Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cerulean, Flowers and Trancendent

I'm feeling so much more positive in general. It helps when I wear some of my favourite things. 
Like this blouse! And this skirt! And these shoes!

  • Blouse - Old Navy, swap from Patti; acquired here last weekend
  • Skirt - vintage 80s, handmade; last seen here in June with starry swaths
  • Shoes - Queen Transcendent Escarpin, Fluevog; purchased here last weekend

Some of these are new/new-to-me, but that doesn't make them any less favourite. I didn't know this blouse came from Patti until she mentioned it in the comments.
These shoes caused quite a stir, both at work and at WW. Gasps of admiration! One of the women there said, "You always look like a rainbow!" Aw!

I am a huge fan of this cerulean skirt. And yes, I wore wool today (it's a lightweight wool) and it's 29 degrees out!
My biggest success of the day: I am back under my goal weight! That means I've managed to get down about 7 pounds in the couple of months or so. I've been working hard at it - the weight creeps back slowly! The big thing for me is night-time snacking, so I've been going to bed earlier and reading more. Good all around. Anyway, I'm feeling good about that.

The stuff:
I waggled my feet at everyone today. These were perfectly wonderful to wear - slight rubbing on my heels, but nothing major, and considering I was barefoot, that's great.

Blurry blue bling:
The usual stuff!

  • Earrings - vintage fair
  • Lapis lazuli ring and Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

I firmly believe that you get what you give in life. I can be bossy (hee, check out Shawna's thoughts on this here), but it's always in a caring way. Today, I got a little back.
These are from my coworker Sue, who is leaving the company tomorrow. She dumped them on my desk and said, "Don't tell anyone they're from me." (she's a cranky thing, but I adore her). Thank you, Sue, those flowers mean the world to me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Camo Dress!

Another hot day! I was happy for this lightweight dress. 
I loved the loose "sack" shape of it.

  • Dress - Taylor, swap; acquired here on the weekend
  • Shoes - Modern Vintage, thrifted; last worn here in June with a sweater and this same necklace

Hands are in pockets - hips aren't that wide! 
I discovered that this dress was silk (I usually look), and was very grateful for it when I had to dash to our other office and lug Frogboxes around (link 'cause I love them!).

I love the asymmetrical floral print on it - I got shat on by a seagull today, and the pattern totally camo'd the bird poop. Darn birds!

I got this dress at the big swap at the 40+ Blogger Meet-Up this past weekend. I don't know who brought it, but I love it.
Suzanne had tried it on and it wasn't quite right on her (too big), but it was just right on me. It has some lovely details, like those pockets, including the little bra snaps that hold your bra in place. I can see that it used to have (I'm guessing) gemstones around the neckline and someone removed them. I prefer my own necklace, anyway.

The stuff:
Flat shoes because we did legs at the gym last night. Sore legs.

Big ol' bling:
I liked how the metallics worked with the dress' colours.

  • Necklace - Nygard, consignment
  • Earrings - Glee, local

Worked late tonight (again), and as soon as L gets home (also working late) we're going to go throw around a frisbee disc. Then dinner. Then...phew...couch.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sailor Dress with Red and a Hidden Kitten

Well, this is not going to be a bigass post! That was exhausting - very glad you all enjoyed it, though. 
This is one of the dresses I got at the swap - since it's a Karina dress, I'm fairly certain it came via Patti.

  • Dress - Karina, swap; obtained here, with much hilarity
  • Shoes - Marc; last seen here in April with Lacroix

I love the cut of this dress - it was perfect for work.
Although I'm not a huge fan of the fabrics that Karina uses for dresses, I love the cuts. This one nicely shows off my ink, but I can wear a regular bra with it! Huzzah!

The stuff:
A whole lotta red. Love those shoes and clomped about authoritatively all day in them, bossing people around. It's what I do.

Red bling:
My new bubble earrings were lovely to wear! Not heavy.

  • Cuff - Rimanchik
  • Earrings - Tania Gleave
  • Ring - gift from Cindy
  • Belt - Esprit, thrifted
Oops, I forgot to photograph the belt. Oh, well.

Last night, Vizzini was flopped out on the deck in the sun.
Aw, you know that tum was all warm to touch. I couldn't resist pawing at him (hey, he does it to me!).

A little while later, we noticed he'd disappeared. I looked under the bed, behind the curtains, under the couch, on the deck, behind the secret door...gone. What the heck?

Where was he?
"I am making sweet love to this crinoline, Woman. Leave us be!"
In my closet, having a nap. I shooed him out - don't want him eating another pair of shoes!

I've been to the gym, need a shower and am hungry. Hope your day was fab!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bigass Badass Weekend Wrap-Up: The 2015 International Vancouver 40+ Blogger Meet-Up!

Woo! What a fantabulous weekend! The 40+ Blogger Meet-Up has happened! 

*  *  *

First, a huge thank you to Melanie, Suzanne and Sue for their peerless organization. Planning an event of this magnitude take a lot of work, and my appreciation is great and boundless. Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear friends. 

For those of you who followed along with all the twittering and hashtagging and technological whatnots, you've had a taste of some of the shenanigans we got up to (I have yet to check and see what's out there, myself, but I know I hammed it up a lot!). This post is my chronological record of my trip to Vancouver, and my favourite pictures, as well as my shopping/swap finds. And Vizzini, who was discussed much. 

There's a list at the bottom of all of my awesome fellow bloggers' sites below, and I've done some linking throughout. As always, I link 'cause I love. 

Well, now, let's get 'er started, shall we?
Swag: Rating card courtesy of notebook from Suzanne; Kittehs tag by Melanie
The company: 5
Definitely one of the most interesting, diverse, smart and goofily eccentric group of people I've ever had the pleasure to spend three days with! 

The location: 5
Love Vancouver, and happy that it's close enough for me to get to! Grateful that so many bloggers joined us from so far away! 

The ambience: 5
We make our own ambience, darlings, and we were fabulous

The food: 4
Meh, chain restaurants, but they work for everyone. I loved our brunch place, though, and will go back again. 

The weather: 2
Fricking Vancouver, kittehs. It poured rain all day Friday, cleared up briefly on Saturday, and then back to rain/clouds for Sunday. 

The story: 19 people from all over the world, with the common interests of art, fashion and putting pictures of ourselves on the internet, descended in Vancouver to shop, eat, selfie, chat and guffaw at life! 

Overall rating: Twenty bajillion! I had a blast! 

I spent Thursday night trying to pick out what I was going to take. I had it all done, then scrapped everything, then I told myself to stop second-guessing and pulled it all out again.
"I'm checking for contraband in these pants."
 Vizzini helped me pack.

I only took a small backpack, along with my purse, due to weight restrictions on the float planes. Vizzini wouldn't stop chewing on my backpack, so I had to put in the closet overnight.
"I'm sure that pack would be safer with me."
I showed these two pictures to all of the Vizzini fans.

This is what I'd planned to wear. In fact, I took all of these pictures before I changed one item.
Comfortable enough to walk around in all day, just enough crazy and "clothing as armour".

  • Fur jacket - Bebe, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) for my company's gala Christmas party in late November 2014
  • Blazer - Banana Republic, thrifted; last seen here in October 2014 for our trip to Italy
  • Top - Simpli, thrifted; last worn here in April under leather
  • Pants - Zara, consignment; first worn here (2nd outfit) earlier this month
  • Shoes - Half-Truth Veda, Fluevog; last seen here earlier this month with a picador
  • Belt - consignment
  • Cuff - thrifted
  • Earrings - local
  • Lapis lazuli and Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

I know, so fun, right?
It's furry blue madness! I did like wearing these pants again. I'm iffy on Zara after that awful dress, but it's gone.

However, no blue rabbit for me on Friday; it was rain, rain, rain, and I didn't want to risk it. Slight wardrobe adjustment.
What can ya do? We live in a temperate rainforest climate. It rains. My poor hat got very smushed from being stuffed wet into my purse, but I'm really glad I took it!

I totally forgot about this black blazer - it's been in my dry cleaning bag since we got back from Italy in October of last year. I guess I can live without a black blazer, but I do love the cut and style of this lovely lightweight wool one.

I pretended to be a rock star and took the seaplane over, as L and I usually do when we visit Vancouver.
There were only about 4 passengers on my flight, so I was able to "tourist out" and take lots of pictures. Not like having a full flight would stop me, though, ha!

While waiting to taxi out of the harbour, I spotted a gaggle of kayakers out the window.
I used to work at that Victorian house in the background. It's a hotel/restaurant.

Our blue bridge, the Johnson Street bridge, is being replaced. I will miss this one!
I liked these colourful houseboats along the outer harbour area.
I'm not sure I would live in one. Would you?

Another plane coming in for a landing.
It was so dark and grey in the morning. I was really hoping it would be nicer in Vancouver!

That's Victoria. I can almost see my house from here!
You can see how brown the waterfront park grass has gotten from our hot summer so far.

I would live on this island.
But I think I would miss the shopping. Plus, that's a heck of a commute.

I sat about 3 feet behind the pilot, and zoomed in on his flight tracker.
We're flying at 1,052...something.

And yes, I do see islands to the west!
Hello, San Juan Islands! Those belong to Washington State.

This island estate has a tennis court.
I wonder who lives there?

Ooh, we're getting closer. I should be able to see Vancouver coming up ahead.
Looming out of the clouds...
There it is!

Coming in towards Vancouver's harbour...
I see our hotel, the Blue Horizon! It's been a downtown fixture for decades (I remember it as a kid) - it has a very distinctive blue tiled exterior.

The float plane docks at Canada Place.
Ever seen a floating gas station?
You can barely see two of the span towers of the Lions Gate Bridge past the trees of Stanley Park.

Since I've met Melanie before, I arranged to meet up with her in the hotel lobby. More and more bloggers appeared! A small group of us went to a nearby cafe to start our introductions. I didn't take formal pictures of people, but just snapped as I went along.

Hello to Sylvia of 40+ Style! I'm a member of her 40+ blogroll (new button on the sidebar - go sign up for her newsletter!).
Sylvia joined us from Singapore! I loved her savviness about blogging - she does this for a living, so it was really interesting to get her perspective.

Here's Suzanne of her eponymous blog, Suzanne Carillo, being shown something on her "texty device" (I don't have a cell phone, iPhone or other techy thing) by Trina (hiding).
Greetje looks on. She joined us from the Netherlands/UK. Next to her is the amazeballs Melanie of A Bag and a Beret and Culture Serf | Vancouver Street Style, native Vancouverite and guide on our adventure.

Greetje's blog is No Fear of Fashion, and she is indeed a fearless and hilarious lady.
She was a blast to hang out with.

Trina of Tea Time with Trina joined us all the way from Utah!
Her blog is delightful and beautiful, just like her.

We ventured outside after we were fully caffeinated/stuffed with pastries.
I loved how Melanie's kimono billowed in the wind.

Do you remember Melanie's devastatingly rude lack of breakfast encounter at the local Ted Baker store opening?  
True style! Give that store the finger, baby! 
Well, she sure does!

We cruised the chi-chi shops of Pacific Centre mall on our way to Holt Renfrew. Suzanne discovered the rudest print ever (erm, private organs of men and women, with fruit) on a very pretty blouse.
She also modeled this very-stiff striped skirt. It reminds me of the inside of a McDonald's fry box.

We convinced Melanie to try on this fabularse Tahitian skirt.
She looks gorgeous in everything
Our charming Sales Associate Corey offered some posing advice.
Hilarity ensued
Arm out there, like so.
Corey was clad head to to in Comme des Garcons
He was a total sweetie.

He brought Suzanne clothes to try on, including glasses, to complete the look.
Dior? I can't remember.

I was enamoured of this skirt for about 10 minutes.
Then I felt it and realized it was PVC and on sale for $800+. I went into sticker-shock for the rest of Holt's expedition.

Thank goodness they gave us special Holt's water.
"When I drink water, I only drink Holt's."
To the bathroom! for the obligatory selfie explosion.
Yes, I'm eating an apple. 
It was too much fabulous for one bathroom!

After a quick break back at my room, I redid my rain-washed make-up and changed into my dinner dress.
I actually had to run to the drugstore for tights - my legs were cold!

  • Dress - Desigual; last seen here in May 

I've got my eye on you!

The rain was just spitting by the time we headed out for dinner.
This outfit went over really well with my new friends, as did my swooped-up hair.

We met up at Earl's and received a sweet little "swag bag".
The Girl Guides badges were given out by Pao of Project Minima.  I chose the "Safety Sense" one (I had to look that up!), which seemed to suit me. I'm going to sew it on my jean jacket - maybe it will help protect me from falling off buses and my Danger Pants.

Our full swag:

  • Lanyards by Sue from scraps of fabric (which you'll see us all wearing in our pictures) with our name tag (featuring Melanie's "Turnip Head") and itinerary on the back, all assembled by Sue
  • A notebook and mechanical pencil, from Suzanne, notebooks made by Suzanne (with 3 different covers!)
  • A fabric rose made by Sue of A Colourful Canvas Suzanne!
  • A note card and wrist token by Melanie (printing by Suzanne)
  • And all that sweet packaging done by Suzanne
What a fabulous and generous gift! 

Hee hee! 

I love this creativity! Cards by Melanie, printed by Suzanne.

I met all new people at dinner, including Jane from Denman Island. 
No blog, but very fun lady.

I didn't get to meet the two ladies near the end, so I'm not 100% sure who they are, but on the right is Jody of day2daywear - she's from Victoria! It was so cool to meet another fashion blogger from my city.
Ally from Shybiker is on the right, next to Sue. Ally made it all the way from New York!

Melanie got a fabulous pre-swap gift from Pao (whose mother made and wore this): this insanely awesome tiger-print jumpsuit and over-wrap.
I think Melanie may be the only person in the world who could wear this.

Our evening ended early - I went back to my room and watched TV until I got dozy. Saturday dawned clear and bright.
I got up early and wandered around and had breakfast and a big coffee.

  • Blouse - Bordeaux Los Angeles, consignment; last seen here in June with power lines
  • Skirt - Smoking Lily, thrifted; last worn here in April with blue and orange
  • Shoes - Land's End; thrifted; last seen here in June with pink and plaid
  • Belt - Lady Footlocker, thrifted

 Trying the "Corey Hand" with my back pose.
So nice to see the sun!

We met up in the hotel lobby to load ourselves into taxis to head over to Granville Island.
I was hugely amused by the pictures of that lady in the background - they were all over the hotel
It's Greetje and Anne from Spy Girl! Colour me a huge fan! I love her so much! I even have her mug, with pictures of many of these bloggers on it! Oops, hee hee, I forgot that I stuck my tongue out.
I was in major fangirl mode for Ally and Shawna of The Director of Awesome. Both of them faced emotional challenges with this meet-up: Ally, with being transgendered but being in a group of women where two-thirds didn't know that, and Shawna, with making sure she took the appropriate level of time for her self-care and down-time. I also made sure I found myself pockets of "me" time throughout this event. I need to recover and internalize things after being loud and out there in a group.

I'd chatted with Tiina of Elegance Revisited, a UK/Nordic blogger, over dinner the night before - we had such a nice chat, I totally forgot to take her picture.
Here she is with Pao (I discovered her name is actually Pat - PAO are her initials!). Pao's sweet husband Kris tagged along for the main meals - what a trooper!

After some gaggling around in the lobby, taking a bazillion pictures, we hailed cabs to Granville Island.
The Granville Street Bridge looms above it. Granville Island is full of shops, stalls and artists' studios. You can buy a crate of fresh raspberries (I did) and wander around the shops and studios (I also did).

We met up with some more bloggers, too!
This is Tami of The Thriftshop Commando, and her mom, Phyllis.  Hey, Tami, I went to that same hat shop as you!

This is Louisa of Damselfly's Delights.
Selfie selfie!
She and I had hit it off at dinner the night before, and again, I was too caught up in actually chatting to take her picture!

More pictures! I see you in the background, Ally!
Pao and Anne enjoying the sunshine!

I wandered around by myself for an hour or more - see above, getting my down-time.
I wish this store had been open - I really love these Monsterware shot glasses.
Hee hee, rar! 

I bought a couple of things from artist studios. These earrings are by Tania Gleave (site) and were $65.00. 
Her card says "bold, gutsy, grounded, elegant, singular" - I like that. Her husband, Peter Kiss, sold these to me.

I adored this felted wool hat store, Funk Shui by Jessica de Haas.
 It was $78.00. I never mind paying for handmade items by an artist.
And who could resist those little bobbing red feathers? Not me! 

Ally found herself a real Canadian tie! 

All Canadians wear these. *snort* Uh huh.

From Granville Island, a small group of us hiked up Granville Street. I connected with Patti of Not Dead Yet Style (her plane had been delayed, so this was her first outing with us), and enjoyed a lunch and glass of wine with her. We then all moved on to some of the high-end consignment stores, where we explored, tried things on, and generally had a hoot.

I found two pairs of earrings.
The top ones aren't anything fancy, but I love how the cuff of rhinestones hangs down. They were $14.00. 

The green ones are by Stella and Dot, and were $16.00. there was a matching bracelet, but it didn't ring my bell. 

After a dash back to the hotel room, I got changed for dinner again. 
I wore the green earrings right away, and of course, I had to wear my new fascinator!
Oh yeah, I think the Corey Hand is working for me.

It was nearly time for the swap portion of our adventure - I hosted it in my room. This was my view.
I was on the 19th floor.

I took a couple o' selfies of my new headpiece.
I know! The veil!
I might have to make that my new profile pic. Yup, done.

These are blurry, but you can see the chaos (and all the photographers!).
 It was insanity. Of course, I was being bossy and telling people what to try on. Heh, that's what I do.
I was so happy to see Shawna grab my silk velvet poncho. It has only been seen only one time here, for an artsy outing with Mom back in November 2012, on the same weekend that I purchased it at a Vintage Fair for $25.00. I'm glad it's gone to a good home. 

I picked up a Karina dress - this lovely navy blue number with pockets and silver stripes. 
"Really? There's nothing on it to chew!"
 It came from Patti!
It has a lovely neckline - this is the back.

I also grabbed this lovely Just Taylor dress. I saw it on Suzanne, and when she put it back, I had to try it.
 Love the industrial zipper detail on the back.
I don't know who brought it, but thank you! 

This is also my very first Old Navy item I've ever owned. 
 It's just a thin rayon, but the sides are open and I liked the pattern on the front.
Plus, free. Again, I don't know who brought it, but thank you so much!

After the flurry of swapping, trying things on and general hilarity (I cracked open a bottle of wine), we descended upon the Earl's restaurant next door. 

Who's this lovely lady?  
Hello, Anne!

I sat next to the beautiful Wendra of Through the Looking Glass (love the name!).
She makes lovely looking glass necklaces (I would like one of them, L, hint hint), available in her shop here.

From dinner, Melanie came back to my room to pack up all the leftover swap clothes to take for donation, and then we crashed Shawna's room, along with Sylvia, and drank wine and took silly pictures of ourselves in blue, pink and Bon Jovi wigs. Melanie will/might post them, if you ask her nicely. She has my permission, even though I look very silly! We chatted and chilled until nearly midnight - it was a really nice opportunity to get to know all of them a little better.

In the morning, I packed everything up (my backback ended up being 4 pounds heavier going home!), and met up with the gang for brunch.
 Variations on a theme.
I have a full vintage slip on under everything. Must wear the most clothes for the float plane - it means less to carry.
Ready to go!

Again, we met up in the lobby, and of course, again, it was the opportunity for yet more pictures.
Patti! I was the most star-struck about meeting her.

Greetje, so elegant in all her white.
Sylvia rockin' a jumpsuit.
She had the best shoes!

Shawna and Tiina.
And Pao and Suzanne.
 Anne again, ever arty in her Melanie-designed graphics.
Also, so much pink!

Me and Sue!
I completely adored Sue! Now that we've connected, I'm sure we'll meet up when she comes to the Island. Hijinks will be in the cards, you can bet on it.

Pao modeled here fabulous creation.
It has naked men on it, paddling outrigger canoes! Vintage Hawaiian fabric!

We met for brunch at Forage, which I loved and will be taking L to.
This is Barbara (no blog) aka "Vancouver Barbara" - she is a reader of many of our blogs. So cool to meet you!

We bid our farewells on Sunday - many of our group had to go home, aw! A few bloggers came with me - I had to go to Fluevog! It's like the law! We went to the store on Granville, where I found a pair of shoes, as did Greetje. They had a massive sale on!

We also went to My Sister's Closet and Timeline Boutique, guided by Melanie.

Patti, looking stunning in her swap find, a sweater that Suzanne customized with that hand-done zebra.
Walking from My Sister's Closet.
"It's like Sex and the City!" Pao, Patti, Sylvia, Greetje being photographed by rockschtar Melanie.

Greetje models the Fluevogs she bought, the Tasty Vogs Dorothy (here).
Necklace creation by Melanie
She found those pants at Timeline, and they matched her new shoes so perfectly! 

These are the shoes I found. 
They are the Queen Transcendent Escarpin (here) and they were on sale half price for $159.00.

I totally lucked out, as the only pair left was a 10.5! Shockingly, they fit (okay, I'm not really shocked to find out that Fluevog sizing is erratic!) my 9-9.5 foot.
Look at that heel!

And of course, they have soul/sole.
"Exceed your own expectations."
 That heel!
And John's signature
I can't wait to wear these!

I found this wonderful deep purple velvet jacket at My Sister's Closet:
I blew out the colour and contrast but it's hard to see the purple. However, note the lovely little metal stud buttons. Buttons!
A better view of the purple. Also, it's Ralph Lauren, and was only $25.00.

At Timeline, at first, I only spotted these wonderful tassel earrings for $9.00.
The top stud is hinged so that they move, and they are nearly the colour of my hair.

But then, I spotted this little bit of frou-frou.
It's a crazy top. It's very fluffy, so I must remember to wear it with a skinny bottom.

It's by Hommage from Los Angeles.
It was $29.00, I think (it's all becoming a bit of a blur).

Check out the amazing patterns.
Some of it is frayed, and some is rolled. I love it.

The lovely proprietor of Timeline took our photo on her couch.
From left: Pao, Melanie, Sylvia, Patti, Greetje and me!

Aw, I am going to miss you all so much! Please look me up if you're ever in my city or this neck of the woods again!

From there, I walked to the float plane docks.
The water was sparkling.

The skies were full of fluffy clouds as we headed back towards the Island.
There goes a ferry.

I liked the very defined distance between every one of these boats.
I think that's on Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands.

Hey, I can see my mom's house!
Float plane pontoon because why not.
Hi, Mom! I'm home!

And we curve in towards Victoria's harbour.
Looks like there's a big cruise ship in town.

The Empress Hotel and a Harbour Ferry.
I'm nearly there.

The Parliament Buildings have copper domes that have turned green over the century-plus.
And I'm home. I hopped on a bus and was in my door within minutes.

Vizzini missed me.
"What did you bring me to eat?"
Stay on your own post, there, bud.

Here's a list of all of the participants that I met, and their blogs (if they have them), even though I missed getting a few pictures of them.

Well, it's taken me several hours to do this post - I've had lunch, sat around in my robe with a cat on my lap, been to the gym, showered and made dinner while writing this. Time to chill with L and Vizzini!