Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Familiar Habits

When we first moved to Regina, I was pretty psyched to go to the farmers market on one of the first days we were there. It didn't become a huge habit of ours, but it was still nice to browse around. That is, until they moved it a few blocks over, and it lost its crowded, yet communal, feel. Nothing ruins a good farmer's market like having to walk all the way around City Hall to see all there is to offer.

When I remembered about the farmer's market in St. Norbert (really just a suburb of Winnipeg), I thought: "Well, now there's something I have to try". Unemployment has me not exactly wanting to dig through my closet right now, so since we are repeating a pattern we tried to start two years ago, I thought why not repeat the outfit as well!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome to the Whirlwind

I'm back - did you miss me? I missed you all desperately... at least until my internet was hooked up, and any time I sit down at my computer I have to apply for 2 jobs (which assumes I only leave my desk for meals, as the goal is 6 jobs a day, 7 days a week for a total of 42 jobs. When by the time someone offers me a job, the whole city will have seen my resume). It's amazing how long it takes to actually write a blog post when you're busy writing cover letters. Of course, add in there bouts of tears, a couple hissy fits and pointless fights with the husband (Of course he doesn't know where that belongs, it's been sitting on the floor for three days because it doesn't have a spot yet), so blogging has been priority #1423. It also doesn't help that getting back to my closet made me realize that, yup, that's some stress weight hanging around my stomach. While it did mean I told Scott that the clothes on our bedroom floor were being "punished for making me feel bad about myself," I know it's only 5 pounds, it's mostly only noticeable to me, and it does mean that my interview suits will fit me again, should I ever get that call. Emotional whirlwinds always mean the strangest silver linings....


Monday, August 29, 2011

My Rebellion

When Scott and I were shopping for new bedding, the salesperson advised us that we should pick our main and accent colours BEFORE shopping for decorative pillows. "After all," She said, "you wouldn't base an outfit around something like your shoes or earrings, right?"

I held in my scoffs, since she was really nice and patient with us, as we'd been shopping for days and were rather weary. When we hit the parkade (with everything but decorative pillows, which are necessary to bring our colours together, but are currently evading me), I told Scott that I frequently build an outfit around a necklace, a belt, or a pair of shoes.

We were selecting the clothes we weren't packing up for a month later that day, and I was plagued with the question of: "What do I wear to that wedding in 4 weeks?" Where did I start? With the shoes, of course!

Once I had decided on the shoes, everything else came together smoothly - until I realized the dress was the same colour as the bridesmaids. I was a little worried this would be an issue - after all, the bride and I discussed our wedding details over Guinness a number of times, plus, this was a Canadian reception for a wedding which happened the same weekend as mine in Britain, so pictures were all over Facebook. I couldn't plead ignorance.

However, I took a chance - I figured I could play up the ivory from the shoes to cut the solid purple. Plus, it was a casual come and go affair at a local restaurant. If I really felt out of place, we could just leave. Fortunately, she bride was super pumped to see her accent colour floating around. Plus, I wouldn't have been the most taboo person there - two girls were wearing white!



Friday, August 26, 2011

How to: wear a bridesmaid dress again

Woohoo! It's moving day!  Internet will be hooked up sometime on Monday, but fear not! I have scheduled posts to tide you over!

"And the best part is that you can wear again!" I definitely did not utter this to my bridesmaids, nor did my sister utter it to me and the rest of her bridesmaids, even though we both allowed our "girls" to choose their own dresses. Bridesmaid dresses sit in your closet until you need a zombie prom dress, or when your not-yet-conceived daughter wants to play princess.

I had a wedding celebration to attend while we were in the middle of our move. I had to decide what to wear a month in advance, and, like the rest of my wardrobe, it didn't go so well. I grabbed 2 bridesmaid's dresses - the brown one from my sister's wedding, and the purple one from my wedding (I bought an "in case of emergency" in case one of the girl's dresses showed up in the wrong colour - which did happen - and there wasn't enough time to get a replacement - which fortunately there was). While this isn't the dress I wore to the celebration (stay tuned Monday to see that outfit), I thought I'd do a "how to " on how to wear a bridesmaid's dress again.




I still really love the motion of the dress, and consider myself ahead of the trend, having worn this midi in 2007. It's a brown chiffon - the fabric trumped only by taffeta as the most "bridesmaid-y" fabric. It is easier to style a non-floor length dress for non-bridesmaid related wearing, so you may want to take the scissors to it (were you really going to wear it again at that length?) or, better yet, take it to a tailor. You did spend a pretty penny on it, after all.

There are four simple steps to take to take your dress from "bridesmaid" to "honoured guest".

1. Funk it up with trendy, sky high shoes - and in a different colour than the dress.

2. Add a belt, or swap out the sash for a belt. No bridesmaid wears a belt, unless it's made out of the same fabric as the dress.

3. Use a bold necklace. If I've learned anything, the majority of bridesmaids are given necklaces as a gift by the bride, and the majority of these necklaces are dainty silver or gold pieces. As a result, you're probably pretty safe with something big, in any colour. Since I only had a brown belt, I decided to go for a brown necklace.

4. Don't wear your hair in a curly updo.


There are other options - dye it, cut it into a skirt, or, my favourite option, layer it! Kasmira pairs her bridesmaid dress with a shawl. While I've tried to make a bridesmaid dress look more appropriate at a wedding or fancy event, don't forget to check out Sal's guide to make a bridesmaid or cocktail dress every day appropriate.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Career Change

Sometimes, it seems easier to change your mind than to persevere when play "A" gets a little rough. Logic advises against it - particularly with plan "B" means 1) more education - which is a weird prospect when you're still finishing that other degree 2) lower potential income - which is weird when you haven't started earning yet 3) fewer career progression options without yet another career shift - which is, again, weird when you haven't started your career.

However, as the hour hand clicks closer to midnight, the more and more my brain goes: "You totally should become a personal trainer". While I know my father-in-law would breathe an (internal) sigh of relief believing I came to my senses and recognized the value of taking up a "trade" (with which I have no problem, it just hasn't been my path thus far), I also know that, despite the $40 registration fee, and the class starting September 28th, I'm taking the easy way out. After all, I haven't set foot in a gym in over 2 years, and can't even keep up with my Kinect training program, especially since it is 600 km away.

But every time I put on a pair of shorts and long for just a little more muscle tone, or when I try to find the time and money to both work at a job and work out in a gym, the fitness trainer path just seems all the more appealing. And less reliance on talent and networking, as the creative industries tend to need.

Instead of registering for the fitness theory class to set that ball in motion, when I put on these shorts, I went to my thesis meeting, then applied for more jobs in the career path I know I'd prefer, even if it takes much longer to get there.

And if nothing else, I found an outfit that matches professionalism and party, taking me from said thesis meeting and job application, to my going away party tonight. Should you be up for some friendly adventure in the Regina area, we'll be at the Rack tonight. Should you be up for some creepy adventure in the Regina area, keep in mind there will be a posse there to keep me safe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The beginning of the end

I think it finally hit Scott and I that our life is going to change drastically in a matter of days. While I've been feeling apprehensive for a number of weeks, we're entering the realm of anxiety. And while this could be the one negative public admission I allow myself per day, I'm seeing the positive in this situation: we have an opportunity to create whatever future we want.Of course, there are pesky things that will stand in our way but our future will be made from what we do with the obstacles. And woohoo! Finally a job posted for a copywriter!

But today, well, today could be hard. After 5 years of working in the public service, I will be handing in my swipe card and my ID. With budget cuts, office closures and layoffs abounding, it's not likely I'll be back any time soon, if ever. While I'm convincing myself there is something bigger and better in my future, I'd always held out hope that I would be bridged into a full-time employment situation. I feel I need to take a moment, at some point today, to recognize this shift in my future.

That's the thing about futures: beginnings and endings are so closely related, they might as well be synonymous. And while hope is generally reserved for beginnings, maybe we should see endings through that same lens: hope that we can carry forward the lessons we've learned.

For this monumental day, I took a cue from what I wore my first day 5 years ago. (Yes, I was instructed wearing jeans was completely appropriate for my department. Unfortunately, I was not instructed that the other departments on our floor did not have the same dress code, so I did feel very out of place. Today, however, I was quite comfortable in it.) It's not an exact replica, but I'm certain is was flats, jeans, a green sweater (similar to the one I am wearing), and the corduroy jacket I wore a lot this winter. No one would have known (it was 5 years ago and in a different office), but I'm a little glad I didn't have the cord jacket with me - I can at least pretend my style evolved over the past five years!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Scott!!!!!

What are the chances I'll have time to post this before work? Unlikely - but after work is going to be b-u-s-y. I spent most of yesterday without a car (stupid oil-lube-filter + a new tire day), so that means everything I was supposed to do yesterday I have to do today, plus everything I have to do today. And unfortunately, today's jobs are even more important, even if they aren't more pressing: today is Scott's birthday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Working on Positivity

Being positive is getting easier, becuase once you start looking for it, there is positivity everywhere.  This morning, Jack Layton, the official leader of the Opposition and the leader of the NDP passed away, and (Canadian) Social Media erupted in messages of love and condolences. Seeing friends, who worked tirelessly to deride the NDP party during election this spring, put aside politics to pay homage to a man who, if nothing else, could be noted for his bravery in the face of bleak prognosis of cancer and his dedication to the country as a whole, was inspiring. I took it as a sign that we, as a country, see the value in every person, even if we don't agree with their platform (the fact there was a comment or two from NDP supporters who wished the same fate on our current PM I will take as a sign of grief and the need to filter my Facebook newsfeed).

I believe death and grief are a very private subjects, and have been refraining from my usually obsessive "OMG something happened I must know everything" behaviour, since it usually leads to me getting angry at something or someone causing me to rant and this is not the time for rants. However, I did take a break in my day to read the letter Layton penned in the event that he not win his battle. While it did provide a number of instructions to his political party, and a number of commendations for the citizens of Canada, what stood out were the closing lines:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
For a man known for his political ideals, he has left us with words that can be embraced by all, regardless of political affiliation.

And you must admit, he was somewhat of a snappy dresser!
(Come on, it's a fashion blog, I had to bring it back somehow)


Friday, August 19, 2011

What dreams may come*... FBFF

It's been a while since I've done a Friend Friday, since life has been a little whirlwind-ish as of late. However, this week, we're talking about dreams, and since I'm in a period of transition myself, what a better way to get my thoughts down!

1. Fess up - if you could do anything professionally what would it be?
Ideally, I would be a writer of some form - whether it's communications, copywriting, columnist, I'm not picky. I mostly want to be able to write!

2. What draws you to this?
Writing has always been something I just did. It used to be creative writing, but I learned long ago I didn't necessarily have a future in it. While I'm currently doubting my academic and informational writing skills right now, I think that's just an issue of being burnt out from thesis work.

3. When did you first start dreaming about this ideal?
I think it's been a dream for as long as I can remember! I would say definitely by the age of 12, if not earlier!

4. What's holding you back from going all in?
Nothing is holding me back - except the economy and the lack of job offers! I've been applying my little butt off to find a job in a creative industry, or a communications position. Unfortunately, I've now entered the stage where we're dependent on my (currently non-existent) income, so I'll have to look outside my box!

5. Sometimes the first step is the hardest... what's one step you can take now on the way to realizing your dream?
 I think just persevering is important. I've learned that so many jobs can have a writing aspect to it that even if I don't get that dream job the first time around, I can make any job into my dream job, or at least see it as a stepping stone to get there!
Oh... and networking... do you have a job for me? (If only it was that easy....)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, Thursday

I went to pre-write today's post, and I realized that I had nothing to offer you. Despite having worn two outfit earlier this week that I deemed blog worthy (ok, all that means is that I got dressed two days this week), I didn't take the time to photograph them.

So no ootd (outfit of the day) today, and tomorrow is FBFF, so you'll just have to take my word that I'm dressed. I better be dressed - I have an appointment to go to in the afternoon, and they probably would frown on me being naked. And I'll be at my parent's for my Dad's birthday, and that could just be awkward.

Instead, you get a retrospective: what I wore on this day...

2010


2009


I remember loving both of these outfits, and vaguely what I did on each day. In 2010, I was in Toronto on a research trip / visiting my friend Erica. I was a good girl and called my father. In 2009, I'm about 90% sure that I didn't see my dad on his birthday, either, but I think that time he was away, most likely camping. Boy, am I glad I'm not missing his birthday three years in a row!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stretching Myself

Have you ever noticed how negative you are, even when you don't think you are? I had a rough day at work and so I was glad I had pre-written my post. After all, my mother sent me an email of admonishment / encouragement the other day when I was having a rough time and blogged about it. I didn't want to be sewing seeds of sadness. However, when I took another look at what I had written, there was still a current of despair in it.

Upon realizing this trend in my writing, tweeting and status-ing (I can make up words if I want, it makes me happy), I decided I'm only allowed one negative post, tweet or status per day. My hope is to eliminate the negativity all together, but for now, I'll allow my misery to enjoy some company. Of course, I've already tweeted my trouble for the day, so let's be positive.

I was originally complaining, in the post I wrote last night, about the limits I'm finding with the few clothes at my disposal. I had an outfit in mind for today that just read as boring. However, this morning I realized not only was the jacket a little wrinkled, but the dress smelled of campfire. I quickly threw this outfit together, and I really love it! It's mostly the motion everything has when I walk.

I also realized why these shoes were killing my feel the last few times I wore them! At the end of last summer, the bottom of the shoe began peeling up (they're cheap, but I've worn them so often they owe me nothing!), so my solution on that day was to grab the pair of insoles I keep in my desk in case of emergency, and then my toes wouldn't damage the shoe more than they already had. It was meant as a short term fix, but soon I forgot why I had them in there. Today, I looked down at my feet, as my toes began to pinch, and realized I had never fixed the original problem. I slipped out the insoles, and while the inside is still peeling up, I feel like I could run a marathon in these!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to work

Other than being covered with a fine layer of hives, we really enjoyed camping with my family. While it was relaxing, I should have been ready to jump back into work yesterday. Instead, I was medicine-head-girl, so today I've gotta work twice as hard and fast. First, it's off to the office. Then, it's off to the mall to buy pots, pans and towels for the new apartment. Then Scott runs of to the grocery store and I settle into thesis work. After a quick supper, I apply for jobs, and fall asleep, just to start all over again tomorrow. These are the days I'm glad I don't have a 40-hour work week just yet. Then again, hopefully once I have that, I won't have all these other things to do! Maybe I'll have time for hobbies!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Hives

I'm dressed, but you aren't getting pictures. Turns out I'm allergic to the sunscreen I was using all weekend. I have hives all over my body. Well, except anywhere covered by my bathing suit. It's kind of like a weird version of tan lines. Even my face is covered.

At least they're going down in size and number. Not so much in itchiness yet.

Back tomorrow - hives or not!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Unexplained

It occurred to me yesterday, as I finished a 12+ hour day of working from home, that I hadn't ever put on any clothes. I'd spent the day in my pajamas and hadn't even noticed.

What is it about Thursdays that lend themselves to high levels of productivity, long days, and lack of blogging? I guess it's because Tuesdays and Wednesdays are part-days at work, so I'm working for someone else and not myself, leaving lots of work for me to do on Thursdays. I also email my adviser weekly updates on Friday mornings, so I like to sound like I've been productive all week.

But today, despite taking the time to blog, I have to be very productive! We decided, relatively last minute, to join the rest of my family for a camping adventure, which means about 5 hours of driving, plus a time change. There are bags to pack, arrangements to be made, not to mention the usual Friday tasks to be done before we can head off.

Needless to say, I don't have a lot of time to take pics, and my camping clothes aren't that glorious, so here's what you get: a pic from the date night Scott and I had!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Inspiration

Some times you build an outfit around something you've seen someone else wear.

Sometimes you build an outfit around colours of flowers in nature.

Sometimes you build an outfit around a new pair of shoes.

Sometimes you build an outfit around the damage you've done to your legs while scratching them at 1:30 in the morning, because you can't sleep, because you're worrying about how you're going to pay the rent in a month, and the tuition bills in another month, and how finding a job would be so much easier if you weren't also trying to write a thesis, and sleeping would be much easier if you were in your own bed and not the double bed you took from the guest room because all of your stuff is in another apartment in another city, and how maybe that can of coke wasn't such a good idea after supper last night afterall.

Bruises I will show in the office. Burst blood vessels I won't. Anyone else physically manifest their stress in itchy skin? No?  Just me? All right. I'll take the crazy label, because it really did help me this morning narrow down the options as I quietly freaked out: "I have nothing to wear!!" The purple and orange? Well, they were the only things I could find in the dark.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

But they're two different stripes...

Pattern Mixing | Everybody, EverywearI did not plan this capsule very well. Ok, I didn't really plan it at all. Part of the problem is that I planned it out when we were in the midst of a heat way so it's 90% shorts and tank tops. Now that we're starting our cooler descent to fall temperature, I'm feeling rather... naked.
I have no polka dots, no flowers, no stars. Even the two scarves I grabbed are solid coloured. I raided Scott's closet (all 5 hangars). I even checked my "Donate" pile. The closest I could find was a plaid pillow case.

So trying to pattern mix, be professional AND make my clothes seem a little warmer was difficult. As a result, the best I could muster was black and white pinstripes with black and white diagonal stripes. I'm certainly lucky that we're a much more casual office in summer!


And yes, I swear the blazer is pinstriped!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Every Lady Who Lunches Needs a Plate

Weddings are funny things - you go to register and the woman looks at what you've register for and says: "That's not enough!" So you find new and exciting things you didn't know you needed, but now can't live without.

Then, as your wedding approaches, people start to call or email and ask what you want. When you say "pick something off the registry" they say: "no no no, what do you really want?".

And then at the wedding, you get gift cards, cheques and cash. Since you never went back and deleted all the crap off of registry, you can't remember what you really wanted and you just registered to shut the woman up, because, really, what the heck is a *DIS*DANESCO CHERRY 9" CO OXO? (It's a discontinued cherry red 9" colander). And since your registry exceeded the number of guests you invited, you've gotta make your money stretch to get everything your greedy little eyes wanted. The best way? Watching sales.

Today, I got our place settings below retailer cost. Best. Wedding. Present. Ever. Not only can I eat in style now (ok, we went with a plate white, high quality dish, so it won't look dated, but will last forever), but I also have the joy of getting a great sale.

 Does wearing navy and white make anyone else feel like they're a lady who lunches? Even in jeans I can't shake that feeling!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here's to you (*cough *cough)

Originally, this post was going to make reference to the fact that I was wearing black to mourn the loss of my identity. No, someone hasn't stolen it. Rather, we started all the paper work to change our photo ids, bank accounts, leasing agreements, and all that jazz to our new hyphenated last name. It was a rather amusing post, regaling you with how the change - which I had originally hoped to delay for years, if it was ever to come to fruition - was forced upon us by the purchase of airline tickets under our new names (a gift from Scott's parents) for a wedding we're attending out of province in a few months.

And then I got a phone call (actually, a text message - Scott doesn't talk on phones) which effectively shut down every single bank account, credit card and piggy bank with either of our names on it. Scott was accepted in school this fall. While we are accustomed to budgeting for tuition payments, the web design program he is entering is a full-time condensed program which runs for a solid 12 months. While that means becoming one of those lucky couples with no kids and few financial obligations a lot sooner (or, as I prefer to think of it, able to take on a mortgage much sooner!), it does also mean eating up all of our life savings. In order to avoid going into debt (we collectively have taken 14 years of post-secondary education without incurring a single cent of debt), especially since it may be a while before I can find a job (stupid American economy making people in Canada nervous), I am going to have to cut way back on all non-essential spending. Glad I found a pair of jeans at Value Village the other week, or my butt would be naked.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some celebrating to do. Since we're both fighting colds, we're going to crack open a bottle of cough syrup and toast being one more step closer to our future!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to... this?

Our apartments are a mess. Both of them. One has barely enough stuff to merit living there (which is the one we're living in) and the other has everything we could possibly need, except a couch and plates (and that's the one that we're not living in). Other than a little confused, a little bruised and a little tired, we're pretty pumped that we're rounding out our life in this city, and moving onto new and different things in the next city (ok, pumped / scared shitless... same thing, right?).

I was going to do a 30 for 30, but we're only living out of suitcases for about 25 days, and I lost track of what clothes ended up where. I pretty much am getting dressed one day at a time, and allowing myself a minimal clothes budget for stuff I need that I don't have. I'm pretty sure I have underwear. I'm pretty sure I forgot socks. I'm also pretty sure that the only black pair of dress shoes I have here, despite using black as my dominant neutral in my capsule, has super uncomfortable party shoes.

And so today, you get to see my misshapen ballet flats!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Still Away

We are driving back from our move today, to our old apartment with our downsized possessions. It's going to be a slow, long drive. Neither of us want us to be going back, as we're tired of being in this limbo position.

Anyway, this is an outfit I wore the other week to work. It was really hot, so the shrug (which is from our wedding) was just for in the office. The belt is new-ish as well.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Moving Day

We've been looking forward to moving back to our home province for so long that even as the day approaches, I can't believe it's happening so soon! Of course, we do have another month where we are a multi-homed family (especially since, as a student, I could leave my permanent address at my parents so I didn't have to become an official resident of what is not so affectionately referred to as "The Gap," so half of my mail still goes to their place, leaving me with 3 current addresses). However, the end is in sight.

As you read this, we are unloading our not-so-necessary-we-can't-live-without-it-for-a-month possessions into our new place. Since I'm likely wearing a ribbed cotton tank and a pair of faded jeans, I'm leaving you with a list, and I stress, in no particular order (ok, it's in alphabetical order), of some of the great blogs I follow with followers under 150 (according to Google Reader stats).  Why under 150? Years ago, when I started this blog, I thought that once I hit 150 followers (I'm 60 away... sigh), I would have made it big. Of course, now I'm well aware that there are blogs with readership in the 10s of thousands, probably like even much much higher, but 150 has always been a goal of mine. The best part about these blogs? They aren't blogging for popularity, they aren't blogging because they are being paid to blog. They're blogging because they really and truly want to! (Ok, blogs with over 150 followers can do this too, and many do it well!)

14 Shades of Grey
 Duc has been blogging since March, but if you've seen her around, it's likely under the name Salazar Slytherin. While I don't share her interest in Harry Potter, I do appreciate the fact she spelled "grey" with an "e." My favourite thing about her blog? Her weekend roundups - she selects a blog, a book, and a song to write about.


Casual Chic Kiki
Keely does seem to typify "casual chic" and is probably has the most "real" wardrobe that I'd like to steal (there are many a wardrobe out there that I covet that are a little more extreme than my daily life allows). There are outfits that she wears that look so fabulous, and yet so comfortable. She and Megan also team up for fashion challenges, like stripes week or summer trend week.


Daily Haiku
Jo starts every post with a haiku about her day or what she's wearing. It's perfect for those days when I only have a few seconds to get through a bunch of posts, as the form ensures efficiency and brevity! However, reading beyond the haiku, Jo is a witty, ambitious, positive person whose clothes reveal both an eye for flow, and some lighthearted whimsy. Perhaps she says it best:
"I write haikus and 
take photos of my outfits
and post them online."



Keep Warm
When Danielle first commented on my blog, I had that eerie: "I think I know you" feeling. Considering it was the internet, I figured she must have guest posted somewhere. While this calmed my mind for a few minutes, I soon was certain I had seen her. After a bit of digging, I discovered we both attended the same pub trivia weekly event, and I had been constantly pointing her out to my team as "the girl with the awesome tights collection". Danielle has a distinctive style which she wears unapologetically through the wind and snow that torments our city. 



Megan Mae Daily 
Megan creates a blog that invites both the fashionista and the nerd in all of us to come out and play. Her outfits sometimes push the envelope just enough to make you stop and think: "could I get away with that?" and sometimes remind you that, hey, jeans and a t-shirt are blogworthy, too! If nothing else, Megan's blog is an excellent example of looks for less - she is the champion at thrift shopping!



Don't see yourself on this list? It's probably because I don't know you exist! Leave a comment with your blog url and I'll check you out! (If I do know you exist, and you think you should be on here... check your stats in Google Reader - maybe you're more popular than you think!)