When anyone asks me what are 'the standards' to have in an ideal wardrobe, you might be surprised to know that I always include the classic L. L. Bean tote in the repetoire. Function (sometimes!) is just as important as fashion when building the proper wardrobe and heaven knows, it really kills the look to have your gym sweats or a diaper popping out of the top of your Birkin.
This iconic tote has been around since 1944 and was originally designed to haul ice to your home's ice chest back in the day when ice was still purchased outside of the home. The original tote resembled more of a tradional ice carrier, a slight variation of the tote we know today.

It has been a constant in our home for as long as I can remember. It goes everywhere with me, the beach, the grocery store, the dry cleaners and more so since I had children. I have found it to be the perfect alternative to a diaper bag or toddler carry-all, and a very 'green' choice for carting around the older childs belongings as well.

Julia Roberts loves her Bean!

So you can imagine my disappointment when, two weeks ago as I was in the midst of potty training my son, he decided that if he was going to have an accident, it would be somewhere he felt comfortable.
In other words, he spied my favourite tote (mongrammed but of course!) positioned in the corner awaiting a trip to the grocery store. I was upset (to say the least) but brightened up when I realized this was the perfect opportunity to order myself a new one.

Sarah Jessica Parker running errands with her tote in NYC

The L.L. Bean persona has always been associated with the life of the New England Prep (the totes are manufactured in Brunswick, Maine-it doesn't get any more New England than that) but this style essential has been spotted everywhere from the Great White North to the sunny California coast. The sturdy cotton canvas tote is strong enough (I have carried my computer in it to a meeting in lieu of a traditional laptop bag) to stand on its own and is a classic carryall for all seasons.

Reese Witherspoon carting her tote to the gym in Los Angeles

The tote also seems to be the go-to carryall for celebrities and fashion designers as well. Suri Cruise totes around her vast array of toys in a monogrammed, orange trimmed tote while shoe icon Manolo Blahnik is rumoured to only transport all his day to day necessities in his classic navy trimmed carrier.

Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise and their L.L. Bean Tote

The current design was created in the 1960's when the contrasting trim in red or blue was added. The red and blue are my favourites (you just can't go wrong with these choices) but every once in awhile, a new colour is introduced in a shade I just can't resist!

Look of the Day: Kate Winslet

We are sure you are all on overkill with all the best dressed awards lists out there. It seems like there is a different award show every few days and it is all a little overwhelming to look at so many celebs strutting there stuff on the red carpet. Since everyone with an opinion was letting theirs be known, we were going to skip the awards hub-bub but then we came across these images and couldn't resist.

In a sea of billowing and colourful gowns, Kate Winslet stuck out to us. Not because she chose a dress in a dark shade, as few did this year but because this lady was absolutely ravishing in this elegant one shouldered, midnight blue Yves Saint Laurent gown and understated Tiffany jewels. We loved the way the bejeweled seam accented her curvy physique!
The Tiffany and Co. sapphire and diamond dangly earrings she wore were simple and didn't overshadow her gorgeous face (but really how could they!).
At first we were under the impression that this was one bracelet but upon closer inspection, it is actually two, a Tiffany and Co. diamond square link bracelet and a marquise diamond square link bracelet.
Either way we are in love with them!
What do you think of Kate Winslet's Look of the Day?

Trudging Through the Snow with Style

We had been enjoying some early spring-like weather here in the GTA. The word to focus on is 'had'. A couple of days ago, Mother Nature came back to her senses and brought the cold and a few flurries with her. I can't take frigid temperatures, just not fun for me but the flurries, now there is something I don't mind this year. Why you ask??

 I like to pick up something for myself while I am busy shopping for everyone else before the holidays. I like to call it a pre-christmas warm-up, a little present from me to me. Big or small, its always something that I know no one would ever get me. This year, during my gift shopping, I spied the cutest winter boots I had ever come across.

Sturdy, weatherproof, with just the right touch of pink and made in Canada to boot (sorry I couldn't resist!). It was love at first sight. So cute with jeans (tucked in, of course!) or a great pair of leggings, you can still look sharp, even when old man winter is pelting you in the mug with the frozen white stuff.

In case the light plaid pattern is not your style, why not try these fabulous red and dark grey Sorel 'Tivoli' boots. I just love a shot of red anywhere in an outfit, especially on a dreary winters day.

image courtesy of Tory Burch

 I just love these Tory Burch rabbit-trimmed boots. The classic duck boot refashioned by the patron saint of preppies everywhere, I have died and gone to artic heaven!

I would be remiss if I didn't include this little lovely for the Burberry fans out there!
Click on any links below the images for more information.
How do you stay chic in the snow?


Bathtime Indulgence for the Chocolate Lovers!

I have banned chocolate in the Lemontree household. Not that I don't love the stuff but I always find myself going a little overboard during the holidays.
With all the chocolatey treats in the house, I find it irresitible and can't stop myself from nibbling here and there whenever the mood strikes me (and yes the mood strikes me all the time!).

While I have had to dispense with any of the edible chocolatey delights, I have found a way to satisfy my olfactory needs.

These delicious bath products perfectly combine two of my favourite things, the divine smell of chocolate and a pampering bath.

These Philosophy shower gels smell absolutely heavenly, I have had to force myself out of the tub!

And if these are not enough, for the ultimate in chocolatey ambiance, keep a few of these on hand.

I just love bath bombs, the way they get all fizzy as they melt away in the water. Sometimes, I throw one in some water just to watch it bubble away. These bath bombs look good enough to eat!
Click on any of the links below the images and you will be taken directly to where they can be purchased.

LOOK OF THE DAY :: Keri Russell

With all the award shows and ball gowns floating around everywhere we turned this week, we almost missed this chic look that Ms. Russell donned when she visited The Early Show.
A cropped khaki pant, sheer white tank and a crisp black blazer, now this is how casual should look. Relaxed but tailored to fit properly (notice the sleeve hem hits the top of the knuckle, exactly where it should be). A eye-catching, multi-coloured heel brings this outfit around the bend from conservative and boring to trendy and city hip.

What do you think of Keri Russell's Look of the Day?

Look of the Day: Gwen Stefani

It is -15 degrees Celsius (or 5 Fahrenheit for our American friends) outside my door today and it has been that way and colder for the past 10 days here in the GTA. Maybe that is why we were both really drawn to this 'keep warm' outfit when we chose Gwen Stefani for the Look of the Week.

I am not a big fan of Ms. Stefani's usual look, a little too offbeat and rock-chic trendy for my liking but I couldn't help coveting this look that she sported in London a few weeks ago.  Classic pieces (olive green overcoat with some military touches, plaid scarf, shiny wellies) when you really look at the items individually but when they are thrown together on a woman who is obviously very comfortable in her skin and with her unique sense of style, that is where they take on a different, trendier meaning.

"She has an edge - perhaps it's the military green with the bright red in the scarf.
This is a modern day outfit for the grown-up - yet forever fashion-conscious - punk rock girl. I love how it pays homage to 1980's days gone by with colour selection and definite UK influence (love those shiny Wellingtons!) yet she doesn't look like a grown woman who can't let go of her youth because she's incorporated modern trends like the oversized scarf, crisp lines and of course the Wellies I just mentioned."-Giorgena

What do you think of Gwen Stefani's Look of the Day?

Look of the Day: Victoria Beckham

 We start off the New Year with none other than the forbidable Mrs. Beckham as the Look of the Day! Some people love her, some people hate her and we all think she needs to eat a few cheeseburgers but no one can argue with Mrs. Beckham fierce fashion sense.
We both loved this outfit from the minute we saw it. I know when we have come across 'the chosen one' when we can only bring ourselves to let out one word commentary.(We ran around the desk shouting 'stunning', 'fabulous', 'tres-chic, irresitable'. We had worked ourselves into such a tizzy over this outfit that I was ready to break out the smelling salts!)

We have noticed that lately Mrs. Beckham has stayed away from the, well how can we put this, over the top, slightly cheesy Euro look and has been sporting some very ladylike ensembles, as opposed to turning heads with in-your-face cleavage and the 'underwear for outwear' look I have seen her sport in the past.
This outfit is a perfect example of her 'new' look (it is rumoured that she has been trying to alter her image to impress Anna Wintour and get herself a cover at Vogue).

What could be more stunning than a winter white ensemble! From the charming hat (which she seems to be sporting quite often lately) to the beautiful luxe irridescent tote (love it!!!), we could not find anything that we would have changed.
I like the slight breakup of all the monotone with these killer metallic-toed shoes. (how does this woman walk around in stilettos all the time???)

What do you think of Victoria Beckham's Look of the Day?

A Very Happy New Year to You!

image source unknown

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sending you our warmest wishes for the very best in 2010!
Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!