Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tarot Love: Be a Creative Rebel

I should warn you all. I love me some tarot cards. Fairy cards. Palm readers. Tea leaf readers. You get the gist. So last night I went to Z's house with Sasha. We had a good ol' girls time. Then I spotted the tarot cards. Osho Zen Tarot cards. The night got even better.


The first card I pulled was "The Rebel". Z got excited. She said it was a powerful card. A Major Arcana. This is what "The Rebel" card means:

The powerful and authoritative figure in this card is clearly the master of his own destiny. On his shoulder is an emblem of the sun, and the torch he holds in his right hand symbolizes the light of his own hard-won truth. Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society's repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colors of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconscious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being is rebellious - not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between earth and sky. The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth.
Wow. Un-freaking-believable. Read my About Me section to find out why.



I have a small problem. I can't pick only one card. I had to do it again. Besides, I didn't ask a specific question the first time. So I declared The Rebel card my "overall card". And then I focused on my question.

What am I looking for?

Guess what my next card was? Creativity. Perfect.

Sasha picked next. But before she did, she shuffled the deck. And as she was sitting there holding the cards. Two fell out. The Rebel and Creativity. Un-freaking-believable. Then, as if that's not enough. Her first card? Creativity. OK already. Message received. Loud and clear.


Whether you're a believer or a skeptic. Tarot cards are fun. No matter what, they are pieces of sage advice.

I think I may have found my tenth mantra...stay tuned.

j.

Friday, 28 October 2011

{Fri}Day Dreaming

Happy Friday!

I have recently discovered Pinterest. It's basically a virtual pinboard. That you can share with everyone. So, for people who love pretty things. And even just pictures of pretty things. It's kind of perfect.

I have not done very much today. I read some blogs. Came across this particular post on Crowley Party. Got lost in Pinterest for hours. Listened to my current obsession over and over again. This song in particular. Did some serious day dreaming. Listen to the song while I paint you the picture.


It's mid-December. Holiday cheer is in the air. The beginning of a blizzard starts swirling past your window. You stoke a fire. You bundle up. You have nowhere to go. Nothing to do. You play this song. And slow dance with your lover. In your cozy, mountain "cabin". Or one bedroom apartment. Whatever you've got.

While we're at it....check out a few photos of my "cabin".


all photos via Pinterest

Aren't daydreams fun? And yes. That's a swing in my "cabin" bedroom.

j.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Beads & Buns


Today was a lazy day. As opposed to the rigorously exhausting days preceding this one. I am trying to leave the house each day. At least once. Dream big. I know. Today was no exception. I met my friend, Mr. Chiu, downtown for a chai tea latte. Mr. Chiu was a student at that school I worked at for the past two years. He is one of those inspiring young people I blabbed about here. Now he has graduated. He goes to UVic. My old stomping grounds. He is wise beyond his years. He has a maturity that most grown men do not reach in their lifetime. He is a good friend. He even snapped a couple photos of me. The ones against the red wall.




colorful bead necklace {market, Alberta} - white tee {American Apparel} - grey crocheted vest {Uniqlo, NYC} -
black denim skinnies {Old Navy} - tan riding-inspired boots {The Bay}


Who else has noticed my obession for alliteration? Fell asleep during that English class? (Dictionary.com is my BFF).

What a Wonderful Wednesday! (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

j.





Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cottage Country Chic

So. This unemployment business is tough work. Today, I cancelled most of my utilities for when I leave the Island at the end of November. Shaw kept me on hold for 30 minutes. Blast. But I was able to cancel my hydro online while I waited. That's multi-tasking folks. Next. I put hot curlers in my hair. Why you ask? Because I had the time. Sadly the curls fell right out. In fact they hardly even passed for soft waves by the time I took these photos. Didn't phase me though. Hard to get upset when you curled your hair for absolutely no reason. None at all.




I ran a few errands around downtown Victoria. Got myself a chai tea latte in Fisherman's Wharf. And scouted photoshoot locations reminiscent of country cottages.






I got dressed this morning while the curlers were still in my hair. I really thought I was going to have big, voluminous curls. Farrah Fawcett style. And so I was drawn to this green plaid retro-inspired shift dress. Add a slouchy crocheted grandma sweater. Call it an outfit. Sadly the hair didn't quite live up to my expectations. Oh well. There's always tomorrow.





 lemon drop earrings {Etsy} - peach cobbler cashmere scarf {gift} -
white crocheted sweater {H&M} -green plaid dress {Paradise Clothing} -
earthy pearls {Hawaii} - jade bracelet, wooden bangle & black, white & leather cuff {gift} -
brown knee socks & tan riding-inspired boots {The Bay}


I'm still undecided on the medley of wrist goodies. Too much? Or just enough? Meh. I rocked them either way. 

j.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Professor Plum Plaid

So. Remember how bad things happened yesterday? When I stayed in my house all day. Well. Even worse things happend today. When I left the house. I did the worst thing. But it was the best thing ever. Just like yesterday. But much worse. But so so much better. OK. Enough already. I bought a new camera. It's beautiful. It was much more than the $40 wedges from yesterday. It's a Canon PowerShot XS30 IS. It's 14.1 megapixals. My old camera was 4.0 megapixals. And it's beautiful. Enough Said. Did I mention I also bought a tripod? Because I did. And they are (to my amazement) not cheap. And I may have bought a memory card. But it's 8x bigger than my old one. I know, I know. Day one of unemployment has been extraordinarily expensive. And unemployment and extraordinarily expensive should not be used in the same sentence. Twice.

After a fleeting moment of buyer's remorse, I was over it. Might as well use my new (expensive) toy. So I took myself for a nice autumn stroll. I have some practice to do using the tripod and self-timer. Among other things. Please be patient.





I had to throw in that ridiculous jumping pic. Because I look goofy. I'm not the most coordinated person. This pic doesn't give that away does it?

Ha!



Who else noticed the dent in the toe of my boot? That's what you get for buying $70 boots from The Bay. Don't worry (because I know you are), I can pop that puppy right back out. That's quality for you folks. Quality.





                        purple plaid button-up {Mexx} - plum sweater {Gap} - blue stretch skinnies {Gap} - tan riding-inspired boots {The Bay}


I think my color scheme is similar to that of a medley of fall berries. I see my outfit and smell cinnamon, cloves and a hint of raspberry. Oh wait. That's my delicious smelling air freshener. Ooops.


On that note, good night friends!

j.



Sunday, 23 October 2011

Wedge Envy

So. Bad things happen when I don't leave the house all day. And have a credit card. And access to the internet. Very bad things. Bad but beautiful. Very beautiful things. See below for the babbling to stop.


Did I mention they're beautiful?


I ordered them from the somewhat elusive website called ShoeDazzle. It's not set up like a regular online store. It's more of a "showroom". With a sampling of shoes. Not too many. You can also take a brief style quiz. It then shows you shoes you are supposed to like. To be perfectly honest, I don't fully understand it. All I know? Every pair of shoes is $39.95. That's right. $39.95. And get this. Your first item is 20% off. And as if it could get any better. Free shipping. Or so I thought. I was about to check out with my $31 purchase. Score! But then? Canada. No free shipping to Canada. Blast! Add $9. Oh well. The 20% off cancels out the shipping. Still $40 shoes. Not too shabby.

I can't wait to show you these new pretties in an outfit post real soon. I hope they fit. I've never ordered shoes online before. I ordered a half size bigger. I figure better too big than too small. Fingers crossed. I really shouldn't get in the habit of this. Online shopping that is. I have to save my pennies for Palm Springs. Where there are outlet malls. Remember how I feel about outlet malls? Insert heart flutter here. I should mention I feel the same way toward Target. Which is also located in Palm Springs. I can barely contain my excitement. I know you feel the same way too. Obviously. (Not.)

j.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Current Tunes

On me: black blazer {Mexx} - striped dress {Lark & Sparrow} - tan boots {The Bay}
On Sasha: tan fringe top {Lark & Sparrow}

I apologize for being MIA this week. It was my last week of work. I work(ed) at a school. For those of you who didn't know. I had worked there since it opened two years ago. I met so many amazing people. Especially the students. Young people are inspiring. They inspire me to do better. To be better. It was an emotional day yesterday. Draining. I was touched to see the impact (however small) I have made at the school. In people's lives. I really did feel honoured.

Anyways. Not that I'm making excuses. But now that I'm done work, I will have lots more time for all of you. You're all dying from excitement. I know. I wanted to share with you some new music from an incredibly talented local band. They are Current Swell. The lead singer, Scott, is Sasha Rae's boyfriend. They have been together for five years. They are both ridiculously good looking. And really nice. And both extremely talented. It's unfair really. 

Anyways. We went to their CD release concert last night at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria. It was incredible. Here a few pics I snapped. Like a true groupie.



This is the original trio of Current Swell. Scott, Dave and Lou. I remember the first time I saw Current Swell play. It was at the campus pub at UVic. About six years ago. Sasha had her eye on Scott from the start. I had no idea how many shows I would be dragged to after that night. Lou left the band a couple years ago when he and his wife (my friend Rach) had a baby. The cutest baby. Ever. Lou came on stage last night to sing a special song. A song for their friend who passed away a couple years ago.


Two words.
Trombone. Swagger.
Enough said.



This is Scott jammin' away. I know you want to listen to one of my fave songs from their last album. Check it out here. You should also check their website so you can buy their new CD. Long Time Ago. Because it's awesome.

See you all soon (I Promise).

j.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Friendship Bracelet Bling



Happy Monday Friends!

This is my last week of work. It is bittersweet. I'm sad to leave a lot of great people. But I am excited for my new adventure. Speaking of that. I have applied to Parsons (my dream school) for the Fashion Marketing Program. I am waiting to hear if I am accepted. Gulp. Fingers crossed. If (when) I get in, the program would start at the end of January.

I have to move out of my condo by the end of November.

My Parents (whom I love very much) are going to be in Palm Springs at the end of November. I may have weasled my way into their trip. Score. I already have SO many outfit photos planned. OMG. And the shopping. So much shopping. Just wait.

From there, I will fly back to Calgary (my hometown) with the rents. For a month. With not a whole lot going on. I may go mental. Be warned. But I have a fun project planned. Involving photos. Past photos. Just wait.

Then. And it pains me to tell you this, it really does. The whole fam (I'm talking, parents, bro and girlfriend and grandparents) is hopping on a plane on Christmas Eve. Where are we going you ask? Sigh. Don't say I didn't warn you. We are going to Hawaii. Kauai to be exact. Aka paradise. And this part hurts me more than it hurts you, it really does. For 2 weeks! Tough life. I know. Spoiled rotten. I know. Best parents in the world. I know.

By the time I'm done frolicking around vacation destinations it will be the beginning of January. At which point I will head to NYC. To live. And go to school. I just have to get in to Parsons. I have to. I will. I will. I will.

Anyways. Last weekend I made some "bling"ed out friendship bracelets. Courtesy of Honestly...WTF. One of my daily blog reads. Check out the post that gave me my inspiration. The bracelets were a success. They inspired my outfit for the next work day. I chose to focus on accessories. And lots of em. I kept my outfit simple. Black and white. With killer shoes. Literally. Couldn't feel my feet by the end of the day. But it was worth it. For the outfit. For the sake of style. This was the first time I layered necklaces. I was pleased with the aethestic. I think it helped that I kept my actual clothing really plain.




                                      white button-up {Old Navy} - bronze skinny belt {Old Navy} - black pants {Suzy Shier} -
                                      oxford heels {Winners} - white pearl necklace {gift} - black pearls {hawaii} -
                                      rhinestone & chain necklace {Smart Set} - bracelet bling {DIY}

What do you think?


j.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Love Mantras

This is the original list of commandments (now known as mantras, fyi). Remember, from the barf bag. No? It's ok, you can check them out here. Read on to see how the list transforms into something even better.




Upon seeing my commandments displayed boldly in the center of the page I realize that a few of them are quite similar in their intent. Also, (after typing the word "commandment" so many times) I decided that I did not want to use it as the name for my list. I thought about it. "Mantra" floated across my brain (as they do). It stuck. Mantras it is. But whatever their name, they still need some work.
Let's disect, shall we?
#1: Appreciate each day.
I would appreciate each day by enjoying life’s simple pleasure. Therefore, "appreciate each day" is my mantra but "enjoying life’s simple pleasures" is simply one of my means of fulfilling my mantra.
One down.

#2: Work with what you've got.
I am struggling to determine whether "work with what you’ve got" and "fake it until you make it" are too much alike. Mantra #2 is more of a style (or rather body) mantra I’ve come up with meaning you have to (embrace what is) and accept yourself and your body for what they are now. By embracing what is and working with what I’ve got, I end up looking better which therefore makes me feel better. And who doesn’t want that?
Mantra #6 refers more to state of mind and self-confidence. I have come a long way since high school and even the first few years of university in the confidence department. I owe a lot of that to the girls. They are each so strong, confident and independent and they have always seemed that way to me. I know (of course) that they, themselves, have not always felt this way. But, to me, they have always been and will always be souces of inspiration. They have taught me a lot about life, friendship, love and myself over the past several years. They taught me enough to know that a small part of it comes from simply growing older and having more experiences but the biggest part of it is knowing yourself and not being afraid to be yourself. I have always been pretty good at staying true to myself and I have “gotten to know myself” in many different ways over the last several years and especially the last several months. I am still on the path to full discovery because I know that I am definitely not finished getting to know myself yet. And like (I hope) everyone, I have (many) moments of self-doubt and self-consciousness, however in these moments I will let my mantra float across my mind and whisper to me, “fake it until you make it”. And I will listen. Or at the very least, try my hardest to.
I think by writing these two mantras down I have ended my struggle to decide whether they are one in the same. They are not. They are different enough in principle and will therefore stand alone as two separate, equally important, mantras.

#3: Enjoy life's simple pleasures.
Determined to be a means to fulfulling a mantra. See Mantra #1, above.

#4: Just Be.
 P.S. I made this. I want to make one for each part of this mantra. Hang it as a set.
Mantra #4 may be considered by some to be redundant (in Mantras #2 and #7). However, this was the very first mantra I came up with. Ages ago. Long before reading The Happiness Project. "Just Be" is the shortened version of my original mantra. I recite the full version of it in my mind in moments of anxiety, doubt, guilt, sadness, heartache or just anytime I need a little pick-me-up. 
Be who you are.
Be confident.
Be at ease.
Just Be.
Perhaps for sentimental reasons alone. But I am keeping this as one of my mantras. Even further, I am moving #4 to the top of the list.

#5: Don't dwell on the negatives or things you can't change.
As much as I wanted this to be a real mantra, I realized the same situation that happened to Mantras #1 and #3 has happened here. The real mantra is #7. Embrace what is. In order to "embrace what is", you have to let go of the past and stop dwelling on the negatives and things you can’t change. Especially because when you dwell on something negative it is usually something you can't change anyways. Double dwell. The worst. Someone I admire always tells me “it is what it is until it’s more or it’s less” so, until that point, embrace what is. This mantra was too long anyways. What was I thinking?
Another one bites the dust.

#6: Fake it until you make it.
Determined to be a true mantra. See Mantra #2, above.

#7: Embrace what is.
Determined to be a true mantra. See Mantra #5, above.

#8: Don't resist change.
I am happy with this as an individual mantra. It is fairly self-explanatory. It is something I have to consciously try to achieve. I love routine. I don’t usually respond well to change. Especially sudden change. However, change can be good. Change is often necessary to push you to reach further. To break out of your comfort zone. Without change, there would be no growth.
A week ago, I learned a Chinese idiom. "Your plan will never catch up with change". Think about it. Your plan will never catch up with change because it is always changing. Genius. And the words "plan" and "change" in Chinese differ by only one letter (or is it character?). Anyways, the two words sound almost the same. So it sounds even better than it already does. Genius. One of the perks of working in a boarding school (thanks Ranger). I considered making this its own mantra. But it is very similar to #8. I considered renaming #8 to "plans change". I decided that #8 really is the true mantra. Because it is something I have to work for. Strive for. I will try not to resist change knowing that plans always change.

#9: Stop thinking, start doing.

I will admit that I am a wee bit of a procrastinator. I have many ideas and would love to do all of them. But I don’t. And usually for inadequate reasons (excuses). I will also talk endlessly about my ideas and how I would put them into action. Friends will encourage me to “do it” and I will say “I will” or “I really should”  or sometimes when I’m feeling really crazy I’ll say “I am going to do it”. And yet I still don’t! I am trying to change this about myself. I read an entry in a journal of mine (you know…one of the journals I started, wrote in for a few days and never looked at again) from about 5 years ago. It said: “I need to be a “doer” – somebody who does”. This has apparently been a problem of mine for quite some time. Something that I was conscious enough about to want to change.
As I type this mantra out I realize that it and Mantra #8 are far more intertwined than I ever thought. In order to do things, I have to stop thinking about doing them and start doing them. More than that I have to open myself up to change first. If I resist change, I will never actually do things, because inevitably, doing the things I think about doing will lead to changes in the life that I lead. Clear as mud? Thought so.

#10: Live in the moment.
I decided that #10 overlaps with Mantra #7. In order to "embrace what is", you are forced to "live in the moment". Again, it is a means to fulfilling a mantra.
Axed.

After all that we are left with only seven mantras. I have since thought of two additional ones. This leaves my list of Love Mantras at nine. For now.

#11: Stay calm and be polite.
This was the first mantra I added upon being left with only seven. Gretchin Rubin had twelve. I started with ten. Some thoughts have been swirling around in my head lately like a kite on a perfectly breezy autumn afternoon. I was walking downtown in the summer and came across this little gem:

I have a growing obsession for graffiti quotes. This was the first one that I found. I find myself having a certain infinity for the words. However, I am not a particularly rude or angry person. So I find myself in another internal struggle. Do these words warrant a spot in my list of mantras? Let's take a step back. Just look at the words. Separately. Both parts of this statement are good, solid pieces of advice. "Stay calm" in moments of anger, frustration, embarrassment, stress, and panic – all moments I have been in before and am bound to be in again. "Be polite" when you want to be rude, when you’re in a rush, to the sales associate, taxi driver, and slow person walking in front of you. Being rude will get you nowhere. I think there is wisdom to be gained from these words. Decision made. “Stay calm and be polite” has earned its way onto the list of Love Mantras.

#12: Be Bold.
Added just yesterday. Courtesy of Sasha Rae. She was giving me advice. Specifically for my blogging and photographing style. But it can transcend into various other aspects of my life. I can be a bit of a chicken (fine, a HUGE chicken) when it comes to "putting myself out there". This blog was a big first step. I will turn to these words when I'm writing and photographing. I will let them tango with my inner critic while I'm shopping and honing my personal style. I will listen to these two simple words in life. Each day. Everyday. I will try to be bold. At least once.
I promise I am almost done. I apologize for the length of this post. I would like to take one last moment to introduce you all to the official, finessed yet still-evolving list of Love Mantras:

I still have room for one more mantra. I will wait until it finds me.
Do any of you have mantras?
j.