Trendy Techie

Fashion, Tech, and Everything in Between


1 Comment

Shoe Shopping Spree at Massarotto Luisa Calzature

new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_8As a tall girl, I naturally have always had big feet. It is so difficult for me to find nice shoes in my size (41 in European, 11W in North American), because stores don’t stock a lot of larger sizes. Since the summer lineup hit the shelves at the beginning of the year I’ve been looking for comfortable summer shoes with a chunky heel, and despite searching across Canada and in the US, I wasn’t able to find anything nice that actually fit. On-trend shoes in larger sizes sell out quickly, leaving us to choose from boat shoes, clogs, and the occasional ballet flat. Usually European stores are even less likely to stock my size, but I finally hit the jackpot when I found a beautiful shop called Massarotto in Castelfranco, Italy.

new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_6
From left to right: Albano, Kei Nezz, Kei Nezz, Inuovo, and Codici e Segni. Voila, summer shoe collection complete! At Massarotto I found five beautiful pairs of shoes, all Italian-made. The staff at Massarotto is fantastic – when I asked the clerk for a pair of shoes I saw in the window, she asked me a few questions – light colour or  dark, high heel or low, sporty or classic – and disappeared down the stairs. She returned with the shoes I asked for as well as five other pairs she thought I would like! Throughout our time in the shop she kept refining the selection of shoes and bringing me more to try based on my taste. They even had different heel heights in the same style of shoe, so when I wanted them a bit higher she brought out the options. Normally Italy is not known for customer service, so I was so pleasantly surprised by the one-on-one attention I was getting in the busy shop. The clerk even noticed that one of the sandals was a bit too tight and punched a hole for me right there. I am very pleased with Massarotto, and I highly recommend it!
new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_10 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_2 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_3 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_4 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_9 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_5 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_7 new_italian_shoe_collection_massarotto_calzature_castelfranco_1

Keep an eye out for these shoes in my blog posts, including this one from Riva del Garda!

italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_3

signature 1


4 Comments

Palm Trees in the Mountains

italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_1There are few things more breathtaking than the grandeur of the mountains and the sea. In Northern Italy we don’t have the ocean, but where our lakes meet the base of the mountains comes pretty darn close. Lago di Garda (aka Lake Garda for us Anglophones) is home to an absolutely gorgeous microclimate. It’s so hot and balmy there that you’ll find palm trees in place of the pines you might expect of this region. It’s a bit mind boggling to stand on a beach with your toes in the water and look up at snow-capped mountaintops…I think this may be the ultimate place to live.

One of the beautiful things about having family spread out around the world is being able to experience a whole new world when visiting them. Thanks to our extended family we discovered this lovely city called Riva del Garda, situated right on the edge of the lake.

italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_11

For our day in Riva I wore this bright palm frond dress from H&M and my tan sandals and bright white backpack that I bought here in Italy. It may not be summer yet but it sure feels like it here! Dress: H&M // Shoes: Inuovo // Backpack: Chic & Popitalian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_15 italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_4flora_gelato_riva_del_gardaitalian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_9italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_16  italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_2italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_18 italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_5 italian_beach_day_riva_del_garda_sage_3signature 1


2 Comments

Climbing the Castello di Arco

climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_14

Ciao from bella Italia! It is so beautiful and warm here. This is my first Italian spring, so even though I’ve been here many times it’s a whole new experience. The flora are different, the air smells fresher, and the clouds sit low in between the green mountains in the evenings. One sunny day this week, we made a day trip out to Arco, a beautiful city down by Lago di Garda and home to a magnificent castle ruin. When we were driving up to it we thought there was no way we’d be able to walk all the way up because it sits atop a steep hill, but an hour later there we stood, taking in the views of the entire valley from above.

The hike began in the lower streets nestled between houses in Arco, and took us up to older walkways used for centuries to get up to the castle. As we walked, the pathways got steeper and the city smaller beneath us. It’s a beautiful hike, dotted with poppies, giant aloe plants, and trees with smooth wind-weathered bark leading up to the base of the castle.

climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_1 climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_10climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_2 climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_3

Castello di Arco was once a behemoth of a palace with 120 individual rooms. Built in the 12th century, it watched over the region under many different owners until 1982, when it was returned to the region as a historic site and opened to the public. Today it has been reduced to ruins, but is still one of the better-kept ruins around this region. Guests can enjoy a drink on the vast lawn overlooking the valley, or hike up a set of ancient marble stairs to the highest tower, which has vantage points that allowed sentries to keep watch for miles in the distance on all three exposed sides of the castle. It was a very windy day, but we had come so far and couldn’t resist going up to the top.

climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_5 climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_8 climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_7 climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_12

If only these ruins could talk. Having been around for almost a millennium, they’ve stood through so many of the world’s changes, changes that seem so important to mankind in the moment but that, when juxtaposed against the permanence of the mountains, seem so trivial. There’s so much history here in Italy, it’s such an incredible place.

climbing_to_castello_di_arco_italy_11signature 1


1 Comment

Meet the Rocket Scientists who are Reinventing the Heel

thesis_couture_rocket_scientist_stilettos_4

Who would’ve thought that, in the 40-billion dollar (read: gargantuan) fashion industry, it would be rocket scientists and surgeons who are reinventing the high heel? That’s exactly what Dolly Singh, formerly at SpaceX, and her team of compassionate geniuses have set out to do at their LA-based startup, Thesis Couture.

thesis_couture_rocket_scientist_stilettos_3

“There is nobody driving innovation [in the fashion industry],” says Dolly. “In the world of fashion, I don’t think an R&D (research and development) entity actually exists.” But at Thesis Couture, the team is working hard to develop a stiletto that makes sense for today’s busy woman. Classically, heels have been made with a thin metal bar as the base. Thesis Couture’s heels will be based on advanced polymer structures which, unlike their metal counterparts, will allow the engineers to control the strength and stiffness of the base. Dolly says standing on a metal plate all day “is a physics problem,” and these scientists are out to solve it.

thesis_couture_rocket_scientist_stilettos_2thesis_couture_rocket_scientist_stilettos_1

The team consists of an astronaut, a rocket scientist, a software developer and a fashion scientist, as well as the more expected orthopedist, creative director, fabricator, operator and of course, Dolly herself. It is this incredible synergy of industries that makes Thesis Couture a unique breed of fashion house, one I hope we’ll be seeing more of as the lines between technology and classic industries blurs ever more.

signature 1

Photo and quote credit to Bloomberg Business.


Leave a comment

Nourishment Delivered to Your Door – Nourish Curated Wellness

nourish_box_02

This morning I received in the mail my very first Nourish box, and was so excited I had to write about it right away! Nourish Curated Wellness is a Halifax-based subcription box program that serves up delicious snacks and food items curated by two local nutritionists, Stephanie McWilliams and Emily Bush. The quarterly boxes, which ship in January, April, July and October, contain nourishing ingredients and snacks that promote a healthy body and mind.

Here’s a look at what’s in the April box:

nourish_box_april_3

Three Farmers roasted chickpeas // squeeze packs of pecan and walnut butter

nourish_box_april_1

jade pearl rice ramen // camelina oil // coconut milk

nourish_box_april_2

vega smoothie mix // nova greens superfood formula // nature’s aid skin nourishment gel // vitamin D3 capsules

Healthy living has become increasingly important to me over the last year, but there are so many different health-oriented products that sometimes it can be hard to discover what you like. Nourish takes away the guesswork and provides you with a specially curated box of great wellness items, and even supports local by including products made locally in Nova Scotia including Nova Greens and Three Farmers. I won this box from a giveaway on my friend Kayla’s blog shortpresents.com, but I will likely be subscribing when the July box comes around! You can order your boxes for delivery or pickup on the Nourish Curated Wellness marketplace. Can’t wait to try these delectables!

signature 1


Leave a comment

ClassPass Review – One Membership, Hundreds of Fitness Classes

When I started university, I thought working out was “only for meatheads and gym rats,” and I really couldn’t stand going to the gym only to be leered at while standing in a stanky room filled mostly with guys. This image of the gym deterred me from working out for a long time, but when I started dancing again I realized that taking fitness classes is a way to avoid the unpleasantness of the gym but still get that regimented workout experience. The problem is finding a class you can take frequently enough that you get the results you want, but that is not so repetitive that it only targets certain muscle groups. ClassPass has a unique answer to this problem: one membership that gets you into hundreds of studios in your city.

toronto-classpass

To celebrate the launch of ClassPass in Toronto, they gave me a one-month subscription to ClassPass so I could get a feel for the service and try out some studios around the city. Here’s how it works. For C$99 a month, ClassPass members get unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. Members can take as many classes as they want in a month, but can only visit each studio up to 3 times per monthly membership cycle. ClassPass is not so great for people who get attached to a studio or one particular workout, but it is fantastic for those of us who enjoy variety and want to try weird classes – like “Twerkout,” which is apparently a thing at Brass Vixens studio in Toronto.

During my free month I went to a couple of classes, and I found the experience went a lot smoother than I expected. The ClassPass website is extraordinarily well designed, with all the information you could want about the studios available before you even realize you need it. You can search for classes by date, time, location, or activity, and maps of each studio are conveniently populated with each result. Once you select a class it appears in your dashboard, where you can manage your reservations and keep track of your favourite studios.

classpass_toronto_review_fitness_1 classpass_toronto_review_fitness_3 classpass_toronto_review_fitness_2

It really is a smooth user experience, and I was pleased to find that the ease of use carried over to the actual classes as well. Each time I went to a studio the instructor was expecting me and welcomed me into class without any awkwardness or confusion, even when everyone else in the class was clearly a regular. In most cases the studios emailed ahead of time as well. Overall I was very happy with my month of ClassPass and, if I wasn’t going back to Halifax this week, I would strongly consider renewing my subscription.

signature 1


5 Comments

Officially Bicoastal – An Exciting Announcement!

sage_microsoft_campus_2

I am so excited to announce that, as of next week, I will be starting my new position as a Content Developer at Microsoft! I have had an incredible year and a half as a Technical Evangelist, working with talented people to bring Microsoft’s technologies out to thousands of developers, professional and aspiring, across the world. As my internship comes to an end, I am thrilled to make this transition to a full time employee at Microsoft, reporting directly to a great manager in Redmond, Washington. In my new role I will be working in LeX, Microsoft’s Learning Experience, the team behind developing deep technical training for Microsoft technologies.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Developer Experience and Evangelism team at Microsoft Canada during my internships. Over the last year and a half this team has had such a positive impact on my life, and has really been there for me through some tough times. I’ve found mentors, friends, workout buddies, teachers and more, and I feel so fortunate to have learned and laughed with this family of incredible people.

I’ve always recognized the importance of choosing a company that feels right, that you wholeheartedly believe in, and that you can be proud to build a career at; and for me, Microsoft is absolutely that place. I am honoured to be accepting this position while I am still in school, and over the next year I will be working remotely from Halifax, Nova Scotia as I finish my degree at Dalhousie University. It will be quite an adventure to work on the west coast while living on the east coast, and you can be sure I’ll continue writing about my experiences here on Trendy Techie!

Thank you to all of you who have supported me during my adventures and who have been with me since the beginning – I hope you continue to share these experiences with me as I open this new chapter of my career.

signature 1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,494 other followers