Sometimes it can be difficult to look stylish in a professional environment. I get asked this question all the time. Don’t fall into the black slacks and flats routine, that’s a little drab and boring. You can look cute and appropriate, and if you find pieces that are versatile then you’ll also be able to wear them to places other than where you work. A fitted leather jacket is a great piece to have. Make sure your jacket is very fitted in the arms, and it doesn’t have to do up, I never zip up my leather jacket. It should feel quite snug, remember it’ll give after you wear it. My leather jacket is Mackage, but I love this Neiman Marcus, and it’s priced well for a leather bomber. If the price tag scares you, I say this: you will wear it A LOT and a cheap jacket can discredit your whole look. If that still doesn’t sway you, then get a denim jacket that’s well fitted and structured, that will work here too. Pick one inspiration piece in your outfit, for this look the inspiration is this rad printed skirt. Do not spend a lot of money on these pieces, as they are likely to be worn for only a season or two. Then the rest should be pretty simple, the black sweater will be classic and can be worn with so much, the bucket bag is perfect for work and every day, the shoes can be worn with skirts, skinnies, boyfriend jeans, you name it. What do you think about this look, would you feel comfortable wearing this? Take a look at fashion Q&A and write me for any suggestions!Pin It
I love yellow. I always have, actually. I can’t picture a bitchy person wearing yellow, I feel like if the colour yellow had a personality it would be exactly my mom’s personality – sweet, genuine, a little goofy at times. It’s a happy colour.
4. Hipanema Heaven Bracelet, $123
5. Dolce Vita Nitro Cutout Sandals, $181Pin It
I made this for dinner tonight, and it was SO yummy! Such a great idea, I’ve looked at other quinoa fried “rice” recipes, but I liked this one the best. So easy to make, takes about 20 minutes total and pretty darn healthy too. I added green garbanzo beans (chic peas) which I got from the frozen food section at Costco, and I also added Frank’s hot sauce instead of teriyaki sauce to save some calories, and because if I didn’t know better I’d drink that stuff right out of the bottle. Also I used red pepper instead of carrots because that’s what I had in my fridge, consider adding mushrooms too. Make a batch and have leftovers for lunch the next day. Photo and original recipe courtesy of Cooking For Keeps.
Every year you hear whispers of New Year’s Resolutions, what are they, how can we keep them, how often will we go to the gym, how many cups of coffee we will limit ourselves to… I think we should focus on resolutions in a different way, and to keep it simple. What will feed your brain? Who cares about working out and coffee intake, what about trying to add more beauty, more culture, more delicious food, more travel? I am so into that this year. I start to feel antsy at this time of year, and instead of browsing my favourite clothing stores online I find myself searching through travel sites, and looking at art prints. I think a very reasonable and soul nurturing resolution in 2014 would be to get more or give more art, in any form it comes in and only as long as it means something to you or to the receiver. All the prints below are on Society6. I love all of these prints, and they all mean something. The photo of San Francisco’s Chinatown reminds me of the trip I took there with Shane, we got caught in the rain and were running through Chinatown, it was one of the best trips we’ve had! Prints are quite inexpensive, and they make a great gift. This year birthday presents should be art, and better if it’s personally made by you. Things are beautiful when they’re personal, meaning adds value…always.
7 Days LEFT! You’ll love the Dani Press Product Line, and we want to see it grow. It’s that time of year folks, support local businesses, especially the ones that produce great products. Who wouldn’t want to receive one of these cards? Watch the video below.
Hey readers! What do you think of the article “Why Good Girls Have Become Unicorns?” and the response “from a Unicorn”.
Reposted from Elite Daily, take a look:
We live in a very strange world, a world where love is cursed by polygamy, sex has lost its value, and women have changed drastically. From once having morals and respect for themselves, girls are running around now with not a bit of dignity.
Sure, you can call it generation YOLO and women seizing the moment and just living life and having fun like they like to call it, but it just leaves me hoping I never end up with a daughter. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all about having fun: the quick sex, the quick thrill and the terrible Facebook photos that you get tagged in the next day, but there has to be some sort of a line.
For men, it’s great that these women have decided to become just like us. They’ve taken the male approach to sex and the way we treat the other gender. It is almost like they have become a mirror image of men in our love for a multitude of partners. This is great, because it cuts out a lot of the hard work that men used to have to go through to woo a woman to get what they ultimately want.
Sure, women have become independent, which is a great feat and should constantly be encouraged, but that is the positive side of women rising to power in our society. With every pro there happens to be a con, and the con here is that most of these women have completely lost all respect for themselves, and their morals along the way.
They’ve become thirsty for attention, from posting half naked photos on Instagram to having their whole lives exposed on the internet, through the course of hashtags. Then you have drugs, uppers being predominant, and many women are addicted to prescription pills to help their “anxiety.” In short, women have become easy, but they have also become broken — and eventually become undesirable because no one stays hot forever.
Sure, we men are to blame for this as well, but that is because we are idiots. It all comes down to perception. Women see us drool over that hot girl that is standing half naked in her default picture or see us go wild when we easily get the number to a hot girl we just met on the street. To a man’s perception this seems “right” because it’s exactly what we want: sex without much effort. But for women from the outside looking in, they think that this is what we want, and it skews their perception.
Good girls gone bad, the city is filled with them to paraphrase the great Jay Z. The problem is that it’s not just the city, but society as a whole. Men are to blame for this because we encourage such behavior and give these girls the attention they want when they are dressed up like complete idiots at EDM shows and when they are in their bikinis on Instagram. But women are also to blame in giving this artificial persona of what men call hot or not.
Sure I’m an assh*le who loves to take advantage of women who are willing to bang me without me having to offer too much, but at the same time, I am also a gentleman who knows how to treat a lady with respect and compassion, just like any other true lady should be treated.
The truth of the matter is that you can’t change women that are already broken, so those are the ones that men use for exactly what we want: sex with no strings attached. Because it’s easy and it’s right in front of us. But at some point in time, through the course of our lives, we are going to grow out of chasing someone that has been with everyone. Sure being a bachelor is fun and all, the stories are great, bragging to our friends is epic, but we are eventually going to want more out of a female than just sex.
That is when we want to settle down, but with a lady who has respect for herself, morals — and there isn’t one guy out there that can have a bad story to tell about her — like the time she had a threesome in a London hostel while studying abroad.
Because of the double standard that is in place between men and women, finding a girl of this nature wasn’t that hard decades ago because women actually held high standards for themselves and demanded men to treat them properly before they gave them what they wanted.
The truth of the matter nowadays is that good girls, as we like to call them, don’t really exist. They are unicorns. You are lucky if you come across one that is actually who she says she is. We sometimes even joke that our future wives are currently in Kindergarten because it is comforting to know that she is currently playing with blocks and not swinging from man to man because they sell her a good enough story. And when she’s 18, we’ll snap her right up and she’ll have no exposure to the world of dating.
Men are going to want to settle down with a good girl, a girl that is respectable and not someone that has been with everyone — as that is every man’s fear. The older you get, the more you realize that it is a fantasy and that doesn’t actually exist. When you actually meet one, you will refuse to admit she’s real anyways.
My question is what happened to a girl impressing us with her intellect and being able to hold a conversation past: do you come here often? Why has it become the standard that women have to impress men by flashing their breasts or dressing up half naked? Sure, we may seem dumb when we are chasing smuts, but when we do actually want to settle down with a female, she has to meet the standards that we have for a girl with whom we want to settle down.
Through my experiences, as well as the experiences of many other men, it’s hard to come across a good girl or a unicorn. We’re not asking for much here, just a girl that respects herself and is smart to the point where she would understand us.
But then there is the other side of the spectrum, that when we do actually find a unicorn and settle down, our ego gets a bit ahead of ourselves and we find them a bit too boring for our liking, so we decide to cheat. It’s like a double-edged sword. You realize it wasn’t getting the unicorn, but rather attracting something you thought never existed. It always is about the chase and never about the perfection of the woman. And that is the mindset of men in the 21st century.
What we look for is a lady on the street and a freak in the bed, as Ludacris once explained. The problem is that most girls are freaks everywhere, which leaves us with fewer options when trying to settle down. Unicorns are tough to find, and if you do stumble upon one, do everything in your power to hold on to her, as the chase is only fun for so long — and we do have a sense of compassion and companionship we like to share with a partner.
Those are the natural instincts of a man. Ladies, men are not going to respect you if you don’t respect yourselves. It’s that simple.
Indeed, it is a very strange world. I have just discovered my life choices have categorized me as a unicorn. I’ve never tried any illegal substances, had my first drink at 23, feel guilty for forgetting to say thank you to someone holding the door for me for days, and I’m a 24-year-old virgin.
Although I had self-esteem issues with my body when I was younger, I was never without people telling me I was pretty. Now that I’m secure in my identity, I’ve noticed a sharp uptick in overt male attention.
So why am I a unicorn? And why are there so few like me? I do agree with your assertion that women have changed, Mr. Waters. However, I contest your assertion that it’s because we’ve “lost all respect for [ourselves].”
In the bygone eras in which your only hope of gaining social status was through marriage, holding onto your chastity was not a symptom of holding yourself in high esteem. It was your only option if you didn’t want to have to sell your body for food and shelter.
In a time where we can make our own money and have the option to marry for love, we’re in the awkward transition phase of discovering our new place in the world. We don’t have to be a pious maiden or a disposable whore; we make our own destiny. It takes a while for a new normal to find itself.
In this vein, you have asserted that women have “become broken.” Women have always been broken; you’re just witnessing our messy attempts to reassemble the pieces. Our struggles were once secret and silent; you’ve only just noticed because our changing sexual habits are now affecting you and your dick.
I became aware of this article because a former male classmate of mine posted it on his Facebook page. He is, in fact, one of the “idiots” to blame for the lack of women that are “settling down material,” so to speak. He would proudly proclaim the amount of easy ladies he’s boned, but a few minutes later would complain that he couldn’t find a nice girl with substance.
In truth, he could find a nice girl, but what he fails to recognize is that nice girls don’t just respect themselves; they also respect other women. I don’t care how much casual sex a girl is having, if a man disrespects her and I know about it, he will be relegated to the never category.
So why am I really a unicorn? The truth is, male attention makes me uncomfortable. I’m just as damaged as the girl who sleeps with a different man every night; I just reacted to my trauma differently. When I was a little girl, I witnessed my mother fight off a sexual assault from her partner at the time. Before I knew what sex really even was, my first association was a violent man.
This trauma went dormant in my psyche for a long time because I was too young to process it. Then puberty came. My male counterparts transitioned from boys to men in front of my eyes and our relationships suddenly changed. They started to look at me differently, and they were no longer my friends; they were potential dangers I had to defend myself against.
Now, I’m certainly not a man-hater. I love men. That was part of the problem. The fact I was starting to have this mutual sexual attraction to men made it worse for me. Without being able to articulate my feelings even to myself, I didn’t trust myself to pick the right man, so I picked none of them.
When I was 18, I finally took a chance. He was kind, respectful, generous and handsome. He also opened Pandora’s box because he touched me. After dating for a while, he gently put his hand over my jeans while kissing me.
I cried for days. He thought I’d been molested as a child. Honestly, maybe I was and don’t remember. The night I witnessed my mother’s sexual assault, that same man tried to strangle his father to death. I have no memory of that part of the evening.
The reason I’m getting so personal is to try to illustrate the futility of categorizing good girls as unicorns. We aren’t magical, ethereal beings. We reacted to all of the same horribly negative sh*t that “bad girls” do. But instead of trying desperately to seek men’s approval through sex, we reject them completely.
Praising us as unicorns doesn’t help us get over our issues. It just encourages our unhealthy behavior and makes us feel like we have to live up to some perfect ideal. I went to a gynecologist for the first time recently. It was horrible enough to be naked with your feet in stirrups, but she kept praising me for being a virgin, so much so, it made me start to question my healthy advancement in my views towards my sexuality.
I’m ready now. I will have sex when I find a connection with a man worthy of my respect. As it turns out, those are the real unicorns.
Over the years I’ve come to learn that men are just as damaged as women. They started out sweet and caring, but then someone breaks their hearts. Their parents broke them by telling them they weren’t masculine enough, their first loves broke them by cheating on them. These men then become quick pleasure junkies because a one-night stand can’t break your heart. It’s a never-ending cycle of broken people, creating more broken people.
So men, there’s no such thing as a woman who doesn’t care about anything. If the girl you’re chasing “refuses to give a f*ck,” it’s because she doesn’t give a f*ck about you. If you just want sex, that’s fine. Just don’t complain that all women are manipulative bitches afterwards. Have some respect for yourself to begin with; you deserve more, too.
People attract people that are like themselves. If you are a mess, you will attract a mess. If you are a shallow sex hound, you will attract shallow sex hounds. If you want a unicorn, you need to be a unicorn. Respect yourself and you will be able to find a woman that you can respect.
Have any of you seen the KFC GO Cup? It’s a to go cup, designed to fit in your car’s cup holder to conveniently help you eat mercilessly on your way to and from work, to and from your kid’s soccer match, and to and from the hospital after your arteries become clogged. Is this a thing? A cup of fried chicken that you can “snack on”? Ok, gross. A “snack” is a snack, not a meal…therefore “chicken littles” and potatoes are pretty much a meal KFC, so now stupid people all over America will be like “I don’t know why I keep gaining weight, all I ate today was a salad and a few snacks.” Ummmm so a few snacks pretty much turns out to be a barrel of chicken folks. Can you not? Just don’t. Your first mistake is thinking that KFC is a viable option for food anyway. I’m all about eating everything in moderation, and I am not a stranger to french fries and beer but come on…a Go Cup for fried chicken? Can you just pack yourself an apple or a granola bar? Those are snacks, I dunno maybe some celery sticks even? Sure, throw the damn cheese whiz on there, it’s better than a fried chicken MEAL. What are your thoughts on the Go Cup? Anything else that disgusts you, please let me know!
I have been contemplating whether or not I want to write this, but this is my form of venting and I thought this could be something that may be useful to my readers. Are you all familiar with Tig Notaro? She is a comedian, and had a particularly rough year, a very rough year. She came out on stage one night to do a bit, and all she needed to do was talk, vent, and let it out. I listened to her bit, it was amazing and real – she started it off with “hello, I have cancer.” It wasn’t just the cancer that she had to deal with, her mom passed away, she was going through a break up, and earlier that year she was bedridden with a nearly fatal bacterial infection. What I liked about her bit, was that she was very vulnerable, and honest. That’s what I’m going to be right now. My mom has stage four inflammatory breast cancer. We are at the point where we are praying for a miracle, and trying anything we can. I was scanning some documents to send to a clinic in Toronto, racking our brains to think of what we can do. She’s in severe pain all the time. I was reading these documents written by the doctors at the Cross Cancer Institute in their medical terms, things like “patient is an unfortunate 59 yr old female who presents with progressive metastatic breast cancer with skin metastasis.” It is so weird to me, reading all these medical progress notes about my mom and having them refer to her as a patient, a test subject, just another day at the office. Did they know that the patient before them has a family that loves her, that she took me to the Lancome counter when I was 15 to teach me how to do my makeup, that she still calls me all the time to make sure my doors are locked, that she still to this day feels bad for me if I have a cold even though she is suffering with pain every day? Did they know that for the last 20 years she has always ordered a variation of the same 3 things every time we go out for dinner – spaghetti with light sauce or steak sandwich really well done, or a tossed salad with thousand island dressing? What did they know? Exactly. What do they know now? Nothing. I am reading these documents wondering why the fuck this is happening, feeling sorry and sad, also feeling helpless, feeling like I understand that there are many hardships in this world, many people in the same boat or even drowning, many people in worse scenarios. That doesn’t make it any easier to see your favorite person suffer with pain every day. I feel numb all the time, I feel like the last year was also a crazy one for my family – in many different ways but the cancer takes the cake. I get angry when I see ads for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, forgive me but I think it’s a joke. Thanks for the obnoxious big ass pink bus that I see touring around the city all the time, nice marketing ploy – how much did that cost? I know this is an angry blog post, I know you might read it and think it’s a bit too real, I don’t know. Maybe you might relate. I guess my point is that in life there are facts before you, numbers, risks, scientific results – but they mean shit. They mean nothing, my mom isn’t walking around town with a big arrow pointing to her noting that “this patient has stage four breast cancer”. She’s walking around town living her life, hoping for the best, praying for a miracle, and holding all her life experiences with her. I appreciate Tig Notaro and her honesty, I related with what she was saying, I hope you don’t ever have to relate, but maybe you can get something out of it? At the very least, think about the charities you donate to. At the very most, tell your mom you love her. Do it now.
I feel like travelling, and when I think of travelling I think of the outfits I would choose. I’ve been to Paris, and loved it and I want to go back…and when I do this would be my outfit of choice, walking around enjoying the sights and the people, going out for delicious dinners, and drinking delicious wine and feeling full and cultured, and happy. I know I can feel these things anyway and anywhere, but just let me daydream here ok? thanks. It’s all about this Alexander McQueen marine dart peplum jacket, and these Valentino T-strap booties…sigh…. is it just me or can good clothes give you butterflies? Just me? Yah? No? Use this as an inspiration look, happy hunting for all the things in life that make you happy and feel good, not just the perfect outfit…
I love people-watching. Usually when I casually observe the public, I think of ways to improve their outfits, and I sometimes share these thoughts with Shane.”
“Shane, do you see that lady over there?”
“The one with the orange shirt?”
“Well, its more coral than orange, but yes.”
“What about her?”
“Well, don’t you think she would look a thousand times better if she just wore skinny jeans, a nice wedge and a scarf to bring the coral in her shirt? She would just have to run the straightener through her hair for five minutes, bring along a cropped bomber jacket, preferably in gray – and she’s set for day and night.” I am so enthusiastic as I say this.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Shane looks at me with a smirk on his face. He does this because he thinks its funny that I put so much thought into how myself and others present ourselves to the rest of the world.
Let’s get something straight. I don’t so this in a catty, rude, negative-mannered way (well maybe sometimes if the person in question deserved it). Who might deserve me tearing apart their choice of dress? I’d be happy to share my latest outfit-bashing victim. The woman, most likely in her late forties, who double-parked her decked out Range Rover with gold rims, and then decided it was okay to cut in line at Starbucks is someone who may be subject to my judgment. That and for the fact that she was wearing strappy snakeskin sandals, a snakeskin handbag with a metallic sheen, and a two-sizes too small hot pink tank top with roping in the front, and her True Religion jeans. She also adorned her over-tan skin with gaudy jewels, but at least made an effort to match her lip shade to her tank top. The money she spent on that outfit she might get back if she consigns it, but her dignity is lost forever. To be honest, even if she did get a makeover, she’d most likely still be a narcissistic bitch (I heard how she spoke to the barista).
Aside from me getting annoyed at inconsiderate people, I honestly feel like presentation is a big part of the equation, any equation – and that you have to work with what you’ve got. This became even clearer to me the other day when I was bathing in the sunshine and also observing people around me. Across the street I saw a beat up, old car. I couldn’t tell you the make or model, because I didn’t care that much, but I can tell you that this car has been into a few accidents. The paint was peeling, there was rust around the metal door handles, and windshield was cracked, and there was a large dent in the front bumper. The funny thing about this is that the man who owns the car was happily waxing and polishing it. He was lovingly taking his time going over the contours, stepping back to assess and then continuing to put some elbow-grease in buffing this beat-up set of wheels. I was watching him do this for quite some time, and it really got me thinking that we should work with what we’ve got. I can apply this to my own way of thinking. When I feel bad that I don’t have the body to wear harem pants, well I just don’t buy harem pants. Instead I’ll wear skinnies that make my butt look awesome. I’m the kind of gal who is “all in, or nothing at all”. Its important to aim high, but its also important to be proud of what you have, instead of always wishing you had something better. My ass is what it is, and instead of trying to change it, I’ll work with it, and we can live harmoniously in a world with asses of all different shapes and sizes.
Okay so I have this blog, and it’s a tool for me to express myself and talk about the things I enjoy – but lately all I want to do is write about things other than just fashion and food! GASP! But it’s true, so here goes. I might read this later and be like “whoa, that’s deep” but why keep this under lock and key of my own laptop if I can share it with you? I received a great response from my last post, one of my best ever – and from readers around the globe! awesome, so here’s part two
Sometimes I wonder how I got here. I know that last sentence holds a lot of weight, but when I look back at the timeline of my life thus far I wonder what little steps I took here and there to get to this very point. It reminds me of those books I used to read as a young girl where you could choose your own ending, but I would always cheat and read all the endings, I wanted to know every possible route. The funny thing is that hasn’t changed, I still always want to know, I want to control, I want to predict, and it is just sometimes so exhausting. Control is a powerful and scary thing, and I still struggle with it. I used to say all the time “ I just wish I knew what the outcome would be if I do ‘a’ versus ‘b’. It’s actually so funny because if we all had a crystal ball we would never go on first dates to find that right one, our first jobs would be our dream jobs where we made 7 figure salaries, our first apartments wouldn’t have creepy neighbours and we’d refrain from sneaking out of the house that one time because we’d already know what would be waiting at home, not sleeping and worried. So many errors, mistakes, good-calls, close-calls, tears, and laughter. I wonder…only because as I write this a cinematic display of the past is flashing before my eyes. I see my sister laughing and showing off her 80s dance moves, I see my mom’s beautiful delicate hands, I see Anna after her heartbreak and the saddest eyes I will never forget, I see my brother’s soulful eyes, the most soulful eyes I have ever seen in this world, I see Mila’s toothless smile as a baby in her plaid onesie, and I remember Shane at the airport after 6 months apart, there are so many beautiful images.
I think to myself whether all these images, these memories are linked together for a reason, or did they just happen just because? All the moments in life I was loved, rejected, welcomed, hurt, happy, sad – were they all for this very moment right now, this moment I’m listening to my favorite songs, sitting on my bed, and hoping that you the reader can relate to this in some way? I spend a lot of time thinking and feeling, and I know that every moment counts, the happy, the sad, the bad it’s all here for a reason. It makes sense to me that I have laugh lines that will get deeper and deeper; to remind me of all the moments I was doubled over laughing. Each freckle on my skin reminds me of the sunlight I soaked in, the scars on my hands are proof of the years of learning and yet still not mastering the art of cooking, we are the very maps of our own lives. If I had a crystal ball, I might be so stubborn as to look at all my possibilities, but then I remember that I don’t need a crystal ball to know I have options, and sometimes the worst decisions turn out to be okay in the end. So many of my lessons in life came from random moments, unpredicted and out of nowhere so if I had a crystal ball Lyssie and I wouldn’t still be laughing about the time I dumped a guy because he wore a god awful outfit, I would have missed that one, and that would have resulted in missing out on several minutes of recollection and laughing until my cheeks started to hurt. And I guess if I HAD a crystal ball, I would do something stupid anyway like drop it and have it shatter into a thousand pieces, thus making all the same good mistakes anyway right? Right.
The Less Easy
I just retyped the title of this post, I started with “The Tough Times” and I feel like “the less easy” is a little more appropriate because I feel the need to always be grateful for times that are not as tough as they very well could be. We go through the less easy times in life. It feels, sometimes for days on end, like you can’t catch a break. Your staff thinks you’re the worst person in the world, you hate your job, you argue with your family, you’re irritated with your spouse, your hair is a mousy brown, and worst of all, your jeans are too tight and you can feel your ass jiggle when you walk. Are these times tough? Nope, these are problems of the average Canadian, (based on a poll of 5 of my closest friends) but I will classify them as less easy, and that’s okay. Here’s why: we all want to live the life that makes us feel proud of ourselves. Ahh pride, and ego and all of that stuff- it goes a long way. I spend hours thinking, and obsessing about my passion, what is it, how do I find it, why am I an unlucky one who doesn’t know – and I wonder how much less easy I am making my less easy times. I try to affirm all the things I want, then I feel guilty for wanting, then I feel ashamed of feeling guilty for wanting, then I try to forget the guilt and shame without actually trying to figure out a plan. One day I decided to sit down and make a typical vision board, I almost stopped myself because I thought that it was as hokey as a girl wearing lululemon pants at a yoga class (not that that girl wasn’t me at some point), but you know what I mean. Anyway, off I went to make my vision board, I brewed a pot of coffee, I drew the curtains, I made my bed, I grabbed all the supplies I needed, and sprawled them atop my comforter, and there I sat determined to feel inspired. I looked through old magazines, I searched pinboards online, I came up with what I wanted my home to look like, and how I imagined living in it. I thought I might just start to create these puzzle pieces of the life I wanted. How lucky it is to have a puzzle that already came in a box, and how hard it is to work backwards and create each piece in hopes that it will fit with the next. I keep trying so hard, so hard, so hard, to understand what image my pieces will finally create. At times, I’m desperate – I picture a thinner, happier, more successful me, holding a baby, or holding a briefcase, or holding a camera, or holding….see what I mean, no idea. The less easy times, are less easy, and sometimes the less easy times become hard. I know. One thing that has been helpful for me, is this – and let me tell you, I fought this idea – but it’s true what they say about the most hokey, typical, frou frou things to do that might make you feel better: make a vision board, go to a yoga class, go for a jog, make a healthy dinner, cry your eyes out – I know how this sounds, believe me, and don’t stop reading because you think I just sold out. When times are less easy, you have to be willing to do the things that you think are less easy. You have to force yourself, you have to commit, you have to say everyday that “yes times are less easy, but they will get easier”, try not to say, through teeth clenched, “times are amazing” because I am all for the affirmations, but you are too smart to lie to yourself, and then you feel like you aren’t setting yourself up for success. Say to yourself, times are less easy, and I hate my job, but today I’m going to update my resumé. Times are less easy, and I hate my body, but today ’m going to walk to work. Don’t say, times are less easy, I hate my body so I am going to go on a liquid cleanse for 30 days, NO, you must walk before you run, and for me I have to take calculated steps because I am mostly in heels, just sayin’. Anyway, where was I – yes, take these measures, and you will start to feel better, I promise. Am I exactly where I want to be? Not quite, but I am so tired of over analyzing, losing sleep, and beating this dead horse, I am ready to change – and that is the right affirmation to say. Tell yourself everyday you’re ready to change, and take small steps to back it up, and the clouds will part, the rain will stop, and the sun will come out.
I’m learning about myself. Who I am. It involves a whole lot of patience, research, and constant questioning to A) Identify what makes me, me; and B) who I’d like to become. This week I went to Toronto for work, and while I was there I made dinner plans with an old friend. I was so excited to see her after so many years – I actually couldn’t remember the last time I saw her but she was a big part of my teenage years, growing up in a small northern Alberta town, which we couldn’t wait to leave. After arriving at dinner for 7:30 pm we sat and shared memories, what we’ve been up to in the last 5 to 10 years. How I still sometimes picture her in her pleated Club Monaco skirt, and how the smell of Lolita Lempicka still reminds her of me. We talked about things I wanted to forget when I was a teenager, like the time my sister sang an old Billy Idol song to me when I did something very stupid and teenager like, “hey little sister..what have you done?” and other things that we can laugh about now, but seemed like a huge deal when I was 16. Things that are now ridiculous and hilarious. I knew her Audrey Hepburn self would show up to our dinner date wearing a black crew neck sweater, and I knew we would catch up for hours, almost 5 hours actually. I got to thinking about my life, the way it was, the way it is, and the way I see it to be in the future. I got to thinking about whether things happen for a reason, sometimes I wish they did and other things that happen, seem to happen for no reason at all. I think about the relationships we have in our lives, and what they mean to us. I think about the characteristics we have that are new, or have been there forever. I think about a span of years that went by just so that I could learn a simple lesson. I think about that small moment in time, that something so important dawned on me. We are always learning and growing, and for me meeting my old friend in a city across the country reminded me how hard it is to find good friends, and how good friends can miss a decade of your time but seeing them again is as easy as hanging out with our 16 year old selves, sitting on the floor of my childhood bedroom, making a Silverchair poster and writing a fan letter to our favorite band.
I’m sorry but I have a footwear hit list. Many of you know how I feel about crocs, and uggs – I recently added toms to that list…and well I’m just gonna say it, I HATE Birkenstocks. Can I just say for a moment that I understand some of you will say “But Jo some styles are actually pretty cute.” I can usually give you the benefit of the doubt, I mean SOME of the wedge Toms booties aren’t so bad, and I did see ONE pair gladiator Birkenstocks sold at Free People that weren’t bad, but the original Birkenstocks are just god awful! I’m sorry! I had to say it…whew that felt good. Vancouver why? Why must you gravitate towards the draw string pants and hideous footwear? I mean I totally love being comfortable, yes I do…but there is a plethora of cute comfortable footwear options…all at the tip of your innocent, and unknowing little fingers, known as the world wide web…which by the way I used to do some research aka visiting the Birkenstock website to give it a fair shot. The website boasts the many classic hideous styles, and I especially took interest in the photo of the happy couple wearing their Birkenstocks and going for a picnic. They sure did look happy and all, does this advertising work for you? Let me tell you… as much as the woman wearing the ribbed tank top, knee length mom shorts – ahem – and the the subject of my hatred (THE SHOES) entices you…I promise, there are better choices out there. You don’t NEED to wear this outfit to enjoy a picnic with your hubby, bf, whatever. I thought you were smarter than to fall for this false advertising.
If I leave you with anything, I leave you with this – just say NO to Birkenstocks. Rise against the pressure Vancouver! Did you know that today alone 2 out of 5 women in Kitsilano were wearing these beastly shoes? It’s sad really, lets make it our mission to decrease this statistic. We owe it to our local community.
These little cone shaped ceramic planters have been on my shopping list for a while so I was happy to see they went on sale to $7.95 at Anthro! So cute and I knew they’d look great in my little apartment. I also took a stroll to West Elm Market and picked up some Brooklyn Blend potting soil and these three succulent plants. The project took all of 20 minutes! Add some green to your place, so simple and easy the wallet too. Have fun!Pin It
I know I say this a lot , but isn’t giving a gift so much fun? At some point though, you run out of ideas. I love giving a themed gift, not just one big thing. I’ve already done the cookbook, apron, and measuring cups so here is a great idea for all your green thumbed friends, siblings, and mothers / in laws.
I love Elie Saab’s technique, though sometimes he is critiqued as staying in his comfort zone you can’t deny just how stunning these gowns are. Inspired by jewels in a royal crown, I love how Saab is true to his Lebanese roots – beaded masterpieces with a mediterranean feel in ruby, sapphire, and emerald. Absolutely gorgeous.Pin It
When I was 11 I used to pray every single night for big boobs and to be as short and cute as Avril Lavigne. When I look back now, I realize that there are three things wrong with this. The first being that I am not, nor have I ever been religious. The second being that I wanted to be anything like Avril (in my defense, this was pre pink and green hair and pre getting married to Jesus. I mean Chad.), and the third being that both wishes fully and completely came true. Take it from me, peeps, praying for these attributes when you are too young to fully understand the consequences can be life altering. I clearly learnt that the hard way. I am now a staggering 5’3” sporting a 32DD. 11-year-old-Mariel is probably having a hay day. I, however, am not. Every day is a constant struggle. These days, everyone knows chesty is not trendy, and if you ask me, short is just stumpy. I would do terrible things to own a pair of long, lean limbs. So what do I do instead? I cheat. I’m a cheater and a fraud and that is just who I am.
This sounds slightly aggressive, but what I really mean when I say I’m a cheater and a fraud is that I do my best to convince the world that I’m at least 5’7”. 5’10” on a good day. I do this by wearing heels. Every day. I have a closet full to accommodate different days and different outfits. Booties, peep toes, stilettos, wedges… Pick your poison. You name it, I’ve got it.
Society does not accommodate for short people. If I can’t grasp a horizontal pole on the bus during rush hour, I go into full panic mode as I cannot reach the overhead bar. The cupboards in my kitchen hate me, and don’t even get me started on going to the grocery store. This is only covering every day trails and tribulations. The other week I took off my shoes and had someone literally laugh in my face when I shrunk 6 inches. In my own home. So pardon me for rolling my eyes when the world tells me to embrace my petite frame. In the wise words of Dr. Dre, “F*$# y’all, all a y’all. If ya’ll don’t like me…” Kidding! Because that would be rude.
Now, I will admit, an 8 our shift in heels does begin to take its toll by the last couple of hours, but I stick through it. You may call it crazy or vain, but I call it being proactive. I’d rather 3 hours of pain than a lifetime of humiliation and struggle. The world is a cruel, cruel place, my friends. I’m just doing my best to survive- A couple extra inches at a time.
Oh man, it is piping hot in Vancouver, and yes I could be wearing short shorts and a tank top but my JLo booty just doesn’t do well in a pair of ass cheek enhancing denim cutoffs. So a cute onesie it is! Because I’m a shortie, these suede DV wedges are perfect and quite comfy too, onesie is American Apparel, bag is Erin Templeton, shades are Aldo, and hat is from Forever 21. Happy hunting for summer apparel, don’t forget a good sunscreen!
There’s nothing better than homemade banana bread, I crave it in the morning with a hot fresh brewed dark roast coffee, yummy! I added flax to this recipe, and walnuts of course. Banana bread without walnuts is like pie without ice cream, you feel like there’s something missing from the equation. I used the banana bread recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, that book was money well spent – I think I’m getting close to making every recipe in there. I held off on the baking for a while, eating too many muffins was starting to make me look like one, but I have a couple belt notches to spare these days, so banana bread it is! Enjoy this EASY recipe.
1¹⁄³ cups packed light brown sugar
1 scant cup mashed bananas
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
a 9×5 inch loaf pan, lined with parchment paper
preheat oven to 350° | mix sugar and eggs with electric mixer | beat in the banana | add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger | add melted butter | mix in flax and walnuts (as much as you like, until well incorporated) | pour into loaf pan | bake for an hour | let cool | slice, and serve
Keri Russell is a true beauty. I think she always has been, I know that because I can’t stop watching old Felicity episodes! haha Aside from the cast’s god awful 90′s Gap turtle necks, heavy duty footwear, and chokers (gross, what were we all thinking), Keri Russell still looks the same now as she did then, with her cute little baby features and all. Also I am currently obsessed with the Americans, thanks to Amanda (you have created a real couch potato). So while Keri Russell is looking cute as can be, I am being a couch potato…eating potatoes. Oh well. I can still covet her simple style, especially in this photo from January, pairing a very feminine and simple ivory top, with a pair of edgy leggings and sexy black heels. My take on the look is below, top and shoes from Zara, and leggings from Aritzia.
I feel like my look is always so feminine, no matter how much I try to edge up my style I always end up looking really girly. That is not a problem for Elaine, I love that her go to style is edgy with some masculinity, and I love her amazing tattoos. Elaine is wearing a Zara blazer, top and camo pants are from Plenty, Frye boots (also Plenty), and a cool Matt and Nat backpack. Love this look! Photos by Zena Totzke.
I love locally owned stores, and today my friend Amanda and I visited Umeboshi shoes and received great service! Aiden helped us try our favourite styles and knew all about the different brands, where they were made and her recommendations. It was so great to receive honest, genuine, knowledgeable service. Umeboshi is on Main st in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant area, go there to find an amazing line up of men’s and women’s shoes, like Chie Mihara and Coclico, LOVE!
Ladies, don’t forget to get a pedicure for your little toesies, it’s that time of year now so set a budget and go get yourself some cute sandals. Top to bottom left to right, I love these Gentle Soles with the two tone subtle look, throw these on with anything, these would be super comfy too, which is why they’re priced at $185 (but don’t worry, they are an everyday sandal, and will be just as good next summer too). I love the embroidered Ella Moss sandals, a little bit of a lift with the 1.5″ wedge heel, priced at $168. The metallic Sol Sana sandals are adorable, especially if your wardrobe consists of a lot of white and neutral tones, $70. You need a high heel sandal as well, to go with your pretty cocktail dresses, and flirty skirts. My favourite pairs are these amazing Pour La Victoire Sofie sandal, they are a definite splurge for $325 (bday gift?) Lastly, these super sexy Keola Aldo sandal are stunning, and at $90 you just can’t go wrong. Just make sure you can walk in heels please, if not then its best to stick to flats or wedges, please don’t wobble down the sidewalk in pain
The Vancouver sun is shining, and I cannot wait to make some sangria, grab my In Style and head to the beach. There’s nothing better than taking a siesta and hearing the ocean water near you, honestly the most relaxing feeling! Here are my picks for the sweetest suits for summer, the Nanette Lepore and Zinke (in the middle) are from anthro, the latter has a removable ruffle, and the pineapple print bikini is from Top Shop. If you’re planning on hitting the beach a lot, then your budget should be about $100-$200, and if not then keep it under $75. I know you’re probably thinking, “yikes, that’s a lot of dough for a swimsuit,” but honey, spending some $ on a piece that will make you feel good it your own skin on the beach is worth it! My sister in law just bought the Nanette Lepore for her family trip to Hawaii and it’s adorable, she definitely gives it a stamp of approval. Happy hunting for a good swimsuit, let me know if you need suggestions for cover ups. Call me crazy but I do accessorize my swimwear too, nothing looks cuter that a wide brim hat and some chunky bangles on your wrist.
I have been coveting dresses designed by Three Floor. Three Floor is a new brand, launched in November of 2011. I love that this is something different for a change! The perfect mix between edgy and feminine…this is not a look for the everyday country bumpkin, which I appreciate! I am getting a little tired of the typical Anthropologie fit and flares…Anthro I love you, but sometimes you are quite matronly. There is nothing geriatric about these dresses, show off those stems ladies!
I still love wedge sandals, and do you know why they will never go out of style? Because you can’t wear heels to a garden wedding, you’ll sink in the grass! Ladies, keep in mind where the wedding venue is going to be before you plan your outfit! Another thing, if you’re not used to wearing heels then take it easy. It does not look good when you try to walk in something you’re not used to! Yesterday I saw a gal walking into a restaurant, and she had to brace herself against the wall because she was having such a hard time walking in her shoes! Life is too short for you to feel that uncomfortable. With that said, you’re going to wanna dance at the wedding so a wedge heel is good for that, or just wear a cute pair of flats…please DO NOT wear flip flops okay? Yuck. Flip flops are for the beach, or when I take out the garbage at night in my pj’s. They are about as cool as uggs, and true religion bootcut jeans with rhinestones on the butt. Ok? Don’t do it. Is it a beach wedding? That’s the only time you can wear your Havaianas. Ok, enough ranting about footwear, take a look at this outfit below. I love all the pieces, what a cute look for attending a wedding. Especially if you’re single. Weddings are a great place to meet someone! The statement necklace is fun, and not over priced. If you wear a statement necklace then be sure to wear posts for earrings rather than anything dangly. Or if you wear big earrings, opt for a dainty simple pendant necklace. Hair accessories are cute too, with soft big messy curls. Don’t you dare do the tight ringlet, grade 9 prom look. Natural, is better. Have fun, and don’t drink too much. No one wants to see your undergarments at this point.Make it Zig Dress, Modcloth $125 | Esme Deco Posts, Anthropologie $28 | Jessica Simpson Wedge Sandal, Nordstrom $84 | Mixed Alloy Necklace, Anthropologie $48 | Petal Swirl Clip, Anthropologie $18 | Before Your Thyme Bag, Modcloth $72
Put away your wool sweaters ladies, spring is here! Well, in Vancouver anyway. Here’s an easy put-together look, great for sipping caesars on a patio, meeting your gal friends for lunch, or a casual shopping stroll. Swap the boyfriend jeans for some slim cigarette pants and you’ve got yourself a work appropriate look too. Make sure you balance your colours and texures, and the dainty with the edgy. A good neutral bag like this one will be great with all of your light denims this season, and take it easy on the studs, this army jacket is slightly decorated, but not overly – which I think is a good thing. The tunic from Zara will be a great staple, cute with a pair of shorts and sandals, and will carry over into fall too. Shop smart, happy hunting!Studded Army Jacket, Forever 21 $58 | Sunglasses, Anthropologie $30 | Charm Necklace, American Eagle $16 | Shoulder Bag, Modcloth $63 | AG Piper Crop Jean, Piperlime $215 | Pin Tuck Blouse, Zara $60 | Baka Cut Slingbacks, Anthropologie $168
A couple of weeks ago, I visited Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie in Vancouver’s Chinatown. I loved the atmosphere in there, these photos were brightened up a little, but it was dimly lit, and very inviting. The food was so good, the best fried rice I’ve tried, and the squid stir-fry was delicious, as agreed by everyone at the table. The price was a little high for the quantity, but the service was very good. I recommend this place! The only thing I have to complain about was the ultra boring couple who sat next to us, barely saying two words to each other the entire time, yikes, if it’s awkward for the table sitting next to you, then time to make some life choices folks! Or at least order some cocktails…hmm maybe a fight was brewing, or had been brewing? Who knows, but good food it was! So unlike me, maybe just ignore the neighbours, and enjoy what’s in front of you. Hopefully my next blog post for you all won’t be so far away, thanks for reading!
Bumble&Bumble Styling Lotion- A (sassy) review
By Mariel Rotherham
If someone was to ask me what the one part of my beauty routine I could never go without, I would tell them it was my hair. Or my toe polish. I only wear Essie’s Aruba Blue. I call bare toes ‘penis toes’. They creep me out. (Bare toes. Not penises.). Oops, where was I? Oh yes, my hair.
My life motto is “No one likes a flat head”. By no one, I mean me. I have a horribly shaped head. Almost cone-like. I used to backcomb my hair to within an inch of it’s life. I now settle for a more subdued look, but am always looking for new ways to get that extra lift.
I went into this assignment hoping to try a new beauty or skin product but since I’m a total boy when it comes to that kind of thing, I didn’t know where to start or what to even ask for. This, of course, led me to fall back to my hair.
I wanted to stick to Bumble and Bumble, mainly because it was much more in my price range, but also because- if I’m being completely honest- the bottles were way cuter than all the rest. ANYWAY. I asked Raegan- the lovely blonde workin’ the hair product wall at the CurliQue salon- for a product that would give me a little extra oomph when I blow dried, without making my hair feel gritty- as many thickening or volume products do. She recommended the Styling Lotion by Bumble and Bumble. She said it was very light and she preferred it for blow drying and volume over similar products from the higher end brands. It was also a heat protector for styling dried hair as well. I’m all about multi use. Time is money, my friends! Or Money is time. Or whatever it is they say.
I bit the bullet and bought the product in hopes of a miracle. I also weased my way into getting some extra samplers for being extra cheeky. It’s all about working your magic. Everyone loves free shit. If anyone told you they didn’t like free shit, they’d be lying. To your face.
The following morning, I sprayed the product generously throughout my towel dried hair- as directed by the bottle- and blow dried my hair in sections with a round brush. On a scale of one to JLo, I’d give my hair about a Mariah. There was definitely some lift involved, and it was silky smooth, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was at maximum luciosity status. I then sprayed the product again in my dry hair to curl it. This, unfortunately, was not so successful. My hair did not curl very well (does it ever?) and the curls were flat by the time I got to work about an hour later. Nightmare. Perhaps had I been straightening my hair, it would have worked miraculously. Trial for another day.
Following this whole fiasco, I will definitely continue to use this product for blowdrying my hair. However, to avoid any further flathead catastrophes, I will stick to my drugstore Tresemme hairspray for the styling. Unless for some strange reason I decide to try an Alexander Wang pinhead look (NOT). All in all, I will give the Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion three Bump Its out of five and I will forever be on my quest for the ultimate vomlumizational product.
How do you feel about Valentine’s day? Personally, on a romance scale from one to ten, I think Feb 14th is a zero, BUT not everyone feels that way and I do think it’s sweet to celebrate Valentine’s day with friends and family with cute treats and thoughtful little gifts, such as the ones below. And if I got a gift from that special guy, I wouldn’t want roses but maybe a cute red pair of pumps mug from westelm | card from etsy | essie polish | smashbox lipstick | pumps from modcloth
Look at this cutie, she totally capitalized on one of the first sunny days this year. I love the simplicity of this look, as well as the stitching detail of the bustier she’s wearing. This is also a great example of balance. The pants are a looser, casual fit, but matched with heeled wedge booties, a sheer top, and a chunky rose gold watch – her look is well pulled off. Love it!
Are you planning a sunny getaway? If so, I’m sad I can’t go with you but I can definitely tell you what to pack. First let me say that this peplum tankini is almost enough to keep me away from sugar (typing this as I’m eating a very rich brownie). It’s so cute, I’d actually wear the tankini part of it as a top. Throw this green midi skirt on, and grab this bright knit cardigan, the only thing you need now is a fresh flower in your hair. I can picture you soaking up those rays right now. The priciest item on this list is the bathing suit, but the uniqueness of it is worth the $$, especially if you’re planning many beach days this year (which I think is a great goal for 2013). As for me, I quietly sigh until I can hit the beach here in Vancouver, on that note no more brownies.