Friday, February 28, 2014

A Look Back at February

Bring on March and the last few days of my twenties!  (whoa)

In February I celebrated Sarah's bump with her family, visited Marco's family in Kingston and made  few H&M purchases while there.  I bought a couple pairs of boots (in an attempt to replace old, worn out ones), new to me-but last season Zara shoes and finally wore my OTK boots more than a few times (hoorah for dry pavement).

I showcased several outfits (maroon leather jacket, tweet + fur coat) and became a Style Ambassador for Clearly Contacts.  I purged my closet big time & had a sale, spent the day at Place d'Oleans thanking shoppers & received an early birthday gift (Vince Camuto & Michael Kors bracelets, yo!).

My family & friends surprised me with an intimate early-birthday celebration, I got super sick with a sinus cold at the end of the month and stood up for #PINKSHIRTDAY with another Clearly Contacts collab.

And the most exciting news of February, Marco and I decided to move in together, found a place and signed a lease.   We shared a special 'first meal' picnic, I showed you my new kitchen--and love for faux leather pants--we furniture shopped (see my outfit here) & I goofed around in our new space.  Can't wait to move in next weekend!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

NEW SHOES | Zara Strappy Leather Sandal

I feel like almost everyone & their mother owns these Zara beauties from last summer and I specifically made a point not to purchase them--not because I didn't want them, simply because I didn't need them.

Well, enter Zara semi-annual sale and one pair left in my size for $19.99.


And so, these sweet sandals came home with me.  That said, if you're still hung up on them, there are still a bunch kicking around on eBay and while you'll pay a pretty penny unlike myself, you'll likely end up with a pair without a pen mark on the back side... unlike myself.

* I know I shared these in my Weekend Snaps, but I feel all new shoes--that are pretty enough--deserve their own post.
* Here is this year's version of the sandal, with a slightly thicker heel.



Souchi sweaters

These sweaters look the same, don't they?  So why the huge price difference, you might ask.  The Claudia, on the right, is hand loomed 100% cashmere, made in the USA.  The Patrizia, on the left, is kind of like a less expensive baby sister; she is made by machine, still cashmere, and still in the USA.

I found this little gem of a sweater on Pinterest and immediately went to the Souchi site to check out what else they had to offer.  Beautiful pieces at higher price points, but after browsing around, this is still my favourite--I would take Patrizia, because I'm frugal like that.  #dreaming


An Update on My Condo

I know many of you are wondering what the heck is going on with my condo!?  Well, I finally have some news to share as they have finally broke ground... sort of.  They're clearing the way to break ground and have fenced off the area, so, that's the same, right?

When I purchased my condo in July of 2012, it was planned to be ready for this coming November.  However, since it's a new build, it's not uncommon for these things to be pushed back--which it was, until June 2015.

This past Fall, I went in to see if there was any way to get out of my contract and ultimately get my money back.  I even had my Lawyer confirm that it was not possible and so, the best way to look at this in an optimistic way, which is as an investment property.

About two months after I signed on the dotted line, I met Marco, and as you know now, we are moving in together.  I don't see us moving into my condo once it's ready, as it is significantly smaller than the place we are going to in just over a week, but I'm hoping I will be able to rent it out instead.  If that is not financially feasible when the time comes, then worst case scenario I will sell it.  Either way, I just have to wait (and of course document the progress on here with you guys) for another year an a bit.

Here are a few photos from last weekend and the 'progress' so far...



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#PINKSHIRTDAY | Anti-Bullying Day

Outfit deets:
* Everybuying coat (sold out now, but similar here).
* Urban Planet skinny pants which you've seen at Christmastime.
* Aldo heels.
* Accessories: Mexx fur snood & Derek Cardigan sunnies.

As a Style Ambassador for Clearly Contacts, we've teamed up again in support of Anti-Bullying Day (February 26th) to spread awareness.

The cool frames I'm sporting are the Derek Cardigan--which I got in sunglass form--but any frames you purchase today, Clearly Contacts will donate $5 to CKNW Orphan's Fund in support of Anti-Bullying.  

Happy shopping for a great cause.  #PinkShirtDay

See the full feature and a couple more photos.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

Friday at work I wore my new necklace my sister and brother-in-law gave me for my birthday--you might recognize this as I wear the silver one a ton and wanted the gold so badly (also fits nicely with my ongoing love for chunky, short necklaces).
Outfit deets: Urban Planet sweater (see how I styled it for a date), Walmart long sleeved tee, Laguna denim & Joe Fresh necklace.

I recently re-discovered a small, fabric baggie of earrings from when I was a kit.  This gold star is one of them and fits really nicely--and nostalgically--into my current #acoearswag

On Friday night, I realized I needed some me-time so I partook in a little retail therapy...
I was in search of a few, chiffon-style tanks (for layering), which I found (more details to come in my next blogger video) at Dynamite and Urban Planet.  I also picked up a loopy sweater with an exposed zipper detail.

I was hoping to find more at Zara, but was pleased they had last year's strappy sandal in my size for only $20.  I had debated purchasing them last year, but went for the less expensive, suede version instead--which I've definitely gotten my money's worth.

On Saturday morning I went to the gym solo.  It was a beautiful, sunny day.
Outfit deets: TNA jacket (old), Adidas leggings, Walmart rain boots & Lululemon gym bag.

I spent all afternoon and evening on Saturday packing with a girl friend.  We packed for hours and she was great at keeping me on track and helping me purge.  At this time I'm at a total of eight garbage bags for the thrift store and six for consignment, plus four boxes of shoes total.  I'm on a purging mission and so far it's going well.

Sunday morning I hit the gym and snapped this shot beforehand.

I wore my new boots that I picked up on Friday.  I promised with the last pair of boots I bought (which by the way aren't warm, at all), that I would throw out all the old ones.  That said, I just couldn't rid myself of my favourite pair by Rampage but they are seriously embarrassingly salt-ruined and look terrible.  
When I arrived at the mall on Friday, I looked down and felt ashamed of my old boots--they looked ugly.  I popped into Spring (again) and they had these ones for $32, in my size only.  I put them on, paid and wore them the rest of the night.  The old boots are in my trunk--I'm seriously having attachment issues! See me wearing them HERE--but I'm planning to toss them.  Does anyone else have a hard time getting rid of stuff, even when it's clearly time to toss it?

Gym sesh--we did arms and I don't even recognize myself in this photo--who's arm is that!?  Seriously, it doesn't look that in real life, but at the same time, I'm pretty proud of the muscle I have developed.

Speaking of muscle, how about this indulgent breakfast post-workout?  Haha.

After breakfast we went by the new spot with some fabric samples for our new couch.  We have a colour in mind, but they have everything but that, it seems.  We really wanted a medium grey, and went back and forth between all the grey options but have finally decided on...

...the light grey on the right.  We might do throw pillows in the dark grey, plus an accent colour (maybe citron green?).  We will finalize those details this coming weekend, but unfortunately will have to wait up to four months while the couch is made (wahhhh; still exciting though!).

We also finalized the order for our new bed which is being delivered this coming weekend.  I'm so excited about this one too, it's a platform, king bed and I've already purchased a set of linens.  Will share photos once it's delivered--we still need to find a mattress, eep!

A Panera Bread just opened in Ottawa so I begged and pleaded Marco to try it, despite the fact he had his heart set on Dirienzo's.  He finally gave in and it was pretty good.  I was hoping for a grilled panini so when my turkey/bacon/apple sandwich came out fresh, I was a little disappointed (maybe I should read better) but the French onion soup was quite good (as was Marco's grilled chipotle chicken).

Big news you guys: they have started digging for my condo!  I'll be sharing more news on this later this week.

After a super productive afternoon, we brought several boxes from my place over to the new spot.  I hung a few things in the closet and Lysol'ed all the drawers, light switches and handles in preparation for our move.

Marco grabbed take-out for us, Siam Bistro--a fave around here--and this was officially the last meal I could fully taste before getting full on sick.


At Home Sick

Hey guys, sorry for the radio silence these past couple days; I'm at home sick and really not feeling like doing much but laying in bed watching Netflix--not that I should be doing much, as rest is needed to get better.

Moving around is unpleasant so I mainly go between my bedroom and the kitchen to grab food, which I cannot taste, I might add.  I have a terrible sinus cold and this is such bad timing because I'm moving in less than two weeks and have so much packing to do.  I know I mentioned last Friday I was running on empty and as it turns out, my body has had enough.  It's physically now telling me to slow the f down and rest.

And so, I'm resting, which is boring but needed.  I did finish the first season of Orange is the New Black (holy finale!) and going to start the next season as soon as I finish the movie, Kids with Friends.  Netflix is my saviour! 

I've got Buckley's, an Internet connection and lots of tea & snacks.  Thanks for being patient while I'm being a patient and stay tuned for those weekend snaps I promised you.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Official 'Like is the New Love' Video

As promised, here is the official video from the day I spent at Place d'Orleans mall giving out gift cards and candy.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Close to Empty Tank

I'm running on a close-to-empty tank.  I've been go go go for a couple weeks now, barely stopping to take a breath.  While I love being busy, and almost wanted this, I'm having a hard time getting a breath in edge wise.

Between my two jobs at work, Styling clients in the evening and weekend, maintaining my blog and YouTube channel, the closet sale, shooting for upcoming posts and another feature with Clearly Contacts, and trying to purge and pack for an impending move that is happening in just over two weeks--omg--it's difficult to squeeze much else in, like cooking, hitting the gym and seeing friends.  1am bedtimes and 7am wake-up calls don't help much #getsomesleepamanda

I know I didn't put a post up yesterday, but after spending the evening furniture shopping and packing, I didn't have it in me to edit photos and write.

The good news is, most of the things going on are positive, exciting things--I get to pack up this place and move to an even better place.  I get to help people get dressed and shop and get paid for it.   I get to make a little extra money selling off some clothes I'm not feeling anymore.  It's all good, it's just time consuming and consuming all of me at the moment.

My weekend plans include packing, bringing some things over to the new place, a birthday celebration for a friend, more packing and hopefully a couple gym sessions to blow off some steam, if even for an hour.  Oh, and I gave myself a spray tan & washed my hair--reluctantly--last night; small indulgences to lift spirits for the weekend.  Whatever it takes, right?

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram (I'm @acoest1984 on both)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What do you look for in a best friend?

I started writing this a couple months ago, but hadn't posted it.... until now:

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how sad I am going to be when Sarah, my best friend, leaves work for her maternity leave.  As we work together, on days when she's not in the office, I'm quickly reminded of how much brighter she makes my days.

That said, it has led me to think about what qualities I truly value in her, as my best friend.  To keep this short and sweet, I've narrowed it down to my top three qualities I look for in a best friend:

1.  Connection  | Without this, there is no effortless friendship.  We hit the same wave length and are very similar, despite some of our differences.  There is a friendship chemistry at play that is never forced nor created, it's just there.

2.  Support  |  We touched on this in our BFF tag video a few months ago.  I know when the world is against me, and I have no where to turn, my best friend will lift me up and support me.  Even if the idea to her is crazy, in the moment she will not lecture nor disagree with me for she knows I need to spit it out and get it off my chest.  I need to share it and feel validated, and she always does that.

3.  Genuine laughter  |  Sarah is, without a doubt, the funniest gal I know--perfect timing for jokes?  Check.  Hilarious recounts of stories (even if embellished a little)?  She's your girl.  Cracking up a room full of people or just one lone person?  That's her!  She brings real, full bellied laughs to my life everytime we're together.  I've tried to pick up some tips from her, in observation, but the truth is, she can bring a smile to my face and laughter to my life like no other, and that is something you just can't force.

What are the top 3 things you look for in a best friend?


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welcome to my new kitchen!

Outfit deets: 
* Vero Moda top (new!).
* Zara pants (old) which you saw a year ago at my birthday dinner.
* Aldo heels--my favourite pumps right now that I wear at least twice a week.  They are still available too in many sizes.
* Accessories: Le Chateau cuff, F21 necklace and Aldo & Spring midi rings.

I'm so excited to share these photos because I'm standing in my future kitchen.  I've been dreaming of all the things I want to cook and how clean I will keep the refrigerator.  Don't worry though, I'm sure that novelty will wear off real quick and we will be ordering take-out faster than you can say butter chicken.

As March quickly approaches, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed with all the stuff I have to do.  I'm becoming super ruthless with items in my closet and the sell/consign/donate pile has grown (check out my closet sale here).  That said, my apartment is suffering big time as it feels like I'm drowning in clothes--not a terrible problem, but still.  I keep telling myself it's temporary because as of March 1st, I'm going to take any items that don't sell to my favourite consignment store.

We have decided to officially move in the weekend of March 8th and are in the process of doing some furniture shopping.  We've decided on a beautiful platform bed and are on the cusp of sealing the deal on a sectional.  I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself but mister man wants me to hold off on sharing photos until we are in and settled--but not to worry, I've got befores and afters coming your way soon!

As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing this piece of my life, the comments on my move post were so sweet and supportive.  I feel I have real friends in you all, and I read every comment--now, who's coming to the housewarming!?

Photos by Serena Rivard.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

As I mentioned, my weekend kicked off on Friday as I spent the day at Place d'Orleans mall with a small crew handing out candy and gift cards--basically spreading the love--to shoppers to thank them.  It was a long day for the feet but so much fun.  The entire thing was filmed which I will share as soon as it's finished.

These were the treats we gave out to shoppers in the mall. 

Since I had a few minutes to spare after we finished, I popped in to Target to discover they still had a few Peter Pilotto pieces left, including this bikini top (I didn't like the bottoms).  What luck!  I didn't even try it on as I was feeling lazy, but it fits fairly well (size medium).

A sweet treat from a coworker--handmade to boot.

Friday night Valentines' dinner with my boo.

Marco took me to Luxe and I had the pork belly on lentils.  It was okay but the sweet-potato coconut soup was amazing (two of my favourite things).

I wore the same denim and blazer from the day but swapped in a low-cut silk blouse & my Asos feather clutch.
Outfit deets:  Vero Moda blazer, F21 top, H&M denim, Le Chateau boots & Asos clutch.

I splurged and had dessert; a deconstructed tart that was tangy and crumbly.

Saturday  morning breakfast--what I eat every morning at work, but rarely on the weekends; oatmeal with flax, chia seeds, thawed berries & a ton of cinnamon (no sugar) + a peppermint tea.

I hit the gym solo on Saturday morning.

On Saturday night, my parents surprised me with a birthday dinner one month in advance--just like last year!  They made my favourite meal: a full turkey dinner.  My sister, brother-in-law, nephew, grandparents and best friends and her husband all came to celebrate with me.  It was so nice.

It's been a long time since I've gotten balloons and despite that being a pretty special number on them, it felt so nice to get them!

Peanut is our family dog who lives with my parents.  She is fourteen (!) and I love her so much.  She's lost her hearing and we were recently informed she had a stroke a while ago so walking is a big troublesome, but it's a neurological issue, not a pain issue, fortunately.

Sunday morning gym sesh with my main squeeze.

Splurge!  Breakfast out at our favourite spot and I got over-easy eggs instead of my usual scrambled #thingsthatneverhappen

I spent Sunday afternoon at the new condo, taking photos, and I filmed a tour of the place empty which I will eventually share.  Later on, I met up with Marco and we decided to go back to the condo together after 10pm and bring a few things--I brought the snack.

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