Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lazy Week! A Bit More Effort

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! All the best to you for a safe, healthy and happy 2010!

After yesterday's pathetic effort, I put a bit more thought into today's outfit:
Jean skirt, purple cashmere top, purple tights and my granny boots.

Here's the purple in the tights a bit better:
The office was even deader today than yesterday - and I had to pack up my entire desk and supplies for our move on Monday, so by noon, I didn't even have a pen! Our whole deparment left early, which was nice, because I had to pick up chocolate, nuts and grapes for the dessert portion of our evening tonight.

The boots, my lovely wool jacket (with purple lining! I love that!):
I'll post my New Year's Eve outfit this weekend, along with my thoughts on my year-long No New Clothes or Shoes shopping challenge.

Stay frosty!


Jacket (Jacob, consignment), sweater (Daniel Bishop, consignment), skirt (Bebe Sport, swap), tights (Hue), boots (La Tianna, consignment), hoop earrings (don't remember), flower (Roberta's Hats).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lazy Week! Super Casual

Just a quick post today, 'cause I'm really tired and I just want this week to be over!

This is probably the most casual I've ever dressed for my current job:
Cashmere sweater, jeans, the usual rocker accoutrements. Work is dead, and we are allowed to wear jeans due to the construction. Maybe I'll dress up tomorrow...yeah, right. Ha!

I'll be dressing up tomorrow night! I have a new dress and shoes! Ooh, exciting.

Sweater (Expression, consignment), jeans (Seven7, gift from Caro), belt (gift from Ruth), shoes (Vans), cuff (old), silver earrings (gift from L).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lazy Week! And I Should Have Been a Lawyer

Yesterday I headed to town to return the bathrobe L got me (nice, but I already have one I like). They gave me cash back for it...and I was seduced by the Lure of the Boxing Week Sale in the mall.

I went to the Bay and there was a gorgeous pair of shoes - extra 25% off the sale price! So L's cash bought me those...and I topped up the extra $20. I felt a mild twinge of guilt at violating my self-imposed shopping challenge THAT IS OVER IN 3 DAYS. But that quickly passed.

So then I stopped in at a favourite shoe store to see what they had on sale...and I found another pair of shoes. Then as I was cutting through the mall, I spotted yet another pair of shoes. And I bought them. The little "cheater!" voice started up again.

I pushed it down. I had the fever.

"I'll just pop over to Plum," I thought, having received their email notice that they were having a Big Sale. On the way, I veered down the alley to the shoe mecca: She She Shoes. And they had two huge mountains of shoes - for $30!! Regular over $200! Crazy. So I bought 2 more pairs.

Then I said, "Oh hell," and headed over to my favourite store that I have missed so much, Dots (they sell off brand-name samples from manufacturers that are used to show lines to store buyers). And I dropped another $75 there.

I had so much beautiful stuff (and it was cheap!), but I felt like a huge failure. I had blown my challenge with only a few days to go.

But I looked good:
That is what I wore yesterday to my Mom's for my fam's Christmas lunch and then out shopping.

And this is what I wore to work today, my first day back since last week:See how guilty I look? Oh, the shame!

But it didn't last, because I am the Queen of Loophole-Finding! I totally forgot about the money from my lovely mother-in-law! And I paid cash for all my shopping purchases! I forked over 1/2 of the money towards our new fridge...but the money I paid towards the fridge could have been paid from the bank, and I actually spent just under what she gave me on my 5 new pairs of shoes and clothing treasures!

Seriously, I should have been a lawyer. Justification rules!

So do these new earrings L gave me.
I love them! Because this is a short week and my work is still a disaster area with drywall and paint, I'm saving all my new stuff to create new outfits for 2010. So there will be some pretty simple outfits this week. I'm just sayin'.

About my year-long challenge: I'll be doing a big blog entry on that, probably this weekend. Do you have any questions about it?

Dress (Studio Max), tights (Trasparenze), boots (Cougar), earrings (Chula, gift from L), ring (Fossil).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's A Major Award! 2009

Since I started this blog in March 2008, I've been presented with a few of those blogging awards that tend to circulate around (rather incestuously, it seems at times). I'm always honoured that these amazing women want to recognize my little corner of the blogoverse, but I never pass them on. But hey, I also never pass on those "send this to 7 amazing women" emails. Call it lazy, if you wish, I don't mind. I think of it as Economy of Time.

So to everyone who's ever given me one, thank you, from the bottom of my silly ol' heart. You're all wonderful and I'd nominate you right back, but then there's that whole laziness thing.

Instead, here are my Major Awards to all of my favourite bloggers, in no particular order. These are big and small blogs; some get a kazillion comments, some get none. I've embedded links if you care to visit - I recommend it!

This year, there have been a lot of changes in the blog-verse (click here to view last year's Major Award recipients). Some bloggers that I loved last year have stopped posting, some I just stopped viewing (one only has so much time!). And some new bloggers came along. Things change.

How do I choose blogs? People leave me comments (if you have a blog and you've left me a comment, I've probably visited your blog), I hear about them from friends, or find a link through one of my regular websites.

Anyway, let's get started! "It's a Major Award!"
The Indispensable Advice Blog: Already Pretty

Just how much do I love Sal and her blog? This much! Sal puts her money where her mouth is...I mean, she is so gorgeous and stylin', AND she is full of so much wisdom about what goes on in a woman's mind about her body and her self-image. When I grow up, I'd like to be like Sal.

The Laugh Until You Spit Tea on Your Monitor Blog: Cake Wrecks

"When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong" is this site's motto. I can't remember how I found this blog, but I read the entire archives and check it every day. Oh so funny, and never mean-spirited. The Sunday Sweets (amazing cakes) are a nice change from the usual daily Wreckage.

Want to Read About Heavy Subjects? Not on This Blog: The Critical Condition

Mark Blankenship's awesome blog discusses all the heavy topics: What Christmas song makes you feel Christmassy? Who will win American Idol? I love Mark's writing and his introspective commentary and commenters.

The Blog I Would Be Most Honoured to Be Featured On: The Sartorialist
Seriously, wouldn't that be the coolest thing ever? I would demand that be in my obituary.

If I Had Any Enthusiasm or Talent For Cooking, I Would Make (and Eat) Every Recipe on This Blog: Yummyland

Sherylyn is a fab lady that I met in my book club (yes! I know her in person! Oooooh!). Turns out she is also an amazing cook, chef and gourmet foodie! She is also very funny - even if I never make one of her recipes, I would still read them for her hilarious writing. All recipes that she does are health-conscious and list the nutritional values! Wow!

If I Could Trade Closets For a Day, I'd Take This One in a Heartbeat Blog: Fashion For Nerds

She's a scientist, she's freakin' gorgeous AND she has the most amazing shoe collection I've ever seen. She's also one of the most creative and stylish women I've seen in the fashion blog-o-sphere. She's worn a corset to work? Get out of town! All hail Audi!

Most Amazing Photos...Oh, And She's an Author Too Blog: Song of the Exile

Some people just win the genetic lottery, don't they? Fortunately, Julia is also hugely kind, generous and just have to adore her. How come my crappy camera doesn't take pictures like that?

Watching A Person's Style Evolve...Plus George May Possibly Be the Cutest Cat Ever Blog: Low Fat Dressing

Since I first found Kristen's blog (I think she posted a comment, then I Nancy-Drewed my way over to see what she was all about), I've really enjoyed watching her get more adventurous with colour, footwear and tights. I also find it so heartening to read about others who struggle with their weight and being healthy. Hang in there, honey! You rock!

I Don't See No Steenkin' Socks on This Blog: Ye Olde Socks

I'm not quite sure what Tanya's deal is, but she seems to take her photos kamikaze style, either in a store or in an elevator (or amongst children's furniture). I'm amused by this (well, I'm easily amused, but who can resist amusement?) as well as bemused by this, and love the glimpses she gives into her life.

The Old Switch-erama From One Blog to Another Blog: The Small Fabric of My Life

I'm not duplicating any of the Major Award winners of last year, but Jane slips through on a technicality: after she went an entire year spending NO money on clothes (on WorkThatWardrobe), she made up a new blog to show off her outfits, write about her exploits (she is an amazing writer!) and share bits of herself with us. She's also the pioneer of the Wardrobe Challenge! Love her!

What She Wore to Blog About Food, Fashion and Other Things Blog: T Minus, T Plus

Tina's easily one of my favourite bloggers. I love how inspirational she is about her weight struggles, how funny she is about pretty much everything, and her rockin' style! She's honest, thrifty and totally cool. Way to go, Tina!

The Blogger Whose Yellow Jacket I Most Want to Steal: In Kari's Wardrobe

Kari and I will meet one day - after all, she's been to my town. I find it kind of disconcerting that we look somewhat alike, but she has excellent taste and a classic style (which I'd like to think I have, haha!). Also, I want that yellow coat. You know the one.

She Quotes Lyrics to Obscure Songs And Has the Best Jewelry Blog: Work With What You've Got

Erin is like that ultra-chic and cool chick that intimidated you in high school - fortunately, she's got a heart of gold. She also has an awesome happy-go-lucky style, and fabulous taste in jewelry. I love that her husband thrifts stuff for her - can he teach my husband that?? Also, cake balls.

I Wish She Didn't Blur Out Her Face Blog: My Every Day Wear

I know she must be gorgeous! Lorena has an impeccable sense of style - and she travels a lot, so it's interesting to see how she puts together such an awesome professional look. I also love her black and white Christmas tree!

The Blog That Understands That People Love to Push Buttons: RateMyOutfit

Tat's fearless when it comes to posting her outfits - anything goes! I love that she's enlisted the help of her blog readers to work on her style - seriously, who doesn't love giving advice? I'm looking forward to see how her style evolves this year! Keep up the great work, Tat!

The Most Inspirational Blog to Keep You On Track With Food and Exercise: *Bitch Cakes*: A Neurotic Glamour Girl's Weight Watchers Experience and Fitness Adventures

She's got pin-up girl style (LOVE) including the tattoos, she's a Weight Watchers diva, and she's got a Hello Kitty bike that she rides all over NYC. I love her pictures, but her words are downright inspirational. She helps keep me on track - and I hope I see her on the street next time I'm in NYC!

Proving You Don't Have to Be a Young(er) Woman to Be Stylish Blog: Fashion After Forty

It's all about Sher: her life, her house, her clothes (and oh, she has some lovely clothes!). She's a classic lady who knows what matters to her: family, friends and fun! Also, she's an absolute sweetheart.

Special shout-outs to Major Award recipients from last year that I still love and read: Go Fug Yourself, You Look Fab, What I Wore Today (kudos to Kasmira for the Best Transformation of the Year, from long red hair to chic short blonde! You rule!), Post Secret, Wendy Brandes Jewelry (my favourite New Yorker ever!), and Blog Fashion (Londyn, I'm totally raiding your shoe collection). These blogs continue to be amongst my favourites! Keep up the amazing work!

A special hug to my blog-friend, Kayleigh at Fashionably Later, who found out last year that she has breast cancer. She continues to blog about this challenge in her life, and is one of the bravest people I know. Hang in there, hon, and be strong. Good vibes always coming your way!

All the best to my fellow bloggers - stay real, have fun and be cool in 2010.

Christmas Capsule Wardrobe

Woo, I'm back! It was a nice quiet Christmas with the in-laws, and no strange gifts this year, hah! Because we were gone for 3 days, I put together a simple capsule wardrobe to save room in our bag (1 bag between the two of us) for presents!

I took my long black tiered skirt:
My denim vest:
A new top that I got while shopping on Wednesday:
Another new top that I got in a thrift store on Wednesday:
My jeans:
My boots:
And some jewelry:
I ended up dumping the ring in the garbage. It turned my finger green, and it was too big anyway.

Travel clothes one way:
I'm happily spending my time on the ferry reading "Atonement" by Ian MacEwan.

I spent Christmas Day in the skirt (with my funky socks!):
This also looked nice with my boots on. I went for several walks while I was up there. It was foggy the whole time! Check out my in-law's back yard:

I got spoiled by L with many lovely gifts:
A cool t-shirt, "Under the Dome" by Stephen King, "The Raw Shark Texts" by Steven Hall, Forgotten English Words page-a-day desk calendar, the new Blue Rodeo double album, a new crossword puzzle book, 5 little bottles of flavoured vodka (consumed), two mini boxes of gourmet chocolate (consumed), three chocolate bars (1 eaten), a pair of earrings, and an Irn-Bru.

L also gave me another gorgeous pair of earrings, and a new robe (which I am returning).

We had to get up really early to catch the ferry home:
Sheila tired...

It was foggy off and on for the drive down-Island:
But at least the highway was mostly clear!

Finally, the sun rose:
Hope you had a very safe and happy Christmas with your loved ones!

Vest (Bisou Bisou, consignment), t-shirt (Style & Co., thrifted), long-sleeved tee (Banana Republic, thrifted), skirt (Club Monaco, consignment), jeans (Esprit), boots (Indigo by Clark's, consignment), necklace (Plum), earrings (gift from L).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day Off - Shopping With Elaine

This will be my last post until after Christmas. To all my lovely blogland friends, a very Merry Christmas and Festy Festivus!

I have today and tomorrow off work, so today I planned a lovely personal shopping day with my friend Elaine in the quietest stores before Christmas: thrift stores.

Good walking boots, tights and simple pieces to slip on and off quickly. Minimal jewelry for snagging on things.
Since it's a bit chilly, I added my velvet blazer, velvet hat, and fingerless gloves. Of course I wore my Christmas trees!
Well. I had one of my best ever thrifting days! We spent over 5 hours doing just two big stores. Elaine got some lovely things (go back and get that emerald green dress!), but I feel like I totally scored. Check out this wool late 70s winter coat I got for $44.99:
Get out! It fits me like a glove.

Check out the details on the back of it:
The belt is actually stitched to the coat across the entire back, so it never looks messy. This is my perfect coat!

Coat (no label, vintage, thrifted), velvet blazer (RW & Co.), sweater (no label, consignment), skirt (Mexx, consignment), boots (Miz Mooz), hat (Shelley West), gold hoop earrings (gift from L), grey fingerless gloves (Parkhurst).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

High-Waisted Purple and Red

One thing about the 80s revival that I do love is high-waisted skirts. They make your legs look long, hold your tummy in, make your butt look good and you stand up straight.
This morning when I woke up, I couldn't remember what I had packed - this often occurs, as I am not a morning person. When I saw the purple tights, I was a bit worried, but I'm actually really happy with how they look with the dark red shoes and the purply/pinky/red brocade shirt. This outfit is somewhat similar to the last time I wore it, here.
This skirt is my 80s designer vintage Gianfranco Ferre that I found in Vancouver a couple of years ago. I love that the back comes up higher and has that nice little button detail. Some details about it here.

Pretty stuff!
I like how the pin looked on the front waist of the skirt.

A close-up of the jewelry:
I love purple and red together. It's one of my favourite colour combinations.

Shrug (Debut), shirt (Lhasa, thrifted), skirt (Gianfranco Ferre, from Giorgio Beverly Hills, thrifted), tights (Hue), shoes (Listen Up "Audrey" Fluevogs), bracelet and earrings (Myka Jewelry, gifts from L), pin (The Bay).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chocolates and Toffee

When I was still living at home (about 25 years ago, for those keeping track), I always hoped I'd get Toffifee (pronounced TOFF-ee-fay) chocolates in my stocking for Christmas. The commercial went, "Toffifee, they're too good for kids, Toffifee, they're made for grown-ups." No, never got them...and I never buy them for myself, even though they are readily available and hey, I'm a grown-up!

No, me and chocolate, we're like Superman and kryptonite. Put chocolates near me and they will be GONE. Anyway, today's outfit reminded me of Toffifee and chocolates. Mmmmm....Let's see, we have toffee in the skirt and belt and boots, dark chocolate in the cami, and white chocolate in the cardigan.
Inigo wants to be let out - we have to feed the cats separately because one of them (guess) eats all the food and the other then gets nothing. Inigo has to wait until Othello is done eating.

The stuff:
I don't think the earrings and necklace have ever been worn on the blog. The earrings are Mom's, vintage from the 60s. I converted them to hooks from clip-on in 1983/84. Mom and Dad gave me the necklace around the same time - I always wore them together.

I love these wedge-heel boots - they were cheapie-cheapie, and likely won't last past this year.

Cardigan (Express, thrifted), vest (Vero Moda), cami (Esprit), skirt (Marc D'Alcy), boots (Outline, consignment), belt (Aldo Accessories), necklace (gift from Mom & Dad), earrings (Mom's, 60s vintage).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekend Special, and Something About Me

Still feeling a bit under the weather, but better. I felt too tired to do the 8K walk to Weight Watchers this morning, so I took the bus. This meant that my regular group got to see me in my normal clothes instead of my workout clothes. It's always a shocker for them.
Yes, I wear makeup and real clothes!

I picked this outfit for its weight: the skirt is silk and the sweater is the lightest cashmere, and of course, I take my boots off to get weighed. I was down 0.4 - yay! It's incredibly hard not to eat everything in sight at this time of the year - I get so stressed and exhausted. I just have to remind myself to make smarter choices, plan, prepare and take it a day at a time. I've been maintaining my weight for going on 3 is still a challenge, but I know I can do it.

My outerwear:
It's been a lot warmer this week, so I can wear just my jean jacket and my long leather gloves. We went out for lunch today and I saw my cousin Heidi! Hi, honey!

Anyway, here's something about me that you probably don't know: I like to build things. Nearly all the furniture in my house was built by me from one of those complicated flat-pack kits. A lot of our bedroom and library pieces are from the Bombay Company, and everything needs assembling. I am the architect of that assembly. I have built: a U-shaped computer desk with hutch, a canopy four-poster bed, two nightstands, two large dressers, a baker's rack, 3 CD shelves, a coffee table and end table, and a wine rack.

Today, I built another CD shelf (we have over 900 CDs...L is a CD junkie, ha!).
It came in a long skinny box:
Kitties love boxes!

I always sort out all the stuff and count it off against the instructions. Yeah, I'm a little anal like that, ha ha.
I lay out all the pieces and check those as well.
Inigo helped. You can see a couple of his mousies in the box.

Ta-dah! This took about 30 minutes to build.
L is loading it up with CDs right now.

Jean jacket (Ann Taylor Loft), gloves (Club Monaco, consignment), sweater (Expression, consignment), skirt (Nine West), boots (Rinaldi), pin (Keyes, gift from Ev), purse (Tignanello, gift from Caro).

Casual Friday - Office Secret Santa Party!

I'm sort of getting into the Christmas spirit now...I'll be dressing up a bit more, wearing some of my sparkly and fun stuff as we get closer.

Friday was my office Secret Santa so I had to wear red:
We did a potluck and a gift exchange. I got some great thingies you put on over your shoes for walking on ice, thanks, Mark! I gave Natasha a good set of Skull Candy headphones (I knew she needed them, and I have the same ones). I took my 8-layer dip with baked chips - yum!

It's a bit hard to see, but this skirt is plaid with red in it. I layered black fishnets over my red tights.
My comfy low-heeled boots - seriously, I can wear these all day with nary a twinge in my tootsies. Went to Mom's for dinner after - it was so nice to see her Christmas tree!

The stuff:
The pin is from my boss, Evelyn, from when I worked at the Christmas store all those years ago. What an awesome lady she was - she and her daughter, Joanne, were the best bosses. Ev always had lovely costume pins; I was so touched when she gave me this one - it is probably a couple of decades old, at least. I'd guess mid-80s. It's stamped "Keyes" on the back.

Jean jacket (Ann Taylor Loft), sweater (Tobias), skirt (Jacob, consignment), boots (Expresssions), necklace (Plum), pin (Keyes, gift from Ev).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Off Sick - but I'm back!

I wasn't feeling too hot on Monday night, and woke up with a full-blown cold on Tuesday morning. Lots of people who were at our party also ended up sick this week (arm-wrestling...who'd have thunk it? Ha!), and L was no exception. We moaned and groaned all day yesterday, and mostly slept a lot. Feeling better today - not H1N1, thank goodness.

This is the outfit I was going to wear Tuesday...and Wednesday:
I love purple - this jacket is so awesome, but it's really limited because it only looks good done up because of the angled double-breasted cut. The high neck means I just wear a plain top underneath.

The stuff:
Of course, I had to do purple shoes!

Hope your week is shiny and bright!

Jacket (Jacob), black sweater (not visible, Jacob), jeans (Esprit), booties (Bronx), belt (Le Chateau, consignment), necklace (Le Chateau, gift from L).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lazy Monday - Peacock Blue

I hate Mondays. I need another day to rest up after the weekend. It doesn't help that it's trying to snow (NO!) and that I feel like I'm coming down with something.

Anyway, not terribly inspired with my clothes last night when picking out today's outfit:
Please ignore the toque-head and lack of lip colour. Fairly close to how I wore this jacket last time, but added the red shoes for contrast, and the "teeth" necklace for a bit of a rocker vibe. Christmas note: the "teeth" sound like sleighbells when I rattle them around.

The stuff:
I was more concerned with my workout clothes today and staying warm and dry. Arg, I hate winter!

Jacket (Kensie, consignment), blouse (French Connection, consignment), skirt (Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy, thrifted), shoes (Fluevog, gift from L), necklace (The Bay).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Special Occasion - Lawrence and Carollyne's Christmas Cake Party

Last year, I took shoes to Lawrence and Carollyne's party and wasn't allowed to wear them, so this year, I was prepared.

What I would have worn if I'd been able to change into my shoes:
Nice leather dress, fun bright pink tights, killer heels, some black/silver jewelry.

But it wasn't going to happen. I would be shoe-less:
Which is why I went with pink tights. If ya can't do shoes, ya can do tights!

Although I did imbibe a lot of wine last night at the party, I also drank a lot of water. I was feeling fine today - so instead of walking straight over to the party, I put on my socks and runners and took the long way there....down through the houses to the water, along the waterfront, then up a long steep hill.
Oh yeah, rockin' the runners. I got a full hour of walking in, which allowed me to enjoy a scotch or two!
Whew, I'm exhausted. I need a nap!

Dress (Danier Leather, consignment), tights (Hue), jewelry (necklace - Plum, bracelet - auction).

Special Occasion - Festivus Party!

When I hit my goal weight three years ago, I rewarded myself with something very special: my "Fifty Pound Dress" (my goal was to lose 50 pounds). I wore it a couple of times, but then it sat at the back of my closet for 2 years - see, it was a long gown...but it hit me at my ankles. In bare feet, it still wasn't floor length, so it just looked goofy when I had heels on.

This year, I knew I wouldn't be able to buy a new party dress, so I hauled it out and took it to a tailor and had it shortened to cocktail length.

Is that not the most stupendously gorgeous dress? It's a stretch satin, with gold lace, embroidery, beading and sequins. It even has that on the back:
And of course, it shows off my tattoo. Anyway, I felt like a million bucks in this all night.

Festivus was a blast! Here I am getting my ass kicked by Alison in the Feats of Strength:Alison is a Valkyrie! She kissed my fist before slamming me to the table and she went on to win the women's championship easily. At least all my pushups meant I looked good while I lost!

Here I am with Inigo at 4:30am:
The glass of wine was probably not needed by then, haha!

A closeup of the dress:
I love how the design is off-centre and uneven. So pretty. This dress was regular $600 and I got it on sale for $125. Worth every penny.

Check out the back:

Dress (Planet), shoes (Friis and Company, gift from L), earrings (Plum).