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MOM LOVE: A Gift Guide 

Model mom, Natalia Vodianova, in a sweet editorial for Vogue. Photo: Vogue.

When I had my first baby, it took me a some time before I felt like a mom. I mean, I definitely felt like a mother when instead of being at a club at 1 am, I paced the floors with an inconsolable newborn. And I certainly felt the full depths of motherhood when on a grocery run for diapers, I realize I already had one stuck to my leg. While those first months of momdom are as unselfish as they come, I still just wasn't on board with the whole 'all you need is love' mentality, gift-wise. Don't get me wrong; there is nothing more amazing than the love of your children, from the smiles and giggles to those rare quiet moments when your beautiful baby is sleeping. But at first, I didn't understand how my mom could have been so genuinely thrilled when we'd give her scraps of scribbled-on paper for her birthday. Now my kids are 3 and 5 and I have to admit, nothing gets me more excited than when my kids come home from school with a homemade card that they've thought up just for me. The tears flow, I get all snivelly (just like I thought I never would) and I cannot possibly imagine a more perfect gift.

Except for those times when you've had months of sub-par sleep, zero breaks from the toddler tyrants who take, take, take ALL. THE. TIME. and then, despite all that glorious love you feel for your little ones, then you want stuff. Like, pretty, impractical, no-kids-allowed stuff that make you feel more like a woman than a mom. Just me?

This Mother's Day, give her something just for her - whether she's the free-spirited adventuress who pond hops with abandon or the type of mom who prefers to chill at home with a great flick and a perfect cappuccino. Oh, but don't forget that homemade card - it really is the very best part. Sniff.



SPRING TREND: Rainbow Brights

A model on the runway at Chanel's Spring 2014 show at the Grand Palais. Credit: Giovanni Giannoni/Fairchild Photo Service.

In about 15 hours, I'll be cruising among the clouds en route to a little place called Cuba. I know, I know, poor me. So why am I taking off in April you ask? My oldest, dearest friend, who I've known since I was 4, is getting married and luckily, she decided to say 'I do' on a beach. #yay

So, I'm packing up my husband, kids and suitcases full of beach-ready finds to spend a week celebrating my friend's love story. While I was packing my brightest things, it made me wonder why we don't dress like we're on vacation all the time? So many of us choose the most practical things on the racks, the things we'll get the 'most wear out of' which is not only terrible sentence structure but is also incredibly depressing. Getting the most 'wear out of something' is a sentence that should be promptly abolished.  

My head might already be in the clouds but in my pre-vacay state of mind, I say let's start only buying things that make us happy. The rainbow bright looks that Karl Lagerfeld sent down the Chanel Spring '14 runway are a perfect example of fashion joy. Why choose one fav colour? Every-hued pieces let us have our rainbow cake and eat it, too, and while you might not have worn so much colour since grade 1, spring is the perfect season to get insanely colourful. To feel appropriately adult-like, I've toned down these rainbow-hued finds with stark black & white which has an instant grounding effect on every look, keeping you looking modern and grown-up without taking away any of the fun.

With wedding season top of mind, I've shown 4 looks that would be perfect for any bride or wedding guest, but would be just lovely for loads of other occasions, too...

ps - Off to pour myself a mojito while I pack. Practice makes perfect, right?

Knit Floral Jumper, $60, H&M; Striped Ottoman Skirt, $39, Smart Set; BCBG Duchess Bootie, $135, Hudson's Bay; Statement Earrings, $15, ALDO; Formula X Polish in Hot Coral, $13, Sephora.

Jones NY Blouse, $60, Hudson's Bay; Classic Long Trench, $498, Coach; Floral Scuba Skirt, $60, H&M; Laser-Cut Clutch, $25, ALDO; Studded D'Orsay Pump, $150, French Connection at Town Shoes. 

 Anne Klein Striped Shirt, $67, Hudson's Bay; Geometric Infinity Scarf, $30, Roots; Perforated Boots, $56, American Eagle; Distressed Skinny Jeans, $56, American Eagle; Short Trench, $108, GAP.

Marci Striped Heel, $198, Coach; Ralph Lauren Cat-Eyes, $250, Sunglass Hut; Ruffle Dress, $25, H&M; Ponte Moto Jacket, $40, Smart Set; Zip-Top Clutch, $7.95, H&M.


Line We Love: 424 Fifth Collection


All photos courtesy Hudson's Bay

When Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay joined forces a few years ago, we knew that good things were bound to come of the merger. After all, both department stores are the oldest in their respective countries yet have somehow managed to stay cool and current through the years, kind of like Prince. Or Madonna. Or anyone else epic enough to go by one name. I digress. 

The latest offspring of these hip department store parents? The exclusive new private brand, 424 Fifth, named after the address of Lord & Taylor's iconic Manhattan flagship. Just launched at Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor stores across Canada and the U.S, the already-buzzed-about line, comprised of women's apparel and accessories, is already being touted by editors and bloggers as a must-buy for fashion savvy women seeking effortless glamour.

So what makes the line stand out from all the others out there? The collection is full of hardworking wardrobe essentials, perfect for both day and evening, work and play. While decidedly on-trend, the brilliance of the collection lies in the fact that everything is endlessly wearable, from chic midi skirts to luxe-looking knits that would look right at home on women of all ages. But where 'wearable' and 'versatile' can sometimes translate to 'boring', 424 Fifth is anything but, thanks to a focus on elevated fabrics and pops of pale blue, look-at-me citron and vibrant cherry. 

“The collection offers a fresh, modern take on the way women dress today. We are confident that our customer will find her everyday essentials and also discover some favorite statement pieces along the way," says Marie Holman-Rao, Chief Creative Officer of Hudson’s Bay Company

Personally, I know I've already found some of my new fav essentials, including the birdcage and midi skirts, the sweet statement knits and that amazing tropical beach scene coat. Okay, fine, maybe not all 'essentials' but at $29-$300 for the collection, I have a compelling reason to justify a few pick-me-ups. Or is that pick-ups for me?

So, what do you think? Which pieces are you eyeing for your own closet? Can't wait to hear what you think! 

P.S - A huge CONGRATS to Linda Lee-Northrup for winning our gift card to shop for spring clothes at White Oaks Mall! Check this blog for more great spring giveaways and thanks to everyone for your inspiring entries. Come on SPRING! xo