all things lovely…

A blog by the ladies of Barefoot Contessa Vancouver

Dress Shopping Tips from Barefoot Contessa and West Coast Style

by bfcboutique

We are excited to share this little clip from West Coast Style that was just posted recently! In this clip our lovely leader Eva de Viveiros discusses holiday dress shopping with West Coast Style’s vivacious host Mana Mansour. Although the topic is holiday dresses, there are some helpful tips that apply to dress shopping any time of year.

We had a great time filming the segment. All the ladies (and lone man creating the video magic) were wonderful  to work with – we’d love to do it again soon!

Valentines Day Cards!

by bfcboutique

With Valentines Day only a week away, we thought we’d share some of our favourite locally designed Valentines Day cards. There’s something for everyone; from pretty, girly and glittery – to cute, colourful and hand-stamped – to quirk, sweet and sassy. Whether it’s for your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, secret crush, granny… spread the love.

Love and Mark’d

Potato Stamp Cards

The Beautiful Project

Happy Valentines Day!

Ways To Wear It: Sheer Giant Rose Blouse

by bfcboutique

We are so excited for spring! We’ve been receiving new spring transition pieces for a few weeks now (as some of you may have seen on our facebook page) and we are loving them so far!

One of the favourite pieces of many of our girls is the Sheer Giant Rose Blouse. We often hear women voice their concerns about sheer clothing, wondering how they’ll be able to incorporate those pieces in to their day-to-day attire, but sheer pieces are actually quite versatile! Since so many of the girls liked it, we thought it might be fun to share some of the different ways they would style it if it found a home in their wardrobe…

First up was Kaleigh…

Kaleigh paired the blouse with skinny black pants, and a comfy cardigan for a casual every-day look

Then she paired it with the tweed maxi skirt she recently bought, for a laid back lazy Sunday of looking cute and being extremely comfy (Kaleigh assures us the maxi’s comfort level is on par with sweat pants)

For her final look, Kaleigh channeled her inner schoolgirl and paired the blouse with a black knife pleat skirt and black draped jacket.

Here are a few detail shots of each outfit – including the adorable back tied bow on the blouse.

After Kaleigh came Kim… who chose a more classic look, pairing the blouse with a simple black pencil skirt and a tank top underneath. She also paired it with a cardi for day and then switched over to a dressier coat for night – throwing in a bit of red lipstick for good measure.

Piper put together a Valentines-inspired ensemble. She chose to layer the blouse under one of our sleeveless dresses – the dress has a great cut out back and bow detail that helped show off the rose blouse. In typical Piper fashion she paired the look with knee socks and oxfords, and added one of her own lace collars for an element of frilliness.

Pyrrha

by bfcboutique

We meant to share this video from Pyrrha before Christmas, unfortunately we got swept up in the season and didn’t get the chance. Luckily it’s still just as awesome to watch in February.

The video shows the process they use to hand-craft their stunning pieces. Take a look…

All the Pyrrha necklaces are individually created in Pyrrha’s Vancouver studio with reclaimed silver and cast from 19th century wax seals.

Below are some of the latest wax seal necklaces Pyrrha has released (and are now available in our lovely shops) we love all the new meanings! Although all the necklaces are beautiful, it’s the touching and heartfelt meanings behind the seals that really make them special. It’s also what makes them such a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one (hear that boys? ;) )

Which one is your favourite?

'Determination' and 'Eternal Love'

Determination

This Latin seal reads ‘Quod Vult Valde Vult:’ What He Wishes He Wishes Fervently. The reindeer is symbolic of persistence and resoluteness.

Eternal Love

This French seal reads ‘Jamais Arriere:’ Never Behind. The heart with wings is symbolic of love that is eternal.

Horseshoe

Horseshoe

Horses are considered sacred. Horseshoes are often hung over the outside thresholds of houses and barns to protect and bring good luck.

Pathfinder

Pathfinder

The Celts believed that the fox was a guide. While running, the fox’s entire body is pointed like an arrow: straight and tightly aimed. This is symbolic message for us to set a determined mindset in order to achieve our desires.

Lumine Luce

Lumine Luce

This banner reads ‘Lumine Luce’ which means ‘Shine in the Light’ in Latin.

Well Being

Well Being

While in the shape of a horizontal number eight, the symbol for infinity, the snake represents enduring health.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

The crescent moon symbolizes new beginnings and the making of dreams into reality.

Freedom

Freedom

The butterfly is strongly associated with freedom of the soul. It symbolizes rebirth and a lightness of heart.

the results are in…

by bfcboutique

Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway – the response was overwhelming! We genuinely loved reading all of your resolutions, and were very inspired as a result… our resolution lists definitely got a bit longer afterwards! We are happy to report, it seems like it’s going to be a fulfilling, exciting, fun and, of course, healthy year for all of you!

Our original plan was to write out all the names and put them in to a hat and get a customer in the store to draw three names, but there were nearly 200 entries… so random number generator it was!  We wrote out everyone’s name from facebook, twitter and the blog comments (so your name could have appeared more than once, depending on how many ways you entered) then put them in to a random number generator and here are the lucky winners…

The $200 gift certificate goes to: @sumicatherine 

The $100 gift certificate goes to: Kasia Mazurek 

The $50 gift certificate goes to: Kate Prefontaine 

 

Thanks again to you all for entering and sharing your resolutions! And if you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, this is just the beginning of more contests to come in 2012 :)

 

 

2012 Resolutions (and Giveaway!)

by bfcboutique

As 2011 draws to a close, for many, as with all passing years, thoughts are split between the past, present and future. People tend to take stock of their current situation, reflect on what has transpired in the previous 12 months, and of course, ponder what the upcoming year will hold…

We here at Barefoot Contessa are no different. Looking back we’ve had a pretty busy year! Like most, it’s been full of ups and downs – but lets focus on the positive shall we? We’ve done pretty well with last year’s resolution to start a blog – well at least we like to think so :)  Our Facebook page has also grown by leaps and bounds; at this time last year we had about 980 ‘likes’ and now we’ve more than doubled that at 2268! Our twitter followers have doubled over the past year too! We couldn’t be more excited and thankful to all our friends, fans and followers for all your support over the past year!  In 2011 we also discovered how fun (and mildly addictive) Pinterest, instagram and tumblr are. Yes, there has been a lot of time spent at the computer.

In the offline world, we took part in our first craft show as a store, met and worked with some more lovely local bloggers and we were voted Best Independent Women’s Clothing Store in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver Poll for the third year in a row! Again, a huge thanks goes to everyone for all your support!!

We also have a lot of goals for 2012. Currently, a website (finally!), a third store (more on that soon) and a few other fun surprises are up our sleeves. It’s going to be an exciting year!

We also thought it would be fun to check in with the girls to see what their 2012 resolutions/goals were…

*please note: there weren’t pictures of everyone this time, so we used a few from our instagram account… which felt less creepy than stealing pictures from their facebook pages*

Kaleigh will be spending more time at the dog park. You will also find this Alberta-born girl taking advantage of living so close to the ocean, forest and mountains much more often.

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Piper’s plan is to keep it simple this year and just drink less beer and eat fewer baked goods.

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Kim has decided to forgo her usual ‘get more exercise’ resolution and exercise her mind instead – this year she will be reading more books and journal articles.

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In the interest of not being disappointed if specific things never come to fruition, Stephanie doesn’t believe in resolutions – instead she focuses her efforts on to making general life goals.

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Brin has decided to stop procrastinating and  leaving things to the last minute! We’re also adding ‘be in more BFC instagram photos’ to her list, since we don’t have any with her in them!

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Ashleigh’s resolution is to get back in to yoga and stretching!

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Lauren also fails at being in our instagram photos, so we used a picture of a magazine she thrifted from her instagram account instead. She really geeks out about setting goals for the new year and actually does ‘themes of focus’ surrounding her goals each year - 2012  is all about  action, acceptance and creating.

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Nina, our lovely resident English major (on the left), is resolving to finish her novella in 2012!

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2012 is going to be full of fun for Danica, who resolves to not let school completely devour her social life as so often seems to happen. She also seems to have escaped the instagram lens in 2011… something which will be remedied in 2012 (you’ve been warned Danica! :) )

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When she’s not busy losing 60 lbs, becoming a supermodel, dating rockstars and drinking champagne all day… Julia will be working on her business and making more (Potato Stamp) cards!!

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Now that we’ve told you our resolutions, we’d like to hear yours…

Share your 2012 goals with us for a chance to win a Barefoot Contessa Gift Certificate

We are giving away three BFC gift certificates – one for $200, one for $100 and one for $50!

There are three chances to win and three ways to enter:

1) ‘Like’ us on Facebook and comment on our wall with your resolution/goal for 2012 or with what your resolution was last year… and how it went (one entry)

2) Follow us (@so_lovely) on Twitter and tweet us one of your (120 character-friendly) resolutions of 2012 or 2011 (one entry)

3) Similarly, comment on this blog post with a resolution or goal for 2012, or how one of last years resolutions turned out for you (one entry)

Contest closes at midnight (PST) January 3, 2012. The winners will be announced January 4th.

Gift Certificates are valid for one year and must be used in store. However, if you win and don’t think you’ll be able to visit us within the next year, you can ‘transfer’ your prize to someone else who will. Although, only the full amount of the prize can be transferred and must be done when the prize is first claimed.

Good Luck!

Vancouver Style Bloggers Top Gift Picks

by bfcboutique

You may have seen some of our previous posts featuring the picks and holiday memories of some of our favourite local bloggers (if not, go have a look!) We were planning on doing individual blog posts for each blogger’s picks… but it got busy in the store and our resident blogger (i.e. me) was recruited  to write bills, wrap purchases and generally help out with things that did not pertain to blogging – hence why it is now two days before Christmas and we have yet to write about all our lovely blogger friends! In the interest of time (or lack thereof) we’re posting all the remaining blogger’s top gift picks together.

If you still have a few names to cross off your list, hopefully their picks help to inspire you when finding the perfect gift… or if you’ve finished your present shopping for the year, perhaps they will inspire the people in you life that still have yet to buy for you :)

Ooh, also, if you’d like to see ALL the bloggers’ picks (even those that weren’t featured on our blog) you can check out our Facebook album.  We posted pictures of as many gift ideas as we could, but since we’ve had ‘blogger gift picks’ signs up in the store for a while… some items sold out before we could get pictures of them! What can we say, these ladies have great taste!

Without further ado, here are the final blogger picks…

Jen of Her Waise Choice

Christmas is my favourite time of the year! Family, friends, food, love all around… and the birth of Jesus :)

Volupsa Vervaine Olive Leaf Candles

“My mom doesn’t like overpowering scents – this one smells fresh, clean and cozy. I think she’d love it!”

Did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?

I don’t actually remember a time when I truly believed in Santa. All I remember was pretending that I believed in him for as long as I could so that I would get more presents. Devious child I was!

P.S. I Made This Book

“For essentially any female on my gift list – so much crafty inspiration!”

What is the best gift you got as an adult?

Chanel Gardenia (part of their Les Exclusiifs collection) perfume from my boyfriend David last Christmas. Like Barbies for grown women!

Minuet Grey & Ivory Twirl Dress

“The full bottom and flattering neckline of this dress are prefect for a formal party!”

What is the worst gift you received as a child?

Mandarin oranges and Mentos from the pantry in my stocking at the time when I was still pretending to believe in Santa. I guess my parents saw right through me.

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Alexandra of To Vogue or Bust

My favourite holiday tradition is going for high tea and then The Nutcracker with my sisters and mum (my brother and dad get left at home). We’ve been doing it for years: we go to Secret Garden in Kerrisdale and then down to the Queen E.

Gramps Brown Velvet Hat - $32

“My friend Nashlyn has this wonderfully eclectic style – I could totally see her wearing this hat with a big knit scarf and lots of colour.”

Without a doubt, my dad is the hardest person to buy for. Every year his gift list says “Just be good to each other.” Come on, Dad. Make it material.

Melange Roll-On Perfumes - $22

“My best friend Caitlin LOVES all things sweet-scented. She’s always dabbling on perfume or scented lotion. That, and she’s always on the go – the sweet smell of the portable roll-on Blend no.8 would be perfect for her.”

I love Christmas! My family really comes together over Christmas and we’ve always gone overboard with our decorations and celebrations. I hate winter but this one day makes it all worth it!

Bow Waist A-line Skirt

“I’d get this skirt for my sister Isabelle in a heartbeat – the bow detail and soft colour perfectly suit her feminine, 1950′s inspired style.”

I don’t have a memory of sitting on Santa’s knee so much as a horrifying picture. I look like the girl in The Orphan. Santa looks a bit terrified.

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Hello Young Revel

Bust DIY Guide to Life - $32.95

“A great guide to inspire & create many wonderful things. Any crafty girl would be giddy with excitement after one look at this book!”

Pontouf Knit Headband - $39

“These hand knit ear warmers would make you the favourite gift giver this season! Not only does the stretch make them one size fits all(often important when trying to find a gift that fits!).. they are so cozy and cute!”

Milk & Cookies Book - $27.95

“For a friend who bakes. Why? With 89 different cookie recipes, this book is a great buy for someone who loves to bake and try new recipes.. there are enough recipes to bake different cookies for every occasion!”

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Mila of The Style Gloss

Woodland Rose Shorts

“I’m going away to Mexico for the Christmas holidays and these would look adorable with a white t-shirt, aviators and a tan!”

Barefoot Contessa Candle Trio

“A perfect hostess gift since people rarely buy themselves beautiful candles. These are vintage-esque and classy.”

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Piper of Pontouf

I’m usually pretty holiday neutral, but this year I’m actually sort of excited for Christmas and I think I may have a tree for the first time in 5 years!

Voluspa Frosted Pinecone Candles and Roomspray

“For all my girl cousins because it smells like Christmas!”

I don’t think I ever really believed in Santa. But, I sort of believed one year because my mom took me to see Santa at a department store and I asked for a Fashion Star Fillie (which I had just seen down another aisle) and then on christmas morning I got it and was so excited! But I didn’t think I had seen the real Santa because I thought he was creepy and he tried to tickle me which I thought was gross.

Rabbit Fur Pom Pom Hairband - $28

“It’s a rabbit fur pom pom headband! LOVE!”

What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Reading In Search of Santa, about two Elves who travel all over the world trying to find Santa. It was written by a family friend in Norway and it works as an advent calendar, there’s a chapter for every day in December.

Cath Kidston Mini Notes and Masking Tape

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

When there was that crazy snow storm a few years ago, the future husb and I went for a walk on the beach and the snow went all the way to the edge of the water and we built a little snow man and put him at the edge and watched him melt, then looked at all the cute dogs playing in the snow.

Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends, enjoying all this season has to offer.

Top Gift Picks: Girl and Closet

by bfcboutique

Here are a few gift picks from the wonderful Veronika who is behind the blog Girl and Closet. We love her feminine style and the abundance of dresses and skirts in her wardrobe! Whether you’re a bit shy when it comes to wearing dresses and in need of inspiration to take the plunge, or looking for different ways to style the existing dresses in your wardrobe, we highly recommend you check out Veronika’s blog!

However, not only is she talented when it comes to styling, she had some fabulous gift ideas (and Christmas memories) to share as well…

What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Rum & egg-nog, sitting around the fireplace and chatting with friends & family!

Voluspa Makassar Peach and Ebony Candle

Voluspa Makassar Ebony and Peach Candles

Featuring a gorgeous smelling mix of warm ebony wood, rich mahogany, mirabelle peach and sweet peonies.

I still like to believe that there is a Santa out there somewhere – I love that part of Christmas! 

Cuddle Cups - $26 each

Cuddle Cups

Handmade by a local Vancouver potter, who also felts recycled sweaters to make the cups so, well, cuddly!

What is your tree like this year?

Four feet spruce, and I’m going for rustic cabin style decorations!! I love things that are traditional & homey.

Cute Button Toque - $24

Cute Button Toque

This adorable toque comes in grey, pink, green and brown.

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

The year that my hubby surprised me with a christmas tree (he even cut it down himself!), what an amazing thing to wake up to.

Top gift Picks: Miss Melissa

by bfcboutique

We always love visiting with Melissa of the wonderful blog, appropriately named Miss Melissa. We’ve worked with her quite a few times in the past (you can check out our style video collaboration here) so of course she was one of the first people we thought of her when were dreaming up this blogger collaboration.

Here are a few of Melissa’s top gift picks and Christmas memories…

Christmas: Love it or hate it?  

Love it! It’s just so cheerful! It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when you have gingerbread in one hand and shortbread in the other (oh, I meant family. More time with the family… that’s why I love Christmas… not the delicious baking)

Toodlebunny Pressed Leaf Necklace - $70

“Such a beautiful piece. Your best friend will know how much she means to you when she opens up this stunning necklace.”

Who is the hardest person to buy for in your life?

My Dad. He asks for golf balls or black socks every single year. Maybe this year I’ll buy him black golfing socks and mix it up a bit

Expressionist Maxi Skirt - $69

“If your sister loves clothes, she’ll love this maxi. The colours are perfect for fall and winter!”

Christmas Tree: fake or real?

Fake. I’m allergic to the real thing. Sad right?

Red Bug Bijoux Locket - $58

“Lockets are such a classic symbol of love. Any mom would feel so special wearing this delicate locket.”

What is your favourite holiday movie?

ELF! A funny Christmas movie? Heck yes!

 

And good news, Melissa is currently doing a giveaway on her blog for a $50 Barefoot Contessa Gift Certificate!

…it ends very soon, so find out how to enter now!

A Very Merry BFC Cookie Party

by bfcboutique

A Very Merry Cookie Party

A little while ago we received one of our most favourite books of the season – A Very Merry Cookie Party. If you like baking cookies, parties or eating cookies, you’ll probably like this book. It’s filled with tons of yummy recipes (about 120!) for pretty much every type of cookie you can imagine. There are also tips for decorating, planning and hosting to help ensure your party is a huge success.

We took inspiration from the book and planned our own little party recently – it was a huge success. Although we didn’t all make cookies from recipes in the book, everything was delicious and we all left with a scrumptious assortment of cookies. Below are some of the cookies that we made, and too see a few more photos from the night you can visit Piper’s blog Pontouf (ooh and more on the adorable mice cookies she made is there too!)

mmmmm.... cookies.

Admittedly, it’s now a wee bit late to plan a cookie exchange before Christmas (unless you’re superwoman with superwoman friends) but even if you don’t exchange any cookies this year, the book is still filled with lots of great recipes that will be delicious all year round - besides, it’s always good to be prepared for the 2012 holiday season!

Do you have a favourite type of holiday cookie?

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