Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lilac Love

Friends

Friends

I am showcasing an outfit I wore to an unexpected but pleasant visit from family. I decided that with elders there, something classic and spring-like would be ideal.

I have attached a few pictures this time around with my new TRIPOD that I recently purchased. AND big thing, I figured out how to set the timer haha!

I am loving all of the suggestions on how to make the blog better particularly, the suggestions of making the pictures bigger, having more of them, or how to wear certain pieces! LOVE IT ALL and I hope they will keep on coming.

So today's post is short and sweet. Looking forward to your much appreciated feedback!

WHAT I AM WEARING







Blouse: Simons (seriously they have the best fit for my body and cheap too!)
Skirt: Dynamite
Shawl:  Gifted from a friend who went to East Africa a few years back.

XOXO - N

Monday, March 28, 2011

Competition Coefficient

I have been receiving much love from people who are beginning to view my blog on the regular and I just wanted to give you all a great big warm shout out. You make doing this so easy and I am loving the wonderful feedback, suggestions and comments I receive on a daily basis.

As you all know I am on a spending diet, and have been sticking to it relatively well. This weekend I was in Yorkdale Mall dress shopping for my girl's wedding and I refrained from buying an ever-so-cute floral "sex and the city dress" for the Bridal shower which is in two weeks.

Restraint my friends, is extremely difficult however, when I think of the Fitness Competitions  (14 weeks away), it becomes much more of a necessity. Today I thought I would share with you the colours of my suits (finally picked) and more information on the Types of Fitness Competitions I am taking part in as well as show you the shoes I am supposed to walk in as I am submitting my application tomorrow!

SAF
Suit colour: Ravishing Red



IDFA
Suit Colour: Bedazzling Black




The Competition will be held at the spectacular Museum of Civilization and I am getting more nervous each day. The Dieting I would have to say is the hardest part. For example, for the next three days, I am only allowed to eat Eggs, Meat (chicken, beef, fish etc) and Cheese. Day one is going well so far, but I think about bread constantly and don't even get me started on cake and sweets.

What do you think of the suit colours?



Xoxo


N

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feet First

Friends

I have been having VERY LITTLE luck with heels these days. I have tried many a pair and my feet just end up screaming at me for days to come, and my shoes ultimately win the "Battle" of "Breaking it in" - and infact they break ME.

Now I know that Fashion and a killer pair of heels does not necessarily mean comfort. But is it so hard to find ONE pair of 4 inch heels that I can wear in the office and out on the town? Somethin I can look stellar in and yet, can feel my feet three days later, because let me tell you, my feet STILL hurt!

I also know that there is no one size fits all in terms of comfort but if any of you have come acroos a great pair please, PLEASE please let me know…

I am enlisting your help in finding these magical shoes because after the day I had yesterday, I am worried my feet will outright REJECT a beautiful pump from the sheer sight of them...

Suggestions?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Need a Sink....Inquire Within

Some people say that there is a fine line between WANTING something, and actually NEEDING it.

Friends I have many, MANY wants like a new wardrobe, 5 inch heels that don't make my feet hurt, a new car and what the heck let's throw in some bling and a never ending money producing tree.

Now I know, that none of this is happening anytime soon, but what I really NEED is a SINK. What's a sink?

Friends, my fellow blogger Divalosophy clued me in on this beautiful phrase. I need a Man who is Single, has a good Income, and has No Kids! How fitting is that?

So if you know of a SINK that has the above qualities INQUIRE WITHIN…

This outfit is inspired by that reporter/journalist/research look…I'm ready to take those applications…. : )

What I am Wearing



Skirt: Club Monaco
Shirt: Simons (Montreal)
Shoes: G by Guess
Glasses: D&G
Jewellery: Pearls (Gifted)


Happy Thursday…

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Complicated

Friends,

It's a nippy/chilly day here in Ottawa and my life seems to get more and more complicated by the minute. Great things to look forward to, yes, but somehow there seem to be quite a few wrenches thrown into the mix. Turns out the Fitness Competition is getting more and more expensive...I am going to need a coach for learning how to pose on stage, along with more training sessions. Top it off with work (times 3 (yes I have three jobs)), travelling to Toronto this weekend (family reunion), starting my metabolic typing diet (I hate that I am giving up most carbs :() and my personal life hanging by a thread (its best if we don't go there)- my outfit today, is well COMPLICATED :). I couldn't decide on what if any accessories I should wear, so I thought, what the heck girlfriend, just wear whatever you want!

Simplicity may be the key at tailoring a look, but sometimes you gotta just let it all hang out :)

So is what I am wearing a Fashion Failure? Be Honest! Cant wait to hear what you think....

What I am Wearing











































Skirt: Banana Republic
Blouse: Banana Republic
Necklace: Pearls purchased in MTL
Silk Scarf: Gifted from my friend S who travelled to Syria and brought it back for me.
Belt: Mango (had an almost wardrobe malfunction where the clasp at the front came done and caught it before it went in the toilet! PHEW)
Shoes: Expression (the Bay) and let me tell you these 5 inch heels were not made for walkin! Killed my feet today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wayback Playback

Recently I received a very sweet gift that made me feel like a giddy teenager all over again.

What was it, you ask? Well lets take a trip down memory lane. Back to the 1990s (yes I am taking you there). Remember those matching cardigan and tank top sets? Fleece Hoodies? How about shrugs? Or wait for it, the ever classic shirt with vest on stop, big silver hoops and coloured contacts. A time where big hair was the rage, where straighteners did not pack the punch of a CHI (or perhaps I couldn't afford one back then) and oversized coveralls with Timberland boots were all the rage. It takes me back to a time where I may have had a few style and wardrobe malfunctions, but can remember some pretty cool times in those crazy outfits.

How do I remember all of this? Well, music of course! I am sure most of you know that like smell, Music can trigger those nostalgic feelings.  Ace of Base brings back memories from being on of the first Cassette tapes (yes I just said Cassette tape) I bought...I would listen to "I saw the sign" over and over again, until the tape became so would up in the player that no amount of trying to wind the tape back into the cassette would straighten out the strip into coherent music again. I remember making mixed tapes and later CDs to share with family, friends, boyfriends all of which had different themes or special meaning - Slow Jams, Club Anthems, Workout Music, Classics etc.  Today, each time I hear an old school track it takes me back to my teenaged bedroom, the school lockers, chunky heeled boots, waiting for the TTC or hanging out at the Docks (in Tdot) and of course, some amazing (albeit boy-crazy) memories.

I am sure you can guess what the gift was...I received my first mixed CD in a VERY long time filled with, of course OLDIES but GOODIES :) and some new jams too, to shake it up.

These days we have our Ipods and MP3 players that spit out hundreds of tracks, but when was the last time you hand-picked a selection of songs rather than just let "shuffle" pick for you?

Today's outfit is inspired by Old School Inspirations. I'm taking you all back to the proverbial JEAN DRESS and I am SURE you, your mother, sister, girlfriend, or friend owned this, with a little bit of a modern twist (the hair is tame : ) )

What I am Wearing







Dress: RW& Co. (hand-me down)
Necklace: Forever 21
Belt: Too old to remember where its from
Boots: Guess


So if you have a chance listen to a song you listened to many years ago, and hopefully it give you a trip down memory and a little bit of that nostalgic feeling from days gone by.

N

Monday, March 21, 2011

Celebrating the Persian New Year

Friends,

I have been meaning to write a post for you all weekend, but sadly, my computer crashed : ( so while it was being fixed I followed many of my friends on Twitter to get updates on Ottawa Fashion Week and the great local designers who were debuted. I was so hoping to be there and join in but alas, was unable to take part, BUT count me in for next year!

Today is a special day for me. I am celebrating Navroz (the Persian new year). Navroz (Nowruz), a festival commemorating the beginning of a new year and the first day of spring. More generally, it signifies a time of spiritual renewal, physical rejuvenation, as well as the spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism towards the future.
What a fitting day for what this blog is all about and I am so happy I get to share it with all of you! Today's outfit felt inspired by Navroz, and the celebration of spring so today is the day for green to signify growth and renewal.

What I am Wearing
Not sure if you can see it in the photo,
But my Water-bottle is visible in the
Left haha!




Sweater: Forever 21
Leggings: Aritzia
Shoes: DKNYC

Jewellery: COACH 


XOXO - N









Thursday, March 17, 2011

Channeling Jackie O

I have such a deep appreciation for classic styles and fashions and as most of you have seen from the clothing posts, I love my dark deep colours, and my neutrals. These days however, I have been trying to add in colour, but today I had to go back to my roots and to the fashion, and people in fashion who inspire me the most (Jackie O, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel). For me its the timeless look that I love. If I could dress like the women in Mad Men do everyday I would! I love the femininity of that Era (not the way women were treated mind you) with smart pinafores, Figure enhancing silhouettes (though I am sure girdles back in the day were not fun....but then again we do have spanxx!), cute leather gloves and of course....the Polka dot.

What I am Wearing



Blouse:
H&M (at least 5 years old)
Skirt: Smart Set (going on 3 years)
Jewellery: Pearls - my Grandma (how fitting!)
Ring - Modern Touch-The Bay (2 years ago)

Till Tomorrow...


N xoxo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Last of the Sweater Dress

Well Friends

It is FINALLY getting warm out there, and so it means certain styles and clothes have to be retired for the season. Alas I am sad to announce it is the last of the sweater dress season (well those that are thick and warm)!

So here, is the last of the sweater dress...I am happy to say, I wont be shedding too many tears! looking forward to those flirty spring skirts and opened toe sandals!

What I am Wearing

Sweater Dress: BCBG

Jewellery: Tiffany's Heart Charm Bracelet


This picture was taken by my Friend JMay We both are still having trouble taking pictures at work, but trying to get a bit less stiff in the photos.


XOXO

A demain!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shopping Topshop



Friends

I am soooooo excited! Topshop is finally coming to Canada! I am a huge fan of the UK based, fashion-forward, budget friendly brand coming to Canada on a wider scale. While Topshop clothing has been available in Toronto for sometime, It will be gracing the Bay stores (starting with Tdot of course) this fall (how convenient as I will then be able to purchase a few items once the fitness competition is over ; ))! Now I know this doesn’t help us in Ottawa (unless we make the trek to Toronto), but that means there is hope that one day Topshop will be in The Bay stores in Ottawa.

For more information you can read the following articles.

http://www.financialpost.com/Topshop+coming+Canada/4408769/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/uk-retailer-topshop-coming-to-canada/article1934430/




Topshop is considered to be an elegant shopping destination which has something to offer to all who are fashion conscious. I for one, can't wait....

N

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lip Service

Its another Monday in Ottawa…and while I am loving that we have sprung forward into spring (for those of you who know don’t know, our clocks went forward an hour yesterday) to take advantage of more sunlight. However, the one less hour of sleep is making me less perky this A.M. and on top of it I think I may be coming down with something as I have a little tickle in my throat :S

As I mentioned last week, I am on a strict, no spending diet and am finding creative ways to be a frugal shopper. I finally saved up six MAC Makeup containers and was able to swap it for a new lipstick. I was REALLY hoping to get one of my favourite colours again, but sadly (as is the case when you find the perfect colour) my fave lipstick has been discontinued! And while I really do love MAC, I swapped for a new lipstick, that I am not sure if I love, but am in like with. I have been pairing it with another lipstick to get the "perfect shade", but here are some pictures of the NONpurchase!

MAC Lipstick
Colour: Faux






Now as many of you know, I also have a blog on Tumblr (http://thefinebalance.tumblr.com) while I will continue posting there for those of you who are following, I am making Blogger my permananent home. So for those of you on Tumblr, feel free to add me at http://theartfulbalance.blogspot.com

Xoxo N

P.S. What are your thoughts on the colour?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Garnet Grape

Friends,

I apologise for not blogging sooner. I have started many a new writing pieces, but sadly, am so exhausted by the time I get home, it’s a wonder I can even make it to my bed! I love working my three jobs, along with the intense training, BUT come 1030, this Balancing Act becomes incoherent and wobbly!

As many of you know my new challenge to not purchase anything until I have fully paid off the Competition Training, Competition Suits and Competition Nutrition, I have been finding any way I can to revamp that closet of mine. A great suggestion was to hold a Clothes Swap and my amazing talented friend JMAY held one not too long ago with success. Here is my dilemma. Recently I purged my closet and DONATED many wonderful pieces and am left with what I would consider my ideal closet…(perhaps I have a pair of gifted (Hand-me-down) jeans I can throw in the pile, but at this exact moment, I am not sure I am ready to part with any of my things…SO, I am beginning a pile that would be worthy or a clothes swap. (since one article of clothing would not suffice) Are any of you out there in the Ottawa Region willing to be apart of this?

Along with my new challenge is the NECESSITY to not purchase any makeup (unless the concealer runs out because girls, lets face it, I look pretty haggard in the AM without it.) So, I have been saving up my MAC empty containers to SWAP for a new lipstick…As of today, I have the magic number 6! AND, I plan on rebuying my favourite colour. Sincerely hoping it is still available. Either way I will blog about it sometime in the near future (not ready to share my fave colour just yet)! I also received a coupon via email for a free sample of Chanel moisturizer, which I will be pick up at the Bay counter tonight. If you sign up for the Bay newsletter, they sometimes give you freebies so I suggest you join. Do any of you have must read blogs or websites/emails you subscribe to for freebies? Keep me posted!

The weather out in Ottawa has been nothing but bleak. Waking up this morning to a blurred wintry whiteness was all I could do from crying tears of sheer frustration. Spring are you out there? Please find us quickly! I decided my mood being a bit sombre from the weather (and my upcoming dentist appt this afternoon) Black was the colour of poison but not without warming it up with a deep garnet sweater (with buttons that look like those mint candies you could get after a meal….what ever happened to those?).

What I am Wearing






Dress: Urban Behaviour ($2.00 friends from the CNE clothing show two years ago!)
Sweater: Talula (Aritzia)
Jewellery: Seen Before - Bracelet: Delhi, India
- Necklace and Earrings: Toronto Flea Market
Shoes: DKNYC (with a faux Croc print)


Xoxo N

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Fine Balance

Friends,

I hope all of you have had an amazing weekend, and while I did miss my post for Monday, Tuesday seems like a good a day as any to tell you about my Monday Escapade!

I had the pleasure of having dinner with an old roommate who was in town and as the conversation flowed, so did the drinks (Cognac on the rocks)…There goes my splurge for the week!

Inherently I am a bookworm and I just feel in love with his t-shirt, so thought I would post that today instead of an outfit. So fitting especially in the times that we live in…



The No. 2 Pencil is Mightier Than the Sword….
If any of you are interested in this T-shirt, it is available at Roadtrip in the Market (or Trustfund)

As I was walking home from such a refreshing evening, with a little skip in my step, I ended up taking a HUGE dive and falling right on the corner of Besserer and Nicholas. Needless to say, my legs were sprawled, my bags went flying, and I had to get right back up and pretend as if nothing had happened. Mortifying and so much for chic! I also have ended up with a huge purple-y bruise on my left hip and thigh (where I landed). In the end, the lesson I guess is we all lose our balance sometimes, you just have to brush yourself off, and get right back up.

XOXO

N

Sunday, March 6, 2011

a BEAUtiful mess.: Your husband will thank me later

a BEAUtiful mess.: Your husband will thank me later: "I'm not the kind of girl who has ever wanted a larger 'upper half'...if ya know what I mean. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather be comforta..."

Food for Thought

Friends

It's an end to a wonderful weekend. While I have been working my multiple jobs and then managing to make it through the crazy weather we have been having (Rain one day with puddles to your knees and snow the next), I was able to take the time to thoroughly enjoy my weekend.

In particular was the wine and cheese I had with my lovely girlfriend

s whom I would like to call more family than anything else.

Below are some pictures from our wonderful spread...

I call this THE wine and cheese...all of our favourite things, including pear, figs, walnuts, pepper jelly, biscotti (yes I had a piece) homemade tatziki with veggies, Crostini, baguette, wine, Cheeses, and the best company.
















This Beautiful Plate that the scrumptious berries are one was gifted to me from a friend who was travelling through morocco...




Bon Apetitit!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coffee Conundrum Compliments

Well Friends

Today is a quick (lets be honest it wont be quick) anecdote about Coffee. If you would have asked March 2010 if I was a coffee drinker the answer would have been a Resounding "NO". I never felt the need for as what people would call it a "caffeine fix". However all that began to change in April of 2010. Members of my team would go down together for their morning coffee, and so as to not feel left out I began getting a coffee myself. I would purchase a medium coffee and drink a quarter of it before it became cold and who really wants to reheat coffee in a paper cup? Anyways about a month ago for the fitness competition, I was told that a cup of coffee would be good for me. So now I religiously drink a large coffee (sometimes 2!) with out a problem> ...> .Now what is the conundrum? A) it> '> s a pretty penny from my pocket book; B) I tend to buy coffee from Timmy's andddd for some reason my cups ALWAYS leak! Has this happened to anyone else (thereby having the potential to ruin an outfit (i.e. my cream skirt)) and C) I bit the bullet and bought a Bodum French Press, but still have not found the perfect coffee grounds> ...> Any of my fellow readers care to help me out with this one?

As I was having my morning coffee a friend who will now henceforth be named as "Good Things Come in Small Packages" enlightened me on this little fun fact: Did you know.. that if you hold your nose and drink coffee.. it doesn> '> t have a taste?? The taste of coffee that we get is through its aroma so if you can> '> t smell it, you can> '> t taste it :P

Who would have known?! And you know what? I tried it and it was true! --> If you try it let me know!

As I mentioned, my "place" to go for coffee is Tim Horton's just below the escalator because its so close and I can rush back upstairs if needed. Regardless of my conundrum with Coffee, I received a wonderful compliment from the cutie patootie (and I must say gay and loving it!) coffee barista. He went off in French for about two minutes on my outfits and matching make-up and jewellery. I could help but feel extra light this morning with so many wonderful things having been said about my style. He did however berate me on the oodles of change I bring for my coffee, but nevertheless, I felt fabulous as I walked back to take the escalator to my 3rd floor cubicle.

What I am wearing:






















Skirt:
Vintage Yanagi - long skirt that was altered short)
Blouse: Mango
Sweater: Costa Blanca
Belt: Streets of downtown Toronto
Jewellery: Pearls found in a Toronto Flea Market
Lipstick:
Kat Von D - Backstage Bambi











Till Tomorrow Lovelies!

N

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Dawn, New Day

After a series of interesting (or uninteresting) events last night, I decided to put the past behind me and look forward to the future!

I was thinking a new dawn, a new day! Right? WRONG! I woke up this morning on the bad foot. First, I couldn't wake up to my 4:45 AM Alarm, thank god training was not till 6:30 AM (so missed my half hour cardio but what the hey right? I'll make it up this afternoon).

Then I thought, "getting paid today" BONUS! Right? WRONG! I realised with the slew of bills and upcoming expenses, I am more broke then when I was a student! How is that possible? (Ok I do know - Mortgage etc is taking me for a ride). So after careful consideration for my bank account and peace of mind, I will be unable to spend a DIME on any type of clothing (whether is actually clothing, jackets, accessories, boots, shoes etc). And will have to rely on my own cunning at concocting outfits from the pieces I have - which is totally doable, However, I will not be able to have some of those "Must have" spring or summer pieces this year. Which is were all of you come in! So far I have been extremely good with my money I have not purchased a single item that wasn't deemed a necessity (i.e. shampoo, toothpaste, soap...that sort of thing) for the month of February. I will need all of you to help me with this! To stay on track and for those of you who are my friends and know me or live in the city and feel like "donating" some of your gently worn articles (ANYTHING) your discarded items can become my treasure! The reason why I will have to be diligent is because of this Fitness competition. Since I preparing for 2 in one day, my money will be spent on training fees, nutrition counselling and of course my custom made bikinis.

And then I got to work...Thinking everything was fine, that nothing worse could happen, EXCEPT that it could. I was bent over with excruciating pain that I had to leave work early and hobble on home like a grandma rather than to a walk-in clinic because the scrooge that I am decided to LEAVE the wallet at home (which has the Health Insurance Card) meaning that I had to venture back out and somehow manage to get to a clinic without collapsing on the side streets of Downtown Ottawa.

Nevertheless, I managed to take a picture of my outfit...
What I am wearing...





















Dress: Express (c/o - my fab sister who does shopping for me while she is studying in Boston!)
Sweater: Forever 21 (Gifted from my Sister)
Belt: Club Monaco
Jewellery: Pearls found at a Flea Market in Toronto


Friends if I am alive tomorrow I will let you know.

Sincerely,
N

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Modern Take on the Traditional Suit

It’s the beginning of March - and a new month gives us a chance to turn over a new leaf and take on world in a fierce way. I decided that the month of March should begin with that fierce attitude by wearing what I call a Modern Take on the Traditional Suit. Let’s face it - there is nothing more appealing (to me anyways) than a man in a suit, and the same applies for women as well! It signifies assertiveness, confidence, sex-appeal and a certain Je ne sais quoi!

While the traditional two piece, same shade suits are a classy alternative to any workday, I prefer a little more of an edgy look to transpire a bonafide basic into a contemporary classic.

For today’s outfit, I decided to go with the skinny pant in a dark charcoal grey, paired with a lace tank top, teamed with a ever useful black boyfriend blazer. Simple, refined, and ready to hit that boardroom meeting if need be! Originally I started out with the Classic Black pump, but decided to throw in some colour…Hence the red shoes : )

What I am Wearing


Boyfriend Blazer: Smart Set
Lace Tank Top: Talula - Aritzia
Skinny Pants: T. Bantrum - Aritzia

Shoes: Nine West

Jewelery: Necklace (New York) Bracelet: Store in Delhi, India


Today’s Fitness/Health Tip is for those who are trying to stay (and get back on track) for that beach body (Less than three months to go ladies!) and gorgeous gams as we shed the heavier clothing and get into those flirty spring frocks. For most of us the hardest thing is knowing just exactly we are putting into our mouths and bodies and refer constantly to a few great websites to help count those calories and track their nutritional content and value. One of my favourites is www.calorieking.com - on this website you’ll find just about any food (and brand) you eat, available with the nutritional information and content, different portion sizes. Next time you really want to know what’s really in what you’re eating and don’t have the wrapper on hand, take a gander at that website.

A Demain,

N

Green Glamour

Beautiful Readers

It’s back to Monday and Monday mornings can be tough with the Monday Blues and Winter Blahs (will it ever end?) setting in. We’ve all had a great weekend - sleeping in, having brunch and indulging on that extra glass of wine. So it’s understandable that when Monday rolls around, its hard to be upbeat and ready to take on the week full force.

It’s only fitting then, to glam it up on one of the toughest days of the week. Hence wearing a bit of Glamorous Green! Green is a calming and refreshing color, representing nature, youth, lushness and nature. Green is easy on the eye (our eyes are usually most sensitive to reds and yellows) and provides a sense or serenity. Why not try continue to be less stressed with clothing you wear? Green also represents prosperity and fruitfulness. Why not try to feel wealthy (even though you may have emptied the bank account on that shopping spree) and fresh for a great start to the week.

What I am Wearing

Blouse: Femme Carriere
Skirt: Smart Set
Shoes: DKNYC
Jewellery: Boyfriend Watch and Necklace Miranda Collection (Coach)

Mondays are also great to take stock of how much you have deviated from the healthy eating and exercising. Take the time to rejuvenate and start fresh by getting back to the “routine”. Change up what you’re eating to make it more appealing. Instead of always having that banana and almonds for a snack, what about a half cup of Greek yogurt (packed with protein) and some delicious berries?

Happy Monday Everyone.

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