Why It’s So Easy Being Green

Living in a world that has become consumed with technology, it may give us reason to think that “being green” could become a lost cause.  Yet, technology has given us so many outlets to become more ecologically responsible.  Bills, schedules, and even airline tickets can now be accessed paperless.   The Internet and television have made us more connected and globally aware of products available to help protect the environment in every aspect of our lives.

In the home especially, you can now choose a range of products that will help sustain the environment, while still providing beautiful, sleek and modern finishes.  The Home Depot has a link on their website (www.homedepot.ca) to a section called “Eco Options,” where you can easily locate the product type you are looking for, from flooring to appliances to décor, there is a way you can help manage your carbon footprint.  But the green initiative doesn’t stop at technology and interior/exterior design.

Almost all major grocery stores have become more eco-friendly as well.  By providing large reusable bags/bins, made out of recycled materials and typically costing $1, consumers are given a convenient eco-option.  And even if you do forget your reusable bags at home, you will be charged 5 cents per plastic bag, which have also become noticeably larger in order to try and reduce the volume of plastic bags and encourage the purchase of reusable ones.  The food itself has taken on the green trend; growing organic crops and eating green foods like avocado, broccoli, spinach, and kale are all the buzz with regards to keeping good health and a healthy planet.

The trend of being environmentally friendly has transpired into the fashion world as well.  For example, H&M has created the “Conscious Collection.” It is H&M’s “action for a more sustainable fashion future.”  This collection uses greener materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester.  Originally the campaign came out in April 2011, and the colour scheme was mainly different shades of white and muted earth tones.  However, one year later, they are still producing the collection but have amped up the colour pallet.  Walking into the store this season, you will be bombarded—literally—with everything green. Emerging mainly in pastel and mint, but with occasional pops of emerald, green is popping up all over the fashion world and the colour is going to be a huge trend this spring.

So maybe it was the resurgence of Kermit the Frog, or maybe it’s because being eco-conscious has spanned to every outlet of our lives, but I am happy to say that it’s never been so easy being green.

(This article was originally written by me for www.thesilo.ca and published in the March 2012 issue.) 

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Oh, Canada? Are You There?

Ummmm? Hello?  Canada?  It’s me, Hannah.  I know I’ve been away for a while, but, you do know it’s January, right?

Dear people, am I crazy, or is this global warming at its finest? 

It’s the beginning of January, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say it’s an awfully chilly October we’re having.  Wherever winter is, it’s sure not in Southern Ontario… yet.  Although I do miss the beauty of snow-covered lawns, I do not miss driving down snow-covered streets.  So let’s celebrate with some Spring fashion, and pretend like we are going to skip right over winter, as if snow squalls aren’t lurking, waiting to un-spring us anytime now.

I think the New Year is a time for lots of new beginnings, so let’s source out some fresh fashion.

Here’s a great option from ASOS for anyone seeking a new job or has applied to college/university and requires an interview, this is a bang-on outfit for youse peoples:

I love the way they have the “Scenic Print” suit styled here (pastel being a key element moving into this Spring).  It’s so much more fun than the average black suit, but to keep it more traditional, you can always pair the blazer with a great black or grey (or black and grey) trouser or skirt, and same goes for the skirt with the blouse of your choice.  I think this delicate print will make you a memorable candidate in any interview.

The blazer is $120 and the puff-ball mini skirt is $65.  You have to spend money to make money, folks, and for a suit, this is quite affordable since it can be used for work and play.

Next up is for those of you who have decided 2012 is the year you are going to get back into shape.  At least for the first two weeks of January, right?  Right…

Well if you stick with it or not, why not hit the gym (or your Wii fit… which, quite sadly, kicked my ass the other day) with some kick-ass workout wear:

This is the “No Limit Tank” from Lululemon for $65.  I love how it has a built in sports bra, lets air flow in and out through the back, and also, leaves a mystery about what’s behind the ruching.  Because, let’s be honest, who wants to show off their entire belly at the gym… unless you are a total pro with rock solid abs like me like whoever’s body that is down there…

I chose these Lulu’s mostly because of the name, the “Back On Track Tight” (how fitting!).  They come in 4 different colours…  I chose “deep coal and heathered pig pink” for an added feminine touch.  They cost $98, but are truly an investment piece if you are serious about working out.  But hey, maybe spending more on your gear will give you the added guilt trip to push you into actually keeping your resolution this year.

And now that you rocked your interview to make the big bucks, and have a rockin’ body from all your hard work at the gym, treat yourself to a relaxing all-inclusive vaycay on some tropical island, and continue to rock with designer resort wear – you deserve it!

You can buy this online for $248 at Wasteland, it’s by Naven, and really, who doesn’t need a Neon Cut Out Dress?

Okay, let’s get real.  It takes time to get a job, and it takes time to get rock solid abs, so until then, let’s enjoy what Canada is offering weather-wise, embrace our feeble budgets, and go to the ultimate go-to:

First, state the obvious for $14.95…

Next, class it up for $24.95…

Then, splash some pastel for $7.95…

Complete with your fav-o skinny’s and tall boots to boot, and VIOLA!

H&M has done it again.

Get a fresh start with some fresh fashion and enjoy the sunshine and mild weather while you can Canada.

For the Men in Your Life

Hear yee, hear yee!

My last post was definitely aimed towards a female audience, or perhaps a male audience to get some ideas for the women in their life, depending on how you look at it.  Well today is a reversal: I have decided to bounce back with a gift-list for the fellas.  If you are really stuck, yes, it’s ok to get cologne, golf balls, ties, or any other “go-to” gift for the men in your life.  But if you want to do something a little bit special or creative for your [dad/husband/boyfriend/brother/grandpa/co-worker/friend-with-benefits/freind-without-benefits/cousin/uncle/boss/neighbour/etc] and get him something he’ll really love, check out some of my ideas below.

For your satisfaction, I have created categories for a few stereotypical “types” of men that may be in your life, and given three different price points, ranging from $500.00 – $20.00:

The Splurge, The Savvy Saver, and The Stocking Stuffer.

Simply click on the image and it will direct you to the website where, in most cases, you can purchase the item online.

Let’s-a-go!

For the ADVENTUROUS man in your life:

THE SPLURGE

K2 Playback Snowboard - $350

This is a great gift for a beginner/intermediate snowboarder.  Excellent brand, stylish, and a very good price for a nice versatile board.  On the website, it will give you a sizing chart of what size to buy depending on your guy’s height.  To amp up the gift even more, add matching bindings and boots. 

THE SAVVY SAVER

Lacoste - Men's Oversized Pixel Croc Beanie - $50

Snowboarder or not, most guys dig a new toque.  And really, why not make it designer? 

THE STOCKING STUFFER

Burton - Fluoro Comp Wax - All Temp - $19

This is a great option for a guy who likes to hit the slopes, and doesn’t hit deep into your pockets.

Not into snowboarding?  Not a problem.

For the MUSIC LOVING man in your life:

THE SPLURGE

Philips - Fidelio DS9000 Premium Docking Speaker System - $500

This bad-ass docking system will light up the eyes of anyone on the receiving end.  Maybe a gift to split with your siblings for dear old Dad?

THE SAVVY SAVER

GEAR4 - AlarmDock Halo 2 - $100

Multifunctional and elegant design, what more could he ask for?

THE STOCKING STUFFER

SkullCandy - Smokin Buds - Black/Red - $45

This is great because it works with all Apple and non-Apple products.  However, if he is currently a “non-Apple” user, why are you looking at these gift ideas?  Get him an iPod, iPhone or iPad. It’s a no-brainer.

Okay, fine.  Not everyone is into the whole “iWonderful-World of Apple.”  In that case…

For the STYLISH man in your life:

THE SPLURGE

Diesel - Men's Gift Set - Leather Wallet & Leather Strapped Watch - $205

Classic, timeless (or time-keeping ha-ha-ha), and functional… 

Need I say more?

Oakley - Fuel Cell - $125

I don’t know any guy who wouldn’t appreciate a pair of Oakley sunglasses.  Available in every style, every colour, and every price-point, you can’t go wrong.

H&M - Chunky Knit Sweater - $50

This pull over knit sweater is the “grown up” version of a hoodie.  Great for that retro-fabulous-bush-man in your life. Perfectly comfortable on a snowy winter’s eve (and at a comforting price).

Style not really his thaang chicken waang?  Ok then…

For the GAMER in your life:

THE SPLURGE

Carbon Fiber Esky Honey Bee KING II Electric RC Helicopter 6 Channel CCPM Remote Control - $339

For the young, for the old; all boys men love nothing more than a new toy to play with on Christmas morning.

THE SAVVY SAVER

Black Wii Console with New Super Mario Bros Game - $149

Super fun and for all ages, this updated black Wii is pretty darn sleek.  Not to mention the bonus of the included new Super Mario Bros game.

Already has the Wii console?  No worries!

(You could always get him an XBox 360 or PS3 – total splurges)

If he’s already decked out with all the consoles, never fear.

All gamers need want games:

Wii - Zelda: Skyward Sword - $50

This is the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Wii.  Also made for other consoles.  *Extended playing sword sold separately (but definitely encouraged to make a really super gift).

He’s not into video games?  (I doubt that, but…)

Perhaps he’s more into “manly-man” toys…

Easy-peasy.

For the HANDY man in your life:

THE SPLURGE

Makita - Cordless 4-Piece 18V Combo Kit - $500

Now I don’t know all that much about tools, except that, generally, men love them…Even if they don’t know how to use them.

THE SAVVY SAVER

RYOBI One+ 18V Starter Kit - $129

This is great for a beginning handy-man to get his tool collection started.

THE STOCKING STUFFER

Telescopic 3 in 1 Snow Brush - $20

Maybe it won’t literally fit in a stocking, but handy or not, everyone needs a good ice scraper to get them through a Canadian winter.

 Well, I sure hope I have inspired some good gift ideas for all the guys in your life. If you are ordering online, get it done soon or your gifts won’t be delivered in time.

Happy gifting!

What will you be getting for the men in your life?

Winter Warriors, Unite!

I hate to admit it, but it’s time to get prepared for battle.

I was inspired to write this post as a spin-off from Refinery29’s, “Warm Winter Accessories for Chicago.”

All I could think was, pfffft, Chicago.  (Not that I’ve ever been there…yet).  But I can only imagine that in some way our annual battle against the great Canadian winter is worse than Chicago’s.

Even if that’s not entirely true, I think we still need to prep…

How, you ask?

Well, let me show you a few ways.

Those beauts are right off Refinery29 and the reason I actually want to think about winter accessories!  Fabulous!

Knitted Cuff Leather Gloves - $57 - Warehouse

Until the snow actually begins to fly, why not update your old go-to black flats with a shoe that makes a statement.

Bow Flats - $39 - Joe Fresh

It’s far too easy to end up in a black on black on grey outfit in the cold weather.

Why is that?

An easy solution is to pop your favourite black/grey sweater dress and black boots with a touch of the blues.

An added bonus: polka-dots are so in right now!

Polka-Dot Blue Stockings - $19.90 - Zara

Speaking of ditching black…

A colourful coat like this one will make you stand out from the crowd.

Coat with Faux Fur Collar & Faux Leather Trim – $182.70 – ASOS.com

Keep your fingers warm on the drive to work.

Meanwhile, you can wake yourself up with some stud-action!

Studded Leather Gloves - $59.90 - Zara

It just wouldn’t be a Canadian winter without a classic toque.

Personally I must have a brim or it just doesn’t cut it.

Excellent for weekend wear and a practicle, stylish choice for out on the slopes.

Irish Cable Peaked Toque - $26 - Roots

I really like the colour blocking in this jacket.

It’s a nice change from the typical red and black plaid…

Usually plaid is a little too “farmer Joe” for my taste.

This way, the jacket remains relaxed & casual, but in a more sophisticated way.

I also try to buy pieces that have a black-on-brown combo – Makes it much easier to coordinate footwear.

Plaid Coat - $89 - Joe Fresh

Adorable, no?

A chunky heal makes me feel safer walking down icy sidewalks.

An excellent choice for a night out – stylish, yet keeps your toes cosey!

Shoes - $59 - H&M

This ear warmer fills me with vintage-inspired joy.

A nice change that also reduces hat-head.

Elegant, cheap and cheerful.

Braided Cable Knit Ear Warmer - $24 - Urban Outfitters

I hope you have enjoyed some of my winter warrior choices.

Now it’s time to hit the shops and prepare yourselves for the cold.

Aren’t you glad?  Now you have an excuse to shop!

See you out there 🙂

Work to Weekend, Fall to Winter

I need to warn everyone up front that I am H&M obesessed.

Now that that’s over with, I just have to share some of my fav new fall fashions from the king’s of retail:

Vintage cut and colour add sophistication. Perfect for work from fall to winter to spring. Change the colour of tights, from boots to flats, and voila, you have a whole new outfit to fit the season!

This men's military style jacket adds that "extra special" element to make you really stand out from the typical sea of black and brown coats. The scarf is an added bonus.

Sweater dresses are great for work and the weekend. Classic stripes will never go out of style. The burgundy 70's inspired hat is so "in" right now!

I love the layered T's underneath the country knit - I could easily slip right into his stylish arms!

Ah H&M, you never cease to please me.

Who wants to go shopping now?