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Boots? Aldo
Earrings? h&m
Belt? Michale Kors, Winners
Clutch? thrifted

So, I guess this is what disappointed looks like... Not too bad, if I may say so myself. I've said it before but clothing can lift your mood quicker than a snocone and some inhaled helium.
Yup. This week kinda sucked. Our deal for the new old house fell through. I know that everything will work out as it's supposed to and maybe this just wasn't meant to be, but it is still a bitter pill. This is the busiest time of year for us and we spent so much time trying to make this happen in the last few weeks and now it all feels like it was for nothing. Long story short... we knew the house needed emergency work (had. to. be. done.) and we budgeted a generous amount for that. After getting all our quotes in for the work and the getting an additional inspection that uncovered some more serious problems, the total number was double what we had budgeted. This was work that would have had to be done before winter and before we could even get insurance on the house, so the wiggle room on spreading the renos over a few years was less than a pair of 80's jeans. We asked for a large but fair price adjustment and that didn't go over so well... hence, the deal fell through. It mostly sucks because we put so much work into getting our ducks in a row (where did this expression come from?) and for two weeks we thought it was going to be our house. Little Miss Not Emotionally Attached got really emotionally attached...
I told the kitties about the new house and how they would have a room of their own. They were pumped. I had also already mentally ripped all the shrubs out of the front yard and put in a mind blasting formal landscape. It's not like I don't love informal landscape as well but there aren't many houses that can carry a formal landscape and this one could... All I was going to ask for my birthday were boxwoods (in October, I was thinking ahead...). Worst of all, I had handed my friends season's passes to wine consumption on the beautiful front porch...
I would be lying if I didn't say I still feel a tiny glimmer of hope that the owners will fully realize the work that needs to be done and drop the price... but if that doesn't happen, I at least have some thrifted pleated silk and pretty sunsets to make me feel better...



Other People's Money





handmade, thrifted
Sandals? Hushpuppies, StyleSense
Clutch? Old Navy, thrifted
Bangles? thrifted and gifted
Belt? thrifted
Earrings? from Briannelee... I wear them a lot, really a lot.

This last weekend was a long weekend and we ended up on our friends' third floor deck watching people burn through their children's college funds. I will admit I have not taken the time to research current market value on Roman candles, but there were definitely thousands of dollars worth of fireworks being blown into the sky. I think there may have been some neighbourly competition as each group sought to out do the other. We had the perfect view over the park and enjoyed the show. My financial decisions concerning my $6 thrifted dress and a $12 bottle of wine suddenly seemed very wise...


Matt decided to take hundreds of pictures of the fireworks in paparazzi mode (it takes about 15 pictures in 5 seconds or something...). I'm posting one as evidence of his hard efforts. He loves that paparazzi mode... Occasionally I can be a grump when we take pictures (our secret, ok?) and he'll paparazzi me as I'm being a witch. Later, I'll go back through the pictures and find 45 pictures of me in my finest moments...








Loft, thrifted, $8
Silk top? Hype, thrifted, $7
Suede flats? thrifted, $5
Bangle? thrifted, $3
Necklace? garage sale, $0.50 (?)
Sunglasses? vintage Steffi Graf, gifted

I don't always love strapless tops. If they don't have built-in support at the stomach, they never hang right and you spend too much time hauling and adjusting. Like so...


But I found both the skirt and top while thrifting last week and I thought they looked pretty snappy together. Besides, I spent the afternoon at a friend's holiday monday bbq and my friends are forgiving folk. They put up with me the day before when I ate three big plates of spaghetti and then complained about the pain in my stomach for an hour, so I'm sure they can handle the constant haul up, as long as I suffer in silence. I do plan on putting little darts in the top though. The crowd might not be full of friendly faces next time I go out in it, and a lady should avoid bosom re-alignment in public at all costs. Just a tip...
Everything I'm wearing is second hand. Finally. I feel like I'm always one item short of thrift perfection. A wedding band doesn't count though, right? I would have been impressed if Matt had thrifted that...Because of work, I don't always wear my wedding and engagement rings. Sometimes I think Matt should have asked for my hand in marriage with a cat instead of a ring... It all worked out, I got the diamonds and 3 cats.


A Flair for Flare





Jeans? Hudson, thrifted
Striped top? h&m
Belt? Banana Republic outlet
Flats? thrifted
Purse? Elliot Lucca, Winners
Necklace? The Last Hurrah

In Grade 7 I remember pointing and laughing at a girl a few grades below us who was wearing flare jeans (I was clearly a sweetheart...picking on younger kids in second hand clothing). I even went home and told my mom that I saw a girl wearing bellbottom jeans. Ewwwww.... My mom smacked me... Ok, she didn't but she should have. She did however, explain to me the cyclical nature of fashion and how I would one day be wanting some flared denim for myself. As if... not gonna happen.
Two years later you would have found me dragging my poor mother all over the mall in the search of the perfect flare jeans.
Wearing these Hudson's makes me feel like I'm in highschool again. Except for now I got the tall, dark and handsome guy and I have no curfew.


Long Haul

I've wanted to do a video from one of my thrifting episodes (I guess kinda like a haul video, have you seen those? Craziness...). Then my readers could hear that I talk as flippantly as I write (except for about serious topics like government proroguing and body hair removal) and I would finally have a chance to put Matt and I's Dutch accent imitations up against each other in a vote. But life is too busy right now to figure all that video technology out and then I had a particularly fantastic thrift experience, so I thought I would just share what a 'Jentine haul' is all about. I know, pictures are not as fun as a video, kinda like using a walkman when your friends all have ipods.... but the end result is the same; sweet Mariah Carey melodies in your ears.
It was 50% off day at Value Village on Monday but I didn't feel like dealing with the crowds and since I had some errands to run near Talize (less guilt because time is precious), I went there instead. Glad I did. Yes maam...check it out.

haul1 Yeah... so not only do I feel guilty about wasting any time these days, I also feel guilty for finding so much good stuff for myself. Hence, if I find something for a friend, I buy it. The little jumper was $5 and is for a friend's baby... it has really random animals embroidered on it. Kinda wierd but at least no other child is going to have the same outfit. Because that would be like prom; only worse.
The new Ralph Lauren flats were $17...ouch! But my friend needs flats like I need sleep.

haul6 Leather clutch? Nice colour, pretty big, not bad at $4.99.
The flouncy blouse I'm undecided on. I love the eyelet but I'm not sure of the big sleeves. It was $4.99 but with 50% off, it was worth the risk. We shall see...

haul5 I got the Laundry dress on the left for $5 (it was 50% off). It's cute but not really my style. So... I will clean it and consign it. Thrifting is the gift that keeps giving.
The wool dress was $5 too (another 50% dealio). It fits like a glove, a very snug glove with no room for cookies.

haul2 I've been searching for a pair of vintage flares like Brianne's. But if I can't have vintage, I guess will settle for some next to new Hudson's for 50% off at $6.50.

haul3 Not 100% sure about all the polyester fantasticness either... but then I imagined it short with some nude heels... I did a quick cut on it and now it looks a little short on the back. Why does that always happen? We shall see if the $4 (blah, blah...50% off) I paid for it turns out to be a waste...

haul4 Oh yes... the best for last. I saw this and I thought it was very pretty. Then I touched it and it felt like quality. And then... I looked at the tag. Marchesa notte. For $10!!!!!! Silk lined with bound seams... How do I get so lucky? So many dresses so little time.
The best part is that every item that wasn't 50% off, I got 10% off from my student card and I also used a $5 off coupon that they give out whenever you donate something. I think the cost of my evening courses has been offset by the discounts I get from Talize... something that makes me feel pathetic yet proud. Such combating emotions run through me...


Out to Lunch






Wool dress? Braemar, thrifted
Pumps? Taryn, Winners
Hat? Ophelie Hats, closing down sale of some little boutique
Wristlet? Coach, gifted

You must think I either went for tea with the Queen of England or to church in all this finery. I went to church. The Queen did ask me to hang out but I politely turned her down.
I've had this hat for a while and I've worn it before here, but there was something about it that made it hard to wear. I figured it what was bothering me and so I cut all the extra netting off past the flower. It suddenly seems more wearable. The hat was a big hit with the ladies at church, I felt popular. One lady told me she was into photography and my hat was inspiring her to photograph me. I was a little too embarrassed to tell her that my husband already had that job. Though I would say he is not particularly inspired to photograph me; he is more contractually obligated.
But what I like best about this whole look is that nothing is trendy. Maybe the patent pumps with sparkly stacked heels or the flower garden on my head are not technically classics but they do have classic elements to them. I could have worn this 5 years ago (would I have had the guts to wear that hat?) or 15 years from now (would I then have too much gut to wear the shift dress?) and it would be relevant no matter the year.


Dressed to Stress

I really didn't mean to flake on dressing my best. I love the idea of dressing for 5 days to honour 5 body parts. Once again, I was busy with work which made getting dressed nicely on a week day hard and then, we also decided to join in some real estate shenanigans this week. That made me stop thinking about how much I like my ski-jump nose (that my brother has as well) and how to dress for that (suggestions?) and start appreciating my heart for continuing to beat, my teeth for not grinding down to nubbins and my stomach that felt like it was in knots but for not actually being in knots.
You see Matt and I foolishly fell in love with a house. A house with so much potential and so much more character than we ever thought we could afford. Think old wood trim, crazy staircases, front porch... and in need of emergency exterior work and really ugly (I kid you not...) kitchen and bathrooms. All the original stuff is great but the updates make no sense. This house needed some foolish young couple to sign up for all the work that needs to be done to bring this house back to the glory days. Some other people thought they were foolish enough to invest as well and so we had to rush an offer in and then drink to calm the nerves and wait for news. And yes!... conditionally it's ours. Conditionally... I have to hesitate on bringing out the pinata. So, that's why we have been and still are real busy. I have seen our real estate agent so much this week I have started cooking him dinner (a lie! as Matt hardly gets regularly made meals...)...





Skirt? Liz Claiborne, thrifted
Sweater? F21
Tights? h&m
Boots? Aldo
Purse? Winners
Scarf? gifted h&m (originally tied around the neck but it gets hot talking finances...)

I decided to dress up to see our mortgage lady at the bank. I wore a thrifted skirt because nothing says fiscally responsible like some $6 Liz Claiborne.


It's Not Bragging


This week the ladies from Achedemichic are encouraging us to embrace what we love about ourselves and dress to our fullest potential. Often we dress to camouflage our flaws instead of to play up what we like. 'S' already touched on this in one of her posts but I think sometimes we are even embarrassed to admit we like something about ourselves. I firmly believe that nothing gets you into a soul sister connection with a friend quicker than a pint of ice cream and some good old fashioned body griping. We form bonds over mutual cellulite. It's easy to blame the media for a negative self-image but sometimes your biggest body-hating enabler is #1 on your speed-dial, your bff. Why is it that tearing down our bodies makes us funny but being body positive makes us conceited? This week be positive and slip 'I like my (...)' into a conversation. The peeps of Bloglandia have your back!





Skinnies? Gap
Knit shell? Ralph Lauren, Holt's Last Call
Trench? Club Monaco, thrifted
Bag? thrifted
Bracelets? Crazy lady at the Ex (read about them here)
Shoes? Frye, Winners

I like my legs. They walk me everywhere (it's true, my friends make fun of me for optimistically proclaiming 'we can walk there' about everything...) and they look nice in a short skirt. I feel most confident in bare legs and a short skirt. However, the weather, which had been gorgeous, played tricks with my idea of a confidence boosting outfit and delivered a freezing week. So, instead I wore my Gap skinnies which always make me feel great. I rave about and wear these pants incessantly because these may be the first pants that I bought because I liked the way they curved to my body instead of choosing pants because they minimize my thighs.
And I like that I'm tall, so I wore heels... this isn't special in and of itself, heels and I are friends. I have never felt self conscious about being tall (though I have two reeeaaalllly short friends and sometimes I'll walk on the road while they are up on the sidewalk so we can hear each other). My shawty friends should not get all the good heels, so I wholeheartedly participate in every extra inch of height. All you tall ladies... I can't think of a single reason to not enjoy your height. It may not make you automatically good at basketball but it does give you a good natural viewpoint from which to scan the room and look for missing children or potential love interests. Ok, I just thought of one downside to being the tallest lady around... guys seem to think that walking up and saying 'Um... you're tall!' is a pick-up line... but other than that, enjoy it!


And apparently this is my scrutinizing face...


More and More





Jersey dress?
Collective Concepts, Winners
OTK socks? h&m
Leather bomber? Zara
Biker boots? Gap
Necklaces? antique market and gifted

I like what I wore. It's hard to go wrong with this dress... the drape and cut are perfect and the jersey is quality, it's so soft yet sturdy that I scored a deal when I got this dress for $16. And yet I feel like I let myself down... I should have worn more thrifted pieces, I should have stuck my legs through the arm holes of a shirt and called them harem pants, I should have mixed a plaid with a paisley and stuck a bird in my hair... the pressure! This blog has definitely made me challenge the boundaries of what I wear but sometimes dressing isn't about taking risks but it's about realizing what's enough. And this is enough and it's ok. Maybe tomorrow I will pin that bird in my hair but for now it can fly free...


The result of me yelling 'Matt! There's a car coming!'


Short and Sweet


(Note to new readers: Sometimes, if the project is interesting enough and you catch me at a weak moment, I make dresses. You may call it a labour of love, or just labour, as the process can be time consuming and painful but the results are usually worth it. I'm wearing work clothes again, so I thought I would share something pretty... if you wanna check out more, see here, here and here...)
Picking one of the dresses that I've made as a favourite feels wrong, almost like having a favourite child and telling everyone in the family. So, I will diplomatically say that I really like this dress.






The bride 'D' is one of my bosom buddies (does anyone say that anymore?) and I was ecstatic when she was all in for a short wedding dress. I know it takes a lot of trust for someone to get a custom dress without having a chance to try it on as you would in a bridal store and it takes even more courage to let some crazy make you a short wedding dress. I'd been wanting to send a bride down the aisle with some leg for a while and 'D' was a perfect candidate.
She was so patient with me... we knew we wanted a sweetheart neckline with a short, full skirt but I was waiting for inspiration to hit me (waiting in front of the tv with a glass of wine?) as to how to make this dress unique. I made the bodice and it wasn't until a month and a half before the wedding when I was playing with the skirt and I let the silk ruffle at the waist that I knew we had something special. I sewed a strand of silver sequins along the ruffle (doesn't it look like peonies or something?) as a understated little detail. The bubble hem wasn't originally planned for either, we just tucked it under during a fitting and suddenly choirs started singing... I feel bad that 'D' had to wait for me to be inspired, but it all worked out and I made it up to her by hiring Rodrigo for her bachelorette... I'm joking Mom...
We felt especially crafty about the short dress because we only told the essentials about the hemline. The pastor kept talking about how the maid-of-honour would have to help carry the dress and arrange it during the signing etc. and we were giggling like Gr. 7 kids in co-ed gym class... Is it bad that when the church doors opened and my pretty friend stood ready to walk down the aisle, I just wanted to yell 'Surprise!'...? That would have gotten confusing though...


And a sneak peak... I made three of the bridesmaids dresses too... another post, another day...