Sunday, January 30, 2011

what a girl wants vs. what a girl needs

I've been pretty awful at taking photos and blogging lately, but my mind has definitely been elsewhere *ahem, trip!*. I am very proud to say though that I haven't gone out and bought a bunch of new things to wear on the beach. As much as I'd love a new suit, I have a few that I've accumulated over the years that fortunately still fit. I have been informed though, of a lovely floppy hat at walmart for $7 that I may or may not have to purchase before my trip. For you know, safety reasons. The sun is quite harsh and a girl needs to be protected! I also have a maxi on my wish list for the coming summer, and if I find one at a reasonable price, I may just have to buy it a little early!

Also, it feels good to know I'm already getting a lot of wear out of my January purchases!

cardigan - Smart Set (2010)
tunic - Dynamite (2011)
skinnies - Gap (2010)
heels - BCBG (2009)
pearls - grad gift

January Money Check-Up

This month is the first that I've decided to do a Monthly Money Check Up as opposed to a Weekly.
So far, so good. I set myself a $100 clothing budget, and my spending was as follows:

Tristan thrifted blouse - $4

Ricki's polka dot blouse $16

Dynamite pencil skirt $5

Dynamite zip front skirt $5

Dynamite floral tunic $30

Etsy wool skirt $23

Dynamite trousers $25 (exchange from December purchase)

Total January Clothing Spending: $108
Total Additions to Savings/Mutual Funds: $985
Other Big Purchases: Ikea set of drawers ($150), Clinique skin care regimen ($100), Make-up ($35), Books ($25).

All in all, there was some frivolous spending, but when I move into my new place in March, that will clearly have to stop.

February Goals:
  1. Stay within my clothing budget, and spend under $92 to make up for this month's excess of $8.
  2. Add at least $1000 to savings.
  3. Savings Goal: I would like to purchase a new car in the next year, and would like at least $8000 for a down payment.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Me & My Potty Mouth

Work has just been a gigantic cluster fuck. Am I allowed to say the F word on my blog? Well I just did. I apologize to those of you with virginal ears.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I was incredibly excited when I was handed these new responsibilities, but as it turns out, I was never shown how to do it properly, and neither were the individuals who did it before me. In fact, there is such a disconnect between the accounting department and the facility, that we're not even completely sure what their transactions mean half the time.
So now I have to go back to January of 2010 (the last time a reconciliation was done) and sort this all out.
Why did I want to go into accounting again?

At least I still look half decent when I'm stressed out.

cardigan - Zara (2010)
blouse - Ricki's (2011)
trousers- Dynamite (2011)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award :)

I've been tagged!!! (this not-so-secretly makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!)
Thanks Ashelle, you made my week :)
So here's the scoop:
  • Thank and link back to the person who originally gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pay the award forward to 10 great bloggers.
  • Contact those bloggers and let them know they have received the award.
  1. I'm currently working on my CMA (Certified Managerial Accountant designation). How did I decide what I wanted to study when I "grew up"? Simple. I chose the class I took in High School & University that I put the least effort into and got the best grades. And you know... I like money.
  2. My dream job is to be an event planner. I'm OCD when it comes to little details and making lists and I LOVE things like stationary, decorating, budgets, being creative, and of course, telling others what to do :)
  3. I come from a HUGE italian family, and while I hate to cook, I'm damn good at it. Thank you nonna!
  4. I am athletically challenged. Anything that involves too much coordination is a complete mystery to me. I've tried soccer, karate, dance, skating (ice & inline), snowboarding, rugby, and tennis... just to name a few, and have failed miserably at them all!
  5. I'm a nail biter. I quit doing it for a few years, but recently started again. My nails looked much prettier before :(
  6. I'm a notorious over packer. I will bring enough clothes for an entire month on a week-long vacation... and 10 pairs of shoes, and make up, and hair maintenance items, and skin care items... (I bring this up because I am being lectured by my mother as I type this about only bringing ONE suitcase. Is she nuts?!)
  7. I make lists for EVERYTHING! I even make lists about lists I need to make. No, that's not a bad joke.
And now to pass this on! If you've received it already, or simply don't like this kind of thing, I won't be offended, but here are a few bloggers that I've been drawn to recently and totally deserve it!

Red Lips & Bardot Hair
Peachy Keen
Sew I Thought...
Money Smart Fashion
Domestic Sophisticate
A Fashion Fixation
Stilettos & Diaper Bags
Clearly Classic
Tinfoils Tiaras

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January Weigh-In

Another week's flown by! I'm done work and classes and now I can sit back with my glass of wine. Not so good for my waist, but oh so necessary.
I've been trying to kick my workouts into high gear though because I'll have to get into a bathing suit a little sooner than expected. Wish me luck!
I've had this next bit in my post edits for a while, but never posted it... I think its time I should.

So at the beginning of this year I took my weight and measurements:

height: 5'3.5 (that extra half inch makes all the difference you know!)
weight: 132lbs (even though the gym says 125... but we'll go with my home scale where I won't feel awkward re-weighing myself)
My end goal is to be a healthy (not freakishly thin like I was last year) weight of 110-115lbs, to have more energy and stamina, and to have a little bit of tone on my arms, legs and waist.
My goal for January is/was to get to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and to do 100 crunches, 100 oblique twists, 50 push ups, and 2 sets of planks a night.
Oh, and of course to look smokin' hot on the beaches...

Now that you can hold me accountable, I'll give you my update and an end-of-month run-down and goals for February in a few weeks.

jacket - Ricki's (2009)
velvet dress - Jacob (2010)
skinny jeans - Smart Set (2010)
watch - Guess (2010)
booties - Aldo (2008)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

opting out.... but another challenge mayhaps?

The lovely Kendi has announced another 30x30 for the winter season. Although I love watching what she and everyone else comes up with, I think I will pass this time around. In the last edition I definitely struggled near the end, and while I think I've learned my lessons regarding fit, silhouette, and pattern, the last one kind of had me in a funk regarding clothing that hasn't totally disappeared yet. I think I may wait til the Spring edition.
I DO leave for 7 days though come February, so maybe I should give myself a mini-challenge around that? A ten item limit perhaps? Hmmm... I'll have to think about that one. I'm notorious for bringing far too much stuff with me when I travel, so it will definitely be a challenge!

Anyways, onto my outfit. This one reminds me of something Sydney of The Daybook would wear. I love this blue & yellow combination.

cardigan - Zara (2010)
button down - Smart Set (2010)
belt - thrifted (2009)
trousers - Dynamite (2011)
heeled penny loafers - Aldo (2010)

Thanks Mom!

Who's in an incredibly good mood?
This girl right here!
I just found out my mom won an all inclusive trip for 2 to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and who did she invite??
So from Feb 4th-10th I will escape the evils of winter and bask beach side!
Gotta love it :)

scarf - bday gift from MIL (2010)
sweater - Jacob (2010)
pants - Max/Miley (2009)
boots - thrifted (2008)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blog Stalker: A Reason to be Fabulous

Tiffany is what I would call a true fashionista. She knows exactly what works for her, and does an amazing job of looking radiant every day.

Her use of bright colors, patterns, and whimsy is what keeps me coming back day after day.

Not only does she know how to work an outfit, she knows how to rock a photo shoot. It's crazy to think that most days it's just her and her tripod. I'm too much of a wimp to venture outdoors alone, but she makes it look so effortless.

I would love to steal every piece in her closet for my own. If I'm in need of inspiration, I see no better place to turn to!

For all these reasons and more, check out A Reason to be Fabulous.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Shoes: Browns Biker Boots

These were my first real thrifting "score" a couple years back at a little consignment shop in Peterborough. I spotted them hidden amongst a pile of other boots mid-winter, and despite the fact that they had no price or size on them, I knew they were destined to be mine. They were the perfect combination of my former bad-ass self and my new found fashionista-ness.
Although they're starting to look ratty and worn, I think that just adds to their charm.

How they've been worn:

Looking to the Future

One word that can describe the next few months perfectly.
Not only am I working a full time 9-5 job, but I now have classes from 9-5 every Saturday too. I know it's for my future, but knowing I have to put 10-20 hours of studying a week into my schedule has me a little down. I love my down time, but it will be minimal for the next 7 months.
In a way it's a good thing, less time to be alone with my thoughts, it will keep me busy. but on the other hand, it leaves far less time for things that I enjoy.
Ah well, the things we do to get ahead.

sweater dress - Xmas gift from the MIL (2010)
skinnies - Gap (2010)
heels - Aldo (2010)
necklace - Ardene (2010)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friend Friday: I Can Dress Myself

This week's topic is all about getting dressed so I was excited to fill it out!
Thanks Katy! A Great set of Questions!

1. How do you determine what you will wear that day?
I attempt to have some sort of plan, but usually it just happens to be whatever's clean and office appropriate. I also use my new stylit (see #2).

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month,
I bought myself a Stylit (love!) for the new year as a planner so I try to plan out my outfits for work the weekbefore... unfortunately though, I don't always take into account the weather or what's actually clean, so it usually deviates from the original plan. That being said, I like having a vague idea of what I'll be putting on, even if it is just one item I end up using, or using an idea from later in the week.

the famed "stylit"

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already
worn so you don't repeat?
Not anything special really. just what I've already mentioned. And I don't so much mind repeats. Some outfits are just tried, tested and true.... but I won't bore you with the outfit photos from those days!

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet?
(Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)
This is something I actually have trouble doing. My closet hangs by "category" (tops together, bottoms together, dresses together, etc.) so new combinations don't just pop out at me... I have SO MUCH in there that I often forget what's hidden in the abyss. I've actually started a spreadsheet with the different categories & colors so I can come up with combinations that way (i'm neurotic, i know) but so far it's a work in progress.

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do
to cut down your dressing time?
Try things on on the weekend I guess? But now that I only have one day off a week I don't see that happening. As much as I'd love to cut down on time, I'm a realist, and that just ain't gonna happen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bows & Blabber

So after someone was spontaneously let go from work the other day, I decided it's probably best to stop creeping blogger on a regular basis during office hours.
Lame, I know, but I'd really like to keep my job... you know, for food and shelter and all that jazz. So please excuse my lack of comments & posting... It's not that I don't want to, its just that I can't.
I miss it already.

But today I'm off sick, so ya know, I can blog stalk all I want.... and finally get around to posting this outfit from last weekend :)
The epiphany is kind of a big deal in my family, so last Saturday night we had another gigantic dinner at my aunt's house. Honestly, how am I supposed to get in shape and be more conscious of what I eat when there is all this deliciousness around me all the time???

blue bow dress - Betsey Johnson (mine since 2011)
tights - Ardene (2010)
boots - Franco Sarto (2009)

I would like to take this opportunity to formally then Megan for the swap! I LOOOVE this dress, and I can't wait til the weather gets nicer so I can bust out the wedges! You're a doll with impeccable taste!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Floral Tunic & Milk Maid Braids

I was completely decieved by an article that ran in the paper last week. "Warm, dry winter ahead"? Yes, and I'm 6 feet tall. NEedless to say it has been cold - very cold - and I think we received about 6inches of snow these last few days. It definitely doesn't help the getting out of bed in the morning situation, let me tell you. It's much cozier huddled under a duvet.
Oh well, I've lived in Canada long enough to know to expect these things. One day I'll have a vacation property somewhere warm and sunny.

On another topic, I've recieved my work load for my CMA prep course that starts next week. I'm expected to put in 10-15 hours a week. If anyone has recently heard me say I miss school, I take it back.

cardigan - Jacob (2010)
tunic - Dynamite (2011)
skinny jeans - Smart Set (2010)
flats - Aldo (xmas gift '10 from the sis)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blog Stalker: Color Me Katie

If you haven't already discovered Katie Sokoler, you MUST!
The fire behind the blog Color Me Katie, this girl is AMAZING.
This is one blog that does NOT need the extra advertising, but I can't help but make her my first Blog Stalker feature.

She's a 23 year old freelance photographer and street artist based in New York, and her work ALWAYS brings a smile to my face. It's one of those blogs that after a particularly long, stressful day, its just a perfect light, and always joyful, read.

You can literally spend hours creeping her blog archives and not feel an ounce of boredom. From her Pac Man street art, to her thought bubble art, and her creative use of shadows, it's always original and entertaining.
She's also a regular for Improv Everywhere, an improv comedy troupe that can be found causing havoc around the world.

Oh, and she kind of has the most amazing cat ever.

For all these reasons and more, check out Katie.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friend Friday: That Blogging "Edge"

This week has just been crazy busy, yesterday in particular... thank god it's over. So that's my excuse for never having this up on time. I suppose I could write it Thursday night and schedule the post... but that would require much more organization, and while that's usually my strong point, I have SO MUCH going on right now that its probably not going to happen.
So once again, thank you Katy for this week's Friend Friday questions!

1. Have you ever looked at someone's blog and thought yours will never
measure up?
ohmigoodness, yes. there are some insanely good blogs out there with thousands of followers, and i used to think, what would it take to be like them? but i feel like it reminds me of high school. Some people were just the social butterflies with these exuberant personalities that attracted everyone, and some are more quiet and reserved, and it takes time to get to know them, but once you do, you realize that they're pretty amazing... i consider myself the latter.

2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined
standard for fashion bloggers?
yes, but mostly from myself. I'm my worst critic. I always think I could have styled my hair better, or found a better location for a shot, or put on some make up... but then i realize it's about the outfit and the voice, and that calms those demons... at least for a while!

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?
Definitely not. there are some super popular blogs that contain none of those aspects. And anyways, if you're posting about something you aren't passionate about, it seems forced and fake.

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?
Hmmmm, well I'm attempting to start a few new features, so I hope that helps with my "development". We'll see... it's all trial and error, right?

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?
Uhm, clearly my awesomeness.
Haha, no really, I don't think I have an answer yet... my pretty shoes? I do have quite the collection. My openness? again, we'll see. I'm not good at this whole "horn tooting" thing.

And you know, I should probably show some outfits seeing as how I have tons that haven't been posted yet....
So I love my new cut, but I hate the bangs. Any advice for us greasy-haired gals?

sheer blouse - Jacob (2010)
knit vest - YDE (2009)
skinnies - Gap (2010)
wedges - Aldo (2010)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Projects

Since the New Year is a time for Resolutions, and of course, all things new, I was considering starting a few new features.

First, I'm going to change my "Weekly Money Check-Up" (which I haven't been very good about posting lately) into a Monthly feature instead. Here I'll give you the run-down on my monthly shopping budget, clothing purchases, and any other interesting things I've done with my money.

Second, I would like to be more accountable to my exercise-oriented goals. On a weekly basis (or bi-weekly) I'm going to try to record my weight loss/weight lifting goals, and maybe a few numbers... kind of similar to Kayla at Blue Collar Catwalk's "Sweaty Wednesdays."

And lastly, I would like to do a blog spotlight (super original, I know). Instead of restricting it to only fashion bloggers though, I'm going to profile whichever blog has me constantly coming back as of lately... artists, ramblers, make-up vixens, money mavens... whoever!

So keep a look out for all of these goodies in the near future!

And now of course, an outfit:

cardigan - Smart Set (2010)
blouse - Smart Set (2010)
skirt - Zara (2010)
heels - Aldo "Urquisa" Pumps (on sale!)
watch - Guess (2010)

Monday, January 3, 2011

A 2010 Retrospective: July to December

I thought the wrap up to 2010 was long overdue, so lets proceed!
July was all about finding my groove in retail. While it didn't quite work out, I got to experiment in the field of clothing, which I think helped me settle on some long term goals, as well as embrace some very feminine patterns. Prior to this experience I didn't really like clothes that had a lot of color or craziness, I think it taught me how to mix my classic pieces with a bit of flair.

August saw me full swing into a desk job in the accounting department for a real estate management company. With the new job, I definitely tried to play the part in terms of my wardrobe. Hey, the whole reason I got into business was for the power suits and stilettos, right?

Ah, my love of the pencil skirt. It shall live on forever.

Once I became a little more comfortable with my corporate environment, I started mixing it up a bit, hence the hiking boots and chunky knits. While I love the professional look, it's good to know I can be a little more relaxed in the office environment and still get respect from clients and peers.

November birthed my new baby. NO I didn't adopt a random child, just a DSLR, which I'm still trying to figure out how to use properly... I also started looking for a lot more vintage pieces. I fell in love with the Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton Runways for S/S 11 and wanted to try out the midi-skirt.

December was just plain crazy. I took on a lot of new responsibilities at work, and it was the first Christmas I went all out for everyone.. having a full time job does that! So needless to say blogging took a bit of a back burner. I will however be back in full swing for 2011!
I can't wait to see what this new year brings! New courses, new hobbies, and of course, a new house.

Here's to a New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blogger Resolutions!

Happy New Year All!!
While we're all making some New Year's Resolutions, this has held true for the FFBF community in terms of our blogs. Here are this week's questions & answers:

1. What's the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?
Two things actually! I want to take a photography course at the School of Photographic Arts here in Ottawa. Unfortunatly the January-March classes are full so I can't start til May :(
Secondly, I hope to *finally* learn a little xhtml. I have some pretty creative layout ideas and what not but NO IDEA how to put it into action.

2. What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?
Be Original & True to Yourself. I'm never going to be one of those picture perfect, artsy, modelesque bloggers who seem to have professional photogs on hand, but I can still be interesting!

3. Do you have any high-level goals for your blog in the coming year? Monetization? More comments? More connections with other bloggers? A new template?
I'd love to have more local traffic. Not that I don't LOVE YOU ALL (you make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!), but I'd like to celebrate my city a little more, and maybe turn on some locals to some unique experiences that Ottawa has to offer.... and who knows? Could be useful tips should you all ever decide to play tourist up here!

4. If you could collaborate with one other blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you like to collaborate with and what would you like to collaborate on?
Hmmmm... never really thought about it. There are a LOT of amazing bloggers out there, but I don't know if I'm at the level yet where I could consider collaborations... lets start with a few guest posts first, hmm?

5. What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?
I know many blogs already have a "blogger spotlight" of some sort, but I'd like to try that out too I think... I'm just not sure which perspective I'm going to take yet. We'll see how that one develops!

ALSO! Unrelated, but excited to get it out there: I was considering having an Ottawa Clothing Swap... would anyone be interested?