Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chic, Clean and Fit for a Princess: When fashion meets home decorating Part Deux

As mentioned in a previous post, I am currently in the process of adding some updates to my room in order to achieve that princess-y, shabby chic look that Rachel Ashwell does so well. So far I have invested in a lace trim 400-thread count sheet set courtesy of Century 21 in Manhattan, a crystal post lamp and some lovely air spray from Calypso. In the process of adding these pieces to my room (and unpacking all of my luggage from NYC) I have realized the importance of tidy, clean organization. What's the point of putting all these beautiful pieces into my bedroom, if it is not clean to show it all off? With that in mind, I have neatly organized different parts of my room and I hope you find my tips as helpful as I did!

To the left we have the contents of my jewellery box. As you can see, I have a lot of pieces that I have accumulated over the years. Many are vintage pieces, flea market finds, passed on from family members or freebies!

Each piece has a special place in my heart from my Juicy Couture tiger charm necklace that is a tribute to my late cat, Spike and my cocktail rings that make me feel like a glamour-puss! I have an intense love for costume jewellery and let me tell you, there is nothing worse than having a jewellery box filled with tangled, cluttered jewellery. Not only does it increase the chance of your jewellery chains and jewels breaking (this has happened to me) but it distracts you from all the wonderful pieces you have. So read on my friend and discover a few easy tips to making that jewellery box look fabulous!

1) Find a jewellery box with compartments

This will make your organizing so much easier especially when you are running out the door and want to get that perfect necklace in a hurry! Try lower end departments or craft stores to find affordable and practical jewellery boxes. I got mine from Zellers.

2) Sort your by end use

This means the necklaces go with the necklaces, rings with rings, bracelets with bracelets. You get my drift? This way it will minimize the chances of your dainty charm necklace getting caught in the middle of your favourite chunky bracelet and cocktail ring.

3) Keep your prized possessions neat and tidy

Don't just throw those sparkly things in your jewellery box. This includes after a late night or stressful day. You took the time and money to invest in the piece, take care of it! By doing this you will increase the longevity and wearability of all of your jewellery, including the dollar store finds.

4) Clean those baubles

Just like your clothes, jewellery gets dirty, so make sure to clean it every so often. If you wear silver jewellery, you can often clean your pieces with some tooth paste and a tooth brush. It's that easy! You can also refer to an article here for some more tips on how to keep your jewellery looking its shiniest.

5) Always remember you get what you give

The more time you invest in taking care of your jewellery, the longer it will look absolutely fabulous. Just think one day your pieces will be considered vintage and you can show your grandchildren what old grandma or grandpa used to wear in their yesteryears!



Monday, August 30, 2010

It's hard to cook without a book!: The Cookbook Store

Looking to find that sought after cookbook? Look no further than The Cookbook Store! Located at 850 Yonge Street in fashionable Yorkville.

This is a great place for the novice cook or the master chef. Nestled among the neatly lined shelves, you'll find every cookbook from the renowned Joy of Cooking, a classic for all cooks to the hard finds such as, Dulce Latin American Desserts by Joseluis Flores, and everything in-between.

The store also hosts many culinary events throughout the year catering to the desire of every cook’s heart. So if you are just starting out to explore the Nigella Lawson in you or looking to try your hand at a new recipe, look no further than The Cookbook Store!


Donna for Amanda's Fashion Spot

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall for Liv by Au Lit

Are you one of those people who start planning your fall wardrobe as soon as August hits? Have you already started daydreaming about a faux fur vest and leopard print scarf? 

If you are more than ready to start you Fall 2010 shopping spree, may I suggest stooping by Liv by Au Lit? The lovely boutique lifestyle store that sells everything from vintage-inspired vanities with crystal door knobs and ornate details to chic, chunky sweaters and stylish jeans. Their fall 2010 collection has landed and is filling up the racks with pieces from Amanda Uprichard, James Perse, Mink Pink and more!

If you are in search of the perfect Italian cashmere sweater (I know I am!) or leather leggings then be sure to make Liv by Au Lit your first stop on the shopping trail!



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Curly Haired Girls? This one is for you!

 We all now how annoying the humid weather can be especially when it comes to your beauty routine, slippery make-up and frizzy hair? No thanks! It can be especially annoying when you have curly hair because one step outside can make it look like you stuck your finger in an electrical socket! Although it is nice to embrace your waves in the hot weather, there are some days when you want to smooth out your curly strands. For all the curly haired girls out there this one is for youThe trick to taming curly hair when all you want to do is whip out the flat iron in the middle of the summer, is none other than pure almond oil. It is 100% natural, moisturizing (without being too greasy) and makes your hair super shiny. You can find almond oil at your local health food store or Whole Foods. 
Now, taking your hair from frizzy to flat will be as easy as 1,2,3!

Number One: 

Wash and condition your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I suggest using a thick, deep conditioner in your hair and leaving it in for 15-30 minutes first and then shampooing it out later. Try using Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise that can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart. The extra moisture will help prevent any potential frizzies.

Number Two:

Once you hair is washed, divide it into eight small sections and apply a dime-sized amount of almond oil to each section. The amount of almond oil you use depends on the thickness of your hair. If you have thinner hair, you can put the almond oil in four sections instead of eight.

Number Three:

After you have divided the sections, blow dry each one until it is completely dry. Keep in mind the smaller the sections, the smoother the hair. For extra smoothness, use your flat iron and glide it though each section until you get your desired smoothness. 

Voila! It’s just a few easy steps to get those frizz-free silky tresses. 



Leggings, Leggings, Leggings, I love leggings!

Lindsay Lohan can be credited with the leggings revival over the past couple years. After seeing her wearing leggings everywhere and with everything, leggings have really hit the big time! And all I have to say is, Thank God! 

As an individual who is not the biggest fan of pants to begin with, I am so happy to see that the stretchy bottoms that were once reserved for dance and exercise class, can now be seen with day, night, work and evening wear! If you want brights, leather, printed or denim you got it! 

My favourite way to wear leggings are with more structured pieces such as a blazer or bottom up because it helps elevate the casual look to something part-professional, part-fashionista. Behold the below looks for some inspiration on how to wear leggings: 

Here are one of my favourite pieces, pink jeggings. To me, they are combination of 1950's casual style and Beverly Hills valley girl circa 1992. With a ton of stretch they are very comfortable and look best with soft greys, camels, whites and pastels. I love this look because it is the right combination of classic looks and trendy style. The silky scarf picks up the pink in the jeans as well as providing a contrast and the blazer helps balance the colour. J'adore!

In the second look we have the infamous leather leggings. I absolutely love these because they are sexy and comfortable at the same time! The best way to wear them is with something a little loose on top such as a blazer. In this look we have my leopard print blouse and structured black blazer which is the ideal look to pair with your liquid leggings. I love this look because it combines two of my favourite looks, leopard and the classics. The third look shows another fun and casual way to wear the infamous shiny leggings. Structure? Check! A fun print? Check! Voila! 

Finally, we have my favourite part of denim technology, jeggings! I love these because you have the style of denim with comfort of sweatpants. Here I paired them with a comfy striped sweater and kitschy red jewellery. Jeans look best worn in a classic style or a little trendy and this look is a little bit of both!

How do you like to wear your trendy pants? Send me a pic and I will post it on my blog!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So you want to live in Manhattan?

As you all know I have spent the last 10 weeks living in the Big Apple! It was an exciting, life-changing experience and I learned some very important lessons about living in the city that never sleeps. As mentioned in a previous post, for part of my stay I lived in the NYCIntern housing for living in Manhattan which is affordable and fit for any student (it even comes with roommates!)

What if you don't want to live the student life while living in New York? What if that's not your thing and you want to live like a real Manhattanite? Ladies and gentlemen, you are in luck!

There are tons of options for those of you who want to live in New York the non-student way. Read on:

1) Corporate Housing!

This is a form of housing that provides furnished or unfurnished apartments for a minimum of 30 days throughout Manhattan. Ideally for anyone who is living in New York City for a short period of time and does not want to sublet (which means you live in a stranger's apartment).

PRO:  It's great because you don't have to buy furniture. Also some offer house keeping and dry cleaning services.

CON: Availability for the apartments fills up really fast so you gotta be quick when booking a place. Be sure to check out the area you would like to live in so you can give the agents an idea of where you would like to live.

Try: Furnished Quarters and Bridgestreet

2) Extended Stay Hotels!

Some hotels offer apartment-style rooms equipped with a full kitchen and appliances, housekeeping and laundry services. These are great because you get the luxury of a hotel at a lower price point.

PRO: You get the feeling of being at home coupled with the benefits of a hotel.

CON: Some apartment-style hotels are located in obscure areas of Manhattan i.e. really North in Manhattan and in the really busy, tourist-y Times Square. Also, some do not provide wireless internet.

Try: Michaelangelo Hotel and Marmara Hotel 

3) Hotel 

If you are going to stay in Manhattan for a month or two, may I suggest staying in a hotel? If you are staying during the summer, many hotels offer discounted prices especially if you are going to there for a long time. The good thing about about living in a hotel is that they want to please YOU so if you have any problems i.e. bed bugs, cockroaches (Very common in NYC. EW! I know.) the hotel staff will be there to assist you in a heartbeat!

PRO: Security, daily housekeeping, a concierge to help guide you through NYC and the front desk to count on if anything goes wrong!

CON: Staying in a hotel can sometimes come at a hefty price however, don't underestimate the word negotiation. Also, many hotels have expensive laundry services and no kitchen or appliances. 

Try: On The Ave 

For part of my stay in Manhattan I stayed in a hotel called, On The Ave and it was great! I didn't have a kitchen but since I was staying there for a long time the hotel staff kindly offered me a mini-fridge to use during my stay. With On The Ave being located on the Upper West Side right across the street from a really cool organic restaurant it wasn't hard to take care of food. And when you live in NYC, who eats inside anyways?

For all of you independent types who would like to live in NYC, I highly suggest trying any of the above accommodations when staying there. Living in an environment that you feel comfortable in while living in a big, foreign city is crucial, so before you go rushing to live in student housing do a little research.

Believe me it is well worth it!



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pain Perdu: How lonely, stale bread can be turned into something absolutely delicious!

French toast has been around since the 4th century and has been called many a name. The Scots called it believe it or not, Gangsta Bread, the French refer to it as Pain Perdu meaning "lost bread", in the United Kingdom they licked their fingers after savouring some Eggy Bread and we in North America refer to it as French Toast!

On your next Sunday morning if you would like to treat yourself to a sweet breakfast, try this delicious recipe for Pain Perdu!


Serves Six

6 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups of Heavy Cream, Half and Half or Milk
2 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Ground Salt and Nutmeg


1) Whisk together the above ingredients until fully combined and pour over 6-8 slices of any bread such as, challah or broiche.
2) Make sure to completely cover both sides of bread until they are fully soaked with above egg mixture.
3) Heat four tablespoons of butter and vegetable oil in a skillet at medium heat.
4) Fry bread slices until golden brown on both sides.
5) Serve warm with maple syrup, fresh berries and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Add bacon if you wish!


Donna for Amanda's Fashion Spot

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo of the Day: The Classics

Fall is closer than I would like to think (summer was just so good!) and now it is time to think of what to wear for the chilly months. Over the last few months, I have invested in a number of blazers and coats and when I stumbled upon this picture in my iPhoto I felt inspired! I love mixing the glamorous basics, red, leopard and heels for an overall chic look.


Amanda amandasfashionspot@gmail.com https://twitter.com/AFSpot

It's a Pop-Up Shop!

Don't you just love when shopping opportunities come out of nowhere?

Well you are in luck! Today and tomorrow the online consignment shop My Ex-Closet is having a pop-up shop at 498 Queen Street West in Toronto between 10am and 9pm. If you are a lover of their online selection, then you will be sure to enjoy their pop-up shop. So get out there and go shopping!

Amanda amandasfashionspot@gmail.com https://twitter.com/AFSpot

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tommy Ton Hits the Big time!

Fashion photographer and photo blogger Tommy Ton has had a ton of success with his blog, Jak and Jil  and as a contributor to FLARE magazine.

And now, his photography skills are being celebrated at a photo exhibit at Holt Renfrew on Bloor from now until August 30, 2010. The exhibit entitled, Pic Me! Tommy Ton will feature the most fabulous designer footwear collections from Fall 2010 and with any purchase of the featured designers you will receive a framed photograph from Tommy Ton himself! The event is also free. Perfect for you fashionistas on a budget.

If you are a shoe, photo and blog lover, this event is for you!



Friday, August 13, 2010

A Day in the Life: I Had A Dream Part Twelve "A Canadian Girl in the New York City"

Well ladies and gentlemen, today was my last night at my very exciting, very fashionable and very wonderful internship. The entire experience was everything that I imagined and more. It was a complete change from anything that I have ever experienced in the fashion industry and I absolutely loved it! Going through this entire experience only reaffirmed all the hopes and dreams I had when moving to New York City and motivate me even more to go after my dreams. Mark my words, this will NOT be the last internship I have in this city. My experience here was only the tip of the iceberg.

Now that the experience is over, here are some valuable lessons that I have learned:

1) Always put yourself out there

Any time an opportunity arises to do something to help out your boss or try out something you have never tried before but have an interest in, do it! This will be an excellent opportunity to learn a new skill or a new facet of the magazine, pr company or showroom, that can be very valuable in helping you determine what direction you would like career to go in and an opportunity to do something fun!

2) Always ask questions

If you are unsure about a given task, don't be afraid to ask questions. It is much better to ask your boss how to do the right thing than not ask and do the wrong thing. That does not mean that you should ask your boss about every lil' thing. Try your best to figure out what you need to do to see if you may be able to find a solution and if that fails, you can always ask your boss.

3) Dreams DO come true

When I first embarked on my journey to New York City, I cannot even tell you how many told me that pursuing an internship here was impossible or that a Canadian pursuing an internship in New York City was unrealistic. As you can see, I am living proof that Canadians can get their foot in the door in the New York fashion industry. Let your haters be your motivators. If you someone tells you that you cannot achieve your life long dream of having a couture show in Paris or writing for British VOGUE, don't let them stop you. Stay focussed on your dream, believe in yourself and enjoy having the last laugh.

That's all fashionistas and fashiomistas! I loved writing about my journey to New York City and I hope I have inspired some of your to achieve your own dreams. Go big or go home and always shoot for the stars! 

I can't believe that my summer in New York City is almost over but this is not goodbye to New York City, it is only see you later!


Amanda amandasfashionspot@gmail.com https://twitter.com/AFSpot

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fashion A,B,Cs with Tim Gunn

The Tim Gunn we all know and love from Project Runway has really made his mark on the fashion industry. From his television show, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and his books, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style and Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lesson to Making it Work he has now taken his knack for giving advice on how to "make it work"in the fashion world to the world wide web!

MarieClaire.com has posted this article written by Mr. Gunn himself and just like the advice he provides on Project Runway, it is nothing but to the point and every bit helpful! My favourite tips are "Take the high road" and "Never underestimate karma". These tips are great advice because as fast-paced as fashion can be, it is always important to rise above the crazy and stay focused. Karma is something that is relevant in ALL industry's and just as important in fashion 'cause you should always to treat others that way you wish to be treated!



Friday, August 6, 2010

Fashion Gives Back: The Corsage Marathon!

We all remember dreaming about our dream prom dress. Whether it was pale yellow with lace and sequins all over or puffy enough to resemble a wedding gown, it was all something that we will never forget.

As some of you may know, The Corsage Project is an organization that provides free formal gowns and accessories to Toronto high school girls, who are cannot afford to buy a brand new sparkling dress for prom. Even if you haven't had the chance to volunteer for one of the Corsage events, you still have the chance to give back at The Corsage Marathon!

No stilettos for this run, it is serious running shoes if you would like to take some time and give back to a worthy cause. On Sunday, September 26th, 2010 you can take part in the 5km run/walk, half marathon or marathon and all you have to do is click here to find out all the details.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Chic, Clean and Fit for a Princess: When fashion meets home decorating

I have always had a creative mind and loved to beautify the world in every way that I could. From a young age, I loved wearing crazy outfits that expressed myself and often wore an array of kilts in every colour with thick knit tights and neon green with purple stripes. My love for creative expression went past my wardrobe and I also thoroughly enjoyed interior decorating. My mother always had tons of decorating magazines around the house and was a frequent viewer of Cityline and Martha Stewart Living, so the apple did not fall far from the tree. When I was younger, I always wanted a room fit for a princess, the ultimate girly room (In fact, I remember wanting to paint my walls pink and purple stripes!) and since then not much has changed.

A couple years ago I painted my room a bright coral pink and because this is the year of taking risks, I have decided that I would like to make a few more changes to my boudoir. I would like something that is a little shabby chic meets clean, modern and of course fit for a princess! The pieces that I am looking for are:

A vintage-looking nightstand
A chic lamp
Chic, feminine frames
Chic feminine chairs
A new white embroidered bed set
Throw pillows
Pretty feminine drawer linings

After a recent shopping in Manhattan's SoHO area I stumbled upon the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic boutique, which served as the perfect source of inspiration. As soon as I walked in I absolutely loved it! Filled with cozy large couches, plush large beds with iron bed frames and vintage wooden room furniture I felt like I was in interior design heaven! I just love the warm cozy, clean, feminine vibe and that's exactly what I would like to recreate in my room. Rachel Ashwell actual designs an affordable collection at Target including affordable lampshades, nightstands and bed sets that have the same chic, cozy vibe in her SoHo boutique. One of my favourite pieces include the crystal candlestick lamp and a vintage-y nightstand. Perfect for adding that shabby chic vibe to my room.

When decorating or doing something creative I always was love to find different sources of inspiration and I found a few sites to do just that. Perfect Bound is a fellow blogspot site that features beautiful images of wedding gowns and haute couture, that remind of the perfect sunset in an English garden. I also found this great site called Fabulous Doodles, created by FIT graduate Brooke Hagel who updates her site with gorgeous fashion illustrations which help inspire the element of fashion that I want in my soon to be new and improved room.

For a more visual look at my inspirations look below and tell me, what are some of your interior design inspirations?



Sunday, August 1, 2010

Twitter World? Amanda's Fashion Spot has arrived!

Dear: Fellow Readers, Followers and Fans of Amanda's Fashion Spot,

As I have mentioned many times on my blog, this is the year of taking risks and moving forward. With that in mind I have decided to take Amanda's Fashion Spot to the Twitter world, so if you are a member of Twitter feel free to follow me there too at https://twitter.com/AFSpot.

Thanks for reading!


Amanda amandasfashionspot@gmail.com