In previous times, you may have heard how I've hit up a local flea-market with other fashion-loving ladies to resell our previously loved garments in one big sale. It's been an excellent way to second-hand shop and thrift from other known closets and familiar friends.

I've been toying with the idea of a closet shop on this blog for some time now and on Friday I'll be launching a Shop My Closet page!

I'll be posting gently-worn clothing, shoes, and accessories from my own wardrobe. I've decided to part ways with many of these items after a seasonal clean-out of my wardrobe but want to find them a good home! I'll be shipping within Canada and to the US.

Here's a little preview of what you'll find...

And that's just a small sample. Be sure to check out the launch on Friday, here on my blog! Feel free to  spread the word and mention it to your friends!


outfit sneak peaks!

I'm happy to say that I'm finally getting back into the swing of posting my outfit photos. It's pretty sad that I haven't posted an outfit in over a month, but with the lack of daylight and cold weather over the last few months I was feeling pretty uninspired. Work has been busy in recent times so that I'm worn out by the time I get home and the call of my sweat pants is just too alluring to freshen my make-up and get out there to snap my photos at the end of the day. 

But the last few days we've been hit with an amazing preview of summer weather- I took the opportunity to wear a few new items and suddenly I was inspired to get back in the swing of outfit photos! Here are some of the newer pieces in my closet that you'll be seeing me wear soon!

Actually, I'm heading out the door with my camera in hand right now!


what's coming up

For the last little while, and especially since I gave up Maritime Shopaholic, I've really been focusing on blogging about topics I'm passionate about or really interested in. With my previous blog, it ended up being less about enjoying the process of blogging and more about putting out content for other people. To let myself get caught up in that hamster wheel- that was my misguided mistake. I had to remember that I wanted to please people with my content, but that had to include me! I had to stop and remind myself that the person I blog for, first and most importantly, is myself.

June 2011

I think every blogger needs to "find their niche". As a blogger it's important to find that content formula that works for you. Naturally the person who needs to love your blog the most is you, but remaining relevant among a sea of many in the blogosphere is still incredibly important.

Group photo with other Saint John & Fredericton bloggers- September 2011

Back when I started this blog, I was facing my own crossroad in life in which I had to decide what was really important to me and what I considered my priorities in life. During this time I decided that I wanted to tweak my content and produce a better, well-rounded medium for expressing my personal style and interest in fashion. I want to publish blog posts that allow me to share my interests and interact more with readers and fellow bloggers interested in the same things. I really started to consider and realign my priorities as a blogger when I said good bye to my previous blog.

March 2011

So with Atlantic Style Diaries, I've been working to put my best foot forward and improve my content.
Here are some of the topics you can look forward to on my blog:
  • fashion editorials- relaying current info and trends with a point of view
  • lifestyle posts-  fun things or ideas I want to share that other women find interesting
  • skin care and beauty- products I've tried, research and info I've come across
  • DIY projects- splurging less and creating things I can make myself
  • home decor- personal style can also be reflected in your environment
  • outfit posts- warmer weather and longer days= outfit photos coming up again soon!
  • blogging tips- what I've learned along the way and things I'm still discovering

Think about those really great conversations with your girl friends- whether it was about an awesome purchase, why it's so hard to find pants that fit properly, trying to find an effect skin care regime, or struggling with maintaining a healthy body image. That's the type of blog I want to produce.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. If you read this blog and haven't commented before, please feel free to just say "hi"! I really do want to know more about my readers so we can make these topics and blog posts more of a conversation.

(Comments are something we bloggers really love and look forward to!)


trends for fall '12

Following wrap up of multiple fashion weeks last month, I shared my favourite Fall 2012 runway looks- and combinations I'd like to recreate come fall- in my last post. Today I wanted to make a few predictions on fall trends. I've been been pinning select looks from different designer collections recently shown in New York, London, Paris and Milan for ideas.

Since designer wear is coveted and owning couture isn't accessible or affordable to many fashion-lovers (such as yours truly), elements of what the heavy hitters of design and fashion put on the runway is often imitated in later-produced apparel and accessories. Essentially, these fashion houses are the early trend setters other brands look to for inspiration and what's going to be relevant in a coming season. I'm always interested in knowing in advance what's fashionably relevant for my wardrobe in an upcoming season.

Here's some of the new and continuing trends I'm guessing we'll see come September:

1. Peplum- this "flounce" of material, usually extending from the waist and covering the hips is already popping up in spring apparel and current blogger outfits. Many designers incorporated this feminine element into their own design for Fall 2012.

Peplum (Left to Right): Lanvin, Stella McCartney, DKNY, Christian Dior

2. High Collars- raising the neckline, many designers incorporated detached collars in extended the neckline in the garment to make a statement. After popularity with detached collars and collar necklaces in previous seasons, this seems to be the new take on emphasizing the collar. I'm no fan of the turtleneck, but I would definitely do a detached fur collar or a high, structured neck on a coat or vest.    

High Collars (Left to Right): Fendi, DKNY, Jill Stuart, Givenchy

3. Belted Coats- it's nothing new to have your coat or trench come with a matching tie or belt but many of the waist cinchers on recent runways seem to make a statement on their own. It looks like grabbing a colourful, metallic or decorated belt to pull around your waist, over your coat might be a new twist for fall and winter. This makes fantastic sense in a climate like Atlantic Canada where we often have to cover up our favourite pieces with jackets and coats come the colder seasons. Why not get fancy on the outside?

(Left to Right): Calvin Klein, Burberry Prosorum, Missoni, Chanel

4. Leather Accents- Leather pants, dresses, and coats are certainly relevant in women's attire as of current, but it seems that smaller additions of leather- like just the sleeves of top or a panel in the middle of the torso will likely be showing up in our fall wardrobe selections. My personal favourite is the idea of a black or camel blazer with leather sleeves!

(Left to Right): DKNY, Christian Dior, Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Roy

5. Velvet- velvet skirts, pants, and blazers were popular among a number of designer collections. This luxe, soft material is something I've been waiting to see more of. I wanted a pair of velvet pants or leggings last year but didn't see anything that was just right. This is a fabric that's tricky- if the outfit isn't styled right, the velvet could make the outfit look more tacky than fashionable. But it's an idea I'm definitely open to! 

(Left to Right): Burberry Prorsum, Rebecca Taylor, Gucci, Rachel Zoe

6. Monochromatic Black- or monochromatic outfits in any colour really. We're been seeing monochromatic suits as well as same-colour pairings with tops and bottoms this spring in brights and pastels. Looks like we may see the same trend come fall- with black and bright hues. As dull as a completely black outfit sounds, the key appears to be mixing in different textures!

(Left to Right): Lanvin, J.Mendel, Donna Karan, Michael Kors

You might also wonder: what (that's already in my closet) will be still relevant come fall?

There are many already hanging in your closet or wardrobe that will still have your outfits on-trend come fall. It can be stressful- especially as a blogger who posts your outfits- to keep up with the revolving door of trends. I'd go broke if I bought even a fraction of everything that ends up on my wish-list. The way to keep items relevant is finding a new way to wear them or a new way to accessorize them. And you're pretty safe with some go-to classic garments that never go out of style (i.e. the white tee, a black blazer, etc.) 

According to the runway, I'm predicting that Fall 2012 fashion will still feature these elements: 

  • Faux Fur
  • Gold Glam- gold accessories, gold sequins, gold hardware: they've all been popular through the fall into winter this year. That gold clutch or sequin skirt you've loved will likely still be a go-to piece! Gold trims and materials seem to outnumber silver by far when it came to metallic touches on the runway. 

(Left to Right): Tory Burch, Rachel Zoe, Elie Tahari, Erin by Erin Fetherston

  • Bold, Bright Hues
  • Colour Blocking- it seemed to be a big hit and really hit mainstream last year. Pairing bright, solid colours that either complement or standout from each other have presented some of the most interesting ensembles visually.  

(Left to Right): Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Rachel Roy, BCBG Max Azria

What are your thoughts on my predictions? What are some of the trends you're betting (or hoping!) we'll see come Fall? 


favourite looks for fall 2012 RTW

I know, some of you might find talking about fall a little depressing! But since the weeks of fashion shows spanning New York, London, Paris and Milan have finally wrapped up I wanted to share some of my favourite fall looks. After all, designer runway collections are the early trendsetters for what's to hit the market!

Burberry Prorsum
London Fashion Week

What I love about this:  dressy + feminine versus the casual + edgy elements
I want to style and combine an outfit just like this.

Burberry Prorsum
London Fashion Week

What I love about this: the velvet skirt belted combined with a striped top and statement necklace
I like the idea of a casual striped tee combined with luxe velvet.

New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: monochromatic, peplum skirt, leather sleeves, high collar
I loved almost all of the brilliant DKNY runway looks.

Michael Kors
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: chunk knit sweater over glam or pretty skirt
A chunky knit sweater is on my fall list now.

Christian Dior
Paris Fashion Week

What I love about this: ballerina-inspired shoes with ankle straps, long tutu-like skirt with knit sweater
I absolutely adored this collection- I had so many favourites.

Rachel Zoe
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: monochromatic brown, the matching knits
On the to-do list for fall: layering knits!

Tory Burch
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: blues/teals matched with this forest green hue
Tory Burch is one of my favourite designers.

Rebecca Minkoff
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: flattering cut for many body figures, embellished shoulders
Rebecca Minkoff is another of my favourite designers.

J Mendel
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: structured dress, leather accents, tweed-like print, long leather gloves
This dress would be easily incorporated into my wardrobe.

BCBG Max Azaria
New York Fashion Week

What I love about this: black sheer dress, bright colour-blocking stripes
Color blocking still seems to be relevant for fall.

What were your favourite designer collections?

Monday I'm posting my trend-predictions for Fall 2012 
(and then, I promise, I'll get back to focusing on spring fashion!)


cinnamon chips & fruit salsa

I'm faced with that daunting question every-time there's a shower, potluck or party to go to- what do I make?!

I'm more of a "grab and go" sort of girl when it comes to food so I don't spend much time in the kitchen unless it's for a special occasion. One of my New Year's resolutions was to make more meals at home and to try new recipes. I've been eating at home more often, which is a definite penny saver and I've been pinning lots of ideas, but I haven't been as great on the follow through....yet.

Last month I went to a friend's baby shower and made this combo of cinammon pita chips and fruit salsa. My friend Pam had brought them to my house previously and they were a memorable hit! They went over well with the baby shower crowd as well.

Here's how to make both the chips and the salsa:

Cinnamon Chips

You're going to need the following ingredients:
                                     8-10 flour tortillas
                                     Butter-flavoured Pam (cooking spray)

First, I sprinkled a generous mixture of cinnamon and sugar onto a large plate. 
(You'll need less cinnamon than sugar to get the right ratio.)

Spray one side of the tortilla with the butter flavoured Pam 
(much easier and quicker than buttering each tortilla).  

Place the side covered with Pam on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Ensure the tortilla is well-covered and brush off any excess cinnamon sugar if necessary.
I did some tortillas with one side covered with the cinnamon sugar 
and some I did with both sides covered.
I found that you only really need to do one side. 
The two-sized chips were a bit more messy to handle and if you only coat one side,
it saves calories!

Place 1-2 tortillas at a time on a baking sheet 
and put in the oven for roughly 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

After letting them cool for a few moments, cut them into triangle slices with a pizza cutter.

Store them in the container of your choice. 
Let them completely cool before covering them up and putting them away- otherwise they'll go soft.
I transported my chips in the bag the tortillas originally came in.

Fruit Salsa

I followed this recipe, but just switched a few things.
You'll need the following ingredients:

                                                     2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
                                                     1 golden delicious or red gala apple
                                                     1lb of strawberries 
                                                     8 oz of blueberries
                                                     3 tablespoons of any flavour fruit preserve (or just use jam!)

Another option you could add:
8 oz of raspberries

Dice up all your fruit into wee little pieces. 
The blueberries were on the larger size, so we cut them in half .
(I had my husband's help on this while I was making the cinnamon chips)
Combine all the fruit pieces into a large bowl.

In the photos above, that would be B's hands chopping up the kiwi.
The second photo is what the mixture looks like with all the fruit in the bowl.

As I mentioned above, the original recipe suggested adding fruit preserve, 
but all I had in the fridge was Smucker's strawberry jam.
So I scooped 2-3 tablespoons in with the fruit and mixed with 2 spoons
(tossing it like a salad until evenly mixed in).

I was warned by my friend Pam that the salsa can get a little runny 
so I put the fruit salsa in a strainer (white) over another large bowl (green).
I left it there to drain for 10-20 minutes before packing the salsa up.
This just got rid of the extra juice so it would be easier/less messy to scoop with the chips.

And there you have it! Easy as that.
The above photo is the cinnamon chips and fruit salsa on the table 
with the other goodies at the baby shower. 

Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to make this.
I think the whole task (chips and salsa) would take about 1.5 hours.
Thankfully I had B's help otherwise I'd never have made it to that shower on time!


glossybox review

In December I was contacted by GlossyBox to let me know they were launching their product in Canada. GlossyBox, which originated in Germany and is now available to 20 countries, is a service that sends a monthly packaged box with 5 travel size beauty and cosmetic samples for you to try. Glossybox kindly offered to send me a sample box to try out!

Late January I received the February Glossybox in the mail. The packaging was so pretty: from the shipping box down to the delicate pink ribbon tied around the tissue-enclosed products. For $15 a month (and that does include the shipping costs), I'd honestly say you get a pretty good deal if the products are this good every month. The Essie nail polish alone would be $10 plus tax if purchased on it's own. And that night cream- if you were to buy the full-size 50ml container- isn't cheap at $160 a pop.

Here's the scoop on all the samples I received inside the February Glossybox

1. Ahava Skincare Mineral Hand Cream 20 mL

The cream does have a pretty, but subtle floral scent and leaves your hands feeling soft. However, given that I mostly work in scent-free environments, this cream is a little too perfume-y for me to use on a daily basis. It leaves your hands feeling like there's a powder finish on your palms and it will fully absorb- but not instantly. I'll continue to use this sample at home but likely stick with the more cost-effective hand creams I currently use in the future.

Cost: $22 for 100mL bottle

2. Skin Care Moisturizing Stick by Elizabeth Grant

This was probably, and unexpectedly, my favourite item out of the box. It's essentially a luxe lip chap in lipstick form! It definitely works well at moisturizing the lips time of the year! It has a light cantaloupe scent/flavour. I'd probably pay the price for this product if I could find it locally.

Cost: 5g (regular tube) for $12

3. Essie Nail Enamel- "Neo Whimsical"

Essie is already one of my favourite nail polish brands. I liked that this shade went on thicker than I expected- you could probably get sufficient nail coverage with 2 coats. It's also the perfect soft pink that any woman should have in her nail collection.

Cost: 13.8mL (regular sized nail polish bottle) for $9.99

4. Live in Love from Oscar de la Renta 50mL

Love the scent and it absorb fairly well- even on the hands. It's a perfumed lotion (the perfume was launched in Fall 2011) so I couldn't wear it to work, but I'll definitely continue to use it outside of that time. 

Cost: 200ml for $54

5. Prevage Night Anti-Aging Restorative Cream 7mL

I've been considering adding a night cream to my skin care regime, but I haven't been entirely sure where to start and what product to choose. Just as I check out the ingredient list on all my grocery items before tossing them into the cart,  I took a peak at ingredients in this product too.There were over 50 names of compounds and chemicals I didn't know- may of which I couldn't pronounce without trying to sound them out.

So I took to Google in search of reviews on this night cream. Many rate the product very positively with many women reporting they actually saw results from using this cream over time. The cons seemed to be possible skin irritation. I took a peak Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist- an administrative list of restricted and prohibited ingredients in cosmetics. It seemed that none of the products are on this list (although having to check over 50 substances, human error on my part is possible). I do wonder the impact of long-term exposure to all these compounds.

Cost: 50mL for $160 

6. Beauty So Clean Sanitizing Wipes & Mist 8mL & 4 wipes

Bonus item! Apparently this doesn't always happen, but sometimes they'll sneak in a 6th trial product. I was intrigued by this sanitizing spray and wipes for make-up. A little more than a year ago, I didn't even know you could try and sanitize cosmetic products. You simply spray or wipe the product and within 10 seconds it claims to be germ free. I'm not sure it would help me feel comfortable about using store testers, but it's something to consider!

Cost: 48 pack of wipes for $12.50 or 125mL for $15.99

It was fun to receive this beautifully packaged surprise from GlossyBox. At $15 a month, if you have room in your budget, I'd definitely recommend it. You definitely get your bang for your buck. Consider this: when you compare it to the regular prices of these products, those sample amounts (which are not for resale) in February's box would be worth almost $65!

It would be fun to get a different surprise package each month! Some of GlossyBox's global partners include brands such as OPI, NARS, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden, Biotherm and Estee Lauder.

For more details on GlossyBox and how the process works, click here

If you're from the US and interested in signing up for this service, click here.

* I did receive the February GlossyBox as a sample for free. However there was no stipulation within the offer that I had to blog about the contents. I decided to share this service with my readers because I enjoyed the experience and the quality of the products. This is not a paid or sponsored post.


new business cards

So it's about time I got business cards for this blog, especially with the East Coast Fashion Bloggers (#ECFB) meet-up/conference happening next month in Halifax. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting some of the lovelies I've had the chance to get to know through their blogs and twitter- and I'm looking forward to getting together with some of the gals I don't get to see as often! We've come to discover there is just under 30 of us [fashion bloggers] in the Atlantic Provinces.

Also, it's just a good idea to have a card on you if your blog happens to pop up in any conversation (rather than having them memorize the URL to go check out later). My preference for business cards has always been Moo.com- it's pretty easy to design your cards, the product is good quality, and the price is fair. Typically you have to wait a few weeks for shipping (at least to Canada), so it's a good idea to get them before you realize you wish they were in your hand- unless you want to pay the steeper price for a rush order.

With Moo.com, you can either upload your own images/designs or pick a favourite from their many templates. I'm leaning toward a custom design, but I'm not sure how I feel about the drafts I've come up with below. I want the card design to have a minimalistic feel but still catch your eye for being unique.

I'd really love some honest feedback on the custom options below. These are just the cover, the other side would provide my name, blog URL, and contact info.

Please let me know which is your favourite in the comments below! Or, if you have a suggestion to modify and improve the options above, I'd also really love to hear your thoughts!

If you're looking to design your own business cards, for blogging or otherwise, I'd definitely recommend checking out Moo.com.

*This is not a sponsored post for Moo.com but my just personal opinion and preference for this company. I've ordered cards from them in the past and have been really happy with the results. Links to Moo.com are referral links- by clicking them and then choosing to purchase your business cards from this company, I would be compensated with a modest credit towards their products.