Thursday, November 26, 2009

Moving over

If you're a regular visitor, you'll notice that I've made a small change and switched over to blogger. I realized that I needed a hosting provider that was more reliable than what I was using before. And of course, blogger is free which makes me very happy.

I managed to import over all my wordpress posts to blogger, after many MANY tries. There's a handy online utility to make the job easier, but it definitely was not painless. (I kept getting these annoying error messages). After much trial and error, I realized that it was the comments which were causing the errors with blogger's import. So I had to manually delete all the comments from the export file. I suppose I could have tried to figure out what was wrong with the XML and fix that, but by that point, I was literally about to hurl my coffee at the laptop. So I chose the easier route. But that also means that... I have LOST ALL MY COMMENTS in the move. :(

So... if you left me a comment in the past, I'm so sorry and I really do appreciate your words. Much more than you know probably. (It's nice to know that people are indeed reading what I write, and they are not just going out into the Internet void).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sincerest form of flattery

Jesse.anne.o came up with a great idea for a project in an effort "to try to create new outfits from stuff I already have, worn the way others wear them". What a great way to come up with outfits outside of our normal look and comfort zone, as well as find inspiration within our own closets. I for one, have been making an effort to scale back my purchases (fashion and otherwise) so I'm going to take a cue from her and do the same with my favourite fashion bloggers' looks.

I am so flattered that she chose one of my looks for the inaugural launch of her project.

My look:

OOTD Nov 15 2009

Now head over to her site and check out her re-creation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bubble necklace

OOTD Nov 20 2009

Outfit details:

necklace - J.Crew, sweater - Banana Republic, skirt - Old Navy, tights - H&M, socks - Joe Fresh, boots - Franco Sarto

After spending the majority of the week dressing for practicality and comfort, I decided that I needed a change of pace. So I pulled out the J.Crew bubble necklace that I recently acquired and set about building an outfit around it.

It's funny. I've adored and lusted over this necklace ever since it came out in it's original turquoise and coral versions last year (or was it even before that?). The $150 price tag seemed like highway robbery to me. I mean, c'mon! It's still a plastic beaded necklace. So every time my wistfulness over the necklace began to surface, I tried to flatten the feeling like a pancake. It's too big! It's a mass market piece of jewelry, so it's not that special. How could a petite girl like me pull it off anyway?

Well thanks to one of the lovely ladies on Fashionism who sold me hers, I was finally able to give into temptation. I actually danced when I pulled the necklace out of it's little silver box. It's much lovelier than I expected it would be, and I think it's my favourite piece in my jewelry box. (Of course, it also takes up half the jewelry box!) Maya likes it too. While I wore it today, every time the necklace was within reach of her grasp, her eyes would sparkle and she would touch it very very gently. No grabbing, no pulling… just admiring. My little girl is growing up.

I am astounded by how quickly she changes and how much she is learning. Right now, when she looks at me, it's with such sweetness, such unconditional love and trust and approval. Thinking about it just fills me with so much happiness, that it's almost impossible to believe. Before I had children, people would tell me, just wait. Children change your life for the better and in ways you can't even imagine. I knew they were right, but I could never imagine just how much of an impact children make on you. I don't think there are words that could exactly describe how my life and my core being has changed. Yes I am still very much the same person I was before I had Maya. But I've also changed in both subtle and unsubtle ways.

Maya growing up is such a bittersweet thing. On one hand, I am proud of the fantastic person she is becoming, and love to see her grow. But on the other hand, I wish I had a pause button so I could enjoy her just as she is a little longer.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hoarding

IMG_1391

Outfit details:

cardigan - JCrew, cami - Old Navy, pants - Banana Republic (outlet), shoes - Aldo


Sometimes you just have to dress for practicality and comfort. Such was yesterday when I pulled on this outfit.

Cute, practical, polished and a little bit preppy. I do wish I'd thrown on a necklace of some sort, but overall I am happy with the look. Partly because...

… I finally fit into these pants for the first time in over three years! Hooray, the last of my pregnancy weight finally came off and I'm back where I began. Not everything is as firm as it once was or looks exactly the way it was before (I don't remember my hips being this wide), but that's another story.

So I have a confession to make. I am a clothes hoarder. Case in point, this J.Crew Tartine cardigan that I'm wearing. I was obsessed with it when it first came out. I so wanted to own it, but couldn't justify the full price. So when it hit the sale page, I stalked it and eventually, it was mine.

When I received the cardigan, I was so sad to find that it was a little bit too small for me, and emphasized how wide I was. On eBay, it was selling for much more than I snagged it for, so I was tempted to sell it and use the funds to buy something else that worked better on me. It wasn't doing me any good anyway, and I could make some cool cash. But in the end, I just couldn't bear to part with it. It was just too pretty. Every so often, I would pull it out wistfully and try to make it work with an outfit, only to bury it back into my closet again in frustration.

Until yesterday. I put it on, and it fit! And it looks good.

So there you go. As long as your home doesn't start to resemble those sad souls on the show "Hoarders", hoarding can pay off. My overflowing closet is justified. Wait until I tell my husband.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Suburban sterotype

OOTD Nov 16 2009



Outfit details:

cardigan - Old Navy, skirt - Old Navy, tank - Martin & Osa, shoes - Banana Republic outlet, necklace - DIY

Yesterday I attended a brunch meet-up with my mother's group. In a way, I've become the stereotype of all suburban moms --- 4 bedroom house in a very typical subdivision, SUV, trips out to the grocery stores and parent/tot classes, backyard BBQs with the relatives, pot-lucks with the neighbours… and to top it off, the mother's group I joined a few months ago. I'm sure that soccer mom will be yet another label I'll add to my repertoire once Maya gets older. (And hopefully, mom jeans will be a label I never earn).

I have to admit that I'm enjoying life in the suburbs. Shocking, I know. Especially since I spent so much time living in NYC, epicentre of culture, food, fashion and a melting pot of individual style. But I suppose that I always imagined my kids having a similar childhood to the one I experienced. I never found life in the suburbs as a child all that bad. It was quiet, safe, predictable… yes. But it was also warm, fun and happy. I want to give my kids space to move around, the ability to play in their front yard, and the slower pace that'll keep them kids just a little bit longer.

Truthfully, I do end up dressing slightly differently whenever I meet up with any other mothers or take Maya to any of her classes. Or maybe more accurately, I dress to not look too fashion-y or even too polished. I suppose I feel a little self-conscious that people are indeed judging me by my appearance. And that I don't want to come off as vain, or too involved in myself -- like I'm the horrible mother who drags her daughter off shopping everyday and spends every spare minute fussing with her appearance in the mirror. (I swear this is not me!) And I suppose I don't want my appearance to make people think I'm aloof and unapproachable. I do a good enough job of that as myself since I'm an introvert. When I was little, I was painfully shy so I try my hardest now to put myself out there. Hence, one of the reasons I joined this group.

When I met with the moms today, one of them complimented me on how nice I looked. It's silly, but I totally downplayed what I was wearing because I began to wonder if I looked out of place. She was 100% genuine in her compliment so I don't know why I felt embarrassment over looking nice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I wish I were an Anthropologie catalogue

OOTD Nov 15 2009

OOTD Nov 15 2009

OOTD Nov 15 2009



Outfit Details:

dress - Brooklyn Industries, cardigan - Gap, necklace - Urban Outfitters, shoes - Aldo

You'll notice that my pictures are in a new location this time. This was not my choice. The tot decided that she would take over my "studio" location and make it into her pretend zoo for the day. A whole hoard of animals are taking up residence there, including the giraffe family, bunny, elephant and a baby. (I think the baby is just visiting).

Part of the reason I enjoy looking through different personal style blogs and fashion communities, besides to see the fantastic outfits, is to see the way they've set up their photos. Some of them are so well done that they look like fashion editorials. I've been playing with my poses, but I'm not sure if it works for me. I feel awkward doing any kind of "fashion-y" poses. Ah well, I suppose I'll improve with time.

I've had this Brooklyn Industries dress for over two years now and have never worn it. I kept putting it on, thinking that it would hide my post-baby pug, but instead felt super frumpy. Well, last week I took out the seam that was bothering me (the centre seam was sewn together about 5 inches down from the waistline), and hacked off about 5 inches of hem. Much better! Still, I'm not entirely happy with the dress. If I find some more free time with my sewing machine, I will take in the top portion of the dress. In the meantime, an oversized gramdpa cardi will cover up the slightly too blousy top. And this cardigan is yet another example of shopping in my closet. It's Gap maternity from my pregnancy days. Shh... don't tell!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nanowrimo

Apparently, I have been living under a bridge because this month is the first time I've heard the term "Nanowrimo". While it sounds like it should deal with nanotechnology (or maybe a strange alien greeting), it is actually a project where people challenge themselves to write a 50 000 word novel during the month of November (hence National November Writing Month). Still, given that definition, my techie brain translates this to a bunch of nannies who replicate themselves into a fascinating science-fiction (of course!) novel. Hmm, that would be quite awesome actually.

I love to write. And while I've put aside my dreams of beginning a novelist, one part of me has been wanting to participate despite the fact that I am now far far behind. Whereas 50 000 words in 30 days sounded just a little daunting, 50 000 words in 15 days sounds downright impossible! Still, nothing ventured, nothing ever put down in paper right?

Well, I went ahead and created my Nanowrimo account last night, and started plugging away. So far, I am at a measly 968 words, but it's a start. Besides, I'm really accountable to no one but myself. If my November writing month morphs into a November/December writing month, who's really going to complain right? And I think NaNoDeWriMo has a nice sound to it.

Vanity

Back when I was a new mother and still learning the ropes, I went through some dark days. Looking back, I suspect it might've been a mild (although it didn't feel that way!) case of postpartum depression. I spent much of my days filled with anxiety that I had no idea what I was doing, and I felt like my life and identity had disappeared.

I had thought that motherhood would fill me with joy, so I was completely unprepared for feeling so lost like I did -- both in my new role (hey, aren't we supposed to be born with maternal instincts?) and in my identity.

Eventually, with each passing day, I started to feel better. Thanks in part to my supportive husband (except maybe when lack of sleep overcame him) and my awesome friends. I realized that I was doing a decent job as a new mother so my anxiety lessened. And one of the more trivial things that helped me was finding the time to put myself together in the mornings (or sometimes afternoons). I noticed that my mood improved if I felt good about my appearance. So I tossed aside my maternity gear which I had shamefully still been wearing, my saggy yoga pants and tanks/tees, and began to dress in a way that made me feel good about myself. My appearance might be a vain thing to spend time on, but it makes me happy. And if I'm happy, I'm a better mom to Maya.

OOTD Nov 13 2009

OOTD Nov 13 2009

Outfit Details:

jacket - Gap, blouse - H&M, necklace - DIY, jeans - Gap, shoes - Frye, scarf - eBay

Here's another outfit of my typical "mommy style". I wore this on Friday to to run to the grocery store and get our shopping for the weekend done (toddler in tow). I then switched to my sneakers (jeans rolled up. I know… fashion faux pas with bootcuts!) so we could spend an hour at the park. It was actually a bit cold by the time we made it the park, but my scarf kept me toasty enough.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chain store shopaholic

OOTD Nov 12 2009

OOTD Nov 12 2009

Outfit Details:

dress: H&M, belt: H&M, trench: H&M, tights: H&M, boots: Frye, necklace: gift

I spent the better part of the day in an old grey t-shirt and black yoga pants, as me and Maya had a parent & tot gymnastics class this morning. After going home, having lunch and some playtime together, I was overcome by a sudden urge to change into something cute and check out the Old Navy friends and family sale. (Hmm.. are my shopaholic tendencies showing themselves?)

We both ended up scoring some cute things, and a nice sales associate allowed me to re-purchase the coats I bought earlier this week with the discount. Score! I have completely and totally burned through my budget for this month, but I do have some nice things to show for it.

I wish I could write about more interesting items that I shop for. Little treasures found in thrift shops, or vintage finds that I'll never see a dozen other people wearing. But in reality, most of my wardrobe comes from a variety of chain stores: H&M, Old Navy, JCrew, Gap, Banana Republic and Joe Fresh are my staples. I'm envious of all my fellow bloggers who write about the things they find: cute little peter pan blouses from the 60s, feminine 50s day dresses or a pair of amazing knee high boots circa 1970s. I would love to begin thrifting and shopping vintage, but the thought of digging through racks of clothes seems a little daunting with a toddler. I also wouldn't know the first place to start with regard to the shops. I've been to Value Village a few times before, but I don't think I've ever unearthed an amazing treasure. Oh, and I used to love haunting Housing Works in New York (both the one in the UWS and the one in Brooklyn depending on where I lived at the time). I have found some cute things there, but again, no amazing vintage finds.

So what are some tips for a newbie wanting to begin thrift/vintage shopping. Leave the toddler at home perhaps?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Getting the balance right

Sometimes I have a hard time striking the right balance between the image I want to project, the styles that I admire, and the look that most people with my lifestyle have. DH has told me several times that sometimes, he wishes I would just dress like all the other moms around here. He believes that me "dressing up" distances myself from other people, and make me hard to approach. It's not that the other moms around here dress badly. Most look great, but their style is so much more casual than my own (yoga pants, jeans, stylish sneaks). You'll see me dressed in jeans and sneakers going to the park, but more often than not, I'm in a simple dress, tights and flats.

Often I daydream of being born back in the 50s/60s where people were always immaculately dressed just because anything less was improper. Of course, their wardrobes were so much smaller that I'd probably cry from the lack of choices as well. I love looking at old pictures of my parents when they were dating. They and all their friends look so glamorous, yet relaxed and natural in their clothes. Even their picnic attire makes me swoon. My mom would wear capris, a simply sleevless blouse, sunglasses, scarf and wedges and look every bit as elegant as Audrey Hepburn. She passed away almost five years ago, and I still miss her every day. She's probably my strongest fashion influence and my icon, although I never truly realized that until she was gone.

We are such a great point in fashion where really, anything goes. But in reality, there's a limit to where I feel I can push my fashion boundaries before my age and lifestyle make it look ridiculous. The outfit that I have on today is one of my dressier ones. It's a quiet day for us so I had a little extra time to put into my appearance. The shoes are really my "fantasy" shoes for the outfit I have on. Leaving the house, I'll probably exchange them for a pair of ballet flats.

Outfit details:

skirt: H&M, top: H&M, necklace - Anthropologie, belt - ?, tights - Nine West, shoes - Frye

OOTD Nov 11 2009

OOTD Nov 11 2009 necklace

OOTD Nov 11 2009 shoes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blacks and greys on this sunny day

Even though the sun is shining and it's another (fairly) warm and gorgeous day, I felt like dressing in shades of grey and black. I love how chic and elegant these two colours can look together.

With the exception of the heels (which I will be trading in for flats shortly), this is a prime example of my "mommy uniform". I find a dress the easiest thing to pull on in the morning. And as long as the dress is practical (ie: machine washable and not too short), I can run around with Maya in it.

Outfit details:
dress: Old Navy, necklace - gift, watch - stolen from DH, shoes - Aldo





IMG_1307

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The best days of autumn

Today was the most gorgeous day we'd seen in a long time. It made the frigid temperatures of last week disappear and injected a new energy in our steps. We forewent our usual lazy Sunday and left the house early to enjoy the day.

After a quick breakfast at McDonald's (Maya's choice, not ours), we headed to the lake for a walk. We spent most of our time wandering along the pier gazing at the water. It's so much fun to do the things we had previously done alone as a couple with Maya. It's like seeing everything through a new set of eyes. Everything is magical and innocent and possible. Maya had a wonderful time making friends with the ducks and geese swimming around by the pier, and she couldn't stop chattering on in amazement about the "glittering" water. We ran into some weekend fishermen who were trying to lure some pike and bass, and they patiently showed Maya the rods and bait they were using. Our afternoon ended with a quiet walk around our neighbourhood and some play time in the park at the end of the street. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Outfit details:
dress: Jcrew, earrings: the Bay (random brand), tights - Joe Fresh, shoes - Banana Republic (outlet), bag - Rebecca Minkoff

Photo credit: Mo Attia (my wonderful husband)







Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...