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the it lists – fashion & trend blog | July 4, 2015

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About shelley



Shelley Mantei founded, an trend and lifestyle blogs to save time, money and energy for women wanting help to define their personal beauty, life and fashion style. My eclectic group of fashionista gal pals are constantly dolling out their favorite tips and trends. I wanted a forum where these gems could be shared and new ones could be gained. While being the main contributor to The It Lists, I also enjoys a career in public relations. I call home: Vancouver, BC Canada (and have a huge travel bug). And last, but not least I'm a shoe junkie!

Posts By shelley

Spring Clean 2015 – New Tunes

June 30, 2015 |

spring clean 2015 picMy #SPRINGCLEAN 2015 #playlist “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life!”

First Toronto said this is the worst winter in years, now I keep hearing that about this summer. So I thought I’d share the playlist I made this past spring to do a reboot and wish for some hot weather.

This annual playlist is a collection of fave new tunes making me shake & wiggle around the house, do a little ‘spring’ cleaning, BBQ or roadtrip.

She Is Back! The It Lists Returns

June 23, 2015 |

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.11.22 PMDid you miss me? I missed you.

This last year has been a hard journey – I closed my company, switched careers, left most of my friends, and moved across the country to change up life to work in the world of comic con (pop culture conventions – you know like what Entourage’s Drama does with his Viking Quest character).

As much as it’s my passion blogging about fashion, trends and all things “it” – it’s not as easy as you think. For over eight years I shared with you weekly, but with the crazy, crazy demands of a crazy job it just became too much.

Fast forward through the fun, wacky and bizarre (I’ve got some great tales from the Green Room), and sadly those became over shadowed by some crappy bosses & work I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And I realized I was missing out on a lot of life and why I made Toronto my new home.

So today all the paperwork is done #WINNING and it’s time to start enjoying Toronto. Ready to follow my next adventures?!

Fix “it” Roots Concealer – Rita Hazan

December 11, 2013 |

Roots Fix! A revolutionary new aerosol spray for temporarily covering roots (even gray roots) quickly and easily – that’s what I scored with Rita Hazan Root Concealer.

I’ve been away from my stylist in Vancouver for 2.5 months and while I might not be homesick my roots are. And a few little gray spurts just kill a look. So happy on a Bloor Street visit to Sephora I found this instore.

Master colorist, Rita Hazan, spent over three years in her 5th Avenue NY salon solving the biggest problem for every woman who colors her hair—how to cover up roots, especially those roots that start to come in just a few weeks after permanent color is applied. The paraben-free formula dries in seconds and is h2o-resistant, but effortlessly washes out with shampoo.

This little spray is designed to temporarily cover gray and any root growth with just one quick spray. The pinpoint actuator delivers the product in a light steady stream exactly where needed and nowhere else. It’s fast drying and stays put until you shampoo it out.

Opt for a single of five shades, spray your roots, and go.


Taste “it” Parlour Adds New Menu

December 2, 2013 |

On a shorter visit to Toronto this summer Parlour quickly became my favourite lounge. A great crowd, eclectic room that reminds me of Hotel Costes, always a fun DJ to stir up the room and the little dance floor, and an outdoor courtyard – and when Toronto can be a bit of a concrete jungle it’s an oasis in the heart of the city.

Parlour has been an evening go to spot for ‘those in the know’ for two years and its next evolution is to become a cozy dinner get away. I was joined by UK partner-in-socializing, Jeff Stuit (Waverton), to do a Tasting Teaser of the New Menu.

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Quinoa Canoes – Belgian endive, marinated vegetables, honey Dijon vinaigrette.

  • She: They’re just plain fun. And if you were on a date they’re easy sharing. No mess.
  • He: It was even better without the honey Dijon vinaigrette. Cleaner individual flavours that weren’t as overwhelmed by the sweetness.

Beef Tartare – Dijon mustard, truffle aioli, cornichon

  • She: The best part is that there is actual truffle in it, not just oil.
  • He: It got the thumbs up, but he was occupied by the meat balls.

Chicken Empanades – glazed chic

  • She: These were my favorite, with the tartare a close second.
  • He: Fresh, spicy, and uplifting. The chimichurri adds authentic flair.

Meatballs – beef/lamb/or vegan – pasilla pepper, infused olive oil

  • She: I was too busy polishing off the tartare. What he said.
  • He: Meatballs have a touch of sweet from the caramelized onions and make a great treat with cocktails.

And we both devoured the Cheese & Charcuterie Board. Maybe it was the house pickled grapes, or maybe the truffle honey. As for yummy cheese selections ask if they are serving the Saint-Paulin – it’s a soft cheese made by Trappist monk’s who apparently know what they’re doing. That sealed the deal that we’ll be back for more than just cocktails!
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About Chef Frank Ghanavati  
Turkish native Chef Frank Ghanavati studied at George Brown College, and after completing a prestigious apprenticeship at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel continued his global culinary education at Alta Societa in Italy, Nega Culinary School in Thailand, CESSA Universidad in Mexico, and Sunrise Global Chef Academy in Singapore.  Frank honed his skills in high profile kitchens around the world, including the Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore, Hilton Hotels in Mexico City and Burnaby BC, and The Royal Bank of Canada Executive Dining Room in Toronto before finding a home with the Vitale brothers at Parlour.

Get Your Veil Beanie On

November 27, 2013 |

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.10.57 PMStarting to get chilly! Fall’s go-to chapeau: the Veil Beanie! It’s got ease, overall style, and glamour quotient.

Knitted, ribbed, printed, and more…get your veil beanie on. Veils started popping up in plain day courtesy of Jil Sander‘s 2012 collection at Fashion Week. Today – in 2013 -2014 Fall/Winter – the veiled beanies are a top trend because the sporty/comfy style of a beanie is a perfect marriage with the posh, mysterious elegant way of a sheer veil.

One of my faves right now is this BCBGeneration Winter Veil Beanie.

P.S. There are a ton of DIY ideas out there (like this one).


Crystal Strap “it” Kaiio

November 26, 2013 |

This is for all my girls who really hate those tops and dresses that make it almost impossible to hide our bra straps. Well designer Christine Ko brilliantly devised a Kaiio a sparkly solution–gorgeous crystal bra straps you won’t want to hide!

Kaiio offers gorgeous one-of-a-kind crystal straps that replace traditional bra straps and become the perfect accessory to add a little sparkle to your Holiday Season.

Three years ago, Christine Ko, founder of Kaiio, made her first crystal jeweled strap solely to give her work uniform a little something extra. After numerous compliments and customers asking to buy her pieces she became determined to launch her own company to share her sparkle with the rest of the world. In August 2013, Christine Ko and Quinton Van Der Burgh partnered to create a dazzling line of crystal jeweled straps known as Kaiio.  From humble beginnings, Kaiio was destined to be the finishing touch to the little black dress.

“There’s no such thing as too much sparkle…it gives women the option to add a wow factor to a little black dress or a hint of glam to a blouse and jeans.” Designer, Christine Ko says.

With the straps retailing between $300-$700 and rings for $85, Kaiio looks and feels as luxurious as a diamond piece that doesn’t cost the high precious stone price.
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Power “it” To Go – iPhone Portable Charger

November 25, 2013 |

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 8.28.05 AMThe iGekko Power2Go Original is a portable charging unit that allows you to charge your electronics wherever you are, without the need for an outlet. For me it’s been my iPhone must have.

As an entertainment & lifestyle publicist this came in so handy when running laps working at two of our outdoor music festivals (life saver in between interviews!). And now as a blogger exploring Toronto and hopping from event to event I can’t be without power on my iPhone to snap pics for my blog posts.

Simply charge the Power2Go overnight or when you are at the office and bring it with you in your purse, pocket or bag. When you catch yourself running out of battery power on your smart phone, tablet, e-reader, iPod or any other device, simply plug the device into the Power2Go using the USB cord and give yourself a boost.

Once charged up it offers approximately 3 hours of iPhone charge time, enough to give most smartphones between 1 to 1.5 full charges. One of my favorite things about this model is the LED flashlight and battery life indicators so you know when it is running out of juice.


enRoute Top New Restaurants 2013

November 18, 2013 |

Late last month Air Canada’s enRoute magazine announced its picks for Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013. And I’m glad they waited until my Toronto rounds to celebrate them at the Storys Building.

One of my fave Toronto tour guides, Dave Forde (, and I made the rounds of nibbles from the winners. And I was tickled to see the Vancouver kudos towards Pidgin, Acorn, and the People’s Choice Winner: Vij’s Railway Express.

DSC00096The real treat came by bumping into Jason Apple from Gourmet Syndicate, the company behind the day-to-day running of (and cooking at!) Vij’s Railway Express. A friendly face from my other home, chai, and (literally) a handful of Vij’s yum.

I’ve already visited Electric Mud BBQ and sampled the 3 hour roasted pig tails and grits. So next up Bar Isabel and Shoto!

The Top 10 Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013 in order are:

1. Bar Isabel, Toronto: “looks, feels and tastes vaguely Castilian but does far more than ape a menu straight out of Madrid.”

2. Shoto, Toronto: “a storybook of a tasting menu, with all the typical annoying bits – the repetition of ingredients, the showy caprice, the monotonous pacing – smartly edited out.”

3. Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt’s Arm, Nfld. and Labrador: “There’s a terrific survivalist spirit bursting out of Chef McDonald’s kitchen, where most everything is made from scratch.”

4. Supply and Demand, Ottawa: “ It’s not supposed to be this easy for a first-timer … you notice all the little things that rookies Steve and Jennifer Wall are getting so right.”

5. Pidgin, Vancouver: “The cuisine of Winnipeg-born Chef Ono, who ran restaurants in Beijing and Hong Kong, draws from multiple languages.”

6. Carino Japanese Bistro, Calgary: “a Japanese-Italian wine bar that defies logic in the most wonderful ways.”

7. Maison Publique, Montreal: “A mere 250 years after the Treaty of Paris, cooking Anglo food in Montreal is cool again.”

8. Le Bouchon du Pied Bleu, Quebec City: “one of the most convivial, playful, unabashedly fun dining experiences I’ve had anywhere in North America.”

9. The Acorn, Vancouver: “That the food is meatless is almost beside the point unless you’re a foodie vegetarian who’s long hankered for a compromise-free night on the town.”

10. Electric Mud, Toronto: “Electric Mud is a twisted hymn to the American South.”

People’s Choice Award
Vij’s Railway Express – a mobile restaurant inspired by an Indian rail carriage with a menu that explores regional flavours and dishes of India. Yes, the food truck is the brain child of Vikram Vij. After some ingenious social media efforts and a Bollywood-style flash mob, Vij’s Railway Express captured the vote.

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Pink Blush Morganite “it”

November 17, 2013 |

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 11.18.53 PMForget diamonds.   Our new rock is this rose-pink jewel which is apparently cousin of the emerald.  Chalk this one up to the light pink everywhere trend. So why not on our fingers too?

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 11.19.15 PMLike wearing a pale pink lipstick, a morganite ring is a neutral enough color to accommodate almost any fashion choice. The morganite also boasts a sweet symbolism behind it with some claiming that the gemstone helps inspire and maintain love.

Not ready to give up diamonds? Harper’s Bazaar featured Tiffany’s morganite and diamonds dangler earrings.

Tip: this pink blush gem is especially on trend set in rose gold.

50 Most Influential People of Toronto 2013

November 12, 2013 |

Toronto Life magazine launched the December issue and revealed the “50 Most Influential People of Toronto.” The Ritz-Carlton Toronto was a room full of many of the listed and supporters dressed to impress.

The magazine cover is graced by the controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair. Among the other high profile players in Toronto includes rapper Drake,’s Julian Brass, (proud to say ex-Vancouverite) Elaine “Lainey” Lui, nightlife mogul Charles Khabouth, TTC boss Andy Byford, and TIFF’s Cameron Bailey, and the Loblaw’s Galen Weston. 

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A few chuckles around the room when Toronto Life Editor, Sarah Fulford admitted the most influential list was selected in a “drunken stupor.” Which is the latest buzz term following Toronto’s embarrassing Mayor excuse for his alleged crack cocaine experience.

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Image [source]

Color “it” Pale Pink Trend

October 28, 2013 |

Maybe it’s the summers Kool-Aid stained locks that has inspired the fall trend of pale pink. No matter, pale pink is everywhere this fall 2013.

To move them from last season to fall simply rough the hues of pink up with darker pairings. Like black booties, dark denim and pops of grey or navy, and black patterns. For accessorizing hands down test drive pale pink with rose gold (another hot trend this fall/winter).

Go girly, neat, and feminine, maybe a little cute blushing to embrace your inner girl.

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Images [Source – Elle; Source – Stylecaster]

18,980 Good Hair Days – Mary Tripi

October 17, 2013 |
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Our tour guide and partner in crime, publicist Shauna Ireland (right).

Whirlwind move to Toronto, but we’re back! The It Lists’ Editor will be reporting from the East Coast for the remainder of the year. Landed just in time for pre-Fashion Week events.

First up we hit the Private World of Mary Tripi and their launch of the new Yorkville boutique.

18,980 good hair days and counting. Mary Tripi has been in the business since 1969 and she’s still on trend. Her name transcends decades of fashion and beauty as a pioneer and leader in the industry…she is known for her uncompromising style and extensive knowledge in trend forecasting and innovation in hair.

The Private World of Mary Tripi has created a sanctuary to explore and evolve individual style. The talented Fiore and Greco Design and NK Design & Co have created the newest incarnation of The Private World of Mary Tripi and this evolution of the salon also includes the launch of make-up and beauty studio SB890.

Next up we’ll be test driving the Davines goodie bag product!

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