2010-12-29

The Edge

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Pants? Zara (old)
Blazer? Vintage Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Belt? Thrifted
Scarf? Made by my Mama for my final university collection
Gloves? Steve Madden, Winners
Bracelets? Crazy lady at the Ex

I hope you appreciate the last photo where I am swinging my legs over a big, tall drop. Maybe not a big deal to many of you, but I am one of those people who hates heights. It usually doesn't affect my life... I will decline the invitation to hang out in your tree house and I try to avoid hot air balloon proposals from prospective suitors.

At work, I can't avoid heights. Sometimes the landscaper has to climb the ladder to prune back the ivy growing into the roof line... And for years, even though I was a scared little lady, I would suck it up and climb that ladder like it was my job. Maybe because it was...

It's better now... I often work with my awesome friend and landscape sidekick, Dorothy. I clap my hands, smile big and tell her how privileged she is to climb on the roof to cut back those branches I couldn't reach. And she does it. Because she is a monkey disguised as pretty young woman. Tricky.

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I hope everyone has a friend like Dorothy. Someone who crosses the line with inappropriate jokes, regularly brings you baking and is willing to climb the highest branch for you (be it physically or metaphorically). And now.... this post is turning into a John Tesh segment... nice...

2010-12-26

Sell Out

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Skirt? Thrifted
Shirt? Industry, Winners
Boots? Aldo
Jacket? Costa Blanca (?... I know...)
Clutch? Thrifted
Necklace? from The Last Hurrah sale

And from now on the year 2010 shall be referred to as the year I sold out.

It started this summer when I finally got a cellphone. After 26 years of stubbornly refusing to own a cellphone, I gave in and joined the rat race. I never thought I would want one; my weekends were always busy and I hated all those people who couldn't give eye contact because they were too involved with texting. And now I can't give eye contact because my friends are sending me pictures of toilets at the side of the road with 'free' signs on them. That's funny shit... I am glad I'm not missing out.

My selling out continued when I joined Weardrobe this year as well. I have always resisted joining the fashion networking sites because I was afraid that it would feel even more like high school (as blogging already feels sometimes a little like a prom queen race...) and I would get caught up in the 'likes', 'hypes', hearts and girl scout badges. It ended up not being that bad, it was fun checking out what other's were posting but I'm still not quite sure I 'get' what the whole thing is about. I will always feel like I am one pair of fakey glasses away from being featured.

And now it seems I've joined Twitter. I don't know why I'm so nervous about all the social media... as always, I am a few years behind the curve. Maybe I am nervous because I put a lot of effort into this old blog (I really do) and I am worried I will squander all my clever here and I will be left with nothing good to say on Twitter. I hereby pledge that if there is nothing to say, I will not Tweet my dinner and I will never use the words 'yummy' and 'nom, nom, nom'...

I told my little brother that I joined Twitter and he was disappointed in me. According to him Justin Bieber is on Twitter, so I am not allowed to join. If I can't do anything Justin Bieber does, then that squashes my dreams of having my own licensed nail polish line... Hear that? That's the sound of my dreams falling away. I am not quite sure how this whole Tweet business works but if you want to infiltrate my life further, feel free to move into my cold attic or follow me on twitter.

In other news, I really love how the colours came together in this outfit and my Mama thinks my skirt was too short in the back. She may be right... It's a good thing there are now many ways to let me know. She can text me, comment on my Weardrobe or Tweet at me. No need to talk IRL anymore Mama... (IRL= In Real Life, ok, Mama?)


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2010-12-24

Late Thrift Thursday. Gifting the Thrift.

Matt's family was putting together a hamper for another family and it was my job to get hats and mittens for everyone. We got the mother a cashmere blend scarf/wrap and I belatedly thought it would be even nicer to add a brooch. But because I was being last minute (really?), I had little choice on the brooch and ended up paying $10 for some crap quality one at Zellers. Zellers, I am not slandering you; your brooch selection was merely weak. And it kinda killed me because Talize is just up the street and I could have thrifted a brooch that would have been much nicer and cheaper... but alas I was last minute (really).

But if I had time, would it have been ok to give a thrifted brooch in a Christmas hamper?

Growing up, getting second hand presents was normal. My parents are garage sale/flea market/antique store junkies and always gave us interesting finds and taught us to appreciate the history behind an object. Honestly, I usually really liked the gifts... though sometimes I was a little embarrassed about my weird family around some of my friends.

'What did you get for you birthday?'
'Some tools from the 1930's! What did you get?'
'Totally Hair Barbie! If you crank her arm she grows hair!'
'I know that...
(of course I knew that, I'd been sleeping with the Totally Hair Barbie cut out page from the Toys 'R Us catalogue under my pillow for weeks...)
...whatever. Let's go to the corner store and buy penny candies.'

For my birthday this year my oldest brother bought his place back unto my family tree. After several unkind comments about my shorts this summer, I pruned him off like unruly growth but after he found me a leather purse with horses!!!...

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Welcome back to the family Henk!

And speaking of family trees, I am obviously up on it with a Favourite Daughter tag (only daughter too...) because look what my parents just gave me!

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At 5'11, it is rare for me to feel diminutive but this gorgeous leather bag my Mama found at a garage sale is so large, I feel rather delicate. I thought maybe I could fit inside but that's not happening... I'm sure I could fit an Olsen twin in though... maybe both... and their coffee cups too.

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And while I have always received many thrifted gifts, I feel like in a pinch, I have given the equivalent of a cheap quality, $10 brooch far too often. In the next year I hope to put a concerted effort into planning ahead and giving the gift of thrift. Because what would you rather have... the $10 brooch or the $10 vintage Diane von Furstenberg dress I bought this week? Don't answer that, there's no way I am giving the dress away! Giving second hand gifts is becoming a bit of a trend for many good reasons but I am not going to do it to just to follow the trend... I am going to do it to step up and make my parents proud. I want my place on that family tree to be decorated with heart stickers and glitter!

Did you thrift gift this year?

2010-12-22

Culture

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Sweater? F21
Shorts? French Connection sample
Shoes? French Connection warehouse sale
Belt? Thrifted
Calfskin purse? ?, Winners

There are positives and negatives to staying at an all inclusive.

On the positive side, the relaxation is pretty maximum. I like to stress... well, maybe I don't like it but it's just an unfortunate natural state for me. But away from the Internet, away from work and away from a house that needs a lot of work, we found relaxation. Until I started to stress that I didn't feel stressed... Ha, Matt is such a lucky guy, right? The vacation didn't go quite as planned, we actually had only 2 days of sunshine; there was a lot of cloudiness and rain going on. But it wasn't snowing and it wasn't cold and my sister-in-law and I became pretty good at cloud tanning by the pool. I'm saying that like it's a skill...

The crappy part of an all-inclusive is that we stay in the big resort complex and really learn nothing at all of the true Dominican culture. To me, Dominican is a place of buffets and towels left folded up into animal shapes... The only true representation I saw of the country was the half hour drive to and from the airport. I sat with my nose pressed to the window (metaphorically pressed to the window because grease marks on windows are one of the few things that makes my stomach turn) peering at the country side. And then from my coddled perspective, all I could see along the drive were sooo many great outfit picture locations. Bright but dilapidated buildings, old roadside advertisements and graffiti walls... a fashion bloggers dream, right? But what to me is an interesting photo opportunity is someone else's real life. And I was just a tourist, an obvious tourist at that (even without the fanny pack), stuck on the bus looking out.

2010-12-20

Debut

Just back from Dominican... nothing like going through bare legged pictures from vacation and then looking outside at snow.

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Dress? h&m
Belt? Thrifted
Clutch? Thrifted
Shoes? French Connection

Sometimes I find something on the sale rack at h&m and I wonder how it ever stuck around to go through so many markdowns. Then I remember that I am a hoarder who likes the crazy. Still, this dress is perfectly adorable and I was surprised to see so many left over, even at $20... but maybe it isn't so practical. It is a touch see-through (nothing nude underpinnings can't remedy), a smidgen short and it looks like a cupcake. But I love it. Throw a tough belt on it and this cupcake was ready for a hot night out.

This was probably my favourite outfit down south. I felt ridiculous and fabulous. Unfortunately, this dress' first public outing was very brief. Thank goodness I have a blog so it can have a proper debut. Thank goodness I have a blog so I could read all your amusing comments on the last post. Thank goodness I have a blog so I can ignore the dishes in the sink and post instead.

We had big plans for a late dinner and then meeting up with some fellow Canadians for some karaoke and perhaps some dancing. But some didn't quite make it out and we ourselves didn't make it much past dinner that night. We shall blame Enrique at the swim-up bar. Or we shall be adults and take responsibility for our own actions... Meh... let's blame Enrique.

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2010-12-16

Thrift Thursday. Guilty Giveaway

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The reason I feel guilty is because I am down south by the time this posts. I left the cold and the first snow storm of the year in the Hamilton area in order to exercise my right arm and my liver in Dominican. Don't worry, I packed some sunscreen, too many clothes and a Danielle Steel novel... I am ready for this.
In lieu of my usual thrift Thursday blah, blah, blah... I am giving away one of my thrift finds. It's a dark brown leather purse with adjustable straps and a sweet little off centre closing. The best part is that it's made in Canada by Wayne Gretzky... OK, that gratuitous Canadian name dropping was for nothing. Wayne Gretzky didn't make it but someone else in this great country did. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with a way to reach you and something entertaining. Because when I get back to the cold with a burnt nose (I kid, sunscreen is my friend), your comments will ease the transition back to reality.

xoxoxox

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2010-12-15

Left Behind

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Dress? Collective Concepts, Winners
Boots? Cole Haan, thrifted
Belt? Thrifted
Purse? Roots
Necklace? h&m (old, and now unseasonal as it is hardly fall anymore)



Let's discuss Things the Former Home Owners Left in Our House again, shall we? Ha... I say that like you have a choice... when really, even though you may say 'no thank-you, let's discuss deep-fried Mars bars instead', I just do what I want.

A bad thing left behind was a package of rodent killer. I walked into my closet (I won't get tired of saying that for a while) and found an opened package in the middle of the floor. I had a mini heart attack (because I am dramatic and because I love my kitties). Further inspection and a frantic call to my vet tech friend, led us to hypothesize that one of the cats must have found it behind a radiator and not consumed any poison; just played with the package because it made a crinkly noise. Its been a few days and the herd appears fine... still, not cool former owners, not cool.

A good thing left behind was the piano. Like the rowing machine, the piano was not left out of kindness but because a stairway separated the piano from the truck and the stairway taunted the guys moving... We don't mind, Matt and I are always in the search to upgrade our classiness and nothing says klassy like a piano in the corner of a dining room. It's not in tune but neither are Matt and I. If you are fortunate enough to receive a dinner invitation, save your polite applause for my post-dessert rendition of Rachmaninoff.



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2010-12-11

Own the Stage

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Shorts? French Connection sample
Blazer? Braemar, thrifted
Plaid shirt? ?, Winners
Belt? Thrifted
Boots? ?, Winners
Tights? h&m
Purse? Thrifted
Scarf? h&m

I'm wearing tights with shorts!!! I know, big deal for me... old news for you. I am so behind on this one. In fact, I think one of the greatest reasons people starting fashion blogging years ago was so that they could showcase their shorts with tights. Sometimes fashion blogging is about getting the approval online that you are not getting in real life. I'd like to think I am pretty open-minded about trying new styles and having fun with fashion (with lines like that I need to be a ad writer) but I have some weird inner rules concerning tights. Last year, I got brave and wore purple tights. This year I am wearing shorts with tights. We all know what the next step is... Twitter. All roads end in Twitter these days...

These pictures were taken at the Bandshell in Gage Park. We trespassed over a thigh-high fence to get some cool pictures. A few days before, some vandals trespassed and ripped off some of the copper plates... total value $172. And therein lies the double standard. Tell your kids it's OK to trespass for outfit pictures but it's not OK to trespass and vandalize. Words to live by.

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2010-12-09

Thrift Thursday. The Big Easy.

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I don't know if this picture makes me ashamed or proud.

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Hmmmm.... looking at the close-up, that feeling in my chest is definitely pride (though it could also be love because my kitties are at my feet posing on the new zebra rug). This is the upper echelon of my collection of brown leather belts. They are all second hand... most from the thrift store... They are great quality; good leather, heavy hardware and unique design... Seeing them together makes me feel scarily content.

Brown leather belts are one of the best finds at a thrift store. Well, now that Walkmans are no longer being manufactured, finding a Walkman would be pretty useful because that way you can go for a walk and listen to your favourite tape. Imagine that, eh? But besides Walkmans, brown leather belts are a really good find.

First of all, they are ridiculously versatile...

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This is a tiny sampling of how I have worn a brown belt. Over sweaters, over dresses, over jackets... occasionally I might even wear them the old fashioned way... to hold up pants. Sometimes I am crazy and wear 2... FutureLint is even crazier and wears 4... I want to be her when I grow up.

Second of all, brown leather belts age well. I hope I age like a brown leather belt... except not so leathery, you know? Seriously though, a few scuff marks hardly detract from a brown belt. In fact, they look better worn in. I always like to contrast materials and styles when I dress... a roughed up belt looks great with a dressier skirt or dress because it says 'I tried but not too hard'. Did you know that your belt could talk? I didn't but I've been working on my listening skills.

Thirdly, brown leather belts are one of the best thrift finds because they are in abundance. Thrift stores are overflowing with belts and it is seldom that I don't find a nice one. They are also well priced. Unlike our collective bitching about randomly high thrift store pricing, it is rare that I find a belt for over $5. And I don't mind paying $5 for a good quality leather belt, though I usually pay less.

So... what does this mean? It means that if you are shy to go thrifting and don't know what to look for... go for the sure thing. Brown leather belts are so useful and easy to find and a good starting point to build your thrifting confidence. Besides, if you are one of those people who would love to thrift but have a hard time getting over the ick factor, belts are often organized and require little digging around or cleaning. And check men's belts... I can't believe I never thought of this before but I ended up there by accident this week (in the men's belt section, not the thrift store...) and hit the jackpot.

If you are a thrift newbie and you screw your courage to the sticking post (love using phrases that I don't understand the origin of) and score yourself a sweet leather belt... let me know! Better yet... send a pic! And if you are a seasoned thrifter... go buy some more! I don't want to be alone in my hoarding! Maybe we could start a support group. Friends don't let friends buy new belts.

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(Maria, I promised you I would thrift you a belt and I just got you this one. You like?)

2010-12-07

Fancy Again

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Dress? Vera Wang Lavendar, Holt Renfrew Last Call (low back 2 posts in a row? must be the holiday season!)
Tights? ?, old, Winners
Peep-toes? Nine West, Winners
Gloves? Danier
Brooch? Vintage, borrowed from the parents
Hair? Not mine, cleverly mixed in with the real though, yes?


I often joke about the shopping monster that lives within me. This monster that survives off Diet Coke and peanut butter and crackers and thrives off red tags and crinkly shopping bags. Funny. Sad. True.

And that's why when Matt had his formal Christmas dinner last week, I NEEDED a new dress. I have a lot of dresses in my closet so perhaps I didn't need the dress; I just needed that high of scoring a good deal. I've had a dress in mind and I have patiently been waiting for further mark downs but when I went back after 6 weeks, they were all gone! I hate it when I lose that game... there were multiples of that dress, I was carefully hedging my bets! Who would do that to me? Regardless, I didn't score the dress.

I mourned for 3 minutes and then I gave my head a shake and a stern talking to. I didn't need to get another dress. I needed to get my butt home and fix this Vera Wang dress I bought last year. I got this dress for deeply discounted $30 (so many red markings on one tag, it was like art to me) because it needed some work. One of the most obvious flaws was that some of the beading on the sheer top was missing so I had to remove alllll of the rest. You know what takes a lot of concentration? Reading books without pictures... and taking beading off delicate fabric. One tiny rip and this dress would have to become strapless! It took me until 2 a.m., but that dress is finally out of the 'stuff to alter or rework' closet. It really enjoyed it's first big night out!

And since the shopping monster wasn't satisfied when I went for a new dress, I had to go to the thrift store yesterday. Once again... Funny. Sad. True.

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P.S. Frustrating thing with the ole blog makeover is that I lost the little follower badge on the side... apparently, this is a common problem when updating blogs and so far The Google has provided no answers. Does anyone have any suggestions... email me? Your knowledge in exchange for my gratitude.

2010-12-05

Behind the Scenes

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Skirt? Pink Tartan, Winners
Sweater? BCBG, Winners (worn backwards)
Boots? Aldo
Clutch? Thrifted
Headband? Ophelie Hats, One-of-a-Kind Show

So... taking outfit pictures is usually a huge deal. The production keeps getting bigger. We recently added my little brother (not so little but he'll always be the little brother) to the payroll as personal assistant. In the summer he holds a fan and a Perrier, and during the colder months he is standing by with a parka and moonshine. Matt has acquired a French accent and yells at the other assistant (my former best friend) to hold the light reflectors just so and orders the sun to remain above the horizon. To set the mood we've had Bryan Adams playing his music... one time Mel C. came by too. She sang that one song with him (you know the one), then helped shine my shoes and straightened my lapel. It's a Big Freaking Deal.

Or not. Usually we are on our way somewhere; chasing the sun, avoiding the rain and hating the cold. Matt loves me (he told me once!) and is really supportive of this blog but his interest does not lie in photography. Honestly we take pictures in maximum 5 minutes. He sometimes gets a leeetle bit tired of it all (though he does get into it too...xoxo) and just stands there holding the camera away from him without looking at what he's taking pictures of. Instead he is doing imitations to make me laugh. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I yell.

This weekend all the outfit photo cards fell into place when we went up to a family wedding. Firstly, we were early! That doesn't happen naturally. Matt fibbed and said we had a 2 hour drive and when we got in the truck, I saw it was only 1.5 hours on the GPS. Sneaky kid. I doubt he planned it like that, but we had time to get off the highway and find a cool spot to take pictures. And we found it when we saw a great little abandoned place along a country road. There was a fresh layer of snow that was yet untouched from the mid-day warm-up and the sun peaked through the clouds for 10 precious minutes. It all worked out kind of magically... the only thing that was missing was the personal assistant. It was difficult clambering up the incline in heels...

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