Giveaway! Pretty on the Outside

Those of us old enough to remember Billy Crystal’s ‘Fernando’s Hideaway’ skit on Saturday Night Live will recall the character’s famous credo, “It is better to look good than to feel good.” I don’t necessarily agree that it’s better, but I do believe looking good can help you feel better, no matter your mood. 

Like most women, what makes me feel better is a great pair of shoes, a good hair day or a brand new manicure. What makes me feel great? Having all three at the same time.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, so I’m continuing the celebration with a giveaway just for the ladies. Between now and Saturday, March 16, 2013* enter to win a prize pack designed to give you great hair, great nails and great shoes.

My friend Caitlin knows the power of a great manicure

To enter, you must do two things: 1) either comment here on this blog post telling me what makes you feel pretty on the outside or post a photo on Instagram using the hashtag #prettyontheoutside and 2) add your name to our mailing list by opting in here. (If you’re already opted in, you’re good!)

Prizes include:


Rowenta Beauty Curl Active iron (retail value $179.99)
SensationNail by Nailene Invisible Gel Polish Starter Kit, LED lamp included (approx. value $50)
A $100 gift certificate to Town Shoes
* Open to all residents of Canada except Quebec. Only one entry per person. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one blog comment or Instagram post is required to fulfill requirements for #1. Period ends at 11:59PM on Saturday, March 16, 2013. One winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries and contacted via email. If the selected winner does not reply within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. #prettyontheoutside 

First and Forever with Doc Martens

Last night my friend Cathy and I hit the Dr. Martens store for the second offering from their #FIRSTANDFOREVER campaign. Among Steamwhistles, canapés and the FIRST LOVE film featuring Agyness Deyn and Ash Stymest, we took in a photo exhibit inspired by a collection of bloggers’ original imagery. Each photo was inspired by their first love. This was my contribution…. 
“He couldn’t make me coffee, but he did bring me to place that does this…”
It was a great crowd. I thought everyone’s photos were fantastic, so unique, so romantic. And then there were the shoes! Thanks to Dr. Martens and Lotus Leaf Communications.  
Cathy (right) with the lovely Rita Zekas
Julio Reyes and Jay Strut

Sweet Heels

Sometimes life just gets in the way of a good time. Or a great shoe. As I look at the photos from the Abel Munoz Fall 2011 trunk show at Seventy Seven Yorkville, I cannot recall why on earth I allowed myself to be kept from this. What could possibly trump beautiful shoes?! (Actually I think it was a client deadline, and of course my clients are, ahem, more important than fashion.)
One thing is for sure: I need a pair of these heels. Abel has been carefully refining his design aesthetic since he broke out with his own shoe and accessory collection after completing his training at the ARS Arpel Institute of Shoe and Accessory design in Milan. And you know what some say about shoes…”Italians do it better.” 
It’s a proud moment when Canada churns out a shoe designer. They are a rare breed here. Abel’s line is a contemporary and a great match to Pink Tartan and other labels owner/designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran brings into Seventy Seven…è perfetto, si!



If the Shoe Fits…

Shoes. No piece of fashion gets my heart beating faster than shoes. The amount of craftsmanship and beauty that can be packed into something so small astounds me. I can never be bored with shoes.  I can wear an unassuming outfit of all black/white/gray/beige, but with a wicked pair of heels I am electric.
There aren’t many Canadians designing shoes. Montreal-born, London-based Erdem is the most well-known and well-connected. Seriously, when Nicholas Kirkwood is designing shoes for your collection, you have arrived. Torontonian Abel Munoz combined his design background and Milan training to create Abel Munoz Accessories, an exquisite line of Italian-made leather shoes, boots and bags for men and women. They’re sold at George C. in Yorkville, do check him out.

Now comes Martina Riley. A simple idea between two girl friends evolved into a full fledged women’s shoe collection that re-imagines form and function. There is Martina Riley, the signature collection and Martina Riley Inspired, an expanded collection with discretely changeable uppers using high-grade hardware that lets a single pair of shoes don two looks. Two looks, one yum.
Founders Jennifer Mackintosh and Jane Gutcher credit their busy lifestyle mix and love of travel with spawning the idea for Martina Riley. The collection nods to their favourite global destinations with shoe names like Bermuda, Rio and Casablanca.  The label is hand-made in Brazil.
Mustique, with interchangeable pearl & python upper
Whether you’re jet-setting around the world or just heading from the office to dinner with friends, these shoes will be a welcome addition to any wardrobe, especially at an approachable price point of $250 – $475.  
Bermuda, with interchangeable tangerine & mango upper