Happy 5 blog years in Ottawa

January 26, 2016

I forgot that on January 18, 2011, I launched EF Magazine here in Ottawa, five year ago now. I know, how could I!? It was a Facebook post by a friend of mine that reminded me of the party.

I had been in town since 2008 and using an old blog template for EF. With my trustee new laptop, (geeze, five years already with this baby too and still ticking!) I refreshed the blog using iWeb and threw a party at Flock Boutique. More than 100 people showed up to show me their support and it was such a great feeling. Thyme & Again donated delicious hors d’oeuvres for my guests and my cousin surprised me from England. Friends showed up, strangers showed up, and some of those strangers have since become dear friends.

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Giveaway with EF + ORESTA organic skin care

November 20, 2015

The holiday party season is almost upon us and my friends at Oresta Organic Skin Care have asked me to help spread the word on their fun holiday promotion. I’ve been spoiling myself with the odd facial or two at the hands of the talented Oresta over the past five years now. Thanks to her, I learned that my skin was in fact incredibly dry and sensitive, and not the oily, tough skin that I thought I had. With just a few simple changes to my skin routine, my bumpy forehead, blotchy skin and frequent adult acne said goodbye.

Oresta has expanded her facial skills into three successful Ottawa locations that are one part spa, one part eco-beauty boutique and one part beauty classroom. The beautiful interiors of each location is reason enough to stop by but if you need more incentive, check out their great holiday giveaway below.

Book a 30-minute individual makeup application (value of $65), small group makeup application or makeup lesson at one of three Oresta locations here in Ottawa

You can book individual or group sessions and applications

You will automatically be entered to win a full set of Misencil Eyelash Extensions (a value of $150)

Book by December 1

Your booking can take place after the contest ends

Winner will be announced December 5

Click here for more details

oresta makeover

Do you want to try out a glamorous, new party look; a sexy smokey eye or the perfect red lip colour? Book a makeup application before your next holiday event.

Oresta also offers individual makeup applications for individuals or small groups. Oresta’s skilled makeup artists and skin care specialist will create the perfect natural or dramatic look for you with Oresta’s organic, vegan and gluten-free brands: ILIA Beauty, FITGLOW BEAUTY, Afterglow Cosmetics, Eminence Organic Skin Care and Vapour Organic Beauty.

In exchange for promotional help, Oresta treated me to a complimentary makeup application. What a great way to end a busy day at work. I just love stepping into Oresta’s O’Connor location. It’s warm and inviting, beautifully lit and filled with fabulous skin care and beauty products. Here I am sans makeup, a tad dishevelled after a long day at the office…


And the makeover begins….

Oresta prepared my skin with a rich moisturizer by Eminence and proceeded to apply a primer to make sure the foundation was laid for concealer and foundation. The best thing you can do before applying foundation is to exfoliate and moisturize. My skin is so dry that if I don’t do these two steps, any foundation will turn into beige flakes, lovely.

With primer on, Oresta gently dabbed a triple threat concealer around my eyes to reduce any blue or dark circles and wrinkles. I’ve been looking for a good eye cream, something that helps reduce the look of fine lines and makes my eyes pop. Well, Afterglow’s Triple Eye Treatment in Meringue conceals, hydrates, brightens and tightens. I’ve since worn it every day and I love it. It’s all I need to put on to wake up my face.


Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Primer #902 – $60; Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation #115 – $62; Afterglow Triple Eye Treatment in Meringue – $39

Below, you see me with foundation and blush on. I’m usually not a fan of foundation because it’s cakey and, as I said, makes my skin flake, but Vapour Organic Beauty’s Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation went on smoothly, moistened my skin and felt light.

Unlike most makeup artists, Oresta applies one layer of lipstick on before tackling the eyes. She says that it helps guide her choices for eyeshadow later on. This pretty lipstick is from my fave lipstick manufacturer, ILIA in Pink Moon. For the eyes, Oresta applied Afterglow’s Fresco Eye Shadow to light my lids and followed that with Terra Cotta and Still Life in the crease.


Fitglow Beauty Blush in Pure – $35; ILIA Lip Stick in Pink Moon – $34; Afterglow Eye Shadows in Fresco, Terra Cotta and Still Life – $26 each

I don’t have a picture of it but after the eyes, Oresta used mascara to fill in my eyebrows and topped things off with some illuminator on my nose, forehead and cheekbones and finished things up with another layer of lipstick.


Et voila, after a bit of beautiful organic makeup and lots of fun, Oresta gave me a subtle smokey eye and dewy look perfect for my holiday parties.


ILIA Shadow of a Doubt Mascara (for eyebrows) – $34; Cherry Blossoms two-step Fibre Extension Mascara – ; ILIA Polka Dots and Moon Beams Illuminator and Bronzer – $34


Better to give than to receive

November 16, 2015

Nesting Stoneware CAD 195.25

Nesting Stoneware CAD 195.25

uncommongoods (UG) is a great online shop that I’m surprised I didn’t hear about sooner. It prides itself on carrying a range of products, from jewelry to home decor that are made in ethical environments (click here to browse), to high standards and by artisans in the U.S. UG prides itself on supporting designers by promoting them through a variety of ways, including hosting studio tours, design challenges and panel series that connect local jewelry artists and designers to help them improve and develop their businesses.

UG also gives back to charities through its Better to Give program. With every purchase you make with UG, it donates $1 that is divided among its charity partners. Since the Better to Give program started 12 years ago, UG has donated more than $1 million to charities around the world. Check out the link above to see a list of their partners and their donation totals. Pretty impressive stuff.

The kind folks at UG have asked me to help them promote their upcoming “Giving Tuesday Campaign” that starts on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. It is themed around the well-known phrase, “It is better to give than to receive” and focuses on their Better to Give program.

In the lead up to the campaign, UG is asking its followers on social media “Why is it better to give than to receive?”

  • Give your answer on either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
  • Include both #BetterToGive and #GivingTuesday hashtags

Submit your response by December 1 and you will be in the running to be chosen by UG to have your answer posted on its social media platforms and to receive $500 to give to your choice of one of their charity partners. There will be one winner chosen from each platform (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).

Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, December 1, shop at UG and it will double its donation of $500 on your behalf.

For every person who uses the #BetterToGive hashtag tomorrow, UG will also donate an extra dollar to its Better to Give partners with a cap of $5,000.

In addition, if your post tags a specific Better to Give charity partner, that one dollar goes to that specific partner.  If there is no mention of a partner in the post, that dollar gets spread evenly among all partners.

I spent some time browsing UG’s wonderful line of products today and have listed my faves in several categories for you to check out – early Christmas shopping perhaps?

I particularly like the handmade jewelry pieces from Emilie Shapiro of New York City. Check out her pieces here and tour her cute studio here.



Gifts for her

I had my sister and mom in mind when I was browsing UG’s great line of products made just for that special woman in your life. O.K., so I also had myself in mind, but can you blame me?

Gifts for the little ones

My favourite gift that I got as a child was a telescope from my uncle Dave. I think the first thing I looked at up close was my spit…it was the first thing the kit suggested I check out, don’t judge! Anyhow, I put my kid cap on and put these on my list for wee ones.

Please note that I am receiving a small honorarium from uncommongoods for helping to promote their campaign. It is important for me to emphasize that I only accept monetary or product compensation from individuals and organizations whose values and aesthetics align with my own and this blog. In each case, I make a point of being transparent about it and adding a one-liner at the bottom of those particular posts.

EF + Workshop giveaway winner announced

May 19, 2015


Congratulations Meagan Dalby, winner of the EF + Workshop Mother’s Day Giveaway.

Meagan has won the lovely single ceramic bead necklace by Shayna Stevenson.

Thank you to everyone who entered their choice. Stay tuned for more and have a great week.

EF + Workshop Mother’s Day Giveaway

May 9, 2015

workshop main

No material gift can convey to our mothers the love and appreciation we have for them and for all that they’ve done. Buut, I know that my mom certainly wouldn’t mind receiving one of these beautiful pieces as a token of all that I feel for her.

Workshop Studio and Boutique is filled to the brim with unique, hand-made clothing and accessories – all made in Canada and all too adorable for words. The big sister to Flock Boutique, Workshop has partnered with EF to offer you another giveaway to ring in the spring and to highlight Mother’s Day.


  1. Leave a comment in this post, saying which piece is your favourite
  2. Like the EF and Workshop Facebook pages
  3. A winner will be randomly selected on May 17, 2015 at 9 p.m. EST and contacted by email
  4. Best of luck!


Single ceramic bead necklace, Shayna Stevenson – $55.00 | Ceramic Sojourn necklace, Shayna Stevenson – $70.00 | Soft Square Moonstone ring, Justine Brooks – $60.00 | Bangle, Jessie Turner – $68.00 | Silver studs, Yvonne Villeneuve – $20.00










EF + Flock Easter Giveaway

April 4, 2015

Ottawa is lucky to have several fabulous boutiques owned by equally fabulous women. Flock Boutique is no exception. Focused on providing a platform to promote Canadian design by Canadian women, Flock has become the go-to shop for many Ottawans over the years.

Today, I’m very happy to share with you an Easter giveaway that Flock’s owners, Bridget Remai and Christina Ballhorn and I have put together.

The giveaway is simple:

  • browse all six adorably stylish and bright pieces that I hand picked (the kitchen towel, earrings and t-shirt are all made in-house by Flock’s owners under their own brand, Workshop Studio);
  • leave a comment on this post, telling me which is your favourite;
  • share the love and “Like” Flock Boutique’s Facebook page as well as mine;
  • we’ll conduct a random draw one week from now on Friday, April 10 at 10 p.m. and the winner will win their chosen piece;
  • winner announced on Facebook, Twitter and contacted via email.

*Regulations: Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadians only.


I’m wearing the whole kit and kaboodle here courtesy of Flock Boutique, minus the ring. Monique Chan barrette – $12.00; Workshop Studio earrings – $22.00; Rita Van Tassel necklace – $28.00; Workshop Studio t-shirt – $35.00; Workshop Studio tea towel – $24.00; Sabrina Lepine ring – $14.00.


Workshop Studio tea towel, lovingly and slowly made in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – $24.00.



Side note: the towel was propped up by a reclaimed wood pencil holder that I bought last year from Nacoille, a local wood shop that makes the most beautiful reclaimed-wooden furniture and home decor.



This Rita Van Tassel necklace caught my eye with its fun, bright salmon geometric pattern and copper pendant, $28.00.



Beautiful Workshop Studio earrings that look like white boulders covered in gold flecks, $22.00.



Hmm…they could also be confused for delicious candy.



I’m into barrettes now. I hadn’t touched one since grade three but when they’re glittery silver like this Monique Chan one, how can I girl resist putting a little dazzle in her hair? $12.00



I’d suggest getting a set of two and placing them side by side.



This is a beautiful infinite knot ring by Sabrina Lepine – $14.00.




The ladies at Workshop Studio are pretty crafty! Not only do they make funky tea towels and cute jewellery, they also print t-shirts. I thought you might like this turquoise tee with pickle jars across the chest. Makes me think of BBQs, you? $35.00


Share your style story

February 1, 2015


An important step in becoming a more conscientious shopper is getting in the habit of asking about the story behind your clothes. Who made it? Where was it made? What is it made out of? Why do you like it? Etc., etc. Well now’s your chance to share the story of one of your own outfits!

The Ethical Writers Coalition (of which I’m a member) is inviting you to share your locally made, eco-friendly, vintage, fair-trade, cruelty-free, organic, or ethically produced clothing items in your own photos.

Don’t worry, your outfit does not need to contain all of these elements. Include as many as you like, but if you have only one item that fits, show that piece off! We want everyone to participate.

So here are the details:


  • Locally made means produced near you, which could mean your city, your state, or even by you
  • Eco-friendly is a broad term. Think about the material used and ask questions (Is it a natural fibre? Is it made from recycled materials?)
  • Vintage or secondhand is something that was previously bought and owned by someone else. Preloved, as they say.
  • Fair trade is an item that may be certified fair trade or bought from a company you know pays living wages to its employees and producers.
  • Cruelty-free means vegan, so anything not made from animal products like leather, wool, or fur.
  • Organic means produced without pesticides and certified as organic. This would refer to the textile (e.g. cotton, bamboo) and should be in the materials list on the tag.
  • Ethically-produced is another broad term. This would encompass all of the above criteria and possibly more (sweatshop-free, child labour-free, etc.)


  • DO look for good light and an interesting background.
  • DO take a clear photo of yourself wearing your sustainable item(s).
  • DO tell the story of the item(s) or how you acquired it/them.
  • DON’T use this platform to promote brands that don’t meet the above criteria.


  1. Submit your photos to the Ethical Writers Coalition at The Style Stories OR post to Instagram using the hashtag #StyleStories15
  2. Include the sustainable criteria behind your outfit. Bonus points for a good story behind your style!

The photo gallery will be kicking off during New York Fashion week February 12-19. You could be featured on The Style Stories that week, so send us your best! If you have questions, please ask them in the comments below.


A cornucopia of holiday shopping events

November 20, 2014

I can’t get over how many fantastic holiday shopping events are popping up this season in Ottawa. From clothes swaps for charity to craft shows and everything in between, my hometown is really kicking it into high gear. Ottawa has a reputation for being a boring town, a reputation that in my mind has definitely run its course. Not only are people putting on creative events, but these initiatives are all focused on supporting local designers, promoting Made in Canada, recycling clothing, giving back and keeping gift giving simple and close to home.



Click here for more information on The Closet Collective

Start the holiday shopping season off right with a cocktail in hand at The Holiday Market & Cocktail

It’s time, downsize that wardrobe!


The pop-up show of all pop-up shows!

In the DIY mood? Try your hand at crafting your own batch of natural beauty products

These crafters are anything but idle

Come with me to this 3rd anniversary party, or as the French say, Viens Avec Moi

urban craft

The darling craft market of the season is urban

northern lights

Ottawa’s very own Northern Lights invite you to shop their creations

This doesn’t happen in Ottawa

October 23, 2014


You may or may not know that yesterday, the nation’s capital experienced a dramatic security threat that has us all a little shaken up. Around 10 a.m., a gunman shot and killed ceremonial soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who was standing guard at the city’s war memorial. Shortly after the gunman, who we now know to be Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, ran up to Parliament Hill and managed to get inside the main building called Centre Block, firing several rounds before he was shot and killed by the Sargeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

The downtown core was completely locked down until late yesterday evening. All government buildings, schools and hospitals were also on lock-down and every military base in the country was secured. There were helicopters circling above the city, police cars stationed at major intersections and armed officers scanning the streets and securing buildings.

It is safe to say that I had never experienced anything like this before and I think I speak for most Ottawans when I say that we never thought this would happen here. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Cpl. Cirillo and I am very grateful for the Ottawa City Police, RCMP and everyone else who helped to secure the city.

I’m back at work today and wanted to write this post to recognize the tragic death of Cpl. Cirillo and to thank the men and women who acted so bravely yesterday. The city is still on alert and although everyone is back to work, things feel a little different. I know that the fear and violence we experienced yesterday is something that many around the world experience on a daily basis and on a larger scale. Canada is used to its role as a peacekeeping nation and as a country that sends its soldiers abroad to help others. To have this violence come to our shores is very unusual and it certainly has woken us up to the reality that we may not be so immune to these attacks.

We have perhaps naively always believed that everyone loves Canada and no one could ever attack us, but it just takes one person (as we witnessed yesterday) to wreak havoc on an entire city and to cause pain and sadness in others. I certainly don’t want this event to change the face of our city. I don’t want to see barricades and armed guards every where, but I expect we’ll see new security measures put in place for at least a little while. I hope we can continue to attend Yoga on the Hill every Wednesday come spring and I hope that we can still pay tribute to our fallen soldiers with ceremonial guards at the war memorial.

I don’t want this event to be blown out of proportion and used to manipulate us with fear, and I don’t want this to encourage other violent people to act out. I think this is a common fear at the moment, taking into consideration the fact that just the day before, Montreal experienced a violent act as well.

It’s difficult to know what to say today. We must be a little more cautious in the coming days but we should also just Stay Calm and Carry On, as the old saying goes. I can now appreciate more than ever the importance of that message when it was first produced in 1939 to rally the British public in the fear of air attacks.

So I’ll carry on with things here on the blog, business as usual.

Malorie xo


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