About Sarah

 

Sarah Francis is a fashion addict with a serious shoe fetish and a penchant for shiny things.  She's the Director of Real Life Runway and Official Stylist of Vaughan Mills. Her work has appeared in some of the country's top magazines, newspapers and TV shows.  Oh, and she loooves to shop. Obviously.

 

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Friday
Dec092016

MERRY & BRIGHT | 50 Fun Gifts for Everyone On Your Nice List

via Roots

I can't blame you for feeling overwhelmed by it all. I mean, December is always straight up manic - between making plans and hosting parties, grabbing gifts and doing good deeds, this time of year is all about stressing and hurrying and getting it done. But then, when all of that rushing is done, it's all about stopping. It's about pausing and relaxing and fa-la-laaing with your favourites. It's about crisp white days and silent nights. It's about spending time with the people we love. We forget about work and worries for awhile as we watch Clark Griswold light up the night (Joy to the Woooorld) and Kevin experiment with after-shave. We remember what it's like to feel like a kid again as we eagerly wait for Santa to arrive.

As we all learned from Dr. Seuss, we know that in Whoville at least, Christmas came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. We know Christmas doesn't come from a store. We all know it means just a little bit more. But still, you have to admit it - giving great gifts is FUN. Since you're probably a little bit busy right now, I put together a list of 50 fun gifts for everyone on your nice list so you can quickly grab your gifts and get to all the good stuff just a little bit sooner. Happy holidays - hope you're enjoying every manic minute! 

 

 
Thursday
Nov242016

SHINE BRIGHT | 4 Fun New Ways To Dress Up This Holiday Season

via Le Château

One month out from Christmas and we're officially in the thick of it. We're about to embark on a month-long bingefest of eating and drinking and general merry-making. And while you might be tempted to throw on your flannel onesie, snuggle up in your mermaid blanket and just call it a day, remember that 'tis the season for dressing up, too. I mean, other than summer, is there any time of year more social than December?

You'll be out grabbing gifts with your fellow shoppers, fuelling up at brunches with big men dressed in red, sipping cocktails with your co-workers and fêting all things festive. And then there's all that time with your family - from Christmas recitals to epic full-day feasts. Your flannel onesie is not going to impress your mother-in-law. You are better than your flannel onesie. 

And so, for all the reasons you'll want to dress up this season, I've rounded up some lovely outfit ideas to take you through the hols in style, without a single predictable LBD in the mix. Want to stay comfy on an extra cold day? Velvet joggers, an off-the shoulder knit, a festive red lip and pom-poms on your kicks will take your low-key look next level. Heading to a cocktail party? Banish basic black in favour of soft pink and winter white. Hoping to look extra cute at your next family 'do? Try a voluminous tulle skirt, a long cardi and ankle boots for the win. And if you like to plan ahead, a sleek bodysuit, sequined skirt and over-the-knee boots will help you shine brighter than any disco ball this NYE. 

Happy Black Friday! Can't think of a better day to treat yourself, can you?

1. Cold Shoulder Turtleneck Sweater, $45, American Eagle; 2. Faux Leather Backpack, $49.95, Le Château; 3. Quay Supergirl Sunglasses, $99.99, Jean Machine; 4. Silver Bar Earrings, $20, ALDO; 5. Pompom Shoe Clip, $15, ALDO; 6. Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick, $25, Shoppers Drug Mart; 7. Velvet Drawstring Track Pant, $69.95, Le Château

1. Gem Teardrop Earrings, $19.95, Le Château; 2. Faux Fur Nubby Coat, $105, Le Château; 3. Chiffon Boat Neck Slit Tunic, $59.95, Le Château; 4. Vasanti See the Light Highlighter Duo, $29, Shoppers Drug Mart; 5. Pointy Toe Boot, $104.98, ALDO; 6. Together Women's Wide Leg Pants, $55.99, Sears

1. Keep on Dreamin' Cardi, $49, American Eagle; 2. Diorshow Iconic Mascara, $37, Shoppers Drug Mart; 3. Sock Ankle Boots, $49.99, ALDO; 4. Statement Earrings, $14.98, ALDO; 5. Kismet Luca Racerback Tank, $16.90, Bootlegger; 6. Kismet Angel Skirt, $69, Bootlegger.

1. Geometric Ring, $20, ALDO; 2. The Bodysuit by Meghan Markle, $54.90, Reitmans; 3. Sylvana Black Velvet Over-the-Knee Boot, $160, ALDO; 4. Star Studded Crossbody, $22.50, ALDO; 5. Sequin and Knit Midi Skirt, $79.95, Le Château

Tuesday
Nov082016

HOLIDA-AY, CELEBRA-ATE | 10 Festive Finds You'll Want to Pick Up Now

via WhoWhatWear

Not to seem too eager or anything but, now that Hallowe'en is done, is anyone else just a little bit excited about what's coming next? While it's probably too early for stockings and trees (#nevertooearly), there are certain festive finds worth picking up in advance. Whether it's those cold weather essentials that make the snow a treat instead of torture, or those most-wanted gifts that are sure to sell out, I've rounded up 10 things you're going to need soon that you'll want to get now. Read on for my picks, then get ready to feel fa-la-la-lamazing about how relaxed you'll feel in 47 days once the holidays hit (not that I'm counting)...


WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | Over the river and through the wood, it's time for family to invade your 'hood. Whether you're hosting loved ones for a big family dinner or welcoming your in-laws for the whole of the hols, it's fun to get all festive this time of year. Cozy flannel sheets are the perfect winter update for your guest bedroom and pre-lit trees will make every room look fun & festive, no extra decorating required. 

OUR PICKS | WholeHome Luxe Portuguese Cotton Flannel Sheet Set, $82, SearsWholeHome Luxe Yarn-Dyed Triple Brushed Flannel Duvet Cover Set, $82, SearsWholeHome Pre-Lit Birch Tree, $34.99, Sears


 

 

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | It happens every year: I think I have loads of time and then BAM! Snow, sleet, and freezing cold temps arrive overnight and my poor kids have to walk out the door in mismatched mittens and too-small boots. This year, I'm picking up all of the cold-weather essentials before the snow starts. Um, seriously though, how cute are those hockey stick BOGS?

OUR PICKS | Alpinetek Baby Pram Suit, $60, Sears; BOGS Classic Hockey Boots, $95, Soft MocSorel Winter Boots, $59.99, Soft Moc

 

 

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | I grew up with those classic chocolate advent calendars and let's be honest: chocolate before breakfast is always a good thing. But still, I'm pretty tempted by all the creative, non-chocolate Advent calendars out there, too. For Lego-lovers, the Lego City Advent Calendar is a genius idea that will have your littles counting down the days. And for grown-ups, what better way to find your new fave tea than with the 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar from DAVIDsTEA? I mean, why should kids have all the fun?

OUR PICKS | 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar, $40, DAVIDsTEA; Lego City Advent Calendar, $40, Walmart

 

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | You never know when a can't-miss party invite might make its way into your inbox; and when it does, it's best to be prepared. With office parties, open-houses and family functions on the horizon, this time of year calls for dressing your best without the stress. Be sure to grab a classic black jumpsuit for this year's party season, plus some amazing extras to help you win Best Dressed Guest every time. 

OUR PICKS | Tricoteen Wide Leg Jumpsuit, $169.99, Le Château; Statement Earrings, $18, ALDO; Scattered Sequin Box Clutch, $50, ALDO

 

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW |  Wine is always a fine idea but your holiday hosts will remember the extra thoughtful gifts the most. This year, surprise them with a great new Christmas album (CDs, vinyl or iTunes gift cards work, depending on the host) or an acacia wood cutting board, sure to come in handy over the holidays. 

OUR PICK | A Pentatonix Christmas, $12.99, HMVAcacia Wood Cutting Board, $39.99, Sears

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | As of post-time, there were still a few random Hatchimals spotted at Walmart. Same goes for all thing Paw Patrol and Pie Face. But unless you want to be stuck bidding double on eBay in a few weeks or are prepared to find the look of pure disappointment under the tree on Christmas morning, I suggest you pick up this year's hottest toys while you still can. No presh ;) 

OUR PICKS | Hatchimals, $84.99, Walmart; Paw Patrol Paw Patroller, $80, Walmart; Pie Face Showdown Game, $28, Walmart

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | There's nothing better than taking some genuine time off, at home, with nothing to do but eat, chill and read a great book. Whether you're looking for some great books for yourself or have some random giftees on your list (co-workers, Secret Santas, that uncle you don't really know that well), it's always smart to have a few good reads on hand, just in case. 

OUR PICKS | Born To Run Bruce Springsteen, $25, Coles; Kakuma Girls, $19.95, Coles

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW |  If you find yourself in the pet aisle on Christmas Eve every year, desperately reaching for catnip and dog toys, do yourself a solid and get your pets covered early. While I'm not usually the early shopping type, I've already picked up this amazing Nerf Dog ball gun for my Westie - that classic game of fetch will never, ever be the same. 

OUR PICK | Nerf Dog Dog Toys, $34.99, Sears

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | Want to win with the ugliest sweater? Want to be the cutest at the toboggan park? There are so many wonderfully tacky finds to celebrate the joy of the season that I see absolutely no point in waiting. Ugly sweater? Check. Kitschy toque? Check. Hmmm...now where is that perfect fleece onesie....

OUR PICKS | Ugly Holiday Sweater, $25, Sears; I Love Winter Toque, $26, Roots

WHAT TO PICK UP NOW | From snow tires to snowshoes, you need the right stuff for the white stuff. See what I did there? No matter how you choose to make your way through the mush, having good gear is essential to help you have the best winter ever. With an extra snowy winter in the forecast, this might be the perfect year to give yourself an upgrade.  

OUR PICK | Louis Garneau Transition 723 Women's Snowshoes, $139.99, Sport ChekYamaha FX Nytro Snow Bike, $79.99, Sears; 4' Toboggan with Cushion, $78, Walmart