Thursday, 29 December 2011

Aloha from Kaua'i


I had every intention of actually writing a post tonight to go with this assortment of photos. But a combination of Blogger behaving (very, very) badly, me being tired and itchy feet has prompted me to cut this short. I've been having  a glorious time here in Kaua'i. Intense scrabble matches, lounging on the beach, thrifting Hawaiian style, a game of golf and more photo ops than I know what to do with have kept me busy for the past few days. Tomorrow promises to be a day full of photoshooting with the soon-to-be-sister-in-law while the parents and brother hit the links. Life, you're kinda alright.

j.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

"Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. That's the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway. Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright. The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night. Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you!"







reindeer vest {Bluenotes} - white denim shorts {Levis} - sunnies {Windsor} - 
black ruffle dress {Banana Republic} - red belt {Target} - green clutch {Winners} -
black cut-out wedges {Nine West via DSW}

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love!

j.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

San Fran Style

Merry Christmas Eve Friends! I am currently writing this as I stare out at the ocean in Kauai. My family and I left yesterday and flew to San Francisco, where we spent the afternoon and night before hopping on a direct flight this morning to Lihue, Kauai.




reindeer vest {Bluenotes} - plaid flannel {Target} - best tank ever {Costco!} - white purse {Coach} - denim skinnies {Jacob}

I have to give some photo credit to M, my soon-to-be-sister-in-law. She took all of these photos except the one of Fisherman's Wharf. She has a really nice Nikon DSLR that I am insanely jealous of. We had a wee bit of a photo war, snapping pics of eachother taking pics. This is going to be one fun, photo-filled week.

Remember to leave out milk and cookies for the Big Guy. And don't forget the carrot sticks for Rudolf!

j.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Laughing Butterfly

Today I had the most wonderful day. I got to shop. I didn't spend any of my money. And I even got paid to do it. Heaven, is that you? Nope. Instead, a woman who works with my parents. Who has a hatred for shopping (is this even possible?), gave me a mission to buy her a couple work outfits and was willing to pay me to do it. Well, mission glady accepted. After two trips to the mall and only a few returns, she is the new owner of three sweaters, a pair of pants, a necklace and a scarf. Two complete outfits and two thirds of another. All for under $150. I'm pleased to say mission accomplished.




bronze necklace {Aerie} - white watch {Palm Desert street market} - best tank top ever {Costco!} -
butterfly blouse {Target} - red skinnies {F21} - brown booties {kelly & katie via DSW}

Inbetween this shopping business, I was at my parents' office again. Doing Parsons stuff. Paperwork, applications, appointments and more paperwork. There are a lot of t's to be crossed and i's to be dotted before I am able to move to the States and take this program. But all totally worth it, obviously.

Never too busy to bully my Mom into taking my photo though. Actually it was more like whining begging. And a bit of flattery thrown in for good measure. I kept telling her she's so good at taking my photo (which is true) and that she loves it (she said so). Eventually I cracked her with my persuasive powers and she snapped a few pics of me in a spare office overlooking the LRT tracks. As always, we ended up having a good laugh. And guess what? She loved it! Right, Mom?

j.

Holiday Leather

This is the very first appearance, or debut if you will, of my thrifted leather skirt. I didn't think I was going to be able to wear this treasure until NYC. But we had a "pretend" Christmas dinner with some family last night, and who doesn't bust out their leather skirt for family functions?






Are you dying to know where I am in these photos? Check out the set-up below. Just a little sneaky photo magic from my soon-to-be-sister-in-law. And some seriously calculated cropping.

fuschia top and rock ring {Urban Outfitters} - leather skirt {Victoria vintage fair} - black boots {Payless}

I was feeling a touch hardcore in the leather skirt and pointy boots. Not that there's anything wrong with that. There's a time and a place for hardcore. Maybe just not at your Aunt's house. So, to balance out the badass in me, I paired the skirt with this overly feminine, delicate and, most importantly, loose top. I completed the look by creating soft waves in my hair. I hope I achieved the perfect balance of hard and soft.

j.



Saturday, 17 December 2011

Just Rocks

I had a difficult time deciding upon a name for this post. I had many ideas. All of them with one thing in common. The word rocks. Black, Blue and Rock. Cobalt Rocks. I Love Rocks. Love Rocks. Then I thought, just rocks. And so I took my thought quite literally and ended up at just that. Just what, you ask? Just Rocks!
(haven't you been paying attention?)




cobalt blue blazer {Banana Republic} - black & white geometric tunic {Mexx} - black leggings {Aritzia} -
black biker boots {Paradise Boutique} - bracelet {Palm Desert street market} - rock ring {Urban Outfitters}


Clearly I am out of the nerd closet after declaring my unhealthy obsession love for rocks above. So I might as well continue with this (surprisingly not) embarassing confession. Because I really do love them. I suppose you could say I collect rocks. It's my favorite thing to do at the beach. Or anywhere else rocks can be found. Such as, rivers, forests, even parking lots. Most of my friends know of my fondness for rocks. So being the gems that they are, they will often keep their eyes open for any treasures they know I would love. Sasha once brought me back a rock she found in Nicaragua. It was, and still is to this day, the most beautiful rock I have ever seen. It is rectangular in shape and no bigger than an eraser. It is so smooth to the touch and even creamier to the eye. It has the most magical pattern of vivid orange and creamy white swirling around each other to create the most pleasing marbled effect. I will show it to you one day. Obviously I still have it. Along with many other beautiful rocks. It's just that they are still in their box. Because they made the move, of course. What? Doesn't everyone have a box full of rocks when they move?

Anyways. Needless to say, but I'll do it just for kicks, when I saw this ring in Urban Outfitters I just had to make it mine. It was more than I usually spend on a single item. But it is a double ring. And I've wanted one of these for a long time. And this one has rocks on it!!!

2 finger holes + 3 rocks = 1 kicka** ring = Merry Christmas to me!

Do you also buy yourself Christmas presents? (please tell me I'm not the only one!)

j.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Mixed Metals

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Don't you love Wednesdays? I always did. Why? Because you're halfway to the weekend. When I was working, I found Wednesdays to be one of the most productive days of the week. Mondays are crazy. And you don't want to be there. So, basically they are the worst. Tuesdays I found highly unproductive because you're still getting back into work mode from those two glorious days off. And you're a little thrown off from the craziness of your Monday to get any real work done. But come Wednesday, you really hit your stride, or at least I did. You've settled into the work groove. Things are jiving just right. You're crossing items off that to-do list like it's going out of style. And you have that silent knowledge that tomorrow is Thursday. And you know what they say about Thursday, don't you? It comes before Friday. And Friday is the best day of all because Fridays are attached to those two glorious days we call the weekend. Plus Wednesday night always has the best shows to look forward to. What can I say? I'm a sucker for my shows.



Remember how I told you on Monday that I unpacked all of my boxes and organized my closet? Well, today I snapped a few pics of my pride and joy. Also known as my clothing and jewelry. I also lied to you on Monday. I thought I was going to use a corkboard for my jewelry but a trip to Ikea prompted a change of heart. I was in storage heaven. Everywhere I looked I saw possibilities for housing my baubles. In the end, I used a kitchen bar and hooks for my heaviest necklaces, two small white wire cylinders for hanging earrings around and that bronze 't'-shaped stand for my daintier necklaces.

That 't'-shaped stand was kind of a hassle to actually purchase. I saw it on display in a bedroom. It's tag told me I could find it in the seasonal section. Right by the check out. Once I got down there, I searched through the section. The stand was nowhere to be found. I was going to leave it. But my Mom saw that look in my eyes. The look I get when I really, really want something. It was perfect for my purposes. It was only five dollars. What more could I ask for? She quickly granted me permission to take her on a wild goose chase for this five dollar ornament stand that I had no intention of using to display ornaments. Unless you consider my necklaces ornaments, which I kind of do....anyways. We zigged and zagged our way back where we had come. Up to the bedroom section. I found the stand in one of the bedrooms. It was displaying these cute little heart ornaments. I took it to a sales associate who scanned it and told me there were eleven of them in stock. I relayed that I had been sent up there by another associate downstairs who said they were sold out. I asked if I could purchase the display one. That, they told me, was not up to them. Instead they would have to ask the Designer.



(Can we just take a moment to reflect on how amazing that job would be? Just the thought of being able to design Ikea showrooms all day. I could honestly spend days in there. And all of my money. Seriously.)


The Designer nods her approval so the associate proceeds to cut all of the ornaments off of the stand. Tells me there is no paperwork to be done, just a phone call. I witness the phone call and assume it is the check out being notified if my imminent arrival. Down we go again. Of course, the poor guy at the check out has no idea what I'm talking about and is giving me the crazy look for trying to sneak the display unit past him on his conveyor belt. Another phone call later and he directs me to another department. At least it's just around the corner. I get there and finally this lady does not give me the crazy look and even exclaims "I was waiting for you!". I was overjoyed to say the least. She takes my random display ornament stand from me and tells me she needs to print out a sticker for it. Five minutes later (are you hand-making the sticker lady???) she returns with my stand and it's sticker. She adds that she gave me a bit of a discount it being a display unit and all. Damn lady, now I feel bad for getting inpatient with you. A whopping eighty cents off my five dollar ornament stand and thirty minutes later, I am finally allowed to check out. But I could not have been happier with my purchase. It was absolutely perfect for my purpose.

So. The moral of this story is: having patience and a whole lot of time on your hands pays. Eighty cents to be exact.

j.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Stripes, Checks & Layers

I spent the better part of today unpacking the many boxes of clothes I had taking up all of the real estate on my bedroom floor. It was like an obstacle course to get from my bed to the bathroom. It was due time. I was slightly concerned that I was going to run out of room in my closet. I was most certain I was going to run out of hangers. Well, I managed to not run out of room thanks to some creative storage solutions. Think fifteen scarves on one hanger. Cork board turned jewelry holder. As predicted, however, I did run out of hangers. So, what did I do?


lava rock earrings {etsy} - white watch {Palm Desert street market} - striped cardigan and
black belt {Jacob} - blue & black flannel, black tunic and black leggings {Aritzia} -
black winter boots {Locale}

I ran from closet to closet throughout the house. My brother's closet. The front and back hall closets. Even my parents' closets. Stealing hangers as I went. Lucky for my brother since he doesn't live here anymore. Not so lucky for my parents on the other hand. It really couldn't be helped though. I turned into a hanger bandit. It was awesome.

I had no real intention of taking an outfit pic today. But before I knew it, I was dressed, assembling my tripod and posing outside without a jacket. In hindsight, this is not something I recommend. Posing outside without a jacket that is. I highly recommend the getting dressed part though.

j.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Snow Suit Sunday

Happy Weekend Friends! I hope you had a great one. Weekends are somewhat insignificant to me right now. What with being unemployed and all. Everyday is my weekend. Please don't hate because that's all going to change in the new year. I wish I could tell you all the amazing things I did this weekend. Like, witnessing a train being derailed, surfing on the Hawaiian coast and busting an international drug ring. But that would be confusing all the television and movies I've been watching with reality lying.




grey down parka {Jacob} - black denim skinnies {Old Navy} - black winter boots {Locale}

One thing I actually did this weekend was go shopping (shocking, I know). I've gone a little lot soft living on the West Coast for the past 8 years. So I freeze at any temperature lower than 5 degrees celsius. It's sad, really. I'm a bit embarrassed to call myself Canadian. Anyways, disturbing as this next sentence may be, it is the truth. Out of the 40+ shoes and 20+ jackets I currently own, none of them sufficed in this substance people are calling snow. Rumor has it, this substance can survive in New York too. Gross, right? That's what I thought. Needless to say, a shopping excursion was a must. I am now the proud owner of a down parka with a faux fur hood and water-proof, fleece-lined winter boots (that I don't slip in). Hooray! I also love me a good deal. And this jacket was a down-right steal! Originally priced at $290. Mine for $120. Jacob was having a 40% off sale. Then I noticed a little red damaged tag on this gem that read: "20% off, frayed". I inspected the jacket. Front and back, inside and out. You know the bungee cord on the inside that makes the waist cinch in? The end of one of the cords was frayed a wee bit. Bungee still works though. Easy fix. I confirmed with a sales associate that the 20% damage discount would be combined with the 40% discount. My heart started to sing. As of that wasn't good enough, at the register I was given a coupon that was scanned for the chance of winning an instant prize. Guess what? Another $25 off! My heart started doing the rumba right there in my chest.

I call this get-up the fashionable adult version of a snow suit. Remember snow suits? I do. Unfortunately. Growing up in Calgary and having a brother who ski raced, we spent most winter weekends in the mountains. I inherited most of my snow suits from my older cousin. At the time, I thought they were the bee's knees. I should have know better, considering the two suits I recall most vividly prompted my brother to come up with the following two nicknames for me: Banana on Skis and Pepto-Bismol.

Not the most creative nicknames, mind you, but they were certainly descriptive. I'll the leave the mental images to your own imagination.

Do you remember your snow suits from when you were a kid?

j.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Industrial Chic

I really don't have a lot to say tonight. I went in to the office with my parents today because I had to use their fax machine. While I was there, I decided I should take advantage of the empty offices and the stairwell. Because indoor photoshoot locations are hard to come by. Not that the following photos are going to blow you away with their gorgeous green tile and orange-y brown linoleum. But I did the best I could with what I had. Cut me some slack friends!



I bought this really cool necklace at the street market in Palm Desert. It's possibilities are endless. That burgundy sweater you see is also a Palm purchase.


necklace {Palm Desert street market} - burgundy sweater {Ann Taylor Loft} - white belt {Uniqlo} - grey and black checked pants {Mexx} -
oxford shoes {Jeffrey Campbell via Winners}

In case any of you were paying attention yesterday (haha, as if!), my Zumba class was cancelled. So I was saved from complete and utter humiliation. Until next week anyways. Somehow though, my Mom and I were roped into going to the 6:30 workout class that my soon-to-be-sister-in-law teaches on Fridays. That's 6:30 in the morning. That hour is unacceptable for most things in life. Especially exercise.

I better get to bed!

j.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Reindeer Games

I braved the elements to bring you these photos. Risking frostbite, pneumonia and a broken neck. OK. Perhaps I'm being a wee bit dramatic. But it was really cold outside so I was rushing and I was using my tripod and self-timer and it was very slippery. And I'm about as agile as a cat bull in a china shop.



reindeer vest {Bluenotes} - blueish grey dress {Banana Republic} - gold belt {used to be my Nana's} - jeggings {Aldo} -
grey boots {Spring Shoes} - white watch {Palm Desert street market}


I registered for courses at Parsons yesterday. I need to take about 8 classes a semester. That is a whole lotta classes. But they are all so great sounding. Color Theory, Fashion Industry Profile, Merchandising. To name a few. I am beyond excited. I have a feeling I'm going to be a really big keener.

Tonight, I'm going to my very first Zumba class with my soon-to-be-sister-in-law. This should be interesting. What with my supreme agility and mind-blowing coordination. I'll keep you posted on the level of humiliation reached.

Until then,

j.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Navajo in the Snow


I have officially entered Winter. No more palm trees. No more sun. Well, for the next two and a half weeks anyways. As much as I love being home for the holidays, I am beyond excited to be spending Christmas in Hawaii with my family. It is going to take some getting used to though, this posing in the snow business. I tried to be a trooper throughout the photos. After all, I was making my Mom stand outside in the cold too! The last pic shows how I really felt though.


Some things I realized yesterday:
~ I do not have a lot of patience when Blogger behaves badly (I attempted to post this last  
     night but I couldn't attach any photos).
~ I still have an unhealthy obsession with my Microsoft Publisher trial (forcing you nice
      people to have to look at my mug 7x as much as you probably would like).
~ I need to start thinking about indoor photo shoots (Boo!).
~ I have a lot of stuff (see photo below) and I'm still waiting on 9 more boxes (boxes filled 
      only with clothes).
~ I packed all of my pants, except for these red skinnies and a pair of bright blue skinnies,
      in the boxes that are not here yet (good work).

And perhaps the most important thing I realized yesterday:
~ Colored denim does not go with everything (ahem....red pants + green jacket = not a
      good look).

navajo sweater {Forever 21} - ivory blouse {Loft} - red skinnies (aka hot pants) {Forever 21} -
brown booties {Kelly & Katie via DSW}

By the way - this is an entire Palm Springs purchased outfit. Here's to fireplaces, mugs of hot tea and my down comforter!

j.

Friday, 2 December 2011

At My Core

blue and white striped dress {Joe Fresh} - navy jacket {Jacob} - aviator sunnies {Windsor} - white purse {Coach} - polka-dot wedges {Keds}

Sometimes, when I re-read my posts, I worry that my writing style or tone is too "fluffy". A friend of mine described the way I write as playful and conversational. I took this as a compliment. One of my goals was to try and write as I would talk to someone in real life. I hope I have or am on my way to achieving this. Though I worry that my playful words lack substance at times. Perhaps for this reason or maybe just because I am feeling particularly deep this evening, I am going a bit serious for this post.

After having finally started a blog myself, it surprised (and delighted) me to find out that other people I knew (childhood friends, co-workers, the lady at the post office) also had blogs. Shortly after I launched this puppy, I came across an old childhood friend's blog - Just Darby. As I do with most new blogs that catch my fancy, I read through the entire thing in one sitting. Darby's blog is about embracing minimalism. Something I am basically allergic to. But have had to practice anyways during the past couple months. She wrote this one post that really struck a chord with me. It was titled Who Are You at Your Very Core? I highly recommend you read it. Not only is it thought provoking, but it will provide you with some much needed insight into why I am blabbing so much tonight.

So. Who am I at my very core? Do I even know the answer to this? Yes. And no. It's funny to me that the first few things that pop into my head when I ask myself this question are superficial or inconsequential in nature. Often having to do with possessions or my likes and dislikes of things. Instead of disregarding this or getting angry with myself for missing the point of the exercise, I sat and thought about it for a while.  In Darby's post, she gives several suggestions to help one break away from the identity associated with your possessions and labels in an effort to find the answer to this question. I can appreciate this and also understand the importance of having an identity separate from material things and society's labels. This being said, the first things I thought of were the degree I earned at UVic, my love of shopping and my favorite TV show. Is my answer to the question really: "I am a shopaholic with a business degree from UVic who has a shameless obsession with the Young and the Restless."? I think not. So why were these the first three things I thought of? There must be some reason. Does the fact that I obtained my degree from Uvic really define me? No, not really. What about the type of degree I earned? Possibly. But I wasn't always interested in business. And even though I'm the one who studied business, sometimes I have a hard time defining what that even means. Does it mean I have a keen business sense? Does it mean I want to own my own company one day? I think what I like most about business is the practicality of it. I am practical. Most of the time. Business tends to be black and white. Whereas I think I view the world in shades of gray. Sometimes, there is not a right or wrong answer. Now, even though most people would not consider a love of shopping as one of their fundamentals, I do. I have associated myself with shopping and style for as long as I can remember. This is a big part of who I am. And I am not embarrassed to admit that. Some people call it shallow. Some people call me a pack rat. So be it. I can't really explain what exactly I love about shopping. The thrill of finding something unique and on sale gives me a rush that others would get from sports, travelling or adding to their coin collection. I am a visual being and have an appreciation for beautiful things. Lastly, you must think I have completely lost my marbles for 1) admitting that I have an obsession with a daytime soap and 2) actually listing that as a core part of myself. I started watching the Y&R with my Nana fifteen years ago. I have barely missed an episode. I enjoy the routine or tradition of watching "my show" every night before bed. I also enjoy being entertained mindlessly for 40 minutes. I don't have to think. Or worry. I can just watch. It is my escape. I'm a romantic and an idealist. So, for 40 minutes everyday, I feed the ideal romantic living inside of me as I get lost in the characters I have known and loved for the past decade and a half. I dare you to talk trash about my show.

This all being said, this is still not who I really am at my core. What if I had absolutely no money to go shopping with? Or (god forbid) the Y&R goes off the air? Would I still be the same person. Likely. In Darby's post, the number one thing she suggests you do to figure out who you are at your core is what I am about to do. Move to a country where no one knows my name. I did this on a smaller scale when I moved to Victoria for my undergrad and it was there, over a span of 8 years, where I started to see who I really was (and who I want to be). I am creative, shy but outgoing, confident yet still self-conscious. I care an awful lot about other people's feelings and do not like to be the cause of someone else's sadness (which made breaking off my engagement excruciatingly painful). I can relate to a wide range of people and have a knack for anticipating how people may react to or interpret a situation. I am stubborn and usually get my way. I am spoiled and know it but since I know it, I try not to take it for granted and show my appreciation to my parents. I am innocently optimistic but get mad when people mistake this for naivety or ignorance. I live in the present (as much as I can) and don't find it particularly constuctive to dwell on unknowns in the future or on mistakes of the past. If I want something I make it happen. We are only on this planet once, so I am trying to make the most of it. I know that moving to New York is going to be a challenge but I am so ready for it. I also know that I am going to learn so much more about myself during this year. I am who I am, and won't change myself for anyone. But I know that there is room for growth and adaptation. I don't claim to know exactly who I am at my core, but I think I am well on my way. I just have one last thing to say and that is "Look out New York, here I come!".

j.