10 Tips From A Bride That Was To Be (NUDE pictures enclosed)


Made you look! Fully clothed. I promise you.

Well, the rumours are true.  I got married this past year. Hitched up. Tied the knot. Hooked. No matter how you put it, I wore a beautiful dress with the most amazing shoes and celebrated with family, friends and  a candy bar that vanished within 5 minutes. What I learned from my year of planning and prepping and stressing Oh My! is that IT ALL COMES TOGETHER and if it doesn’t? It does. In more ways than one.   I learned a few tips along the way that helped me create a unique and fun day. Hopefully you’ll take a few pieces of advice when planning yours. You might  read this and think, “ah man she’s full of poo”. And that’s totally fair.  I am full of  poo some days but I had a FUN day and for me, that is success right there.

1. PUT DOWN THOSE CORNY BRIDAL MAGAZINES . Do not even touch one. Put down those scissors.  From the satin strappy heels, bedazzled dress to rhinestone body jewellery and bridal headgear, there is some really REALLY scary stuff out there when it comes to the vision of “the perfect bride”. Who wants to be perfect? I’ll admit, I glanced through one only to discover it took me less than a second to cringe. Out loud.  “EWWWWW”. Quickly dropping it to the floor in exchange for a copy of British Vogue I was stealth at hiding it very well behind the wrong magazine  rack.  The thought of pulling out my tiara from  my costume box accompanied with a diamond sash made me chuckle. Believe me I’d love nothing more to look  like a 6-year-old in a poofy taffeta dress in a character performance. But I opted out for this occasion. Stay true to what suits YOU. A lot of dress inspirations that I gathered were from favourite designer collections as well as Pinterest and fashion blogs.  Know what works for you and find  styles that you admire. It will cut out a lot of CRAP.  And you’d surprised as what you’ll find in a copy of the latest British Vogue. There is nothing worse than watching a bride not look anything like herself.


2. COLLABORATE . I was in LOVE and still am with designers Jenny Packham and Delphine Manivet. But my bank account wasn’t. I avoided all bridal boutiques to not further harm my addictive personality. Once I fall in love with something its hard for me not to have it. Nor could I  justify taking out a bank loan for a dress that I would afterwards pack up for storage. And by storage I mean my costume box. Let’s get real here, Fall is coming and my love for boots and future travel is a huge priority. It’s the perfect excuse to save the extra money. So I thought, Who do I know that would let me collaborate with them on MY dress? I want an original “Sicoli”.  None other than Vancouver Designer, the talented and awesome, Isabelle Dunlop. From the hand-picked french lace to the roughing and intricate detailing, she graciously allowed me to be hands on every step of the way over coffee and carrot muffins.  This was AWESOME. I reassured her that if I was annoying in any way to let her know, as I love to be hands on. Drawing the dress, sending images and talking it out was the way to go. We basically improvised our way in making my gown. Best part about it is no one else owns one, just little ol ‘ me which made me even more over the moon. I also had a blast collaborating on my wedding invitations with the talented art director and graphic designer, Natalie Pagnucco. I was lucky to have a pal who was gracious  enough to allow me to illustrate my image and general idea. She had creatively complied a list of fonts, colours and layouts for us to play with and together we were able to agree on what I believe to have been the perfect personalized invitation for David and I. Thanks ladies for allowing me to brainstorm and work closely with you and your talents.


3. CHOO’S YOUR CHOO’S WISELY . CHOOse a pair of heels that you will wear again. Because I went with a simpler, classy  and more elegant dress I decided to splurge on the shoes. Yes, I’m a shaddict and for my special day I decided to treat myself.  Saving on the dress and getting an AMAZING deal on these shoes I had no reason not to buy them.  I wasn’t expecting to go sparkly  but when I saw them I just knew. And when I tried them on sans Prince Charming I was convinced. Surprisingly enough I lasted in them all night. They were tres comfortable and best part, I can wear them to any event over and over again. With a different dress of course.


4. TAKE SOME TIME OUT FOR YOU . It’s a big day. EVERYONE wants to pull you every which way. There are a lot of emotions going on and one important piece of advice given to me was to take a TSN TIME OUT. I wonder what he was thinking….”WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?????” I, on the other hand was trying to get to the candy bar.


5. DIY BRIDESMAID DRESSES .  Everyone has their own personality and their own sense of style. There is nothing worse than begrudgingly paying for a dress that you may NEVER wear again. Add on the fact that you may not even like it. So, in respect to all shapes and sizes and a love for a garden party flair and good material (of course) I asked everyone to think “vintage” “garden party” “soft colours” and “PLEASE no satin”. AMAZINGLY enough the dresses all complimented each other and everyone was happy with their selections. Despite my bombarding them with vision boards (sorry ladies) I think it worked cause they all looked gorgeous.  And the guys? Well..a handsome bunch I might say. We opted for the traditional rented tux that is worn by many over and over…and over again. They must have good dry-cleaning rates on them. Sharp, classy navy suits were chosen on their own and we tied them all together with pink and blue polka dots. Get it? Tie(d). I am goooood!




6. GET CRAFTY . I love craftersizing and I wanted to add as much personal touch to our day. Instead of buying a typical wedding book for guests I decided to pull out the Polaroids and put together a sketch book which would allow guests to draw, sign and write unique messages to us.  I don’t just want your signature, I want you to be creative too. Accents, details, quirky things that you love should be added to the day. And considering that I’m part nerd part goof and all class it seemed to fit the occasion.


7. FLOWER POWER & CAKE . Keep it simple and eat your cake. I only remember cutting the cake and then didn’t see it until the next morning.  So take the time to eat your cake! As for flowers, choose something that’s not only lovely but delicate enough for guests to take home conveniently. I chose a mixture of english roses and lavender to which I found  was just the right size. It wasn’t  overpowering by any means as some bouquets are. Sometimes I find a bridal bouquet to be an array of over the top lustre including weeds, flowers and bejewelled roses. Go simpler (and more cost-effective). Mason jars with lavender and hydrangea allowed guests to take them home instead of being thrown away  at the end of the night.  I still have bundles of lavender around my place…mixed in with the lavender I’ve been stealing from people’s properties late at night. Stealth.



8.  JUST SMILE & HAVE A DRINK .  YOU MAY NOT KNOW EVERYONE .  It’s true. Especially if you’re in the bridal party. How fun it was for the entire wedding party plus our parents  to greet ALL of guests in a small amount of time (at least I thought it was fun).  I wish I had a camera recording the line of awkward moments,  new faces, an array of characters, funny conversations, intimate moments and a few new impressions.  A tray of wine and of course water is just what the doctor ordered to keep us hydrated and  for the  line  to move along  in a speedy fashion. Of course things were delayed but it was great to see such excited faces. And WOW! All of the love in that room! My cheeks never hurt so much from smiling. If you ever need a cheek workout, smile for about 2 hours. You can also practice “greeting” beforehand. Here’s how.

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9.  KNOW YOUR HAIR & MAKEUP .  For those who know me, my hair obsessions are out of control. I love hair. I love the way it changes a look. I love luscious locks on a man and a woman. I love hair.  Loose and luscious. I love hair. I knew I didn’t want a french roll or a loosely coiled ringlets at the sides of my head circa prom ’97.  I honestly didn’t know what to do with mine. Up or down? Down or up? Because my dress and jewelry were simple I wanted something a fuller and au natural with a bit of sassy class. So, I turned to a few hair inspirations and fortunately enough my hair stylist knew what she was doing. Since the wedding was out-of-town I was panicking as to who to call considering all the amazing hair & makeup professionals that I knew out here.  Realistically, I couldn’t pack them in my luggage. The overweight fees are ridiculous these days.! So, with the right suggestions and research I was happy with whom I chose. And I hope the bridal party was too.  As for makeup, I brought my own. You’re the only one who knows what works best on your skin. Trust yourself. Trust your makeup. Trust is truth. Makeup is pretty. I love hair.



10. HAVE FUN CAUSE IT’S OVER  JUST .  LIKE  . THAT. I started planning a year before the wedding. From designing the invites to making sure everything from the ceremony to the party was going to characterize us as a couple we wanted to make it as FUN as possible for everyone involved. It was the first time a lot people met, and there were a lot of moments where my emotions were flying (my family, friends and hubby can attest). But they love me just the way I am.  I thought if I could produce, create and perform a solo show I could plan a wedding (with help of course) . Sometimes it’s hard to let go and ask for help (at least for me. I like to be in control) but I’m learning slowly but surely to let go. Of course there were times where I yelled, “I don’t want to do get married anymore!!!” OR  sang, “I knew we should have eloped!!!” But it wouldn’t have been the same. Weather you sing it,  yell it, rap it, you are IN IT ALREADY. The most important lesson was to MAKE IT FUN and not to get caught up in the whole hoopla of what a wedding is supposed to be. It’s not a wedding unless its yours. Don’t listen to anything that doesn’t make you feel comfortable and stay true to what you want.  The amount of love, joy and beautiful moments can’t be described here. The most intimate moments are left in the heart and for my eyes only. But there’s nothing wrong in sharing in the FUN.  I hope this was as enjoyable for you as it was for me – CS XX



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Tis the season to be shop hopping.

Hello my lovelies! Ti’s the season to be shop hopping. What are your favourite stores to shop in? Strolling the streets of Vancouver and wandering into my favourite little boutiques is my weakness. I think Vancouver has some of the most amazing and unique shops to visit (and splurge in) I often shop locally and purchase from independent designers and vintage. This time of year is perfect for buying unique gifts for those you love. I always find something different and affordable cause really, at this age what do you buy for those who have everything they need? And for those who can buy their own items?…I’d say, Something small, something different, something they can use forever! Here are a few of my top favourite shops that sell unique and eclectic items by a variety of independent designers. Thank you for filling my retail therapy needs. – CS xx


1. ONE OF A FEW – 346 Water Street (Gastown)

2. Nouvelle Nouvelle209 Abbott St. 

3. Community Thrift and Vintage  – 41 West Cordova St. 

4.  The Fair  – 415 Abbott St. 

5. Oliver and Lilly’s – 1520 West 13th Ave

6. VIOLET BOUTIQUE – 1312 Granville St.

Fine Finds Boutique – 1014 Mainland St.

DREAM – 311 West Cordova




Getting To Know Oliver and Lilly’s

I hope everyone had a Happy Turkey weekend!  It’s been awhile, I took a slight hiatus with my blog, but I am back! One of my favorite things about fall is the cool crisp air and the change in colors of the leaves. Every night reminds me of Halloween. There is always something in the air. I look forward to checking out fall collections and frequent my favorite stores in search of something new or used. And here is one of them for my “Top 20 Getting To Know You”.
A few years ago I discovered a hidden gem in the South Granville Area. A little boutique called Oliver and Lilly’s owned and operated by the ever charming Leighann Boquist. There is never a moment when I’m not greeted with a warm smile and friendly demeanor. I always look forward to chatting with Leighann about the latest pieces she’s brought in  and the cool vintage items she has placed around her gem. It has now become one of my favorite Go To shoppes when I am looking for something for an event, audition, or everyday wear. It has something to offer for the fashion forward gal. Whether it be casual or dressy, Oliver and Lilly’s offers a unique selection and a few of my personal favorite labels such as “Something Else” by Natalie Wood, Charlotte Ronson, Steven Alan and Alternative Apparel. I had the pleasure of learning a bit about Leighann and her fabulous store in my TOP 20: GETTING TO KNOW YOU. Enjoy! – Christina XO

Name: Leighann Boquist
Title: Owner/Buyer
Shoppe: Oliver & Lilly’s
1. Hot Chocolate OR Coffee with Bailey’s? Ooooh, for sure Coffee with baileys.
2. What inspired you to open Oliver & Lilly’s, and WHO are Oliver & Lilly? Oliver and Lilly are two names I came up with for a college project, and the names stuck with me when I decided to open a shop.  As for what inspired me to open Oliver & Lilly’s…  A little of everything really; I always wanted a shop to call my own and truly the timing was right.
3. What makes your shoppe stand out from the rest in the South Granville block? The bright red balloons and our approachable price range.
4. Describe a typical day for you? Lately it’s been… Wake at 5:30am pour myself a massive mug of coffee, head out to meet my friend for a run on the seawall. Home for coffee & breakfast, then start the workday which usually wraps up around 7 or 8 pm. Come home, throw on some comfies make or order in some dinner then just enjoy the evening. (Most days)
5. VOGUE or NYLON magazine? Vogue
6. How should a woman feel when they walk into your Shoppe? My hope is that everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. The shop has a lovely vibe to it, and we really hope others feel it too.
7. What are your 3 favorite words? ‘I love you’ and ‘hi auntie Lanny’
8. What are some of the brands in your store? And tell me why you chose these particulars. To name a few: Steven Alan, Heidi Merrick, Demylee, Ali Ro, James Jeans, Eze Sur Mer, Alternative Apparel (and more) All chosen because they’re the perfect blend for everyday wear.
9. If you were allowed only 3 items from your Shoppe to bring with you on a tropical island what would they be? Hmmm… well, a Cuche bikini for swimming, a Rocky Hoodie to keep me warm, and then a long Heidi Merrick dress for the tropical evenings; all worn with bare feet of course.
10. Describe your style: T-shirt meets cardigan meets jeans meets flats.
11. Do you believe white to be a faux pas after Labor Day? Not at all.
12. What have you learned from opening up your own business? I’ve learned the value of sleep and exercise.
13. Any advice for inspired entrepreneurs? My advice for inspiring entrepreneurs is to work in the specific industry that you are interested in. Get a taste for it; see if it’s really for you.  Make a plan, do your research, and then just take the leap.  Follow your instincts and you’ll be okay. Every day you’ll learn more efficient and effective ways to work the operations of your business.  The biggest step is just getting started. It all will come together.
14. Who are your fashion influences? I’m presently inspired by Kerri Russell and Gwyneth Paltrow.
15. Rolling Stones OR KISS? Rolling Stones.
16. What is the most important piece of advice u give to a customer when they are trying on items in your Shoppe? I always express that it’s important to be comfortable in the items and to not have to fuss much with it. Who wants to always be adjusting / fussing with what they’re wearing throughout the day.
17. Tell me a little bit about your background. Did you go to Business OR Art School? I went to college for general studies and then to Blanche Macdonald and studied fashion. For the past 10 years I worked in the visual side of retail with smaller boutiques to large national chain stores.  Come 2007 the American company I was working for was issuing layoffs and my department was one of them. It really was the perfect jumping point to begin considering starting my own business…. and well, now we’re here! And super happy to be here at that!
18. What did you want to be when you were a little girl? I wanted to be a choreographer for music videos. And then maybe Madonna, Debbie Gibson or Stacy Q (remember the song Two of Heart’s?) YES!!
19. Pretty In Pink OR Pretty Woman? Pretty Woman
20. Do you travel for work? If so, where is your favorite destination city? If not, where do you love to go for a weekend of fashion and fun? Right now we travel to Los Angeles for work. As for favorite destination cities for fashion and fun, I have three; New York, LA and San Francisco. Three completely opposite places, each with their own distinct vibes.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!   GO AND CHECK OUT  OLIVER AND LILLY’S!!! You Won’t Be Disappointed. I never am. Well only when I can’t buy. That’s one big BOO.


The Selby

If you haven’t browsed through Todd Selby’s vibrant new book,The Selby is in your place” I highly suggest you do. I first noticed it in a store window a while back (yes bright colors do stop me in my tracks as well as other things) and immediately started browsing through it. I couldn’t put this book down. Todd Selby is a photographer, blogger and fashion celebrity who takes portraits of compelling and creative people including authors, artists, designers, musicians and friends. He goes into their home environment (with their approval of course) and captures their lifestyle in an eclectic, interesting and artful way. Each profile is accompanied by watercolor portraits of his subjects and objects from their homes.  It explodes with rich color, vintage pieces, art, mini interviews and a glimpse of people’s personal spaces such as their lofts, apartments, closets, bedrooms, you name it, he captures it. Todd takes us to New York City, Los Angeles, and other amazing places around the globe. I’ve been very inspired by many of the interior designs and accents in these places and admit to being a bit obsessed with redecorating my place with a few of these unique ideas. It never hurts to spruce up your living space with a few antiques and vintage pieces, Non?  Check out for further info on the amazing Todd Selby. And Todd if your reading, you can take my picture anytime. – Christina XO


lily + jae

Last night I had a blast at the launch of the lily + jae POP UP SHOP! at one of my all time favorite Gastown boutique, One Of A Few. Owned and operated by the lovely and very adorable Michelle Rizzardo who joined together with Vancouver designer Jude Feller of lily + jae. A favorite local designer of mine, lily +  jae offers feminine and masculine styles to create a flirtatious line of contemporary women’s wear. CONFESSION: I almost got hit by a car running across the street as I tried to contain my excitement for the clothing and accessory festivities. Luckily I’m a fast runner because I made it in the nick of time….Although I did miss a goodie bag. Sigh. I was pleasantly welcomed into a pact store where I found myself bombarded by racks of clothing, hungry fashionista’s,  Dj sincerely Hana cranking tunes, photographers snapping pictures and cupcakes and wine! Oh My! Oh My!  YUMMMMMY. I bought a few amazing pieces from their Vintage Rack from deals as low as  $5. HEAVEN! GUILT FREE shopping. WOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO. Stay tuned on a post from One Of A Few and Michelle Rizzardo!- Christina xo
This was the scrumptious invite:

LILY+JAE and ONE OF A FEW would like to invite you to join the launch of the lily+jae POP UP SHOP!!

Sample Rack-lily+jae samples from the past 6 seasons.
Vintage Rack-See what inspires the designer and take it home.
Deals Rack-A fantastic selection of sale items starting as low as$9.99
New Arrivals-Be the first to see the all new Autumn 2010 collection.

All ONE OF A FEW merchandise 25% off and TWO OF A FEW footwear 20% off for one evening only!

SURPRISE BAGS for the first 30 guests!

COMPLIMENTARY wine and cupcakes while you shop.

Your very favourite golden girl: Dj SINCERELY HANA!



Sunglasses at Night

Tonight I met a very dear friend of mine and we explored a few vintage stores. Ahhh I get so excited about rare finds.  I came across a pair of cat’s eye glasses in which I loved but also felt like I looked like my dad in the 70’s so I passed them up….for now.  Upon arriving home and cleaning up I came across all of my sunglasses that I keep in a little box. It reminded me of the song, “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart. I used to love this song! And thought I was so cool singing it. I still don’t understand why some chicks and dudes wear their sunglasses at night, in bars and restaurants….Then again, maybe I’m missing a story there. Ie.) The possible black eye? Humiliating! I think we wear our sunglasses like we wear our shoes.  Most of us have more than one, just like most of us have more than one pair of underwear. Am I right?? We wear our glasses to cover the bags under our eyes, the possibly black eye, hung over eyes, red eyes and you get the picture. Each pair makes us feel different depending on our mood. So I ask myself when I’m faced with temptation of vintage glasses,”Do I really need another pair? YES!

Corey Hart.


Not Just Any Ol Violet

About two years ago I was strolling (window shopping) along South Granville (as I tend to do…ALOT of) and stumbled upon Violet Boutique owned by the sweet and talented Genevieve Allen. As I walked into the brightly lit boutique inspired by decadent french decor, my heart started to pound as it usually does when I am surrounded by exclusive labels, colorful fabrics, delicate patterns and unique designs. I basically have A.D.D times two when I enter Boutique land and/or Vintage stores. Actually, anything with bright colors to be honest with you. I am a huge fan of independent designers and boutique owners, especially when they carry one of a kind items that you won’t find in other mainstream stores. I was pleasantly greeted by this young proprietor and her very friendly puppy, Beatrice who accompanies her to work every day. Well o.k, she’s actually the official “greeter” or “sniffer” of the boutique and the perfect employee at that. What a delightful space. I could live there! Seriously, one could fit a bed in the upper loft space. From the dressing rooms adorned with pink cushioned vintage chairs, the very large vintage mirror and the old blue dresser/display case filled with  jewelry from France and local Vancouver designers it is the perfect set up for an apartment. O.k, o.k enough with my imaginary silliness. But, I would move there in a heart beat. A girl can dream of being surrounded by such luxuries, Right? Sigh. Inspired by her many travels abroad, Genevieve has a distinctive eye for fashion and no problem putting together an eclectic package of goodies in this lovely shop called Violet.

I had a fun time chatting with the gals of Violet, Genevieve and Stephanie.  They allowed me to snap some shots and play dress up for them as I asked them to dress me in three different outfits. Here are,

The Getting To Know You Top 20

Name Genevieve Allen

Title Owner/Buyer

Boutique Violet Boutique

Mint Chocolate Chip OR Raspberry Sorbet? Both! But if I had to choose it would be mint chocolate chip.

1. What is the first thing you do when you get home from work? Take of my shoes, put on something comfy and take my dog to the park. Or make dinner, I love to cook.

2. How was “Violet” conceived and tell me about the origin of it’s name? – It was between one of three names, Blanche, after my Grandmother, The Library, after my love of books, and Violet, because the saying “shrinking Violet” was the endearing term my Mom used to describe my shyness as a child. I’ve always liked the phrase because it turned my awkwardness into something pretty and abstract. Not to mention Violets are one of my favorite flowers.

3. How long have you owned your store and what inspired you to open it?It will be 2 years in October. I’ve always wanted to have my own little store where I could bring my dog to work and be my own boss. The travel and clothes are a nice perk too.

4. Who is your hero? That’s a tough one; She-Ra Warrior Princess was my child hood hero so I think I’ll stick with that.

5. When someone walks into your boutique, How do you want them to feel?Comfortable, inspired, excited, beautiful.

6. Are you a lover Or a fighter? – Probably more of a lover, but I have a bit of fighter in me when necessary!

7. If you opened a sister store would you call it “Rose Boutique”, “Lily Boutique”, “Wild Flower Boutique” or None of the Above? – My favorite scent is rose… so maybe Rose Boutique, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

8. How many hats do you own? – One.

9. Favorite 80’s movie? – Dirty Dancing and The Little Mermaid.

10. High collard blouse OR Crop top? – Definitely high collared blouse.

11. When you put together your outfits, Do you base it on  A.) The weather  B.) Comfort  C.) What everyone’s wearing – A combo of A and B and also a bit of the seasons trends.

12. What is the theme of your boutique? – It’s very much about dressing beautifully, comfortably, individually and with a bit of an edge. The concept came from the idea of walking into a beautiful Paris apartment of a good friends. One with an amazing wardrobe, where all the best pieces have already been selected for you.

13. Favorite Designer? – Dries Van Noten, Rachel Comey, Lanvin, Sachin & Babi, Paul & Joe Sister

14. Independent Or Mainstream? – Independent.

15. If you had a tag line for your boutique what would it be? – Dreamy eccentricity.

16. What clothing/shoe lines do you carry in your store? Why these? – Alice By Temperley, Cotelac, Dace, Des Petites Hauts, Fiorentini & Baker, MIH Jeans, Paul & Joe Sister, Rachel Comey (clothes & shoes), Sachin & Babi, Shereen de Rousseau, Sita Murt and Tucker By Gay Basora. Because each of these designers works with beautiful material and creates unique and intelligent fashion that tells a story.

17. If you going to Hawaii and were only allowed to pack 3 items in your suitcase, What would they be? – Sunscreen SPF 60 –I’m a burner! A bikini and sun hat.

18. Which statement is True OR False: Genevieve hates dogs. Genevieve LOVES dogs.

19. What did you want to do when you were 5yrs old? – I’m pretty sure I wanted to be Dolly Parton. Clearly, I did not have my priorities in order!

20.  Describe your store – Feminine meets modern meets French ingénue.

THANK YOU GENEVIEVE!!!! Christina xo

Miss Beatrice: Not For Sale.

Beautiful Genevieve and Miss Beatrice. I love Genevieve’s heels. If you ever give them up! I will adopt those pretty pink heels.

Yes a Sale. And yes, I kept my wallet at home.

The Gals at work.

Beautiful pieces.

Love this teak table. It would fit perfectly in my living room.

There’s no place like home.

TUCKER DRESS -Silk in “The Silent Spaces” print.

RACHEL COMEY – “Farer’s Suite” in check print.

TUCKER blouse– “Light Footed Genies” print/DACE “Coco pant”, Black high-waisted cigarette pant (local)/ REMINISCENCE necklace (Paris)/My own vintage lace up shoes. All three outfits would look great with booties or wedges too!

I’m a fan of the candid shots! Oops! Holding up the ta ta’s.