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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The Twilight Effect

A subtle pop of colour in the form of rich bordeaux skinnies.  Source: whatwearewearing.com

I've never understood the whole vampire thing.  I like guys tanned and healthy-looking who don't make me fear for my life.  And aside from his British accent, R Pats just doesn't do it for me, even after the whole K-Stew debacle.  And yet I know that there are millions of girls who dream of being surrounded by a pack of fanged, blood-thirsty vampires with mild to severe lisps. Between True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight, pale people are everywhere and it's starting to creep me out a little.  And you?  Call it the Twilight Effect or the world's continued obsession with all things vampy and vampiresque, but burgundy is having a major moment.  The colour, long considered dull and outdated, has been brought back to life, thanks in part to Edward, Bella & co. And though I'm not big on vampires, I'm kind of crushing on this new/old hue.  On the runways, shades of bordeaux were paired mostly with black while models and street style stars are currently brightening it up with pinks and softening it down with greys.  And bordeaux is making its way into makeup, too, with celebs currently pouting their way up the red carpet in deep, dramatic, wine-coloured lips.  Now this is one trend I can totally sink my teeth into...

Python-Print Oversized Necklace, $25, ALDO

Challis Tunic, $19, Smart Set

Knit Jeggings, $40, American Eagle Outfitters

A look from Mango's Fall 2012 Campaign

The beautifully lined Grace Leather Bag, $328, Roots

Printed Scarf, $16, Smart Set

Lindsey Wixson in the Sept 2012 issue of Flare Magazine, shot by Max Abadian

Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Dress, $69.99, Le Château

Chiffon Floral Frame Clutch, $59.95, Le Château 

Kate Bosworth, one of many stars who opted for a deep burgundy lip at the 2012 Met Gala

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick, Wal-Mart

More burgundy skinnies, this time paired with a soft grey knit.  Source: LoftinSoho.com

Bordeaux Pumps, $100, ALDO

Oversized Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $20, Le Château

Blogger Elin Kling goes for the boho with a burgundy sweater and wide-brimmed hat. Source: Style by Kling


Summer Trends Made Simple

Straw Hats, 1950, by Nina Leen. Photo courtesy LIFE

Everyone (and every thing) deserves a second chance.  Take some of this summer's hottest trends; namely, fluorescent brights, printed shorts and the mullet skirt (yes, you read that right..the mullet skirt, aka. the short-long).  When all 3 trends surfaced earlier this season, I instantly dismissed them.  After all, neon reminds me of the '80s (in a bad way), while on principle alone, I avoid ALL things mullet (insert shudder here).  Fast forward a few months and I've now introduced all 3 trends into my closet.  And you know what?  I love the out-of-the-box results, mullet skirts and all.  Check out 3 easy ways to rock some of this summer's top trends.  I went on and on last week so this time, I'm going to let the pictures do all the talking...

Hope you're having the best summer ever!


1. Chiffon Blouse, $29.90, Dynamite 2. New Large Hobo, $268, Roots; 3. White Jeans, $78, RW&CO.; 4. Leopard Flats, $70, ALDO; 5. Two-Tone Bangle, $18, ALDO


1. Ribbon Rhinestone Necklace, $17.81, American Eagle; 2. Open Knit Shimmer Sweater, $45.75, American Eagle ; 3. Fringed Bag, $24.80, American Eagle; 4. Tie-Dyed Denim Midi Shorts, $30.53, American Eagle;  5. Western Heeled Bootie, $60.21, American Eagle; 6. Leaf Ring, $8, ALDO


1. Knotted Satin Clutch, $39.95, Le Château; 2. Metal Shield Ring, $15, Le Château; 3. Floral Chiffon Dress, $189.95, Le Château; 4. Python Strappy Sandals, $27.99, ALDO; 5. Turquoise Drop Earrings, $29.95; Le Château


If I Had $10,000


I often dream of what it would be like to go on a guilt-free shopping spree.  As a mom, I so often go out with the intention of buying myself something new but a few hours later, I leave the mall with loads of cute stuff for my kids but not a single thing for me.  In my dream, it's all about indulgence.  The doors lock down, my bag boy waits behind me (ideally doing push-ups and other warm-up exercises to prep for the inevitable pile of bags and boxes he'll soon have to carry). Cue the music: something happy like Carly Rae Jepsen, I'm thinking? And then, I give a little wink to my helper-in-waiting and we're off.

First stop: 1) The perfect destroyed Original Boot Jean ($51) from American Eagle. I will wear these all year round. Small buy but I'm just warming up.  I spy a great pair of 2) Timberland Earthkeepers ($153) that I know I'll be thankful for next winter. So cute.  I snap up a 3) Neon Beaded Necklace ($13) just because I can.

Okay, warm-up complete.  As I stroll into Future Shop, I pull out the big guns.  Gift card down. Whammo. Yes, I'll take that 64GB 3rd Generation iPad ($829.99) thank you very much. Wheee...this is getting fun. Okay, maybe I should slow down.  I stop in at ALDO and grab a cool 5) Nivison Bangle ($18) and a pair of 6) J.W. Anderson Shoes from ALDO RISE ($77.50) that I've been lusting after all season.  And they're on sale. Yay! All those shoes have made me realize that I'm seriously lacking in the nailpolish department so I grab 7) Essie's Summer Collection of colours (approx $12 each) from Wal-Mart. I squeal with joy. Bag boy rolls his eyes.

Oooh, Prada. You will be mine. Oh yes, you will be mine.  I don't even hesitate at Sunglass Hut as they give me once-over à la Pretty Woman.  I'll take the 8) Prada Cat-Eye Sunglasses ($285). Ahhh, now this is what all the fuss is about. They caress my face like only an Italian can. Mi amor!  I want to be around a long time to enjoy these so I grab a pair of 9) New Balance Minimus Running Shoes ($120) at SportChek and follow it up with some of my favourite anti-oxidant crazy 10) Matcha Japanese Green Tea ($19.95) at Teaopia for my healthy latte fix.   Still, as I mentioned I'm a mom. I NEED my coffee and I've always wanted my own personal barista. Back to Future Shop. This 11) Breville Barista Express ($699.99) is a massive splurge but when I will ever be able to justify this again? My early mornings are suddenly looking up...like wayyy up.  Bag Boy buckles under the weight.  We grab a trolley from the mall because we're only halfway done. Wow, how am I going to spend all this money?

Oh! I know! The next buys come fast and furious.  I snap up a 12) Nixon the 51-30 Chrono Watch ($600) at Boathouse and a 13) Vera Wang LOVE Collection Diamond Ring ($1,999) from Peoples Jewelers before anyone can stop me.  I don't even look at bag boy because I can just sense the 'are you sure?' glance. Yes, I'm sure.

I head to Coles and grab 14) The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy ($30) because everyone's been telling me that it's a great summer read.  Speaking of 'up all night', I pick up 15) One Direction's new album, ($12.99) at HMV, for daily dance parties with our kids.  Speaking of kids, I break my no-kid-purchases rule (sorry!) after spying an adorable 16) Pink Striped Dress at The Children's Place. My daughter will love it!

We roll past Roots and I make a beeline for the shoes.  I pick up a pair of 17) Roll Over Boots in Tribe Leather ($248), a 18) gorgeous French Tote ($188), and a 19) Large Colorado Bag ($418) for my husband to use for weekends away.  

He lost his engagement ring last year (I know!), so I decide it's finally time to get him a new one from Peoples. This 20)Peoples White Gold Wedding Band ($549) is sleek, sophisticated and timeless. He will love. But if I'm honest, I know what he'll love more.  21) An XBOX 360 4GB Console ($199) at The Source and 22) a Milwaukee Lithium Ion Cordless Drill/Driver ($219.99) at Sears.  I have no idea what it does but it looks cool?Bag boy nods his head in solemn approval. 

Quick stop at Le Château for some trendy gratification. I love the 23) Tribal Beaded Bracelet ($5.95), the 24) Tribal Print Tunic ($110) and the 25) Cobalt Mao Collar Blouse ($59.99).  All 3: awesome.

My budget (and my shopping stamina) nearly depleted, I crawl towards Danier.  Must. Have. Bomber. I weakly toss my worn-out gift card at the sales associate and she rings up this 26) Leather Bomber (lined in artwork by Raphael Mazzucco - so pretty) ($199). I have enough money left but can I walk any further?  I throw off my shoes.  Bag boy hoists me onto trolley and we roll back to Future Shop for the last time.  After years of dreaming, I finally buy a 27) Canon Rebel t4i ($999.99). As a fashion blogger, this will change my life.  As a mom, this will make all my family pics so much more beautiful. Eek!  28) I'm done. Before I head out in public, I grab a 28) Cargo Beach Blush ($30) and the fountain of youth that is 29) Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector ($100) to make up for the pale shock that I've just blown almost $10,000 in one day.  I do a mental happy dance (because I can't actually feel my legs) as bag boy loads me into a stretch Hummer with all of my buys.  I see him do an actual happy dance as he strolls across the parking lot into the sunset...

Want to up your odds of winning the UWinBig Contest for a chance at your very own New Sudbury Centre $10,000 Shopping Spree? Here's your secret code: K72X  (A little thanks for reading this whole post!) Enter this code at the touch screen kiosk in the mall for your chance to be the big winner. Can you even imagine?!



PS - Don't miss the sidewalk sale happening at New Sudbury Centre all week long (ends Sunday at close)