Trendy Techie

Toronto-to-Halifax lifestyle blog about being a fashionable girl working and learning in the tech world.

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Like a Creamsicle


This time of year is the best for shopping – the fall collections are starting to bloom, and the spring/summer collections are on super sale to make way for warmer pieces. My office wardrobe is full of winter and summer clothing, but because I have been in classes every autumn since I was six years old, I have zero fall office outfits. I recently hit up the Halifax Shopping Center to fill that wardrobe gap, and found my new favourite piece of clothing: this white crop sweater from Club Monaco.


Crop tops have been all the rage this summer, and that trend is not going to fade with the heat! Even though it’s still summer, there’s a bit of a fall chill in the wind here in Halifax. This crop top keeps me cozy through sun and shade, making this my favourite late-summer outfit. And how cute is that cartoony bag? It ties in the head-to-toe creaminess of this outfit with a pop of orange, my favourite colour.

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sweater: Club Monaco

shorts: Topshop

purse: Jump From Paper

boots: handmade Italian

glasses: Guess

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VLOGGED: Microsoft Student Partners in Action at Imagine Cup 2014

Join 75 Microsoft Student Partners at the World Summit and finals of Imagine Cup 2014! Guest appearance by CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella himself.

To see more in this Seattle series, check out the links below!

An inside look at Microsoft Headquarters

Augmented Reality Butterflies and an aerial view of Mount Rainier

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Goo.ey, My Cracked-Back Saviour!


Cracked phone back, that is! I hate bulky phone cases. Devices are getting thinner and thinner, but that’s no reason to slap thick cases on them! For months my iPhone went naked, its delicate glass back exposed to a world of harsh threats. I dropped it a fair share of times, and I’m so lucky to still have a pristine, crack-free phone. But now I’ve found Goo.ey‘s magic sticky-back phone skins and I’m so happy!


Goo.ey makes a really cool line of phone cases and skins that make your phone cling to smooth surfaces like a gecko’s sticky toes. It’s fantastic for those moments when you just don’t have enough hands to hold your phone, like when you’re putting on makeup without a mirror, when you’re talking to someone on Skype, or when you’re watching videos while cooking. Now that I think of it, this would be great for putting on makeup while watching tutorials! And the best part is the back is only sticky on smooth surfaces – so it won’t stick to your purse, the inside of your pockets, or anything else you don’t want it to.


I somehow managed to stick the skin on perfectly for the first time in my life, not blocking out the camera or going over the edges! *applause*.


I love my Goo.ey skin so much that my friends over at Goo.ey have decided to sponsor a giveaway of an iPhone 5/5s case for one lucky Trendy Techie reader! The cases come in aqua, red, orange, yellow, black, white, clear and turquoise, and the winner will be able to choose whichever one they want. :) Fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Yes, Goo.ey sponsored this giveaway, but all opinions are mine and I do really love these cases. :) Good luck!

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Encoded City


A lot can be characterized in a city’s colour palette. Halifax is all blues, the sky and sea sharing between them the spectrum of cool shades. A certain Brooklyn neighbourhood called Red Hook shares these beautiful blues – just look at my scarf! – and a certain digital fashion project is here to share the shades in a cool new way. Introducing The Brooklyn Block, a new set of textiles created by digitally encoding videos of Brooklyn neighbourhoods.


Born from the poetic rhythm and beauty of Brooklyn’s ever-evolving atmosphere, The Brooklyn Block presents a refreshing new way to enjoy (and proudly wear) Brooklyn’s many colour palettes. Here’s how it works: Videos of locations across Brooklyn are processed in code to generate specific patterns that represent the area. Those patterns are then printed on cotton voile scarves and sold on The Brooklyn Block’s website.


It’s such a simple yet modern way to represent contemporary Brooklyn and freeze in time the colours of today. It’s art meets code meets fashion, and I’m smitten! Here’s how I styled my Red Hook scarf on the blue docks of Halifax, 1453 km away from Red Hook itself.


If you’re ever in downtown Halifax, you have to go to The Bicycle Thief. I know I’ve written about it before, but they truly are the best restaurant in Halifax! Their renowned bar produces drinks to die for (try anything with jalapeno, it’s amazing what they can do with spices and liquor), and the oysters…oh, the oysters.


Halifax is beautiful in summer, and though I’ve never been to Red Hook, I am proud to wear such a beautiful and unique depiction of its colours. The Brooklyn Block is a fascinating take on encoded fashion, and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

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scarf: c/o The Brooklyn Block

dress: Anthropologie

shoes: Wishbone (also worn in my Italian Princess photoshoot!)

purse: Coach

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Microsoft Student Partner Summit – Microsoft Headquarters

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Hello hello! I’m back from the epic week that was the Microsoft Student Partner Summit in Seattle, Washington. The week was absolutely amazing and inspiring, and packed with great presentations by Microsoft internal, incredible views into the workings of Microsoft, and mind-blowing innovations showcased for the Imagine Cup. This is the photo story of our time at Microsoft’s HQ in Redmond, Washington.

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The Microsoft HQ campus is a city all on it’s own. It looks like something out of a movie, with bright green grass in between the grand buildings in which innovation thrives. There’s a sparkle in the air and an infectious energy flowing throughout Redmond, making you feel overwhelmed with drive and yet completely at home at the same time.

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As part of the MSP summit, we had the awesome opportunity to explore the Imagine Cup showcase and even showcase some of our own apps as well! Here are some of the cool projects from IC2014. The two girls above invented Butterfly, a nail polish mixer that creates whatever colour you want within minutes. The machine takes colour input from RGB values and from images, so you could take a picture of your shirt or jewelry and mix nail polish to match your outfit exactly! Butterfly won the third place prize for the Innovation category, and $5000 to boost their business.

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Three generations of Windows Phones! The 1520, the 920 and the 800. Below you see one of the Imagine Cup innovations, Tep, an app that directly ties the health of your virtual pet to your workouts. Earn points every time you work out, and use those points to feed your lovely pet!

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Another innovation, claVision, by the Canadian Imagine Cup team, live transcribes music that you play on the piano and gives you instantly printable and playable sheet music! The app uses just a normal web cam to track your hand movements and record your music as you play. A true innovation for the world of music!

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Below are two of the MSP apps that stood out to me. Similar to a weather app, Haze My lets you get the haze and smog indices for your Malaysian city. Below, Beetle accurately diagnoses plant disease by analyzing the colour of leaves, and gives you suggestions on how to cure or prevent the sickness – great for farmers with large crops!

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The most visually exciting category of the Imagine Cup competition was the Games section. The overall quality and completeness of all the games was astounding, and that was reflected by the amount of traffic consistently present at their booths. Below you can see Under Bed by Korean team Bomon, a side scroller about a girl named Judy and her adventures under the bed. Underneath that is one of our MSPs playing the winning game, Turn On, by Russian game development team Brainy Studios. Turn On follows the story of a little spark trying to relight the world after it has gone dark – but Turn On is not just a normal game. The team calls it “2 and 1/2 D,” as they’ve developed it for both 2D screens and 3D virtual reality systems. In the 3D version you can look ahead and plan your route through the world.

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Our time on the Microsoft campus was short but epic. Next we went to the convention center in downtown Seattle to watch the world finals of the Imagine Cup along with 5000 Microsoft employees in town for Tech Ready. With inspiring talks from Satya Nadella, Alexey Pajitnov and more, the finals were certainly not to be missed! Stay tuned for a video of the event, coming up soon!

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Microsoft Student Partner Summit – Arrival in Seattle!


75 of the world’s top Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) have been brought to Microsoft for the inaugural MSP Summit and the world finals of the Imagine Cup competition! MSPs are technical students who bring Microsoft’s platforms and services to their universities through events and hackathons, and by forming a solid connection between campus and corporation. I’ve been an MSP since August 2013, and in my time so far I have hosted events at my school, taught students how to develop for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and worked with schools on the Canadian East Coast to increase Microsoft’s presence out East. I’m writing this post from the MSP Summit at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, in between some amazing presentations from Microsoft employees. More on those presentations will come in the next few days, but for now take a look at our first day in Seattle!


The westward flight into Seattle has the most amazing views I’ve ever seen from an airplane. Mount Rainier and the surrounding mountain ranges are absolutely breathtaking!

mountain_range_rainier_washingtonUpon arrival we checked in to our dorm rooms at Alder Hall in University of Washington, where we will be staying throughout the week. UWashington’s campus is a beautiful mix of urban life and the relaxing energy of nature, a duality that is felt throughout all of Seattle. The dorms are very modern and exceptionally well-kept, with a huge lounge with games and interactive Kinect and touch screens in the basement. Two Kinect apps are running: draw with butterflies and body sensors, both of which use Kinect’s body-tracking capabilities to create an interactive experience.

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After checking in and exploring the area, most of the 75 MSPs had arrived. We had dinner with the Imagine Cup competitors in UWashington’s main square, surrounded by the grand old architecture and Mount Rainier juxtaposed in the background.

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What a great way to start the week! The next days of the summit will feature presentations and conversations with Microsoft employees, Imagine Cup announcements and awards, and visits to local museums. I’m so excited and grateful to be here and to share the action with you!

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By Road, By Rail, By Air


Hello from Seattle! There’s innovation in the air as hundreds of young technologists gather from around the world for the world finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition. I’ll be posting more about that in the next few days, but for now you can follow the action on my Twitter account, @theTrendyTechie. In the meantime, this post is the photo diary from our epic Six Countries in 24 Hours adventure! If you  haven’t yet heard the story of how my Italian citizenship saved me, you can watch the video here.


It all began in Halifax, a normal vacation beginning with a cab ride and a boarding pass. Little did we know we’d be seeing more transit stations in the next 24 hours than we’ve seen in the last year, and hopping on trains to span hundreds of kilometres and six countries.

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The flight to Toronto was beautiful, and the next day (after the passport fiasco) we headed back to Toronto Pearson to await our flight to England. We got there seven and a half hours early to be sure we could sit together, and the lovely check in attendant gave us discounts to the Premium Lounge! We stayed there for five hours and enjoyed the unlimited snacks, high-speed internet, and free-flowing drinks until it was time to board.

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The flight was very peaceful, though we did not get as much sleep as we needed to conquer the amount of traveling we’d be doing when we stepped onto English soil.

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When we arrived we took a five minute stop at Marks & Spencer, the most amazing supermarket in the world. Their freshly prepared foods make amazing healthy on-the-go snacks, which was perfect for our full day of traveling! We didn’t know it at the time, but we would have zero time to stop for a snack in Paris – in fact we barely caught any of our trains! In England a wonderful Eurorail attendant named Sue ushered us through the business lane so we’d get through security on time, and thanks to her we caught the train to Paris with two minutes to spare. When we arrived in Paris it took us forever to figure out the botched ticket purchasing station, and it was only because of the generous information desk worker who gave us his subway tickets that we made it to Gare de l’Est and bought our tickets to Munich, again making it on the train by five minutes.

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Soon after I took that picture of the rail ticket, our phones and camera batteries died. It didn’t matter much though, because we were so wiped out that we fell straight asleep. Take it from me: if you’re getting sleepy while reading, just put your book down. Otherwise it will fall on your face and wake you up in front of a train car full of strangers. Whoops.


These last pictures are the first ones we took in Italy, the day after we arrived. Shortly after we woke up (we slept fifteen hours and woke up at 5pm!) we went to the Flamingo Pizzeria in Cles, and finished off the night with a signature Tiramisu.

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