Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

A huge thank you to Carly from Strawberry Heels Forever and Jess from What Jess Likes for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Both of them are such talented and stylish ladies, and I'm forever inspired by their outfits.  I'm also so flattered to be in the company of some of my favourite blogs by winning this award!

When you get the Versatile Blogger Award:

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog in your post. Tell seven things about yourself and award seven recently discovered bloggers and contact the bloggers to let them know they received the Versatile Blogger Award.

1) I played the piano for 8 years, and stopped short of my grade 8 exam for the Royal Conservatory of Music.  I'm embarrassed to say that I don't play regularly anymore, and when I do, I cringe at how badly I play. Seriously, one step above chopsticks.

2) Growing up, the last thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a computer geek. I wanted to be a writer/doctor/teacher/astronaut/lawyer. Today, I'm a computer geek.

3) Whenever I stare into the mirror too long, I start searching for white or grey hairs.  If I find one, I have to pull it out.  This probably means I need to dye my hair at some point, otherwise, my OCD tendency will leave me bald.

4) I love to write fiction. I wish I could make a living out of it, but unfortunately, I'm not very good.

5) I am really affected by Armageddon/end-of-the-world/disaster movies.  They stick with me, and I think about them for days or even weeks -- like what would I do if "such-and-such-scenario" happened. I always tell everyone that I think my survival instinct is really poor, and I would probably be one of the first to go if something terrible happened.

6) When I was little, my parents didn't put any limits on what movies my brother and I could watch.  Parents take note: do not let your little one watch Alien at age 7. The scene where the alien bursts out of John Hurt's stomach had me running to my room and left me scarred. It was a good two months before I'd touch anything with tomato sauce on it.  (I have no idea what meal they were having in that scene, but I thought he was eating spaghetti when it happened). To this day, I still cannot watch Alien in its entirety.

7) I was totally grunge in college. Yup, doc martens, baggy jeans, flannel shirts and the occasional concert tee.  Hard to believe isn't it?

Seven of my favourite blogs which I've come across in the past few months are:

Outfit of the day: black skinny jeans

Outfit Details:

top - Winners, cardigan - Old Navy, jeans - Gap, shoes - Connie, necklace - H&M

Considering my lifestyle as a WAHM, you would think that I would dress in jeans most of the time. If you follow my blog, you know that the reverse is actually true. My hairdresser commented recently on how nicely I always dress, especially considering that I work from home. She was surprised to find out that I work far into geek territory (IT developer), and had thought that I was in a creative field like writer or artist. I found that extremely flattering since, in my opinion, I am the furthest from a creative type.

Still, I suppose it is pretty common to dress down if you can. When DH worked from home, he was found solidly in jeans, t-shirts and was rarely found clean-shaven. He can work like that, I can't. When I do the XX chromosome equivelent, I find that I am extremely unproductive. When I look pulled together, then I work that way as well. Not to say you can't look pulled together in jeans, yoga pants or tees. But I personally just don't feel that way when I do.

So this is about the most casual that I get when I'm working from home. I feel good, and confident, and pretty, and most importantly... productive.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My little decision maker

Outfit Details:

dress - H&M, cardigan - Tocca, necklace - Anthropologie, boots - Frye

I am a very indecisive person in just about everything. Because of this, I tend to be boring with my choices at times. If I'm in Starbucks and I can't decide on a drink, I'll default to a grande non-fat latte. If I'm at the drugstore and can't decide on which magazine I want to buy, I'll default to InStyle or Lucky (although that magazine has been disappointingly dull and thin lately. I like my magazines to have heft!)

When it comes to dressing, if I can't decide on an outfit, I'll play eeny meeny miney mo, or I'll flip a coin. Or sometimes I'll assign the outfits as even or odd, and last digit in the time will determine what I wear that day.

Nowadays, I have Maya.

I'll lay out my choices on the bed and ask her to choose. She'll pause, purse her lips just a little, then smile and point "That one! It's so pretty!"

Of course, she's also very predictable. She will always... always choose the girliest outfit with the most ruffles or a floral print.  And always a dress or skirt over pants or jeans.

I probably don't need to add that she chose this outfit for me today, do I?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Outfit of the day: Birds and lace

Outfit Details:

blouse - Sears (Attitude), skirt - H&M, boots - Miss Sixty

My apologies for the unplanned hiatus I took. Whenever things get crazy around here, the blog is the first to fall to the wayside. (If only I could figure out a way to make money planning outfits and blogging about it!) Don't worry, you didn't miss anything. My outfits tend to lack creativity whenever I get super busy. Either I fallback to tried and true outfits that I love. Or I default to jeans and a shirt, jeans and a sweater, jeans, top and cardi... well, you get the picture. 

This skirt, which I found many moons ago at H&M, is very reminiscent of the Tracy Reese Spinning Lace dress. I love that it's a skirt which I find so much more versatile, and easily downplayed for everyday life than the Spinning Lace dress. Surprisingly, I found this blouse at Sears(!) of all places.  I love the whimsical bird print, and the blouson sleeves. I wasn't sure if I preferred the shirt tucked or untucked with this outfit, so I tried it both way. In the end, I settled for tucked because I thought it de-emphasized my non-existent torso a touch better. But which way do you prefer?

Looking at these OOTD pictures, I'm not sure why my colour palatte has been so muted lately. I suppose its me dressing like the weather again. We had about 8 inches of snow dumped on us last week and it's veeery sloooowly melting away. I'm sure that I'll dress brighter and "funner" once the warm weather arrives.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Outfit Details:

top - Calvin Klein (via Winners), skirt - Zara, boots - Frye, necklace - Forever 21

Although I haven't had the opportunity to partake in St. Patrick's day since... oh, before I was pregnant with Maya over 5 years ago... it hasn't stopped me from dressing the part today.

This brocade skirt from Zara is an oldie but a goodie. I've had it for at least 7 years, and I love it still as much as the day I first tried it on.  DH maintains that it looks like a curtain, but what do boys know about style anyway?

The top is a recent steal from my epic Winners haul of last month. It cost $3! I almost picked it up for full-price a few months ago, so it was a nice surprise to come across it for less than a latte at Starbucks. You might say the luck of the Irish* on was my side that day!

* Sorry.  Super cheesy, but I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Outfit of the day: Gap tie dye dress

Outfit Details:

dress - Gap, cardigan - PURE by Alfred Sung (Zellers), tights - Joe Fresh, boots - Frye, necklace - Forever 21

If you've been following my blog, you probably know what a Gap fan girl I became over the fall and winter seasons.  The reason is a two-fer:

1) I think Gap has totally stepped up their style, and a lot of their items have been resonating with me.

2) Their sales have been epic the last several months. EPIC. They might be spoiling me for all other sales (40% off? meh... that's no bargain), but as long as they keep it up, I'll be a life long customer.

So I was a bit surprised when I realized that I hadn't made a purchase from there in well over 2 1/2 months. I have a few things on my wish list (like wideleg jeans), but no item or sale was enticing me into the store.  Until this weekend that is. Their new mobile campaign brought me into the store despite a cold and a preschooler in tow.

One of the items that followed me home is this tie dye print dress.  I think it has kind of an abstract snake print, but done in a girly-fied way (flutter sleeves and flowy cotton fabric).  I paired it with a bold necklace (amazing find from my first in-store Forever 21 trip in 3 years) and cognac accessories.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Outfit of the day: blue floral and army green

Outfit Details:

shirt - Old Navy, skirt - H&M, tights - Joe Fresh, shoes - Target

I don't know why I do this. I procrastinate (for no good reason, just because I am by nature, a procrastinator) going in for a haircut until I reach the point where I cannot pass get through one single day without mentally screaming at my hair in frustration. I finally make an appointment where my genius of a hair dresser makes my hair look amazing, and I can now get through the next month or two feeling pretty darn good about my appearance.

Yeah, my hair looks awesome, and I am experiencing that post-afterglow of a great cut.  Too bad I cut my heads out of the pictures or I would share it with you. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it!

And in other news, my car has been freed with brute force (thanks to DH).  Of course, the door is unusable at the moment, but the repair guy is coming in two days. The car is living on the driveway temporarily, but at least I'm mobile again.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Outfit Details:

dress - H&M, cardigan - Old Navy, shoes - Connie

So guess what?  I am trapped in my own house today with a crazy preschooler!

Okay, so maybe that's an exaggeration. But my car is trapped in the garage, and the automatic garage door opener is stuck. It opens the door about one inch before it jams, and stops. I tried cleaning off the sensors of the lovely dead bugs and spider webs that have accumulated over the winter (ugh). Nothing. I pulled the manual release, which slammed the garage door to the ground (and scared the hebejebes out of Maya who ran into the house in terror), and not even my freakishly strong muscles (sarcasm alert) could budge it open more than an inch or two. To top it off, this week is March break, so I was supposed to drop Maya at my MILs house while I worked from home. *sigh* Where are ten burly men when I need them to lift our SUV off the ground and move it to DH's side of the garage where the door is working perfectly?!

Oh well, we managed. I kept Maya amused for a couple hours with our pretend version of an indoor beach and lots of toys... and some cookies... and maybe some candy. (Like, I said, we managed!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Outfit of the day: polka dot blouse and lace skirt

Outfit Details:

blouse - H&M, cardigan - Old Navy, skirt - Larry Levine (via Winners), shoes - Steve Madden, necklace - Target

I don't know what's the matter with me.  For the past 2-3 weeks, I have been unable to sleep more than 6 1/2 hours a night, even on the weekends.  I wake up feeling exhausted, but can only doze until I finally rouse myself out of bed.  It's not insomnia because I have no trouble falling asleep... the problem is staying asleep after I've had the minimum number of hours my body needs to function.  Too much on my mind I suppose. Unsurprisingly, I woke up early and exhausted again... and I do believe I'm fighting a cold (sore throat, foggy brain).

I needed something to pick me up this morning, so I choose an outfit that made me feel especially pretty.  (By the way, am I the only one who does things like that? DH dresses like a slob when he's tired or down or stressed. I'm the total opposite and dress in an effort to improve my mood.)  I paired it with a black lace pencil skirt and pale pink cardigan that would compliment the softness of the blouse without overpowering it. I pulled out these shoes that I love, but which for no good reason, I haven't worn at all this season.

About 30 minutes into my work day, I was surprised to hear the doorbell ring. It was my good friend and neighbour from next door. She stopped for coffee this morning, and thought to bring me one just because. Very sweet of her, and just the pick me up I needed on this dreary morning (both weather and soul).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter winter go away

Outfit Details:

blouse - Liz Claiborne (thrifted), sweater - Joe Fresh, skirt - Gap, boots - Miss Sixty

Old man winter sure likes to mess with our heads. One day it's warm and everything is melting. The next day is rainy and windy. And the next day the snow and cold temperatures are back. I am so done with winter. DH and I have been day dreaming about a retirement place in Florida, which is a great thought until I remember that we have about 20-30 years left of our working career before we hit retirement. Hmm, there's always the lottery I suppose.

After seeing all the great polka dotted outfits on everyone yesterday inspired me to break out some of my own. While its too late to participate in the challenge, wearing this under-utilized top makes me smile.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Outfit of the day: winterizing the Reed dress

Outfit Details:

dress - Anthropologie, sweater - Costa Blanca, belt - Forever 21, boots - Frye

I have a soft spot in my heart for shirt dresses with full skirts.  They make me feel simultaneously put together, pretty, girly and low maintenance.  If they have snack pockets, that's a major bonus!

My Anthropologie Reed dress doesn't get nearly enough wear during the cold weather months because the material is so thin and floaty that it feels spring.  The print however says all seasons to me, so I set out (or inside my closet) with the goal of winterizing the dress. I'm happy with the combination that I came up with.  The short sleeved cardigan lets the print on the sleeves show, while the belt cinches in my waist.  And bonus... double set of snack pockets!  Before you judge me and my need for four(*) pockets, let me remind you that I am also keeping a preschooler's appetite satisfied too.

* Make that five pockets... forgot to count the chest pocket on the Reed dress.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another cup of joe please!

Outfit Details:

cardigan - J.Crew, blouse - Gap, skirt - Old Navy, shoes - Connie, necklace - Tiffany

On the weekends, we tend to be more lax about schedules and bedtime in general.  Instead of rushing Maya to bed at 8:30pm, we'll let her stay up an extra hour and justify to ourselves that she'll sleep in the next day.  Then, we'll stay up a little later than usual ourselves, justifying that everyone can sleep in the next day.

Except Maya almost never sleeps in.

And every Saturday morning, I'm woken up by a preschooler before I'm ready to face the day, and it's a struggle to stay awake, and I'm begging someone to hook me up to an IV drip of coffee.  Why oh why do I keep doing this to myself?

I need to teach Maya how to work the remote control so she can wake up, go downstairs and watch her shows.  Oh, I'll need to teach her how to pour her own bowl of cereal too.  Hey, that's what me and my bother used to do on Saturday mornings!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Outfit of the day: Lands End Canvas shirt dress

Outfit Details:

dress - Lands End Canvas, belt - H&M, boots - Frye

It's official. Scrolling through my outfit posts, I wear these boots way too often. I actually didn't realize how much I would love them, or what work horses they would turn out to be when I ordered them as my Christmas present from DH. (Yes, I buy my own gifts and DH wraps them... that's how we roll and it works for us!) I love when that happens... and I probably need to make sure that happens with the majority of items in my closet.

This shirt dress from Lands End Canvas is another example. Every time I wear this dress, I feel amazing in it. I don't think I ever owned a dress that fit me so well. I went very minimal with the accessories because I think this dress stands on its own.

In other news: I bought a black trench from H&M today. This makes three items in three days. This is bad. Must. Shop... erm I mean... Stop!

New purchases: H&M blouse, Anthropologie Precious Particulars blouse

In an effort to keep my shopping in check, both in price and quantity, I am attempting to blog about all my fashion related purchases.  A much needed check considering that it's only the 2nd day of March and I've already bought two new tops to add to my closet.

First up is this H&M blouse. The polka dots, flutter sleeves and tie neck all appeal to my girly vintage nature.  The material is a very soft and flowy cotton.  It's a little thin, which isn't a bad thing for spring, but not to the point where I would need a cami underneath.  It has an elastic waistline that I'm not entirely happy with, as it limits the blouse to tuck-in only outfits.  I'm considering altering the top to remove the elastic and increase its versatility.  But we'll see how long it takes for me to get to this project.  (My alteration/mending pile is about a mile high at the moment).  On the plus side, the elastic does keep the blouse from untucking.  At just under $20 duck dollars (aka Canadian), the top is a steal and makes me want to go back and hunt the racks at H&M for more treasures.

And just look at how well it goes with my outfit of the day!

My second March purchase is the Anthro's Precious Particulars blouse, which made my spring wish list last month. When it went on sale today, how could I not pull the trigger? I can't wait to pair it with flares, platform sandals and a pair of oversize sunglasses for a 70s spring look. Since this was the only item that caught my eye this sales cycle, I opted to have the blouse shipped to me rather than treking to the store. With the ridiculous gas prices, it's actually cheaper for me to pay $7 for shipping than pay $12-14 for gas*.

(*) Wow, seeing that number print just made my stomach turn.  My next car is definitely going to be a hybrid or electric

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Outfit of the day: florals, tweed, studs and lace

Outfit Details:

cardigan - J.Crew, top - Winners, skirt - H&M, shoes - Connie, necklaces - Tiffany initial necklace and Avon locket

Mixing patterns is a bit out of my comfort zone, and I feel like its hard to nail it down perfectly. But eureka! I do believe I got it right today.  

When I was growing up, my mother was our neighbourhood Avon lady. As such, I got a lot of cool stuff including lipstick samples which I used on my Barbie-ish makeup/hairstyle head... and more importantly, some cute jewellery which I still occasionally break out today. Now if only I could find that reindeer pendant I used to wear during the holidays.  It even had a tiny bell around its neck!

Do you have any jewellery that you used to wear as a child?

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