The Life-Changing Effect Of Tailoring

Did you know having your clothes tailored to fit your body shape is the number one thing you can do to make your wardrobe look more expensive? It’s true! If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars over time on pieces that just didn’t fit right. I would wear them as is but knew they could look so much better if the hemline was just a little shorter, or the shoulder straps were a little higher.

It wasn’t until I fell in love with buying one-of-a-kind pieces from Auburn Vintage that I even considered going to a tailor. But since I have, it’s opened up a whole world of new possibilities with my clothing. It’s changed the way I shop and even how I coach my clients in the dressing room.

When stores make their clothing, they make it based on the size models they see as ‘average.’ But as you and I know, we don’t all fit in these little boxes. This is why taking that next step to hem those pants, or nip in the sides of a shirt makes all the difference.

Some alterations are easier than others, but for the most part, tailoring your clothes is quite affordable. It can make a garment of any price look like it was made for you. Who doesn’t want that?

Just last week, for example, I went to a private sales event at Epiphany in Elora where their off-season pieces were marked to sell. There were no change rooms and everything was final sale. As you can imagine, the stakes were high and it was definitely a gamble. 🙂 I picked out an A-line dress with a union jack print and hoped it would fit. It did, but it wasn’t perfect. I knew it could be so much better if the skirt was a little bit shorter. The very next day, I took it to Stefani’s Tailoring in Kitchener and she worked her magic. Now I have a dress I can’t wait to wear this summer, and will wear because it flatters my figure.

I only share this story because I hope to inspire you to give tailoring a try. When you go through your closet, if have a piece you love but it isn’t fitting correctly, take it to the tailor to see what they can do. Once you give it a try, I promise you will start to see your clothes in a new light.

If you want to learn more about alterations, here are a few useful links.

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How to Make a Positive First Impression on Everyone You Meet

Making a positive impression is incredibly important. Research shows that the people you meet make judgments on your traits, lifestyle and more within a few seconds of seeing you and it can take time to change these initial perceptions. As a business owner, job-seeker, or anyone in between, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re projecting the right image and sharing the messages you want to be shared.

Here are a few tips on how to make a positive first impression on everyone you meet.

Practise your handshake

Step one when meeting someone new is often shaking hands. You want to make sure yours is firm, which says you’re confident. If your handshake is too soft, it won’t help you make the best impression.

Smile and make eye contact

Always smile when you meet someone new. This shows you’re friendly and excited to connect with this individual.  They are more likely to stay in conversation with you if they like the person you are and feel you’re engaged in what they are saying.

Remember names

This is often the most difficult task when meeting someone new, but it will go a long way in helping make a positive impression. Repeat their name back to them right away when you’ve been introduced and use it throughout your conversation. If you’re going to a meeting or interview and know the names of the people you will be connecting with, memorize them before attending. If you can, use online tools like LinkedIn as well to see if you have anything in common to help break the ice.

Listen attentively

When you’re in conversation with someone, really focus on what they are saying and respond appropriately. It can be tempting to listen, while at the same time planning your response in your mind. Conversations are much more meaningful when each individual takes the time to understand the other person’s perspective.

Stand tall

Body language says a lot more than your words do. Even if you don’t feel confident, stand tall with your shoulders back and head held high.

Present yourself appropriately

Dress for the situation. Present a neat, clean and tidy appearance, but don’t be afraid to show a little bit of personality in your outfit. A great piece of jewelry or patterned blouse can be a conversation starter and will help you stand out from the crowd. Incorporate elements of your style personality.

I hope these tips help! Happy holidays to all.

Meal Planning for Beginners: 5 Helpful Tips for Millennials

Meal planning is a vital skill, yet not always easy to master. My boyfriend and I have been homeowners for over a month now and our grocery bills have certainly increased! We’ve been spending our evenings and weekends tackling small home renovation projects (more to come on the blog soon) so preparing a healthy dinner hasn’t always been the priority. I know how important this is though, not only for our budget but for our overall wellness too.

Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve been using the past little while that seem to be working well for us.

1) Write down a weekly menu

After coming home from work, the last thing I feel like doing (most of the time) is thinking about what to make for dinner. This tip eliminates that need to think by planning a menu in advance. Every weekend, I write the menu for the week on our menu board, including the cookbook page number if applicable. By doing this, we’re able to see what meat we need to pull out of the freezer and any other preparation we may need to do in advance. As an added bonus, if my boyfriend gets home from work before me, he knows what to start for dinner.

mealplan

To create the menu board, I simply bought an 8×10 frame and printed off this free menu from blogger The Creative Index.  I love it! It’s easy to use, looks great and wipes off easily when you use an erasable marker. If you don’t like this design, I came across Fab n’ Free’s amazing blog with tons of free options.

2) Use your cookbooks

When I started to meal prep, I found I would plan our meals as follows: meat, vegetable, starch, repeat. This is certainly a fine way to eat, but it wasn’t very interesting. I started to combine items in meals by looking at recipes and that’s when cooking got much more enjoyable. I tend to plan for a few meatless dinner meals every week, a leftover night, a casual (quick) dinner and a chicken and beef option. I’ve also found some great cookbooks hat provide quick recipe options for busy weeknights.

Here are a few I recommend:

  1. Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
  2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook
  3. Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook
  4. The Looneyspoons Collection

3) Read the flyers or use the Flipp app

Do you receive a lot of flyers? We do and while they used to go straight into the recycling bin, or were used to protect surfaces from paint splatters, I read them now and use them in my meal planning. What meat is on sale? Is pasta on for a good price? Over the weeks, we’ve built up our pantry and freezer with items on sale. This means that many of the key ingredients we use over and over, we already own. To easily search items in flyers in our community, I use the Flipp app. You can type in an item like “eggs” and it will search all the flyers and pull up where it’s on sale. You can add coupons in the app and show items at the register for price matching.

4) Work backwards

With our basics covered, I try to limit the number of items we need to purchase each week that are not on sale. As a meal planning technique, I prefer to work backwards. I see what needs to be used up in the fridge and plan our meals around these ingredients. I also try to include meals that use some of the same items in other recipes so nothing goes to waste. This is just one technique though. There are many others – like cooking everything for the week on the weekend and freezing in batches, choosing theme nights, etc. This blog post digs deep into the various options and is worth a read.

5) Use Pinterest

I am a huge fan of Pinterest. I use the platform with my style coaching clients and personally find it’s a wonderful way to explore different topics. Meal planning is no different. While watching my favourite show, or simply relaxing on the weekend, I regularly ‘pin’ recipes I would like to try. This is helping expand my cooking repertoire and is also a great way to start a conversation with my boyfriend on foods he would like to include in our menu. This is helpful, particularly for finding beginner recipes that include exotic foods.

Have you used any of the above apps to help with meal planning? What works for you? We would love to hear! Comment below.

Making Yourself a Priority. Why Caring about Your Style is a Form of Self-Care

Self-care is important. With approximately 1 in 5 people in Canada personally experiencing a mental health problem or illness in any given year, we need to take care of ourselves. The world is busier than ever, with many more distractions then in the past. While this is a huge benefit, it can also feel overwhelming at times. Have you felt this way? I know I have! With a new house, a full-time job and a side business, I know I haven’t been meeting my personal needs as well as I should.

When you take the time to be the best you, you have the resources to be a better parent, a better partner and a better community member. When we go through different stages in our lives, our priorities shift and change and it can be incredibly tempting to put ourselves last. This is where style fits in. It’s an incredible tool in your toolbox that can help you feel confident each and every day.

In the video below, we dig a little deeper into why self-care is so important and how style fits into that model.

As an action this week, I challenge you to find something that you love and helps you feel good. What gets you into alignment? Book that appointment, read that book, do that activity and let us know below what worked for you!

A few of my favourite things:

      1. Wearing clothes that I love and showcasing my style personality
      2. Listening to podcasts like The Lively Show
      3. Reading books like Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well and The Happiness Project
      4. Drinking Earl Grey Tea
      5. Watching uplifting shows like The Gilmore Girls
      6. Meditating using apps like Buddify
      7. Walking the dog
      8. Writing or journalling
      9. Looking at vintage clothes
      10. Listening to Colbie Caillat music

5 Tips on Organizing Your Wardrobe When you Share a Closet

Moving in, and buying a house with a special someone is a wonderful experience, but it is also about compromise. This is something I’ve been learning, and practicing the last few weeks. With a dresser and a standard size closet (luckily with closet organizers installed), it has been a challenge to comfortably and neatly organize our clothes in an effective way. I’ve worked with many clients on wardrobe organization, but when it comes to your own pieces, it isn’t as simple it seems. 🙂

As we’ve been working to integrate our wardrobes together, here are a few tips I’ve found helpful.

1.Invest in closet organizers: If your closet only has the standard hanging bar in it, organizing your wardrobe will be a challenge. This is because clothes take up far less space when they are folded. You can pick up closet organizers from places like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, or Ikea, which will all help to maximize the space in your closet. They can then be customized to match what your unique needs. Do you have a lot of suits and dresses? You will need the hanging room. Do you have more sweaters and t-shirts? You would benefit from some pullout drawers. These are just a few examples.

2.Learn an effective folding technique: How you fold your clothes will also impact the amount of space they take up. I recently read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and she offers readers a wonderful example of how to fold anything. Check out the video below for more details.

3.Keep only what you wear: The fewer items you have to organize, the better when it comes to combining wardrobes. Take turns. Go through each person’s clothes one at a time, and create four piles: keep, donate/consign, toss and repair. The keep pile are clothes which you wear regularly and make you feel great. The donate/consign pile is for items that are not damaged in any way and could be enjoyed by someone else. The toss pile is for clothes which are beyond repair, and are ready to be taken to a fabric recycler (like The Kidney Foundation). The repair pile is for clothes that need to be fixed or taken to a tailor. With reduced wardrobes, it’s easier to fit clothes into a smaller wardrobe.

4.Group like items together. A great way to organize wardrobes is to group like items together e.g. blouses and dressy tops, or skirts, and dresses together, etc. Sharing space, we found grouping our like items together was the most effective way to organize our clothes. We put all of my dressy tops, with his, to share the hanging space, for example, and all of our t-shirts and sweaters in the dresser (in different drawers). We carried this over into other areas, putting all of our shoes in the same place, as well as accessories. This way, if you are looking for something specific, you always know where to go.

5. Use drawer organizers and other closet storage solutions to your advantage: A clean, organized closet is an effective closet that helps minimize the stress of getting ready in the morning. Some items, however, don’t fit nicely into a regular wardrobe like belts, ties, bags, scarves and more. Luckily, stores like HomeSense and Solutions have plenty of options to help in this way, which minimizes visual clutter. Another tip is to purchase wide bins which are short enough to fit under your bed. We use these to store our off-season items.

How did your experience merging closets go? Any advice for a newbie? Comment below.