Friday, April 29, 2011

Friend Friday - Fitness

I'm so honoured that Katy chose my theme this week for questions!!

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?

I do try to keep a fitness routine - though I'm not always that strict about it. I try for four one-hour workouts a week. I love the feeling that comes after a good workout... and the excuse I have to eat like a pig, too!

In terms of what I do, I have been sticking mostly with video games lately. I have Dance Central, Your Shape! Fitness Evolved, and Zumba Fitness for Kinnect, all of which give you a great work out, though Your Shape is certainly the most comprehensive.  Zumba Fitness's menu system and feedback are abysmal, so I honestly wouldn't waste my money on it again.

I do have lots of other options (free weights, exercise ball, resistance tubing, pilates videos etc), but I love that the games have it all right there without having to decide what to do!

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image?

I know that my shape doesn't change, regardless of how much or how little I work out. I've tracked my measurements for months. Maybe the consistency of my body changes, but the size doesn't. However, I swear everything fits better right after the work out. I also stand straighter, which helps too!

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?

Functionality. I usually exercise in my pajamas. When I used to go to the gym, I planned outfits just as I would for going anywhere else, but now that I have a gym in my house (Ok, a tv), I just wear whatever is around. 

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness?

 I apparently should be barely eating and working out constantly, as my wedding is quickly approaching. But my dress fits, and so while I do want completely ripped arms, I haven't done much for them. General opinion of those around me is that I should be GAINING weight, but whatever. I'm happy with where I am

5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.

I would love to have my 6 pack back. Of course, it probably wasn't as good as I imagine it was. I would also love to be able to run a half marathon, but my knees and hips just don't seem to like street races.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's late, but it's here!

I have no excuse for not posting yesterday. Or earlier today. My deadline for Friday was magically moved until 3 weeks from now (ok, I'm not thrilled about that. I was on track to have it done for Friday, and now I have to stretch it out for 3 weeks). 

I've just become TOO lazy with all this extra time!

We finally took pictures tonight on our way to go grocery shopping. It was a nice walk to the car. Maybe tomorrow we'll walk past it and go for a walk!  I love spring!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Royal Wedding

My cousin was telling me this weekend that her daughter was really excited about my upcoming wedding, so one day, she showed her a picture of "the bride".  The daughter insisted it was the wrong picture... little did my cousin realize, her daughter thought the "bride" in question was none other than Wills' Kate!

In her honour, I decided I'd wear the closet thing I had to Kate's Issa dress: my blue wrap dress!  Simple accented with brown (because I don't have a large collection of dark navy blue suede platform pumps), but oh so very comfortable.

Now I have to run, apparently I have to go cheer for the, uh, Canucks??

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh, Camera, Where art thou?

I lost my camera. It turned up in my sister's purse, which makes me think she stole it. Why would she steal it? Because she wants to take over my blog.  Well, I asked her to do so over the next few weeks until I get my camera back, but she laughed.

Today, I officially welcome spring. I wore this outfit to say goodbye to fall (and start my first 30x30). I love wearing outfits again.  I didn't check the pic first, so I didn't wear the belt, but none the less, it was great to throw on after my shower, which wasn't until about 4:00.

Why so late? I'm done all the writing on my thesis. I wrote the final sentence on my conclusion this afternoon. I know there is a lot of revising and re-writing to do, but all my thoughts are down on "paper". I did buy champagne to celebrate!!

Oh, and how do I have pictures without a camera? I'm using Scott's camera. It's the exact same as mine... just a few levels in quality down. Please bare with me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

You've inspired me to post!

This week, for Friend Friday, Katy wants us to discuss Inspiration.  Here is what she says:

Inspiration - To further mark one year of FBFF we are going to answer the same set of questions asked this time last year as I think they are still pertinent today and usually ever changing. 

And here are my answers!

1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?

I don't necessarily seek out certain celebrities for styles. However, I do often find that when I'm having difficulties styling a piece (usually trends), that looking at how celebs have worn it really helps, especially when it's how they wore it on a day-to-day basis. It seems more real than seeing how it worked on a runway!

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?

I go through a variety of inspiration sources. I try to “star” outfits that other bloggers wear that I can see myself wearing. I love challenges like EBEW where you are given a great basic and have to somehow make it your own. I used to really rely on the inspiration calendar at Fab Finds Under Fifty, but it got harder and harder to use the pieces I had in my closet for that, so now I use it mostly when I'm stuck. However, these days I'm inspired by clothes that move. If I can't skip down the sidewalk, curl up into a ball and do a little yoga in it, all while looking pulled together, I can get a touch grumpity!

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers?

I work from home, or from school. I'm at the beginning stages of grad school (in the grand scheme of things), at a very casual and cold locale. Wearing 4 inch heels to the library will garner me strange looks. Wearing a two piece suit to meet with my adviser would feel overdressed. I hope that I inspire those who don't have a 9-5 job, who love practicality and who are on a budget to take a step out from the oh-so-tempting realm of jeans and t-shirts.

4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?

It's funny that this question is coming up right now. Last weekend, I had a chance to catch up with a friend of mine that I met at a summer camp in 1996, then again on the walk to university in 2004 (he remembered me by name... I won't lie: it was a little creepy). Kenley has always pushed me beyond my comfort zone, making me question not my values but my rationale behind them. He's also always seen life as a progression. He's fiercely passionate about music, something he tries to pass on to the students in his music classes. He's started writing chorale pieces, one of which has already been performed. He even is a partner in a video game music composition studio. While he did admit that sometimes his ambition steps in the way of quality time with his girlfriend, or sleep, Kenley's motivation is pure passion, with a very belated afterthought to money. Kenley, on a bad day, probably sees more silver linings in a cloud that I do on a good day. (It must be exhausting being him!)

5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you?

Took me a minute to realize that Idol meant American Idol. Ooops – evidently I don't watch THAT much TV!!

Despite spending my days surrounded by words, I tend to ignore lyrics to songs: that's not to say I don't sign along. I definitely do my fair share of that. However, the energy in the music is what gets me. Right now, my two biggest “energy” songs are “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele and “River Deep Mountain High” by Celine Dion. I definitely should start my morning with these and boogie on down as I wait for my toast to pop!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

... but it's a writing day!

If you remember reading my post on dress codes on Melissa's blog, you'll remember I do have pajamas and sweats in my dress code. Of course, these are for days when I'm to be writing. Well, that day is today, and I seem to find myself dressed. Grumble.

Of course I went out for coffee with some former work colleagues, so it doesn't surprise me that much to be dressed.

I also found this shirt at my parents (the purple and black polka-dotted one), so I figured it might an idea to wear it, in hopes of remembering why it's at home and not at home (I still feel a little torn between homes!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clean slate?

Good grief - that's the last time I make a joke about people breaking and entering into our apartment when Scott was home!  He got quite the scare last night when someone walked in... evidently they had taken a wrong turn on the way to the laundry room.

I went shopping yesterday. And I don't regret it. A dress, two skirts, two sleeveless tops and a pair of tights later, I feel like I have a better wardrobe to work with this week. Of course, half that stuff did come from a thrift store, so in the process of washing it, I did wash all of the clothes I washed thus far, renewing my interest in them. I know a lot of them weren't "dirty" per se, and if I was at home, I would have probably thrown them on a chair, and worn them a week or so later without issue. It's just wearing them that close together without washing them gives me the heebies. In any event, each of these pieces are from the "suitcase pile" and not the "new clothes" pile!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

But I'm bored all ready!!

I'm halfway through an extended out-of-province trip. I feel relatively safe telling you I'm not home, as any of you who attempt to ransack my apartment will discover that Scott is there, and really, breaking and entering is less fun if someone is home to see you.

The trip so far as been great, busy and, of course, a little bit crazy. Our drive out on Friday consisted of keeping a close eye on the flood waters that were starting to encroach on the road, which resulted in my father-in-law lending us his 4-wheel drive SUV for the next part of the trip. Of course, that section had no lane closures at all due to flooding, and while it was a very expensive trip, it was a lot of fun. I really felt like Bowser from MarioKart in it!

What hasn't been so great is the fact I'm already bored of the clothes I brought. I may need to go shopping. Having just seen the Joe Fresh spring line (I'm a little behind, maybe it'll already be on sale!!), I don't think that will be too difficult. Everyone needs a new Easter outfit, right?

However, today I'm still stuck with my boring old clothes.  Fortunately for you, I haven't photographed the previous 4 outfits I've worn using these items, so they'll still be all new and fresh to you, right!?! This photo doesn't really highlight the outfit, partially because it's not really something photo-worthy. However, it does also show you how much snow has melted since the last time I was at my parents. Three weeks ago, the snow was crazy. Now, it's almost gone!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Versatile Blogger

Meagan tagged me on Thursday with a Versatile Blogger Award. It was perfect timing, if I do say so myself, since I read her blog as I was striving to come up with content for Monday's blog post (which would be today, to most of you) since I knew I'd be a little busy that day. My job, as a result of being tagged, is to reveal 7 random facts about myself

1. Scott and I just finished our premarital counseling. Everyone told me how great it was, so I had no reservations going into it, but I also figured "Whatever, we've probably already discussed all of it".  In fact, we had. The person with whom we were working was very impressed, and repeatedly said so. However, taking the time to discuss not so much "what we should do" but rather "how we are doing at it" was really great. I really think pre-marital counseling should be obligatory for everyone getting married, and that a follow-up session 6-12 months after the wedding should be as well.

2. I spent probably 4 hours this week trying to get the sour milk smell out of the trunk of Scott's car. It probably would have only taken 2, except that I started playing "Science Experiment" with baking soda and vinegar and ended up with a rock hard paste drying in giant splotches across it. And yes, it probably would have taken even less time if I had just dealt with it when it happened and not waited, er, a month. (That is the benefit of living here: It was frozen for most of that time, so really, no harm done!)

3. Scott works a lot of weird random shifts, so I've become quite adept to being able to sleep through his alarm (fortunately, he still wakes up to it... and I still wake up to mine!). He still kisses me before he leaves for work, even if it's 5:45. Usually, I sleep right through it, but all week, I've been dreaming I've been attacked by stereotypically cuddly animals, that aren't quite so cuddly in my dreams. As a result, the last 2 early morning shifts I've hit him when he's kissed me on the forehead.

4. Scott's brother's birthday was last week. He turned 20. And we did most definitely buy him a pink card with kittens on the outside...and stickers on the inside. I'm pretty sure he already doesn't like me (or is afraid of me... either way, if I walk into a room and he's the only one in there, he'll walk out), and while I should try to work on winning him over, it still is fun just to make him just a little more awkward.(Oh, and there was a gift card to a much more manly store to counteract it).

5. I did very little work on my thesis this last week. I took out books, and intended to read them. Instead, I convinced myself I was working by lazing on the couch contemplating what I might want to talk about in the conclusion. In my defense, I also had a rather annoying ear infection going on.

6. Sometimes, when I tell Scott's stories about what happens at work, he goes a tad crazy over the fact I can continue working there without repeatedly banging my head against the wall. I certainly don't take the drama seriously, but rather consider it a live version of a TV show, and that's how I make it through from one day to the next.

7. I love the sounds of typing. Especially on laptops. The idea of a silent keyboard makes me really sad. In fact, it bothers me to use the touch screen on my cell phone to type even the shortest message: I must prefer the slideout keyboard that it has.

Now I should tag people, but honestly, I can't keep track of who has tagged whom. So I tag you... and you, maybe you, of course you, definitely you, I can't forget you, and, hmm... you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friend Friday: Gratitude

This week has been quite monumental for Cara's Closet. I spent my week with quite the swollen ego!  So of course, it was a great week for Katy to choose gratitude for the theme for Friend Friday. However, I didn't feel the questions quite fit for me and my blog, so I'm doing my own spin on them - Katy, I mean no offense!  I love the thought behind it all!

I am grateful for the Melissa, who invited me to do my very first guest post and start off a new feature on her blog! It was overwhelming to see the number of comments, compliments and new names I discovered through the experience.

I am grateful for the number of compliments I got on my own blog this week, between Monday's mystery outfit, Tuesday's Maxi dress, and the suggestions on how to wear a skirt that had been giving me trouble (But I don't think I can "punk" it up - I did the punk thing back in the day, and I just can't pull it off... I'm too girly).

I am grateful for Megan tagging me with a Versatile Blogger award (and not just because it gives me an opportunity to pre-write Monday's post since I'll be doing my supportive-fiance-gig)

I am grateful to all my followers, old and new (hi new people!!), public and anonymous (that's right, I'm mentioning you, you Google Reader lurkers!!)

I am grateful that even on days when I wake up and think "I have nothing to wear" I really just mean: "I have so much to wear that I don't even know where to start".

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more obvious?

Avril Lavigne ruined this skirt.

This skirt has all the details that should make it an immediate favourite for me: plaid, cute pocket detailing, above knee length. However, I just can't make this skirt work for me! Everything just says way too much "Look at me, I'm a rebellious teen!"

I know, I know: never buy a skirt unless you can think of three outfits to wear it with, but I didn't buy this skirt. Since my mother did, I'm determined to make it work.

Can you think of any ways to make it not feel so : "schoolgirl punk?"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breaking the code for EBEW

For those of you who made their way over from Melissa's blog where I guest posted yesterday, welcome! It was a fabulous experience and the fact that you thought I was fun/weird/crazy enough for you to come by here today kinda makes me blush... in a good way!

But a note of irony: I rant and rave yesterday about the fact my office is too casual, and today I show up in a beach dress. However, I always feel a jacket classes it up a bit. Ok, even I know I'm stretching it!

No regret though, thus far... not only is it Maxi Dress day for EBEW, but I also made this using the DIY instructions (which you can find on the site).  It's patterned after the "Le Sac" (yes, I realize "the" and "le" mean the same thing, just in different language, but AA doesn't necessarily follow grammar) from American Apparel, but made in maxi length. Since I love my bandeau dress from AA, which follows the same idea (multiple styling options), I figured it was a pretty safe bet that I'd get some wear out of this one. It retails up here for $45 for their standard length (which hits about knee), and I spent less than $15. Of course, it did take me about 90 minutes to get it all together (which included re-arranging the storage closet to get to my sewing machine, among other things), but what's the point of having a sewing machine if you're not going to use it!

I always thought that maxi dresses would make me look short, and maybe it's just the angle of my full length mirror propped against the wall, but it might have the opposite effect! I might re-think my plan to cut it shorter!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mystery Woman

First of all:  Check out Melissa's blog!! I'm doing my first guest post.  And I'm so honoured to start off her Proper Professional series!

All right, back onto topic! Our wind up parties for our department usually have a theme which provides people the option of dressing up. This year, we some how ended up with "Mystery," and while not many people bought into it this year, I was still fully in the "Fake it till I make it" mood.

"Mystery" is one of those themes that's difficult to dress for, and while my initial plan was to steal a red dress off of my sister and be "Ms. Scarlett" from Clue (my sister is the queen of red dresses. Last time I checked, she had 3, one of which dated back to 1996, but since she somehow always managed to pick classic styles, none of them look dated). However, I completely forgot. I don't have any red dresses, really. I'm a little afraid of red with my rosacea.

Instead, I decided to go with the mysterious sexy girl, mostly because I threw the "costume" together at the last minute, and it seemed more fun than going full CIA agent. In the end I was HUGELY over dressed (only one other person dressed up in any obvious way.  Lots of people copped out with black, or claiming "I'm an enigma"). However, I'm pretty happy with how I pulled it all together!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hiding in my shell

Yesterday, I felt more like "me" in my clothes than I did in my skin. I have reached the point in my studies when it's becoming obvious that I need to either jump fully into academia or get out. It wasn't until today that my decision to leave at the end of the program - at least for now - was partially motivated by the crowd with which I've been hanging. The Masters program here is VERY close with the Honours (undergrad) program. As a result, I've been spending a lot of time around undergrads. But as the thesis process gets harder on me, I'm finding the undergrads are very... undergrad. And the few of us at this stage of our program? Well, we're hard to track down and get together. So while I looked vibrant and confident (which I generally am), I felt like I just wanted to crawl into a hole.

And oh, did I mention that was just during the day, and I still had to make it through a party that evening?

I won't lie: I put on the slinky dress. I put on the bright red lipstick. I put on the killer heels, and I went. Check back Monday to see what I wore!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I totally got dressed yesterday. And while I knew it was a cop-out outfit (ooooh... I paired brown and pink shoes with a brown and pink shirt... daring!!!), I was still going to blog about it.

But then a bottle of wine was opened. And cuddling on the couch, Youtubing our favourite music seemed so much more important than blogging.

I totally stand by my decision.

But today is the last day of classes for the term, and for many of my friends, for their degree program. While I'm still going to school through the summer, I fully intend on helping them celebrate. I'm not sure at this point whether it will be in the form of buying them or myself drinks (I have things to be done this weekend, but my love of fun often overrides my acknowledgment of responsibility). In any event, clothes were necessary.You'll see them tomorrow if I can get out of bed.

As for what trends I'm looking forward to for spring, as per Katy's FBFF request this week:

1. Sewing a maxi dress for EBEW this next week (and possibly cutting down to a midi - we'll see)
2. Pixie cuts. Trust me, I'm going to be rocking one by August
3. Lace. That just might be this morning's preference... we'll see if I stick to that.
4. Wide leg pants because my closet is full of them
5. The return of kitten heels, because I loathe the hidden platform neck-breaking height of shoes that have been around this last year.

I don't plan on purchasing any on-trend pieces this year. I know I'm moving so I know that means going through my closet, and I know it means facing the ridicule of my father-in-law who still talks about the sheer amount of clothing I had the last time he helped us move.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Clothing Burn Out

All right, I didn't get dressed today. Ok, I did, but it's jeans and a t-shirt. But it was laundry day, and I got something in my eye and it's all bloodshot, so really, pictures were not on the list of things to do.

Instead, you get Cara - The Early Years.

I won't lie: I want every single piece of this outfit back! I am pretty sure this is a picture of me on my first day of pre-school. 

I would love to know what happened to that scarf!  I have no idea how old I am in this picture, but I remember it being in our first house, so theoretically less than 4. However, I also remember not having this hair cut until I was 5.

 Again, this is another picture where I can't place my age. There is a good chance that this is grade 6. Why my mother took this picture, I have no clue. However, I think it's hilarious: the baggy shirt tucked into the insanely high light wash jeans? Only topped by the acid wash backpack.

 This is what I wore to Grade 8 Prom. It was a shapeless sack, topped with a shapeless cardigan. Oh, and that corsage? Definitely bought it for myself. Sigh... aren't you glad I turned out as well as I did in the end?

Ok, at least this was for Halloween!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring has Sprung (knock on wood)

Today was gorgeous outside. For once, I didn't rue the 15 minute wait I have for my bus at the end of the day. How do I celebrate spring? By pulling out spring shoes!  My mom found these in Value Village last week when I was visiting, and she insisted I buy them. No, really, she did insist!  They are Vianni, which I've never heard of, and leather. While I had no idea how to wear them, at $12.99, really, they'd be good for an experiment.

I'm not in love with this outfit (not that I didn't like it), but first I'll start with the good. I wore pantyhose and didn't destroy them. And the shoes weren't nearly as bad as I feared they would be.

Now for the bad. I still hate pantyhose and can't wait for summer. And the shoes desperately need heel grips or else they're going in the give away pile.

Today was a rough day, between HR issues at work, a long list of errands that just kept getting longer, and a very short fuse on my poor brain today. I'm going to make myself a martini and watch What Not To Wear.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clothing Fatigue

A few weeks ago, I had blogger burn out. Now, I have clothing burn out. I really don't want to get dressed. Fortunately, it's the first week of the Easiest Blog Project EVER!

Here I am, ready for work. That's right. Work. In my jammies and my Snuggie. Hella relieved that I have an excuse not to put on a blog worthy outfit today, because Twitter just told me that I had forgotten all about this! 

I wore this to bed last night, and added the Snuggie this morning. All through this project I'm going to show you ways to style the Snuggie. My favourite is backwards. Why backwards? It's like a housecoat. Why not just wear a house coat? It's not big enough to wrap around you when your feet get cold, which is a constant issue with me.