Confessions of an Ottawa blogger

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I don’t know about you, but I love a good secret. So today, I am sharing a fun post, featuring my fellow Ottawa bloggers! I asked them to share a little secret and make a confession! Let’s see what they had to say…

“Every time I travel, I treat myself to a designer splurge purchase that I usually budget for. I bought a limited edition Hermès scarf at Harrod’s after having too much champagne at lunch that was a total impulse buy. I’m too ashamed to say how much it cost. I was overcome with guilt, especially after my husband gave me the stink eye for the rest of the afternoon that I returned it about an hour later. The salesperson who helped me looked at me like I was a piece of garbage. LOL! Lesson learned: do not shop while under the influence.” Dominique www.styledomination.com

“I always say I’m going to make my pay checks last and that I won’t spend any extra money on clothing or accessories unless I need it! Or that I’ll re-wear what I already have. But every time I get paid I seem to forget my promise to myself and I wind up buying pieces that leave me eating Cheerios for almost every meal! Oops 🙈” – Alexa www.thepolishedpretties.com

“I don’t tell my fiancé what I spend on clothing, makeup, etc. And when he does ask I either tell him “it was on sale” or “it was only $20!” Boys just don’t understand these things! Lol” – Jenn www.loafersandpolish.com

“I buy a white t shirt almost every time I shop.” -Jane www.dalybeauty.ca

“I plan my vacation outfits in advance but am often up super late packing at the last minute. One time, I pulled an all nighter before my morning flight just picking out damn clothes!” -Amanda www.acoest1984.com

“Everytime I go out shopping I need to remind myself over and over again “no, I don’t need another LBD or other black clothing item” otherwise I’m sure my entire wardrobe would be black clothes with colorful accessories and shoes.” – Stephanie www.stephaniewhite.style

“I love fashion but I’m addicted to yoga pants. I probably have 30 pairs, maybe more. I’ve got long ones, short ones, 80s stirrups, black, turquoise, mesh, neon pink, graffiti, the Williamsburg Bridge, mountains… I even have a pair with the solar system. I love to wear them to work out or to think about working out (#NetflixAndChill).” -Amy www.amyin613.com

“I have one too many items in my closet with tags still on them that I’ve never worn. Some have been in there so long, I can’t even picture myself ever wearing them now. I should probably be trying to sell them :S” -Coralie www.coraliescloset.com

“I am addicted to sunglasses. Every time I go shopping I am looking at the sunglass section and usually walking out with a pair…or three! I have a drawer dedicated to all my sunglasses…..I think I need an intervention!” -Kay www.countrymeetcity.wordpress.com

Ok, so I guess now you are waiting for mine… I have a few!

I am a true shopaholic. I have taken over 2.5 closets in my house and have 2 chest of drawers literally bursting at the seams. I am never satisfied with the amount of clothes, bags and shoes I own and I simply want more of everything! I am an emotional shopper. Lately, I have been on a rampage, and it needs to stop. I will definitely consider this for my 2016 New Years Resolution (coming soon!). But most of all, I am tired. I am tired of looking for room to stash all my stuff!

Also, this quote is 100% accurate depiction of my life.

MY GREATEST FEAR IS THAT WHEN I DIE MY HUSBAND WILL SELL MY STUFF FOR WHAT I TOLD HIM THEY COST

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Product Review: GotyGoty Workout Set

Well, this is me in my new workout gear. It’s called GotyGoty Hotwear and they are, well, hot!

I was asked to do a review on this new workout gear and to provide my honest feedback, so here goes. 

I have been using the top and pants (both size L) for almost 2 weeks. I have done yoga and circuit training in them.

The material of the clothes are quite interesting. When I opened the package, my first impression was that it felt like a scuba diving suit. It’s a little bit more stiff, thick and more noisy (material swishes around when you move) than I am used too. When you put on the clothes, they instantly heat up. I would say this is the best type of clothing to be working out in during cold weather. My personal trainer told me that the extra heat was really good for my back too (I have back muscle problems).

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The clothes feel really good on. They are tight but not restrictive. They hold you in really nicely and to be honest, it’s very flattering on me. I do feel like I’m in a scuba suit though! 

So the material that heats up, is meant to make you sweat more, and in turn make you lose weight faster while you’re working out. I have only been using the clothes for two weeks, and between Christmas lunches, chocolates and cookies, I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to say that I have lost weight because of these clothes. However, I can attest 100% that these clothes make you sweat! By the end of your workout they are soaking wet. Obviously the more intense your workout the more sweat you generate.

As far as weight loss is concerned when it comes to over-sweating, personally I think you’re just losing your extra water weight. Keeping your body warm while you work out is really great for flexibility, but I’m not convinced that it will make me lose more weight, burn the fat or generate muscle. But if it does, I’m not complaining! It’s similar to hot yoga. The heat makes me feel really flexible, which I love! Someone once told me though, that over-sweating during hot yoga was almost an illusion of working hard. He said, in fact, you should be sweating that much, when you’re doing regular yoga, for a true rigorous yoga workout.

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I would definitely recommend these clothes for someone who has knee injuries or needs that heat to create the extra flexibility. I’d also recommend the GotyGoty system to folks who workout in the cold, or run outside in the winter.  At about $30 per item (currently on sale), it’s a great deal! Also, it’s Canadian and love that!

I give this product a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars.

I’ll keep wearing my outfit and let you know if I see any results in the new year!

In case you missed it, over the last year I have lost almost 20 pounds and have been working out consistently with a personal trainer. I have a whole “transformation” series of posts on the blog. You may find them motivating and inspiring, especially if you’re considering adopting a healthier lifestyle in the new year…. of course!

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Cost-per-wear: How good is your Fashion Math

Today’s lesson in math will show you how to justify expensive items to help you build your dream capsule wardrobe. Remember the essence of this exercise is to invest in classic, high quality items that will/should last you a long time. Again, we want to lean towards becoming stylish not trendy!

The Fashion Math
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This is quite basic math. To help you find your Cost-Per-Wear, take the total price of your favourite item, and divide it by the number of times you will wear it. The ultimate goal here is to lower the CPW. The more times you wear your item, the higher the price can be! Take a really expensive  pair of jeans, for example. Jeans are worn so many times throughout the year, that you can easily rationalize spending between $200-$300 on a good quality, well fitted pair of denim jeans. If you end up wearing these jeans every day for a year, they will have paid for themselves! What a deal.

Sometimes we buy into the trends of fast fashion and get lured into purchasing lots of pieces that we don’t end up wearing, or we spend a ton of money on one not-so-key item. When you use the CPW as a common indicator, you can quickly see how you probably should not have purchased that $1000 ball gown, you will never wear again! (CPW= $1000… Consider Rent Frock Repeat, you crazy girl! What’s wrong with you?)

A few things to keep in mind when you are calculating CPW:

  • Durability- don’t sacrifice on the price! Invest in leather shoes and bags, they get the most wear and tear. I cringe when I see fake leather or plastic purses deteriorating.
  • Quality vs Quantity- buy nice things, just less of them.
  • Functionality- Do not compromise when it comes to functionality. Invest in warm, weatherproof boots and coats. Splurge on well-made and supportive heels that you will wear all the time.

Lastly, I want to close with the value of thrift shopping. This is an excellent way to splurge on things you don’t want to pay full price for. Maybe it’s a season too late, but who really cares! Paying less also means you can buy stuff that is outside your ideal “capsule wardrobe” collection. This is also when you can have a little fun and go outside your comfort zone.

Here are a few items that yield a low CPW… depending on your daily habits! What do you think of these price points? Sorry for all the black… it’s seems to be my go-to this season.

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Paige skinny jeans • Paige • $507.02
Lord & Taylor Wrist Length Knit Cuff Leather Gloves • $40
Hudson’S Bay Company 100% Cashmere Scarf • HBC • $120
Merrell Women’s Decora Sonata Waterproof Winter Boot Brown 8.5 M US • Merrell • $169.99
La Canadienne Womens Mazy Knee-High Boot,Black,10 M US • La Canadienne • $274.63
Caley-F5 Large Black Mesenger Bag • Mackage • $595
Kay-F5 Long Black Winter Down Coat With Fur Hood • Mackage • $795
Pierre Hardy Black Suede Ultime Pumps • Pierre Hardy • $455
Ann Marino by Bettye Muller Fleetwood Booties • Bettye Muller • $130.30

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What’s a capsule wardrobe and why you need one

I am a part of a vast network of bloggers in the Ottawa area. It’s a very supportive community. We try to get together on a monthly basis, and everyone gets their turn to host. We take part in charitable causes, we hash out business ideas and most of all, we vent about the #firstworldproblems of being a blogger.

This week we had our Christmas party meetup at Two Six [Ate}, on Preston Street. They kindly hosted our gang in their event space upstairs. The food was spectacular. I forgot how delicious that place was. I have to admit, I used to go more often when it first opened.

Anyhow, I was sitting beside Flic Taylor of loveagoodstripe.com. She is a self-confessed shopaholic attempting to build a capsule wardrobe. I loved how she defined her vision of a capsule wardrobe. I am paraphrasing here, but (in her lovely british accent)she said something along the lines of “a capsule wardrobe shouldn’t look the same for everyone. It’s not about everyone having black pumps, black trousers with a camel coat. It’s about finding the right pieces to build an ideal capsule collection for yourself. A great bowler hat and leather motorcycle jacket would be fundamental in my capsule wardrobe.” In essence, not all styles share the same essentials!

Back it up, what exactly is a capsule wardrobe? Let me wiki that for you.

Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.[1] This idea was popularised by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.[2]

So here in lies the problem: I am not only a shopaholic, but also a fashion chameleon. Capsule wardrobe equals impossibe. My style is, literally, not having to stick to one! I dress based on my mood, what my day looks like, what inspired me that day and the overall vibes of where I am headed. I have an overabundance of clothes, which I partly blame for having a very conservative corporate job by day and being a creative social fashion butterfly by night. I could try really hard to find a style that works for both, but I love me some classic corporate atire. Think Rachel Zane in Suits, #goals.

I also find the waste and pollution brought on by fast fashion, a little difficult to swallow. Building a capsule collection can play a huge role in sustainable fashion. It’s a hard balance between investing in classic essentials (a.k.a. clothes that will last you a long time), keeping up with trends to stay relevant, and squirrelling enough money away to pay the bills.

The Prophecy-1

“The Prophesy” is a series of photographs by photographer Fabrice Monteiro that shines light on the problem of pollution in Africa, yet offers a message of hope.

A great resource for sustainable fashion in Canada, is Ottawa’s own Malorie Bertrand. She has many great suggestions on building a simple, effective and sustainable capsule collection, if that is the direction you prefer heading. She also has a few exciting things up her sleeve, so make sure you follow along!

I think we can all use a little lesson in building our own Capsule wardrobe. So, here is my attempt at one! I think I have way more than I need, but it’s a start. What do you think? Is there anything missing? What would you swap?

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Lord & Taylor Leopard Print Scarf • $28.80

Knit Wrap Cardigan • Dex • $165

Diane Von Furstenberg Leopard Calf Hair and Leather Gloves • $298

August Hats Felt Large Fedora • $46.14

Amazon Collection 18k Yellow Gold 5mm Ball Stud Earrings • $65

Daniel Wellington Classy Sheffield 34mm Goldplated Watch • $265

T By Alexander Wang Black Scoopneck T-shirt • Alexander Wang • $90

Karen Kane V-Neck Lace Dress • Karen Kane • $186.79

Ivanka Trump Abstract Floral Blouse • Ivanka Trump • $66.75

Faux-Leather Hem Full Skirt • $115.99

Majestic Filatures turtle neck sweater • Majestic Filatures • $176.24

Mes Demoiselles ‘Field’ cable knit sweater • Mes Demoiselles • $823.91

Hue Python Faux Leather Ponte Leggings • Hue • $69.50

Trish-F5 Long Ink Winter Down Coat With Fur Hood • Mackage • $950

Pajar Alice Faux Fur Winter Boots • Pajar • $168

Lacoste Womens White Ramer LCR2 Canvas Sneakers-UK 3 • Lacoste • $110.18

Rag & Bone ‘Brando’ t-shirt • Rag and Bone • $110

Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Jeans Gr. 25 • Paige • $395

Vince Camuto Snake Point Toe Pumps • Vince Camuto • $88–131

Vince Camuto Raylan- Suede & Leather Point Toe Bootie • Vince Camuto • $173.74

Dav Festival Prep • $98

Marc By Marc Jacobs ‘New Too Hot To Handle’ hobo tote • Marc by Marc Jacobs • $672.08

Chanel Vintage ‘2.55’ shoulder bag • Chanel • $9,236

Burberry London Virgin Wool Trench Coat with Cashmere Gr. 8 • Burberry • $2,095

Simplicity® Unisex Winter Wool Cashmere Feel Fibers Scarf w/ Tassel, Light Grey • Simplicity • $38.99

Jenna Biker Jacket • $196

Wool Blend Shawl Collar Wrap Coat • Le Château • $225

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