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Nutcracker Cupcake Kit

Dec 20, 2014

As an avid Nutcracker fan - I once danced in the famous ballet staged every December by Les Grands Ballets and choreographed by the late Fernand Nault - I go a bit nuts whenever I see something that reminds me of this memorable moment. This year, my favourite item is this whimsical Nutcracker cupcake kit from Funky Party which comes in a lovely box styled as a theatre stage. Isn't that the cutest idea! I mean, how can you not like Clara holding her miniature Nutcracker, the Christmas tree, the Soldier, the evil Mouse King, the real Nutcracker, the Sugar plum fairy, the Columbine doll and the Snowflakes character? So endearing. 
This would make such a fun gift for a ballerina or former ballerina!

Catherine xo

Silver Palette

Dec 18, 2014

Nothing says Christmas like bright sequins. And while gold is king this season, silver is equally chic when it's time to groove! With the party season in full swing, it is always nice to get some last minute inspiration to help put together festive outfits. Here are some glamorous silver pieces that are sure the dazzle the crowd during the holidays:

Topshop sequin cocktail dress // Zadig & Voltaire sequin jacket // Jimmy Choo strappy sandals 
H&M kitten heel shoes // Bottega Veneta sequin handbag // MAC Cosmetics dark eye shadow 
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics lip makeup // Butter London // Pier One sequin Ornament Table Scatter 

Thanks for reading!

Catherine xo

A Modern Chalet Chic Table Decor

Dec 16, 2014

This holiday season, I was inspired to create a different kind of festive decor. Although I have always had a preference for either quite rustic decor or very modern ones - I know, totally at the other side of the spectrum - this year, I was tempted to mix the two.
 
I think I have always had a fantasy of celebrating Christmas in a wood lodge where we could watch the magical scenery all covered in white. That's precisely the warm appeal I wanted to bring to my contemporary decor. I just love the idea of adding a chalet chic vibe to my sophisticated white square dinnerware. 
My table decoration concept all started during a recent visit at Rona. That's where I fell for the cosy illuminated lanterns, the glass candle holder in wood finish and - the piece de résistance - the delightful tree ornaments with a fun lodge touch. I mean look the cute acorn, the deer in the snow or the lovely snowman in a bubble, just adorable!

Catherine xo

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Image credit: Denis Vayer
dvayer@videotron.ca

Les Interchangeables: Fancy Arm Candy From Paris

Dec 11, 2014


Do you know Les Interchangeables, the latest IT accessories from France? Launched in 2007 in Paris and now sold in over 1000 locations around the world, the delicate and mesmerising Swarovski bracelets are finally available in Quebec. These fun and luxurious baubles are handmade in Paris with the most refined stretch satin and come in an impressive array of colours. Dazzling and intricate, these bracelets can easily take you from day to night or be combined with your most cherished pieces. 

Isn't exciting to discover fabulous new trends from abroad...right in time for Christmas!

Les Interchangeables are sold at:
- Boutique du Musée des Beaux Arts, 1380, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal
- Bijouterie Style-Joaillerie St-Jean, 150 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montré
- Boutique Live & Charlie, 9130 boul. Leduc, suite 125, Brossard
- Boutique Kokoon, 1061 ave. Bernard, Outremont
- Aqua Spa Lyne Giroux, 3900 boul. Saint-Jean, Dollard-des-Ormeaux


Catherine xo

Image credit: Les Interchangeables 

L'Archive

Dec 10, 2014

Are you looking for the funkiest eyewear around or just curious to discover one of the coolest places in town? 

Then head over to L'Archive, The Vintage Frames Company's brand new flagship in the heart of St-Henri where you'll find the largest selection of designer vintage eyewear under one roof. We are talking of a revolving stock of over 5000 different designer brand frames and sunglasses at any given time. Impressive, isn't! Behind this fascinating project is Corey Shapiro also known as the personal eyewear stylist to musical icons such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Ceelo Green, to name a few. 

Not only is the selection eclectic but the boutique's design is as bold as his owner's vision. This is such a unique place, I don't think I have ever seen anything like it in Montreal. A must-see for any fashion lover!

L'Archive is located at 4411 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal. Tel. (438) 381-4068.


Catherine xo

Head Over Heels For...

Dec 8, 2014
 Cromwell coat by Judith & Charles


I am head over heels for this Cromwell coat from the latest Judith & Charles collection. I have had an eye on this luxurious item from the moment I saw it months ago. But with winter now kicking in, I fancy this plush coat made of a rich alpaca-wool blend. I just love its minimalist shape and sophisticated look. Wouldn't you agree?
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Image credit: Judith & Charles 


Smoked Salmon Blinis

Dec 7, 2014

I have always enjoyed the idea of eating smoked salmon blinis during the holidays. There is something undeniably chic and festive about these canapés, probably because they are the perfect companions to a cold glass of champagne. 

As much as these little bites look fancy on a plate, they are incredibly easy to fix. Of course, you always have the option of buying them from your local grocery store. But since I have recently discovered how to prepare them, I though I'd share with you my latest experiment.

I don't think I have ever told you how much I like kitchen gadgets. YES, I do! I may have a tiny kitchen, but that doesn't prevent me from using many of these tools when I cook and bake. I like the coolness, the convenience and the versatility of these accessories. Simply put, they make my life so much easier, especially when I don't have plenty of time to spend in the kitchen.

The latest kitchen appliance I have tried is the Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker, which was recently launched on the market. Did you know that the single Breakfast Sandwich Maker was THE best selling item from the brand last year? I would have never guessed it.

Originally developed to help prepare the famous Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich in the comfort of your home, I thought it would be interesting to explore how to use this tool to make something completely different. That's when I decided to prepare a batch of these Russian pancakes, with a twist. Often at dinner party, you'll see small cocktail blinis served as appetizers. This time around, I went for a larger size blini to be served as a single starter.  Here is my recipe:

For 6 servings:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
200g (7oz) cream cheese
200g (7oz) sliced smoked salmon
100g of lumpfish roe or caviar

1. Sift the buckwheat flour with the salt and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the milk and egg to the dry ingredient and whisk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

2. Cook the blinis for about 2 minutes by using the bottom ring, which sits on the cooking plate of the Hamilton Beach appliance. This way, you'll have beautiful blinis all even in size.


3. Put the blinis in a plate and top each one with some sliced smoked salmon, a dollop of cream cheese and garnish with few roe.
TIP:
To be more efficient, you can make the blinis in advance and simply use the microwave to reheat them once you are ready to assemble your plates.

Enjoy and don't forget to crack a bottle of bubbly!


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Happy 1st Anniversary Joolz Bar À Bijoux!

Dec 4, 2014
A festive ambiance on the 1st anniversary of Joolz Bar À Bijoux
Westmount Fashionista's Jessica Concannon host of the event and Joolz's official brand ambassador
Joolz Bar À Bijoux welcoming enthusiastic ladies and gents on its 1st anniversary
Are you inspired at the idea of sipping bubbly in a jewellery bar surrounded by elegant tufted walls and leopard-print accents? Well, I might just have the perfect place for you; it's called Joolz bar à bijoux
Nestled on Sherbrooke Street in Westmount, this quaint jewellery store is one hidden gem. Whether you prefer pearls, diamonds, Swarovski crystals or even watches, you'll be pleased to know that the boutique carries renowned and exclusive brands ranging from Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss, Philip Gavriel, B Couture, Honora Pearls to OPS Objects. It such a cosy and inspiring place to find a fifty dollar gift or something for a special occasion since you'll find plenty of fabulous brands at a moderate price point.
Good news: To celebrate its 1st anniversary Joolz is offering 25% off of all merchandise until Saturday December 6thA sparkling occasion!

Joozl Bar À Bijoux is located at 4916 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, H3Z 1H3 (438) 386-9888
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All I Want For Christmas

Dec 2, 2014



Just can't believe it's already December! While you must be planning your holiday season, I thought I'd give you a few gift ideas for the elegant lady in your life. There is a bit of everything ranging from stocking stuffers to more personal but equally chic gifts. From left to right:


While offering and receiving gifts is most certainly exciting, for me the holiday season is about cherishing each moment with my loved ones and being grateful for all I have. It's also a moment to think about the ones in needs. If you would like to get involved and make a difference this festive season, please read my post about The Shoe Project, a great initiative launched by the daughters of Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Happy December and enjoy the holiday season!

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The Shoe Box Project To Help Women In Need

Dec 1, 2014

Want to make a difference this holiday season but don't know where to start? Why not support The Shoe Box project, a recent initiative that collects and distribute gifts in the form shoe boxes for women in shelters all across Canada.

How does it work:
Simply take an empty shoe box and fill it with necessities and a few little luxuries that a woman would enjoy but would not splurge on for her in difficult times. The idea is to keep the value at $50 in order to create meaningful gifts that are equivalent in value.
Here are some of the items to include:
- Candies and nut-free chocolate
- Scarf, hat, or mittens
- Body and hand lotion, soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Nail polish, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick
- Toothbrush, floss and toothpaste
- Gift cards (McDonalds, Tim Hortons...)
- Purse size kleenex and small cosmetic bag
- And a supportive message written in a nice holiday card.

These shoeboxes brighten the holiday season and let the women know they are special and not forgotten. Putting together a shoebox is simple and this small gesture of kindness is very much appreciated.

An outstanding reach:
Last year, The Shoe Box project delivered 1600 boxes to 27 shelters across Montreal and 9100 women and 188 shelters and outreach programs across the country. Impressive, isn't!

Every little gifts counts! Why not make a difference this holiday season.

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To learn more about The Shoe Box project and the drop-off locations in your city, visit: www.shoeboxproject.com
Facebook: /ShoeboxProjectCanada
Twitter: @shoeboxcanada
#shoeboxlove

The Launch of QUARTZ Vodka

Nov 29, 2014

Have you heard of the brand new QUARTZ vodka? I think you'll never guess who is behind this fancy label: Lise Watier herself. After having built a beauty empire recognised internationally, the wonder woman had the surprising idea to create a fine vodka by partnering with Domaine Pinnacle.

A few weeks ago, on a cold Monday evening, I was invited to the very private launch party where I had the opportunity to meet Madame Watier in person. As soon as I walked in, I was offered a glass of the new liquor while being greeted to an impressive bar abundantly filled with fruits, ice cubes and various juices. I took a couple of raspberries along with a few mint-infused ice cubes before heading out to the oyster bar. 

Not a bad way to spend a Monday night, isn't?


Now, what's so special about QUARTZ vodka? 

It is carved with one of my favourite waters, ESKA, the crystalline water of the great Quebecois north, which is also one of the world's purest sources. Interestingly enough, the vodka is micro-filtered five times through quartz - hence its name - to ensure a smooth product. Although I am not usually a big vodka drinker, I thought this one was particularly soft and silky. 

Conceived by a London glassmaker, the tall glass bottle that holds the liquor is a true object of desire. It is simply chic and architectural and it would certainly make a dashing Christmas gift for the gentleman in your life.


QUARTZ Vodka is available at SAQ stores at the retail price of $40.25.
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Image credit: QUARTZ Vodka

The Nutcracker Market Is Back In Town!

Nov 26, 2014
Maison Christian Faure
The Nutcracker Market opens tomorrow at Palais des Congrès de Montréal! 20,000 visitors are expected to attend this Holiday season must to find plenty of gift ideas for a great cause. Again this year, 10% of all exhibitors' proceeds will go to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal's Nutcracker Fund for Children. This fund allows children from underprivileged neighbourhoods to attend educational workshops and a ballet performance while also helping the Nutcracker production. Here are some of the exhibitors I look forward to see this year: Maison Christian Faure, Alpaga des Appalaches, Les Pétards and Toque et Tablier.

Alpaga des Appalaches
Les Pétards
Toque et Tablier
For more information: The Nutcracker Market 
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My ELLE By RW&CO Little Black Dress

Nov 24, 2014


About three weeks ago, I was invited to the Montreal flagship of RW&CO's to celebrate the launch of their highly-anticipated ELLE by RW&CO capsule collection comprised of eight chic holiday dresses. At the event, I congratulated Denis Desro, the man behind the stunning collection who also happens to be the Fashion Editor-in-Chief for ELLE Canada and ELLE QUEBEC. While sipping bubbly, he candidly explained how he was inspired to create a modern dress collection that would be both unique and easy to wear.

With that in mind, I eagerly went to the fitting room with four different dresses to try on. After having switched dresses countless times while helping my friends select "the one", I finally picked the retro-inspired black shift dress with leather-like cuffs and flower appliqué. I initially thought that I would go home with the playful black textured dress with the plunging neckline. But when I tried the shift dress something magical happened, I instantly knew this was the one. I think it's the unassuming elegance of that particular dress that felt very Chanel to me. It's not something I would have considered on paper, but sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone to explore the many sides of your personality. And that's what makes fashion so exciting, wouldn't you agree?

Dress: Elle by RW&CO / Faux fur coat: Joe Fresh (old) similar / heels: Jessica Simpson - similar /
Pearl and citrine ring: Perrywinkle's / Pearl earrings: gift

Have you shop the ELLE by RW&CO dress collection? Which one have you picked in the end?

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Photo credit: Denis Vayer
dvayer@videotron.ca

A Very Personal Gift

Nov 21, 2014

Interested to give a truly personalised gift this Christmas? I have two ideas for you from the fragrance department:

1. For the classic lady, you can't go wrong with My Burberry, the latest British scent from the well-respected fashion house who brought us the iconic trench coat. Not only is the glass bottle so pretty, but the floral fragrance - inspired by a London garden after the rain - is as timeless as can be. To make it an even more special gift, Burberry had the brilliant idea of offering to engrave up to three initials on the bottle. This limited service is available at The Bay Carrefour Laval on November 25 and at Galerie d'Anjou on November 26. Just imagine her expression once she'll discover her very own initials on the bottle: #priceless.


2. For the fashion-forward woman who has just about everything, why not explore the luxurious line Les Exceptions by Mugler launched earlier this year and sold exclusively at The Bay downtown Montreal. This Holiday season, the French brand had the idea of offering an empty bottle nicely packaged, which your friend-mother-daugther - or even brother since the line is unisex - will be able to fill up with one of the five fragrances from the collection. Will it be Oriental Express, Chyprissime, Fougère Furieuse, Supra Flora or the enticing - and my personal favourite - Over The Musk? That's what I call a very personal touch.

Hope you'll find these ideas helpful!
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Luxetto

Nov 19, 2014

There is an understated elegance about finishing off an outfit with a delicate, yet sophisticated bracelet. I recently discovered a new jewellery line right up my alley. It's called Luxetto and it is entirely handmade in Montreal by talented Jacinthe Piotte. I have been wearing her Nexie wrap bracelet alone ever since I got it. It such a luxurious statement piece that complements just about any look with finesse. I can't get enough of the ultra-soft leather, the neutral taupe shade and the subtle 14-carat gold-plating clasp, what a beautifully designed accessory. 

And I already have my eyes on the Vani bracelet and the Vika Earrings with tiny Swarovski crystals...Santa, I hope you'll remember this.

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