Thursday, December 30, 2010

A 2010 Retrospective: January to June

2010 was a year full of endings and changes for me...
But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the beginning.

January marked the beginning of the last semester of University. Instead of buckling down and studying, I became enthralled with the wonderful world of blogging and spent more time working on Circle K than class assignments.

February made me shiver, with every paper I'd deliver.
And then I scored these awesome Michael Kors pants which did not see nearly enough use before I busted out of them.

March had me branch out and venture outwards for photos a lot more. Not the best quality, but hey, I'm still a noob. I also discovered my love of long drapey cardigans which have popped up quite frequently since then.

April was the end of school. The end of an era so they say. Goodbye friends, goodbye extra curriculars, hello responsibility.
Moving back home was definitely heart wrenching, but on the plus side, we started house hunting!

May was all about job hunting and rediscovering Ottawa. I found some awesome thrift stores and flea markets and even managed to get a few interviews :)

June gave me my first "real" full-time job as an assistant manager. While I LOVE the brand and the girls, I made the discovery that retail just isn't for me. It did however give me the opportunity to start guiding my wardrobe to the more "professional," a look I have come to love.

Stay Tuned for the remainder of 2010...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Brand New Do

I gots my hair did!
It's about time too! Now I can finally wear it down. He took so much out of it too, enough to make another full head i think.
Anyways, today it's back to work. The office is so quiet though! There are only 3 of us here as the construction side isn't allowed to work between Christmas and New Year's... lucky buggers.

So did anyone find any super fabulous deals while boxingday shopping? Feel free to share!

sweater - Jacob (2010)
tee - Dynamite (2008)
watch - Guess (2010)
skinnies - Smart Set (2010)
flats - Steve Madden (2009)

And just because it was too cute for words:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let it Flow

Oooh look! A Christmas tree!

So I'm definitely feeling the flowy items right now. Christmas is not a good time of year for my waistline, but then again I don't think it is for many. Self-control is over rated anyways.

top - Jacob (2010)
vest - H&M (2008)
watch - Guess (2010)
skinnies - F21 (2009)
boots - Lime Light (2009)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The End of a Wonderful Weekend

I hope everyone had an absolutely lovely holiday long weekend! I know I did!
Stuffing my face like I'd never seen food before is what my Christmas Eve and Day consisted of. YUM! I'm pretty sure I won't want to weigh myself for a while now, haha. Oh well, I'll be heading back to the gym later in the week to work off some of that turkey and lasagna! The only bad part was I got so distracted by deliciousness and glasses of wine that I never took a single picture of what I was wearing! I may have to do an impromptu fashion show sometime in the near future so I can show you some of the cute outfits I put together!

Today J and I went boxing day shopping. Most stores at the Rideau Centre had a 2-day boxing day deal, so I scored some amazing things, which I'm sure will be making their debut on my blog soner rather than later. Really, it's the only day(s) of the year I can drop hundreds of dollars on myself and not feel an ounce of guilt :)

cardigan - Smart Set (2009)
blouse - Jacob (2010)
skinnies - Gap (2010)
boots - Sirens (2010)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh how I love Christmas Parties!

Last Saturday night my work, Fuller Group of Companies, had it's Christmas party at the Britannia Yaght Club here in Ottawa. I didn't even know Ottawa had yaghts, let alone a club for them, but there you go. It was decorated SO beautifully by Silver Rose Florists... I wish I had captured more pictures.. but after a glass or two of wine, I'm completely useless. The only photos I even got of my outfit was at the end of the night when we were outside calling a cab, and I was completely shmammered. An open bar will do that to you. Good Times.

What I wore:
dress - Suzy Shier (2009)
belt - thrifted (2008)
suede coat - Vintage (mine since 2010)
heels - BCBG (2009)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Looking At the Positives

I have to say, I've felt much better about myself lately, which has made me an overall happier person, and I think people have noticed.
I took the plunge and bought myself a few new outfits and a few sessions with a personal trainer. While I'm aware results won't be instantaneous, I'm willing to put in the effort and I know I will be much fitter in the long term.
One of my pretty outfits from this past week:

blouse - Jacob (2010)
necklace - Dynamite (2010)
pencil skirt - Smart Set (2010)
tights - Suzy Shier (2008)
heels - BCBG (2009)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Uphill Battle I Couldn't Win

So I realize I've said in the past that I'm not a quitter, but I have absolutely no motivation to wear clothes that barely fit anymore.
I've dropped the 30 for 30 challenge :(
I know, I know, I suck.
I will try to redeem myself on the next one though.

Lessons learned:
  1. Make sure everything I choose fits prior to adding the items to my selection.
  2. Pick a wide variety of silhouettes.
  3. Patterns are key to add interest.
  4. Pick different TYPES of items... not 5 of the same thing, (in my case cardigans).
Again, I apologize, but I actually have things that fit now, and I am so looking forward to putting together new outfits with recent purchases that actually fit and make me feel good about myself.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet Somethings: Italian Orange Juice Cookies

I've been doing quite a bit of baking this holiday season, so I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes with you all!
My mother and I just baked a batch of these last night and they are SO good. The recipe is one her and my grandmother have used forever, but if it's yours, or you've read it somewhere online, just let me know and I'll be sure to give credit where it's due!

Italian Orange Juice Cookies

1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
6 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
5 Cups Flour
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Orange Juice
Icing Sugar to Roll Cookies In.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease up a couple of cookie sheets.
  2. Combine shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla in one bowl and mix it real good.
  3. Combine your flour and baking powder in another bowl and give it a good stir.
  4. Alternate adding the dry mixture and the orange juice to your original bowl until it's all gone and well combined. Don't worry, the mixture is supposed to be sticky!
  5. Put icing sugar in a shallow dish and use a tablespoon to scoop out your sticky mixture and plop it in.
  6. Roll it around in the icing sugar until its fully coated and forms a kinda-sorta ball, then it's ready for your baking sheet!
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. This recipe makes about 48 cookies.
These cookies are VERY moist and cake-like and freeze really well too. We also made a couple with teaspoons, adorable little bite size cookies. Delicious!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Good morning Sunday! Why is it that you only come once a week? I miss you when you're gone.
There s nothing better than rolling out of bed around ten, lazing around in your sweats with a hot coffee and some shortbread, and reading blog after blog of wonderful, inspiring entries.
Am I right, or am I right?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2/3 of the way done, and a Friend Friday... er.. Saturday.

Before I start this week's Friend Friday (erm... Saturday), I just want to take a moment to say a sincere thank you to all my readers. This week has been particularly tough on me, but you all know just how to bring a smile to my face! It was all your wonderful comments that kept me going and made me feel good about myself when I was not in a good place. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Coincidentally, making connections is also this week's topic.
(thank you ModlyChic!)

1. How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success your blog?

Obviously very. I believe its the connections we make with others that makes blogging such a worthwhile experience. That being said, I don't believe it's the only driver of success. If it was all about how nice we are we'd all have hundreds of followers. Content is also super important. Variety, a sense of newness, and engagement are also equally important. You have to have something that makes readers want to come back over and over. I'm still working on it...

2. What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader bond?
This is still something I struggle with, I think. I do participate actively in the blogging community, and I think that helps, but I also feel as if I should be more creative in the ways that I do so. Obviously Friend Fridays help with that.

3. What is one way you could improve this connection?
I think I should make more of an effort to get REAL feedback. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love hearing that I look great and that the outfits I put together are pretty, but I want to make more of an effort to have everyone engage in constructive criticisms. I know there are many things I can work on still as I am fairly new to this. More polls, opinion seeking, and maybe a few little contests (based around outfit creation), would really help other feel engaged in my blogging process.

4. Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer-reader bond? Why?
There are SO MANY of you who are complete and total sweethearts! You're all pretty wonderful! Marilou of Twenty York Street is the first name that jumps out at me for going above and beyond though. She always leaves super sweet, heartfelt comments, and even makes special little posts every so often to let us know how important we all are.

5. What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to your site in the first place?
I'm such a blog stalker. I'm regularly on the look out for new writers/photographers/stylistas that catch my eye. Recently Kendi's 30 for 30 blogroll has been a great source for this. I believe that engaging with others on their blog helps to draw them to my own blog. IF anyone has any other idea on how to generate traffic though, I'm always open to suggestions!

Now, since I'm so far behind:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

19 Rants & Counting

Please indulge me for a minute while I bask in self-pity.
I HATE getting dressed in the mornings now. I understand that as a growing woman I will at some point develop curves and will no longer have the boyish lanky body that clothes just hang from that I once had. I understand that I am still at a healthy body weight and I should not expect to be a size 0-1 my whole life... but you know what friends? This SUCKS. It seems that every day less and less in my closet fits my body. Nothing seems to look as good as it once did. I have to completely change the way I dress and put together outfits to reflect my new size and there isn't much I can experiment with at my disposal right now. I have a total of 2 pairs of dress pants that fit - both black - and one pair of jeans that do not give me severe muffin top. The majority of the tops in my closet are form fitting and make me feel blah.

*siiigh* rant, rant, rant... that's all I do it seems.
But I DO have an outfit post for you all. I'll be honest though, I didn't wear it to work. It made me feel... bulgy? I dunno, somethign was off, and when you feel icky all you want to wear are uber comfy clothes, so I opted instead for a long cardigan and my black skinnies for the millionth time.

More truth train: I'm definitely going shopping tonight after work for myself. It HAS technically been 30 days, and that always seems to lift my funky mood.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

18: Dressing Up for the Sake of Cookies & Weekly Money Check-Up

Oops! This is a day late, but all should be forgiven because I was busy making delish christmas cookies!

Weekly Money Check-Up!

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on Christmas presents! Which I obviously cannot divulge here! Silly snoop-y people!

2. Today I feel giddy towards money, because the things I spent it on will make a lot of people happy!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was make a christmas stocking for my Milo-Kittan, because he doesn't have one, and TOTALLY needed one! What else am I supposed to put his Christmas themed catnip into?

4. I will consider this week a success if I go to the gym and actually USE the pass I bought... I was a bad girl last week.

5. My favorite holiday drink is the Gingerbread latte from Second Cup. DELICIOUS!

Weekly Money Check-Up is a weekly feature courtesy of My Pretty Pennies.

Okay, so I really love my outfit from yesterday, but have no idea why I wore it to be lazy around the house and bake. Naturally it got coated in flour and no one really got to see it.... Fortunately I get to show it to you all!
Don't mind the frazzled hair! I'm in desperate need of a cut! I'm thinking Keiko-esque bangs... yay or nay?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I learned the truth at Seventeen...

Lyrics from "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian

I was kind of in a hurry when I took these shots and CUT OFF MY HEAD! Haha, damn you lack-luster photo taking skills! Ah well... at least I didn't cut out part of the outfit itself!
Anyways, lucky me, I have the day off today :) I love 3 day weekends, and sometimes you've gotta create your own! I plan on spending it getting the house ready for Christmas! Something about holiday decorating makes me feel like a kid again!

I wore this one to a holiday gift exchange at work and got tons of compliments from the ladies from the downtown office! I love those girls, I just wish I got to see them more often!
I'm also still looking for a dress for our upcoming Christmas party. Apparently it's quite fancy and it's held at the yacht club. I don't want to spend more than 50$ though, maybe $60 if shipping is involved.... anyone come across anything that meets these criteria?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Woo! Past the halfway point!
I love, love, love this skirt but its super close to not fitting anymore :( My new goal for the holiday season is not to gain anything... somewhat realistic I think.
I also cleaned out my closet and made a "skinny box" so I wouldn't be so depressed when getting dressed in the morning. The purple shirt (#1), the high waisted jeans (#20) and the plaid skirt (#23) from my 30x30 items have been put away, so I've seemed to have added this black cardigan... original I know.
After my last 30x30 challenge you think I would have learned to add more of a variety of layering pieces, like a vest or something. Oh well, next time!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friend Friday & Fifteen

Friend Friday: Burn Out Baby

1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging?
Actually BLOGGING, not nearly enough, especially lately, but my number of posts have increased since I first started... I've just been swamped with life these past few weeks, but it happens!
As far as READING blogs, its pretty much on a continuous basis during the day... It's my way of winding down, and I love it. I would estimate 15-20 hours a week... sometimes a lot more haha.

2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on... how do you limit your time spent on these tasks?
I admit, I read blogs at work. I try to give myself a good 15 minutes for every couple of hours, so I don't have a LOT of time to leave as many comments as I'd like, but I try! I always tell myself I'll get back to them on the weekends, but they end up being way too busy. Surprisingly I get most of my blog related things done on the clock.

3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that?
Oh Yes. In fact, I feel like I'm nearing it now.. but more to do with the fact that nothing fits anymore so getting dressed is frustrating rather than being bored of the actual blogging community. Challenges usually lift me out of this funk like my "Loved & Forgotten" Challenge, but until I add to my wardrobe (which is against 30x30 rules) I don't see this one lifting in a hurry.

4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result?
It already has :( But I will get back to a much more normal routine once work slows down and I get some boxing day shopping done to fill the new holes in my wardrobe!

5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore? How would you identify that it's time to walk away?
At this point in time, definitely not. It's a hobby I've stuck with MUCH longer than any other I've taken up on a lark. And the blogging community makes me feel so warm & fuzzy inside!! I feel like I've made some genuine friends, which is something that doesn't come easily. I don't see myself being able to walk away without some serious withdrawal! To quote an overly-played, famous-for-talk-singing-and-autotune-and-not-much-else-dumpster-diver, "your love is my drug." haha.

As always, thank you ModlyChic for putting this together!

And now an outfit that I'm not overly proud of, but hey, i'm no quitter! I'll make it through all 30!
5. tunic - ebay (2010)
10. cardigan - Urban Behaviour (2010)
20. jeans - Smart Set (2008)
27. ankle boots - Spring (2010)

.. and yes, i realize I'm in socks... but the boots were part of the outfit, removed for the indoors.

And this is me enjoying some delicious BBIWM (pronounced bih-youm). Banana bread infused with mango, My cousin's creation, at a family get together.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fourteen & Fresh Out

Oh yay, the first of the month. Can we detect the sarcasm in my voice?
Work is always crazy busy on the 1st, and for some reason I can't stop yawning.
So sleepy!

So I'll keep it short... here's outfit #14. I'll be honest, I have about 2 more to post so far, which brings me to just past the halfway mark... and I'm all out of ideas, super bored of these items, and dying to go shopping. These sales are most certainly testing my self control! How badly do I want a sequinned cardigan right now or a new holiday party dress?
Anyways, back to my original train of thought... any renixing ideas based on my 30 pieces? I'm fresh out.

Also, is there a trick to keeping my photo resolution up when I make them bigger? Do I have to learn to use flickr?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Twelve and Thirteen

So, as we can tell I'm working on the new template. When I have a bit more time I'll create a new header, but photoshop still eludes me, and it will take more than a few minutes. Does anyone know how to make my columns wider/have them grow & shrink according to how big your browser window is? I really must learn xhtml.... eventually. Maybe when I have a little free time.

I DID manage to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done this weekend though! I dragged my mom out to the mall and helped her with some of her shopping too. She's quite the bah-humbug type when it comes to that part of christmas prep, so I like to help her when I can.

Anyways! Outfits!

7. sweater - Dynamite (2008)
13. cardigan - BCBG (2009)
19. trousers - Gap (2010)
29. wedges - Aldo (2010)

12. dress - Smart Set (2010)
16. cardigan - Jacob (2006)
27. ankle boots - Spring (2010)

Friday, November 26, 2010

No Slowing Down in the Eleventh Hour

This week has just been NUTS! I work for a property management company, and the closer we get to the new year, the crazier it gets. It doesn't help that I was away from the office for 2 days this week either. But my CPR & first aid training went well, and now I could potentially save your life! Go Team Me!
But yes, I have been completely swamped, hence my lack of posts, and my layout remaining the same. I HAVE been keeping up with my 30x30 though, so there will be outfits and hopefully a new look to the blog rollingout this weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hang Ten

*sigh* What a long week. And it's only Wednesday. You lucky americans! I guess I can't complain too much though, I get to do 2 days of CPR training for work, so I get a sort-of break. AAAAAND, I could potentially save your life now.

Anyway, I've been thinking about changing my blog layout to something more basic. I love shoes, as is quite evident with the backgroud I've chosen and header I've made, but there's been a lot of talk around the blog-o-sphere about how people prefer simpler, cleaner layouts... so it's time for a poll:

Now back to the 30x30!

5. tunic - ebay (2010)
17. skinnies - Gap (2010)
30. boots - Sirens (2010)

And yes, I've cheated a bit and put on a black cardigan! I could have taken it off for the photos, but I thought I would be honest. Plus, I've had to eliminate some pieces from my selection due to fit issues anyway.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Shoes: Aldo "Moos" Heels

Really, there is nothing that makes me happier than a gorgeous pair of shoes. After the awful few days I've had, I thought I would take a lil break from my 30x30 and focus instead on one of my loves to put me in a better mood. Usually I would shop for a new pair after a few days of "ugh," but I'm keeping with the challenge rules and enforcing my shopping ban, so instead I'm sharing one of my favorite shoe purchases.

Ah, my beloved "Moos." Probably one of the plainest and most basic shoes in my collection, but that's probably why I love them so much. Their understated sophistication is what I think makes them so sexy - that and of course the fact that they make a pair of legs look ten miles long.
Your beauty makes up for the fact that actually walking in you for long periods of time brings me to tears. I wore them to my Aunt's surprise 50th on one of their first outings, and after drinking and dancing all night, I learned that lesson pretty quickly. But I will never give you up, nor shove you to the back of the closet because you are GORGEOUS! And I'm sure after enough practice in heels this high, I'll become immune to your pain.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ever have one of those Days When you Don't Wanna Wake Up? Everything is F****D.

Today just isn't my day. I made the mistake of not trying on my 30x30 pieces before putting them into the mix, and three - THREE - of the pieces don't actually fit me anymore. One worn as recently as 2 weeks ago. My purple button down has huge gaping holes between the buttons, i BROKE the zipper on my high waisted jeans (I managed to zip it up, just barely, and then it POPPED, taking half the teeth on the zipper with it), and my plaid wool skirt is so freaking tight I can't breathe. So now I have 27 pieces. Awesome.

And work? Don't get me started. Everything I've touched today has either broken, been cancelled, froze, or been done wrong.
Ever had one of those days when you realize you should have just stayed in bed?

At least I have outfit photos from yesterday to post for you.
9. vest - Old Navy (2010)
15. dress - Ricki's (2007)
30. boots - Sirens (2010)

Thank you Fred Durst for my title. I do in fact want to Break Stuff.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Confessions & Outfit 8 of 30

The lovely & talented Ashelle tagged me in her "7 Confessions," so now it's my turn! And as per protocol I will tag 7 bloggers as well!

  1. I am an "adult" cartoon addict. I have EVERY episode of The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Futurama, (and lesser knowns like Undergrads & Clone High) on my hard drive.
  2. I plan on turning the 3rd bedroom in my new town house into a closet, and every time I tell J, I say it in a teasing voice so he thinks I'm joking..... I'm not.
  3. I HATED cats for the longest time. They smelled and scratched and I just wasn't interested. Then my best friend & roommate adopted a stray & I fell in love... Shortly after I adopted Milo from the Humane Society.
  4. I'm a smoker. Ew, gross, I know. I keep saying I'm going to quit, but its hard! And its better than smoking the stuff I used to on a regular basis...
  5. I watch far too much reality TV. Pretty much anything that has to do with fashion, modeling, cooking, weight loss, hoarding, weddings... anything really. Maybe my confession should be that I watch too much TV, period?
  6. I'm 24 and I'm still looking for that one hobby that gets me all excited and that I look forward to spending my free time doing... any ideas?
  7. I regularly blog stalk while I'm at work and should be doing productive things... like right now.
The 7 bloggers I'm tagging are:

Megan of Daily Waifu Snapshot
Viktoria of Viktoria with a K
Lisa of Stilettos and Diaper Bags
Lorena of Lorena's Every Day Wear
Tiffany of Fashion Ammo
Tiffany of A Reason to be Fabulous
Ashley of A Fashion Fixation

Can't wait to read all of your dirty little secrets!

And now back to my 30x30!

4. lace tee - Suzy Shier (2010)
11. cardigan - Urban Behaviour (2010)
19. trousers - Gap (2010)
29. wedges - Aldo (2010)