December 31, 2016

All I want this winter is Sweetlegs



Well the holiday season has come and gone once again and during this most wonderful time of the year I felt the need to host a get together with family and friends to celebrate with some laughs, food and holiday cheer (in this case that was red wine sangria). I had come across a company this past summer that sells only one item of clothing, one that is near and dear to my heart; leggings. Sweetlegs is a Canadian company that sells leggings for women and girls in both solid colors and patterns through either their website Sweetlegs.ca, through one of their private distributors (kind of like Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware) and they also have a retail location in British Columbia.

My first introduction to this brand,  as I said,  was in the summer while at a princess party with my daughter, I liked the patterns and they had kid sizes (kids sizes: 2-4, 6-8, 10-12) so I paid the $20 plus tax (albeit a bit steep for children's leggings but I wanted to try them out) and took them home with me. The first thing I noticed was how soft and silky the fabric was, it had stretch to it but it held its shape and didn't get baggy around the knees or bum. The waist was elastic enough to fit my daughter's tiny, hard to fit waist (even with leggings, some brands weren't tight enough to fit her nicely). My only complaint would be that they didn't fit her snugly in the legs, she has thin legs (she got it from her mama) and so they aren't as tight on her as they would be on other body types but this isn't a huge problem and she seems to love them.




Fast forward to October, I came across a post on one of the Facebook groups, a distributor of Sweetlegs was selling her stock (I guess she had stopped selling). She was selling the one size leggings (fits women sizes 8-14) for $15 a pair (normally they cost $25 plus tax plus shipping if ordered online) so I jetted on over to her house and picked up two pairs. I was disappointed however because I mistakenly thought that the one size would fit me (I'm probably a 0-2 waist) they did fit ok in the waist but the legs were a bit baggy (kind of the same problem my daughter has!). This left me pretty heartbroken (first world problem, I know) because they were so cozy and soft, and I could've kept them but the fit would drive me nuts so I ended up selling them to a friend who absolutely loved them.

A month went by and I couldn't stop thinking that I would like a pair of Sweetlegs to call my very own so I started looking for a local distributor who could help me host a party for some of my family and friends who were also in love with them and wanted some new pairs. The party night finally arrived and the distributor Jenn showed up with bins and bins full of beautiful leggings, which she set up in my dining room on clothing racks and we had ourselves a little pop-up sale. As the host, she offered me the option to run a sale for my guests (the more you buy the more you save; buy two pairs 5%, 3 pairs 10% off etc.) this would make my host benefits amount lower but I was thankful to my guests for coming to enjoy the night of buying and giving them a deal was a given. The selection of sizes and patterns was pretty amazing for a pop-up sale during the Christmas season, she had kids sizes 2-4, 6-8, 8-10 and women's sizes petite (this fits waist size 0-6), one size (waist size 8-14) and plus (fits waist size 14-22). There were some holiday patterns that I was absolutely in love with; Winterberry, Golden Oldies, Falalala and Alpine. It took me a long time to decide between all the patterns but I ended up getting quite a few pairs.... Winterberry, Alpine (shown), Yarnival, Electro Pop and Black Liquorice.


So far I have worn nothing except my Sweetlegs, I wear them for work, I wear them to the grocery store, I even wore them for a wintery run the other evening and I am pretty impressed. There is no camel toe, no baggy knees or saggy butt, they are warm enough to run in, the tag and flat seams are not itchy and I was even able to wear them to bed (I am usually only able to sleep in shorts as my legs get itchy, hot and uncomfortable). This was a worthwhile purchase for sure (I did get three pairs for free as a host benefit, I also bought three additional pairs, two for me and one for Audrey) but only time will tell how they hold up compared to other brands of leggings but if I follow the washing instructions properly they should (if not they do offer a warranty for exchange (I wasn't able to find a specific time period for this on their website though).

I hope that this product intro/review was interesting and helpful! This is not a sponsored post, I purchased the product and tried for my own curiosity, although I did contact the company to see if they had a discount code that I could offer to my readers but alas I did not receive a reply. Let me know if you have a fav brand of leggings, or if you end up trying out Sweetlegs let me know what you think!
Erin
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October 25, 2016

Is It Time To Jump On The Ath-leisure Trend?


As a busy Mom and all around lazy girl, I am such a fan of the cozy closet. When I discovered the brand HYBA (by Reitmans) in the summer I was pretty much browsing the site everyday in search of new arrivals to purchase. Since my occupation has changed from Law Clerk to Daycare Provider, my wardrobe has also undergone a metamorphosis; meaning that I pretty much wear leisure gear all week long. I usually opt on the side of jeans and a button down flannel shirt or sweater with my Converse high tops but there are also days when yoga pants and a hoodie are calling my name.

There has been a trend popping up in the last few seasons that is making it ok to go out in public in comfortable clothing (like your gym clothes) which is great, especially for those of us living #momlife (sometimes looking put together takes waaay too much effort). But it's not just about wearing your pj's to Walmart or your Lululemon pants to a restaurant, I think it's more about taking athletic-inspired pieces and incorporating them into any wardrobe whether it be very corporate or incredibly relaxed.





Many of my fav companies to buy regular clothing from are offering up new affordable activewear lines such as Old Navy, Gap, Reitmans (HYBA), Forever 21, Joe Fresh and most recently ADORE ME has just released their own line of beautiful Activewear (think sexy mesh cut-outs and tanks that can work for a night out as well as for a cardio class) (Use coupon code GETACTIVE10 for 10% your activewear order until the end of OCTOBER).  I am truely in love with their FIZA Tank and Short set with criss cross open cowl back. Another of my favs is the CHAYA Jogger set which has a cropped tank and fishnet detail on both top and pant. My favorite thing about all of these brands athletic collections are the patterns (think florals, abstract and geometric). I also love the cuts and fabrics used for things like t-shirts, pants and hoodies; they move with you, they keep you cool, they wick away sweat (and what busy person doesn't need those features in their day-to-day clothing?)





Have you gotten into this trend? I know that it used to be unthinkable to wear pajamas or gym clothes to work, for date night or to run errands but hey, change is inevitable, particularly when it comes to fashion. It may be just a matter of embracing this change as far as you are comfortable, either way I'm already on board.


Erin
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Just in Time for Fall



Are you a watch person? I am, ever since I was old enough to own a watch, I wore one. But in recent years (since I got an iPhone and the battery on my Michael Kors watch died on me AGAIN, not to mention that I would probably get it wet since I have to wash my hands a million times a day) I have not been wearing one, and I have to say that I really miss having that statement timepiece in my fashion arsenal.

Choosing a watch (I think) is a very personal decision because we all look for different features and not every size and shape of watch suits every person's body. Although I have quite a slender wrist,  I don't really like the traditional small "ladies watch" but I also don't want a watch with a face so big it could have come from the men's section. As for the metal I currently have a silver-colored watch but I also wear yellow gold a lot so it would be nice to have one in that color. I don't typically buy a lot of rose-gold jewellery and although I think it's lovely, I don't think I would purchase a watch in this color. Another go-to color though would be black, it's versatile and it never really goes out of style.

Brand Alert!

I am a big supporter of local brands and I have recently come across a Canadian watch brand that I love the look of and I will definitely be putting one of these babies on my X-mas list this winter; MEDIUM Watch Co is a company based in Calgary, Alberta and I love that their designs are simple but streamlined and luxurious but still affordable. They make watches for both women (The Debut) and men (The Intro), using a wide range of materials from gold to black stainless steel to leather and although the designs come across as simple, they are anything but boring. My favs are The Debut in Black & Gold, The Debut in White & Gold and The Debut in Turquoise & Black.












All watches come with a two year warranty, can be customized (including engraving) and can be purchased from their website or locally in Ottawa at any WATCH IT! location. (If you decide to buy one directly from their website, you can use coupon code MEDIUMTPG25 to receive $25 off your order!)


Just in time for fall


Victoria Victoria Beckham neon shirt
610 CAD - avenue32.com



3.1 Phillip Lim black ankle booties
625 CAD - bagheeraboutique.com


Victoria Beckham leather tote bag
1,880 CAD - stylebop.com


David Yurman sterling silver bangle
2,270 CAD - davidyurman.com


Jordan Askill gold band ring
325 CAD - ylang23.com


Maria Francesca Pepe spiked earrings
65 CAD - lamuseboutique.com


Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
305 CAD - johnlewis.com


Columbia loop scarf
21 CAD - 6pm.com



Please let me know if you already have a watch brand that you absolutely love or if you know of any local Canadian brands that I can check out as I am always on the lookout for new ideas!


Erin

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September 20, 2016

Fall-in-love with Cozies



Fall Fashion = Cozy

There has always been something special to me about fall (autumn), the leaves changing, the crisp weather, apples, pumpkins, cozy sweaters, flannels and big scarves. However, I have always lamented that although I am ready for fall weather in September, Mother Nature not always ready to release her grip on summer. If we look ahead to what we will be expecting for the season to follow (think Winterfell) I can understand why, but with the cold nights and mornings versus the hot afternoons, it is complicated to know how to dress each day.

Fashion Mama Aquarius' Fall Favs

My fall wardrobe will consist of skinny jeans, flannel shirts, long knit cardigans, slouchy rounded hem cotton tees and all black Converse Chuck All Stars. I work at home with kids all day so my wardrobe needs to be comfortable and reliable when I am outdoors. Layering is key so I want to have pieces that work well together to make getting dressed stupid easy. Although I haven't bought a lot of new clothing for this fall I rely on fashion staples from Old Navy, Gap, H&M and Joe Fresh.

Fall-in-Love with Cozies


√Čtoile Isabel Marant deep v neck top
550 CAD - net-a-porter.com


Collared shirt
46 CAD - hm.com


Mid-Rise Rockstar Jeans for Women
66 CAD - oldnavy.gapcanada.ca



Chloé man bag
2,135 CAD - montaignemarket.com


Miriam Haskell vintage earrings
200 CAD - lanecrawford.com


Gold jewellery
225 CAD - pret-a-beaute.com


PrAna infinity scarve
59 CAD - backcountry.com


Tech accessory
6.55 CAD - wetseal.com


Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses
530 CAD - ysl.com



Brand Alert!

Another brand that I am intrigued by for undergarments is Adore Me, it is a sexy lingerie subscription service that allows you to choose new beautiful bras, panties, sleepwear and swimwear that are delivered to your house every month with free shipping and exchanges (this may only be for those living in the US, #storyofeverycanadiangirlslife) They have a welcome promo code on your first order, this is about $25 USD. I think fall is a great time to stock up on some nice, new pretty underthings, I don't know if I would like the subscription part because it's about $40 USD a month and I really don't need new lingerie every month (although it couldn't hurt right?) so we'll see if I decide to continue after the first order.





Hope you all have an amazing September and that the crisper temperature of fall will inspire you to create cozy, casual, comfortable looks that will last you into winter.


Erin
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August 10, 2016

A Long Summer Hiatus

Well hello there friends! I know it's been quite awhile since I've posted even a lick of content and I really have wanted to but life got in the way as it does when you're a work-at-home mom of two (or three or four or five) children.

So here is a quick recap on the last three months.

No Spend Challenge:
I have failed miserably at this ever since I started to slide in April, I am once again a manic spender and there's no sign of the return of my willpower yet. I think that taking a period to detox from spending was healthy and necessary but to do this for more than a few months is pretty tough at least for me.

Kids and Hubs:
All is good on the Homefront; Audrey turns four this month and Abigail just turned 16 months, neither kid is sleeping well, Audrey has bad dreams, Abigail has teething and Mike and I have bags under our eyes constantly. Thankfully they're both so cute and incredibly smart and I love them to bits. Mike is good, still obsessed with Lego, video games and all things nerdy.

Business:
In April I opened my home as a daycare so that I could stay home with my kids until they are both in school, this has worked out very well so far and I am building a good clientele of families who use my services. I am constantly relying on Pinterest for ideas on how to help them learn, play and grow, it's exhausting but it's great to be spending so much time with my girls. The only downsides are the mess, the long hours, the off-duty preparations, and my desperate need to escape my house once the kids are picked up (I can't even fathom how I'll fare in winter when going outside with 5 kids isn't possible #Canadianwinterproblems).

Fashion:
I'm not rocking a high-fashion, on-trend wardrobe these days for obvious reasons, but I have recently discovered a dupe for LuluLemon; Hyba by Reitmans, it's awesome quality activewear for a fraction of the cost and they almost always have online deals. I'm obsessed.

Fall Plans:
I won't make any outlandish promises of all the blog posts I plan to come out with but we all know that summers are packed and hectic and kind of laidback fashion wise anyways. I do hope that fall will spur me back into regular posting again, only time will tell.

Attitude of Gratitude
I am mega appreciative to all of the readers who visit my blog, please know that I genuinely love writing for you and that I do plan to do this someday full-time (God willing).

Happy summer everyone!

Erin
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May 10, 2016

No Spend Challenge: April Update



Sorry Friends, I know that this update comes a bit late as we are already into May but I guess I have been avoiding sitting down to write about April. The truth is that every month I feel like I am doing worse and worse at not spending money, that is to say I think I am failing the challenge.

I went into this knowing that the spring/summer season would be a tough one for me, what with all the beautiful new sun dresses, sandals, hats, shorts, you name it, but I have definitely been more tempted than I thought I would be. The trouble seems to be that I have a hard time distinguishing between wants and needs (although deep down I know which is which) I don't like to live without things and although I think that I have done well with not over-buying in areas like cosmetics, skincare and clothing for myself, I am always on the hunt for the next item to buy.

I was recently at the outlets looking for some shoes for my daughter who is going to be starting school in September and I decided that I would buy myself some sun dresses from Old Navy (because they were nice, because they were 30% off, because I wanted something new to wear, because it was Mother's day and I deserve it dammit.) So I picked out two that I liked and bought them without even trying them on (this tells me that it was a purchase out of desperation for something new not necessarily for these particular dresses) and even though I spent less than $75 for them I felt an immense amount of guilt at spending that money. This is the worst part for me is that I want nothing more than to be a consumer and consume to my heart's content but the second the purchase is made I start to worry about having enough money for other things that will come up in the month and I feel guilty for having "given in" to my cravings.

Another thing that is throwing me off on my goal is that I recently started my own home daycare business rather than returning to my job so that I can be home with my own kids and also earn a second income for our family, this requires me to spend more money each week on groceries, craft supplies and items for the business. (These things I will be able to write off when I do my taxes next year but I have to spend all the money upfront in the meantime.

This past month we had a lucky and interesting thing happen to us, we managed to completely pay off all of our outstanding consumer debts, this means that the only debt we currently owe is the mortgage on our house. This is an amazing feeling and it definitely lifts a huge burden off of our shoulders and frees up more cash each month for all the other bills and expenses we have but it also means that we also want to buy everything under the sun and I worry that it will lead to more debt. I know that we need to be vigilant, to seize this opportunity to put more money into savings, investments and retirement. That we need to save up for big ticket items that we want such as a new bed, a water filtration system, and new car tires. That we can't be seduced by the credit that we have and spend it because it's there or because we get points for using it.

For the month of May, I am going to try to go back to the distractions I was using in the beginning of this challenge, focusing on cleaning my house, selling the stuff I already own but don't use, spending time and money on experiences with my family rather than more stuff, and focusing on my health.

Thanks for reading and also thank you for understanding that I have been so extremely busy with my new occupation that I have not had much time or inspiration for my blog but I am hoping that as I become accustomed to the new pace and routines that I will find a balance that includes more regular blogging because I really do love it!
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