Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Courageous Carolynn

I love supporting my friends. I don't know about you guys but, I admire the initiative, time and passion it takes to start something. Its a risky business being an entrepreneur and its not made for the weak of heart. The not for profit route is an even steeper uphill battle. When my friends are doing amazing things for great causes, it is just that much easier to support their efforts. Today I want to spread the word to you all about my friend Carolynn and what she's contributing to make this world a better place.

Carolynn is the creator and designer of the Courage bracelet, a new piece of jewellery that I am sure will not only be on trend but has a purpose. She is doing something that I have never really seen done before. She is donating not 25, not 50 but 100% of funds from her bracelet to her cause (Cancer research and care.) Now THAT is something I can get behind. I like to consider myself a sympathetic person who is well aware that our world is less than perfect and I like to help out any possible way I can, but I am finding that most of these types of products these days are more about marketing than anything and very little of the proceeds go to the actual cause at hand, and I find this heartbreaking. Not only is it not doing justice to the cause they are supposed to be supporting, but it creates a skeptic in all of us, constantly wondering which projects are actually legit.
                                          Carolynn Lacasse

Carolynn's Courage bracelet leaves no room for doubt. Every single penny made goes straight to the cause, and all of the materials and labour were by donation. This is a cause I am positive you will not regret supporting. Almost everyone knows someone who has been touched or affected by cancer, my own grandmother passed away from it many years ago, and at that time I am pretty sure there weren't any projects like this one.

                                  The two models of the bracelet 

You can find out more at the Courage website, or their Facebook page Courage Facebook Page, or even pick up your own at viens avec moi in the heart of Ottawa.

Stay tuned to the Eternal Optimist for updates on Carolynn's amazing project.

Monday, November 26, 2012

True Bijoux Shines Through: Glitterati Holiday Party

Wednesday, November 21 was a crazy day for this blogger. I had class, a group meeting, catching up with a dear friend who was only in Ottawa for 2 days, picking up the boyfriend at the airport, and last but most certainly not least, True Bijoux's holiday Christmas party.

I had class until 7pm, as I do everyday, so picking out an outfit that I could wear to this large variety of activities was quite the challenge. I opted for comfortable casual chic with a pair of black leggings, over the knee boots, a flirty floral blouse and rose gold accessories. The boots are from Aldo, the blouse from Jacob and the earrings, of course, from True Bijoux.
                             Claudine with her new Bijoux!

                                   Noah and Mandy

Since I had so much to do in such a short time, I figured kill two birds with one stone and invite my visiting friend, Claudine, to attend the True Bijoux holiday party with me. I scooted down to 206 Sparks street immediately after my last class to meet up with her and catch the last hour of the party. Every time I walk into True Bijoux, I am blown away. Whether it is byy its sheer size, its sweet staff or by the most obvious, their spectacular jewels, their is always something spectacular there. This time, what I was blown away by was the fabulousness of their event. Not only were there a multitude of jewels (to be expected), there was also a variety of attendees (yes both women AND men), delectable snacks (I hadn't even eaten dinner because I was in class so a large thank you to True Bijoux for feeding me!), wine was flowing, and there was even a pop up makeup station from Murale!
Linsday must have read my mind because I was heading to the airport directly after the party to pick up the boyfriend and a makeup touchup was not only desired but very necessary. I previously featured True Bijoux in an article for The Black Sheep Fashion and when I did my interview with Lindsay, my boyfriend happened to be visiting as well, and accompanied me to the interview. The sweet thing she is, she even sent me away with a few extra cupcakes to bring him at the airport since he had been travelling all day. If he wasn't happy to see me at least he was warmly greeted by Lindsay's delicious cupcakes!
Overall, the party was a huge success. It was scheduled to end at 8pm but the party was rocking until at least 9. It definitely set the bar high for all of the other holiday parties to come!

What kind of holiday parties do you have to look forward to this year?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fabulously Fashionable StartUp Weekend Ottawa

When I strolled into Shopify last Friday for the first day of Startup Weekend Ottawa I expected to come out of this adventure with many things. I expected to meet some cool techy people, to learn a heck of a lot in a small time frame, and to further my start-up idea. What I did NOT expect was to walk away from this experience with was a blog post.

 If you are reading this right now you are probably well aware of the usual content of my blog. It is a fashion/style based blog, and although that is a large part of who I am, I didn't think it would have anything to do with my experience at Startup Weekend. To my pleasant surprise, two of the final projects were actually fashion related. I predict that Trade Avenu will be the new go-to guide for personal shopping. This startup was the creation of Van Tran, and their motive was to connect people who love to shop with people who hate it. Upon entering the website you have the chance to choose whether you love to shop, or whether you hate it. If you are a shopaholic like myself, you may have just found your very own little piece of heaven-shopping with other people's money while making money! Sounds fab to me! If you are a guy who would actually rather sit back and relax and pay the extra few bucks to have someone do the shopping for you, this site is for you as well. Trade Avenu even recruited their very first customer before the weekend was over! Mentor Andrew Draper actually took Trade Avenu for a test drive and recruited Van to pick up a hoodie for him.

My Style Guide was the brain child of Aqeela Somani. It is basically an interactive online closet where you can put outfits together, find inspiration and receive suggestions on what to wear. Users can search for specific items, looks or even just ideas.

Other non-fashion ideas to be on the look out for, including the winner of the whole event, Tattoo Hero, are: CounterBuy, PreggoPager and And...Perfect!.

Overall, Startup weekend was a fantastic and surprisingly stylish event. The girl to guy ratio was not as low as expected, the food was delectable and the venue perfect. Teams were formed, ideas turned into realities, and memories were made.

Flowers from the bf the next day. Awwww 

I could sit here and spill every detail of the weekend, but in all honesty, I'm tired. We just worked for 54 hours and now I'm suffering post Startup Weekend withdrawal. The best advice I can give is to just go and participate in one. Startup Weekends are held around the globe so you have no excuse. This type of experience can't be relived, retold or recreated. You have to experience it for yourself and I promise you won't regret it. Yes, even you fashionistas. Any doubts you have in your mind, get rid of them. There is no room for that at Startup Weekend. No matter who you are, there IS a place for you. The experience is invaluable if not solely for the networking opportunities. I met people, developers, designers, etc who I usually would NEVER meet. Not because they aren't good people, but simply due to the fact that our paths don't cross. After this weekend, I really hope our paths cross a little more often. 
I leave you all with just one word: #hustle

Monday, November 5, 2012

What is your shopping style?

Everyone has their own specific shopping style. Myself for example, I rarely go on a full out shopping "spree". Because I rely on the dreaded OC Transpo and all of the major bus stations seem to be also at all of the major malls, I constantly find myself there. I usually pick up a thing or two, here and there, every once and a while (too often). I have always feared the shopping "spree", thinking that it is just too much money at one time to blow, but in all honestly, the amount of "picking up a thing or two" probably amounts to the exact same thing. My goal is to one day STOP the constant picking up of little things, save up and treat myself to an actual "spree"! Maybe it'll be my graduation gift to myself once I finally finish my degree, we shall see!

On that note, here are a few things that I picked up in the last little while. Most necesary & practical, while some not. This story actual starts with Groupon. I receive the Groupon emails that tell you what the deal of the day is, and sometime last week I received one that informed me that there was a deal at Suzy Shier, where you pay 15$ and get 30$ credit at the store. I'm not the hugest Suzy Shier fan, but time to time I can find some good basics and deals there, so I thought "Why the heck not?" That same day, I received a second, even BETTER email from Groupon, stating something along the lines of "Hey customer, we see you haven't bought anything yet so we want to give you 15$ free at Groupon on your first purchase." 15$? Do you remember how much the Suzy Shier deal was? Yup, that is right. 15$. So I hop over to the website, and lo and behold, I got the 15$ Suzy Shier deal (worth 30$) for 0$! Zero! Zip! Nada! Free money? Free SHOPPING money? I will take it!

So, I head over to Suzy to see what I can get for my money and of course, with my luck, I ended up going last week when they had 40% of the entire store event. My Groupon could not be used in conjunction with any other deal. The ENTIRE store was 40% so there was literally nothing I could buy. Unfortunately I had came to this realization at the cash register when the cashier informed me, a.k.a AFTER I had already picked out my goodies. I had fallen in love with a winter coat. I didn't necessarily NEED a new winter coat...(actually I kind of did).  I do own two winter jackets already, but they are both a good few years old. I have a red wool jacket, and then a Roots black, long, down jacket. My grandma had bought the Roots jacket for me a few years back, and she clearly thought I was larger than I am, I have no clue. She had bought me a large, and although I do fluctuate with my weight (usually between 5-15 pounds) I have never really been a size large, especailly at Roots (things fit big)! Anyway, so I have this jacket, its a nice jacket, I wear the jacket, but it is a tad too big. The wind comes up the bottom of it all the time, there is just too much jacket, so yes I could use another one. Another shout out as to why I enjoyed Suzy Shier so much this visit, I had never noticed how big their clothes fit! I am actually an x-small their! I am usually not a large but I'm not an x-small either! (Usually small or medium) Woohoo! For all of you ladies out their who aren't a size 0, you understand the small victories of actually being able to be an x-small!

Anyway, I found this jacket and fell in love. Although I couldn't use my Groupon, it was still a whopping 40% off (regular 69$, came to 40 something). Too good of a deal to pass up. So I got my jacket and still had 30$ at Suzy Shier to waste!

Here is the jacket, these photos are just quick ones from the change room actually and don't really do it justice! Better ones to come! 

Interested in seeing what I actually did get with my Groupon at Suzy Shier? Stay tuned!

What is your shopping style?