I also write for / Scriu si pentru

I also write for / Scriu si pentru

Revista Tango Romania

Friday, February 28, 2014

Gadget Accessories from Swarovski

In today's story I will show a new line of gadget accessories from Swarovski, from the current Spring-Summer 2014 collection, now available in Swarovski stores and online at Swarovski.com.

Airy Heart phone jack charm
Hello KItty Lady Bug phone jack charm
Heart USB bracelet
Heart USB bracelet
Heart USB pendant
Heart USB pendant
Vao USB memory stick
Vao USB memory stick
Vao USB memory stick
Photo credit: Courtesy of Swarovski

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Workout Day at Power Institute Fitness Club in Toronto

I work out three times a week with an active membership at Goodlife fitness club from Toronto, and the Goodlife location where I usually go for my workouts is just across my job downtown of Toronto. I joined the club last October, and I go there during my lunch hour at work. When I first started going there, I tried out all the available classes, and three of them became my favourites. On other days I prefer to work out by myself, and when I do that, I usually choose to work my abdomen.

Recently I received an invitation to visit the Power Institute fitness club from Toronto, located at 79 St. Nicholas Street in Yorkville area, and to try one of their fitness programs, as well as a beauty treatment. I gladly accepted the invitation, so one afternoon earlier this month I went to Power Institute to meet their team and to have a good workout.

From what I had found out before my appointment there, Power Institute is the first natural fitness studio to specialize in cutting edge fitness trends and technologies featuring Power Plate, which has been one of Europe’s secret weapons for years. Supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford are long time advocates of Power Plate technology and Karl Lagerfeld himself attributes his ability to wear skinny jeans in his seventies to the workout. It was also applied by the space program, helping to prevent atrophy in astronauts’ muscles.

Personal training is available at Power Institute, so I had a one hour workout with one of the trainers from the studio, at a Power Plate machine. Well, I have to say it was quite a challenging work out, but I enjoyed every second of it. The trainer guided me throughout the entire workout session, and I completed a series of fitness exercises with his help. Each of those exercises were 45 seconds long (and of course, they can be personalized for each trainee), and I felt I challenged myself to my limits. The trainer was helping me complete those exercises correctly and made sure I was doing them to the full potential of the Power Plate machine and of my own body, and in the same time he wouldn’t let me get overwhelmed by the machine and give up half-way during training.

Comparing to the Goodlife fitness club where I go on a regular basis, I realized the workout one can do at Power Institute is much more challenging and rewarding. Of course, I probably could obtain the same results at Goodlife, it just happens that I didn’t personalize my training there at the same level. When I first started going to Goodlife, I expected to have muscle pain (which I also call “muscle fever) after the first few workouts, and I did indeed have that muscle pain. I had it about three times – once after a quite challenging class, called “Body Pump”, and a couple of times after I worked out my abdomen. And after that, my body got used to this working out rhythm and I didn’t have that muscle ache anymore. But this time, when I went to Power Institute and had this personalized workout session, I had quite a strong muscle ache which lasted for about 36 hours. Even though it was painful, I actually figured this is not a bad thing to occur, because it only means you burn a high amount of calories. I remember when I was in school and I would have this muscle ache after some of my sports classes – I hated it! Now I don’t hate it anymore, because I actually understand its usefulness, and more importantly, the effect that it leads to. And anyway, it doesn’t last for long, so I’m back to being myself again in no time, ready for the next workout.

After the Power Plate session, I also had a beauty facial treatment, courtesy of Lissa Hostland, personal trainer and beauty technician from Power Institute. The 30 minutes powered rejuvenation facial treatment was performed on my face with the help with a treatment machine called Ergolift, which works at different depths of the skin thanks to sequential suction. It also stimulates the targeted cells thanks to variable lift pulse speeds. The Ergolift treatment provides multi-dimensional stimulation on the skin’s surface for a visible rejuvenation effect and youthful appearance of the skin. These facial treatments can be done on a regular basis, let’s say once a week or a few times a week; but also they can be done occasionally, before a party or a social event.

I also published a press release about Power Institute here, if you would like to read more information about this fitness studio.

Photo credit: Victoria West

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vitabath Giveaway – The Winner

My dear friends and readers, the giveaway contest that I hosted on my blog in partnership with Vitabath, a North-American brand of luxurious body care products, is now closed, and it’s time to announce the winner. Thank you all for participating, or simply for stopping by. When I made the list of participants, I didn’t check if everyone qualified, but I did make sure the winner qualified. I included everyone on the list, except for those who didn’t qualify for the contest in a visible manner (being outside the contest area, for instance). 

So, the participants are:

1. Valentina Coco
2. Tina C.
3. Cheryl F.
4. Zara May
5. DD Panda
6. Jamee
7. Antee Gurung
8. Cathy Bradford
9. Charu Sharma

 And the winner is…

# 2, Tina! Congratulations my dear! Please contact me at victoria_west_2010@yahoo.ca within the next 48 hours and provide your full name, your full mail address where you would like to receive the prize, and Vitabath will send you the prize by mail. Enjoy your gifts!

Vitabath In Bloom Nouveau Rose body lotion
Vitabath In Bloom Nouveau Rose body wash

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Iesirea de Valentin

Ieri am iesit in oras cu John si Alex sa sarbatorim Sfantul Valentin… N-am mai iesit vineri seara, pentru ca eram obositi dupa o saptamana de munca, dar si pentru ca nu gaseam o masa libera in oras cu siguranta, si nu apucasem sa fac rezervare din timp, asa ca am lasat-o pe sambata. Am mers la un restaurant japonez aproape de casa noastra, care este unul din localurile noastre preferate din Whitby, si unde se mananca un sushi grozav.

Vremea nu a fost foarte rece, doar cateva grade sub zero, ceea ce mi-a permis sa ma imbrac mai lejer, mai ales ca nu trebuia sa stam mult afara – am iesit din casa si am intrat in masina, iar pe urma am iesit din masina si am intrat in restaurant, intelegeti ideea.

Am purtat o fusta albastra cloche Topshop pe care am cumparat-o acum vreun an, si pe care nu o mai imbracasem de cateva luni. Motivul pentru care nu o port des este ca e mai scurta decat majoritatea fustelor mele, si o port doar in timpul liber, nu si la serviciu. Mi s-a facut dor sa o port din nou, si am profitat de aceasta iesire ca sa o scot din garderoba. Am combinat-o cu o bluza in polka dots, un bolero negru, ciorapi cu model, botine negre, si o haina alba Jane Norman; iar ca accesorii am purtat o esarfa rosie Bandolino, geanta Louis Vuitton, colier Swarovski, inel statement Rebekah Price (creatoare de bijuterii din Toronto), o bratara H&M, cercei vintage.

Haina pe care am purtat-o ieri in oras este una din preferatele mele, si o am de cativa ani buni. E o haina de primavara-toamna, si nu apuc sa o port de prea multe ori pe an, caci zilele nici calde nici reci pentru care este potrivita sunt putine pe an, aici la Toronto. In filmul The Devil Wears Prada personajul principal Andy Sachs poarta o haina alba Chanel in una din zilele ei obisnuite din New York, aceasta fiind tinuta mea preferata a lui Andy din intreg filmul. Cand am vazut filmul prima oara si am vazut aceasta haina pe care o purta Andy, imediat m-am gandit la haina mea alba Jane Norman. :)

Cand am iesit din restaurant, l-am rugat pe John sa-mi faca pozele de mai jos. Intre timp se mai racise afara, batea vantul… ma rog, n-au fost cele mai grozave conditii pentru a face poze, motiv pentru care nici nu am facut prea multe. Imi vedeti si voi fata schimonosita de frig, iar John a exclamat: "Ce sacrificii faci de dragul modei!" Am facut doar vreo trei poze si am plecat de acolo. In fine, asa a aratat tinuta mea de ieri.

Haina – Jane Norman 
Esarfa – Bandolino 
Fusta – Topshop 
Bluza – no-name 
Bolero (nevizibil in poza) – no-name 
Ciorapi – no-name 
Botine – no-name 
Geanta – Louis Vuitton 
Colier – Swarovski 
Inel – Rebekah Price 
Cercei – vintage 
Bratara (nevizibila in poza) – H&M 

Si aceasta este haina alba Chanel de care aminteam mai sus, purtata de Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada.

Dupa restaurant John si Alex au plecat la cumparaturi intr-o parte a orasului, iar eu am plecat in alta parte, singura. De obicei merg cu Alex prin oras peste tot, il iau cu mine pe unde merg, si nu mi se iveste prea des ocazia ca petrec ceva timp doar pentru mine. Iar cand plec la cumparaturi cu Alex, trebuie sa ma grabesc, nu pot sa colind magazinele chiar dupa bunul meu plac, caci Alex isi pierde rabdarea… intr-un cuvant, nu e cel mai mare fun. Asa ca de data aceasta, fiind singura, m-am bucurat din plin de cele 2-3 ore pe care le-am petrecut prin magazine pentru mine, cand nu a trebuit sa ma grabesc in cabina de proba, si cand nu am fost nevoita sa-mi impart atentia in mai multe directii, asa cum se intampla cand sunt cu Alex prin oras.

Photo credit: Victoria West & Google Images

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Sper ca ati avut o zi a Sfantului Valentin frumoasa, asa cum va place sa o petreceti de obicei. Anul acesta 14 februarie fiind intr-o vineri, sunt convinsa ca multi indragostiti au profitat de ocazie sa transforme ziua Sfantului Valentin in weekendul Sfantului Valentin si sa plece in afara orasului pentru un getaway romantic. Iar in Canada e chiar weekend lung, luni va fi Ziua Familiei, o ocazie si mai potrivita pentru cei care si-au planificat un weekend romantic in afara orasului, si ma bucur mult pentru ei. :)

Eu si John nu avem obiceiul sa sarbatorim ziua Sfantului Valentin intr-un mod din cale afara de spectaculos, ci doar marcam momentul cu flori, ursuleti de plus si o iesire in oras. Nu avem obiceiul sa plecam din Toronto (nici in Romania nu o faceam), in mare parte din cauza vremii reci. Nu suntem calatori avizi pe timp de iarna, preferam sa stam acasa, si lasam calatoriile pentru la vara. Asa ca in acest weekend, chiar daca a fost Sfantul Valentin, si chiar daca e weekend lung pentru noi in Canada, eu si familia mea am ramas la Toronto si ne petrecem weekendul acasa.

La mine la job exista un obicei sa ne imbracam de sarbatori in culorile reprezentative pentru acele sarbatori – de Valentin purtam rosu, de Sf. Patrick (17 martie) purtam verde, de Paste purtam culori pastelate, de Halloween portocaliu, etc. Nu e o politica de birou obligatorie, o face doar cine vrea. Asa ca ieri majoritatea colegilor mei au purtat rosu la birou, iar rosul meu din tinuta a constat intr-un top inscriptionat cu “LOVE” in paiete mici. Silly? Maybe, but appropriate for the day. Cand am cumparat acest top acum vreo luna, la asta si m-am gandit, sa-l port la serviciu de Valentin.

Ce sa mai spun de noi adultii, daca si copiii la scoala au sarbatorit cu fast ziua Sfantului Valentin. Au avut petrecere si activitati, au facut schimb de cadouri de Valentin, au purtat rosu, ba chiar au avut concurs de tinute rosii – pentru ziua de Valentin au fost incurajati sa poarte rosu din cap pana in picioare, iar cine avea cele mai multe piese vestimentare rosii in tinuta, castiga un premiu. Eu nu l-am imbracat pe Alex in rosu chiar din cap pana in picioare, ci doar in partea de sus a corpului – camasa, hanurac si fular rosii. Iar cand a venit seara acasa, avea o punga intreaga de cadouri de Valentin de la colegii lui – felicitari, bomboane, mici jucarii, etc. Copiii au facut felicitari la scoala pentru parinti, iar aceasta este felicitarea pe care Alex a confectionat-o si a scris-o pentru Maman et Papa. Cute, isn’t it? :) Alex are 4 ani.

Lui John ii place sa ma rasfete cu flori… de cele mai multe ori cu trandafiri rosii. Dar de data aceasta am fost surprinsa si mai mult ca in alte dati, cu trandafiri albastri. Stiam de existenta trandafirilor albastri, dar n-am mai primit niciodata pana acum din acestia – nu-i asa ca sunt superbi?

Si bineinteles, ursuletii de plus. Cineva spunea de ursuletiada… Hai ca sunt dragalasi, mie imi place sa-i primesc de Valentin, orice ar spune lumea despre ei. Ursuletul brun l-am primit eu, iar catelul husky rosu l-a primit Alex. Ursuletul alb din poza de mai jos e de anul trecut.

Vineri seara n-am iesit in oras, ca ne-am gandit ca va fi aglomerat peste tot si toate restaurantele vor fi pline. Sigur fara rezervare prealabila nu mai gaseam nicio masa libera in oras, asa ca am lasat-o pentru sambata. Iesirea de Valentin am facut-o astazi la un restaurant japonez, un loc preferat de-al nostru, unde ne-am delectat cu sushi.

Voi cum ati petrecut de Valentin?

Sa aveti un sfarsit de saptamana cat mai frumos!

Photo credit: Victoria West

Friday, February 14, 2014

Four Years of “Fashion, Style, Beauty and More” – Happy Anniversary

Four years today I was starting writing this blog – I can’t believe how fast time flied by. True to word, there has been everything in these amazing four years – it’s been fashion, it’s been style, it’s been beauty, and it’s been so much more. And since the show must go on, I hope for many years to come too.

So many exciting and wonderful things have happened in these four years since I started writing “Fashion, Style, beauty and More”. My passion for fashion kept my passion for writing alive, and it’s true the other way around as well. And the most exciting thing that happened to me since I started writing this blog is the publishing of my first book, Bits of Fashion, last fall. The day I released the book was one of the happiest days of my life – taking blogging a few steps further and becoming a published writer was a dream come true for me, and now I’m working on my second book.

I’m happy to share my anniversary joy with you today. I want to thank you all for being my readers, for coming here every day, for sharing your thoughts with me, and for letting me be a part of your life. And since the blog’s anniversary coincides with Valentine’s Day, I also would like to wish you a fantastic Valentine and may love always be with you.

Happy Anniversary, “Fashion, Style, Beauty and More”.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear readers and friends.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Nasty Winter, Go Away!

It’s been a week since the groundhog said we would have six more weeks of winter, and one week is already gone, so now what, five more weeks, and the winter is really gone? Yes please, I am so ready to finally welcome spring! After a rather cold and frustrating winter, one of the harshest I’ve ever had to witness in Canada, I would say bye-bye to it with no regrets. This year, we had it in full package – ice storms, snow storms, freezing rains, power outages, so please, please, please, go away already! Even this week, on Wednesday to be more precise, there was such a heavy snow fall in Toronto that I had to leave my office two hours earlier just to make sure I arrive home in time to pick up my son from day care before it closes, and luckily I managed to do it just 10 minutes shy the closing hour, and then I worked from home to finish whatever I was supposed to do in the office.

But I have my ways to deal with this nasty winter, and one of them is to defy it by dressing up, both at work and during the weekends. When I went out with my husband and son for some grocery shopping on one of these snowing weekends a short while ago, I didn’t hesitate to dress up. Yes I do dress up even for grocery shopping, and don’t tell me you don’t do that, at least sometimes. :) I wore a Banana Republic coral top, a cloche skirt in abstract print, a purple belt, Melanie Lyne and no name necklaces (I like jewelry layering), statement rings and a bracelet from H&M, burgundy tights, animal print booties, one of my winter coats (perfect for Canadian climate), a Fendi bag, a Burberry scarf.

I wouldn’t exactly qualify this story as an outfit post. First, because I don’t usually do OOTD posts, and second, because I didn’t quite take these pictures led by the idea of a photo shooting, in the sense the term “photo shooting” is generally understood by fashion bloggers. And my husband, who took these pictures, wasn’t the most patient photographer either. But rather, I wanted to cheer up on a particularly snowy weekend, so I thought some photos will do that. I didn’t even think of it when I left home, but the idea came to me in the car while on the road. We went for that shopping I mentioning earlier, and my photo camera was still in the car from the previous day when I had used it, so this photo taking was kind of an impulse. We stopped at this place, which is a covered entrance to a big store, to be sheltered from the falling snow, and took a few pictures, and I just thought of sharing them with you today. I actually shared one of these pictures on Facebook last night, and it got great feedback from my friends (thank you guys, love you!), so I thought to share a couple more here on the blog.

Scarf – Burberry 
Bag – Fendi 
Coat – no name 
Eyewear – BCBG Maxazria
Top – Banana Republic 
Skirt – no name 
Burgundy tights – no-name 
Animal print booties – no-name 
Necklaces – Melanie Lyne and no-name 
Statement rings – H&M 
Bracelet – H&M 

Have a great week ahead everyone, and don’t forget about the Vitabath giveaway, open until next Sunday! 

Photo credit: Victoria West