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Aunty Awesome






Wool skirt? Thrifted
Sweater? F21
Boots? Holt Renfrew Last Call
Clutch? Thrifted

This weekend Matt and I talked about things we have never talked about before.

Which vehicle should take the car seat in the morning?
What time does kindergarten end?
What is the appropriate fruit to dunkeroo ratio for children?
Is it OK to have markers in bed if the kids are playing nicely?
More importantly, is it OK to have Oreo Cakesters in bed?

We have two young ladies staying at out house for a week or so and it only took three hours for our rather formal dining room to be covered in sequins and glue. They are both really sweet girls but it's still a major adjustment. I've curbed my swearing and swept two times in two days... big life changes. And then just to test our temporary roles of guardianship, it snowed twice on the weekend so I was gone plowing for a majority of the time. Matt also has responsibilities in snow emergencies (that's what we like to call them... it inflates our sense of self importance), so we tag teamed all weekend to do what had to be done. And that is how I am sitting here right now, a touch delirious, with only 1 hour of sleep in the last 36 hours. But it's worth it if I can be an awesome aunt to these girls.

And speaking of Awesome Aunts... my one niece told me that she liked my skirt but that she would change the sweater. I told her that I would change her face. And then I bought her a purse and some books. This is a true story.



This Last Year

I can't let the 2 year blogging mark go by without a look back on some of my favourite looks of the last year. I think it's interesting to look back (you too I hope...) to see how my style has grown and to remember what was happening in our lives at that time. It's also interesting to see through my flickr account that my picture size has slowly crept up over the last year. At this rate of growth, My Edit posters will be available at a Walmart near you before 2012.


Sometimes I have nowhere fancy to go so I just go fancy somewhere. (post here)


I love the contrast of the lace skirt against the blousy silk top. The pictures on the baseball field inspired me to look back on my extensive baseball career and fondly reminisce about it in this post. (post here)


When I thrifted this dress, I thought I would do my usual trick and add a brown belt and some sandals. Instead I knotted the hem and pinned some brooches to my bra to give the dress some shape. And bam!... this polyester got special. (post here)


High waisted pants and a perfectly beaded vest worn backwards. Stop me before I harp once again about the happiness that is thrifted sequins. (post here)


I just wore this dress for my 2 year rambling post. I don't know what life will look like for me 5 years from now but I suspect there will still be silk wrap dresses with a chance of leopard. (post here)


A bubble hem trench on an autumn runway. (post here)


Anytime I can wear sequins around the brother-in-laws is a good day for me. There is nothing quite like bantering over my fashion choices with a glass of wine in hand. (post here)


I bought this dress on 50% off day at Value Village with the intent of selling it to a consignment store. And then I tried it on and saw my butt in the mirror. (post here)


I wore this to a wedding in our family and we were not only on time for the wedding, we were early. Family, good time management and a favourite skirt made for a wonderful day. (post here)


This is the first time I wore tights with shorts. I admit, I am at times, slow to catch on... also evidenced in the fact that I only joined twitter a few months ago. It's also fitting that I include an outfit with my (and Nadine's) favourite and oft-worn plaid shirt. (post here)


I liked the thrifted Diane von Furstenberg dress and Matt liked that this guy took my pictures. A happy marriage indeed. (post here)


A full midi-skirt with hip pockets... It took a bit of courage to wear this out of the house but I love how unexpectedly elegant it looked. (post here)

I'm trying to pick a favourite but I'm having a hard time... Do you have a favourite?


Sage or Not


Meet my pretty friend, Sage.





Jacket? Zara
Sequin shirt? Thrifted
Beaded belt? Thrifted
Earrings? F21
Jeans? h&m
Boots? Winners

I'm helping some friends out for a bit by taking their dog, Sage, for daily walking adventures. Sage is, well... not sage. She is easily excited, a little dumb but so very sweet. ('Just the way I like them' he said, as he absentmindedly picked at the mustard stain on his Bud Light t-shirt). For years I thought I was just a cat lady but now I know that giving a big mutt from the shelter a forever home would make me happy as can be. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. Already when I rescued Stella, I went over the 2 cat limit imposed by Matt. While Matt likes animals and is the biggest sucker for our cats, he is not keen on having a dog and I can respect that. But I can wholeheartedly embrace being a volunteer dog walker... even as I am standing on some one's front lawn, ready to do the right thing and scoop, only to discover that the bag I took has a huge rip right down the centre.

Someone gently chided me a while back for the unattractiveness of the slightly drop crotch h&m jeans that I wear all the time. My angry retort to that is... meh, you have a point. They are certainly not the most flattering jeans I have. I am actually a little confused as to how much the jeans have wormed their way unto my everyday wear. I admit, I have been wearing them a lot because they are so comfortable and one of a few pairs of my jeans that don't pinch. There has been some couch sitting and cookie eating this winter (sometimes these activities are done in a mutually exclusive manner and sometimes... they are even done simultaneously) and nothing is worse than the angry pinch of denim reminding you of your excess. The good news is that the last while has been filled with lots of veggies, snow shovelling and dog walking. May the future will be filled with other jean options...


No shame, Sage?


2 Years is Longer Than a Hollywood Relationship





Silk wrap dress? Thrifted
Coat? Thrifted
Boots? Holt's Last Call
Gloves? Danier
Necklace? Flea market
Clutch? Thrifted

Two years ago I started this blog. Two whole freaking years. No, we didn't go out this weekend to celebrate My Edit, The Brand (sorry, that's just what we need to call it now...). Well, I did go out but my friends and I celebrated $10 cab fares and 3 a.m. shwarma instead... It was good.

The thing with fashion blogging is that it's more than just a hobby. Sometimes I wish it could be a hobby. You know, like when I went to the bead store and bought wire, findings and sparkly beads because I was going to become a maker of pretty things. I still have those beads... they look nice in their original bag. But I am glad that this isn't one of those things that I started and then ignored. I love the way that blogging has given me confidence to take fashion risks, that it's given me a chance to write regularly again and that it's given me some real life Internet friends. It's about time I joined the 21st century and got myself world wide web buddies...

Last year, on the first anniversary of this blog, I wrote a pretty open post about the experience of blogging for a year. The day I wrote that post, I had a botany exam. The exam was really hard (like, you know?), and I might have done better if I hadn't spent so much time trying to articulate exactly how I felt about blogging. The fact that I chose to post instead of study is a pretty good indicator of how blogging can overtake one's life. I can admit it, I am a bit of a try hard when it comes to school and grades but clearly, at that moment, blogging trumped botany. Most of that post still rings true... from the good; the friends, the thrifting ,the dressing... to the bad; the moments of crippling jealousy. I want to say it gets better but sometimes, as the fashion blogging phenomenon grows, it feels like it gets more complicated. When I started my blog, I just wanted to talk about fashion and show off some of my thrift finds, I honestly had no clue that fashion blogging was an industry in and of itself. I remember during the first few weeks of blogging, I saw on some stat that my blog had drawn 71 unique visitors. I knew a handful of people from my family and friends read my blog but I was blown away that 50 random people in this world had stopped by my little blog. I still struggle everyday to keep a good attitude about any kind of stats. It is sooo easy to get caught up in the 'but she has...!' whiny attitude instead of being grateful that people have chosen to waste their boss' time on my little piece of Internet ramblings.

Morgan wrote a good post a few weeks ago about keeping a balance between living a life and blogging about a life. Between taking pictures, editing them, writing posts, participating in this varied and usually, pretty awesome, community, having a job, a family, friends and laundry; life is fairly hectic. And as I continue blogging, the line between real life and blogging starts to blur a bit. You know what's real? The credit card bill I am getting for booking a flight down to Austin to finally meet some other bloggers. It used to be my online life vs. my real life but it seems like the two will continue to get intertwined.

And besides finally meeting some other bloggers, continuing to take pictures in little Hamilton nooks and getting dressed, what else are my plans for My Edit, The Brand? Well, my next endeavour is getting a trademark on the use of sequins and the word 'the', so that anyone who uses either is, in turn, forced to link back to me. And with that kind of traffic, I won't ever need to worry about my botany exam mark...


Ha... I kid about sequin trademarks... though I don't kid that blogging can be rather emotional and complicated. Yet, despite that, I do really enjoy the creative outlet and the journey it has taken me on. And for your readership, your comments and your sweet emails over the last two years, I am deeply grateful. Group hug?


Thrift Thursday. Sequin Formula.


(thrifted silk top, h&m jeans, Zara shoes)

Three of the easiest finds in a thrift store are VHS copies of Free Willy, leather belts and sequin tops. I would take a pass on Free Willy, though the amazing jump scene has often times inspired me to unshackle myself from the restraints of modern society and find true freedom in the depth of my own reality (?)... However, nice brown leather belts and anything that sparkles, inevitably ends up in my wheeled cart and coming home with me. And while belts hold up pants, define waists and reign in fabric, a sequin's main function on this earth is as a fabulous maker.

Despite their limited functionality, vintage sequin tops are a great buy. The sequins and beads are often sewn on silk or wool, they are truly unique and they are much better quality then anything found from at today's mass manufacturers. I would pay a fair amount for a French Connection sequin dress (I would... if I didn't get them from Winners for $20... ha) but those dresses lose sequins like... (insert analogy of choice... I am fresh out). It is imperative to check any thrifted sequin garment before taking it home because if any beads or sequins are already missing, it is often not worth the effort to fix but if the garment is fully intact, chances are those sequins are sewn on right proper. And I know vintage sequins can be pricey in some geographical areas (this holds true for a lot of vintage) ... however there are plenty of sequin tops in thrift stores across the country for just a few bucks each.

Yet it's one step to buy the sequins and it's another leap to actually wear them. I used to be afraid of the sparkle, worried about what people would say about me behind my back until I just got over it. Meh. Some people wear Sponge Bob Square Pants pajama bottoms to sign their mortgage papers, and I wear sequins to go for a walk. There is room for all kinds of fashion choices on this earth. Isn't that nice? My heart is warmed.

I like experimenting with sequins (here and here) but one of the easiest and chicest ways to wear some sequin is to pair them with some relaxed jeans and a nice shoe.


(thrifted silk top, h&m jeans, ID Browns shoes)

Sequins say 'I'm trying hard!' but add some worn in denim and it says 'But not too hard!'. Maybe you thought clothes don't talk but you just have to turn down the tv and listen. A dressy shoe pulls the look into a more formal direction. 56% dressy with 44% casual. It's a science. And that's the formula to wearing sequins.


(thrifted wool vest, Mossimo tee, h&m jeans and Modern Vintage Boots)


The Helm






Blazer? Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Sweater? Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Shorts? Joie, Holt's Last Call
Boots? Winners (the sales stalking is paying off)
Purse? Tignanello, thrifted

Yeah, I wore this blazer within the last week and blogged about it too. A great risk I realize. This could really be a new movement in fashion blogging and I, My Edit, The Brand could be at the helm. I can't wait to see what is around the corner. Maybe the future holds such exciting ideas as taking dinner leftovers for lunch the next day or maybe even finding a way to re-use plastic bottles to make new plastic bottles. My mind is blowing.

Or... we may have had 1 day of temperatures about the freezing mark and with the excitement of spring around the corner, I wanted to wear the blazer again before the daffodils pop up.
It all seems rather unlikely though. Spring is still a bit away, more up the street then just around the corner... And taking leftovers for lunch just seems like pure crazy talk...

But getting lots of wear out of an awesome blazer? That makes a lot of sense.



Steel City Lunch Box






Skirt? Alfred Sung, thrifted
Silk Blouse? Joe Fresh
Boots? Aldo
Bomber? Costa Blanca
Pin and clutch? Thrifted

This year my valentine is my city, the Steel City. Matt tried to be my valentine and brought me home roses after we specifically agreed not to do anything this year (for the record, his idea and I couldn't care less). I yelled at him because I knew he overpaid for those roses. Matt also brought me a Subway sandwich (or Sangwich, Linda?) and I yelled again because the local sandwich artist got far too inspired by the mayonnaise. But when Kyle Leon (youngest kitty) settled in for his nightly snuggle with Matt, my mayo-clogged heart thawed.

And though I love my husband most, my city core ranks high on my love list as well. I try to limit my 'I love my city' posts to a minimum because I am far too busy talking about bows and kittens and cupcakes but it's that time again. A few months ago, Matt and I sold our tiny, adorable semi downtown and bought a larger place a few kilometers away... still downtown. And that fact seems to amaze so many people because when we tell them that we stayed downtown, the awkward first question we always get is 'oh... and you like that?'. Yes, in fact we do like that... I like that we can walk to restaurants, local parks, the newly renovated library... I like the fact that our house doesn't look like the neighbours, that the house has high baseboards and that it's... really pretty. And it's odd that I get my back up against the wall and I always feel the need to defend downtown; most urban area place high value on their city centres but for the longest time, Hamilton's downtown has gotten a bad rap. And it's been through some rough years but there are so many great places to explore and so much history to see (these ladies know... they write about it all the time) and it's only going to get better. There is such a prejudice about our downtown... but I get it. After all, sin stops when you get up the Hamilton mountain (yes, our downtown is actually downtown)... But I am proud to live downtown and be part of its revival. And to all those people who give us looks of pity and kindly say 'maybe next time you'll move up the mountain...?', I will just laugh and say 'Do you like my outfit?'.

And to all those people who read this blog and don't care about the social prejudices of the city in which I live, I will apologize and say 'Do you like my outfit?'.



Thrift Thursday. Taking Chances.

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It would be a much better story to say that love happened at first sight and we were inseperable from that moment on but the truth is, it was a moment of lust and then it was three years of the cold shoulder before the spark was rekindled. And that is why I, like Celine Dion (I have quoted this song before but it guides my life like a Northern star), believe in taking chances at the thrift store.


I found these boots years ago at a Value Village in Winnepeg when I went to visit a friend. At the time I loved the colour of the leather and how unique they were and even though at $10 I thought they were priced pretty high for a Winnepeg VV (remember in university speak, $10 is 2-3 drinks...), I took them home. It ended up taking me three years to get the courage to wear them, another 6 months to break them in and we have, since then, been living together in harmony for 1.5 years. I wear them a, here, here... and I am grateful that 5 years ago I had the insight to purchase them for Future Jentine.

I realize that the recommendation of taking chances at the thrift store could lead to potential hoarding situations. I wrote before that when I started to thrift very regularly again two years ago, I went a little overboard... it was partially because everything was so cheap but it was also because blogging suddenly gave me the confidence to wear what I wanted. It seemed like everything had potential and it all came home with me. Yes, the sparkly,mid-length, turtleneck dress with tassels was interesting and unusual but I looked like a Mennonite figure skater and that dress got donated back from whence it came. I don't doubt that one season all trend reports will predict the Mennonite figure skater look is so 'in' (after all, how long can we proclaim stripes and florals as the next big thing? ) but the dress just never looked nice on me. And I should never have bought it. But Future Jentine had not written a post yet about when to take chances at the thrift store, so we shall not punish Past Jentine...

And while I totally think the thrift store is a good and cheap way to try new trends (leopard, boyfriend blazers, sequins are all easy finds...), in this post I am referring to taking chances on styles that might not be current and are not available in multiple variations at your local F21. When I bought the boots five years ago, the chunky heel was, well, not cool (and back then I still reallllly cared about that) but I still bought them. I will take a chance on an item in a thrift store if the item passes this checklist...

Quality- Well, I am predictable... harping about quality again. If you are going to take a chance on an item and keep it in your closet for a while, it better be good enough quality to even deserve some room in prime real estate. A good brand, nice finishings, nice material... you know how we roll...

Timelessness- I wouldn't call the boots I thrifted timeless but the look of the heel is something that will come in and out of style over the years. Some trends will die (or at least I hope they will... insert exhaustive list here...) but other things are just on a constant cycle... skinny, flare, wide leg... mini, midi, maxi... it's worth gambling on something that is bound to come back in style.

Personal preference- An item might be great quality and be as timeless as Snooki's pouf but if it doesn't appeal to me, it's easy to leave it behind. I love brown, belts, purses... nothing shows age and wear better, so the boots attracted me immediately. You know what you like and what works with your body (and if you don't Sal will find you and preach sister). The odd thing is that as my confidence in my own style grows, I find myself caring less about what is trendy and more about what I like. And that is why I am glad I also took a chance on this vintage dress. I love it and will still love it 5 years from now... when everyone is wearing tasseled turtleneck dresses, jumping aboard the Mennonite figure skating trend...


Do you take chances at the thrift store?









Jacket? Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Shirt, pants and socks? Gap
Belt? Thrifted
Boots? Charles David, thrifted
Bag? Roots, thrifted

Last week Katy from Modly Chic started some discussion via FBFF about blogging participation. I participated as I do every week... mentally. It's not that I don't want to share and join in fashion blogging activities but as I already have problems even getting my Thrift Thursday posts up on a Thursday, I am hesitant to commit to anything with a set schedule (... in blogging... I do show up on time at work). The heart is willing but the body is not able... heck yes, I just wrote that.

I knew, however, there was no getting out of this edition of Everybody, Everywear, so I put on my best blazer and worked it out. I joined, not out of a sense of community but out of a sense of fear. A while back, I told Linda from The Auspicious Life a harmless little landscaping tale and she, in turn, made it sound like a felony. And now, I am doing all I can to stay on Linda's good side... I send her gushy tweets, I wear a blazer on her schedule and I'm even thinking of sending her one of most precious... Which cat would you like, Linda?

I am actually quite glad that Linda and Liz urged us to bust out a blazer today. Any day I get to wear elbow patches is a good day and I love how the blazer looks with the mustard top and the purple jeans. What I didn't love was almost ending up in the ditch along a country road while taking these pictures. But all is well that ends well... whoa... two over-used phrases in one post. I need to stop blogging and watch some television.


And yes, I am posing by a pile of manure... Another glamourous day.