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Wednesday, September 30, 2020




I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new book, “Elevate Your Personal Style: Inspiration for the Everyday Woman”. It’s currently available on Amazon in Kindle version, and the paperback edition is coming out shortly.

Although I wrote this book during the last few months, it was really ten years in the making. Back in my mid-thirties, I hit a style and identity crisis. I was a stay-at-home mom to two busy toddlers, and felt like I was drowning under the weight of motherhood. I was putting almost zero effort into my personal appearance, and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I knew drastic measures were in order, but I didn’t know where to begin. The idea of being a stylish, poised and pulled-together woman felt out of reach and inaccessible.

I set off on a journey to elevate my personal style and improve my sense of self-worth. This book details the steps of my journey, and all the things I learned along the way. (It also reveals my many mistakes and embarrassing moments!) I felt that sharing my story was important, because I suspect many women feel, or have felt, the same way. As an “everyday woman”, I thought that others might find my realistic and relatable perspective helpful, comforting and inspiring.

No matter where you stand on your own personal style journey, I think my book offers motivating and empowering ideas to help you along the way.

The Chapters Include:

1. Adopt a Movie Star Mindset
2. Discover Your Personal Style
3. Take It to the Next Level
4. Take an Inventory
5. Create a Master Plan and Wish List
6. Get Friendly with Your Budget
7. Become a Savvy Shopper
8. Adopt a Window-Shopping Mindset
9. Merchandise Your Products
10. Dress for the Part
11. Express Yourself with Accessories
12. Add Some Magic to Your Step
13. Build a Beautiful Foundation of Intimates
14. Get Active in Your Activewear
15. Put Your Best Face Forward
16. Pamper Your Hands and Feet
17. Add a Spritz of Joy
18. Provide Your Belongings With TLC
19. Accept and Appreciate Your Body
20. Find Your Inner Ballerina
21. Seek Grace in Expression.


Click here for a link to my "Elevate Your Personal" style on Amazon.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

 


I was in one of my favorite boutiques the other day, admiring all the new, earthy fall colors on display. As much as I’m attracted to rust, gold, and brown, I don’t tend to include these colors in my wardrobe. They just don’t suit my complexion or my personal style. I stick with black, dark grey and navy (with a splash of red now and then).

That doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy and indulge in the colors of autumn. I still sprinkle these hues around my house. These vibrant roses on my dining room table helped me get through math homework last night!

Do you like to stick to neutral colors in your wardrobe? Do you prefer to dress in bright and unique colors? How do you incorporate bright colors into your life?

Sunday, September 27, 2020


Is anyone else a fan of maintaining a minimal makeup collection? Other than a few products tucked away under the sink, this is all I own! I’m not a makeup guru (obviously) so I like to keep things simple. I feel like I don’t need much to pull together a quick, fresh face in the morning. Once I’m finished with each item in my makeup basket, my job is done!

I just finished tidying up my little corner of the bathroom. I washed my cosmetic brushes and pulled out this eyeshadow palette and my black honey lip stain from Clinique. I also tucked away my bronzer. I’m all set for fall!

On another note I’m just putting the final touches on my new book cover. I’m hoping to have it up on Amazon mid-week. I can’t wait to share it!

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020





It’s all in the details. Whether you are walking in the woods, making dinner for your family, or coming up with an outfit combination for the day ahead. 

Yesterday on my walk with Coco in the woods, I could not help but notice all the intricate and beautiful details on the forest floor. So much beauty at my feet that often goes unnoticed. I need to remind myself more often to take time to “smell the roses”. I’m pretty sure if I hung out there long enough I might have caught a glimpse of a Smurf! πŸ„ πŸ’™

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


I wrote a chapter called “Dress for the Weather” in my book “Elevate the Everyday”. Since I live by the ocean, I often refer to the state of the seas when choosing an outfit. 🌊 This is the view out the window today. It called for something warm and cozy and I was happy to reach for one of my snuggly cardigans to wrap myself up in.


Schools are closed today due to Tropical Storm Teddy. The power is out! After my push to the finish line to get the manuscript for my new book finalized, I’m looking forward to reading someone else’s words today! 

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? ⛅️🌨🌬❄️πŸ’¦ 

Monday, September 21, 2020




Back in May I found myself looking for a new project to sink my teeth into (like many others in lockdown). One day an email from @fionaferrisnz magically appeared in my inbox announcing the release of her book, “The Chic Author”. Fiona’s book set me off on an exciting journey of writing and self-publishing. In July I released my very first book, “Elevate the Everyday”. I just finished the final edits for my newest book, which is all about elevating your personal style. It should be available on Amazon in the next couple of weeks! πŸ’•

If you are interested in staying up-to-date on my writing projects, please sign up for my newsletter by clicking the link on the right side of the page.  (I promise I won’t bombard you with emails! I am one of those people who likes to keep things minimal and simple! Also, if you sign up for my newsletter, there is no need to enter your birth date as it asks. I have yet to figure out how to remove that question so please just ignore it!)

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Scarf ✅ Earrings ✅ Oversized Sunglasses✅ Adorable Puppy✅ Anyone else feel like their dog elevates their outfits? πŸ˜‚ Just joking of course, but Coco is a versatile, one-of-a-kind little guy that I can mix and match with anything. ❤️🐢

Friday, September 18, 2020



If you read my book “Elevate the Everyday”, you might remember my “Rachel McAdams Jacket” from chapter 13. Well, here it is! I purchased this second-hand for a fabulous deal! It’s made in Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ by Smythe and has a lot of unique and high-quality details that set it apart. The fabric is a thick, rich wool. The zipper and buttons are heavy duty. The D-rings cinch the waist in at just the right spot and provide a flattering silhouette. Someone asked me the other day how I build my second-hand shopping wish list. I definitely look to favorite celebrities for inspiration. Although I don’t have Rachel’s fabulous dimples, I do have her jacket!

(A note on Smythe. I always size up at least one size, sometimes two! I’ve tried their Duchess Blazer on in consignment stores and I would say that piece in particular is VERY fitted. I would recommend sizing up two sizes if you are going for the Kate Middleton πŸ‘‘ look!)

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Silk shirts are not only beautiful to the eye, they feel sumptuous against your skin. I am a lover of Equipment’s classic “slim signature” shirt. This fall I have three of them in my wardrobe. I bought all of these second hand (over a 3-year period). One came from a local consignment shop, one from eBay, and one from Poshmark. I paid less than $100 for each of them. These are pricey at full retail (over $300 πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦) but fairly easy to find on the second-hand market😊πŸ₯°.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

 



Jewelry is a great place to try-out second hand shopping online. It’s a guaranteed fit! I am a lover of gold hoops. They are all I wear as far as earrings go. Etsy is a great source for beautiful estate jewelry at reasonable prices. This is where I picked up these three pairs of 14K gold hoops. They were much cheaper than jewelry store prices! I’m currently keeping my eye out for a unique locket or pendant. Has anyone else tried estate jewelry as a source for fashion upgrades?

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

 


I thought it would be fun to share a few second-hand finds from my wardrobe this week. Chapter 13 of my book “Elevate the Everyday” discusses thinking outside the “big box” when shopping. One of the ways I elevate my wardrobe is by acquiring pieces on the second-hand market for a fraction of the original price. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and I don’t have local access to most of the brands I’m often looking for (usually European ones). I do 99% of this treasure hunting online on sites like eBay, Poshmark, the RealReal, Vide Dressing and Vestiaire Collective.

These boots are by Fiorentini & Baker. They are made in Italy and would cost over $400 at full retail price. I got them just this week for $55 on Poshmark! The term second-hand is misleading because these were never worn and are in pristine condition. I’m not one of those people who has great stories of finding a designer coat for $5 at the bottom of a rag bin. However, compared to what you would normally pay for such a high-quality piece of footwear, this is a steal. This is my favorite way to “elevate” my wardrobe; hands down.

I definitely recommend checking out online options when you are searching for a particular item. You might be surprised to find it in mint condition at a heavily discounted price. If you are willing to wait, it WILL eventually turn up! Does anyone else patiently shop the second hand market with a detailed wish list? I have automatic searches set up on these sites that notify me when something on my wish list pops up.

Monday, September 14, 2020


Is anyone else a fan of the French brand A.P.C.? I love the classic, minimal aesthetic of their clothing. It can be quite pricey, so all of my pieces were purchased second-hand. (In fact, there aren’t even any stores in my area that carry A.P.C.). I’ve had this little denim dress for a number of years and have been enjoying it a lot this fall. I think it is a good transitional piece for days that you want to display a fall vibe, but the weather is still warm. I usually pair it with my clogs for a bit of a 70’s feel. A.P.C. dresses are often over $300 at full retail price. I paid $50 for this on eBay a few years ago. Do you have any favorite brands that you only shop for second-hand? πŸ‘–πŸ‘ πŸ‘œ 

Friday, September 11, 2020


With the change in seasons, I’m guessing a lot of us are going through our wardrobes; sorting, organizing and purging. I discuss this process in my upcoming book, so of course it is on my mind! I want to talk about these pants! They were in the purge pile. I had set them aside last winter and was planning on sending them to the consignment store this fall. They were a tiny bit snug at the time and just weren’t working for me. 

Just before I tossed them, I tried them on again. This time they fit, and suddenly I saw them in a different light. I’m wearing and loving them today. I particularly love the tuxedo stripe (I have a love of menswear style) and the touch of sparkle in the thread. My husband took one look and said they were slimming, so obviously I’m keeping them!

My point is, let things stew for a while. I’m so glad I didn’t toss these back in the winter. I’m glad I stored them for several months so I could revisit my decision.

Anyone else in closet clean up mode?


Wednesday, September 9, 2020


So many of us are getting used to new schedules these days. Mornings in particular look a lot different with the kids going back to school.

As the days get shorter, I notice myself experiencing worse afternoon slumps. In the past, these slumps seemed to coincide with the “witching” hour. (Mothers of current or past small children will know exactly what I’m referring to here.) Apparently, this phenomenon is not exclusive to little kids; my puppy Coco is exhibiting the same devilish behavior late afternoon. In an effort to “elevate my everyday”, I’ve decided to try something new. I wondered if both Coco and I could benefit by shifting our morning walk schedule. I decided to try doing one of my favorite activities during my least favorite time of the day. We went for our walk smack in the middle of the afternoon slump/witching hour. I was so happy with the calming effect it had on both of us. He released pent up energy, and I enjoyed just being outdoors. It was definitely a pick me up. 🌲🌳🌿🌞

Tuesday, September 8, 2020



My boys went off to school this morning. I’m still working away on my own back-to-school inspired learning activities. I continue to avoid the accounting PD I need to get done this fall (I will soon re-read chapter 4 of my book titled “Tackle What You Are Avoiding” to get myself moving on this.)

In the meantime, I am enjoying my first week as a participant in @fionaferrisnz ‘s “Create Your Dream Life as a Successful Author” online course. As I’ve mentioned before, it was Fiona’s book “The Chic Author” that inspired me to take the plunge into the world of self-publishing and write “Elevate the Everyday”. She has served as a huge inspiration and mentor to me. I am thrilled to be delving even deeper into this topic, led by someone who has created her own successful self-published writing career. I’m currently in the editing phase of my next book. It feels amazing to witness an idea transforming into something tangible.

Fiona has so much wisdom to offer, I can’t wait to soak it all in. If you are someone who has always dreamed of writing a book, but just doesn’t know how or where to start, I cannot recommend Fiona’s book and program enough. She is an inspirational woman!
🌟

Sunday, September 6, 2020




School starts in a couple of days and I’m definitely feeling on edge. I have immersed myself in mental projects to keep my mind occupied. In the spirit of back-to-school, I signed up for a few e-courses. I just completed @marieannelecoeur ‘s “French Chic Petite” and “Inverted Triangle Shape” courses. (Technically I should be doing a refresher of Canadian income tax rules 😴, but this all sounded more fun.)

I’ve always struggled with knowing how to dress my body. It’s been a process of trial and error, with many mistakes along the way! I’m always looking to improve my skills, so I was excited to go through the course material. I found the information extremely helpful and insightful. She provides lots of photos, which I found particularly useful.

As it turns out, as an inverted triangle, I am supposed to avoid horizontal stripes on top! Ouch! I could never give up my love of the classic striped shirt. The accountant in me decided to tackle this from an analytical point of view. I decided to use other techniques in the course to offset my widening stripes.

The first outfit I use the cardigan to block the view of the stripes on my shoulder. I also use a long pendant to bring the eye to the middle. In the second look, I rely on the fullness of the skirt to draw more attention to the bottom. As a petite (5’3”), I made sure to wear the same color of footwear as my bottoms (bare legs in #2 matched with tan sandals) to elongate my legs. The hat was also a tip from Marie-Anne. Petites can use them to add height!

That was my lesson for the day. Marie-Anne did I pass the test? Please let me know if you have experimented with shape dressing. 🍎🍐πŸ₯•πŸŒ 

Saturday, September 5, 2020




I recently had my winter coats dry cleaned and was quite happy to have them returned looking crisp and fresh. I normally do this in the spring before storing them away, but with the Covid situation, this task was pushed off. 

I’m one of those people who is always cold, so winter is a struggle for me. One way I inspire myself to look forward to (or at least not dread) the cooler months is to have a collection of winter outerwear I really love. I have had this peacoat for years and it is one of my favorites. I may not be looking forward to the cold, but I’m certainly excited about getting to wear this piece again! 

One of my readers lives in an area currently experiencing its rainy season. She told me she used my concept of “Dressing for the Weather” from chapter 5 of my book to add some fun and beauty to her soggy days. She pulled out some adorable umbrellas she had stashed away and is using them to “Elevate the Everyday”! I loved this story so much. Thank you @two_tinytrees for sharing it. ❤️ ☔️

Friday, September 4, 2020

I tend to gravitate to a minimal aesthetic when it comes to dressing. In general, I avoid both bright colors and bold patterns, which coincides perfectly with my introverted personality! Every now and then I like to add a special touch, and I usually achieve this through the use of accessories.

 

Today was “Bon Jovi Day” again on my morning run, so I was in the mood to add a teeny, tiny droplet of rocker vibe to my outfit.  “Rocker Chick” is definitely not my style, but there is a tiny piece of me still hanging on to those youthful days of junior high. (I was never a hardcore rocker. Bon Jovi was as extreme as things got. When my husband pulls out Metallica and starts singing along, I usually have to leave the room).

 

I have a few small pieces I reach for when I’m in this mood.  Can you see the itty-bitty skulls on this belt?  They are so subtle, I’m really the only one who knows they are there.  It’s the perfect small touch for me.  I also love these shoes I picked up at a local consignment store.  They add a bit of edge to my outfit, which is just a white t-shirt and black jeans today.  Do you have a side of you that you like to express in miniscule amounts? 

  

Thursday, September 3, 2020



 This is my last post about revisiting past passions in an effort to reconnect with your true self.

During the summer of 1996, my father and I cycled across Canada (and parts of the US). We covered over 5000km on this journey and I loved every minute of it (ok, maybe not every single minute of climbing the Rockies). After the trip was over, I headed off to start my career as an accountant. Time went on and I became a mother of two boys. My love of cycling slipped into the far corners of my mind. Last fall, at the age of 81, my father invited me on a cycling trip to Croatia with him. I jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity to spend precious one-on-one time with him. It also represented an opportunity to connect with a past passion. 

The trip to Croatia was a moving experience for me. I felt so free! It was the first time I had left my children for more than a couple of days! I felt reconnected with my past self; with the girl who had a taste for adventure and who loved the challenge of a solid day of pedaling. I came home feeling renewed on many levels. This summer I made a point to pull out my bike as often as possible. I have fallen in love with this activity all over again. When I am on my bicycle, I feel like my true, authentic self. I enjoy the solitude of it, as well as the challenge and beautiful scenery.

(The first image captures the exact moment we pulled into our driveway, completing our cross-Canada adventure. The second photo is the two of us 23 years later in Croatia!)

Have you recently re-connected with an activity you enjoyed in the past but haven’t touched for ages? Please share!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

 


Once again, I’m continuing my series about elevating your life by connecting with your true self, as I discussed in chapter 20 of my book titled “Revisit Past Passions”. Connecting with people from the past is a wonderful way to unearth parts of yourself you may have forgotten. It can stir up emotions, thoughts and inspiration that you haven’t brought to the surface for a long time. 

In some cases, these people are no longer physically present in our lives. This doesn’t mean we can’t connect through memories. My grandmother passed away almost 20 years ago, and before that she suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. I have been thinking about her a lot lately. Connecting with her is providing me with inspiration and is helping me write my upcoming book on personal style. I have been going through old photos and admiring her elegant appearance and the sparkle in her eye. She was a woman who always looked polished and well-dressed. She was also fun-loving, spirited and kind. I loved watching her try clothes on. This was back when you could bring clothes home “on approval”. I would sit on her bed with my mom while we watched her model outfits. I remember listening attentively to her comments and opinions, trying to soak it all in. Even back then, I knew she had great taste! I also remember sneaking into her bedroom and carefully opening her top dresser drawer to admire her jewelry, spritzing myself with the odd puff of her perfume while I was at it. I would love to have a chat with her today and interview her for my book! 

Have you called or texted an old friend lately? Have you thought of people from your past you admired? Has this brought you inspiration?

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

 

I’m continuing on today with my series about elevating your life by connecting with your true self, as I wrote about in chapter 20 of my book titled “Revisit Past Passions”.

Yesterday I talked about visiting physical places from your past. Today I am going to focus on something intangible; visiting dreams from the past. Did you ever dream of being an astronaut, or maybe a ballerina? Most of us probably didn’t end up following through on these career paths. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t reach back and pull some aspect of past dreams into the present. 

You can tell from this photo that I was pretty tickled to be sporting that tutu (and tin foil tiara). I never took ballet lessons, but I was always fascinated by this form of dance and the graceful nature of ballerinas. I recently added a sprinkle of ballet to my life and it has left me feeling so inspired and uplifted. Yes, I’m just doing Barre and ballet-inspired workouts off the tiny TV in my basement workout room (my family calls it my jail cell), but the experience each morning leaves me feeling amazing. I’m moving with more grace and fluidity, and I’m building muscles in places my traditional weight lifting never touched! I am feeling so confident, I may even try out adult ballet lessons in the future. Let’s be realistic, I’m never going to be a professional ballerina at this stage of the game, but it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this art form and incorporate it into my daily life.🌟(If you are interested I’m currently doing @barreblendworkout with @elisejoanfitness ♥️