Zara’s Sophisticated Sister: Uterqüe

barcelona fashion, uterque, flats, snake print, shoesOne our favourite things about foreign escapes are discovering diverse boutiques. On one such jaunt to Barcelona, strolling along Avenida Portal del ángel, between Yamamay and Bershka, I discovered and fell for Uterqüe upon first sight. We love ourselves a well-designed store one that feels more like a carefully curated capsule collection than a mass market jumble sale. Needless to say, I felt right home.

barcelona fashion uterque travel shopping zara inditex

Born from the same cloth, Uterqüe is Zara’s classier sister. Don’t think traditional—she’s just a more of elegant and refined mixed with subtle avant garde touches. While Zara is trendier and ready to leap at various passing fades, Uterqüe is visually quieter offering tailored fashion accessories and garments. Think, sophistication made easy. With 67 stores in 12 countries, place it on your list of must-sees when visiting abroad.



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Sawa Shoes Revisits History

Sawa Shoes never disappoints. Shot one of Ethiopia’s historical landmarks,the ADDIS ABABA CULTURAL RESTAURANT, their latest look-book features two new models, the LISHAN ( « medal » in amharic) and the KONJO (« beautiful » in amharic). Both shoes really embodies Sawa Shoes‘ philosophy of comfortable and trendy handmade sneakers that can easily find a spot in his and your wardrobe.
More info here.

sawa_ts20124 sawa_ts2014_2

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On Sam’s Reading list

I recently celebrated my birthday and was blessed with some awesome books (and other fabulous gifts) by close friends and family. Since September is the “back to school” month,  I thought I’d share some of the books on my reading list. Have you ready any one of these?


1. A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers, Antonis Antoniou, R. Klanten, H. Ehmann, H. Hellige | 2. Show Your Work, Austin Kleon | Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits, Debbie Millman | How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, Caroline de Maigret, Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan and Sophie Mas | Little Miss Busy, Roger Hargreaves | Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion, Lizzie Garrett Mettler

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Cocktails and Fun with Toubab Paris


Toubab Paris invites YOU to a shopping event at the Millenium Broadway Hotel in New York.


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Judge a Book by Its Cover: Audrey Hepburn


It’s that time of the year. The time of the year, when you look back on all you had planned for the summer and wonder where the time went. We are in the same boat, and true to form our seemingly endless list of shoulda-coulda-wouldas has just grown a tad bit longer thanks to the well-intentioned publishers at Taschen. As mentioned before, a mini-detox has its bonuses. One such plus, you get a lot of reading done.

audrey hepburn Bob Willoughby

The stunning images found in Bob Willoughby’s recently released Audrey Hepburn: Photographs 1953–1966 caught our eyes. His stunning behind-the-scenes optics of the starlet, in the early days of her career and beyond, exude her effortless charm and grace. Seriously can’t wait to get our hands on this delightful œuvre.

Want to know more about how a humdrum commission can morph into beautiful and elegant photographic studies? Click here.

Happy Reading,

IMAGES: Left to Right. Before work for “Paris When It Sizzles” has begun, Audrey poses in the garden of the villa the Ferrers have rented for the duration of the shooting // Book Cover // Audrey poses with a phone during a 1953 photo session at Paramount Studios // Sean, Audrey’s son by Mel Ferrer, plays happily with his mother while James Garner beams his approval.
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Digital Girls Detox

pause_tsWith our busy schedules we can get bogged down and feel like our lives are on a never ending spin cycle. We know that our fabulous readers often feel the pressures of social media and fellow bloggers admitted to the same digital fatigue. While some liken a digital hiatus to solitary confinement, surprisingly even after a short pause we have both encountered greater moments of creative insight.

We hear you. What about work, Skype calls home and of course endless emails? But sometimes the merry-go-round needs to stop. I recently took time to quiet the mind and just enjoy the moments. I cannot pretend that its easy but after a while it becomes painless. Sometimes things we do full force do not work out, regardless of our best intentions. So here a three tested and certified tips to help you get under way.

1. Plan: Schedule Time- Off

  We highly recommend timetabling your mini-vaca sans technology. Tell people that you will not be available on Sunday or during weekend and to only contact you in cases of emergencies.

2. Start Small
  Take only a couple of hours off. Making a few minor adjustments can yield tangible results. Given my experience I have come away well rested and eager to start the day. Or better yet, make a personal commitment to switch off during dinner or after 10pm. Slow and steady, petit pas, and you will soon be ready to take an entire day..

3. Do an Activity  
Planning your digital detox around a trip or activity helps so much and almost feels effortless. Try painting or reading a book, playing or listening to music. While meeting with friends, resist the urge to capture moments for social media and just let the event unfold.

So who is with us?


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If the Shoe Fits: Prada Platforms

Here is a tidbit for those of you who have not met us in person, Tam is well…, petite. And in her endless search for the perfect classic Spring, Summer to early Autumn feminine shoe, she has settled on Miuccia Prada platforms for that subtle sense of height coupled with comfort. The design of these suede ankle-strap platform sandals are ideal for work day to evening events. Kerry Pieri’s article for Harper Bazaar, 5 Rules for Being a Short Girl in Fashion, helped sealed the decision as did our go-to retail strategy, “If the shoe fits, buy it!” and “Treat yo’self”


In some alternate universe, Tam would have snap up a pair in every colour but for now black will do just fine.

Live glamorously,

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Travelogue: Beautiful Barbados


It is not really that difficult to be enchanted with Barbados. For me, it holds the sights and scents evoke many wonderful childhood memories, making it one of the only places in the world where I feel truly restful.


It is true that there are countless of boastful reasons to visit sunny Barbados, but if you look closer there are many delights that are not so evident. Tucked away beauty, silent standouts and enchanting encounters. This gentle getaway I had the pleasure to explore beyond the regular.

Colloquially known as The Rock, from elemental rawness to delicious landscapes to seductive, tropical hotspots, long or short stays, there is something for everyone.

Live Blissfully,

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Every Color Under the Sun

Before there was Pantone…

Sam and I are both avid book lovers and if you did not notice from our Pinterest board, Required Reading and blog series Judge A Book by Its Cover, if it is well designed the deeper our appreciation runs. All this, combined with our thirst for colour, has us loving this once seemingly forgotten Dutch manuscript which in a nutshell logs Every Color Under the Sun. Found in Aix-en-Provence, France, this pre-Pantone era book is a true testament of its time.

pantonedutch_tsScans from Dutch Book From 1692 Documents Every Color Under the Sun: A Pre-Pantone Guide to Colors
The book was largely forgotten, gathering dust at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France until Dutch art historian Erik Kwakkel, who translated the introduction, posted selections from the book on his blog. Herr Boogert apparently intended the book to be educational for aspiring artists. Unfortunately, only a few artists at the time ever got a chance to see the one-of-a-kind book. Open Culture

Live Colourfully,

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T’s Summer Style List

The summer is officially upon us and with a predicted spell of sunshine in London, I have been on the hunt for the perfect summer essentials.


FASHION  This season’s list comprises of the perfect-fitting jean jacket that will never ever go out of style — or so Madewell claims. I am taking their word for it and asking Sam to ‘pretty pleassssseeee’ send me this delightful denim piece during her #summerinnyc. It is ideal for brisk evening walks around the city.

GIVING BACK  Anything paired with a Sass and Bide’s Made in Africa shopper tote completes the look. We believe in doing good by shopping, and this ethical purchase gives back to those in need. Likewise, no summer voyage would be complete without flip flops. These British, bohemian babies are courtesy of a Gandys x Liberty collaboration that can help not just your feet, but also Gandys charity Orphans for Orphans. Please read the designer’s, Paul and Rob Forkan’s, inspiring interview, here.

MAKING MEMORIES  Designed in Dakar and made in Stoke-on-Trent, these silk-screen printed ceramic plates are perfect for evening dinners in the garden with friends. Frieda + Nellie’s colourful and modern take on friendship bracelets bring back wonderful childhood memories.

FUN + PLAY  A recent trip to Barcelona has me craving daily doses of Happy Pills alongside paddle-boarding lessons sporting a Stella Jean’s exotic yet retro bikini. This plain, white Moleskine notebook is excellent for writings, thoughts and sketches. This list would not be complete without a Digital Girls accessory — possibly an iPhone make over with this handsome case from Etsy retailer CaseCavern.



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Organized Perfection

Well known for his clean and neat photography for IKEA’s ‘Homemade Is Best’ Cookbook, Carl Kleiner’s simple yet intricate image treatments are works of art that ooze of beauty and play. In a recent interview with Trendland, self confessed organized perfectionist Kleiner admits to “feeling guilty staying indoors” and being “constantly surrounded by chaos”. His yummy, charming and lushful images are the perfect respite for cloudy, grey days.

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Four Things: Canada Day Ed.

truenorth_tsHappy Canada Day! Sadly, I am not celebrating Canada Day in my native land this year but I am lucky to be spending it with our Canadian friend in Barcelona (photos coming soon). In pursuit of some Canadian-ness, as difficult as it may be to define, check out our links below featuring the strong and free, from both far and wide.

+ Interviews with Canadian creators of Smythe les vestes, The Pink Ribbon, With This Ring, The Jubilee Portrait and À la mode Montréal
+ Blog Archives: Canadian designers and designs that we adore, here and here
+ Top Canadian fashion designers along with sensational style setters
+ Our favourite go-to Canadian graphic design resources here and there




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Foreign Affairs: Advice for Living Aboard

ts_goYou’ve asked, we answered. Our readers often ask us what is it like? How did we do it? And why? In these senarios they are referring to our lives aboard. Both Sam and I opted for this route and we have come to the conclusion that for all it challenges, fears and discomforts, there are tons of perks, definitely more good than bad and a truly rewarding experience. 

We have a plethora of things on that list — What I Wish I Had Known, How To’s, Advice Not Follow, Do’s and Dont’s, It Ain’t pretty Moments and What To Do If.  For now, here are 3 tips if you are considering an inspired life aboard…

GO WITH THE FLOW: When in Rome… Rather than relying on the familiar when aboard, we suggest opening to new situations, lifestyles, environments, experience and climates. This subtle shift in perspective could make all the difference. Trust. In London this attitude helped me in exploring the personality of diverse neighbourhoods. 

GO FOR YOURSELF: We don’t suggest that you pull a Coming to America and flip a coin to determine your location to find your Queen or Prince. Nor do we recommend following your crush du jour, as tempting as it may be. Likewise life aboard should not be an escape from your daily reality or used to to run away from something but to gain perspective and enhance your life experiences. 

KNOW YOURSELF: One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to living abroad. Don’t be boxed in, consider what will work for you — your wants and desires. Understandably some prefer a semester away, volunteering, foreign language course or a year aboard to solo far-flung adventurous treks to several years away or even the whole expat thing. In depth research into living costs, the job market and schools, followed by a mini-vacation to your chosen location could help put things into perspective. Don’t let the gloss of film and TV fool you. Friends, Girls and Sex and the City are not 100% realistic portrayals of New York. Similarly, Nottinghill and Love Actually are not indicative of London life.

Think, if you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? Need help, try this quiz. I got Paris. Who knows maybe that is my next destination. Whatever the case, give it a try. Be brave. Be bold.

Live beautifully.


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