Not going to lie, I am a massive fan of the show, "Say Yes to the Dress".
:: Bride got back! This was my second-runner up dress ::
Even before I was engaged my stylish, and very bridal enthusiastic, sister Lindsay mentioned a trip visiting the mecca itself – Kleinfelds in New York City – and the idea of that was really exciting. Basically the day after we announced our engagement Lindsay was on the phones booking New York appointments – best maid of honour ever! I would have probably just thought we could walk right on in!
Matt and I for the past two years have visited friends in Manhattan during the November long weekend so this year my family heard about our trip and booked themselves to come along dress shopping! Of course they were welcome with open arms carrying bridal magazines.
Before New York we wanted to gain some perspective so we first went to a few stores in Toronto – everything from a custom dress shop, to a fancy store in Yorkville, to budget bridal stores. My family was awesome taking pictures of me and filming my "walk down the aisle" in the store, which was a great idea to see how the dresses moved! The custom shop was cool but for my high school prom I had a HORRIBLE custom dress experience that left me never ever wanting anything custom ever again. The designer insisted I order a size 14, which I was a bit bigger in high school but not that much bigger. When the dress was ready I tried it on and I looked like a fat mermaid complete with fins,litterally there were fin-like ruffles on the bum of the dress. It was terrible and I vowed to myself then and there that buying dresses off the rack is the way to go. So the custom idea was out and the other stores we checked out seemed ok but I wanted to see what New York had to offer.
I went to New York with an idea of the dresses I wanted and there we only visited very high end stores, I'm talking 5k+ per dress – which from years of watching bridal shows I had been totally brainwashed into believing that basically that's what you HAD to spend if you wanted any dress that was half decent. Spoiler alert: turns out luckily that's totally false information.
I found two dresses that I loved in New York. One was an Oscar de la Renta which was absolutely beautiful but I feared for my conservative country-man groom that it would be a little too avant-garde for his taste. The second dress contender I found at Kleinfelds and I loved it but it was over my budget and after I learned that I would have to pay additional tax on top of the dress to get it home then find a tailor to alter it here I decided to pass on it. A dress is after all just that – a dress!
Anyway I went back to the first store we shopped at in Toronto – Ferre Sposa – and I feel in love with a dress that I had originally tried on about a month ago. I wrote about my initial disappointment with the initial bridal shopping trips in my blog here. I admittingly didn't give the dresses much of a chance the first time we looked because I wasn't totally prepared for what the experience would be like. Going back I went with my game-face on, I knew what to expect and I was ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase! I brought three girlfriends with me, my "panel" and they were adorable, so great to have them be completely supportive. After 10 minutes I said yes to the dress at a price tag of less than 1/5th of my original budget! I have shoes that cost more than this dress!! I absolutely love my dress and the best part is I don't feel like I've compromised in the slightest. The designer for those of you who are in the market is La Sposa – a designer from Barcelona.
Running this business has really re-taught me the value of a dollar and made me realize what is important to me and what isn't. I work freaking hard for $5,000 and when I feel like it will make me a better person, business woman, friend whatever I'm happy to spend money. When it won't I'm not going to spend it just because it was allowed. The dress is where I decided to hold back a bit and I'm really glad I did.
Bottom line: spend the money on the things that will be most important to you. You can find an absolutely beautiful dress for under $1,500. As much as "Say Yes to the Dress" is an amazing show don't let it trap you into thinking you need to spend an arm and a leg to be happy!
Have a lovely long and lean lady on your arm and looking for some gift ideas?! You have come to the right blog!
Here are my top picks this Christmas for female fitness fanatics like myself. I've gifted myself or have been gifted a few things on this list and love them! My favourite gift however is always time with friends and family! The best gift to give a fitness bunny is to join them in their natural habitat!! Gift them a yoga class, run together, spin class, there's nothing like sweating together.
Lululemon run inspire crop II: These are my all-time favourtie lululemon piece … and believe me I've owned a few pairs in my day! At last count I have six versions of this crop! I love the fit of these crops and the way they make your bum look is just unbeatable in my mind. They also work well no matter what time of year.
Nike Free TR in leopard: These are so much fun! I love the leopard print and I swear nice shoes make me move faster!
Toe Sox: These are great for a Pilates or yoga class. If you are like me and have sweaty paws these are perfect because they help grip the mat and they look pretty cool too!
Timex Watch: Tried and true. I love my durable and sleek watch. I wear this everyday and it's my training buddy. I have tried others but nothing beats this classic.
Fitness books: I love reading athletic biographies, I find them so inspiring. I was so impressed with Andre Agassi's book, the writing was beautiful and his story was surprisingly hugely moving.
The 4-Hour Body is a great book that always gets me thinking about fitness. Although I don't agree with everything in the book I do love that it's a thought provoker.
Michi Sports Bra: Black. Mesh. Sexy. Pretty much sums up this brand all in one. I love her sports bras and mesh leggings.
Pedicure: a great gift for any active girl … especially the runners in your life! This will for sure be used and appreciated!
For 12 years I woke up and wore plaid every.single.day.
:: Trench coat: Burberry, Pants: Joe Fresh, Top: h&m, Shoes: Browns - old, watch: Michael Kors – old ::
Don't get me wrong, I LOVED wearing my uniform in high school but eventually the plaid kilt and tie got a little tired after awhile. It's been almost ten years and now I'm finally starting to work plaid back in my wardrobe. It's just so festive!
I love Joe Fresh, especially for trends it's chic, cheap and cheerful. I saw these pants first in New York and loved them. They are the perfect dinner party date pant - so cute and comfortable! If you're ordering these online size down for sure. I was shocked when the size 2 fit me best (normally I'm a 4 – 6).
Novemeber has historically been the worst month for fitness commitments. It's getting colder, darker and clothes are getting bulkier. Essentially the perfect storm for erasing all of your summer progress!
:: @iza_goulart has some serious Pilates skills … no wonder she's a Victorias Secret Model + @iamnaomicampbell casually does a wheel on her yaught ::
The key to these next four months of winter is to set yourself up for sucess and commit to your routine. Supermodels never take a day off, and it shows! Fitness doesn't have to take up your entire day, actually you're better off not working out for more than an hour… keep it consistent (30-45 minutes everyday) and you will see the best results!
Here are the top five things that I do to stick with it through the winter:
1. Sign-up for a class: having an exact time and place to workout keeps me accountable and motivated. It also helps inspire class ideas. Some of my favourites (besides Bod Squad!!!) are Fuel Training Club, Track Fitness Circuit Classes and Ultimate Athletics.
2. Run inside. I am the weirdo that actually loves treadmill running. We have a treadmill in our building and I try to run for 20 – 40 minutes on it 4-5 times per week. Just put some tunes on or listen to all the crazy Rob Ford news chanels lately and I'm good to go!
3. New Outfits. Ok this one might sound shallow but it actually works! One of the key motivators to exercise is feeling good about your body. Especially if you're going to stick with an outdoor program layering will be a key success factor to your enjoyment!
4. Workout when it's light out. I like working out in the mornings even more in the winter time because by 6:50 am the sun is up and it's not so depressing. Last night I went for a run outside at 5:30 pm and it was pitch black. Kind of scary and probably not the safest.
5. Try something new. I've recently been trying to add in a lot more streching into my routine. It has been refreshing to set new goals and change up my regular routine.
And a note on diet: the food you eat will determine 90% of the winter layer you add on. That's the brutal reality but truth. Keep muching on your greens and up your water intake big time. By March break your body will thank you!
When one of my favourite style blogs asked me to model for them I JUMPED at the opportunity. I love Guest Etc. because it is so applicable to my life; they style lululemon pieces with high fashion items to display how you can make the most of your workout wear. Genius!
I loved the sweater but it didn't look great on me in the photographs because it's a little oversized. Beautiful in person though!
:: Final Shot ::
The outfit we shot was one that I would actually wear! I LOVE a great little vest. The experience was so much fun. Jonathan – the man behind the blog – is a gem. He made me feel like a movie star and we got this shot in less than 10 minutes. Great! In no way shape or form do I consider myself a model but this experience has reminded me of how just putting in a little extra effort when you get dressed in the morning can make a big impact on the rest of your day.
Thank you Guest Etc! For more and my interview visit the blog here.