Stepping outside the box… Together.

When I decided I wanted to get serious with my photos on Instagram and my blog, I did not have the freedom to simply call up a professional photographer whenever I was in the mood for photos (maybe one day if I win the lottery). Luckily, Alex (my soulmate) suggested we buy our own camera so he could learn how to take photos decent enough to pass my approval to post on my socials.

Because we were always stuck on opposite sides of one lens, there was never a possibility to have a proper photo taken together, unless you count the really awkward self timer ones which are not my favorite.

Then one day we were asked to do a photoshoot TOGETHER for an optical magazine called ‘Optik Magazine’ by the amazing editor Sheena Taff (@optician.about.town).

The process took about 3 hours for the shoot alone. My biggest fear during the shoot was that after taking all this time and effort the photos wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted. I was scared that I kept making dumb faces and awkward poses.

I could not have been more wrong. After receiving the photos I was amazed at how talented our photographer was. She caught the perfect shots during our silly moments and found the best angles during out still shots.

These photos will definitely be treasured and remembered as something fun and special that we got to experience for the first time together ❤

Cooler weather won’t stop me from bringing on the heat

his year Vancouver missed that one week of crisp sunny Autumn and instead got bombarded with a month’s worth of rain for the first two weeks of September. Luckily, I spent my last few days of summer in some fall inspired outfits!

🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

I found this beautiful 100% wool hat at Aritzia on Granville and thought it would be the perfect POP of color to brighten any neutral outfit.

And OF COURSE I had to pull out my favorite Fall frame from last year by Andy Wolf Eyewear with Transitions Lenses that tint into the perfect Emerald shade every time.

Keeping my outfits a bit on the spicy side this
year. Rainfalls have definitely been a barrier for my outfits in previous years, so pairing my outfit with something that can cover me up without taking away from the whole look is ideal.

I love having the cardigan and my frames be the
same shade, because if I chose to take off one or the other I would still have color somewhere in my outfit.

PS: How gorgeous are the sunset amber style color lenses by Transitions Lenses?!?

This final outfit I have been DYING to take photos in. I’ve
owned this slip dress FOREVER now and was always too shy to wear it by itself.
Until finally I found some inspo while browsing through the gram and decided it
would be perfect with a white mock-neck sweater underneath!

Like a fairytale

I am OBSESSED with this whole balloon/bubble sleeve trend going on right now. So much that I literally bought tons of shirts and dresses with that style of sleeve. My favorite one though is this incredibly cute baby blue dress:

The color just makes me feel like I’m Cinderella meets Alice in Wonderland. It’s made from 100% cotton so it’s soft to the touch and makes wearing it all day very comfortable. It’s the perfect “short” length yet still work appropriate which means I can enjoy it twice as much!

I paired it with my white double strap crocodile textured mules and of course, the Sapphire Transitions Style color lenses. The frame that holds these beautiful lenses is from Etnia Barcelona (one of my favorite go to frame brands). The cream color of the frame tied in nicely with the lightness of my shoes.

Make sure to subscribe to my blog for more outfit ideas every week! 💕

You can also head over to my Instagram @elenaczarina where you can find even more styled photos and frame ideas on my feed and stories!

New to glasses? 6 things to keep in mind when picking out your first pair!

1. Know which lenses you’ll need. Now, I don’t mean you have to know all the techy ophthalmic terms (leave that to the Opticians) before you can even enter an optical store but at least know a few things so you are not being sold something you don’t really need, or worse, sold something that’s missing things that you really need! I recommend doing some research on the following things: Lens Index (thickness), Coatings (anti-reflective, blue-light), Lens styles (anti-fatigue, progressive, bi-focal).

2. Don’t overthink it! Realistically you should be getting new glasses every two years, so don’t get hung up on finding the one “perfect pair” because as you get to wear them you will always find something that can be better about them (but that’s a thought for the future pair). For now just make sure the frames you choose are right for your face, in terms of bridge fit and comfort.

3. Comfort. This is more of a personal preference but depending on frame material and how it’s made, it can affect the comfort if you are going to be wearing it all day long. This is why I recommend to not be shy and try on different styles of frames while you are in the store. Walk around with a thicker acetate frame and then compare it to perhaps a titanium lightweight one. If you like a heavier look then the frame will most likely weigh a little more and vice versa. Alternatively, you can ask you Optician to find you something in between!

4. Color matters… to most people. Think about your wardrobe at home not just what you are wearing while picking out your frames. Maybe even think ahead and try to wear something neutral! Really pay attention to your hair, eye, and skin color as well and see what frames compliment your coloring. I love to bring color not only into my frames but my lenses as well. Transitions lenses come in a variety of different color options and really bring your look to life when exposed to UV.

5. Be ready for some lifestyle adjustments. I don’t mean to scare anyone but being a person who got their first pair of glasses at 19, there is definitely a small adjustment period. You’ll maybe come to find that you are a bit more dependant on your glasses because they allow you to see to your full potential. Don’t let that worry you because wearing glasses will not make your vision weaker! They are a support tool for your eyes and they reduce strain and help them relax. Not wearing them can do more bad than good so keep them on you and handy everywhere you go!

6. Know how to take care of your new glasses! Glasses are exposed to a lot of dirt throughout the day. Your skins sweat and oils and all the dust and particles from the outside world are always coming into contact with your glasses and if not properly cleaned everyday it can cause bacteria and mold buildup (especially if you have nose pads) as well as scratched lenses. Use a microfibre cloth to buff your lenses when you’re out and when you get home run them under cool running water and rub a drop of mild dish soap on the lenses to get the days dirt right off.

NEVER use hot water on your lenses, leave the glasses in hot areas such as the car, shower, hot tub, oven area…etc.

Click on my Instagram icon below to see how I like to style my frames!

Enhance your Instagram’s visual interest with Prints and Patterns!

I’m always trying to enhance the visual appearance of my photos, whether it’s creating a certain theme or filter, I love the idea of adding some artistic taste to my feed. I find that when you take a bold pattern or print and apply it properly to your outfit, it draws more attention to a photo. And as prints and patterns are becoming more and more popular, having that ability to style some of your outfits with a distinct pattern creates a more interesting and engaging platform for your viewers.

You don’t have to be a style genius to be able to incorporate a stand-out print into your outfit. Just remember one thing when playing with prints and patterns: DO NOT OVER-DO IT!

If you are new to the world of prints and patterns (like me) my best suggestion would be to stick with ONE patterned piece and have the rest of your outfit fairly neutral to avoid clashing.

For this outfit, I paired these bold geometric-print, high-waist, wide-leg pants with a neutral navy blue spaghetti strap bodysuit and plain black leather booties. To finish off the look I added my cream Etnia Barcelona geometric frames with Sapphire Transitions Style coloured lenses, which matched the navy tones in the top and pants and really pulled the whole outfit together.

TOMS Summer Sunnies OOTD

For a girl who loves pink I was shocked to realize that I only have ONE pink pair of sunglasses. Maybe there’s a reason for that though: They’re the only pink sunglasses I need. I’m a strong believer in ‘never say never’ but these babies have carried me through two summers without making me feel incomplete with my sunglass collection.

I was feeling extra summery the other day and decided to grab my only pink pair of sunnies by TOMS and pair them with a red stiped tube dress with a cute bow detail on the front. Because the dress is so simple the wide brimmed straw hat and espadrille platform shoes added a more beachy vibe to it.

All set for my next vacay 😉

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Instagram here!

The NEW Gen8 Transitions Lenses

I have Transitions Lenses in every pair of glasses that I own, I honestly think I would feel naked without them. It has become a habit of mine to co-ordinate my outfits with the colours of the frame and lenses together. It’s one more thing that makes picking outfits so much more fun!

Darken 30% faster, even darker

Some peoples complaint about the previous generation was that they did not turn dark quick enough when the wearer stepped outside into direct blinding sunlight. Transitions claims that the Gen8 lenses are meant to darken quicker. Based on my findings and comparing them to my Signature 7 transitions lenses, I would say they in fact do turn darker quicker if you are in the direct sunlight and are slightly darker.

Fades back 3 minutes faster!

Now this would have to be the most asked question I get from my patients:

“How fast will they fade back to all the way clear?”

I always give mine 3-6 minutes to turn back to all the way clear depending on how dark they were before I stepped inside, but the transition is so smooth I don’t even notice it happening. I compared both generations of transitions lenses, the new and last years, and the new one was visibly quicker than the old.

Gen8: From completely dark to clear: approx. 4 minutes 30 seconds

Signature 7s: From completely dark to clear: approx. 7 minutes 30 seconds

Still completely clear indoors

Transitions Gen8, although darker outdoors, are still completely clear indoors. Now that’s impressive!

I paired my brand new Gen8 brown lenses in a teal cats eye frame with a simple little black summer dress and white snakeskin textured mules. I really wanted to contrast the dress with brighter tones on the top and bottom, but at the same time really draw attention to the frame and lenses. A very quick and simple look!

Top 3 Summer Frame Favorites

Having accumulated so many frames throughout a couple years, I finally have enough to be able to create season favorites.

I have put out my summer most worn frames into my favorite Oyobox so that they are ready to be matched with my outfit every summer morning.

Because I have so many frames (even within those season bunches) I have picked my TOP THREE most worn frames this summer, and I want to share with you why I love them so much!

1 Etnia Barcelona

I get new frames quite often and this is one of my most recent finds. A geometric shaped frame made by Etnia Barcelona. It has a thin profile, made of metal that has been painted in a soft off white color. I love matching it with any brighter and more colorful outfit since it won’t clash with the majority of tones in my summer closet.

Dress: handmade by my wonderful mum

2: Prodesign Denmark

I LOVE this Prodesign exaggerated cat’s eye sunglass frame for many reasons:

  1. It’s black so it goes with pretty much anything
  2. The shape can make any casual outfit look sassy
  3. It’s such a comfortable fit (at least for me)
  4. The backside anti reflective coating on these sunglasses make me gravitate more to them because it doesn’t let light reflect into my eyes, causing discomfort (this is especially important when I’m driving so I don’t get distracted)

@UBC in Vancouver enjoying the mini falls

3: Andy Wolf

Finally, my very first frame from Andy Wolf Eyewear. This frame has been my ultimate go to frame all summer for two big reasons.

I love the shape and color of it. It goes with everything and I always receive so many compliments whenever I go out in this frame no matter what outfit I’m wearing, it’s always the star of the show.

The second reason is not the frame but the lenses in the frame. They are the Transitions XtrActive lenses in graphite green. They are more light sensitive and turn darker than regular Transitions which makes them perfect for sunny days.

Shirt from H&M, Pearl clip from Amazon

How my FIRST year of Opticianry school went

In order for me to tell you how my first year of Opticianry school went, I have to tell you how and why I got into it in the first place.

I can’t deny that my first few weeks working at an optical shop weren’t completely life changing. Hundreds of frames to look at and try on, each one different from the rest. I used to think “glasses are glasses and they all pretty much look the same right?”. But I quickly learned that there are endless possibilities with glasses and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. I started to crave trying on new styles and I could not wait to see all the new colors that came out with each collection. Not only did I greatly enjoy finding frames for myself. I loved watching the Opticians at the store finding great frames for their patients. It was so satisfying hearing how excited the customers were to show off their new glasses to everyone.

That brings me to listing off some of the highlights and lowlights of my first year at Opticianry school!

Please note this is strictly my personal opinion based on the school I went to

1. School time-line

My program at Douglas College in Vancouver consists of two years. The first year is focused on glasses and lensometry and the second year consists of contact lenses and eye anatomy.

I quite enjoy the way they split the two years up because it really helps keep the focus on glasses and contacts separately and not mix/confuse the two together.

The downside to that I will have to say is in order for one to write the NACOR glasses exam they must complete both years at the College. This means you will go a full year without touching a lensometer unless you’re lucky enough to get the practice at your job/practicum.

2. The teachers

I believe the teachers do need a bit of a boost in terms of being able to keep the students motivated. I was lucky enough to have already went into the program with plenty of motivation from my work. But I can’t say the same for the other students there. Being in such a small program I would have really hoped for more inspiring teachers, not to say some of them weren’t, but it would have made a world of a difference if they were all on the same page.

3. Level of difficulty

It was not difficult getting into the program. As long as you have a high school degree with decent grades, you’re in! They give plenty of handouts and I mean PLENTY. Just read them and study them and you’re solid.

I’m so thankful one of last years students advised me not to buy the textbooks because when I asked my classmates if they really needed the books they all said they used one page from one of the 3-4 textbooks. Mind you, all together they are worth about $500.00 and they were still wrapped in plastic, untouched. What a waste?

So my suggestion: if you’re going into this program don’t buy the books, just read all the handouts you are given and you will be able to pass with flying colors. Trust me.

I enjoyed my first year because I learned a lot from putting my school work by applying it to my job. If it weren’t for where I work I don’t think I would have been as motivated as I am now. That being said it was good experience and I’m excited to see what year 2 in contact lenses will bring me!

My Spring 2019 Outfit Methods: Utilize the Most out of your Wardrobe!


My leading style tip for this Spring of 2019 will be LAYERS.

Living in Vancouver has it’s ups and downs; the breathtaking views and the appalling cost of living are some very familiar facts to any Vancouverite. Another well known fact: The bi-polar weather.

Throughout my 14 years of living here I have only recently gotten into the habit of layering my outfits. I am either too cold in the morning on my way to work, or I’m too hot near the end of the day if I don’t prepare accordingly. So let me share some of my tips for looking fashionable yet comfortable for this years Spring days!

Cover photo: Blazer from Dynamite, Sparkle top from Garage, High-waisted pants from Forever21, Shoes from Nine-West, Glasses by Andy Wolf with Transitions lenses in Emerald

This first outfit is terrific for a cocktail party… day or night. Wear the blazer if it gets a little chilly outside, keep it off and you’ll still have a complete outfit with the sparkle detailed top.
The peep-toe block heels are the way to go if you are spending more time standing up. They are also more geared towards spring time because even though they are black, due to the open detailing around the ankles and in the front they express a more edgy yet light look.

Blazer was thrifted, Tank top from Dynamite, Pants from H&M, Shoes from Le Chateau, Necklace from Reitmans, Glasses Made by Etnia Barcelona with Transitions Lenses in Sapphire

This outfit above has got to be my most favorite combination for this Spring of 2019 yet. Not because of the color combination or the patterns, but because of its convenience in different weather types and the ability to customize however makes you satisfied.

Jacket from Dynamite, Purse from Michael Kors

I started out this day wearing a double-breasted coat with a belt tie. It conserved my body temperature in the morning when I was just starting my day and the city had not yet warmed.
Although the coat was a little more weighted, my pointy pumps softened the overall look.


As the day got warmer I was able to lose the heavier jacket and reveal a blue blazer (which matched my Sapphire Transitions Lenses) with stripes on the inside which happened to be coordinating with my striped white pants! (totally not planned…) The blazer can be worn two ways: 1) As a traditional blazer should be worn 2) Hung around both shoulders to give a cape-like effect.

Watch by Movado

The main reason I chose striped pants rather than plain white pants is because without the blazer this is a whole other look on its own due to the slight differences between the tank-top and pants.
Accessorize your look with a simple necklace, a watch and some amazing glasses!

Purse by Kate Spade

Even subtly matching your accessories can make a big difference in your overall look and help it look more clean and put together.

Faux leather jacket from Dynamite, Blouse top from Shein, Jeans from Forever21, Shoes from nine-west
Glasses by Andy Wolf with Transitions Lenses in Emerald, Necklace from Aldo

Here are a few more examples above of more casual outfits that are perfect for spring considering the comprisal of the light pink from the blouse and necklace with the earthy tones of the frame. Also showing how pairing this outfit with a leather jacket can be of use for a more cooler time of day during Spring.

Casual Spring time outfit using layers to add depth and maybe even warmth throughout the day. The use of the subtle accessories and pink tones brings a more feminine vibe to this look.
Matching colors creates a more clean and collected finish to this look. Still casual with the ripped jeans but a little more dressed up with the netted block heels.

Don’t forget your accessories 😉