Monday, April 30, 2012

Reading Blogs + New Shoes

It's a quarter to one on a Saturday night and I've been perusing blogs for a solid hour or more.  What is it about peering into someone else's life that is just so fascinating?  And discovering a new blog you immediately 'click' with?  Nothing compares. 

The thing I love about blogging and reading blogs is that (1) it's totally, 100% free, (2) it's enjoyable and gives you a sense of 'feel good' feelings, and (3) it's something to do (to kill time, to enjoy your solo time, or whatever you fancy).

Tonight I have been reading everything from vegan raw cookie dough (I'm not vegan), favourite cleaning products and tips (and tricks), how sliding down a playground slide with a child in your lap can cause a broken leg (to the child.  I don't have kids, btw), marriage+sex, how to style rubber boots with outfits and more.  
I love the vast variety of blogs that attract my attention and although I love fashion, I think I love even more a more 'lifestyle' approach to blogging because it feels like you get to know the person on various levels as opposed to just their style.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love carefully pouring over photos of stylish dressers alike, being inspired and in awe at times too, but I love more than just that.  Know what I mean?

ps - those shoes up there have absolutely nothing to do with this post except I purchased them on the weekend and am completely obsessed (as that tends to come with the territory of purchasing new shoes).  I kind of passed them by when I was looking at the shoes in the store and grabbed another pair to try on.  When I asked the girl to get my size, I noticed she was wearing the above shoes and they just looked so. cute. on. so I asked her to grab my size in those as well, what the heck!  I loved them but choked a bit on the price so put them on hold.  After a sleepless night (kidding.  sort of.) I decided they needed to be mine and went back.  I'm making tassels my thing.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Bad Reaction

Outfit deets:
* Old Navy button down that I've had for years.  The last time I wore it was with dark denim (flared this time), no cami underneath and the same belt!  Sub-concious inspiration?  Also seen with a leopard skirt and the white/grey striped version.
* Smart set cami.
* Sirens jeans which I don't think I've blogged before but do wear them frequently.
* Aldo wedges which I picked up last fall and am so glad I did because they are chic, comfy and easy to walk in.  Plus I love pairing them with jeans.
* Accessories: H&M belt & thick bangle, Old Navy bangle, Pandora bracelet & Suzy rings.

I am a bad reactor.  

If someone does something I don't like, namely someone close to me, I might react badly.

I like to be in control.  You can't always be in control.  Someone who likes to be in control but isn't can sometimes have a bad reaction.  


I have discussed negative qualities on my blog before; we all have them, it's inevitable, but it's how we handle those traits.

I had an interesting discussion with my parents last weekend about reactions.  Without going into too much detail, my Dad (who I consider one of the most laid-back people I know) offered up some advice on this topic.  Now, before I spill the words of wisdom, you must know that this is a very simple piece of advice, but very difficult to execute:

Don't react.

That's it!  That's it?  Yes, that's it.  Simple and effective, but certainly not easy.  

A counselor once told me when you are put into a situation where you emotions are getting the best of you, your brain immediately turns to 'fight or flight'.  If you take the simple step of taking a deep breath in through the nose and a big exhale through the mouth, the two options (fight or flight) will dissapate and you will be able to more calmly react.

So with those two words of advice, I have been putting this to the test since Monday, and you know what?  It kind of works.  That's not to say I didn't want to errupt at times or fly off the handle (or actually did for that matter), but it did put a thought into me that I've never had before: don't react.

Try it for yourself and see if it works!

And one from Instagram (follow me):


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Instagram --> Followgram

If you don't know what Instagram is, you're likely living under a rock, and if you do know what it is, but don't have it, you likely don't own an iPhone, but wish you did (it's okay all you Blackberry users out there, you're allowed to wish for it, you can still be a die-hard bb user).

Instagram is the cool (free) app that lets you take photos or modify photos you already have by re-processing them with various (cool) filters.  It's also a mini-social network (or big one, since FB did just acquire them) where you can scope out others' photos, leave comments, 'like' photos, etc.

So what do you do if you can't get the app on your phone or want to check out someone's photos online instead?  Followgram!  It's a neat way to check out Instagram photos online, and without having the app.  I believe users have to sign up (which I did) to be on it, but it's free, and since I don't always blog my Instagram photos, it's another great way to share.

If you'd like, you can check out my Instagram photos.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Outfit deets:
* H&M sweater that I've had for a couple years but it was one of those items I didn't wear for a long time and now I wear it all the time.  Also seen here with my 'niece'.
* Smart Set cami (so basic and I own it in almost every colour of the rainbow as it works under just about everything).
* Target pants that I picked up in Florida.  Love love love these and they are super comfy.
* Sbicca wedges, also from my trip to Florida.
* Accessories: MK watch (which was a Christmas gift from my parents), A.Co Designs necklace, Suzy ring, Good Works leather wrap bracelet & Mexican bangle (brought two of these back, one for my sis and one for me; they are officially our 'Mexican sister bracelets').

And of course one from Instagram...


Monday, April 23, 2012

All Aboard the Monday Train

Outfit deets:
* Costa Blanca tweed-ish jacket that I've had for years.  Is a snug fit so I have to suck it in to close it, but I love the weight and colour.  I've worn it before with blue as well and a turtleneck under a dress.
* Joe Fresh dress (new!) that has a cool 'drapes/curtains' look and feel to it (also came in black and white).  The fabric is super heavyweight and the fit is kind of strange (roomy in the mid-section) but I liked the mod-ness of it, plus it has pockets.
* Bamboo otk boots that I have worn as my commute-boot all winter long and previously seen with jeans and a grey, thrifted jacket and also in a shopping post.
* Aldo wedges that can be worn with or without the ankle straps and that I have worn to death since getting them.  You've seen them with black skinnies (without the ankle strap), with denim and a leather jacket and with a pretty salsa dresss.  I also have them in brown seen here with layered tights and an olive ruffled skirt I love and with white skinnies.
* Accessories: H&M bangle, gifted square bangle, Pandora bracelet & Bay ring.

Welcome back Monday!

That is all.

Have  a great day!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Shopping in Florida: What I Didn't Buy

While in Florida I did quite a bit of shopping, but surprised myself by sticking to a fairly good budget.  I think I spent about $200 which made me feel like I got a fair amount of new stuff, but I didn't go overboard on the spending.  I took photos of many of the items I didn't buy so I could share with you all here:

1.  I tried this dress on in two colours and it was just 'meh'.  It was a little on the short side too, especially in the back (considering how covered up it is on top, this is something I would have wanted to wear to work but the shortness said otherwise).
2.  This is the first hi-low dress I've ever tried on and while it photographed well, I didn't like it (it was one-sleeved as well).
3.  This dress was a beautiful print but I'm kind of cinching it in the back, which you can't see; it was pretty paper-bag-ish on me. 

1.  Too nurse-ish and just awful all 'round.
2.  Billabong but too tight and not flattering.

1. & 2.  Calvin Klein and looking at these photos makes me regret not getting this dress, but at the same time, it just felt tight and restrictive.  I also opted for another turquoise dress instead.  In the end, my mom ended up purchasing this dress in red.

1.  I can't remember the brand (AnnTaylor? Talbots? Not sure..) but this dress looks so pretty and flirty, but in real life, I couldn't get it zipped up in the back.  Ha!
2.  Another case of cannot-zip-up.  This Jessica Simpson dress was girly and flirty but the fit was too small.

1.  This top if from Charlotte Russe and I loved the fit but didn't love the colour combo.
2.  This was a no-name type brand dress with optional pick-ups (meh) that I thought would be pretty layered under my white blazer... but, the straps were elastic and it just felt... dated.
3.  Really pretty Calvin Klein dress but was too big and there were no smaller sizes.

Charlotte Russe:
1.  I loved this top from CR but it didn't love me, it was a size XL and a large would have been a better option; sadly, this was the only on in the store.

TJ Maxx:
1.  Another Calvin Klein dress that was far too small... and kind of ugly.
2.  Max Studio dress with tiers: pretty and in a comfy jersey fabric (and look at that length!  Awesome for someone as tall as me) but was too big and was quite loose (although doesn't really look that way, it was).
3.  I can't remember the brand on this one, might have been Jessica Simpson but it was too tight, too short, too yuck.

1.  I was hoping this ivory lace mini dress would be like that F21 version everyone seems to have.  Nope.  No not at all.  Too big and the size down was too small.
2.  Pretty satin top with a key-hole in the front but just wasn't feeling it.

1.  I liked this thin-knit sweater but it was a size xs and while it didn't necessarily look it, it could have been flowy-er.  The shorts were cute but I already had a couple pairs of coloured denim shorts so I had to pick and choose.
2.  Wanted to love this peach sleeveless button down but hated it.  The pants were a different story and they stayed in my cart until the cash register, where I put them on hold and never went back.
3.  Same top as the first pic but a size small, which was better, but not good enough.  Same deal with the shorts: money doesn't grow on trees.  Haha.

1.  Super billowy button down.  When I say billowy, I mean massiveToo massive.
2.  Yawn, this coral top was nothing special.
3.  I debated on this black top but c'mon, I have a couple like it already so I passed.  And side note: there are those damn blue pants again.  See how much I liked them?

1.  This was an O'Neill top and I loved the detail on he back, and I was going to buy it but then put it back.  I'm not a huge red-top-kind-of-person and going bra-less is not an option.

1.  I loved this pale pink tiered top but it didn't love me... and it washed me out bad.
2.  Yet another Calvin Klein dress that was too small (see me stealthily holding the zipper in the back shut?).

Things you might like:
* Haul Video (Florida Purchases).


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Barre Method

Outfit deets:
* Cantas tee (local boutique) that I've had for a few years
* F21 skirt that I also have in blue/black
* Sbicca wedges that I picked up in Florida last month
* Bijoux Terner necklace, F21 bangle & (faux) Rolex

So I picked up a Groupon for a Barre Method class pass and went for the first time on Monday night.  I am still sore.  Soo sore. 

I consider myself to be in pretty good shape; I try to get to the gym several times a week, I run frequently and can run a mile or more without stopping, I always take the stairs, I will park far away to get in more steps and sometimes go for power walks on my lunch hour.  I'm by no means the fittest, leanest girl, but I do like to try and be healthy.  I figured the Barre class would be tough, but was looking forward to it. Let me just start by saying, this class is no walk in the park.  

Using your own body resistance, small hand weights, a ballet bar, a resistance band and a small ball is all you need for this kick-ass, one hour class.  It's a combination of small, controlled movements that don't ever seem to end.  When you're tired and ready to give up, the instructor pushes you to keep going for quite a bit longer and there are often no rest periods in between movements.  It's killer, but such a good work out.  By the end of it, I was sweating buckets (highly attractive) and my legs were shaking so bad (anyone familiar with the knee-cap shakes?) I thought they were going to give out on me.  

My ribs feel bruised.  I can barely walk down the stairs.  I'm hurting, but it's a good hurt!!  I highly encourage anyone to give one of these classes a try if you like to push yourself and try something new.  The class targets your core, thighs and butt, and hell-o, who doesn't want to target those areas?

This is a (spray) tan tat.  The most permanent thing to a tattoo that I likely will ever have.  Tattoos kind of scare me, for me.  I enjoy them on others but would you believe I actually have nightmares about getting a tattoo and being so remorseful I turn to hysterics?  Weird.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

Trying out Five Guys for the first time & la-huvvving it.  |  Friday night dinner out with beer.

Apartment city view.

Friday night's dinner:  1/2 Fish 'n Chips, 1/2 Burger

New trainers (from Marshalls).  I have been in dyer need of new running shoes for the gym, but have been putting it off (see: would rather spend money on heels).  I found these on the weekend, last pair, my size, and the perfect fit (plus they are neon, and I'm kind of loving that right now).  So I bit the bullet and forked out the cash.

New (reversible) dress from Marshalls.

I discovered these crackers in Florida: Wheat Thins, Sundried Tomato & Basil and am obsessed.  We don't have these in Canada and I brought back a huge box from Walmart... and they are almost all gone.  Wahhhhh.  |  French onion soup

Bought some new shorts for working out from Walmart ($6!) and took them out for a run.  Then I made nutella-crepe-roll-ups.  Wah wah.

Friday's casual ensemble: jeans, hot pink & espadrilles.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY Painted Bookshelf: Before & After

Before & After

As my grandparents prepare to sell their home, they are slowing cleaning it out.  They have us family over frequently to go through things and pick out items we might like to have.  There have been several trips over there and several scores made, thanks to their generosity. 

On my most recent visit, as I was looking around the basement, I saw this very old, powder blue book case that was housing stacks upon stacks of paper.  I stood there staring at it, envisioning what it could be, but wondering if I would actually take the time to DIY it or if it would just be another, 'I'm going to do this-project' that gets put in storage (or a box!).  I ultimately decided it would be a great storage solution for my small apartment and that I would make something of it.

I asked my Poppa if I could take it home and he looked a little stunned.  Pointing to the bookcase he said, 'This thing?  You want this?' and I smiled and nodded.  Turns out, my great-grandfather built it decades ago and it was handed down; making this piece even more covetable, family history.  He emptied all the papers from it shelves, dusted it off and I managed to pack it into the trunk of my car.  I got to work almost immediately sanding it down and painting black (a can of paint I already had) and after a couple coats and some touch-ups, she was ready for decorating!  

I have to say I'm pretty pleased, the overall project took about three hours and the end result is so worth it.  When I showed my grandparents the pictures you see here, they couldn't believe it and seemed quite pleased with my project; I certainly am.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Is That a Zebra?

 Outfit deets:
* Calvin Klein dress (from Ross) that was a birthday gift from my parents (that I picked out).  First time wearing this!
* Dynamite faux leather, perforated blazer (a Christmas gift from my parents).  Seen with a ruffled top and navy.
* Payless heels (new!).  Love these and saw my mom rocking them and had to get a pair for myself (that's a first!).  They have a snake-skin print to them and a lower heel, which is nice for those days where you want a heel but don't want 4+ inches.  These are also super comfortable and when I went shopping with my girlfriend to get them, she picked up a pair for herself!
* Accessories: H&M necklace, Pandora bracelet, Suzy rings & Jacob bangle

Monday is here already!  My weekend went by fairly slow, and I did quite a bit so I can't complain too much.  That and with the weather getting warmer, it's getting lighter earlier in the mornings and the sun is staying out past 7pm making getting up for work on Monday not so bad (I'm grateful to have a job also, as there have been many lay offs recently and it's just awful).

Friday night I went for a massage after work at a new spot and it was amazing.  The girl really knew her stuff and gave my muscles a good work out.  Afterwards it was home to get ready and out to dinner.  Saturday ended up being a totally impromptu shopping day with one of my besties and I finally got to check out the new Marshalls that just opened up here; and you guys, I picked up some killer finds (video coming) that I'm extra excited about.  That evening was a birthday celebration for my grandpa (85!) and I hung out with some girlfriends afterwards.  Sunday ended up being totally lazy (well, I did go for a 'quick' 2km run, which is pretty impressive since I never workout on the weekend) and while I felt a little unproductive and bored at times, meh, sometimes you need that on the weekend.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

2011 Spring Favourites

A look back at a few of my favourite outfits from this time last year...

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