Tribal prints by Kristine Cook Designs

Last month, you saw me wearing some super trendy black and white tribal print designs created Kristine Cook Designs.

This trend is one that I absolutely love. These pieces are amazing statement pieces and when paired with staples from your own wardrobe, like a simple tank or a dark pair of skinny jeans, they really set your outfit apart from everyone else out there.

Kristine created these pieces out of a lightweight bamboo and I loved the feel of the fabric against my skin. it was light and airy, but the jacket in particular was great for touring around Chicago on the cool nights, and for battling the air conditioning on the airplane on the way home from BlogHer'13.

Have you incorporated black and white tribal prints into you wardrobe?


Kristine Cook Designs...color blocking at its best!

One of my absolute favourite dresses from all of the pieces that Kristine Cook Designs created for me this year fro BlogHer'13 was my color block dress.

I went to her with the idea of using some of the really trendy Pantone colors of 2013, Mykonos Blue and Emerald, to do a funky color block dress.

This is what she created

I absolutely love how it accentuated my tiny little waist and how Kristine tied everything together with the wide stretchy black belt, which mirrored the styling of the hem, sleeves and neck.

When we got to the hemline, I actually asked Kristine to raise it a little...then a little more. I feel so stinking sexy and this dress really made me embrace my new body shape and every curve that I have.

On the back is an exposed zipper, and I think it adds such a funky flair to the already striking design!

How do you rock the color blocking trend?


Fashionista Friday: Kristine Cook Designs custom maxi dress

A few months ago, I asked London, Ontario fashion designer Kristine Cook if she could design and create for me a maxi dress that would be flowing....flattering...and in my proportions.

You see, I am 5'2" which means that a lot of those cute maxi dresses out there on the market just do not fit and are always hit my body at the wrong spot.

What she designed was amazing, and I am thrilled to show it to you today.

From the first sketch, to the completion of the dress, I was in love. It fit, it flowed and it was flattering.

This is going to be my day look for the Saturday at BlogHer'13. It's so super comfy, yet incredibly girly and I really feel as though it showcases who I am as an artist, a blogger and a woman all in one piece. Paired with silver and white gladiator sandals, my aluminum Ron Ostlund Jr. hammered cuff bracelet and a sparkly silver boho headband from Alice in Bloom and it is absolutely perfect!

How do you wear your maxi dress?


What Am I Wearing to the Fly DIY Party?

I am absolutely thrilled to give you a sneak peek at the custom dress that I will be wearing to the Fl DIY party at BlogHer'13, created by Kristine Cook Designs.

When Kristine and I met back in September, I told her that I had a vision of wearing a dress that I had painted. Something white that I could just go to town on with So Soft by DecoArt and create a wearable masterpiece.

Isn't it amazing? I love the detail on the sleeve, which will feature some funky hardware details. I love the waistline.

Oh and it has pockets! POCKETS!

Now, what I am going to be doing is saturating the dress in water and then painting with these beautiful colours of So Soft fabric paint.

I am really excited about these colours. The bold, dark purple paired with the light and airy aqua and lilac. Add in a punch of turquoise and fuchsia...fantastic! I cannot wait to see how it all turns out. My vision is of a watercolour inspired, inky painting on the fabric, but who knows how it will turn out!

Drop by the Fly DIY Party at BlogHer in Chicago on July 26th, 9pm to see it!


Fashionista Friday: Kristine Cook Designs, custom dress

I have been sitting and waiting to reveal my dress from my brother-in-laws wedding that Kristine Cook Designs specifically designed for me.

Oh. My. God!

 First and foremost, the dress fit me like a glove. This is the most wonderful thing about working with a fashion designer; the take your measurements, have multiple fittings with you and ensure that the garment fits your body perfectly before you take it home.

When I asked Kristine about how to style the look, she said to go dark and smokey with the eye and big and bold with the accessories. I found the perfect chunky black bib necklace at Joe Fresh (for a whopping $7!) and had the makeup artist up the drama on my eyes, while keeping my lip neutral.

And my date? He was pretty impressed! I felt so beautiful and confident in my custom dress by Kristine Cook Designs and would absolutely recommend her in a heartbeat.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Kristine Cook Designs for this post. I just absolutely love working with her and wanted to share her beautiful designs!


Fashionista Friday with Kristine Cook Designs

I am so excited to reveal the fabric that Kristine and I have have chosen for my custom dress design.

We first started talking about something black, likely a brocade with loads of texture, and a vibrant purple lining to compliment my amazing shoes.

Then Kristine found this, showed me and I fell in love!

The depth and dimension in this fabric is amazing. I love the way it looks like it was painted, but is still so vibrant!

In just a couple of weeks, I will be able to slip this creation on and I know that it will make me feel amazing. I have worked so hard at finding my style, embracing color, and being confident in who I am. I am so excited to finally have clothes that reflect those changes!


Fashionista Friday: Kristine Cook Designs

We are well on our way to designing a custom dress for me to wear to a wedding this spring, and I am absolutely thrilled by the process of working with a designer. Kristine has taken a simple sketch and using my inspiration to make this piece absolutely stunning.

The amazing design that will fit my body and only my body

And our inspiration? Check out the shoes...

I know that they're hard to see, but they are a beautiful shade of purple that Kristine is working into the fabric that will be on the dress. We've changed courses slightly and are going for something a little bolder, more on trend and a little less safe.

Yes, less safe. How amazing is that?! For the first time in my life, I feel so incredible taking risks, and it's largely in part due to working with a designer who makes me feel beautiful and confident!

I can't wait to reveal some photos of THE dress next month!


Fashionista Friday: Kristine Cook Designs

Have you ever had a dress, designed and made just for you? Right now, I am in the process of working on a beautiful design with London, Ontario fashion designer, Kristine Cook Designs. You may recall my rocking her peplum dress, and amazing jacket at BlogHer'12...well now we are working on a beautiful design for my brother-in-laws wedding!

I told Kristine that I wanted something to flatter the figure that I am working so hard on, but still be sophistocated, classy and age appropriate.

She sent me about 6 different designs, fabric samples, and written explanations of brocade, teacup, cap sleeve, split and a chiffon dress. Her attention to detail was amazing, and I could feel her passion in her designs, and immediately was excited!

We picked the split brocade, and will be adding some unexpected details to bring an artsy flair into the design.

copyright Kristine Cook Designs

I absolutely love it, and cannot wait to see the fabrics that Kristine has expertly selected. And just wait until you see the shoes I'm pairing with it!!

If you've never had a dress designed and made just for you, I highly recommend it. Not only will it be the perfect fit, no one else under the sun will have the same design. Working with a fashion designer, particularly Kristine Cook Designs, is a fantastic experience that will change your whole view on your body, the clothes you wear and how you wear them.


Fashionista Friday: Kristine Cook Designs

Did you know that Kristine Cook Designs also creates amazing accessories?

Kristine's jersey knit infinity scarves are all handmade, affordable, and are one of a kind works of textile art. They are easy care {hand wash cold and lay flat to dry} pieces, which makes them perfect for the mama on the go who needs a little pop of colour in her wardrobe. Wear it short or long for a beautiful accessory in your wardrobe!

Check out more colours of Kristine's infinity scarves here


Kristine Cook Designs...button back shirt

I am so excited to feature a piece from Kristine's Spring 2013 line today on the blog! It's just such a beautiful piece, and one that will keep them talking as to walk away

The beautiful button back shirt, available in Coral, Black, Chambray and Bark, features a round neck, delicately gathered sleeves and buttons down the back. A gorgeous statement piece and perfect for holiday parties!

Tie your hair up in a lose bun to show off the buttons, pair it with a pencil skirt or skinny trousers, a pair of sparkly heels and voila! The perfect holiday look to get you through many office events, house parties and dinners out!

And since the detail is all in the back, don't forget a showstopping statement necklace to complete the look! Get sassy with it, and pair it with a set of shorts and some peep toes!

Look good and feel good in this flattering new design from Kristine Cook Designs Spring 2013 collection!


Introducing my BlogHer'13 Team!

It seems like just yesterday that I was packing my bags and boarding the plane for New York City to attend BlogHer'12. In reality, it was just over two months ago and I have learned so very much from going to the largest international blogging conference out there.

I'm already lining up sponsors for BlogHer'13 in Chicago, and am so happy to announce that TPH Canada, Tina Dean Designs, Kristine Cook Designs and Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian are back on board with me!

Kristine Cook Designs created three stunning outfits for me for BlogHer'12, and I am thrilled to get the chance to showcase Kristine's ready-to-wear line in Chicago. Having seen her design book over dinner a few weeks ago, I know that they will be pieces that will be flattering on every body type and make you feel like you want to get out of your pj's in the morning. Kristine's work is amazing and she pays particular attention to detail with ruffles, buttons and other feminine touches that make her work one of a kind and truly unique.

Working with Tina Dean Designs this past year has been a dream come true. Tina has been working hard to become an expert in textile design, and boy does it show!  I'm really excited to be able to showcase Tina's amazing eco-chic designs in Chicago, and she's even collaborating with Kristine to make sure that my look is coordinated head-to-toe; amazing, eh?! I see some fabulous fused clutches in my future, and you can bet your bottom dollar that my messenger bag will make a reprise as my carry-on and Expo Hall bag!
Remember those incredible media cards that TPH printed for me a few months ago? Remember how they were absolutely incredible to work with, offered eco-options and funky shapes of business cards? Well they're joining up with me for my media cards that I'll be handing out to brands and bloggers in Chicago! Their printing services are absolutely amazing; high quality, digital printing at its finest. I cannot wait to share more information about this fantastic brand with you in monthly features!

I felt every bit the belle of the ball at BlogHer with my sparkly earrings, bracelet and amazing long necklace from Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian, so I was thrilled when Amber emailed me to express interest in styling my accessories for BlogHer'13. Amber's designs are truly inspired and she uses only the best raw materials, from recycled metals to big sparkly druzies. I cannot wait to share Amber's new work with you and talk about the inspiration behind her designs.

More sponsors will be announced as the month's unfold, but I just could not wait to share this news with you all!


BlogHer Sponsor Love

If you haven't checked them out just yet, be sure that you do!! They made my trip to BlogHer12 possible, and I am so incredibly thankful for them!


 Kristine Cook Designs is located in London, Ontario and is simply one inspired fashion designer! She created two dresses and one fabulous jacket for me to wear at BlogHer12 and I got so many compliments on them...I was even stopped by a young woman on our walk over to Bar Americain who complimented me on my peplum dress!

Michele from Mary Kay provided all of my makeup, skincare and beauty tips for my journey to BlogHer. I am so thankful, because I'm typically too on the go to spend much time on myself but these amazing products, and her gentle guidance and encouragement, allowed me to see what confidence I have in myself. Be it a smokey eye for my peplum dress, a fresh dewey look for my brunch with GMC or the bold red lips for a retro look - Michele helped me create them all!

Without EKSIT Strategies assistance and guidance, my BlogHer dreams would have remained just that...dreams. They helped make them a reality, and helped to guide me in making some decisions about my business and my blog. As true business strategists, they helped me to see the value in my knowledge, the worth in myself and encouraged me to take myself seriously as both an artist and a blogger.

BlogHer12 Recap: Fashion

You all know about my amazing fashion sponsor by now, Kristine Cook Designs, but you've yet to see me in the actual clothes.

Bottom (l-r) grey&coral asymmetrical dress {Expo Hall}, coral jacket {Hasbro party}, peplum dress {6pm fashion show, Bar Americain dinner, CheeseburgHer}

I honestly felt so incredibly stylish the entire time, and felt like I was a true reflection of myself...not the denim bermuda shorts and tanks that I sport back home when I'm too busy {or tired} to really put much effort into myself.

What did I learn? Well...that I have a body. After losing over 50lbs from when I was pregnant with my son in 2009/2010, I have...a body. I have curves, and tiny little legs! I have a tiny waist...and darn it, I can rock it! I felt confident 100% of the time, day and night and I have Kristine to thank for that.

See what's happening in each one of the looks above? I'm smiling. Truly incredibly happy...and comfortable in my own skin!

BlogHer Sponsors: Thank You!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to send out a huge thank you to all of the amazing sponsors who helped me board a plane today, put gorgeous media cards together for me, provided inspiration and photography, designed incredible outfits, jewelry and tutu's....

Without you all, BlogHer'12 would be but a dream for me. You helped make this possible!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs

One of the biggest trends this spring and summer is peplum, and Kristine Cook Designs is taking it up a notch with jackets and cocktail jackets!

I am absolutely overjoyed to unveil the design for my BlogHer cocktail dress....

original design by Kristine Cook Designs
It's a fabulous geometric pattern of taupe and black, with solid black illusion panels on the sides and the peplum detailing.


I was unfamiliar with the trend and term until I met Kristine, and I have to say that she has completely changed my outlook on it. I thought that it would be a trend that would make a curvy girl more curvy...but au contraire! It emphasizes a tiny waist {especially with the black out panels on the sides} and gives a funky edge to the design. I have the hourglass, so why not flaunt it?

Peplum zipper front jacket by Kristine Cook Designs

The peplum doesn't stop at dresses, oh no...Kristine has taken the trend into her amazing structured jackets like the one seen above. How amazing is that!? Dress it down with a pair of jeans for the daytime, or with a fantastic pencil skirt for an evening out...all the while flaunting the shape that you were blessed with!

Thankfully, Kristine knows just how to implement these design techniques and flatter my body...a body that has changed a whole lot since having a baby and finding curves I never knew I had. She is one incredible designer who knows how to make you feel not just good in your own skin, but absolutely ravishing!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs...Structured Jacket

I've been trying to write this post for about a week...and I'm not quite sure than any words that I can spill out into a blogpost will accurately describe just how in love I am with this beautiful coral jacket that Kristine has designed for me.

From the pleated pockets to the beautiful button closure....the polka dotted lining to the abstract ruffles down the side
Stunning colour!

She just got me when she was designing this jacket. It's so incredibly detailed, and on trend, and artistic.

Not to mention well made. The entire jacket is lined with the beautiful polka dots {love!}, with the pleat and structured sides. I have never owned a jacket so beautiful, and likely never will again. It's quickly become a favourite in my wardrobe.

How perfect is that!!

I love that I can take it from day to night, and I fully plan on it at BlogHer. During the day, paired with dark skinny jeans, a white tank that hits just below the jacket, and gold gladiator sandals (or black peep toe ballet flats with a ruffle on the top) and some awesome designs from Amber Bryce. During the evening, paired with a pencil skirt and pulling my hair up. Easy peasy, but oh so awesome!

Sneak peek at my new hair!