Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking Fashion PR with Young PR Pros

Earlier this month I had the privilege and opportunity to collaborate with Kristine Simpson and Julia Kent of Young PR Pros Podcasts. These two lovely ladies have created a series of PR related podcasts that is appropriately targeted towards young PR pros (or the young at heart) and offer a variety of tips, advice and information for current, past and future PR professionals.  Now, that being said, I am not quite yet a PR professional (I'm in my last year of university at the University of Ottawa), so I was extremely honoured (and nervous) to be doing a podcast myself. Me!? Who the heck would be interested in what I have to say? (Apparently all you readers are so THANK YOU)

When Kristine asked me what topic I had in mind, I wasn't sure what to respond. Being merely a student I don't really consider myself an "expert" or "professional" in any field or topic just yet. I mean my full time job is to learn! So, I cautiously through out "fashion PR" expecting to maybe get a "well that isn't overly practical" or "did you have any other ideas?" At least it was a topic I was passionate about. Surprisingly, Kristine liked the idea so I ran with that.

Check out my attempt here: Young PR Pros: Episode #24 – behind the scenes of fashion PR

Also, check out the fashion PR blog I talk about, PR Couture, for great info about the fashion PR industry, as well as internship opportunities.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Place d'Orleans grants every girl's wish...a SHOP OFF!

As many of you already know, I was participating in the Place d'Orleans Vlogger search and thanks to all of your votes I made it as a top 10 finalist! Thank you to everyone who voted and my apologies to everyone that I relentlessly harassed. So, I was a finalist, now what? Well, today, September 16th 2012, all of us finalists were summoned to Place d'Orleans for a final shop off which would determine the winner. Each of us was given $200 dollars in gift cards and an hour and half to spend it! Think it sounds easy? Not so much! We were given a criteria of finding four major categories. We had to find the "it" item for fall for colour, pattern, texture and shape.

Although I did not win, I had a fabulous time spending the money on fall fashions and meeting bubbling bloggers alike. It was beyond lovely to finally meet fierce Marcia of Marcia B Creative, sweet Emily of Tin Foil Tiaras and elegant Nini of The Fine Balance in person. If you have read my blog before you have surely heard me rave about meeting Twitter friends in real life at various other Ottawa events, and well this one was no exception! These ladies were every bit as fabulous as I expected them to be. Social media is great and all, but I'm an old fashioned gal and nothing beats that face to face connection that we so often disregard in today's technological age.

So, enough of my blah blah, here are the goods!

First stop: Dynamite

This black wax pants are the perfect staple for fall and a great starter piece for any outfit. They will literally go with everything and rough it up a little. They were $44.90

I LOVE bows. I am a self proclaimed girly girl and bows are a constant source of weakness for me, so I just couldn't say no to these darling delights from Dynamite. They came in a pack of 2, 1 burgundy and one black for $16.90  During the presentation of my goodies the burgundy bow actually flew across the stage! Dynamite was a good sport and quickly exchanged it for a brand spanking new one!

Next stop, Urban Planet

I got both of these blouses for 12 dollars EACH! Craziness. I have been looking for a peplum shirt for forever, and this ruby red one fits the bill perfectly. Leopard print is everywhere this fall. This sheer blouse combines the trendy leopard with a tie front and sheer chiffon material. 

Up next, the great Canadian Jacob

Polka dots are another huge trend this fall and I picked up this cute high necked blouse for $49.00.

Bows, again! I told you how much I loved bows and I was not kidding. This necklace was just $19.90. 

Finally, I hit up American Eagle Outfitters

I had actually been eyeing this lace, peter pan collar shirt for quite some time now, so I was overjoyed to actually be able to get it! Granny chic is back in style and the lace and wider neck allow this blouse to be more chic than granny!

Overall, I had a wonderful time. Place d'Orleans really knows how to show a gal a good time! It was a great opportunity to not only meet fellow fashionista bloggers and vloggers, but to shop locally which I think is extremely important. Place d'Orleans has a lot more to offer than one might think and I think its fantastic to have events like this in our backyard! 

I would also like to congratulate the winner, Amanda! Be sure to check out her vlogs for Place d'Orleans this autumn. 

A huge thank you to Place d'Orleans for hosting this event! I've got a brand new back to school wardrobe and can proudly say I didn't spend a cent! This blog is supposed to be about affordable fashion ideas, how much more affordable can you get than that?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New York state of shopping

New York City. The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps. Whatever you want to call it, I was lucky enough to call it home for 4 days last week.  The Black Sheep Fashion's creative director Jess, and PR director Katherine and I visited NYC for fashion week and for the short four days that we were there, we managed to acquire four weeks of stories. Now I'm not going to spill the (entire) beans just yet about everything that happened in NY, but I would like to get back to basics here. This blog was started about fashion and style and as of late I have drifted a bit away from that. So, lets get back on track and I'm going to share with you guys my BEST buy of NYC!

I didn't get around to doing too much shopping, we were much too busy but this is probably for the best for my wallet. What I did pick up in the small window we had for shopping were great, affordable buys. New York is amazing for shopping, but not only for pricey, designer gear, but for fun basics as well. Both the Forever 21 and H&M floors were four floors each. FOUR! That is absolutely insane.  If you can't find anything in those four floors, there is seriously something wrong with you!  I picked up two dresses at Forever 21, one tank at H&M and a pair of shoes.

The dresses were a impulse buy. I was on the phone with my boyfriend and was stressed out about everything (we were there to help out a designer with his fashion show) and he told me "Babe, I want you to have fun tonight. Please promise me you will go out and do something fun, I mean you are in New York!" So heeding his advice, I went and had fun the best way I knew how (shopping)...twice! I would like to justify this buy by 1) explaining the amazing versatilities of the dresses and 2) telling you how much they cost. One was a pink cocktail dress with a sweetheart neckline and subtle monochromatic polka dot print. Doesn't it sound darling? Well, it was. I just wore it to the Rip the Fab Lane : I AM FASHION event last night and received a multitude of compliments on it. I then basked in the fact that I could say "Oh, this little thing? I just bought it in New York."

The second dress was a mere 19.80$. Oh, another amazing thing about shopping in NY. NO TAX! Outstanding. Apparently there isn't tax on clothing or it is just already added, so the price you see is actually the price you pay. Being Canadian, I am not used to that at all but love it! This next dress is perfect for fall. It is classic black, and a classic shape, but the thicker material and brown stripe with a belt make it perfect for the colder temperatures. This pic is with Marco Maranghello of John Barrett Salon. Fue un gusto conocerte!

The H&M tank I bought was simply black with a bow and a little sheer detailing on the bottom.

Now, on to the SHOES! Whether you have been to the big apple or not, it is pretty much common knowledge that it is a walking city. And when I say walking, I mean WALKING! I have never walked so much in my life, and if you know anything about me you know I fractured my heel last year and have a bad foot. Needless to say my cheap little flats were not cutting it. To top it all off our hotel did not have an elevator and we had to huff and puff the 3 flights up multiple times a day. Finally, by the last day I HAD to buy a new, supportive pair of flats. There was no way I could survive a moment more with the horrible impersonations I had that claimed to be shoes. So, at 8 pm Katherine and I head down to the local Macy's. By "the local Macy's" I mean the one on 34th and 6th a.k.a the largest one in the U.S. Just finding the shoe section itself was a struggle, but we managed to get there. Now, a little background info is needed for this story.  Many months ago Katherine bought a gorgeous caramel coloured pair of Michael Kors flats that I have been drooling over ever since. Seeing how its been a while since she bough them, I wasn't expecting to find them but hopefully something similar. She was always ranting and raving about how comfortable they are, how practical they are, they go with everything blah blah blah yes I want them already. So, when we finally found the shoe section of the store I immediately seek out my good friend MK. Although there are a multitude of flats, the coveted ones were not there. Oh well, I continue my search within the Michael Kors section and find various styles of flats to try on. Apparently we arrived a little too late because of BOTH the styles I picked out a middle aged women on the next bench over had them both in the last pair of 9. And of course, she decided to buy them both. Great. I am never going to find shoes. I ask to try 8.5, 9.5.. feel like Goldilocks as one is too small, the other is too big. Great, I REALLY am never going to find some flats. While chatting with the sales lady I mention that the ones I really wanted were the ones that Katherine was wearing. She takes a look at them, tells me you know what, give me a minute to check the back. The minute turns into 10, then into 15 and finally 25 and I am about to give up and get outta here...when finally..she comes back..with a box. Picture the clouds parting and light shining through in my head. She proceeds to tell me its a 9 and the LAST PAIR!! They fit like a charm and I head to the checkout to pay. These shoes cost $110.00 and in Canada they cost $138.00 plus tax so I already felt like I was getting a deal. She asks me if I want to sign up for a Macy's card and get 20%% off. Heck yes I do!!! I sign up, get 20% off, she then tells me she is giving me ANOTHER 20% off. Is this woman for real?!? I didn't ask questions, just pulled out my debit card as fast as I possibly could and said where do I sign! So, I ended up getting my dream shoe for $70.40 instead of $138.00 plus tax. Yes they are gorgeous. Yes they are extremely comfortable. Katherine had lost her cell phone earlier that day and I came to the rescue and got it back for her so I like to think of it as good (fashion) karma for doing a good deed. If this is the karma I get, I promise there will be many, many god deeds in the future. Katherine if you lose your cell again, you know who to call!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The adventures of the Blue Beast continue

This post comes to you a little bit late I will admit, but that is because I have been a little preoccupied with having a FANTASTIC time with the Blue Beast. Since we last spoke, the Blue Beast, myself and the bf (I used to think that 3 was company, not anymore!) have been bustling around our lovely nation's capital. Our little trio travelled to Calypso water park on this past labour day Monday. It happened to be the last day it was open for the season, and a perfect one at that hitting a high of 32 degrees! The Blue Beast proved to be the perfect travelling companion, providing MORE than enough space for the million and one things that I insisted on bringing on our little day trip. We had a large cooler for our picnic lunch, which by the way I would NOT recommend. I thought I was being super resourceful and budget friendly by packing our little lunch, which consisted of some pop, water, apples, sandwiches, chips, and a chocolate treat each. Sounds lovely, but rang up at 20 bucks at the store for all of my goodies, we arrive at Calypso to find our sandwiches warm and hot dogs being sold for 2 bucks each (the sandwiches cost $ tax.) Nonetheless, after we resentfully ate our pricey picnic, we enjoyed the rest of the sunshine and headed home at about 5pm. That evening we took the Blue Beast downtown Ottawa to catch the light show on the parliament, Mosaika. I had heard great things about this show, but honestly wasn't convinced that it was all that amazing untill i actually went. I thought, what's so special about a bunch of lights on an old building? Well, A LOT actually. It was spectacular. Simply SPECTACULAR. It showcased a interpretation of the history of Canada, through lights, sounds, images, effects etc. My bf is not from Canada and he particularly enjoyed the little history lesson with the artistic spin. It truly was something special. When it came to a close, it left me with a profound feeling of being so proud to be Canadian and call this great country home, and these amazing people my neighbours. Whether you are from a local city, tourist, visitor; whoever you are I would strongly recommend seeing this show. I could go on for ages, but I don't want to ruin the show for the rest of you all.  Unfortunately, its finished for this year, but I urge you to check it out next summer if you are in the Ottawa region. I promise you will not regret it!

So that was our wonderful labour day Monday. Considering it was a Monday, it was an unusually enjoyable day. On Tuesday we hit up Place d'Orleans for a little shopping and so that I could record my   entry for the Place d'Orleans Vlogger Search. After some technical difficulties and 3 attempts, my video was submitted!  You are probably wondering what exactly IS this Vlogger search thing?! Well, for starters a Vlogger is a video blogger and this contest is looking to find someone to do fashion vlogging for Place d'Orleans, and to top it off you will receive 300$ in gift cards per month for 6 months at Place d'Orleans. I think this competition is a fabulous idea! It encourages us Orlean-ers to shop locally and provides us with a medium to do so. It is not necessary to venture all the way to Rideau, St. Laurent, Bayshore etc when we have a fashionable place to shop right here in Orleans!

Check out my entry for the Vlogger search! (the result of 3 attempts at filming)
My Vlogger search entry!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meet the Blue Beast!

THE most amazing thing happened to me last Thursday, and all thanks to one of my favourite addictions Twitter. So you want to know what happened on this seemingly normal day that we called August 30th, 2012?

Well, I was aimlessly passing time on Twitter as per usual, when I received a DM from the lovely Kristine Simpson of Thornley Fallis about a student blogging opportunity. The deal? Their client Ford wanted to help a student out that was returning to school in the fall in the Ottawa area by giving them a vehicle for a week . A student in the Ottawa area? That needed a car? Um YES that sounds like me! I live in Orleans, a.k.a suburbia hell. Well, it isn't so bad for families I guess...but for a carless student such as myself it is far from fun (and far from everything actually).

So, thus began my adventure and relationship with the 2012 electric blue Ford Focus that I deemed "The Blue Beast".

Isn't she lovely? Honestly, being in my situation I would've accepted ANYTHING with 4 wheels, and maybe even 2, so to have a brand spanking new beauty like this was merely a bonus.

I'm not sure if anyone will take offence to this or not, but here it goes. I think this car was made for women, or if I want to be a little more politically correct, well, me! First of all, it actually has a camera in the back and inside on the dash their is a huge screen that actually shows you behind you so you know exactly where to back up! It is absolutely awesome.

The touch screen also has the radio, GPS and pretty much everything you could ask for in it. Now although I have grown up in this "technological" generation, I am far from the best at these things. I like technology, but I want it to work when I need it and I want it to be simple. Now that iPhones are all the rage, I think this makes using this touch screen a lot easier. I have suffered from the switch between iPhone and Blackberry and whenever I try to use a Blackberry after having an iPhone, I feel like a cave woman and am touching the screen trying to make it work. With this car,  its "high tech" but easy to use, just how I like it. My only gripe about the touch screen is that it does lag from time to time.

My second favourite feature of the Blue Beast so far would without a doubt have to be the air conditioning system. Each side has its own vents, as you can see in the photo, and not only that, you can control the temperature on each side separately. Now THIS is a useful tool. I personally, am always, always, always, always, always cold. Did I mention that I am always cold? Well, my boyfriend on the other hand is as hot blooded as they come. The most frequent fight between us is whether to have the air conditioning on or off, the fan on or off, and so on. You can probably assume who wants which. Now this car has the best of both worlds. He cranks the A/C on his side, I blast the heat on mine  and we are both happy as clams and bask in the silence.

Stay tuned for more stories on the Blue Beast and where she takes us next!