Sunday, January 30, 2011

Channeling my sister?

This really feels like an outfit my sister would put together, and I'm not entirely sure whether it's the the items or the patterns that make me think that.  Either way, it's definitely from the less hippie side of the closet...
This is another item I picked up when we were out thrifting last Thursday ($5.99).  I was looking for something yellow to pair with the green I have in my closet à la Sheila, and while this won't work with the items I was hoping, I do quite enjoy it.  I love the reverse Peter Pan collar.  The pattern is a little surprising for me: usually I have to be able to label what it is (flowers, dots, animal print), and this time, I can't do that.  Scott said to me as we were waiting for church to start this morning: "I like it because it's tigers from far away and flowers up close".  It's also from H&M so I'm guessing between this shirt and Friday's dress there is a good chance both items are new since there seemed to be enough H&M items around to make me think that the company dropped off its extraneous items (this tends to happen). Works out well for me:  there is no H&M in this province!

I can't wait to style this with a black pencil skirt and maybe a blazer (brown? grey?) for a job interview. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday = meeting day?

This is two weeks in a row that I've had Friday meetings.  And having a meeting at 10:00 am after a night at Trivia (we won one round which made us the nerdiest team alive - my apologies for the immaturity of our taglines, I don't choose them) was difficult.  I haven't been sleeping well, so I've been taking advantage of my lack of morning plans most days this week to sleep in and get a little more REM cycle before starting the day.  This led me to being almost late.

We went thrifting Thursday after I shovelled out my car (it felt so good to have her back in motion!!), and I blew my budget.  I usually go with about $15 which can get me a shirt and a skirt, or a jacket.  However, luck seemed to be with me.  One fabulous find was this H&M dress for $12.99. The price wasn't ideal, however, it was just too adorable to give up. 

I'm pretty sure it was only worn once or twice: there were no tags, but the spare buttons clacked together something fierce with the slightest movement, so I'm pretty sure if it had been worn more, they would have ripped them off (which I did as I was flying out the door).  I think the main reasons this was given away is that the previous owner didn't know the joy of a safety pin.  The inside button doesn't lie flat (which works fine for me - I need to move it anyway, since the dress is a smidgen too big without my safety pinning), and the wrap skirt tends to have a mind of it's own (again, easily tacked down with a safety pin or two.  I might even add snaps). 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friend Friday - Behind the Scenes

I've been noticing that people are making changes to their blogs - something that I've been doing a bit too.  Please read through (or skip down) to a couple questions I have for my readers down at the end.  Katy's Friend Friday questions this week fall somewhat along the lines of things that I've been contemplating for my blog.

1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc...)

I have no real pattern: I always use my Sony Cybershot DSC-W80. I sometimes use a tripod, otherwise, I use a Scott. Half the time I load them on my desktop (a Dell Dinosaur), have the time I load them on my netbook (LG X120).

2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..)

Again, there's no foolproof plan. I always use blogger, and blogger stores my photos on Picasa. If I'm on my netbook, I use Picnik's free online editting tool. If I am on my desktop, I use Sony's photo editting tool. I keep meaning to try out Scott's photoshop, but usually he's on his computer when I'm doing blogg-ish stuff.

3. What is your process for taking pictures?

I have no process because I usually just grab a couple minutes here or there to do pictures. Ideally, I like to take pictures during daylight, but I'm getting better at editing the ones that use a flash. Sometimes I've got the blog written before the pictures, sometimes afterwards. There are even times I've written the blog before I've picked out an outfit.

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?

I shoot pretty much the same spot every day, preferably during the daylight. I do recognize it's boring but there is little I can do about it. People keep suggesting I take pictures outside, and invariably, these are people who live in the place where “winter” means there might be frost on the window two nights a year I live in the land of real winter, where cars don't start even when plugged in, where shovelling snow is a daily event, and where going outside without a jacket, mitts, scarf, toque often means frost bite. I do hope to expand when the weather warms up; however, for now, you'll have to deal with the monotony of my white apartment walls.

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?

Naturally, I would love a DSLR (Rebel Ti, anyone?). But if we're going reasonably? I'd love to find a way to get a remote to work with my camera, but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work (I've googled it to death). I kind of hope Scott gets an interest in photography so I can justify getting a camera that meets my criteria! 

Feel free to express all your thoughts in the comments below!

A. I've been approached by a company for a review/giveaway.  I've got mixed feelings on it. What would you be interested in having?  Reviews?  Giveaways?  Large companies? Small independent retailers? I thought I had a long way to go before I'd be approached, so I haven't quite figured out my thoughts, but since I'm not reading my blog, what would like to see? 

B. What are you thoughts on Disqus?  I was really opposed to it until I signed up for an account (which eliminates the need to always fill in the contact details for each comment). Some people love it, some people hate it.  I enjoy having an opportunity to reply to people's comments, and disqus seems to do this best for blogger (I'm not switching to Word Press, I do love blogger).  Would you comment more with disqus? Less?
C.  How is the social media part working out?  Is the Wibiya bar annoying?  To be honest, I'm not loving my Cara's Closet facebook account (since I have a personal account, so it's annoying logging in and out so I've really done nothing with it). I'd love to be more active on twitter.  What would you like added? Removed? 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that I have to have done OMG BY TOMORROW! Read a book?  Edit an intro? Revise an entire chapter? Shovel out my car? Go thrifting?

Needless to say, I've spent the morning perusing blogs and pretending I have the luxury of time.  Ha! Of course, this only overwhelmed me more, given that every time I go on Twitter (@CarasCloset1) or see something unread in my Google Reader, it inevitably means another challenge in which to participate, another shirt after which I will lust, another thought in which I'll indulge.  Sigh.  I need to be less distractable. 

But if I didn't spend that time browsing blogs, I wouldn't have known to Stike Wendy B's pose!  I can't believe I wasn't following her before today (though I do routinely stop by her blog).  Anyway, I missed out on the competition, but it did give me photo shoot a new goal! 

Anyway, because of my procrastinated morning, I have a lot to do this afternoon, which inevitably means locking myself up in the Current Journals lounge at the library.  While the chairs are hella awesome, comfort is still a must! No belts, and must be easy to slip on and off in change rooms!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You wear what you eat

No, no, no, I didn't spill on myself (again).  Rather, I had a realization about how food impacts what we wear.  There's the obvious: wearing those stretchy waistband pants at Thanksgiving.  However, I've noticed that since I dropped the histamine-restricted diet (it wasn't preventing hives, nor was I enjoying, well, any of it) and binged out on the "taboo foods", I've been having trouble putting outfits together.

It's not that I'm worrying about how things fit me (most of my clothes are entering the stretched out phase, so a little more jiggle and wiggle would probably fill them out better!), it wasn't that I had any less clothes (besides the fact that the gross food has made me more prone to lying on the couch instead of doing laundry).  No, I'm really starting to think that high fat, high salt, high carb, low fibre, low nutrient, low maintenance (I don't even walk to the McD's down the block - I send Scott!) "comfort" food really does the opposite: it makes me feel so uncomfortable in my own skin.  I was totally "blah" about yesterday's outfit but it had such positive feedback, I figured I had to be wrong. Thanks for all the wonderful words!!

Today, I went casual, and feel kind of child-like (in a good way!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I promise, these are stripes!!

I realize they look like squiggles, but that's what happens when you have a close together stripe and much higher resolution picture than your poor little brain (being computer/camera/whatever it really is that causes it) can handle!
I read that Breton stripes are considered any stripe that is horizontal, navy and white.  That would be this shirt.  The stripe also reads black, so it was fairly easy to throw this dress over top, à la a little pic from Hillary's collage.  In order to bring more blue back, I added the blue tights and the blue bow.  This poor little bow: I hated it with the sweater it came with, so it got thrown in my closet somewhere.  Then years later, I decided I needed a blue belt, and couldn't find it.  Finally, it surfaced, and it's taken me another year and a bit to wear it. 

Also, the blue legs were very apt:  my bus was 35 minutes late.  And of course, it was one of very few buses that travel our route that isn't tracked via GPS, so I ended up standing in the cold for far too long.  My blue legs really went well with my blue toes!  At least it wasn't a -40 day, just a balmy -9!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeling Challenged

I'm feeling a touch overwhelmed with the number of challenges going around, and my desire to participate in all of them.  At once. Right now.  Needless to say, that won't work.  While I will be participating in 4, I thought I'd do a run down of them for anyone out there who is interested. Undoubtedly there are more, so if you know of any, I'll try to update this list (at least for the time being: after this week is over, I'm not going to keep adding the new ones once the old ones are done! I'm not that much of a bibliophile!)

Kendi is once again doing a 30 for 30. I did enjoy this exercise in November/December, as her "fall edition", but will be taking a pass at her "winter edition," given that I'm in a more northernly climate, and while everyone else was doing "fall", I was ahead of the game in the midst of "winter".  However, it is a great way to take another look at your wardrobe, so I definitely encourage you to check it out here:

This one is a little short notice for me to tell you, but Linda and Liz have a great joint project in Everybody, Everywhere.  Essentially, they choose an article of clothing generally found in most wardrobes, and on one particular day, encourage bloggers to not only style said piece in their own individual way and submit it to their site.  Tomorrow, they are featuring breton stripes (though rumour has it any stripe will do!!).  I hope to remember to do this tomorrow when my bleery brain wakes up with the alarm!  More information is available here

Cynthia at Be Fabulous Daily is also doing a February Black out!  Not only trying to escape the notion of "Black is Slimming" but also trying to avoid "Black is comfort", she will try to go without the colour black for a month.  As I don't really find I gravitate to black for any conscious reasons, and think I'm doing all right getting colour into my wardrobe, I'll be taking a pass on this one, but can't wait to see how other people are doing colour. More information available here

Those of you who remember Jane through her various incarnations of blogs were likely as thrilled as I was when she popped back into the internet radar screen and announced one more of her Capsule Wardrobe Challenges.  While I can't be certain, I'm pretty sure Jane's challenge is one of the first out there, at least that I came across, and I'm so excited for it (and her) to be back!  It's much similar to the 30 for 30 in premise, but shorter, also limiting the number of accessories.  She's holding it the 14th-18th of February.  Information can be found here

ML at 20 York Street also put out a call for a different kind of challenge.  One that she hasn't yet told us what it is.  Not wanting to miss out on too many challenges, I've decided to sign up.  Eeek! Umm... I can't say "information" per se, but read about it here!

And finally, I mentioned somewhat jokingly a challenge I'm issuing to myself in a tweet so check it out!

I just want to take a moment to thank all these wonderful ladies for putting together challenges.  While it may not seem like a lot of work, coordinating links, answering questions, and thoughtfully visiting many of the participants blogs can easily morph into a full time job! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Ok, you're getting Friday's outfit as part of my "Weekend" post.  There are two reasons for this: one, I didn't post it on Friday as I don't think "Posting Under the Influence" is a good idea, and two, I had Scott take pics while I was under the influence, and this one just makes me laugh!!  This outfit didn't get as much wear as I had hoped: I had planned for it to go from thesis writing, to a conference organizational meeting, then out with one of Scott's friends and his subsequent girlfriend who were in town for the night.  However, somewhere between the meeting (at which I was told my job was to finish the pitchers of beer that were bought by the faculty rep) and heading out for the night, I got bored with it, and changed before the night took us to the friends' hotel room, then an unexpected trip to the casino. Oddly, I walked out of the casino almost $150 ahead of when we walked in!  I'm still far too logical to really think about gambling as a way to increase my income, which is probably a good thing.

I definitely don't think it highlights what the outfit properly, so I won't discuss it.

However, today, I feel cute and adorble.  It's our Engagiversary (Scott proposed a year ago today), and it's hovering around the freezing mark with lots and lots of sun (unfortunately, lots and lots of wind, too!).  In honour of the occasion and the weather, I opted for a dress.  I LOVED the look of Erin's outfit last week (I seriously cannot get enough for that hooded jacket!!!), so I tried my best to replicate it. 

So far it's been a great day.  I got to sleep in, having dreams of wonderfully long hair.  Then we continued on our trek of church shopping (I'm going with this one being a win... yeah!!).  Then, we spent our winnings at Best Buy on random geekery and gaming accessories.  After late lunch at a Mongolian restaurant, we've settled into an afternoon of relaxing and playing with our new gadgets (well, I got another Wiimote, so that's not quite as exciting, but I did figure out how to play the music on my computer through my XBOX 360 in the living room). Tonight, we're being super cheesy and recreating our engagement night, hopefully this year without me being super grumpy, falling asleep in the middle of the movie, and then Scott angrily proposing when I woke up a couple hours later: "Oh look, it's a pocket.  Oh, look, there's a ring in the pocket".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friend Friday

Thanks as always to Katy for these questions!!

1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?

Autehnticity is admitting the flaws, laughing at the mistakes, and sharing odd details of their life. 

2. When it comes to your blog how to you infuse it with that true/ authentic feeling?

I show you when I wear pajamas, when I wear an outfit that doesn't work for me, and I rant about random things.

3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?

I have.  I always feel so guilty.  However, if they aren't connecting to me in some way (whether it's through personal interest, inspiration or what have you), I know it's best to leave it!

4. We can't communicate effectively on our blogs, something we don't live in real life... what are some ways you try to live an authentic life?

If I've learnt anything in the last 17 months I've lived in a different city is that it's best to just be yourself.  Trying to fit into someone's expectation for you is too hard and not worth it!

5. Give a shout-out... Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?

I think a list here is important!!
Linda from The Auspicious Life
Sheila from Ephemera
Jo from Daily Haiku
Megan from Megan Mae Daily

There are many more, but I have to add somewhere!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't let the wind blow you away

Wow, it was a crazy day, weather-wise.  It was -40 (no windchill) just before I woke up, and as soon as the weather warmed up even the slightest bit, the wind picked up as well, keeping the temperature on my poor little skin right around that -40 mark.  And of course, while my day could easily be adapted to remain inside, Scott insisted we venture across the city for dinner with some of his co-workers. 

The dinner was subpar, and there was a lot of inside jokes and stories I just didn't.  However, it was a nice change. 

Since it was killer cold, I once again had to opt to NOT wear the new brown boots, but I'm so tired of my brown winter boots I couldn't stand to take pictures of them.  It'd been a while since I wore this sweater/jacket combination in almost two years, and since it's a combination I love, I decided to go for it.  I'm wearing wool socks to help keep me warm too!  Instead of reaching for a necklace, I did something uncharacteristic, I went with a bracelet and earrings.  Oooh, look at me going wild!

And despite the layers, the wool and the boots, it was still hella cold!! Tomorrow is supposed to be just below the freezing mark (unseasonably warm), so I'm looking forward to deviating from the chart and maybe bringing out a dress or skirt to celebrate!  Of course, tomorrow will be interesting: a friend of Scott will be in town.  I've never been in a social situation with him that wasn't with at least a couple dozen other people around, so I'm a bit apprehensive as to what we'll end up doing.  Fortunately, I do have a meeting that afternoon, where the chairing prof will be purchasing the libations, so I'm sure I'll be a little less on edge after that! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Drinking the Koolaid

When the whole: "Let's move the blogworld to the Facebook/Twitter world" started, I decided against it - afterall, it was a little too close to infringing on my personal life.

Then tonight, when I was too lazy to do much else but creep around on Facebook and Twitter, I thought: "Why not just set up SEPARATE accounts for the blog?  I'm slowly trying to add people (I shouldn't have waited this long, and now it's kinda overwhelming trying to catch up), but feel free to add me!!

You can reach me at:
CarasCloset1 on Twitter
Cara's Closet on Facebook (both a profile and a page!  Oooh! I'm so exciting!)

If any of the links don't work, check the side column for active links there!!

Going off the charts

And here's an example of a complete deviation from spreadsheet! Since I only put in half my hours yesterday at my part-time job, I went back in today to finish it up, which meant not only getting up two days in a row, it meant getting dressed two days in a row.  Now, this may be proof that I am nearing that age where I'm ready to leave school, but I kind of liked it!  Of course, I also liked leaving at noon, again.

In any event, my casual outfit just wouldn't cut it.  However, since it wasn't my scheduled work day, I didn't exactly feel like coming up with something professional looking.  Inspiration failure was setting in until I saw Jo from Daily Haiku wear this outfit

Of course, I was a little worried it was going to be too professional for my "I don't want to be professional add", so I added some personal touches.  While the jacket may or may not be "totally 2 years ago" I liked in informality of it, and the splash of colour.  To keep the drama, I went with a nearly monochromatic look. The socks over the tights with the boots doesn't really come through in the pictures, but I assure you it's awesome.

I loved the outfit all day, but I just couldn't get a decent picture of it.  Don't you hate when that happens?

And for those of you who have been commenting:  thank you so much!  Unfortunately, Blogger is glitching out on me and no longer sending me alerts, so I'm a little behind in checking out your blogs!  Sorry!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Use your imagination

No outfit today.  I did put it on and head off to work, and it looked cute, but I, on the other hand, looked so red, splotchy, itchy and ill that I made a phone call to Scott begging him to pick me up from work for fear of not containing the little bit of food I force-fed myself this morning if I climbed back on the bus.

So if you're interested in imagining what I wearing, check yesterday's post and use your imagination (which will be hard since it was debuting a shirt [though it was in my "what to wear to a funeral post"] and a new pair of shoes). 

But since I have very little to offer you today, I will let you know that I've finally set up an email account for this blog.  It is  Feel free to ask a question, suggest an idea, or simply say hi!!

Now I'm off to convince Scott to make me chicken noodle soup, as the allergy meds very definitely are making me too loopy to be trusted with any potentially dangerous appliance.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dancing to the beat of my own drummer

A number of people commented and questioned my organization system after my Friday Friday post about planning outfits.  I figured this would be a good opportunity to show you one of the systems I used to use, at the height of my outfit planning.  I no longer use this system, because I don't quite have the same: "must get up and get out the door" rush that I used to have, so I do have a bit more lee-way.  I did put in this week's clothing plan, but as you'll notice, some days aren't filled in completely, some have no details, and I may not actually wear any of this.  However, it's a good guide line.

The organization of the column could use a bit of tweaking, but that's mostly because I've evolved the spreadsheet with use.  It used to be the "Note" section was for detailing what additional clothes I'd have to bring with me on days when I was going to work, school, then to Scott's in the evening, and thus what size bag I'd need.  The weather is probably a smart edition, but it's amusing how quickly that all changes up here.

And of course, to show you the transition from plan to practice, here is today's outfit!!

 I feel like a ballerina in this outfit, and I think it's becuase the tunic flares out like a skirt.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to work the tanktop/vest, but I'm actually quite happy with it.  It's a little bulky under the belt, since it's folded multiple times, but I think overall, the line is clean! Yes, I am aware the shirt is really green and navy, not black, but let's say that makes it a less expected colour combination!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

DaniellaBella tagged with with the Stylish Blogger award this last week, a nice way to boost my self-esteem on a day I was rather prone to wallowing!  The rules of this award are two reveal 7 random things about yourself, and then tag some (seven, I think) people.  While I won't be passing this on - having lost track of who has done what, I will definitely relish in the joy of the award and take a self-indulgent moment to talk about my favourite subject, me!

I had originally started this last night, when I couldn't sleep (the downstairs neighbours were throwing a party.  At one point, the yelling was so loud I thought someone was in our apartment.  Did I mention I live in a concrete building??).  This morning, as we enter day 3 of Cara's "Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day" funk, I thought that rather than allowing myself to drivel on about how much I hate my neighbours, my apartment, my city, and winter, I'd add another requirement: I'd write 7 thinks for which I'm thankful, and that make me happy in hopes of kicking myself out of the grumps. Of course, I did get the idea from Daniella - she has taken to ending her entries listing something for which she is thankful. 

Mine are in no particular order

1.  Scott:  I love and adore that man.  There are times when he makes it difficult to remember why, but usually if I wait an hour, a few reasons become so apparent that even if I'm still grumpy, I can't deny them.  His sense of humour, creativity, and absolute dedication to me always make up for his inability to put the toaster away, remember to do something I've just asked him to do or pick up his socks from the middle of the hallway.  Sure, it's going to be tough spending "the rest of my life" with some of his ADD-behaviour, but it would be harder spending "the rest of me life" without him. 

2.  Kinect: I know, it's a little weird having a video game system on here, but ultimately, it's related to number one.  As a fitness fanatic, who can't bring myself to drag myself to the gym in the middle of winter to get really sweaty before going out in frigid temperatures, the minute I saw the physical benefits of a game system, I was on Scott's case to buy one.  Even though it was out of range with our budget, since we needed both the XBOX and the Kinect sensor.  Knowing how moving keeps me happy when winter makes me sad, Scott was amazingly selfless.  He sold a collection of comics books (The Walking Dead for those who are interested) to make up the money we'd need to get one.  Every time I turn the system on (which is daily), I remember that and it makes the workout that much more special.

3.  Family: It feels cliché writing that down, but true nonetheless. Moving to a different province has been hard.  Most of the people my age have lived here their entire lives, and are still friends with those they have been friends with since high school or kindergarten, making it very difficult to break into any friend group.  Of course, it's also hard to be friends with a couple who openly count down how much time there is left until they move back home.  In any event, I've spent more time on the phone, in emails, or on Skype with my family than I'd ever anticipated.  While it does make it harder to be away from them, knowing I'm missing out on things like my niece's first visit to the place I immediately think of when I think of "home," it also makes it easier, knowing that regardless of where I am, they're always just a phone call away.  (Great: how do I top that one?)

4.  This blog: The entries on here are getting more and more cathartic, and on the one hand, I do apologize to you all.  However, being able to write, well, anything, just helps alleviate the loneliness that doesn't just come from my bad attitude about this city, but also from being at a point in my program where I spend countless hours alone in my office, having discussions with pieces of paper that don't answer back, but are usually right.  The first piece of advice a prof gave me was to make sure I did something every week that wasn't school related, and that brought me into contact with people.  While I don't think she meant a blog, I also knew I would need daily contact with some world in order to avoid going crazy.  While I do also have weekly activities with "real" people, you have become my sanity savers through your comments!

5. Pirated cable: My grandfather (who worked in Telecommunications and Media until he retired) would undoubtedly have a fit if he discovered we were receiving basic cable and not paying for it, but it's a life saver (in my defense: I did tell the tech who set up our cable internet that we would not be getting cable and to disconnect it).  After arguing with pieces of paper all day (seriously, that's what I do:  I don't always argue with them outloud, I often put my arguments onto pieces of paper too), my brain is often so fried that even Mario Kart feels like a complex challenge.  Cue the crappy TV!!  Whether it's feeling smug about my superb financial knowledge while watching Downsized, Til Debt Do Us Part, and Princess, or participating in cultural norms in watching Glee, How I Met Your Mother and Raising Hope, realizing the fear that DeLillo aptly presents in White Noise (that we're all just sponges for TV, and nothing is real unless it's presented through the media) is possibly the most relaxing and best part of my day.

6.  My bed:  Around 3:30, the noise had subsided from the party downstairs, and I'd returned from getting a glass of water, I snuggled into my pillow top bed, pulled up my fluffy duvet, fluffed my pillow and thought: "This is what it's like to be in a cloud" before drifting off to sleep.  As mean as it sounds, there is nothing I like more than when Scott's alarm barely rouses me when it goes off at 5 in the morning, and while I'm not even conscious enough to realize the horrors his poor body must be going through waking up at that time, I do know that I get to roll into the middle, and make a bigger nest out of ALL the pillows, and sleep in absolute comfort for a few hours until my alarm goes off. While I still think of my parents' place as "home", when I refer to this apartment as "home," I really do just mean my bed!!

7.  My wedding:  I may be eschewing some of the more traditional bridezilla characteristics:  Rather than wanting to feel like a princess, I insisted my dress have pockets so I could put stuff in them, like candy or frogs (or candy frogs!!).  I'm not planning on having my whole entourage "help me get ready," my interest in decorating the reception hall is limited to : "plunking down the centrepieces".  I bought shoes that were not only sensible, but on sale.  And my general thought is: "Why the hell would I spend that much on a (fill on object filled with archaic tradition such as: garter, bouquet, etc.)".  That's not to say I'm ignoring the details (I just refer to it as a marketing strategy), or I'm not excited about the wedding (173 days!! 173 days!!).  I just want the emphasis to be where the emphasis should be: on us, and the vows we're making.  I'm trying the best I can to make our 150-guest list wedding as personal and intimate as if we eloped. 

Wow - that actually worked.  I'm not saying I'm a cheerful ray of sunshine, but I'm content.  I could easily go on for 70 more thing, and I'm rather in awe of all the ways I've been blessed.  Thanks, Daniella, you've helped me put things into perspective!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friend Friday - Getting my Organized Freak On

 My apologies if I come across snarky today.  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and despite purposely rolling back and sleeping some more, I just can't up my attitude.  I'm itching for change. I'm sure you've all had that!  The difficulties I've had accepting the fact I'm living in this city, rather than the city which has all my friends and family, had been subsiding until last night. It's amazing how one change to a group of friends can cause such a difference, to the point where we left early.  (OK, Scott did also work crazy early this morning)

Anyway, my trivia team "drama" need not distract me from the task at hand, so I apologize.  Katy's questions are right on my wavelength today.  I'm an obsessive planner of everything.  If a list, or spreadsheet can be made, I've already done it. It's highly ironic that I now admit it, as these are the characteristics that I used to bug my parents about when I was younger.  But don't tell them, k?

1. How do you determine what you will wear that day?
Every Sunday night, I sit down and plan outfits.  This process is essential for making sure I get dressed most days out of the week.  Left to my own devices, I would be in workout wear / pajamas all week.

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month, weekend?
I generally do Monday-Friday, so long as I have no big weekend plans.  Chances are, one of those days I won’t get dressed, and then that outfit becomes Saturday’s.  Sundays are usually spend in pajamas.  I’m not a classy girl. 

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don't repeat?
Ugh – this is one of my big pet peeves.  What’s so wrong about repeating?  If something works the first time, I consider it a good outfit that deserves to be worn again.  That said, I do have a fairly good memory in general, so if I don’t want to repeat, I don’t have to check the blog. 

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet? (Trial try-ons?  Hanging items together?)
Since I make the list sitting on my couch in front of the TV, I pair items based on what I can remember from my closet.  With the exception of Tuesdays, the one day a week I work at the office (and catch a bus), I generally have time in the morning/afternoon/evening to try on my outfit for that day, and make any changes.  Any new ideas I have often come from other bloggers (though these days I haven’t really been looking for inspiration, though I’m sure it’s abundant.  Hmm... that’s a little weird). 

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?
It really doesn’t take me that long unless it’s a special occasion.  In less than ½ hour, I’ve got outfits for the week.  Except when I can’t find something, getting dressed takes seconds. If it sucks, no one sees it, so it's really liberating that way!

Don't forget to check out Katy's blog for a complete list of participants!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Such a weird day

First of all, thanks for the input yesterday!  I think I will follow your advice and hold off! (Sorry Wendy B!  And a side note: How awesome is it that Wendy Brandes stopped by here?  For those that don't know, she's a fabulous jewelry designer.  Check out her site here.  Right now, I'm loving the silver oak leaf necklace, but she is probably most known for her swear rings!!)

You don't get an outfit post from yesterday since -39 degree weather means I dress for warmth, not style, since it was one of those weird freak of nature moments when I did have to leave my apartment.

Because it's still somewhat cold today, and I don't have to leave the house until about 8:30 tonight (yeah for Trivia night!!), I'm not getting out of my pajamas and snuggie until I absolutely have to. In other words: I'm writing this blog long before I've even found the items  I need to make it work!

This sweater is new to me:  I'm about 90% sure I bought it for my sister as a Christmas/birthday present one year, so when I saw it in her "hand-me-down" bag, I immediately had to try it on myself to see what would compel her to give away such a thoughtful present.  After loving how it looked on me, I decided against asking her, for fear she would repossess it.  Of course, when I went to take it off, it became obvious: it requires 2 people!  Stuck with  my arms pinned to my head, I considered putting it in the "give away" pile, but decided it was worth the inconvenience.  Besides, most Trivia nights I'm so exhausted by the time I get home, I get tangled up in my pajamas anyway.

There's two variations of the outfit here:  the first has a necklace and my new boots. I used some Christmas money from my grandparents to buy these after work on Tuesday.  They came right in on budget (ok, 9 cents over!!), and they fit perfectly.  I love that there is a second zipper beside the main one, that way it can be unzipped when I wear a pair of jeans in them!  The necklace was also part of a Christmas gift.  You know: Dear Cara, Love Cara. 

However, the second variation is what I'll wear out to trivia tonight.  I've switched to my winter boots (because we're expecting 10 cm - 4 inches - of snow tonight and I don't want to ruin my boots before I get a chance to protect them), and my scarf (because the bar is unbelievably cold, and this scarf is large enough to wear as a shawl). 

I didn't go all out with this outfit because it's not my usual style.  I'm much more, uh, streamlined than my sister.  The larger sleeve is kind of wigging me out. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I'm in a bit of a shtuck. 

My in-laws gave me a gift certificate for Le Chateau.  The issue?  I just can't bring myself to get anything in my price range, because the quality is so cheap.  If I find something of quality that I'm willing to supplement, it's never in my size.  (I did also find a dress that is just slightly too small on me, and I nearly cried)

So the question becomes this:

Do I keep the gift card and hope for the best in the spring lines?

Do I buy the dress and keep my fingers crossed that I can work my way into it?

Do I blow it on accessories? 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Patterned tights

Wow - patterned tights are easier than I expected!  I was worried this tights would be incredibly bold and not work appropriate so I purposely selected coordinating, yet more somber pieces.  The skirt I kept longer, the boots higher.  Now I'm disappointed in how little pattern you see!

It was hair cut day, and my hair looked awesome, but I had to bus home, so I wore my toque.  Hope you enjoy my cold nose and my messed up hat head.  Also, is it just me or do I look cross eyed in this picture?  I don't remember being cross eyed in it!

And excuse the mess: I was too cold to think about the setting before getting Scott to snap a few pictures!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Staples and Paper Clips

I'm slowly developing this theory about wardrobes which encompasses staples (the items that are basic, but base pieces in outfits), paperclips (outfits that aren't staples, but must be in every closet for special occasions like interview outfits, funeral wear, and the every important party dress), and then rounding out the rest with the thumbtacks (the trendy pieces that get swapped out easily).

In any event, the general rule is that staples stick around during purges, because of their infinite use value.  I've been keeping these brown cords around because I consider them staples, but I think I've only worn them a couple times.  I just can't get inspired by them.  I have brown non-corduroy pants that get more use than them, and yet there is something classic about corduroy in winter.  For some reason, they seem dated to me, and I'm not quite sure why. 

Any thoughts on how to style these to make them more "now"?  Kill the bootcut/flare?  Or is the fact that they've stayed dormant in my drawers for so long a sign that it's their time to go?

Also - I've revived Cara the Crafty Cook blog.  In an attempt to re-connect myself with my body (we lost touch when it decided to mutate earlier this winter), I've decided to pay more attention to my body, particularly in regards to food.  This blog will track my adventures in simple, yet home-made items.  Watch for my post on tomato-free pasta sauce (using a beet base) tonight!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Birthday party!

First of all, a big THANK YOU to Sheila.  In her Major Award! 2010 post, she has named me one of her favourite Canadian fashion bloggers!  She said some really sweet things about me that made me feel a little guilty about reading it while in my pajamas, with my greasy stringy hair being held back with a pencil.  But I know we all have those Saturdays!!

Tonight, we're meeting up with some friends for drinks  to celebrate my birthday.  It's been so long since I've had a social outing where it's permissible to add a bit of sass, so I feel a little ill-prepared and out of practice.  I have a whole bunch of items I want to wear (the awesome flower tights from Erica, the plaid tights from my parents, the new grey shoes from Scott's grandparents, the hand-me downs from my sister). Of course, none of them really go together, so choices must be made!!

It was a frustrating experience and I decided a couple times I just wasn't going out.   I think the outfit looks better in person, though!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friend Friday - Comparing Success

Katy's blog is without a doubt  a very successful blogger.  This week, she's asked us to think about success.  Don't forget to check out her blog to read more about what others think!
1. Have you ever looked at someone's blog and thought yours will never measure up?

I definitely had that thought in the beginning when I stumbled upon a fashion blog and decided to create my own, particularly when said person (who will remain nameless) specifically complained about the details of blogs like mine that she couldn't stand (ones that include personal details, ones that show less than awesome outfits, ones that had more words than pictures). However, I barely glance at her blog in my reader any more, and have set my aspirations on different blogs which I enjoy. And now, rather than seeing these blogs as something I must try to measure up to, I see them each as unique in their own way. I'm quite happy with where my blog is right now.

2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers?

Now that I know another fashion blogger in the city, I'll admit that I'm feeling some pressure to create a worthy outfit for days when our paths cross! But in all honesty, the pressure I feel right now to meet some undefined standard is a positive one: working from home is very tempting to forget any clothing all together except sweats and t-shirts. Having this blog and being part of this community encourages me to care about how I present myself, even if it's just to me.

3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging?

I don't think you need to combine them to be successful. While I don't share a lot of my crafty side on this blog (I did have another blog for that kind of stuff, which has fallen by the wayside), I do think it does help a bit, particularly when there are certain sweaters or skirts I can't find in stores, but really want. Plus, being able to do some of your own tailoring is a godsend.

4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice - how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours? 

I've always had a very strong writing voice (which was made quite apparent when I used to write essays for my little boyfriend back in high school). I had a personal blog, and then a newspaper column, so the only adjustment was how much of myself to share on this blog. I'll admit the writing isn't quite so polished – I definitely wouldn't refer a potential employer here (and no amount of searching for me by name will bring them here), but I like that it's my little private/public soap box.

5. Toot your own horn... what's one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge?

I'm not sure there is any one thing that is unique to my blog. I used to do theme weeks, back when I was looking for inspiration and a way to create my own style. I used to think I was unique because I spent so much time working from home, but it's beginning to seem like lots of others do too (and I think Matt wins the prize for most unique work-from-home blog!). I'm not necessarily striving for being unique, I'm just striving to be me, and if that is unique, then good on me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Birthday Suit

It's very tempting to cover up the windows today and run around in my birthday suit.  For one, it's my birthday, so it seems fitting, but also because I'm thinking my hives are laundry detergent related, so giving my skin a chance to breathe chemical free would probably do some good.

However, it's also probably a very bad idea.  For one, we're expecting contractors to come by and seal our window which as developed a nasty leak now that we're experiencing nicer weather.  Also, it's my birthday, so I feel like I should go out somewhere to celebrate.

I still am adjusting to NOT being around family for my birthday.  Since it was pretty impossible (my mom goes back to work today, my dad has only been back for a couple days, and I can't quite wish a 7 hour trip on the parents of a new baby... though I might remind them that the plane ride is only an hour), I decided I should at least wear the present my mom and I shopped for when she was out earlier in the week.  Admittedly, my mom beat me to this trend (and I was tempted to just get the exact same boots as her), but I now have my own riding boots!  I'm so used to wearing heels that my feet feel like flippers in these (They may be a touch big at a size six, but most definitely not in the range of flipper feet!!), so my brain needs adjusting. 

My original plan was to skirt up for my birthday and wear the fabulous tights my friend Erica bought me for Christmas, but my plans include hitting up an antique warehouse (and convincing Scott to buy me a locket there) and going to a movie:  two places notorious for their cold temperatures.  Pants became a must.  (I might try to work the tights into my birthday party outfit on Saturday, instead.)

 And if you're doing pants and riding boots, a jacket is a must, right?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warm Winter??

I am so excited about this outfit.  It's not even on yet, and I'm excited.  Just watch, it won't work when I put it all together.

In my mind, I love the outfit for a number of reasons.  One, it is both comfortable and pulled together.  Two, I'm all about saturated colours this week.  Yes, I do think I need more pattern in my life (still... it's been a problem since day one), but I really love putting colours together like this, especially when they're saturated.  While yesterday I loved Navy with Fuchsia, today, I love Navy with Forest Green with Ivory.  The outfit needs the ivory to keep from being too dark, I think (I could take or leave the belt yesterday)

This sweater was the only clothing item I got for Christmas that I didn't purchase for myself (as neither my gift to myself nor part of a gift card).  In all honesty, it's probably the only item on there that I I would have been upset if it wasn't under the tree.  I almost bought something similar before Christmas, but I'm glad I resisted.  My parents searched through a couple cities to find this (I don't care whether that means that I'm head of the curve or behind it), and eventually found it at Tommy Hilfiger.  While I've long been a proponent of "dress with quality and fit, not name", I love when I get something by a notable brand that fits and feels great.

Ok, the wool is a little itchy on my allergy prone skin right now, but that's why there's long sleeve shirts!

It is a nice enough day here that I could not only take pictures outside, but I could also convince Scott, whose been sick since before Christmas to come outside and take them for me!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There's nothing like a 3 week vacation to make you forget your password

Yup, walked into work today, and completely blanked on my password. 

Since it had been so long, I decided I should try again to make a good first impression on my coworkers.  It's a good thing I have this blog, so I'd have been sorely disappointed.  Only one coworker was in today. 

What I love about this outfit is the colour.  There's something about fuchsia and navy that just makes me so happy!  I'm really hoping it works well with my skin - not so much in terms of complimentary colours to my skin tone, but in terms of making me paler.  My hives have flared up exponentially since I got back after Christmas making me fear that I'm allergic to my apartment.  Since I can't really change that (and yes, I've quadruple checked for bed bugs this last week, and no I don't have any), I'm going to keep pretending the reactions are triggered by food.  If changing my laundry detergent (again), or switching to a histamine-reduced diet (starting next week) doesn't work, I'm going gluten-free.  Hillary, look forward to me soliciting your advice!!

Fortunately, my co-worker also suffers from allergies, so we comiserated together over coffee.  Hopefully he then put two and two together and realized the red welts on my neck were indeed from hives, and not evidence of any licentious activity. 

Oh!  And that was the other interesting thing about this outfit:  I picked up some nude fishnet stockings.  I don't know, ladies, I'm not sold.  I thought they make my thighs look like pimpled chicken skin, and my ankles look like burlap sacks.  They did a great job of masking any hives, but you know what, so do opaque cotton tights, and they make me feel a little less freakish. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is she here yet? Is she here yet?

When I was younger, and family would come to visit us, I would bounce around the front window in my parents' living room, awaiting that first spotting of their car.

I'd do the same thing today, if it wasn't for the fact that my "front window" is actually a set of patio doors onto a balcony, through which the cold Saskatchewan air blows.  Instead, I'm safely bouncing in my blanket on the couch.

Why the excitement?  My mom is coming to visit!  Yes, I realize I just spent close to 2 weeks living in her house, eating her food, and watching her cable.  But I suffer from Younger Sister Syndrome (always feeling like you're living in the shadow of someone), and so any time someone makes a trip to see me and only me, I feel like the very-most-specialest-person-in-the-world.

The best part?  She's showing up to take me shopping!  With my birthday being so close to Christmas, buying presents for me is usually a combination of so easy and so hard.  While there are still things on my Christmas list to choose from, everything is on sale, so suddenly a budget can go twice as far.  Rather than doing what used to happen (she'd buy a whole bunch of stuff, then I'd spend the next week returning and refining the selection) we're going shopping together!

Between the sadness of Christmas, the decided fall in the hierarchy of the family when my niece (and my parents' first grandchild) was born, and the fact I have yet to find a good shopping buddy in this city, this is a much needed trip to boost me up before fighting through the coldest months of winter. 

Shopping, of course as you all know, requires a more simple outfit.  I know that I'm looking for boots, so skinny jeans seemed like a natural option, since that is usually what I'd be pairing them with most often!  Here's hoping I find some that I like!!  The scarf (my favourite winter accessory) was part of a Christmas present from a friend:  pashminas and amaretto - she sure knows me!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Year in Review - 2010

This year has been a fairly rough year for me.  It should have been a year of excitement, since January marked a high point: getting engaged. However, even that great news resulted in issues both professionally and personally.  I'd even go so far as to say that the time around out engagement party was a particular low point.  It seems that most of the year seemed to balance itself that way: positive followed by negative, and negative followed by positive.  I suppose that is how most years go; however, this year, I just didn't feel that I weathered the roller coaster as well as I could have, or as I have in the past.  Here's hoping this next year is better!!

I did really start to feel myself getting into a rhythm with my style and my blog this year.  The original purpose of this blog was to get rid of clothing, something I did not really seem to accomplish thus far.  However, progress needs to be noted: after Christmas, when I was counting up my Christmas money, I surprisingly didn't have an immediate: "I need this!" moment, particularly in relation to clothing.  Instead, I took my time to see what the holes were in my closet, and what pieces needed to be replaced.  Progress, indeed!

Without any further ado, here is the best of each month!

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Thanks to ALL my followers (public and anonymous!!) I hope you're all as excited for 2011 as I am!!