Kickin’ It for Spring

Fun florals

I’m grateful and excited to be styling an amazing Spring photo shoot in a couple of weeks (juicy details to come!).  So it’s fitting that I post a few Spring outfits to get me in the mood.

I guess not a lot has changed since February 2011 when I blogged about Wearing More Patterns. Layering patterns is now more widely embraced than even a couple of years ago; they evoke nods of approval instead of stares of confusion.  I love this fashion shift; beige on beige was killing my soul.

The key to mixing patterns is to ensure each print contains a common colour; this is what adds cohesiveness to the outfit.  Below are three Spring outfits that demonstrate how to pull multiple patterns off.  I’m a big proponent of elastic waistbands so these outfits aren’t only head turners, they’re comfortable too.

Mix and match metallics.  A hot gold blazer, silver joggers and metallic green heels are definitely a winning combo.  Add a clean black purse to complete the outfit and you’re good to go.

MetallicsShoes and purse










(Blazer from Ark and Co via Citizen Grace, joggers from TOPSHOP, purse from Erin Templeton and shoes from Sergio Rossi at The Room).

Multiple floral patterns keep it fresh.  The cherry blossoms have painted Vancouver pink, the tulips are blooming and you’re layering floral prints in support of it all.  Here, fuchsia ties the blouse and skirt together quite nicely.  Tuck in the blouse to emphasize your waist and anchor the ensemble with solid-coloured pumps.

Flowers top and bottomAccessories - Floral

(Blouse by Mary Katrantzou for TOPSHOP, skirt from ZARA, clutch from NastyGal, pumps from TOPSHOP, flowers by the wonderful Eve).

The multi-patterned shift dress.  Don’t feel confident mixing and matching quite yet?  Let the dress do it for you.  This shift combines multiple colours and varying pattern sizes.  The riskiness of the multiple prints is offset by the dress’ simple shape.  A blouse collar in a similar leaf pattern adds depth to the ensemble.  Solid black heels and a painterly envelop clutch take the outfit from sweet daytime picnic to sultry night-time stumble home.

Shift dress

AccessoriesShift dress from ZARA, blouse from TOPSHOP, purse from & Other Stories, shoes by Diane von Furstenberg.

Now, if you don’t know where to start in terms of pattern mixing, do what I do: throw on a few pieces at random and see how they make you feel.  Your clothes, and not playing it safe with them, just may surprise you!

(All photos by Superfora)



Jungle Consistency

The price of pillows in decor shops is heartbreaking.  A typical pillow can run you $60-$90 per unit. That’s right: the equivalent of a pair of shoes.  Or several bottles of wine.

Lucky for me, I have an incredible friend Jordan, who offered to make custom-made pillows for me. I rode my bike to Dressew on a beautiful, sunny day, chose my favourite fabrics and passed them along to Jordan between her man story and our charming picnic.  A mere days later, the pillows are complete.  My hero!  She made them during her lunch break at Fluff and saved me nearly $200 in the process.

Not only do they look fantastic, but they eerily resemble the way I dress.


Jungle outfits

Some may call me predictable.  I call it consistency.

In keeping with the Jungle theme…a smooth jam for your Thursday morning commute:


The Urban Turban


(My old Topshop crew: Eve, Daniel and Gabby)

For a couple of years now, I’ve been wearing head scarves when I really want to make a statement with my outfit. It’s such a simple way to make a big impact.

Head scarves have been in and out of style for decades, championed by ladies of the likes of Brigitte Bardot to Nicole Richie.  I learned my preferred style from a cute French girl named Valentine. Based on Valentine’s 1 Foulard, 3 Possibilites (1 scarf, 3 possibilities), follow these easy steps to achieve a standout look:

1. Use a colourful scarf that is at least 30×30 inches.  Fold it diagonally in half so that it is the shape of an isosceles.  The bigger the scarf, the more dramatic the look as the excess will sit at the top of your head.

Dior scarf

2. Wrap the hypotenuse of the scarf around the nape of your head, with tip and ends in front of you (see lower left photo). With the triangle’s tip falling in front of your face, tie the ends tightly around your forehead.  This is what keeps the scarf in place so ensure it is secured tightly.

3. Pulling the triangle tip back over the first tie, tie the ends one more time to create a knot (see lower right photo).

Step 2Knot tied










4. Tie a bow to polish it up and ta-da – it looks amazing!  And honest to God, the compliments will start rolling in.    Optional: use hair pins in the back to keep the head scarf in place.

Urban Turban2

(Photos by the beautiful Tarah Ferguson)


Better Than Zovcock

Zovcock gift!

This week, I received a belated wedding gift from one of my best friends, Ashly (wifey).  She designed and created personalized Zovcock stationary, each one individually hand stamped.  To remind you, Zovcock is an amalgamation of my maiden name (Zovko) and my husband’s name (Woodcock). It’s also the #1 name amalgamation ever created (as voted by a very biased person). Immortalizing our name via stationary is even better than Zovcock itself.

If you don’t know me personally, Ashly’s gift is perfect for me.  Here’s why:

  • I am, and always have been, a big fan of stationary and other paper goods
  • The love and thoughtfulness that go into hand-made gifts is very important to me
  • Owning anything that is stamped “Zovcock” is simply hilarious

Basically, a gift that is humourous, loving and useful ranks high for me.  I’ve included some pictures of Ashly’s process below.

1. Ashly created the template for the Zovcock font by blowing up a photo of our wedding invite.  She then hand-carved “Zovcock” letter by letter to create a stamp.

Blank template

2. When complete, Ashly coated the stamp in red paint and used the tool at right to ensure paint was spread evenly on each page during the transfer.Zovcock printing

3. Ashly had the patience to hand stamp 100 Zovcock pages.  God bless her heart.  100 Zovcocks(Photos and Talent by Ashly Van Steele)

There you have it.  If you want to make your loved one feel extra giddy this holiday season, try making them some personalized stationary.  You can even add a clever drawing or two.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Zovcocks to get to…

Quilted Lilac Skirt – Three Ways

Want to get longevity out of your clothes?  No, I’m not referring to hemlines, I’m talking about wear. Your best bet for making pieces continuously seem fresh is to make sure you’re not always wearing them in the same way or combining them into the same outfits.

The easiest way to do this is to choose versatile staples, such as a pencil skirt, and then focus on different looks you want to achieve.  When I think of a preppy look, I automatically know to add a crew neck sweater, a collared blouse and cute girly socks.  Maybe even a side braid.

Below I show you three ways to wear TOPSHOP‘s quilted neoprene lilac pencil skirt.  (Ladies, it’s $46.  Go get yourselves one!)

The neon PREP – Add neon to keep this schoolgirl look current.

preppy outfit

The BUSINESS babe – Coloured pumps and a patterned blouse help elevate this office look all the way to the top floor outfit

The COOL vibe – The chic quilted bomber and leopard print booties guarantee a grand slam.  bomber(Photos by Daniel Hardy, unfortunately taken with my iPhone)

See – that was easy.  Now get back to work!

Major Success

So we didn’t rely on our usual surprise tactic for our weekend trip to California.  We did, however, manage to pull off something unexpected.  We slapped the LA crew with custom-made (Nata approved) printed t-shirts with their respective nicknames: Huntybobo, Baybe, Bug and Bear.  They look brilliant, both the crew and the tees.

Below are more photos of our perfect getaway to LA.  I would have more but we all happily got sucked into wearing soft pants and watching TV.

Thanks Paul and Olga for hosting a wonderful weekend.  Be back soon!  xo!

Crisp – A Guest Post by Jess Roberts

I’m super pleased to announce that this is Superfora’s very first guest post!  Today’s guest writer, Jess Roberts, is renowned for her baking prowess.  Despite living on opposite ends of the country, I constantly hear about her unbelievably delicious feats: ice cream sandwiches, bacon jam, elaborate cakes and irresistible cookies.

Her Peach and Blueberry Ginger Crisp is no different.  I would shave my head for a taste.  Read below for her simple as pie recipe to this healthy, guilt-free dessert.

When I bake with friends, the science of baking goes out the window. “Let’s make it healthy!” they exclaim. They want to add way less sugar than the recipe demands and they’d prefer the butter stay in the fridge, replaced by its lesser cousin — margarine. But I like the science and I’m known to be a little controlling, so I tend to quash any dreams of healthy creations. Luckily for them, with crisp, both creativity and health are possible. It’s the type of dessert that accepts improvisation and emerges unscathed, even improved. Toss a little less sugar in there and swap out the all-purpose flour with barley flour and delicious is still what you get. With Ontario peaches at their optimal ripeness, you can’t really go wrong. Unless you use margarine. That’s always wrong.

Peach Blueberry Ginger Crisp

I’ve based my recipe on a crumbleguide published by The Kitchn. Use it monthly as fruits come in and out of season – it’s awesome!

For the filling:

  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 5 to 7 peaches – cut into medium bite-sized pieces, depending on the size (The blueberries and the peaches should almost fill the pan)
  • 1/3 cup white or brown sugar (I like white sugar with this… tastes lighter)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger

For the crisp topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

(Photos by Jessica Roberts)

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss the fruit, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and ginger together in your baking dish. I use a 9” glass pie dish, but a 8”x8” or a 9”x9” baking pan will work.
  3. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter in pieces to the dry mix and toss. Using a fork, a pastryblender or your hands, form a crumble. I bought a pastry blender in one of those look-its-on-sale-and-I’m-going-to-definitely-use-it moments but I always abandon it in favour of my hands. You don’t want a perfectly mixed topping so once your crumble has some pebble-sized chunks, spread it evenly on the fruit mix.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. I prefer 35 minutes because I like seeing the fruit bubbling up over the topping.
  5. Cool the crisp for at least 15 minutes and then serve with ice cream. I always choose classic vanilla or greek yogurt. For a sweet combination, try fatty lemon Liberte or non-fat honey greek. Or whatever your healthy heart desires (cultured almond milk for you anti-glutenites).

Bonus – You can eat this for breakfast. With fruit, oats and not that much sugar per serving, it’s “healthy.” Besides, it tastes even better the next day.