West Elm Holiday Preview

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Don’t get mad at me – it’s time to talk about the holidays. I know, it’s still October. But this weekend it’s November, and technically that means it’s fair game to put up your Christmas tree and start your holiday shopping. Did I just give you anxiety? I think I just gave myself a little anxiety actually.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a holiday preview at one of my favourite shopping haunts – West Elm in Toronto. Maybe it was the fab food and drink from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen that kept me zen enough to tackle talk about the holiday season, but I was right into it!

 

 

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West Elm seems to expand their holiday collection each year, and not only do they have new ranges of holiday décor, but holiday gifts as well.

On the décor side they have lots of gilded and gold accessories this season, and some of these pieces are a great way do a cute home refresh for the holidays. I feel like the holidays are a great excuse to buy new accent pillows and throws to make-over your space for entertaining.
 

 

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My favourite things to shop for at West Elm are their table settings. Even just shopping in-store you can get some great ideas for your holiday table based on their awesome displays.
 

 

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These Gilded Dapper Animal plates are a fun collaboration between West Elm and designer Rachel Kozlowski. I used to be very plain with my table settings, but lately I’ve been drawn to cute designs like this for a more lighthearted look. And seriously, who wouldn’t want to sit at the place setting with the penguin plate?

 

 

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Just before the preview my friend and I were chatting about bar carts and how her friend just created the cutest display on hers! I was talking about how I was looking for one to go in my living room to go under my giant wall-hanging Buddha (ok, this is making my house sound really strange – I swear it’s cute!) but I haven’t found one, and there is no chance I can have an actual display on top because of my toddler. I just need the cart! Anyway, it’s funny because West Elm is obviously where I am going to pick up a bar cart because they carry some really beautiful ones with some gorgeous displays!
 

 

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West Elm has a few different décor displays for their holiday tree’s, but my favourite was the monogram-themed tree. It’s probably because I am totally in a monogram phase (I’ve been putting my initials all over anything that doesn’t move), but I think these ornaments are great.
 

 

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As for gift giving, I thought West Elm had a few things I know I would sure like to receive. I am not sure why, but I just loved this cheese knife set. I think because it’s in gold – everything in gold is just better. I want this in my stocking please and thank you!
 

 

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They also had a lot of great candles and trinkets as stocking stuffer’s, hostess gifts, and just general you-are-awesome-so-here’s-your-present gifts. I really liked some of the items in the FEED line. In their mission to end hunger, for each of these cutting boards purchased, FEED will donate 23 meals to families in need. Each plate, cup, spoon, and misc. kitchen item has a number on the back of it, and that tells you how many meals will be donated with your purchase. What an awesome gift to give someone!
 

 

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Oh, and by the way (I’m talking to you possible secret Santa who may be reading this post) I really like this pink toaster. Let’s be clear – I don’t actually NEED this toaster, I actually already have a great toaster. But the one I have is not pink, and this one is so I feel like it would be an excellent gift. For someone like me.
 

 

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You can always shop online at www.westelm.com, but head into their Toronto store in Liberty Village (109 Atlantic Ave, Toronto) to shop around in person to see what all of their holiday line has to offer!

Must Have’s for Kids During Cold and Flu Season

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I am so sick of runny noses. Even when my son doesn’t have one (this would be considered rare), when I drop him off at school he is surrounded by other kids with runny noses. It’s inevitable at this time of year that your kid is going to get sick, which can be so exhausting. It’s one thing when you are sick, but when your child is sick it just seems so much more tiring. When you are both sick, well those are the times you call for help (ie. your own mom).

I was shopping online this week and found some awesome gadgets to help get you through cold and flu season. Some of them look a little ridiculous, but some of them could be considered in my eyes to be the greatest invention of all time. Maybe I have the bar set low, but when you are in the middle of a haze of humidifiers, Tylenol doses, and lack of sleep, anything that helps seems miraculous.

 

 

I really wish I had of known about this really cool thermometer when my son London was a baby. If any of you have tried to place a thermometer under your child’s tongue, you know how ingenious this is!

 

 

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Summer Infant Pacifier Thermometer

 

 

I think this pacifier is another awesome concept as well. It’s called The Medicator, which is a pretty hard-core name, and it looks like a great sneaky way to get medicine into your little one.

 

 

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Medicator

Muchkin The Medicator

 

 

This sippy cup totally rocks! Once kids actually figure out what medicine is, they don’t want to take it. Being super sneaky about it is the best way to go, and this sippy cup is the perfect disguise.

 

 

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Sippy Sure Medicine Dispensing Sippy Cup

 

 

Obviously regular baby wipes are a good way to go when it comes to a runny nose, but I’ve been a big fan of Boogie Wipes for a while now. They come in a couple of different scents (or un-scented), and my favourite is grape – it smells amazing! They are super soft, gentle, and it’s a bit easier to wipe down my sons face when he gets distracted by the yummy smell!

 

 

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Boogie Wipes

 

 

Ava The Elephant is a medicine dispenser that talks! It sings, and says “1, 2, 3, open wide! Good job!”. This product was invested in on Shark Tank!

 

 

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Ava The Elephant

 

 

When my son still fit in his car seat it was a great spot for him to sleep, especially when he was sick and he has a stuffy nose because he would be able to breathe easier sleeping upright. The Dozer is meant to turn your car seat into a rocking chair. It weighs less than 1lb so it’s light and portable as well.

 

 

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Dozer Rocker

 

 

This pacifier works with you to keep the germs away – it actually closes when it hits the floor.

 

 

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RaZBaby Keep it Clean Pacifier

 

 

I am the worst at remembering things – especially important things like how long it’s been since my son’s last dose of medicine. I really could have used this device when I had a newborn – the itzbeen Pocket Nanny can track when the next feeding, changing, lengths of naps, and can alert you to anything else you need to remember – like the next dose if medicine!

 

 

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itzbeen Pocket Nanny

My Current Obsession – Plaid Blanket Scarves

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I’ve always been a bit of a scarf fanatic, so the plaid blanket scarf trend is one I can definitely get on board with. My reasoning behind buying new scarves all the time is that it’s cheaper to buy a new scarf than a new outfit. A scarf can be worn so many different ways, and if it’s elaborate enough, it actually IS your outfit. Hence the dozens and dozens of scarves I have in my closet! I still haven’t found a great way to organize them, so if anyone has any tips please let me know!

When I went looking for a new fall plaid blanket scarf, the most popular one online was one that Zara carried. It had a red tartan plaid on one side, and the other side had a different black and white pattern. It has sold out over and over, so I had to go looking for alternatives.

The best part about these scarves being so large is you can wear them as a shawl as well to not only keep warm, but to look chic as well. I think a scarf makes an outfit look so much more polished, so wearing the scarf AS your outfit seems pretty genius to me!

The first scarf I picked up was actually from Garage Clothing. It’s cozy, huge, and I love the colours in the pattern!

 

 

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Garage actually carried three versions of this scarf, so since I loved this one so much I went back to buy another one in a different pattern. It’s sold out online, and I have visited three different stores only to find out it’s sold out there too. So if you are shopping around and see this scarf, please buy it for me and I will pay you back!

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These blanket scarves are not easy to find, so I have added the ones that I have found online that I like the best, along with a few cute regular sized plaid scarves to tide you over as well.

 

 

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Garage Plaid Scarf

 

 

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Zara Checked Scarf

 

 

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Forever 21 Check Plaid Scarf

 

 

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Forever 21 Frayed Plaid Scarf

 

 

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Wilfred Coquette Scarf

 

 

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Target Oversized Plaid Scarf

 

 

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Joe Fresh Long Plaid Scarf

 

 

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Brushed Plaid Blanket Scarf

 

 

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Express Plaid Blanket Scarf

 

 

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Dynamite Plaid Blanket Scarf

The Viva La Juicy Couture Overdose Event at World Mastercard Fashion Week

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I was lucky enough to be invited to a brunch celebrating the launch of Viva La Juicy Gold Couture and Noir at World Mastercard Fashion week on Tuesday.

When I heard the event would be put on by the Candice & Alison Events Group, I knew I had to attend because I’ve seen photos of some of their previous glamorous parties.

I usually attend shows at World Mastercard Fashion Week each season, but this year I haven’t been able to attend any shows, so this was my only event with Fashion Week this year.

 

 

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The brunch featured the hashtag #coutureoverdose, and if you snapped a photo via Instagram with that hashtag and tagged @JuicyCouture then a photo printer at the party would instantly print your photo for you. It was really cute!

 

 

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The food and signature cocktails were provided by the Ritz-Carlton, and it was one of those parties where people were actually eating because the food was so good! I feel like at some of the events I go to I’m the only one hovering around the food – this was a nice change. It probably helped that the Ritz was catering.

 

 

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Models walked around with custom cakes, Macarons, and other treats from Cake Opera Co., and they were pretty amazing just to look at, let alone eat. Even though they were pretty, and I ate a lot of Macarons anyway!

 

 

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Each guest received a full size perfume of either Viva La Juicy Gold Couture or Noir. I received a bottle of Viva La Juicy Noir, and I actually really like it! It’s very light with a sweet berry smell. I thought it was surprising it was so light since it’s called Noir. Plus the bottle is freaking adorable and looks cute on my counter, so there’s that!

To learn more about either fragrance, visit www.juicycouture.com.

 

 

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Fabulous Tulle Skirts from Space 46 Boutique

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Tulle skirts have been taking over my Instagram and Pinterest feeds, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on one.

With a little research I found out that the most fabulous ones come from Space 46 Boutique!

They are designed and handcrafted in the home of sun and surf in Orange County, California. Space 46 tulle skirts are sold at select boutiques worldwide and online, which was great news for me since I’m based all the way in Canada (probably the opposite of Orange County!).

What did I need a tulle skirt for? Well I really wanted just to have one to play dress up, but my actual reason to make the purchase was that we had family photos scheduled this fall and I needed something fun to wear.

 

 

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The boutique’s website features a Real Style Gallery, where customers who have purchased a skirt have allowed their photos to be posted so you can get a better idea of how they look for fit and style.

Not only are there lots of options for the colour, length, and style of their tulle skirts, there are also dresses and garters as well.

Skirts can even be ordered in a custom fit, and there are skirts for young girls starting at size 5-6, running up to size 12-13.

I decided to purchase the tulle skirt called The Wendy in Soft Pink.

It arrived wrapped with care, and a very polite thank you!

 

 

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The skirt was everything I hoped it would be – pink, pretty, and fabulous. I immediately started playing dress up. There are so many ways to wear this skirt!

 

 

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I was so impressed with the quality, and the fit was exactly as described on the site.

To get your hand on one to you can visit them at www.space46boutique.com, or visit them on their Facebook page here, or on Instagram here.

It’s sparkleshinylove’s 1st Birthday! Plus a Sweet Kate Spade Handbag Giveaway!

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This month marks the 1st anniversary of sparkleshinylove!

It’s been a really fun year and I’ve learned a lot along the way. There have been some really late nights, grammar mistakes that have haunted me, and technical issues that have dumbfounded me, but somehow I made it to this point.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my blog this year – I appreciate it more than you know!

I love writing this blog, and I hope that you enjoyed visiting the site over the past year.

Hopefully the next year will be even better!

To celebrate I’m giving away a fabulous Kate Spade handbag! It’s pretty, pink, and I really want to keep it.

 

 

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It retails for $398.00. CDN, and you can enter below via the Rafflecopter App.

This contest begins today, Monday, October 20th, at 8:00am EST 2014, and ends Saturday, October 26th, 2014 at 12:00am EST. This contest is open to all residents of the US and Canada.

Good luck to everyone who everyone who enters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What to Expect at This Weekend’s Delicious Food Show

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This morning I was lucky enough to attend the media tour, breakfast, and press conference for the Delicious Food Show. I previously posted about the show and what to expect, but now I’ve experienced it first hand and I can tell you what not to miss.

 

 

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This morning we met with Chef Chuck Hughes as he was prepping in the kitchen for a workshop he would be doing with a small group of people who purchased tickets for the Exclusive Chef Series. He was super nice, and very animated! It made me wish I had signed up for that workshop!

 

 

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We did a tour of the show, and I got a great overview of which booths were there. We were treated with breakfast done by one of my favourite restaurants, BUCA. Everyone was raving about breakfast – it was amazing! I had a caprese-style breakfast sandwich, fresh cheeses and cured meats, and lots of their baked treats.

 

 

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Next up we had the press conference featuring Chef Mario Batali, Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes and BUCA’s Rob Gentile.

 

 
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One of the most interesting topics for me was what the chefs feed their children. They were saying they didn’t have kids menus at their restaurants because they though kids should be able to enjoy their regular menu items. Mario and Tyler were saying that they thought if you offer you kids chicken fingers and fries all the time, that is setting the course for how they may want to eat in the future. I found this so interesting! I always thought if restaurants didn’t have kids menu’s, then kids weren’t welcome. I may have been totally wrong!

If you are planning to go to the Delicious Food show today, Saturday or Sunday then make sure you visit some of my favourite booths!
 

 
Jacqueline Poirier creates custom ceramic art, and the plates she had on display at the show were really pieces of art! I loved the pizza plate!

 

 
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I couldn’t help but stop at the booth of Sophia Saunders because I loved her prints! She can put any of her designs on tea towels as well, and I thought the Toronto-themed ones would make a great gift! Everything is hand-printed, and no two pieces are the same.

 

 
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I seriously don’t think I’ve had a good cannoli since my vacation in Italy, but the one I tried today may have changed all of that. Holy Cannoli makes fresh Sicilian cannoli’s that are totally delish. At the show you can purchase fresh cannoli’s, or they have cute little packs of cannoli pieces with dip as well. What I really loved were their take-home kits! You would get a packages of shells, and the filling separately so you can make them fresh in time for a party.

 

 
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I’ve blogged about one of my trips to Rock Lobster before (which I loved), and their booth at the Delicious Food Show was one of my favourites today! They are serving up some of their signature food on one side, and their is a bar serving Samuel Adams on the other side.
 

 
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I really liked the art by Hanna V. for the kitchen! Hanna and her husband actually make the frames themselves too.
 

 
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The prettiest booth has to go to Anet Gesualdi Macarons! It looked like a cute little boutique, and it was very busy! I sort of just wanted to hang out there all day because it was so cute.

 

 
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My favourite doughnut of the show had to be from Von Doughnuts! I had an amazing monster doughnut that pretty much made my day!
 

 
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The Delicious Food Show runs from Friday, October 17th from 10am – 9pm, Saturday, October 18th from 10am – 8pm, and Sunday, October 19th from 10am – 6pm at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto (Direct Energy Centre, Hall A, 100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto).

For more information on the Delicious Food Show, check out these links below:

www.facebook.com/deliciousfoodshow
www.twitter.com/deliciousshow
www.instagram.com/deliciousfoodshow
www.pinterest.com/deliciousshow

A Pirate Themed Bathroom With A Little DIY

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The most difficult room in a house to decorate HAS to be the bathroom. They are usually small, strangely-shaped, and since the focus of the room is normally cleanliness, it’s not like you can make it more comfortable than it is with some throw pillows.

What’s worse than decorating a bathroom? Decorating a kid’s bathroom! Kids are messy. Things are unavoidably going to be destroyed, so things they can reach need to be durable and practical. Wow, who would have ever thought I would ever use those words – durable and practical! How boring.

Winter is when I work on those home projects I have left by the wayside in favour of summer weather and drinks on the patio. My first project when summer ended was to finish up my son’s bathroom. This bathroom is all his to use, so I could get away with a theme he would like. I asked him what he thought, and he said “Pirates!”. If I asked him today what he would want his bathroom to have he would say “Cars!”, so I’m just not going to ask him for a while.

It wasn’t very Pinteresty of me, but I started out at Target! They had a really cute pirate set of a shower curtain, hooded towel, garbage pail, soap and toothbrush dispenser, bath mat, and matching washcloths and towels.

 

 

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When I showed my husband my haul (it took me a while – I love Target but they never seem to have a lot of stock so I probably went to three stores) and what I had done with it, he said he was glad it was finished! He felt like the room was done, and it could have been, but I felt like I had to do a few other things to make it a bit more personal.

I picked up these great rope knots from Homesense for $4.99 each which was a steal!

 

 
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For wall art I went to Etsy to find some cute prints that I could frame myself. I found these first two at the Only Printable Art store here. The prints were only $5.57 CDN each!
 

 

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The next two prints I chose were from different stores on Etsy. The lobster print was from Digital Art Downloads by Jonathan who’s store can be found here.

 

 

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The octopus print was from The Artsy Type Shop found here.
 

 

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I picked up the frames at Walmart for two for $12.00.

 

 
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I wasn’t overly happy with the mirror in the bathroom – I wanted something more nautical. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find anything! I had an image in my head of what I wanted, so I decided to do it myself.

 

 
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I wanted to incorporate rope into the mirror, so I went looking for materials. Do you know how hard it is to find rope? I thought I could just to one of those obscure isles at Home Depot and find the rope I wanted. Not so easy! I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire and Walmart and couldn’t find what I wanted. Finally Michaels had what I was looking for.

 

 
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Each package was $9.99, so I made a few trips to the store with one of those 40% off coupons you can find online. I grabbed my pink glue gun (obviously it’s pink, right?), and got to work!

 

 

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I glued the rope right to the mirror frame, covering the border completely. It was easier than I thought it would be!

 

 
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Before I knew it, I was done and pretty proud of myself! I did a DIY project! I don’t usually get too crafty, so this was a big deal. The good news is my son loves his bathroom. For now. Just don’t ask him what theme he wants in there next, because I don’t feel like glueing cars to the mirror instead.

 

 

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My Fall Fashion Picks From Turquoise Boutiques

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One of my favourite shopping haunts is Turquoise Boutique. My little sis worked at a couple of their locations, and introduced me to their awesomeness. Whenever I’m looking for a dress for a wedding or event I stop by one of their stores to pick something up because they ALWAYS have a dress that fits perfectly with what I had in mind. Fall is my favourite season to shop there because I love their cozy sweaters and jackets.

The Turquoise Boutique Facebook page is super active with updated stock at their locations as well so you can keep an eye on what is coming into their stores. They also run lots of contests and giveaways on their Facebook page as well, so you should become a fan here!

 

 

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I usually shop at their Whitby location the most, but they also have locations in Bowmanville, Port Perry and Toronto.

Their staff is always super sweet and helpful with finding sizes, helping you organize your giant haul in the dressing room, and with giving honest opinions on how you look in their clothing.

 

 

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I paid a visit to the Whitby store last week, and I spotted this awesome jacket in the window that is to die for. How perfect would this jacket look for an outdoor engagement shoot, or just for an everyday fabulous look? It’s almost out of stock so if you love it like I do, you may want to get to a store soon.

 

 

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Turquoise has lots of new fall and winter jackets in stock right now as well. I know, you don’t want to think about the cold, or snow, or keeping warm with that whole polar vortex thing going on, but now is the time to shop for a winter jacket so you have your pick of the cutest one’s before they are gone. When you are in the middle of a blizzard trying to walk from the mall to your car, you want people to be thinking “where did she get that fabulous jacket”, and not “wow, that girl looks like a hot mess”!

 

 

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Turquoise carries a wall full of Guess handbags from their latest a lines to match the seasonal wardrobe they carry as well.

 

 

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The sweaters they have in store right now are pretty cute and fabulous. Here are a few of my favourites. I’m loving the faux leather accents on some of these!

 

 

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Turquoise-canada

 

 

Turquoise-canada

 

 

I obviously had a to buy one of these fab sweaters, and the one I picked had the cutest detail on the back! I styled it for a casual dinner night with friends.

 

 

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Some of the other fun items in store were of course their dresses (my favourite!), and tops you could dress up or down depending on what your adventure is that day.

 

 

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There were so many items I liked, but I couldn’t take photos of them all so you will need to check out one of the locations yourself.

Turquoise Boutique Whitby is located at 143 Brock St S, Whitby, On, and to get details on the rest of their locations check out their Facebook page here.

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