Nov 302016
 

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I dislike Saturday shopping. There I said it. I know that lots of you do as well. However, when First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower recently invited me to shop their centre to get gifts for my family I was intrigued to learn more as their holiday slogan reads “Saturday Shopping without the Shoppers”. Saturday shopping is one (unappealing) thing especially thinking about the holiday rush that usually comes along with it. They promised me it would be different. You see the shopping centre is not usually open on Saturdays so they were opening for those of us who live, work or play in downtown Toronto. Then there were the perks:

  1. Free Parking
  2. Free Coat & Parcel Check
  3. Free Gift Wrapping
  4. Free interactive photo booth

First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower delivered on it’s promise, it is a very calm, adult and civilized way to spend a Saturday shopping. The calm happy photo you see of me was taken Saturday Shopping! I picked up lunch, had my coffee(s) and shopped for my husband…

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He recently purchased a few new suits and I had to update his accessories for his new threads.

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Then there were the kids…electronics…lots and lots of fun electronics…

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and last but not least something for me…

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To recap, First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower will be open Saturdays until December 17th from 11 am to 5 pm. You can shop over 90 stores, personal care services and restaurants and enjoy all the free perks exclusively for Saturday shopping without the shoppers! I’ll remind you what they are

  • – Free Parking
  • – Free Gift Wrapping
  • – Free Coat & Parcel Check
  • – Free Holiday Photo Booth

Stay tuned for my next post showing what I selected for holiday gift giving!

 November 30, 2016  Posted by on November 30, 2016 Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Nov 272016
 

It’s a good question and one I feel I want to answer for those of you wondering what happened. I took a bit of a blogging break for several reasons. When I started this blog it was for fun and to help other moms figure out what to wear after baby. The End. Well not quite anymore. Here’s what I’ve been up to :

  1. Cityline – I have been averaging 2 tv segments a month on Canada’s #1 Lifestyle program Cityline. Those two segments can take up to a full week (or more) to complete. I LOVE doing them.
  2. The Shopping Channel – Every three months (since April) I have been on The Shopping Channel (Canada’s QVC). It is a full day of filming and lots of prep time to get TV ready.
  3. The Family – I don’t even need to elaborate
  4. Friends – See explanation for #3
  5. Housework – I don’t have any staff so it’s just me, the husband and I’ll pretend the kids always listen and clean up after themselves.
  6. Feeling overwhelmed – and this has been the biggest one. I have taken on a lot of TV and have been trying to work on my Instagram account and blogging became less of a priority. This is going to change. I am going to be working with a photographer so look for more content at a professional level. I am really excited about this and hoping our first session goes well.

Thank you for following along and I am hoping that you’ll like what you see. Below are a few photos showing that I’m alive and well. Follow me on Instagram to see proof of life @ivagrbesic.

 

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 November 27, 2016  Posted by on November 27, 2016 Tagged with: ,  1 Response »
Nov 142016
 

First Canadian Place Exchange Tower

We’re all busy –  work, family, friends and children – add in the Holiday season and my calendar is already full and waiting for 2017 to clear it up. As a stylist this time of a year is filled with questions about what to wear, where to shop and how to go from office ready to party fun. I find one of the things that make it easier to deal with a hectic Holiday season and full event calendar is convenience – a place you can find all your outfit needs. If you work, live or play downtown I find my style convenience at First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower. I was really happy to be included in their latest campaign and help readers dress for this busy time of year.

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My first look is office (or TV) ready with a play on feminine classics. A classic pencil skirt with a ruffle detail and a bow blouse from Atelier by Sandra Angelozzi. I am a firm believer in the Third Piece Rule and topped off the outfit with a classic boxy blazer from Miori. The accessories are understated but craftsmanship is evident – shoes & handbag from Peter Kaiser and jewelry from Swarovski.

While I have several style rules I follow, one that no longer holds is not wearing blue and black together. This chic ensemble shows that some rules were made to be broken.

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Photo Credit – Lindsey Drennan Photography

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Putting together Holiday looks is fun but what do you do when going from the office to the office Holiday party? For me the easiest way to make that transition is to select an anchor piece ( a dress or blouse and in this case a skirt) and then add accessories to carry you from day to night. First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower made it very easy.

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I switched out the blue bow blouse and selected a short sleeve white blouse from Miori and went from there. My black and white colour palette gave me the freedom to add colour and texture quite easily. Party ready in a few easy and stylish steps.

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Coat Miori, Clutch & Shoes Peter Kaiser, Bracelet & Ring Swarovski.

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My Day to Night looks from First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower were caught on video plus a little insight to my own personal style.

Another very convenient item I wanted to share is that First Canadian Place and Exchange tower will be open on Saturdays during the Holiday season. Saturday holiday hours starting Saturday, November 19th until Saturday, December 17th. Another great convenience is that parking is free on Saturdays.

Located between St. Andrew and King station getting there is easy as well – take the TTC or drive in. They’re expecting you.

 

Jul 202016
 

For those following me on Social Media you know that I am in Croatia for holidays. We’re enjoying the capital city, Zagreb, and the island of Krk (for now). I am with the kids and we are having a great time. Travelling with kids can be tricky and packing for all of them is overwhelming. Before we left I attended an event a Geox event in Yorkdale mall. A day for moms and kids to see the latest styles Geox has. Each of my four picked out a pair of shoes.

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As you can see we had a lot of fun. Now that we’ve been in Croatia for two weeks I can let all moms know that there have been no blisters for any of them – my kids wore their Geox shoes for the first time in Zagreb. Instead of wearing flip-flops or crocs around the pool my boys have opted for their Geox sandals. They are breathable and comfortable. A great casual shoe for walking around on cobblestone, boardwalks or pebble beaches.

My daughter loves her sandals because they are stylish and comfortable. I purchased a pair of ballerina flats for her (a present for her recent move to middle school and admission into the enriched program) and they are the perfect shoe for my tween.

I also picked out a pair of sandals for myself and they are adding a bit of style to my wardrobe this summer. I sprained my ankle so no heels for me. It’s been a difficult transition but the sandals a great comfort for me.

Geox is also going to be hitting stores with their fall collection and it is magnificent. For all the moms wanting to get their back to school shopping done right I recommend a look at their latest collection.

 

 

 July 20, 2016  Posted by on July 20, 2016 1 Response »
May 232016
 

Laura is one of the most popular women’s stores in Canada. Company founder Laura Wolstein opened her first boutique in downtown Montreal with a dream: to help Canadian women look their best, through quality merchandise and exceptional service. Her daughter Gertrude and son-in-law Leonard Fisher continued to operate a single boutique with the help of other family members, until their son Kalman opened a second store in 1973, and eventually grew the company to the size it is today – over 170 stores across Canada. Laura remains a family owned and operated company, one that has evolved with the changing of the Canadian retail landscape.

One of the largest changes was bring all the Laura Banners – Laura, Laura Plus, Laura Petites and Laura Plus Petites – under one roof. This decision was made after the realization that many women shop across the different banners, facilitating their shopping experience by bringing everything together. Laura’s collections feature stylish workwear, casual separates and elegant eveningwear, plus an extensive selection of outerwear and accessories. My first experience with the new Laura concept store was on Cityline. I had made over an audience member in March shopping at the Square One store. These stores are all they are advertised to be and more. They house the entire Laura line up and you can easily navigate the store that is well lit and beautifully designed. I almost forgot to mention the clothing – classic pieces with hits of trend and colour. The woman I made over not only loved her outfit she also purchased other pieces because the choices were amazing.

When I was approached by Laura to attend and promote the Grand Opening Party of the Laura store in Sherway I was all in! The store opened its doors on April 30th with great excitement and we’ll be celebrating with Laura style. Come by the Sherway Gardens LAURA store on Thursday May 26th and shop with a 20% off for one night only and enjoy some bubbly and bites. The party starts at 5 pm and ends when the store closes at 9pm. Join Liv Judd as she presents a Laura trend report at 7 pm. Find me so we can tweet and take some selfies or I can offer you my advice on creating the perfect outfit at Laura.

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Laura Store Front

The new retail space is 5,215 square feet and is designed by Callison in collaboration with Laura. The new store boasts a beautiful dress area, accessory room and a stunning fitting room space.

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Laura Accesories

Laura Change Room

With the advent of the digital age, Laura has undertaken a very exciting initiative – the launch of an eCommerce website, where customers can browse the entire Laura collection and have it delivered right to their door.

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Laura wants to stay social and invites customers to Like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram. You may see someone you know.

I hope I’ll see you at the party this Thursday. We can sip and shop in one of the pretties stores in Sherway!

 May 23, 2016  Posted by on May 23, 2016 Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »
May 042016
 

I have been holding on to these beautiful pieces of jewelry, from Michael Hill, for longer then I thought I would – they arrived at my home during a very busy time and just as I was hit with some sad news. I hadn’t even opened the boxes. I had selected 3 pretty and classic pieces of jewelry that I know I will have for years to come. It seems fitting that I start wearing these pretty pieces in time for Mother’s Day but more importantly my birthday. I am turning 40+1.

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I don’t do gift guides but any of these pieces would be perfect for Mom. Pretty without breaking the bank…save your money for something really big at Michael Hill for those memorable moments like turning 40. I suggest diamonds – no shocker there.

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I selected a pair of gold studs, an arrow bracelet and a pair of hoop earrings for this partnership.

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This Arrow Bracelet is the trendiest piece of the group but it reminds me how important it is for me to hit my target…even though there are so many times I feel like I’ll never hit that bullseye professionally or personally. I wouldn’t want my children to stop trying to so I’m not going to let myself stop either.

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I have a large collection of stud earrings that are costume jewelry, I needed to complete my collection with these yellow gold ones.

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Hoop Earrings are another classic – not as big as my Jenny from the Block days – but something I can wear and give to my daughter when she gets older.

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What’s your favourite piece?

 May 4, 2016  Posted by on May 4, 2016 Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »
May 022016
 

For those of you who read my blog or follow me on Instagram then you know that on Mother’s Day our family tradition is to head to Burger King for a feast fit for a King but made for this Queen. Well this year I have partnered up with Ecco for a special treat for me and my kids. We selected our favourite Ecco shoes, strapped them on and headed for an adventure with another great gift – each of us had in our hands a Toronto CityPASS. The CityPASS gives you access to some of the hottest tourist attractions in Toronto – CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium Canada, Casa Loma, The Royal Ontario Museum and The Toronto Zoo or The Science Centre.

Of course we headed off on our adventure in heavy rain. We had plans to hit 3 attractions but only made it to Ripley’s Aquarium. The great thing about the pass is that it is good for 9 days so next weekend we are going to finish using the CityPASS. My daughter was determined to wear her sandals to show them off and thank Ecco – don’t worry she didn’t wear them in the rain, I packed them in my purse.

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My sneakers here; Daughters sandals here (they are women’s sandals) and boys sneakers here.

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The boys sneaker’s are very light and for smaller sizes there is no need to tie your laces – secure speed lace closures. A breathable mesh upper combined with leather trim allows the foot to move naturally and air to circulate, keeping toes cool and feet relaxed all day. My boys have destroyed their other sneakers and these are a perfect replacement. I’ll be packing them up for our trip to Croatia.

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We found Nemo and Dory.

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The Jellyfish.

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Petting sharks.

My daughter’s sandal is crafted from super-soft leather for a contemporary twist on the traditional Gladiator style. The leather flexes with the natural movement of your foot for easy walking, while inside a leather-covered foodbed and comfort shank deliver outstanding cushioning and shock absorbency with every step.

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Sneakers are one of the biggest trends this season, and these long-lace leather trainers with a contrasting sole take all the essential design elements and combine them into one quality style. The ECCO Comfort Fibre System ensures that your feet stay cool and fresh, and the design maximises all-day comfort. Fashionable and functional these trainers are a great buy for any woman looking for the perfect white kicks.

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My squad.

We had such a great day and our adventure continues next weekend on Mother’s Day. Thank you Ecco for giving me the perfect weekend with all the imperfections that being a mom brings. Follow my adventure by using the hashtag #EccoLovesMoms to follow along. For all the mother’s reading this post I’m hoping you have a great Mother’s Day!

 May 2, 2016  Posted by on May 2, 2016 Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Apr 042016
 

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A year and a half ago Jenny from Crazy Style Love hosted an evening for us to meet jewelry designer Monica Rich Kosann. It was a wonderful night connecting with fellow women in media, sharing a meal and talking to Monica. Monica’s aesthetic is feminine and classic with beautiful details. Her pieces are gifts you can proudly give your friends or purchase for yourself and you will keep those pieces to hand down to your daughter or granddaughter.

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We were all gifted a beautiful a necklace and charm from her Pocket Watch Key Collection (you can see Monica putting my necklace on me) and it’s a piece I still wear today. I love to wear it alone or layer it with other necklaces I have.

When her team approached me collaborate on a sponsored post to feature her Locket collection I naturally said yes. The locket I selected is the Petite Bridle Locket which is made of sterling silver and I chose the 30 inch chain (there is also an 18 inch chain option). It is a beautiful piece that you can wear alone…

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Monica Rich Kosann Locket

…or layer with other necklaces in your collection. I paired my beautiful locket with my other Monica Rich Kosann necklace.

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Monica Rich Kosann locket

I didn’t have time to personalize my locket for this post, however, you can easily add photos or text and change it as often as you like! On the website there is an easy-to-use application that takes you through the personalization process step-by-step, whether you’re uploading and re-sizing photos or formatting a custom message. If you don’t have a photo in mind, remember that a personal message, date or quote can be just as special.

 April 4, 2016  Posted by on April 4, 2016 1 Response »
Mar 292016
 

This is my last post about London with Expedia.ca and I had to finish the series off with what to see. London is a site seeing paradise so you need a lot of time and some money (ok a lot, the city is expensive) to do it all. I had 75 hours and wanted a long weekend that was more about enjoying London and not necessarily seeing everything again. Think about what you want from your trip and plan accordingly especially when going for a weekend. You want the trip to be efficient and experience your top sites. This is how I divided up our weekend: Friday was for afternoon tea and shopping, Saturday I had a meet up with a group of fellow bloggers and finished up shopping and Sunday I planned for site seeing. This was my second time in London so I saw a few things I missed from last time – St. Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern.

For a weekend getaway I would recommend setting aside at least one full day for site seeing (two if this is the only time you will be in London). You can cover a lot of ground in one day because of the tube. Grab a pass and map out your route. That’s why location is key when staying in London. A central hotel, like the Melia White House, ensures you’re close to tube stations and all major attractions. A hotel close to the airport, while cheaper, will frustrate most travellers as they spend too much time getting into the city for such a short stay. For those that are a bit intimidated by the tube system (I was the first time I was in London) I would recommend the Hop-On Hop-Off tours. I did it last year and I learned a lot about the city and we hit every major attraction. Plus it gives you an idea of what you want to see more of and what is good for a quick look.

This year we used the tube and a map and visited:

Buckingham Palace

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Parliament/London Eye/Big Ben

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Please note that when we went you could not take photos in the church. Please respect the rules. I was frustrated for those working in the church constantly stopping tourists from snapping pictures inside.

 

Tate Modern

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I really enjoyed the Tate Modern. There are several exhibits to see and since we had limited time we spent our time in the Collection Displays Media Networks. The exhibit was thought provoking and I learned a few new things.

 

Attractions we missed but would be a great addition to any trip – The Tower of London, The Shard & Madame Toussaud’s Wax museum.

 

Want to also visit London? You can find some amazing London hotels at Expedia.ca here, and their flight deals here.

 March 29, 2016  Posted by on March 29, 2016 Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Mar 262016
 

This is an extra London post – I didn’t plan on writing about shoes but after thinking about all the walking we did during the morning, afternoon and night this year (and last) I had to write a quick post on it. I’m sure that my friends at Expedia.ca won’t mind. We all need comfortable shoes.

Last year I did not pack a pair of trainers or a brand of shoes that are known for comfort and that was a mistake. After the first day our feet were hurting and I had made the mistake of wearing a pair of booties with a high chunky heel (in my defence we were not supposed to be doing much walking but somehow that all changed). Nicole and I were so over our footwear that we scoured London for a pair of fashionable and comfortable pair of trainers but they were sold out or didn’t have our size at every store we went to. I was not going to make the same mistake this year.

Sometimes timing is everything – Geox had launched their Nebula line a week before I was leaving to London and had invited media to a launch event and gifted us a pair. I chose a black leather pair that would go with everything I was packing.

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Lots of colours and patterns to choose from.

I wore these shoes on the plane, Friday (our first day there) and Sunday. There are several great features for this shoe – they are light, flexible, stability, grip and have the Geox breathability technology. The back of the shoe folds down so they are perfect for air travel, when your foot swells you can wear them like mules. They offer shoes that you can lace or ones with elasticized bands that make them slip ons. The slip ons are obviously easy to put on and that is a nice option. What I learned about the slip ons is that after a full day or wearing them and walking round they were very snug on the top of my foot so I simply wore them like mules. This happens whenever I wear shoes for a long time, the top of my foot huts and all shoes are uncomfortable. When I wear trainers with laces I have to loosen the laces.

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While I was at Geox I also spied these Twinka ankle boots in nude/blush and I got them. My ankle boots at home were not made for walking – no support and definitely no breathability technology. I wore them all day Saturday and on the plane ride home. They have quickly become my favourite ankle boots for their comfort but also for their colour and design. I have had countless people stop me to ask me where I got them, if you are interested and want to learn more they are here.

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I also wanted to post about these Ron White heels, a Canadian shoe designer who also has retail stores. Ron White was named Independent Retailer of the Year by Conde Nast in 2011 (a Canadian first) and was inducted into the Sheridan College of Business Hall of Fame in 2007. These blush heels are a great shape, design and are a comfortable heel. I wore them Sunday night to Berners Tavern (we walked and took the tube) and I wasn’t in any pain when we got back to the hotel. They are a 3 inch heel and they weren’t slipping off my feet. This blush tone goes with everything and when travelling it eliminates the need for several pairs of shoes.

The older I get I need to have function fused with style when I am travelling through Europe and dong a lot of walking. All the above shoes achieved my needs.

Want to also visit London? You can find some amazing London hotels at Expedia.ca here, and their flight deals here.

 March 26, 2016  Posted by on March 26, 2016 1 Response »