Ring it in: 2018


I love nostalgia. Capturing the moment. Journaling. This site has become sort of a living version of this. I was gifted a supremely awesome new book for 2018: it’s a 5 year journal with a small space for each day of the year, where you can add to each ‘same day’ for the next 5 years in a row. Five years stacked on top of each other with gilded pages; you can scan back and compare at a glance how you were doing on each day. I’m very excited to crack the spine.  Blogger, Danielle at verderamade.com just did a really lovely post about journals, methods and content; check it out!


I started the Style Sa Vie site years ago to indulge my own creativity: I used to draw a picture of my outfit every day in high school, then technology came along and made it so much easier to bring that into sharp focus. Like choosing my clothes, I don’t write this for other people, that’s not why I started. But here, and on my other blog, where I chronicle my fertility journey with my wife, I get so much back from the kind emails, comments and encouragement of an online community. I sometimes wonder why I do this still. I’m not going to be an Alexa Chung or Aimee Song. But that was never the point. I have a life and a job that I love, and I have a hunch that I will like looking back at a snapshot of what life has been like, whether it’s the year in review, or a decade from now. Style Sa Vie is about the words: Style with a possessive adjective in front of Life. I want to own my life and curate it in a way that I find inspiring. A life of style. A style of living. Life that is mine.

In the spirit of hearkening back and looking ahead, a question: Do you believe in resolutions? For me this year will be about intention- being intentional. I want some guiding phrases, not edicts for a new year.

*Joy – be more joyful, rather than shredding joy with the tools of perfectionism, anxiety or guardedness. I am pretty comfortable with living and embracing vulnerability, but I can definitely get mired down, perseverating on things that just aren’t important. I’m going to Marie Kondo my attitude; does it spark joy? No? Then heave-ho!

*Let Go – This time of the physical stuff: of clutter, of things that no longer serve me. But also the metaphysical stuff: of the idea of perfect, or fears like ‘missing out,’ things taking too long to accomplish, or wondering what the next year will hold. Also, I’m getting rid of the self-judgement. I don’t judge the people I love; why do I do it to myself? I love me. But I should do it better.

*Start Now – this is the moment. Don’t wait for a ‘good time,’ or the ‘right’ time. If I see a repair in the house, go get the tools. If I think about a friend, call that person when it pops into your head. If I want something, what will I do to get it?

* Keep indulging and seeking new experiences. Don’t be complacent. If what I want is to savour a new taste and have another glass of wine. I will. If what I want is to get back to the Ballet Barre… I will do that, too. Also, Be creative. Remember how lucky I am. Celebrate my relationships. Take a deep breath. Don’t be frugal with your love and affection.

*Invest in people who invest in you. And invest in yourself!

*Create routines, but only if they help you reach these goals. I did 365 days of Outfits of the Day last year (which you can find in the style heading), so I can definitely do more mindful writing. Starting today: Journalling.

See you on the other side,

The Style Sa Vie


Emoji Me

DIY, style

If summer inspires me to dress in … well, dresses and some bright lipstick choices,  winter brings forth a desire to bundle. Inevitably, I tend to wear fewer accessories (since gloves and scarves and layers tend to make rings, earrings and other things that get caught on woollen items pretty annoying), so there is always the question: how do I keep things original and fun, while planning pieces that are warm and layerable?

I like to make things personal. Recently, like the popular, now familiar denim jacket with patches, I've started to sew my brightly coloured patches to anything that has lost its charm.


I've loved my patch jacket, but now its sweaters' turn to shine. So, there are a few directions you could go:

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I voted a black sweater with drop shoulders and a loose fit out of my closet, plucked a handful of bright appliques (cacti, popsicle, banana, orange slice, ice cream cone, pizza, sunglasses, palm tree and pineapple) focusing the colourful adornments on the shoulders. Then I picked a matte lipstick in dayglo pink to match the cactus flowers, paired it with some grey slacks that fit like sweats with pleats, and some patent leather brogues… I am a happy, comfy camper.

Et voila:


For all photo credits, see links at: https://www.pinterest.ca/alisonjc/style-sa-vie/

Portugal in Moving Pictures

Indulge, Love

Is it too late for a #tbt? It’s Thursday, and it’s not so far back, after all… Here is a taste of our delicious Portugal trip. A sweet little movie that captures just the cherry of what it’s like to travel with a lovely lady like Allia (@buttonsmcleod  if you’d like to catch more from her on Insta). Feel free to check out the pictures from each day of our journey here (Day 1-15 of our Portugal journey!). It really is a place that you have to see to believe. Around every turn there was something breathtaking, adorable or hilarious.

I hope that voce gosta muito this little vid. I present: a peek into Portugal, from the perspective of two lesbians in love. Tchau and beijos!


Portugal, Porto and Aveiro – day 6


We slept in because it was Saturday. Then had a great big breakfast at the hotel and headed over to the other side of the Douro River to pick up some basics at the shopping centre. 

Mishaps galore. From parking stubs getting mixed up, to blood-red burgers .. But gourmet burgers with bacon, cheese … And an egg for good measure. We asked to get it cooked to more of a ‘medium’ and really enjoyed it once it stopped mooing. There is also the fact that I’ve written this entry three times, had it deleted, and …Wordpress for mobile is a disaster. 

At the sky scraper of a shopping mall, we had a clever flirt, in the makeup department, ask us if we “have vertigo?” The pickup line doesn’t work as well when the subjects are struggling to make the linguistic connection between their height and his doe-eyed lash-batting. Sweet though. 

Hours into the day, it was clear we needed a drink; we were en route to our first real destination: Taylor’s to taste Port. 

As my wife, @buttonsmcleod, put it: The highlight of today was – while at a port winery, Taylor’s, sitting in their beautiful garden sampling three ports, we watched …as one of the workers chased a rooster around, trying to get it to stop attacking the peacocks. She yelled “chicken, CHICKEN..!” as she ran.

Taylor’s opens its doors for those looking to sample generous tastings of those various port styles, while enjoying incredible views and the estate. Buttons has been the absolute best, a dreamy (though sassy) travel companion. She kept me from losing my mind while a number of mishaps occurred this morning; bless the woman who can keep me in line,…and smiling. 

From Taylor’s Port, to the whimsical town of Aveiro. Aveiro is full of glazed tile and pays homage at every turn to its fishing village vibe and canals; it is the Venice of Portugal, just a short drive from the city of Porto. Aveiro had unexpected treasures and though we went on a hunch, it was so picturesque and idyllic that we are happy we didn’t miss it. 

Fortunately for us, dinner was also exactly right. A great end to our time in Porto. We just happened to find Mizu – sushi and anti-sushi. 

When you travel, sometimes it’s hit or miss when it comes to restaurants. You leave it to fate (or recommendations from friends, scanning tripadvisor.com/strolling   the neighbourhood to see what looks popular). Tonight was a total hit; a slam dunk if you are using mixed metaphors. Inconspicuous from the street, Mizu sushi restaurant was just what we needed. My wife is very picky about her sushi and Toronto (home) has great Japanese food, so we were thrilled to experience the combination of Portugal’s fresh seafood with a sushi treatment in the expert hands of Mizu’s Sushiman, Anibal. 

The staff was attentive and charming, the portions weren’t large, but they were delicious. Presentation was creative, but tasteful. We had such a great evening, with table wine and whisky that could please the spoiled (but not snooty) palates of two people who have been hitting up wineries on the regular for almost a decade. 

The entire night was lovely and getting to chat with Anibal made it clear how much he loves his art; if you have the chance to taste it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

 Though it is tucked away somewhat, finding it was quite a treat! Thanks for a perfect end to our stay in Porto and Maia. 

Mizu on Facebook

One, Two, Three: Day to Night Dressing

One, Two, Three: Day to Night Dressing

I promise, there is a logical segue here. When you have more than a few things on your day’s To Do list, what you need are versatile pieces that will carry you from one task to the next.

Easy mix and match switch-hitters are a key part of putting together an eclectic style that will be as big a hit at 8 am as they will be at 8 pm, when your day is still going and night life is just winding up. Your clothes need to be chameleons that can work in multiple ways, no one needs an item that only goes with one thing taking up valuable real estate in their closet.

These looks each have at least two pieces that can easily transfer to the next outfit. Swap out #1’s black shoes for the punchy tie-up rust coloured shoes and add a polka dot clutch to wake the more subdued clothes up.

These looks were inspired by my day on Monday when I had to go 16 plus hours without going home with a triathlon of events.

#1: I was called in to do make-up for the VP of a major bank and the CEO of a non-profit, to prep them for their on-camera close-ups. They were shooting video content promoting their partnership and commitment to combating Breast Cancer, so it was important to put these clients at ease and get them ready to pitch this vital fundraising initiative. For me, in addition to being comfortable hauling and setting up equipment, it was necessary to look the part of a pulled-together make-up artist.

#2: Later that afternoon, I had lunch with my wife, walked the city and window shopped. I traded my more professional, structured top for a fun floral shell and cute shoes.

#3: I finished my play day by meeting a friend at a hip little food joint called, appropriately, The Hole in the Wall (Toronto). I traded up one final time (changing in my car) for a flippy skirt to go with (but not quite match) my floral top.

Hole in the Wall, Toronto.

Hole in the Wall, Toronto.

A hidden gem, built between two old buildings, this restaurant is long and narrow ... and full of character!

A hidden gem, built between two old buildings, this restaurant is long and narrow … and full of character!

I’ll have to say that this day of clothes hopping was entirely worth it, because after sharing some pinot grigio with my delightful friend, Katherine, and eating the best burger I can remember in a LONG time, the charming server (after overhearing our feminist conversation) dropped off a complimentary chocolate pot de creme and peanut butter dessert, layered decadently in a cute little mason jar and topped with whipped cream.

If I was going to be living it up, I certainly looked the part. Cheers to great causes, great shoes, great food and great company.


Jonathan Saunders zip top
675 CAD – net-a-porter.com

Myne plaid top
180 CAD – ifchic.com

Oasis shirt
20 CAD – oasis-stores.com

20 CAD – johnlewis.com

Ezra flower print skirt
22 CAD – zulily.com

Pleated mini skirt
16 CAD – beautifulhalo.com

Jimmy Choo black leather shoes
1,120 CAD – net-a-porter.com

Jeffrey Campbell ankle strap shoes
195 CAD – anthropologie.com

Klub nico shoes
140 CAD – tradesy.com

3 1 Phillip Lim black leather handbag
1,405 CAD – lanecrawford.com

Kayu black crossbody purse
180 CAD – anthropologie.com

River Island bucket bags handbag
79 CAD – riverisland.com

Pretty Tough

Pretty Tough
Unexpected contrasts: pastel and black, cutouts and flowing cropped trousers. This look is pretty, yet tough. The cropped top with simple shape, paired with the high waist trouser on the bottom helps lengthen the proportion of the body and the breezy cut of the pant keeps it feeling light, despite the full coverage. Add a retro fringed vest to take things in an interesting direction and some subtle Navajo detailing in the accessories department takes this away from ‘pastel and pearls’ territory. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

Black slim fit shirt
12 CAD – shein.com

H M vest waistcoat
61 CAD – hm.com

TIBI silk shorts
335 CAD – modaoperandi.com

Forever 21 lace up wedge sandals
36 CAD – forever21.com

Rachael Ruddick leather bucket bag
440 CAD – otteny.com

Gypsy Soul collar jewelry
33 CAD – shopdandylionboutique.com

Raga cuff bangle
53 CAD – surfstitch.com

Engraved silver jewelry
12 CAD – newlook.com

Oh Oh Those Summer Nights

Oh Oh Those Summer Nights

As the evenings cool off, keep rocking those summer prints and throw on a cozy poncho to ward off the chill. Add woven and textural accessories and rough details like raw quartz crystal for a tougher, more rustic edge. As always, shoes you can walk in are a must.

Dorothy Perkins floral print maxi dress
91 CAD – houseoffraser.co.uk

River Island cape poncho
92 CAD – riverisland.com

Miss Albright print shoes
235 CAD – anthropologie.com

Burberry brown leather shoulder bag
3,690 CAD – net-a-porter.com

Givenchy rock crystal necklace
1,010 CAD – bergdorfgoodman.com

Charlotte Russe belt
9.90 CAD – charlotterusse.com

Dark Blooms

Dark Blooms

A coy nod to Pretty Little Liars’ character Vivienne Darkbloom, this maxi dress uses a dark backdrop to highlight feminine florals. My favourite fringed black purse and some geometric jewelery add some hard lines to this otherwise soft look. Also taking my new Topshop Mid-heel slingbacks for a spin: heaven! Maybe even throw on a floppy black hat for added mystery and moodiness.

Chiffon dress
55 CAD – pinkqueen.com

Long sleeve black dress
48 CAD – kalolia.com

Topshop shoes
73 CAD – topshop.com

Akira black handbag
60 CAD – shopakira.com

Plastic jewelry
77 CAD – anthropologie.com

Bib necklace
72 CAD – anthropologie.com

Gold earrings
5.41 CAD – yoins.com

Gemstone earrings
8.32 CAD – newlook.com