Daydreaming of Lightweight, Breathable and Trendy Outfits for Summer

On this very cold February morning, I woke up daydreaming about summer to help me beat the cold winter blues.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love winter – because it’s easy to put a stylish look together with loads of layers and cozy fabrics. My hair is always on point and stays where it should, clothes don’t stick to your sweaty body and statement coats are my life!

As I have said before, even though summer is officially my favourite season, it’s not my favourite when it comes to style. But this season,  I am determined to fall in love with summer again and establish a style that would be elegant and effortless, but more importantly, one that would be perfect for those hot sticky summer days.
By taking on a few traditional summer pieces and adding some trendy items, I have compiled a list of fashion pieces I hope to be rocking soon. And if you struggle in summer as much as I do, then you might want to consider these light, breathable and trendy style items as well.Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 7.31.27 AM
Cotton everything!
From cotton sleeved tank tops to cotton shirt dresses, this material is the go-to fabric for those warm summer days. To take the boredom out of the same old cotton pieces however, I have discovered shirt midi dresses with curved hems for an added touch of style and pairing simple cotton shirts with lace shorts for a more elegant weekday look.

Kaftan dresses
More than just beach wear attire, the kaftan dress has now evolved into the perfect dress to wear everywhere from running errands on a Saturday morning to wearing one for a black tie event. The kaftan silhouette is flattering for any body shape and more than that, its light fabric makes it perfect for those warm summer days when we need to cover up certain problem areas on our body.

Midi pleated skirts
When I want to feel at my most elegant, in something that feels light as air, then I take out my pleated midi skirt. This fashion piece is so on trend, it is light and it is a statement piece so you can keep the rest of your look quite simple.

Scalloped edges
I always love investing in summer whites but this season, rather than going for the usual white summer dresses I have chosen ones with scalloped edges to make a more interesting fashion statement. Scalloped edges are huge, Giambattista Valli’s spring summer collection celebrated this whimsy touch and so should you!

The cold shoulder
Showing off your shoulder is another trend that has made a revival. You can rock this trend by investing in some cold shoulder beach cover ups rather than wearing the usual summer dress or T-shirt. I’d wear a sheer cold shoulder cover up over my patterned bikini, showing the bold patterns of Camilla’s swimwear designs.

Light blouses
When I have to go to the office and opt for a more casual style, I go for light coloured blouses that are loose but still elegant and appropriate for the office. With that, I’ll pair it with fun trousers, maybe in pastel colours, to feel light and fresh even in the workplace

Images via @camillawithlove, Instagram.

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My #PinkShirtPromise: Every bully is bullied

Think about it… Every bully is being bullied.
I know this, because I was a victim of both and I hate myself for it.

I hate that I was being laughed at for being chubby, my entire life.
I hate that I did not stand up for myself.
I hate that I took out my anger on others.
I hate that I was a bully.
Maybe these folks have forgiven me, for being a coward and preying on the weak. If not, please take this as my apology.

I think I’m lucky, and got off pretty clean. Unfortunately, lots of victims of bullying don’t. I can’t even imagine what bullying looks like in 2016. Between social media and mobile technology, there are a plethora of weapons available to bullies. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis and 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying. But if we all speak up, we can put an end to this non-sense.

I give you the #PinkShirtPromise campaign, a cause that is very close to my heart. Thanks to Post-it® and Bayshore Shopping Centre, Ottawa will embark on an initiative to end bullying in Canada from February 17-24, 2016.

During that week, Bayshore shoppers are invited to post their personal pledge of kindness to the Pink Shirt Promise installation in centre court, and inspire others to end bullying using the social media hashtag #PinkShirtPromise.

PinkShirtPromise Bayshore Ottawa

For every pledge posted, Bayshore will donate $0.25 to DIFD (Do it for Daren), a youth-driven initiative focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations about youth mental health. By February 24 – Pink Shirt Day – the objective is to have the installation adorned entirely in pink Post-It pledges.

Also, when you post your promise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you get entered for as chance to with an ET Canada Experience, which includes flights for two to Toronto and two nights hotel accommodation, and a $1,500 dollar shopping spree at Bayshore Shopping Centre!

Please join me and spread the love! 

Created by Shaw Communications, #PinkShirtPromise is an initiative for social change in support of the bullying prevention movement in Canada aligned with Pink Shirt Day.

PinkShirtPromise Post-it Pink Bayshore Ottawa End Bullying Ottawa Fashion Blog Mode XLusive

And in case you need a pink shirt, feel free to browse some of these awesome finds!

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Bloggers & Businesses: Ways we can work together

Some of you know that I am a Marketing and Communications professional and am immersed in the Ottawa Networking scene. I love supporting small businesses and only want to see them thrive. What kills me though, is when small business owners are not fully taking advantage of modern opportunities to do business. Specifically, I have noted that Ottawa businesses are skeptical of working with bloggers and have no clue what we do, or what to do with us.  After a few times of having to explain myself and the value of my services, I felt compelled to write a post and help these fellow business owners learn about different roles bloggers can play. I want to show that bloggers are flexible, affordable and are a crucial aspect of getting businesses more exposure online.

Oh, you’re a blogger? What exactly is a blogger?

I am an entrepreneur, just like you! As a digital strategist, I have the knowledge and experience that helps me promote myself (or your stuff!) online. I know how to take advantage of the web and leverage the power of social media to get (your stuff!) noticed (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Think of a blogger as an independent and modern day journalist.

I love to write and share my compelling stories online. In fact, I get paid to write these stories! I am creative, strategic and know how to integrate your products in my everyday life. I am not a model or magazine, I am a stylist which mean I have a voice and will want to choose what I promote. I have loads of people who follow me because they like my style and can relate to my lifestyle. When I talk about new products, ones that I love and endorse, odds are they will like them too! I can offer you a truly targeted audience, which is why it’s crucial that your product is a good fit.

Bloggers offer a new way of advertising; but good bloggers have the skill to do it softly and remain authentic. Bloggers can also be called influencers or brand ambassadors.

I can’t afford it.

Never assume that everything is too expensive. Again, like you, bloggers are running a business and offer a variety of services that can accommodate your budget. Just remember to offer a fair exchange; whether it’s in the form of product or payment.

Also remember that each blogger will have different prices based on their audience size, desire, experience and availability. You will pay more if a blogger has a large following, is not crazy about your product, has been in the game for a while and is extremely busy with bigger fish to fry.

How do I work with you? What services do you offer?

Again, prices may vary from blogger to blogger, but generally, here is what you can expect:

  • Event promotion (FREE)- You can invite bloggers to your event and comp their ticket in exchange for a blog post before or after the event.
  • PR event ($/$$)- You can host an intimate event, exclusively for bloggers, and  have the opportunity to talk about your new business venture or product that you are promoting. Typically, this involves a meal and gift to encourage the bloggers to write about your initiatives.
  • Product reviews (FREE/$)- You can give a blogger free products to review. Only do this if you want authentic and honest feedback for your products.
  • Banner ads ($/$$)- You can pay a blogger to advertise your product or business on their blog.
  • Newsletter or Social Media Mentions ($/$$)- You can pay the blogger to post your product on their newsletter or social media channels like Instagram Facebook Twitter Fitbay Pinterest YouTube, and  LinkedIn.
  • Sponsored blog posts ($$)- Writing takes time, so it will cost more money for a blogger to write about your product. If you want nice photos of your product integrated in the bloggers lifestyle, this may also come at a cost.
  • Brand ambassador ($$$)- Building a longstanding relationship with a blogger and having them represent your brand or use your product exclusively (includes being a spokesperson or doing TV appearances or hosting an event around the blogger).
  • Coaching ($$$$)- Business coaching is your one-on-one opportunity to work with a blogger and learn about digital strategy, marketing and how to blog for your own business.

If you have any more questions, I am happy to answer. Leave them in the comments bellow.

XOX Chantsy

PS- Stay tuned for my “9 Ways to illustrate your brand story: Instagram Workshop” for small business. I’ll be launching this in mid April and I can’t wait!

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