Book Review: Goddess of Love Incarnate

After finishing the book last night, I thought it was due time to get rolling with my late review. (I have a new respect for Kindles’ though – the book was heavy to cart around on transit). All the stories and the photographs included in the book made for an interesting read. Lili had lived and Leslie Zemeckis did a fantastic job capturing her roller coaster of a life.

Before the book, I had never heard of Lili St. Cyr and the differences between us are obvious. But after reading Lili’s bio I couldn’t help but to pull some similarities:

  • We both have affection for white roses, pearls, and champagne. I know Instagram accounts built on this love.
  • Fans of great fashion designers like Balenciaga and Dior (Although my goal is to actually wear the clothes one day like Lili – My Dior espadrilles are magnificent. The perfume they sprayed on them at Le Bon Marche in Paris lingered all the way home).
  • We like to keep busy, are disciplined and are always working on something. Lili was continually trying to improve and worked hard to be stand out.
  • We don’t like the feeling of being claustrophobic or tied down. Lili did have 5 or 6 marriages by the time she was my age, which seems like a lot – but I figured she was into the euphoria of romance rather than a lifelong commitment.
  • We like adventure. I seem to enjoy international travel more than Lili did but then again I’m also not carting around vintage trunks when travel either.
  • We both have been to the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood and the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco (it’s now the Westin St. Francis – but it’s kept it’s charm) and Bergdorf Goodman.
  • She spent a large amount of time in Canada – Montreal to be exact. I’m from the west coast of Canada.
  • Lili made a Love List (sort of)! On page 329, I was delighted to read that for an interview she broke down her lovers/friends and the qualities she admired about them such as wit, sex appeal and generosity.

At the high point in her career, Lili was pulling a 6-figure salary (maybe the equivalent of almost a million now?) but sadly spending through all her earnings at a rapid rate. Like a bad business case, if she only invested a small portion of her millions she wouldn’t have to sell her beloved house. A collaboration with a company like Agent Provocateur or Dom Pérignon would have been a lucrative deal (this is easy to propose as an outsider!). She did have her own lingerie line at one point. It’s a shame her club in NYC, Boudoir never made it. I’m sure the décor and design was amazing. Many opportunities sadly lost.

I enjoyed reading this well written biography full of details and packed with research. And although her demise was tragic and unpleasant, the story of the stripteuse can live on in The Goddess of Love Incarnate, as glamorous, passionate and full of joie de vivre as Lili St. Cyr herself.

ELENA:) ps: I had a short 5 minute 5 question interview with author, Leslie Zemeckis posted on my News & Events page.

 

LeslieFinalKelly Rutherford, Leslie Zemeckis, Susan RockefellerBook cover

NYC Photo shoot

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’m actually enjoying catching up on old TV episodes and sleeping. I have finally finished the Lili St. Cyr biography I have been reading as well (read all about it in a future post).

Back in NYC, I teamed up with my friends from Flytographer to shoot in the streets of Soho. This time, the fabulous Mayleen was behind the camera and we had a lot of fun. She schooled me all about Miami, shooting notable clients and how to be fearless in a “coat that looks like a shag bear that didn’t stand a chance.” Here are some shots with hair and makeup by Bianca and Anthony. As you can see, I’m a fan of the profile shot;)

ELENA:)

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NYC in December

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I can’t believe that there is 5 days until Christmas!!!

I used the last of my vacation time to venture off to NYC in early December and I thought you might want to know a little about my adventures. This is a short summary with more details to follow!

TUESDAY: Checked into The Renwick, (a cool new boutique hotel on east 40th in between Park and Lex) and went to visit my friend Nizim from Labeling Men and had dinner at Bill’s Food & Drink on 54th. Bill’s Food and Drink is one of Chef John Delucie’s restaurant. Bedford & Co is his latest venture at the Renwick which is slated to open very very soon! (Comment: Actually it’s not going to open until spring 2016) Things to note – my room had a lovely floral arrangement from Uprooted Flower Truck (NYC’s first flower truck) to brighten my stay and I got to snack on some yummy ginger people made by Sweets by Olivia (which only lasted a night!).IMG_8612IMG_8602

WEDNESDAY: Hair and makeup with Anthony and Bianca for a Flytographer shoot in Soho. I got to wear my new Christmas/Birthday present to myself, a Proenza Schouler cashmere coat which I love. (More photos in a future post). Uber was crashed when I needed to rush to an important meeting at the Surrey Hotel but I managed to get there eventually after walking 20 blocks in heels and paying $30 for car service. Sheesh. Dinner at Marta with a friend from BluBird Vancouver.

THURSDAY: A breakfast meeting at Le Pain Quotidien followed by an amazing tour of Ciner manufacturing (future post coming up) was on the schedule. In the evening, I surprised the creative fashion illustrator Elaine Biss at her French Connection event. After, I got to meet Alexis Bittar at his holiday meet and greet. Then finally, to my trainers delight, I got to eat a chicken burger at Fuku.

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FRIDAY: A breakfast meeting at The Smith (I totally recommend) and a stop in with Editor-In -Chief, Courtenay C. Hall from Bella New York Magazine. I made a pit stop at Century 21 of course and had a few moments uptown to take some photos of beautiful Bergdorf window displays before heading downtown to dinner at Hundred Acres.

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SATURDAY: A stop into Creeds Collective Pop Up Shop which was conveniently located across the street from the brunch spot Santina under the High Line.  I managed to pick up some salt water taffy from Salty Road from Brooklyn. With an hour to spare to leave to airport, I went to & Other Stories new 5th avenue spot and bought a pair of booties.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week (Sept 29-Oct 7)

And just like that, Paris Fashion Week is over. Here are some highlights…Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.51.30 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.51.44 PM

Dries Van Noten

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Rochas

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Vionnet

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Carven

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Balmain

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Lanvin

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Christian Dior

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Balenciaga

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Elie Saab

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Zuhair Murard

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Giambattista Valli

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Chanel

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Valentino

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LFW (Sept 21-22) and MFW (Sept 23-Sept 28)

Tomorrow starts Paris Fashion Week! Here is my final two days of coverage of London Fashion Week with the entire Milan Fashion Week. Again, calendar for reference….

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London Fashion Week….

Erdem

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Burberry Porsum

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Peter Pilotto

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Milan Fashion Week…

Stella Jean

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Fendi

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Dolce & Gabbana

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Giamba

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Giorgio Armani

 

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ELENA:)

 

 

 

 

LFW SS16 (Sept 18-20)

Just for the record London Fashion Week runs until the 22 but I thought that I would post a glimpse of some of the fashion finds I have found. Here is the calendar again for reference…Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.52.54 PM

Edeline Lee

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Simone Rocha

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Temperley London

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Issa

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Mary Katrantzou

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NYFW SS16 (Sept 14 – 17)

This concludes my NYFW fashion finds. Loving Delpozo , Marchesa and Reem Acra! Can’t wait to see what London Fashion Week (Sept 18-22) brings!

Rachel Antonoff

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Carolina Herrera

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Maiyet

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Reem Acra

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Rodarte

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Oscar de la Renta

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Anna Sui

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Delpozo

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Marchesa

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Marc Jacobs

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ELENA:)

 

 

 

NYFW SS16 (Sept 8 – 13)

Just in case you couldn’t catch any shows in person here are some of my favourite looks from a few designers. I always think – what would look good on a 5″2 hourglass girl with an endless budget? This is collection of fine fashion finds. Photos from Vogue.com. Here is the Fashion Calendar to keep you up to date too!

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Red Valentino

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Zac Zac Posen

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M Missoni

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Sachin & Babi

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Lisa Perry

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Tadashi Shoji

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Tanya Taylor

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Zimmermann

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Jason Wu

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Christian Siriano

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Mara Hoffman

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Monique Lhuillier

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Public School

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Diane von Furstenberg

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Jenny Packham

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ELENA:)

 

L’Oreal Paris Canada Photo Shoot for LouLou Magazine

I won a chance to be in LouLou Magazine and model my new blue black hair courtesy of L’Oreal Paris Canada. So, before Paris – I took a side trip to Toronto for the shoot for the weekend. Hair, makeup, wardrobe. I had so much fun and was happy to be part of the spread. For a person who travels a lot – this was the first time I actually spent some time in Toronto.  I did it in style and stayed at the Shangri-la. I had dinner at Momofuku, which was also amazing. What an awesome way to start my vacation.

ELENA:)

eLo Review

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hosting a Love List Lounge sponsored by SkinnyGirl Sparklers at TechStyleNYC. Besides chatting with media and fashionistas, I met Timothy George of eLo Lipcare. We actually bonded over the fact we were silver shoe twins – but I digress 😉

I was so busy during TechStyleNYC that I didn’t have a chance to try out any eLo products until this weekend! Little did I know, that I was definitely in for a treat.

With less than 6 ingredients per product, it leaves your lips moist and smooth. It also has a smell that makes you want to eat the entire tube. That last reason alone makes eLo a winner in my books!

Here is the ingredients in the products I ordered (full list of products and their corresponding ingredients can be found on the site).

DAY – avocado oil, jojoba oil, spf15, peach extracts

NIGHT – shea oil, jojoba oil, vitamin e, spearmint oil, vanilla extracts

SANGRIA – shea oil, jojoba oil, spf15, coconut oil, watermelon extracts, Bordeaux mica

MINT – macadamia oil, jojoba oil, organic raw cane sugar, organic agave nectar, spearmint extracts

The not-so-secret secret to ELo’s success, is that products are made in small batches of 40. No mass production here! The extra bonus is that this yummy, curated lip care now ships to Canada! Win win! Yay!

ELENA:)

NYFW 2015

My first NYFW I attended was coordinated by Amconyc at the Gansevoort Park Hotel was interesting. I didn’t expect to wait as long as we did for the show to start, but apparently fashion shows rarely start on time. After the show, we dashed off for a cupcake run for Tech Style. I was too lazy to change my Beautulleful skirt so I put on my toque and runners and away we went.

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TechStyleNYC Prep

NYC! You were so cold (weather wise) this visit. Photos from Bumble and Bumble studios in the Meatpacking district (site of TechStyle) where we dropped off Quick Candle decor pre event. After we took a little stroll down the Highline on Valentine’s Day before taking refuge indoors at Chelsea Market.

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C+C Lifestyles by Design Interview

I find that some things cannot be taught in school. Inspiration, being one of them. You can learn different skills/tools and the history that have inspired others – but your own inspiration is usually mesh between your reality and fantasy with a healthy dose of experience.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Chrissy, a Vancouver Interior designer and Cory (and their cute poodle Buttons) from C+C Lifestyles by Design to understand their inspiration behind their beautiful timepiece collection.

1) Why did you launch a luxury timepiece collection?

It all began while watch shopping; Cory and I were in the market for a new timepiece. I was sick of seeing everyone sporting the same Michael Kors watch that I had and I didn’t want another mainstream piece. I wanted something that was higher quality and stylish with a vintage appeal. Everything that I fell in love with was well past the 5K mark and I didn’t want to buy something just for name brand sake. Our date night conversations turned into watch design conversations and so we decided to take the budget that we planned on spending on a watch and put it towards designing our very own line.

2) What was your inspiration for the C+C logo?

Cory and I wanted to create a brand that really resonated with our values. We love the finer things, not the pretentious things; we wanted beautiful design, high quality with equally high ethics. C+C seemed fitting as it represents our love story in both romance and business. The name C+C was named after us… Chrissy and Cory. We wanted to create something that was meaningful, elegant, sophisticated and slightly whimsical. The crown represents a dream to build our own legacy and the two birds represent our love story. Our first collection, the Meraki series truly embodies our brand, as Meraki by definition is to create something with creativity and love, to put the essence of yourself into your work. That’s where Lifestyle By Design comes in.

3) Dream collaborations in the future?

For us, our collaborative ambitions are geared towards concepts rather than individuals. I think it’s so important to align oneself with others who share the same values. We are all about building something of integrity and beauty. To us Luxury is measured by time, taste and ethics and so we are looking to see C+C in circles where people echo the same values. There are a lot of amazing artists and designers out there that we would love to one day have the opportunity to work along side with but for now we are having fun just dreaming up and developing our next beautiful design.

To purchase your own timepiece, visit C+C Lifestyles by Design. A % of proceeds from each watch sold goes to the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation.

Be sure to follow C+C Lifestyles by Design on Instagram: @CCLifestyles as well as Chrissy’s design adventures, also on Instagram: @ChrissyCoDesign

ELENA:)

NYC in December

NY during the holidays has an amazing atmosphere. The tree at Rockefeller is all lit up and people are in a festive mood (for the most part). I managed to take one picture before heading off to do more shopping.

The lovely ladies at Bleecker + Spring delivered rings to the Ace over the weekend, accompanied by yummy gingerbread men made by Sweets by Olivia. So incredibly kind!

Until next year NYC….

ELENA:)

NYC Trip

This was my fifth time this year to head over to NYC. And i definitely had fun but full schedule. I checked into the lovely Ace Hotel  and for all the places I have stayed this year, I would actually stay there again. Great Flatiron area, Stumptown coffee and the Breslin. Although I was unable to eat at the Breslin (it’s definitely on my list for a future – that actually is one criticism I have for they Ace – they need to have tables for people staying in the hotel!).

I managed to check a few holiday parties including one for the Centre for Social Innovation NYC and BellaNYC Magazine. Also some great new restaurants including Rosemary’s (where I had brunch with the funny,talented and sweet Alex of What’s Bakin’ NYC) and Chalk point Kitchen which was the most vegetable filled meal I have EVER had in NY. And it wasn’t the normal lame veggies either. I would definitely make sure to put them back on the list for a revisit.

ELENA:)

Old Joy Gift Box Review

I travel a fair bit and when I meet someone new they always ask me, “What’s Vancouver like anyway?” I never struggle in saying it’s calm and clean. I mention the trees, the mountains, the ocean and the rain. All things environmental.  Now, thanks to Old Joy Gift Boxes – I have an answer that captures both the atmosphere and the flavor of Vancouver.

Melissa Mills has taken the best of the best of Vancouver artisans (Woodlot, Vancouver Olive Oil Company, Lissu Linen and Minimocs to name just a few!) and thoughtfully curated her gift boxes with an accent of an old joy – a vintage item that ties whole box together. She painstakingly handpicks her products to align with the interest of the recipient (like a cool vintage camera for my friends at Flytographer).

Melissa has a keen eye for aesthetic and design and don’t even get me started on the ribbon she uses! I lust after this classic black and white grosgrain ribbon that I feel Coco Chanel would use in the early days making her hats (Note to Melissa: Find more of that ribbon!).

The boxes themselves are made out of reclaimed wood and lined with an OLFCO flower arrangement (dried flowers in shipped boxes) which make the boxes very west coast.

After ordering a number of boxes, I began to realize that the real secret behind the boxes – is actually Melissa herself.  Mother of a beautiful girl, she is always with a smile and a sunny disposition. Melissa is the true definition of joy and the passion she has for her craft radiates like the sun in every box she delivers – much like a glorious day in city of Vancouver.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

My final post today is Undercover, Maison Martin Margiel and Maiyet.

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Paris Fashion Week

Lanvin, Loewe, Dior and Isabel Marant for PFW.

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Paris Fashion Week

Nina Ricci, Barbara Bui and Zadig et Voltaire for PFW!

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Paris Fashion Week

Carven and Balmain.

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Paris Fashion Week

Vionnet, Alexis Mabille, Balenciaga and Roland Mouret.

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Paris Fashion Week

PFW! Here we go…..Dries van Noten, Rochas and Sonia by Sonia Rykiel.

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Milan Fashion Week

The last from Milan Fashion Week from MSGM. Now on to Paris!

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Milan Fashion Week

Dolce and Gabbana’s Spanish influenced Sicily for Milan Fashion Week.

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Milan Fashion Week

More Milan fashion week finds…Canada’s Dsquared2, Moschino (Barbie influenced) and Emilio Pucci. Can I just say – I’m super excited about these Pucci dresses! Can you tell I have thing for volume!?! Love!

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Milan Fashion Week

Here are my finds from Milan fashion week from Stella Jean, Gucci and a new line debuting by Gambiattista Valli called Giamba Paris.

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London Fashion Week

The last of #LFW finds: Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Christopher Kane.

Next up…Milan Fashion Week

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London Fashion Week

My LFW finds (so far!): Marchesa, Matthew Williamson, Temperley London and Mary Kantrantzou

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London Fashion Week

SHRIMPS! A Faux Fur line that is making headway on both sides on the pond. Hannah Weiland had her first presentation at LFW on Friday with some fun finds which were inspired by the Flintstones. The accessories are fun too! – my fave is the mauve and grey stole!

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New York Fashion Week

My NYFW finds: Oscar, Jenny Packham and DELPOZO

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Photo shoot with Joey Armstrong

To end off the summer, I wanted to do a photo shoot incorporating all the products I have blogged about this summer for pure fun. Why not? I enlisted Joey Armstrong – a fabulous lifestyle photographer here in Vancouver (along with her awesome assistant Alison Page – who is a photographer herself) who helped me create a wonderful photo shoot that was placed products organically and featured yours truly. I think that the pictures turned out wonderfully and its always cool to see how different photographers work their magic and really get you to shine. Thanks Joey, Alison and Diana (makeup artist) for the fun shoot and fabulous pics!

ELENA:)

Sophie’s Closet Review

I have to admit – I only found out about Sophie’s Closet through Instagram when designer, Kenneth Jay Lane gave a shout out to the online store.  I clicked on the handle and I was hooked like a magpie to a shiny piece of metal. Sophie’s Closet is an online mecca for rare, vintage (read: Chanel, Dior, YSL!) and contemporary jewlery from both established and up-and-coming designers.

Not only is Sophie’s Closet a great shop (I just purchased the last Joanna Laura Constantine Gold Double Leaf ring), but I feel like founder, Sophie Katirai could be my friend.  We have so many similarities! – Huge love of jewelry/accessories, MBA grads, and have both travelled a fair bit (yet – I can’t say that I’ve lived in 6 countries).

I really wish that I was able to visit showroom when I was in Dubai (which seems like ages ago). But I guess that means I need to plan another trip!

Check out Sophie’s Closet on Twitter/Instagram: Sophiescloset and don’t forget to ‘Like’ Sophie’s page on Facebook too!

ELENA:)

Panty by Post Review

I love mail. All sorts. Magazines. Greeting cards. Flyers. Even the occasional bill.

Panty by Post is a subscription service which sends you a pretty panty in the mail. Yay! FYI: these aren’t your average $5 for $25 Victoria Secret finds either – Panty by Post features brands like Blush and Hanky Panky.

Out of all the subscription services – this has to be the most novel. And it’s not just for ladies – guys can get their underwear too.

Receive $15 off a 3,6,12 month subscription with the promo code:IMNEW15

Don’t forget to follow them on twitter: pantybypost and instagram: pantybypostca and ‘Like’ them on Facebook!

ELENA:)