From Flip Flops to Knee Socks: Fall's Must-Have Pieces

Falling In Love With The Fabulousness That Comes With Fall!

From Flip Flops to Knee Socks: Fall's Must-Have Pieces

As much as I love summer and hot, sunny days spent around the pool wearing nothing more than a bikini and flip flops, I'm noticing that the mornings are cooler and the nights aren't as hot as they were a few weeks ago. It is time to say good-bye (sniff, sniff) to summer, and hello to fall. I'm okay with that, for the most part.

Fall is my second most favourite season of all, because hello... it's the perfect time go shopping!

As a child, and all through my university years, I loved back-to-school shopping. The transition from summer to fall was much more bearable knowing I had to make room in my closet for new clothes, shoes, and boots. I also loved back-to-school supply shopping. Paper, pencils, pencil boxes, (how I loved those!) binders, markers and pens—that type of shopping was my absolute favourite. Now, I love doing that type of shopping with my boys as they get prepared to start another school year.

My boys are not the only ones who need new items in their closet for the new school year, though. I treat September like a new beginning, too, and since it is my birthday month, I get to indulge more than usual.

After you've shopped your closet to see what you already have, here's what I recommend you shop for as we move into fall:

A perfect pair of jeans. There are tons of great options out there for jeans, whether you're shopping designer jeans or jeans from Gap. A great pair of skinny jeans is the perfect addition to your wardrobe, as you'll be able to dress them up with a pair of sexy heels, or wear them with some great knee boots, jeans tucked in.

A great jacket. I'm all about the camel trench coat, or a funky trench coat, like the one from Banana Republic I picked up last year from their Mad Men collection. I also love this one from J.Crew.

Boots. Little booties, sexy booties, over-the-knee boots, cowboy boots, or biker boots - the choices really are endless. I need a new pair of black little booties this year, and a pair of great knee boots that I can wear with dresses and pants.

A scarf. Scarves are the perfect fall accessory that you can keep on after you've take your jacket off. I love wearing scarves, and you can buy quite a few since they're so reasonably priced. I stock up at Banana Republic, usually! They're the perfect accessory to throw on with a tank top, sweater, and jeans.

A little black dress. This summer, I found the perfect black dress by chance at Banana Republic, and I wore the heck out of that dress. I can still wear it into fall, with a sweater, tights and knee boots, but I'm now looking for a perfect black dress to take me into winter. I saw one at J.Crew, but currently, this beauty is sold out.

Flats. I wear my flats all the time, and I'm thinking of adding a new pair in a colour like yellow or pink or blue for fall. I love the look of the Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan Air Bacara flats are apparently incredibly comfortable, and they come in so many fabulous colours.

Tank tops and t-shirts - You need something to wear under all those pretty new cardigans you're going to buy, right? I stock up on my my tank tops and t-shirts at Club Monaco. Their t's and tanks are soft, beautiful, comfortable, and last forever. They're quite affordable, too!

Sweaters and cardigans - Of course, no fall wardrobe is complete without a few new cardigans and sweaters, right? If you were to look in my closet, you'll notice most of what I own is sweaters is also striped. I think I may have a little problem...

This year I'm going to start adding more colour, like yellow and bright blue. You can never have enough sweaters and cardigans, especially as the months get colder.

Other popular must-have items that aren't on my my shopping list? Shorts, which can look fabulous paired with tights, and jean jackets, which I just cannot wrap my head around... yet. I feel like I would look 13 again, and I don't want to go there!

Just remember, if you have the basics, (jeans, crisp white shirt, black dress and skirt, and a great pair of boots) adding only a few new items to your shopping list is all you'll need to move happily into fall.

Happy shopping!



Back-to-School With Hallmark

Wipe away those tears... it's time to get your kids back to school!

Back-to-School With Hallmark

When my oldest son started kindergarten three years ago, I was the most emotional mom at school.

I had my sunglasses on as the tears streamed down my face, watching my son hold his teacher's hand and walk into school. He didn't go to daycare or preschool, except the times he went with my mom and me. He was looked after by my parents, in-laws, and grandparents, so starting school was a huge deal for me, and him. Letting him go into this new world made my heart hurt, but at the same time, I was so excited for him to be starting this new chapter in his life. He loved it, and when I picked him up that day, I was emotional all over again.

In two weeks, my big boy happily starts grade 2, and my baby—my baby—starts kindergarten. I know he's ready, but me? I'm still emotional! Starting school can be such a bittersweet time, for children and for their parents, but there are little things I like to do to make it easier. I leave little love notes in lunch boxes, prepare snacks and meals I know my boys will love, and surprise them with little treats that I know will bring a smile to their face, even when I am not there to see it.

Hallmark knows back-to-school time can be overwhelming and has come out with some adorable back-to-school supplies that I was able to review, like Hallmark's Kid Collection greeting cards with kid-appropriate topics, like dealing with academic achievement or social situations to achieving personal goals. These cards can help the back-to-school transition by helping provide encouragement to your child.

I love the Lunchbox Notes, too—these little note cards (50 in total) are a cute way to add a little sunshine and love in your child's lunch box.

The Bug'Em, a cute little plush, can hold cards and other tokens of encouragement to help your little one smile.

I am looking for school to start again, even though I'll be in tears, because there is so much excitement that comes with another school year. I'm also looking forward to surprising my kids with little notes in their lunch boxes throughout the weeks and months ahead!

Hallmark wants to give you a back-to-school package, too!

To win, just leave me a comment below telling me what words and phrases you love telling your kids as they enter another (or their first!) school year. How do you encourage your children? I tell my boys I love them every single day (probably a hundred times a day!) and I tell them to try their best, and no matter what, I'll be proud of them.

Yummy Rules and Regs: You must be a member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until August 28th, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Winners will be picked using


Beauty Qs and As with Loulou

Have a beauty or shopping related question? Let me know!

Beauty Qs and As with Loulou

I often get emails after I write my beauty related posts asking me questions about certain products that I'd recommend and what products I truly love.

Rather than answer each question individually, I thought it would be a great idea to answer these questions right here on my shopping blog, so that everyone can read the questions and answers.

I love make-up and shopping at Sephora and Murale... and basically, everywhere make-up is sold. I love trying new products, and I love sharing what I know about what works and what doesn't work, what items you should splurge on, and what items you can pick up for cheap because no one will ever know the difference. I'd love to share with you what I love about make-up, fragrances, and all the yummy things out there to help your skin shine, feel good, and smell divine.

If you have any beauty related questions, or questions about fashion, shopping, clothes and shoes, I'd love for you to email me at: [email protected] and I will answer your question right here on my shopping blog!

Here is this week's question:

Hello there!

I very much enjoy reading your stuff on YMC, and I thought I'd reach out and ask a question.

I just turned 47, and I have pretty good skin for a woman my age. I hydrate, and I don't smoke (never have) so wrinkles are minimal. I get facials once every three months or so, and I use good products daily (either Nivea or Olay stuff). Lately, I've been feeling like I want to start using a regular foundation (which I have never in my life done before), and I don't know where to start.

A friend suggested powder, which I bought and tried with all the proper utensils, but I don't like how it looks, to be honest. I've hesitated using liquid because I fear it'll look like the stuff that was popular when I was a teenager (ie it all looked like stage makeup!) I don't want to look or feel like I'm wearing a mask.

I was reading your suggestion of the Cover Girl/Olay combo foundation—is it really as terrific as you say? It sounds like the perfect combination for me but I'm surprised that something so reasonably priced would be so awesome (and how awful is that, that I'd even question that!)

Thanks for your input, and I will continue to enjoy your writing!

Take care,



Thank you for your question, and thank you for reading my blog!

You asked if the COVER GIRL and Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation is really that terrific (since it is so reasonably priced!) and my answer is YES! Absolutely. I used to wear foundation, years ago, and was never really 100% satisied with the look. I stopped using foundation and started wearing MAC NC35 Concealer and MAC Studio Fix powder in C3. I apply the concealer with a sponge, or my fingers, and I use a big make-up brush for the Studio Fix powder. I recommend both these products, as they offer just the right amount of coverage and are easy to apply. MAC also has a huge selection of colours, so you'll be able to find just the right shade for your skin tone so it looks natural. I also find that Bobbi Brown and Chanel make great powders, too.

Since discovering the COVER GIRL and Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation I have started using it almost on a daily basis, since only a small amount can cover up any discolourations, fine lines, and wrinkles. It really is a great product to use, if you're looking for flawless foundation. (And the bonus? It helps improve your skin tone while hydrating your skin!) I would also suggest investing in a good make-up primer, something I've recently discovered. I love the one by Arbonne.

Hope this helps answers your question, and if you have anything else you want to ask me, just let me know!