31 May 2011

Style Peek: Help with Engagement Dressing

Hello fashionistas! I need your help. I secretly had my wedding dress seamstress make me a more casual custom dress for my engagement photos (a splurge I know, but I couldn't resist!). It's so beautiful and I couldn't be more thrilled with it. It's the prettiest navy floral eyelet, with a fitted top and box pleated flared bottom. The piece de resistance? Pockets of course!

This shape/length is the model for my wedding dress actually...which will be the same on the bottom but with a different top, and in the champaign peau de soie I got for a wicked steal. So you're actually getting a bit of a sneak peek!

Well our engagement photos are set for this weekend out in Gimli (my fave place on earth!), weather permitting. We'll have two outfits (indulgent, I know but a gal only does it once right?). One is dressier and the other more casual. I'm wearing my new dress for the 'dressier pics' but I'm trying to decide on the styling. That's where you come in!

I need your opinion...do you like look #1? Fresh, modern and colourful with a kelly green cardie, silver disc necklace and black and white peep toes.

Or, do you prefer look #2? Soft, relaxed and earthy, this one has a coffee coloured cardi, natural chunky wood necklace and distressed chocolate leather pointy toe flats.

I like them both but I can't decide. Can you help a girl out??

30 May 2011

Before and After: Milky Grey Tea Time Tray

Okay, it's officially been forever since I've shown you any before and afters (okay not forever but you know what I mean)...and this is a teeny one to boot! But what can I say - you truly can't do it all! Every time I take something new on, something else has to give.  I have all these guilts - like 'didn't I tell them I was opening an Etsy shop?', or 'when was the last time I finished a Lather Creation??' But I'm focused on getting healthy, planning a wedding, keeping up with my blog and enjoying my summer. I'll just have to forgive myself for what doesn't come quickly. Are you able to forgive yourself for not doing it all? Jealous.

Enough with the deep thoughts, remember when I showed you my Grade 9 shop class wooden tray? Well my lovely mama kept it all these years and uses it daily for her pots of tea. Here's my dated 1991 version of the tray...

And here's the refreshed 2011 version!

I started by painting it with a paint/primer combo - Aura by Benjamin Moore in a soft dove grey mistint. Then using a ruler and a pencil, I measured the section where I wanted my words. I roughly marked out guides to stay within and drew the outline for the letters. Then using a tiny art paintbrush, I filled in the letters from a tester size of Martha Stewart's Seal (a dark brownish grey). I coated the tray with a couple of coats of poly for durability. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it withstands my mom's strict daily schedule of hot pots...time will tell!

I love the instant gratification of painting something small! You could do this to anything - a jewellery box, a knife block, book ends...I'm always hunting around the small wooden items section at the thrift stores. I'm in the middle of painting old frames for props for my wedding photo booth - can't wait to show you!

How's your Monday going so far friends?

29 May 2011

An Early Shower

Hey! I hope you all had a good weekend? I did. Friday was mellow and the Bruins won - yay! Yesterday I had brunch then J and I went out for dinner and played Trivial Pursuit. Today we did a MASSIVE house cleaning and had his dad and my mom over for dinner. What did you get up to?

So I wanted to share some pics of the oh-so-lovely surprise wedding shower that Fusion threw for fellow bride-to-be Kara and I on Friday afternoon. And here we thought it was just our regular monthly potluck! The team went all out, with tiaras and sashes, gorgeous gifts and super fun games (don't you find games really show off your strengths and weaknesses - word scramble = not so much, guess the celebrity wedding = I'm a superstar!). Here's Kara and I in the hot seat!

This shot of Kara is priceless - it looks like she just won Miss America!

On top of a generous gift card, they also picked out super personal gifts - like this very cool double mug set (they have to go together!).

I got the most gorgeous set of Jonathan Adler bird salt and pepper shakers. Aren't they so pretty? I think they need to be displayed as sculptures rather than used to season my sandwiches...

It was sweet and generous and fun! And unexpected - my wedding is not until September those this was the first of these occasions (my sister is having one for me on June 12th and J's family is throwing a family bbq shower for us on July 16th). I have to admit, it feels really nice to be made to feel so special! 

Thanks Fusion, for not only being a great place to work but amazing people to work with!

What was your shower like? Did you relish the attention or shy away from the spotlight?

28 May 2011

Style Peek: Saturday Brunch

Hello weekend! I for one am thoroughly enjoying it....especially after last night's Boston Bruins win! For those who don't know the backstory - my J is a HUGE Bruins fan and for the last few years, he's made me a deal that if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, he will whisk me away to Boston. Since this is our wedding year - he's upped the ante and promised that instead of our intended one week vacation somewhere warm...if Boston wins we will enjoy a two-week honeymoon extravaganza with a week in Boston tacked on! Isn't it clever how my guy got me into the playoffs??

I had brunch this morning with my lovely and pregnant friend S at our favourite local spot Stella's. So I was going for comfy casual and I ended up in pale shades of baby pink, pale blue and soft grey. I have a hard time finding t-shirts I like - I prefer them to be wide and short, which is the total opposite of how most t's are designed (slim and long). So I was delighted to stumble across this awesome slouchy graphic T from American Eagle Outfitters. I paired it with a Jackie-O-ish cardigan with cute enamel buttons, to keep it from looking too sloppy.  Some straight leg distressed jeans and another pair of my go-to Aldo flats finish the look. I'm liking this pretty palette...

I think my photography is slowing improving too - what a difference good lighting makes! These shots aren't even edited, but some shots were darker than others so I'm still scratching my head and how this all works!

Necklace - Local Jewellery Boutique Silver Lotus

What are you up to on this fine weekend friends?  Hope it's lovely!

Do you have a fave T-shirt style or brand you've found and can't live without? Do share!

26 May 2011

Style Peek: 05.24.11

Hello friends, how are you doing today? You know how some magazines show you 'runway to reality' interpretations? Well consider this a 'wedding to reality' interpretation by me. Several months ago I got my wedding cardigan, a super splurge from J.Crew and it's been sitting lonely in my closet ever since. I could resist taking it out for a twirl! Plus I found this super cute creamy ivory blouse at Eddie Bauer. I know! I rarely shop there, it's not not really my style. But every once in a while I wander in, lured by the cute camping lifestyle and I end up with something really sweet from the sale rack. So I've got my soft vintage turquoise and my creamy champagne - just like my wedding outfit!

I have to confess, taking these outfit pics is a humbling experience because let me tell you - the camera doesn't lie! You know when you wake up and get dressed and you feel pretty cute...then you see a picture of yourself. It's a good thing though, because it's really going to help me stay on track (and decide which clothes to toss in my wardrobe - ha ha!). One day at a time right?

Plus between showers and engagement shoots and the wedding - this will probably be my most photographed summer of all time so a good reason to work hard. Self-love. Self-love. Self-love...that's my new mantra!

The lilacs are blooming and they smell delicious. There's one that leans over our deck and her sweet scent floats over the yard - so awesome.

Cardigan - J. Crew
Shirt - Eddie Bauer
Jeans - Dish
Flats - Aldo
Necklace - Etsy

Are you stopping to smell the lilacs these days friends? Hoping you are all well and happy!

25 May 2011

Saving Pretty Pennies

I love to play with make-up. But I'm not very adventurous on a day-to-day basis, so I hate to pay too much for a colour I may not love and wear daily.

Blush is my absolute must-have 'desert island' make-up item and I adore my Benetint.  But it's not so budget-friendly and I've been feeling the itch of wanting to try the new cheek tint/cream blush trend. I love the look of doll-like pink cheeks and coral lips for spring and summer - so fresh. So rather than invest with MAC or another of my fave higher-end brands, I did a little Superstore make-up shopping at Joe Fresh. They always lure me in with their cute, cheap clothes (grocery shopping is a lot more fun with them around!), but did you know they have a make-up line too?  Here's me playing around with my fresh new finds...

Sorry for those of you in the States, Joe Fresh is a Canadian treasure only. But I've heard amazing things about the thrifty Sonia Kashuk line from Target.

I've mentioned my love of the new coral trend, remember my nails? Well once I dipped my finger into this bright and cheerful trend, I wanted to hunt out some looks for my make-up. I picked out these juicy cheek tints and gorgeous sheer gloss for super budget prices.

I like to layer the pink cheek tint with a pop of the melon cream blush over top and the gloss has just the right amount of colour and shine. It doesn't last long, but that's pretty expected with gloss. For under twenty bucks, I'm pretty pleased with these and the pretty feminine look they create...they've definitely become part of my everyday routine!

Now that I've had so much success, I think I'm going to try some of the other products like eye shadow, concealer and mascara.  

Tell me friends - have you tried Joe Fresh make-up? What are your thoughts? Any cheap make-up faves to share with the class??

24 May 2011

From the Kitchen: BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza

Hey all! Did you have a good long weekend? Ours was super relaxing out at the cottage - sadly it rained the whole time but I secretly didn't mind because it was a great excuse to read, sleep, read, watch movies and yes - read! I finished Fly Away Home (fabulous!) and I started Still Alice (really good so far!). How was your long weekend?

For today's In the Kitchen, I'm such a dolt that I accidentally deleted the shots of the finished pizza, then we ate them so fast that I didn't have a chance to take any more!! But I wanted to share this amazing recipe as quick as I could so you wouldn't miss one day without trying this tasty treat.

Obviously I'm watching what I eat with Weight Watchers, but I love love to cook so I've been actively seeking out new recipes and brainstorming my own. This is one I came up with on my own (although i'm sure it's been done many times before).

You'll need (makes 4 mini pizzas):
4 Dempsters Body Wise Tortillas
1/4 cup of your fave bbq sauce
1 cooked chicken breast (I poached mine)
1 cup fire roasted red peppers
1/2 cup sauteed slivered red onions
1-1/3 cups of reduced fat mozza/cheddar mix grated cheese

1. After cooking and chopping your chicken breast and sauteeing your onion, lay out your 4 tortillas.
2. Top each one with bbq sauce, onions, roasted red peppers, chopped chicken and cheese.
3. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.

Oh. My. Goodness. So easy and soooooooooo yummy! And the tortilla gets nice and crispy like a thin crust pizza. J absolutely went nuts for these and we've decided it's a healthy staple to add to our dinner rotation. Next I think I'm going to try either lean cooked ham with mushroom and pineapple (hawaiian!) or chicken, artichoke and goat cheese, both with tomato sauce....mmmm! Eating healthy sure tastes good!

What's your fave recipe these days? Do share!

Have a great day friend!

19 May 2011

Lenore's First Style Peek and True Confessions

Hey! The post I made a few hours ago was a test - I was trying out my Picture Show app, which allows me to post pics and messages directly to Blogger! It worked great and now I can keep in touch while we're out at the lake.

*warning - this is a long post filled with 'feelings'...just saying!

Soooo, you're probably wondering why the graphic says Lenore's Style Peek instead of Agency Style Peek. Well, I'm added my own outfit posts into the mix. I'm still going share peeks into my agency, but I'm going to share a little more of myself and my personal style. This is for a couple of reasons:

1 - I love love fashion and shopping and styling (not couture fashion, but accessible well-priced fashion) and making the best of my own body shape, existing wardrobe and unique twists.

2 - I've always been in awe of the cool fashion bloggers and wanted to be a closer part of that community. Truth is, I've been too chicken. Too chicken to put myself out there. For a long time I didn't show many pictures of myself at all. I love my thrifting and furniture painting and DIY's, but there's more to me and I want my blog to reflect that. So I'm taking a risk and doing what my heart wants. Even if it scares me a little!

3 - I have a secret - I haven't been happy with my body lately, it's something I've always struggled with...but it's really escalated lately and I need to take back control. It's very hard to have a great life but feel self-hatred  every time you look in the mirror, especially when you love clothes and makeup and style.  So I'm doing something about it. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and I'm hoping to get back to a place of body satisfaction. By doing my style peeks, I feel like I have an incentive to feel acceptance and self-love by sharing what I have to offer as far as personal style. I'm putting my image out there in hopes of building my own sense of worth. Does that make sense at all?

I've been wanting to share my thoughts on this for a while. To be honest, it can be hard for me to share innermost feelings on this blog. Even though it's my personal creative space, I can hold myself back from being honest for fear of judgement. But I'm taking a leap and I plan to be a little more honest going forward, so I hope you'll stick with me!

I also got my new camera and tripod so I'm experimenting with my photos....here's my first ever outfit shots! Yup, just as awkward to take pics of yourself as the fashion bloggers say it can be!

Hoodie - Gap (similar)
Flats - Aldo (Buy)

Bag - Roots
Sunglasses - American Eagle Outfitters (Buy)

So enough about my confessions, on to my outfit! I picked up this dress for $27 at Faith 21, the plus size section of Forever 21. Plus size is a bit of a laugh though because they're actually like sizes 12, 14 and 16. But I'm glad to find such a great deal. 

My seamstress took in the bust a bit for a better fit and I love it (for only a few bucks even a cheap piece of clothing can look custom-made) - I call it my Jackson Pollack dress because it looks like it has paint splatters of every colour in the rainbow. 

That just means I can wear a million colours of cardigans with it...although to dress it down a bit, I went with a thin Gap Body hoodie in khaki green. My well worn cognac leather Roots purse and brown flats finish my look. It's been hot hot hot here this week, so it's been awesome to break out the dresses! A side note on purses, you'll only ever see me with a long strap purse, if I can't wear it over my body it's a no-go! Convenience rules in some cases...

Whew. Okay. Writing this blog post has been very cathartic. If you're still with me then thanks for listening and I hope you have an amazing long weekend...I know I will.

If you feel like sharing any of your insecurities in the comments, I would feel like we were kindred spirits!