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I’m sorry but why is everyone so thrilled about the extended summer we’ve been experiencing here in Ontario? It’s October—the season of pumpkin spice everything, cozy throws, comfort food, and it’s also the month that typically heralds sweater wealther. But instead of wearing all my favourite knits, I’ve been forced to dig deep into my summer wardrobe where the well of inspiration has run dry. Needless to say, I’m more than ready to trade in my tees and tanks for sweaters. My peak-level yearning for fall clothes got me thinking about what it is, exactly, that I like about sweater weather so much. While the comfort factor definitely plays a role (I can shove a chunky knit over my pj top for morning drop-off and still look put together), what I really love about fall fashion is the rich texture that abounds—and knits obviously play a key role. Case in point, this delicate open-weave knit from RW&CO. The fine gauge of the sweater makes it the perfect piece to layer under other classic fall textiles like this checked coat (or leather or even another knit). And while this one came home with me last week, judging by some of the other great knits RW&CO. has in-store, I’ll be going back to up the cozy factor of my wardrobe very soon. So welcome, sweater weather.  I’ve been waiting for you!

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

Sweater, coat, and culottes c/o RW&CO.

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

red boots for fall, trend

delicate open-knit sweater from RW&CO.

fall red ankle boots

This post was sponsored by RW&CO. but all opinions are 100% my own.

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When I wrote my spring/summer capsule wardrobe post, I had actually spent a ton of time building mine and owned all of the pieces (or similar items), already. Fast forward one summer and because of our recent move from Toronto to Dundas, I have barely been shopping for clothes at all, and when I do go shopping, Homesense is my jam.

I have, however, sussed out a few items I’m after (to mix and match with my current wardrobe, of course), and they play right into my usual, polarized taste in clothes. Gimme all the extra-gwide denim cuffs with a side of rich jewel tones and opulence, please

Clockwise from centre:

Blazer, $129

Unless you’ve got your head in the ground, you probably know that red is the shiz this fall. I love this pants and blazer combo in the colour of the season—but especially the blazer. I would go so far as to argue that if you are going to buy one piece for fall, make it an oversize, double-breasted, menswear-inspired blazer. This one is from Zara so it’s affordable and it comes in that deep red that everyone is after. Major score.

Opulent earrings, $28

The pair in my fantasy wardrobe are by Ayala Bar and are a bit pricey for this new homeowner’s taste. The pair that I linked have a similar, colourful, decadent vibe and are from Aldo. I already own them and love them!

Striped shirt, $43 (on sale!)

Everyone needs a striped shirt. This Gap version is an affordable way to get some mileage out of your wardrobe; wear it under the blazer, on its own with jeans, under a pullover, or underneath a corset top. The possibilities are endless!

Feminine statement top, $34.99

I love the details in the Self-Portrait crocheted top pictured here, but the gathered blouse from H&M linked above, is a good way to add a touch of delicacy on top of the red trousers and the denim. Plus it plays into the dark floral trend that is so huge this fall.

Cuffed jeans, $305

When it comes to my seasonal wardrobe, I will usually splurge on a great pair of jeans. I love this pair with wide cuffs by Frame because they’ll look great with a slim heel or the embellished flats I’ve got my eye on.

Fancy flats, $135

I LOVE the Marni slip-ons pictured here but the dupes from Nine West that I’ve linked to have a similar feel and a more affordable price tag!

Tuxedo stripe pants, $124

Tuxedo stripe pants give your typical work-day look a bit of pizazz and these ones from the Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo collab. are giving me life. Dress them down with a white tee or wear them with a silk camisole for a night out.

Embellished sunglasses, $10

Continuing the theme of opulence, a pair of embellished shades will cap off any of these pieces nicely. I love the A-Miror pair pictured, but these ones from ASOS will do in a pinch!

Jean jacket, $69.90

You probably have a jean jacket kicking around, but update yours with an interesting feature like the exaggerated cuffs on this one by Frame or shoulder pads (!), as on the Zara jacket linked above. Pro tip: wear your jean jacket under your oversize blazer for an interesting layered look.

 

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My family and I are in the middle of a huge life change, having just moved from Toronto to Dundas. I do miss the density of the city (and my friends in my old ‘hood), but I don’t miss the crazy downtown traffic. A traffic-free three minute drive to school? Point for Dundas!

Needless to say, everything is new; we’re first-time homeowners, Viggo started at a new school, my husband, Mike, now has a pretty significant commute to work each day, and I shopped for clothes at Walmart. That’s right. Up to now, Walmart has been my go-to for everything, but apparel. Kids pyjamas, toys, our microwave and even some of the groceries currently in our fridge–you name it–all from Walmart. But I had never considered it a clothing destination until I had the opportunity to outfit myself in some fall items from their exclsuive clothing line, George. The fall collection emphasizes the saturated jewel tones that are characteristic of the season, and there are a ton of dramatic, dark florals that are perfect for updating my existing fall wardrobe for 2017.

Fall florals; fall fashion; Walmart

Choosing among the selection of fall florals from George at my local Walmart.

Fall florals, fall fashion

When I went to choose my look, I immediately fell in love with the swingy silhouette of the George Women’s Trapeze Dress ($17.97) and I liked the small, all-over floral pattern as well. I paired it with a George Waterfall Sweater Vest ($19.97) and my own suede boots and felt hat, for a retro-inspired look that I know I’ll get a lot of mileage out of (together and separately) as the temperature drops. The best part is that the total for both pieces came in under $50! I love affordable fashion finds -especially as a new homeowner.

On top of that, I got lots of compliments on my outfit. As we headed out the door to shoot, my husband looked at me and asked in semi-disbelief, “That’s from Walmart?” And later that night my family came over to celebrate mine, my sister’s and Mike’s birthdays, and my sister said, “I love your dress! Where did you get it?” Music to my ears! If you know me, there is nothing I love more than telling someone about the good deals to be had on clothes at any given time, so I was excited to tell her that the dress was from Walmart for the amazing price of only $17.97!

Another perk of living in Dundas? These fall-styled shots were taken in a field just up the street from our new house.

Fall florals, fall fashion

My George fall floral outfit: George dress and sweater vest c/o Walmart 

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, Walmart, floral dress

Floral dress, Fall fashion, Walmart

Floral dress, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion, floral dress

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion

Fall florals, fall fashion

Floral dress, dark florals, fall fashion

Fall fashion, dark florals, dress

Dark lip, red lip, floral dress, fall 2017

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Walmart Ready in George program. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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Ha ha ha. Can you tell I’ve been watching the new season of Game of Thrones? But really, it is. Nights are cooler, and while I’m planning to wear my summer stuff to the bitter end , my mind has been planning and editing my fall wardrobe (editing mostly, as we prepare to move and I wonder how on earth I ever amassed this much stuff!)
This tie-front dress is another piece from Tobi.com and I chose it because it’s a good transitional piece to throw on, come ankle boot season. I have to say, it’s also SO comfortable! I always add the disclaimer that I was given xx items as pr samples to wear on the blog but that the opinions expressed are 100% my own, and I was so impressed with Tobi.com. Everything fit true-to-size (and the mediums are real mediums, not smalls disguised as mediums), all the items I liked were in stock (because how frustrating is that when you find a dress you love, only to find out your size, the size on either side of your size, and your size in the other colour, are all SOLD OUT!?), and the process was quick and painless–the perfect online shopping experience. I liked it so much that I’ve already been back to order more and you can bet, that as the temps start to drop, I’ll be on Tobi.com, looking for cozy clothes because…winter is coming.

Dress c/o Tobi.com| Le Chateau booties | Zara jacket and bag | Sunglasses from Winners
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Is it just me or does the last month of summer get totally robbed of that summer feeling by some auto mechanism that kicks in to make you feel like fall is imminent, despite the weather? It doesn’t help that Toronto has had the weirdest summer on record (my own, record that is, which isn’t actually factually accurate 😂). But it happens every year. And while I’m planning my fall wardrobe in my head, and only buying fall or transitional pieces when I go shopping, you’d never know it to look at me. As soon as this time of year hits, my subconscious takes over and I feel compelled to expose as much of my skin as possible to the fleeting sunlight and warm air while I still can (tastefully, of course). When I had the opportunity to choose a few things from new-to-me website,
tobi.com/ca, I split the difference and chose one look that epitomizes summer and another that I can wear into fall–and even through winter. But more on that one later because right now I am chasing after Gigi at the park and going for walks with the family in this flouncy, little short set that is just about as summery as you can get. I love the off-shoulder style of the top and the shorts are so comfortable too. Plus I love the subtle print. Have I ever mentioned my penchant for solids? Aside from stripes (because Breton stripes are a must in everyone’s wardrobe), there’s nary a print in site in my closet. This sweet set allowed me to go out on a limb, but not too far, which is just the way I like it.

Do you feel the same impulse to squeeze a last wear out of all of your summer stuff come August? Let me know in the comments!

Tobi Tiegan off shoulder top

Tobi off shoulder top and flutter shorts

Tobi off shoulder top and flutter shorts

Layered gold necklaces

Tobi off shoulder top and flutter shorts

Tobi top and short set

Short set c/o Tobi | American Eagle hat | Sunglasses From Winners | Zara bag and shoes
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I recently had the opportunity to customize a book, called Kingdom of You, for my nephew, Seth. The latest read from Wonderbly.com (formerly Lost My Name), continues the tradition of setting the kid in your life up as the protagonist, allowing you to choose the main character’s name and hair colour and to incorporate some of their favourite things. In Seth’s case, it was superheroes and ice cream! We gave it to him this past weekend and, while I thought he would like it, he actually squealed with delight at some parts–a definite success! The story kept him, Viggo and Gigi riveted right through to the end and the illustrations are cute and colourful. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique and thoughtful children’s gift. The one thing the publishers need to change as soon as possible, is that red hair is not one of the hair colours available so unfortunately, the Costanzo kids are missing out on this one!

Seth and I reading Kingdom of You


 

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New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” — Lao Tzu

This quote perfectly sums up what I’m going through as our little family packs up our Toronto apartmet in preparation for moving into our first house…in Dundas, Ontario. We are so excited about owning an actual house—and one we really love, at that—but we are less excited about leaving the city. (No disrespect to Dundas—we chose you for a reason!), but Toronto has been our home for the last 15 years, not to mention our kids’ only home, and we love city life. Like, really love it. But we are tired of feeling helpless in the face of a runaway housing market, and wanted our kids to have a yard, so we’re going to try this homeowner thing on for size. Mike will be commuting into Toronto every day and I will continue freelancing and blogging from our renovated cottage (originally built in 1870!), and heading into the city for events.

Viggo is sad to be leaving his friends and his school, but is looking forward to “moving to the countryside” 😂. Gigi doesn’t completely understand what’s going on, but judging by the fact that when we visited the house with the kids, she wandered around the yard happily collecting chunks of grass in her hands, I think she’ll settle in just fine. Mike’s commute could potentially suck, but he’s being positive and looking forward to the hour to and from the city on the GO as a chance to read/tie up loose ends/decompress at the end of the work day. I, on the other hand, haven’t been able to channel the same positive attitude my husband has adopted, and have been a wreck. I can’t even go on our weekly bread run to Cob’s without feeling sad and mentally adding that to the list of “Things I Can Only Do in Toronto.” I know that sounds ridiculous–and it’s meant to. That’s been my headspace since buying the house. Those closest to me haven’t known whether to congratulate me or hand me a tissue. I’m pretty sure Mike is ready to move without me 🙂 But bread aside, my BFFs live here and I have spent the last two years, since Viggo started school, cultivating a great bunch of friends among the moms (our neighbours), I see every day at pick-up and drop-off and now, at coffee dates, business chats, and everything in between. That is going to be where I feel a real void, I think. It will be less so, I know, when we start meeting people in Dundas (and I should mention that one of my closest friends also lives there. I know! I’m being silly and focusing on the negative.)

I tend to glorify the thing I’m leaving/losing. I have to keep reminding myself why we’re moving: we wanted a yard and more space for the kids, we were dealing with tight quarters, inconsiderate neighbours, and everything else that comes along with renting in a big city. And, I mean, we will have a house! I haven’t really let that sink in (until the last couple of days when I started buying some decor items). Plus, I’m not really losing the city. I’m only a 50 minute drive away. So, onward and upward!

I’m excited to take everyone with me on my journey as a first-time homeowner and throug the process of decorating our new digs! Will post some pictures soon!

Moving away from Toronto

This is NOT our new house 😂. It’s an old estate in Queenston that I’ve always loved, called Willowbank.
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It’s no secret that I spend a lot of time at the mall, so I take note when a store makes it a nicer place to be! The renovation of RW&CO.’s flagship location at Yorkdale, really enhances customers’ retail experience with a striking cash desk, fun, vintage-inspired merchandising, and of course, the clothes. Designed by New York firm, MNA, the new store boasts a wrap-around glass facade that invites shoppers into the store’s more functionally designed environments. Check out some highlights of my first visit, below!

RW&CO. storefront

The new wraparound glass storefront.

The marquee at the cash desk - RW&CO.

A greeting on the marquee above the cash desk!

The new cash desk at RW&CO. Yorkdale
RW&CO. Yorkdale Mall

One of the new shopping environments in the store.

Mens shirts at RW&CO. Yorkdale Mall

The men’s shirt section. I love the bowling pins!

Merchandising at the new RW&CO. flagship at Yorkdale Mall

I really like the way the new store is merchandised–with decanters and clocks and other vintage-looking objects.

Details at RW&CO. flagship at Yorkdale Mall

The details on the back of this lace top! 😍

Maxi dresses at the new RW&CO. Store at Yorkdale Mall

The burgundy dress on the left would be perfect for the September wedding I have coming up!

Pinstripe slip dress at RW&CO. at Yorkdale Mall

The pinstripe slip dress that ended up coming home with me.

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway I’ll be doing in partnership with RW&CO. to celebrate the grand opening of the new flagship store!

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We started using probiotics around here when, fed up with Viggo’s endless school-contracted illnesses (he’s had everything from cold, flu, stomach flu, to hand, foot and mouth disease, and even viral meningitis), I asked my friend, who also happens to be a naturopath, what to do. She told me she swears by probiotics and that her daughter (Viggo’s classmate), is rarely sick. Viggo (and Gigi and Mike and I, by association), were both going on what seemed like week 10 of the same cold (really), when I took her advice and sidled up to the counter at Noah’s.

I treated the probiotics like gold–doling out a serving in each of our smoothies in the morning, then promptly replacing it in the fridge lest it lose any of its potency. Until one day, I didn’t. We came home after being out for the entire day and evening, only to find the practically new bottle of probiotics sitting out on the counter, so, I pitched it. And that wasn’t the last time probiotics met an untimely demise on my watch. Because our families both live in Niagara, we often pack up and make a weekend out of our visits, and I would toss our probiotics in the suitcase for good measure. But what do you think happened once, when we arrived at my inlaws’ to new toys, the dog, and chatter? The probiotics stayed right where I had put them–in my bag–until I went to sprinkle some on the kids’ yogurt the following morning. So frustrating!

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Critical Care 50 Billion Go Pack! The genius capsules are shelf-stable, making them perfect for the frequent traveller or even just someone who is forgetful (like me). I love them because I can stow them in my bag so when I forget to take one in the morning, I have them with me, which is how I managed to take these regularly and do a sort of mini cleanse in the spring. I’m not sure if it’s the 50 billion active cultures I’m treating my gut to everyday c/o Renew Life, the fact that I started running, or that we are taking advantage of all the local, seasonal produce, but I do feel great going into the summer and will definitely continue my probiotic regime. I still have to remember to put the kids’ probiotics in the fridge (at six, Viggo could actually take these capsules, but as you can imagine, he’s not a fan of swallowing them), but I actually haven’t had to trash a bottle in a while :). And as for the number of seasonal viruses around here, we definitely haven’t been as sick as we were BP (before probiotics), so that’s a major win in my books.

For where to buy, visit renewlife.ca.

Renew Life Probiotics Go Pack

Renew Life Probiotics Go Pack

Ready to hit the road!

Renew Life Probiotics Go Pack

* Note: this post was sponsored by Renew Life but all opinions are my own.

 

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Mike had the opportunity to join me in this Father’s Day campaign for RW&CO., and it’s so fitting because he’s such a natural (dad, I mean, but we also found out he can throw down a pretty fierce pose 😉 We built our looks around the brand’s selection of tops and are both so happy with our choices. Mine is a flowy jersey tank, which is a summer must in my books, because of its versatility. And Mike’s is this striped tee. A classic Breton striped t-shirt is one of those basics that everyone should have in their wardrobe. The bold stripes were first worn by sailors in Brittany (hence, “Breton” stripes), so that they would be easily distinguished among the waves should they fall overboard. When Coco Chanel visited the French seaside, she was so inspired by the sailor’s uniforms that she incorporated stripes into her 1917 nautical collection, and the rest, as they say, is history. So if you don’t already have one, make like Picasso/Audrey Hepburn/Coco Chanel/James Dean (see what I mean?), and go grab one today. This one from RW&CO. is nice because of the rounded hem and I should mention that Mike really liked the fit of the men’s tees at RW&CO. in general.

I continued the stripe theme with these relaxed, linen-blend pants that I have worn several times since with everything from metallic slides to Stan Smiths. Likewise, Mike found the work-turn-weekend pants he had been looking for in these slim-fit chinos. We were a pretty happy family until we headed down to the harbour to take these photos because let’s just say that one of us behind the lens plus an almost-two-year-old near the unusually high waters of Lake Ontario, does not equal the fun, carefree time we were trying to capture 🙂 But we survived and are looking forward to hitting the town on Sunday to celebrate Gigi turning two and of course, the best dad on the planet. Happy Father’s Day, Mike!

RW&CO Breton striped t-shirt + Father's Day
RW&CO Breton striped t-shirt + Father's Day

 

RW&CO striped pants + flowy tank

 

RW&CO striped pants + flowy tank

RW&CO striped tee

RW&CO striped tee + chinos + Father's Day

RW&CO striped pants + flowy tank

RW&CO Breton striped t-shirt

* This post was sponsored by RW&CO. but all opinions are our own.

 

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