Time for Change

Daniel-Wellington

time-for-change

time-for-spring

Seasons change and time passes. It’s super important to take the time to reflect on what’s working in your life and what needs work. Spring and summer are a perfect time for this type of reflection, as inspiration is all around.

I find it necessary to put away time each day, it can be as little as 15 minutes, to really analyze what makes you happy. Is it spending more time outside, with friends, or taking care of yourself? For me it’s all of the above and I’m happy to be back in the mindset of self-care, and taking the time to focus on what’s really important.

By the way, you can save 15% off the new Classic Petite by Daniel Wellington by using the code “BARBARAANN15”

spring-hues

Pants: Theory, Shirt: Paul & Joe Sister, Shoes: Zara (old), Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington Glasses: Clearly.ca

Everybody Knows

cherry-blossoms

lack-of-color-2   cherry blossoms dvf

highpark-in-spring

lack-of-color

social-trends dvf-duster

It’s spring time in Toronto and everybody knows that the one place to go at the end of April-to-early May is High Park to try to snap some beautiful shots of the Cherry Blossoms. Trevor and I explore High Park as often as possible, as the trails are simply beautiful and even when the main attraction (the Cherry Blossoms) aren’t in full bloom there is so much magic to discover there.

sunset-at-high-park lackofcolor-hat

With the cooler weather this year, I’ve found myself living in denim. I can’t seem to get myself into the season’s dresses and skirts, so jeans has been my go-to staple these last few weeks.

When dressing up this essential, I’ve found myself always looking for statement coats to really add that something special to my rather basic outfit. This collared-floral coat by Diane Von Furstenberg (which I have the matching dress for) is the perfect nod to the cherry blossom season and the right weight for these confusion spring days.

Coat: Diane Von Furstenberg, Denim: Marc Jacobs, Tank: Helmut Lang, Boots: Timberland, Hat: Lack of Color, Frames: Clearly.ca
Photography by 2Boo Studio

Statement Spring

michelle-ross-earrings3

michelle-ross-earrings

GANNI_michelle-ross_2

GANNI_michelle-ross

barbara-ann-solomon-negin-_-michelle-ross_ganni

michelle-ross-earrings2

One of my favourite accessories to invest in are earrings. Timeless, elegant, and statement pieces that can stand alone to add detail and glam to any outfit. I often tag @tnegin in jewellery posts on Instagram to inspire him for my next anniversary/birthday/just cause present. My theories regarding gifting include to know your audience – so never be afraid to give people hints.

Earlier this year, Trevor and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary of being together, which is really surreal and definitely has been feeling all sorts of old. To celebrate this special moment, I was spoiled after pointing out earrings by Michelle Ross while shopping at the One of a Kind show. I loved the distressed aesthetic of antique hammered gold mixed with the fresh water pearls.

barbara ann style blog

michelle ross earrings

Being my birthstone, pearls have always meant so much to me, and I have been collecting special pieces over the years. These reminded me of a pair of earrings that my mother used to wear of cluster drop-down pearls.This spring, statement earrings are all the rage and there are so many different versions, from natural stones like these, to colourful fringe to (my next purchase) gold hoops.

Dress: Ganni, Earrings: Francie by Michelle Ross Shoes: old (similar, similar, similar), Frames: Joseph Marc from Clearly.ca

OOAK Spring 2017 Picks

lennardtaylor2

Ever since I was a teenager, each spring I attended The One of a Kind Show. Growing up with parents and grandparents who appreciated and took part in the arts, I always felt very connected to artisans and respecting their crafts. I believe in the understanding that something is more valuable and means more because of the story behind it, because of this, now as an adult, I try to continue to shop local and support artists.

2017-04-08

This year was a truly special show for me, as I was asked to contribute and style a mannequin in the Fashion District. I was beyond honoured to be considered as an influencer among this group of insanely talented artist, and immediately felt overwhelmed picking pieces from their beautiful collections. I ended up falling in love with a very “Barbara” outfit, filled with beautiful colours and bold shapes. I chose cropped pants by Melow Par Melissa Bolduc, a printed shirt by Melissa Nepton and a beautiful shirt/dress by Lennard Taylor as a duster jacket.

After setting up the show, I returned on the weekend with my family to do some shopping! Here is what we purchased:

michelle-ross

Trevor and I just celebrated 10 years of being together, and he decided to spoil me with these beautiful earrings by Michelle Ross, a Toronto jewellery designer that specializes in semi-precious stones and metals juxtaposed with glass, ceramics and vintage findings.

little-shop-of-lobster

My favourite indulgence would have to be the Lobster Mousse, which was sadly emptied by the time I wrote this post. Trevor and I are obsessed with The Little Shop of Lobsters and I swear next time I’m picking up the jumbo jar!

hot-sauce

Those who know me, know I can’t handle the heat – so these are all for Trevor, who couldn’t pick from all the spicy options that Peppermaster Original All Purpose Hot Sauces had.

melliferabees

We both fell hard for the stunning designs and flavours from Mellifera Bees, who produces hand-crafted honey infusions of that are amazing. We picked up the Vanilla honey and 2 jars of the Thai Chili infused honey that will pair well with chicken wings or on top of salads.

lennardtaylor

I also had to pick up one of the one-of-a-kind, hand painted dresses from, my new friend Lennard Taylor. He was painting his pieces live at the show, and I couldn’t believe how talented he is.

ooak-toronto

Shirt and Harness: Lennard Taylor, Shoes: Zara, Eyewear: Clearly.ca
Photography by 2Boo Studio

Our Kitchen Reveal

They say “good things come to those who wait.” If that’s true, then I’m deserving of all of the good things.

A few years ago, my husband and I, as newlyweds, purchased our first home together. It was a pre-construction, and move in was set for summer 2015. Due to, literally every unforeseen circumstances, we have just moved into our new home this past February, that has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. (Which has also been the reason for my recent disappearance.)

Due to the delays, there were a few things we’ve realized that we had the time to do, like save, plan and invest. Staying in our tiny apartment for those extra years, was definitely a strain to our lifestyle, but as time went on, both of us were able to continue to save money, as we tried to live with our new budget.

We spent a lot of time figuring out how we were going to use the space; today, a year from now, and five years from now. We bought a stacked town house, aka too many stairs – but it’s turning out to be a great workout. Our main floor is an open concept living space that hosts our living, dining, cooking and entertaining. This is my favourite space, probably because it’s the most complete, but also because I’ve been shopping for most of these pieces over the last few years, and at last I can see them.

Today I’m revealing kitchen to you, and over the next few months, stayed tuned as I complete each room and share with you our journey as we make this space our home.

delta-faucet   no-handles  the-negin-nest-kitchen

barbara-ktichen-2

kitchen-straight-on-

sitting-on-ceaserstone

coffee-time-with-boo

Trevor, and I are entertainers. We love to host, so creating a kitchen and dining area that made sense for group gatherings was really important to both of us. We started with keeping things open – which meant loosing our upper cabinets and allowing our beautiful collection of dinnerware and serving pieces to shine. We found sturdy and beautiful floating shelves from Silicate + Studio, a design studio and lab in Idaho, and fell in love with the perfect imperfections of their wood pieces.

that-sink-tho

Next came to adding the show stopping piece. I was fortunate enough to have partnered with Delta Faucet Canada to upgrade my kitchen space. This Champagne Bronze beauty is not just about her looks, she’s also brilliant. With Touch2O Technology, a simple touch anywhere on the curved spout will turn the water on and off, and will automatically shut-off after four minutes to conserve water. I love the colour and how well it works with the mixed metals, whites and woods, blues and citrus theme I have.

 We still have a bit of work to to do in this space, like adding the rest of our door handles, figuring out storage solutions for our cabinets and adding flush under-mount lighting to the shelves. But overall I couldn’t be happier with this space, it’s exactly what I’ve pictured and had hoped for.
Photography by 2Boo Studio
Faucet: Delta Faucet Canada, Shelves: Silicate + Studio, Dinnerware: Villeroy and Boch, Cookware: Le Creuset, Cake stands, cheese boards, accessories: Hudson’s Bay & Home Outfitters, Cat ring tray: Kate Ubbi,
Barbara is wearing: Top and skirt: Who What Wear Collection, Glasses: Clearly.ca
barbara-kitchen

Thank you to Delta Faucet Canada for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts and working together, please email amy@shineinfluencers.com

New Year, New Glasses

eye-care

Barbara-ann-Vision-care

snacks

walk-this-way windblown_eyecare

square-shot

Healthy-vision_headshot2 vision-care

Snack-Time

Healthy-vision_headshot1

In grade 3 everything changed. I had gone to the eye doctor and received the news that I needed glasses.

This was the 90s and I picked out a pair of tortoise-shell, round-metal frames that I wore for the next few years. By grade 6 I was wearing contacts daily. While in school, at camp, basically anytime I left the house. I’d sleep in my contacts. Wear the same pair for months. And with this disrespect to my health as a youth, my eyes have suffered.

Last year, I made the decision to give my eyes the year off contacts and the proper care that they deserved. I got my eyes examined, and invested in new BlueReflect lenses that helped with the eye strain from starring at screens all day and night. Soon after, I noticed a difference in how my eyes felt and began embracing how frames can add so much style to an outfit. I started falling in love with this new accessory, and as I began growing my collection I feel in love with switching them up with each outfit. From bright colours to interesting shapes, glasses have become my go-to statement piece.

My vision for 2017, is to live a life in balance.

After the year-long break, I’ve stocked up with new contact lenses, with the goal to not only take proper care when wearing them (and never to sleep in them again), but to wear them in balance with my glasses. These are my newest frames to my collection, I love how similar they are to my first pair and how the retro-metal frame is back (did you noticed the throwback wraparound arms). Clearly and I have teamed up to offer my friends 40% off lens upgrades until February 15th, so you can start your year looking cute and feeling good. Just use the promo code BARBARA during the purchase. If you haven’t gotten your eyes checked in a while, I would recommend adding a visit to the Clearly store to your annual list of doctors and check-ups, with 3 locations – 2 in Vancouver and 1 on Queen St. in Toronto – it’s easy to book an exam and start your year seeing clearly. And make sure to tag your photos #SeeClearly for a chance to be featured on their social media channels weekly. 

Dress: Madewell, Jacket: Banana Republic, Boots: Zara, Frames: Joseph Marc Experiment-48 c/o Clearly.ca, Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington, Earrings: Hortense from Catbird
Photography by 2Boo Studio

Winter Walks

on-a-winter-walk3

on-a-winter-walk2

colourofus-hats

on-a-winter-walk

In the summer, things seem easier for me. The weather is great and there doesn’t seem to be excuses not to do things.

But when the temperatures drop, excuses are everywhere. From the unbearable temperatures, to the slightest feeling of a cold coming, simple things like walks and social engagements seem to take the back burner for staying in and becoming somewhat of a couch potato.

This year, however, I’m fighting against the urges to stay-in and forcing myself to enjoy the weather and more importantly the season. With the focus of wellness and armed with my super warm parka, I will continue to explore this city that I love no matter the temperatures, as fresh air does the body, mind and soul good.

Parka: Woolrich (old), Sweater: Adidas, Turtleneck: Picadilly, Jeans: Gap, Boots: Free People, Hat: Lack of Color
Photography by 2Boo Studio

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 2.56.51 PM

T-Rex love

coach_rexy3_post

coach_rexy2  coach_rexy4

coach_rexy5

coach_rexy

I’m a T-Rex. At least that’s what I tell myself everyday. Allow me to explain.

A few years ago, when I was suffering from my first round of anxiety in my adulthood, my loving husband (boyfriend at the time) went out and purchased me a dragon (they didn’t carry dinos at the time) Kigurumi suit from Japan. His theory for the animal he chose for me was that, “no matter how bad my day was or how I felt, I could come home and be strong and brave like a Tyrannosaurus”.  And it worked, to this day I still come home, after bad days, and he’ll find me curled up in my suit.

So when Coach launched their Rexy collection in 2015 (as a bag charm), I was OBSESSED. It was on my wish list from the second I saw it on the runway. For F/W 2016, Rexy starred in her own capsule collection and appeared with her wild beast friends on bags, charms and some insanely amazing clothes (this jacket), and it was my chance to snag a piece. I must say it was love at first sight.

Coat: Banana Republic, Sweater: Alice and Olivia, Skirt: Tanya Taylor, Boots: Topshop Canada, Glasses: Kam Dhillon from Clearly.ca, Bag: C/O Coach
Photography by 2Boo Studio

Year in Review: 2016

Some of my favourite memories from 2016: 

mendhi

Coat Confessions: Part 3 Winter Formal Edition

skinnyyy

Netflix and Valentine’s Day

spring-perfection

Print Happy

marcjacobs-1

Coat Confessions: Part 4 – The Denim Details

saturday-in-nay

Stripes and shorts

screen-shot-2016-05-28-at-8-17-14-pm-648x976

Slip and slide

hairflip

Coat Confessions: Part 1

millennial-pink

Rose + Gold

tml

Coat Confessions: Part 2

ck-undies

My Calvins

I’ve never been so happy to see the end of a year come. 2016 was rough, emotionally for me, and the last few weeks I’ve spent focused on my health and wellness, which will continue through into 2017 and hopefully make it my most successful year. Thank you for all of the love and support this past year!

Netflix & Mom

lukes-diner

Life gets chaotic, busy and at times overwhelming.

As you can see if you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been around, just a lot less, and I haven’t been keeping this blog up-to-date over the last couple months (sorry). But I’m currently taking a moment to reflect, regrow and recharge (self-care will be a topic I focus on in the future). Now I can get back to the things that I love. Lately, I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation, reading, painting and naturally Netflix binging.

Growing up, my mom and I always watched “our shows” together. From American’s Next Top Model to Law and Order SVU, every genre was hit and this was the time we often talked about school and everything going on, in both of our busy lives. When we heard that Netflix was bringing back Gilmore Girls, the two of us began planning for our girls night to watch the series, as mother-daughter opportunities don’t come often enough.

As November 25 got closer, our date-night plans became larger-than-life when Netflix sent us everything we needed for the perfect Netflix and Mom date night to watch the highly anticipated revival of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life (thanks Netflix). In the kit was everything to get us in the Gilmore mood, from the girl’s favourite snacks Pop-Tarts, Red Vines and buttery popcorn, to trivia games, a Dragonfly Inn scented candle and of course, a giant mug for all of the coffee we’d consume binging the series, plus so much more.

My mom and I spent last Friday night cuddled-up on the couch watching Winter, the first episode of the four-part revival, that had just started streaming on Netflix. Exhausted, we promised to wait to watch the next three parts together, over the course of the next few weeks to ensure we make the most out of this mother and daughter bonding-time.

Have you watched the revival yet? If so, no spoilers!

netflix-and-mom

selfie

netflix-and-mom2

lukes-diner-2

This post is in partnership with Netflix.