#NSale: Pics from the dressing room of the Nordstrom Ottawa Anniversary Sale

From now til August 8, the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (#NSale) should be on your Ottawa to-do list! But of course, that’s only if you’re looking for NEW, never seen before, fall items at discount price.

I was invited for a peruse on Saturday, and decided to share some behind-the-scene pics on my Facebook page, because the quality didn’t seem good enough for my blog. Apparently, you all could care less about the quality…. you just wanted to see more pics of me in the changeroom!!! I felt like a digital barbie model (and I kind of like it! hahaha).

Here are some pics of my makeover in the beauty department and some terrible selfie pics of me modelling different outfits in my badly lit change room!

Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Dry Bar
Dry Bar at Nordstrom is an exclusive Blow Dry Bar product line. These products are made to make your blow out last longer while making your hair feel and look so fresh & so clean!
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Freckle station MAC
OMG! The highlight of my day… FRECKLES!! This is the MAC freckle station.
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Makeover
Voila! Me with my La Mer facial, Chanel makeup, Dry Bar blow out and MAC freckles! I mean…. this picture exudes summer!!!
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Off the shoulder chambray
Outfit 1- Over the shoulder denim top
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Outfit 1
Outfit 2- Short dress with beige Lucky brand booties (I bought these booties!)
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Outfit Business Casual
Outfit 3- Striped skirt, white top and army green moto jacket. With these pointy Cole hand snake skin flats, I can be a bit edgy at work!
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Outfit Casual Friday
Outfit 4- This outfit screams SUNDAY DINNER WITH THE FAM! These Rag & Bone Boyfriend jeans are da bomb!
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Outfit Dolce Vita over the knee boots
Outfit 5- This t-shirt dress with cold shoulders and bell sleeves gave me life! But my heart was set on these over-the-knee Dolce Vita boots. I am going back for these puppies and I don’t care who knows it!
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Outfit Work dress
Outfit 6- Burgundy shift dress with pointed toe Cole Hand snake skin flats. Another edgy work outfit.
Nordstrom #NSale Ottawa Fashion Blog Shopping- Suede Moto jacket Adidas top
Outfit 7- COOL MOM ALERT! This was my favourite look! The suede moto jacket is all the rage, and I totally get why. But it was the last one, and size Large was a bit too snug. I bought this Adidas shirt to add a little “athleisure” in my life.

Things I would have bought if I had more money 

Or you can call this my birthday wish list! 

rebecca minkoff vanity saddle bag in black suede

Why are you still reading this post? You think these clothes are going to be here forever? Go! Now! Go!
If I can’t convince you, then maybe this will…

Six things you’ll regret not know about Nordstrom

  1. They have AMAZING top of the line customer service, like true old-school department store quality!
  2. They have a solid return policy, so you can shop with confidence.
  3. They have a wicked points program.
  4. Don’t restrict yourself to their online shop, there is so much more in store!
  5. Their shoe, handbag and accessories departments are not to be messed with. Lots of great selection and variety of brands and price points.
  6. Their PLUS SIZE selection is off the hook ??
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Crushing the Urban Juice Press’ 2-day Kickstarter Cleanse

The truth is I didn’t. And I am so embarrassed of my story.

Urban Juice Press, Ottawa’s premier juicing company asked me to try out their beginner juice cleanse detox program called The 2-Day Kickstarter. I was like, “you bet, I’d love to try this, bring on the juice!”. I mean, the juices are delicious, fresh, organic, raw and sourced locally. You can’t get any healthier than that. I eat really well generally, and felt I could use a little boost to cleanse away my bad summer habits.

Urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Parkdale Food Blogurban juice press cleanse Ottawa Food Blog urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Food blogger

I started my cleanse on a hot Friday morning. I had the day off, I was going to take it easy. I had 9 juices to drink, and felt like it would be plenty. I started this whole thing with an eager, positive and open-minded spirit. I mean what can go wrong? The instructions said that I would be irritable and have a slight headache (not me! I’m strong).

These juices look so yummy! Can I just start already?!

Because I had 9 drinks a day, I wrote up a schedule to ration them off throughout the day. Drinking fluids is not the same as chewing on food. Personally, I feel like it’s more difficult to tell when you’re actually full or weather you have consumed too much fluids. I felt like the schedule would help me pace myself and make sure I have enough to consume all day. It’s really all just a mind game, and your weapon is will power.

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog
Early morning start to the day with a Skin Tonic!

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog detox
Refreshing morning snack!

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog blogger
This is lunch! A thick, creamy and filling smoothy loaded with matcha green tea flavours! Tastes like green tea ice-cream to me!
All that to say, breakfast, lunch and my afternoon snacks were seamless. But at 4 pm and 7 out of 9 bottles in, I hit a wall.

Crash and burn. It’s dinner time, and I don’t want to make supper for the family. So, I sent my husband and son off to eat pizza, while I had a nap to ward off my migraine. I had lots of water all day, what is going on with me? Even after my nap, my head was killing me. I was nauseous and couldn’t stand the sight of putting any more fluids in me. That’s it, I’m cheating. I munched on half a head of raw cauliflower… still I felt sick. Then I called Michael “GET ME PIZZA, NOW!!!” Sure enough a few minutes after the pizza, I started feeling better. But then, I felt like a failure.

I can’t believe my body did not tolerate juicing. I have gone hours without eating on busy work days and have felt fine. Some are saying it’s caffeine withdrawal, but I chalk it up to hyponatremia: over hydration. The reason I know this, is because I rarely drink water. I know it’s a bad habit, but I have to force myself to have at least one glass a day. That Friday, I had 7 x 250 ml of juices plus another 3 x 250 ml of water, that’s a total of 2.5 litres! That’s a lot of liquids for someone who barely drinks water. I am no doctor (although I am a Biochemistry student with a Science degree!), but the symptoms of hyponatremia were enough to convince me. The reason I felt better after the pizza, could be because I was replenishing my electrolytes with the salty pizza.

The next day, I decided not to continue with the juice cleanse, and instead gave the drinks to my son and husband. They loved them! I had a fairly light caloric day, not very hungry overall, but man was I feeling light and flat!

How to do a juice cleanse, properly.

The moral of this story is, I love Urban Juice Press, and my failure has nothing to do with their product. Trust me, otherwise I would not be writing this post. The goal of my post is to give you a few pointers on how you can survive a juice cleanse, and crush it every time.

  1. Try a pre-cleanse before you start your cleanse. This means drinking plenty of water (with lemon), eating whole organic fruits and vegetables that are uncooked.
  2. Cut processed foods, sugar, alcohol and coffee at least three days before.
  3. Get lots of sleep.
  4. Be in a restful state (be alone if you can, no children or partner to distract or irritate you).
  5. Have plenty of things to do to keep your hands and mind busy (run errands, get a massage, go window shopping).
  6. Keep your physical activity light (yoga, walking, stretching).
  7. Have a support system, a buddy who can guide you through it. Preferably, someone who has done a cleanse in the past.
  8. Do it when you’re ready and if you fail, try try again!
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Diner en Blanc Ottawa: All-White Menu inspired by Metro

As promised in my Diner en Blanc Ottawa post, I finally had a chance to do my groceries and prepare some of the dishes that were on my inspirational all-white menu. Typical me, I just can’t stick to any recipes, not even my own. So here is my disclaimer, front-and-centre: I went a bit off course! It turns out, my own menu ideas inspired me to think outside the box, and stay inside the season!

Since delicious food is at the centre of Diner en Blanc, this is what my original menu looked like:

White menu ideas for Diner en Blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog


Brie cheese with baguette, Deviled egg whites filled with garlic goat cheese, Crackers and white bean dip, Salted Popcorn, Cauliflower, mushroom, radish and white asparagus with tzatziki


Cold cream of leek soup, Chicken & Penne in Alfredo, Bocconcini & béchamel pizza, Roasted cauliflower and Parmesan crust, and Potato Salad


Vanilla cupcakes, White chocolate covered bananas, Powdered donuts, Sugar cookies, Vanilla Macarons, Lemon cheese cake sprinkled with coconut shavings

Do you remember a while back, when I attended the most amazing dinner hosted by Metro Ontario and Jessica Mulroney? Well, Metro really impressed me that night, and I knew I wanted to work with them. Metro is a main sponsor of Diner en Blanc this year, so creating this post using Metro ingredients couldn’t be a better fit.

I finally had the chance to pop into my local Metro (Elmvale), after they completed all the renovations (as promised at the event). WOW! What a difference. It’s an entirely new vibe. The layout hasn’t really changed, but it now has a fresh, much-needed facelift. Everything just looks more appetizing. The renos seem to have impacted the staff too, they just seemed more friendly, in a better mood and really helpful. Honestly, it was a great shopping experience. I picked up most of the ingredients (some of which were on sale) for my all-white menu, and was lucky to find fresh local veggies like cauliflower (perfect!). I also found my white roses on sale!

Baguette & Brie

Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea baguette and brie

This one is a Parisian classic and no-brainer. Baguette and brie is easy to pack, makes little to no mess and should be simple to polish off! I bought Metro’s Parisian style baguette and tried the St-Albert brie, because, well, you gotta keep it local folks!

Crudités blanc & Tzatziki

Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea crudite with tzatziki

This is where you can have fun and go off-road if you wish! I used endive, button mushrooms and cauliflower that I purchased at Metro. I also had loads of white zucchini in my garden, so I chopped some of those too. I couldn’t find white asparagus ( most likely not in season) or lobok radish. The light Summer Fresh Tzatziki was on sale! PS- it’s really good!

White Naan Pizza & Bocconcini

Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea naan pizza and mushroom 2 Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea naan pizza and mushroom Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea naan pizza and mushroom 3

I found these tiny naan breads and made a quick pizza using Tres Stelle bocconcini and white button mushrooms (both on sale!). I added some curry and fresh garden basil to mine, and  my son Victor ate the plain one for dinner tonight.

Powdered Donuts & Popcorn

Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea donuts and cheese popcorn Diner en blanc Ottawa Fashion Blog White dinner menu idea donuts and cheese popcorn 2

I love how these photos turned out, so gourmand and delish! I usually don’t like powdered donuts, but these particular ones were so fresh and moist. They were also on sale! The popcorn is White Cheddar Skinny Pop which was… you guessed it, on sale! Seriously, I was lucky. I sprinkled some extra confectionary sugar on the donuts, and some got on the cheesy popcorn… OMG! I think I just invented the a new Chicago style popcorn. I’ll call this one Ontario Style 😉

At the end of the day, when you’re packing your meals for Diner en Blanc Ottawa , make sure you bring enough to keep you full, and something that packs easily. You can use containers like mason jars that can double as serving ware. They can also dress a table and will do a great job at holding liquids. By adding a little something to your table, like flowers and a killer outfit, you can make an ordinary moment, truly extraordinary!

Although the food doesn’t have to be white, sometimes it’s nice to go all-out and stick to a specific theme. You know, placing limitations and constraints on ourselves makes us more creative! But seriously, don’t look at this as extra work. It’s your chance to be part of a spectacular event in Ottawa and your opportunity to bring it to the next level with creative décor, gourmet food and beautiful clothes, while celebrating with close friends (and making new ones!) all in an incredible secret setting. This is what Diner en Blanc is truly about – an experience you will never forget.

Regardless, Metro is here to help us all re-create the magic of Diner en Blanc, even if we chose to stay at home. (BUT REALLY, PLEASE DON’T!)

I hope my all-white menu ideas inspire your meal for Diner en Blanc, and if they do, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

A big thank you to Metro Ontario who supported this blog post.

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Transformation: Feeling blue this summer

If you’ve only been reading my blog recently, you may have missed the entire part where I wrote about my weight loss journey. The reason I don’t talk about it anymore is because, well, things are not going as well as they used to. I don’t exercise like I used to, I gained a bit of weight this winter while on vacation, and it all just escalated from there. Yes, I love food! And no, I don’t have an eating disorder and I am not obsessed with my weight, it’s just that I am the strongest and best shape of my life (and on a good day, the lightest I’ve been in a while!). But today, I am scared. I don’t want to lose it all, over some sweet desserts or a few too many drinks. I made a promise to myself that I can NOT go backwards. I have updated all my closet with new clothes in smaller sizes. It’s just not happening.

The problem is summer and it’s tempting parties. The problem is that I am tired and overwhelmed. The problem is that I have a 3 year old who is turning into a demon. The problem is that I am dealing with some health issues. The problem is that I love blogging and it’s taking over my time and energy. Notice, how I am really good at excuses and can convince myself of anything. I have to stop.

I have to stop being so negative and so hard on myself and start practicing what I preach! I need to remind myself of where I was and how good I used to feel. I need to be myself again!
So, the following is an open letter that I am writing to myself (as prescribed by my personal trainer- thanks Tina!)

Hey Chants!

What’s up girl? How’s it going? I know your stomach pains are getting worse and Victor is turning into the devil and giving you a hard time, but don’t worry, it will pass. Think of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished in the last few years. You are super strong, you’re managing your shoulder and back pain like a boss, you’re blogging career is exploding and your loving family is there to support you. Sure, you started indulging a little bit more lately, and slacked on your lunch-hour workouts. Big deal, we’re human!

I noticed you’re wearing that blue and white dress today, and I wanted to point something out to you, something that I came across on the internet. Remember this photo? Man, that was a while back. This was taken before you had Victor. I mean, your makeup was on point, but girl… I know you were hurting inside. This was the biggest you have ever been. I know you were dealing with a recent miscarriage and maybe over doing it on the “treats”.

Blue stripe dress before

But look at you now! You have a chin, cheek bones and shoulders! Don’t forget how hard you have worked to get here. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just schedule you’re workouts and start cooking with the veggies that are coming out from the garden. Carve out some “Chantsy” time and take care of yourself. You look amazing!

Blue stripe dress after

XOX Chantsy

PS- You’re dress is too big for you now, give it a new home!

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