2012-02-29

Marilyn Monroe Moments

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Skirt? Thrifted (similar here... kinda expensive) Boots? Ash, Winners (here) Tee? Joe Fresh 
Jacket? Costa Blanca (similar, pleather here, leather here) Clutch? Thrifted 
Necklaces? Rose from Winners, others thrifted

This is what happened. I wrote a post. I talked about how this skirt is actually more of a vibrant teal, how the silk of the skirt is so lightweight that even a slight breeze will subject me to a Marilyn Monroe moment and how the waist band is ridiculously wide and unattractive. I published the post, continued on my way and a few hours later I noticed that I had missed the 'i' in Marilyn. That's embarrassing. 
I figured I could fix the little spelling error in bed on my phone but of course, there was a fat finger slip and before I knew it, I had deleted the entire post. I cursed my blog, thinking to myself that a diary would never let me down like this. Pens and paper always have my back. Technology is evil. 
And now I have hobbled together a new post in the middle of the night because I am dedicated like that. This blog post is brought to you by dedication...

...and stupidity. 

2012-02-28

The Only Good Thing about Winter

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(similar 1.  2. 3.)

I know I said yesterday that I am ready for spring to get here so that tights and I can have a nasty break-up. But on the other end of the spectrum, I am not ready to let go of my scarves just yet. Especially my infinity scarves. Some people have their hate-on for these but I can't hate a trend that keeps me warm. I am sure I have poor circulation and a reasonably cold heart (except for kitties and puppies...), so the scarves are my first line of defence. I'm Team Spring all the way but I will enjoy every special moment my fluffy scarves and I still have together.

In other news, it's frightening how many pictures of myself in scarves are on my phone... 

2012-02-27

Gold with a Pinch of Gold

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Skirt? Alfred Sung, thrifted (similar here) Turtleneck? h&m Necklaces? Thrifted Shoes? I.D. Browns (similar here) Coat? Thrifted Clutch? Coast (similar here ... a little pricey)

Is it spring yet? It is that time of year where I am sick of the cold  and just want to throw out all my tights. As much as I like this outfit, it's time to say good-bye to winter with a tights-burning party. Play some loud music, drink a few beers and light a city by-law breaking bonfire in our backyard...
Instead I am going to channel all that angry energy into something productive. I am planning on teaching my cats to line up in alphabetical order when I snap my fingers. Maybe I will take a video of this amazing feat and it will go viral. You are looking at the next YouTube star... or the biggest whiner about tights. That latter option is more likely.

2012-02-25

This Week I Thrifted...

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What? Navy suede Sigerson Morrison flats
Where? Goodwill on Bloor St (here).
How much? $7
Why? Hey Ma! I bought flats! They are cute AND comfortable! Are you proud?
Someone (thank-you) commented a while back that I should check out the Goodwill on Bloor St. because it is ripe for the picking... It's funny, I remember going there during my university days but for some reason I thought it had shut down since. Not so, my friends. Not only was it still open but it was filled with good stuff. It was ridiculously messy and I would not recommend this place if you are new to thrifting, as the organization was fairly non-existent and the pricing system was confusing, but there were interesting things everywhere. I was with my Dad and so I only did a fairly quick sweep of the store.I didn't want to push his thrift patience and jeopardize my part of the inheritance. I bought these shoes and a silk shirt, and I am sure I would have found more if I had had more time... Not that I need more stuff... I could stand to remember that sometimes.

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What did you thrift this week?

2012-02-23

Crayon

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Blazer? Escada, thrifted (cashmere baby!) Jeans? Calvin Klein (similar here) Shoes? Taryn Rose, Winners 
Tee? Joe Fresh

Did you know I have a Facebook page? If you 'like' me, I could make your Facebooking (I made it a verb) much more exciting...
That's a lie. Facebooking gets exciting when you creep and you find out that your high school crush now lives in Nevada with three wives and a potbelly pig. All I can do is break up your Facebook feed with my soulful photographs and deep commentary. And then you can take the time to ask me if I purposefully dressed like a box of crayons. And I will say it was not on purpose, but I can understand the reference.

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Speaking of crayons... My 9 year old niece made this. She glued crayons on a canvas and blow dried the crayons until they melted into a array of amazingness. I want to do this all around my dining room, it's genius...
 

2012-02-22

Upholstery Tales

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Let's just say that my first adventure in re-upholstery was a little more intense than I had anticipated. There may have been one night when Matt came home from hockey to find me crying with a hammer in my hand and dozens of ruined upholstery tacks around me. When I bought this bench (in its original state below) at a garage sale last summer for $40, I thought  it would be easy to 'just re-upholster' it. I mean, isn't that what they do on those design blogs? They just re-upholster stuff and make a whole lot of fabulous, no?

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I actually loved the original fabric but it was completely threadbare and falling apart. It had to go. And then we (my Papa was helping me for this part...) tore off the old cover and we saw the straw-like interior. It had to go. And since the back of the backrests and the bottom of the bench were actually pieces of old cardboard from the 80's, they had to go as well. So I bought new fabric, stuffing, foam, wood backing, upholstery trim and 3 packs of tacks. All of that cost a lot more than my original garage sale steal of $40. I was beginning to see that this little bench was not going to be my deal of the year, instead it was going to be a life lesson... or something as equally profound.

I didn't really do any research before I started re-upholstering. I asked the lady at the foam store a question or two but for the rest, I am a firm believer that ignorance is bliss. The bench was not going to be used much  so my main concern was that it looked nice. It was a slow process to clean out the whole bench, remove the hundreds of nails, paint the wood, cut out new backings, shape the stuffing and nail in the new upholstery.  However, the hardest part came at the end as I secured the trim with the upholstery tacks. The waste rate for upholstery tacks was at a shameful 55%. I had to go back to the store twice to buy more tacks and that original 3 packs turned into 8 packs. The problem was that the old wood was so brittle that it would splinter or just not allow the nails or tacks to go in. So many tacks got bent and ruined under the pressure... it was this impossible little task to find the sweet spot and the right amount of pressure to get the tack secure in the wood without it bending the tack or ruining the wood. I was intent on the tacks being perfectly aligned but at some point I had to admit defeat in the exchange for sanity. When Matt walked in on see me crying, I was getting about 6 tacks in per hour... It was tedious. Though it's worth noting, as I have before, that I am an easy cry. Matt walking in on me crying is about as common as pictures of foam topped coffees on Instagram...

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And so this is the story of how I learned that upholstery is likely not in my future and how patience is not my virtue. I spent too much money. I wasted too much time. I said too many bad words. But in the end, I got a great little bench in my closet... 

2012-02-20

Castle Facts

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Sweater? Local resale store Jeans? Seven for all Mankind, Winners (here) Boots? Charles David, thrifted 
Belt? Roots, thrifted Necklace? Thrifted Shirt? C&C, Winners (here)

This is likely the most famous door in Hamilton. I can't tell you the amount of family pictures that local photographers have set up in front of this door... I get it. It's a pretty great door.
The door is part of Dundurn Castle, incidentally one of my favourite places to take pictures (here, here and here). It's usually quiet after hours and there are so many interesting spots to explore. The last time I actually went inside Dundurn Castle I was 8... I don't remember much from that school trip, but I do recall asking the tour guide a completely off-topic question about Russian Roulette... I was being a brat, just to show off my extensive Grade 3 smarts. Weird that I remember that...
A few weeks ago I figured it was time I to go take a tour again. This way I know what room I am peaking into when we take pictures (now I know that I am standing outside the formal dining room). I went with my dad and because it was the slow season, we got a private tour. The most interesting thing we learned during the tour is that 3 beers were included as part of the servants' daily wages. I think this is the place where I need to make a lame attempt at a joke about Matt wanting to work there... We also learned that the men had smoking jackets and a smoking room that they frequented in order to keep the tobacco smell from infiltrating the whole house. Sadly, this smoking room was directly below the sick room. The room where the lady of the house lay dying of Tuberculosis. Ironic...
I didn't learn anything about Russian Roulette though. I also didn't ask any obnoxious questions about it either... I'm growing up.

2012-02-17

Short and Sweet?

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Skirt? h&m (similar here) Sweater? Thrifted Wool blazer? Thrifted Scarf? Joe Fresh (similar here)
Shoes? Boutique 9, thrifted (similar here) Bracelets? Thrifted and from The Ex

I am trying to make a more conscious effort to only buy clothes that will fit into my wardrobe and last for years. Sometimes I fail horribly at that effort. Like that time I went to h&m and I saw this skirt and bought it without even trying it on. Tsk tsk. Turns out the skirt is a little short even by my low (short?) standards... I figured that I could still wear it as long as my sweater was slouchy and my tights were opaque. But the tights that appeared opaque at 6 a.m. as I scrounged through my drawers were actually quite sheer once the daylight arrives.
This is as scandalous as I get... well, except for that one time I shoplifted chapstick in Gr. 9...

2012-02-15

She Thrifted

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Meet Julie from We So Thrifty. She thrifted that cardigan and her mom thrifted that dress. Go Julie's Mom!
There is so much to say about Julie... First of all, she lives in Hamilton. I am always peeking at her pictures to see if I can recognize where she is posing. I could just ask her but I amuse myself by creeping her pictures instead. She shops at all the same places I shop at, so it's fun to read about my familiar stomping grounds through a different perspective. In 2012 Julie broke up with the mall (you can read all about it here in a rather cute post) and is now on a strict thrift diet. I love my thrift stores but I don't know if I can break up with Winners... two thumbs up to my girl Julie!
Best of all, Julie weaves these great stories in her blog posts. Stories about her highschool days, about the fonts used by Christian Dior (seriously a fascinating read) and about the thrifted treasures in her mama's house.
I also just found out she has the same silk wrap dress that I have but in a slightly different print. I can only see this ending on one way... a joint outfit post. There will be so much animal print your eyes will burn... get ready!

2012-02-14

Valentine's Gifts

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Vest? Thrifted (similar here) Sweater? Zara Skirt? Adec, Winners (similar here) Boots? Aldo Purse? Thrifted

And so it is Valentine's Day. I've mentioned it before but we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day that much... I know... Go ahead, kick me out of the blogosphere. Last night as we went to bed, Matt said he was starting to feel sick and I had this twisted thought that maybe my Valentine's Day present to him was him getting the same cold that has been plaguing me for a week and a half. That is so wrong... I am ashamed. The good news is that Matt woke up healthy this morning and I woke up still feeling crappy; it's only fair.
I was feeling pretty guilty that I even thought those thoughts until I remembered that I gave Matt the best Valentine's Day gift of all. I went to see The Vow yesterday... without him. He's very grateful about that.

2012-02-13

Cat Lady Seeking Cat Ladies

I can't walk by a cat on the street without wanting to coax it over to chat with me. I got busted doing that a few weeks ago by some teenage girls. The cat disappeared and as I walked away, the girls meowed at me. Well played ladies... I couldn't help but laugh. I am learning to accept my cat lady status graciously.
I think people try to say 'crazy cat lady' as a negative thing but to me the term no longer carries shame. I like a cute, fuzzy face... so what?

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That's why when I got an email this weekend from a lady working for a cat rescue I cried a little... and by a little, I mean, a lot. I already knew that over 3000 cats get euthanized every year in Hamilton alone but to get an email with pictures of the cats that are due to be euthanized this week made me feel sick. In Hamilton the local SPCA is a no-kill shelter but there is also an Animal Control and they do put animals down. Cat adoption through Animal Control is a lesser known option and it can be done online. If you adopt directly from the shelter there is no fee, if a spaying or neutering is required that can be arranged at a low-fee clinic. The cats labelled as URGENT are in terrible need of a home!

This isn't a post about the politics between the Animal Control and the SPCA or why certain decisons are made... this is a post asking for your help. If you live in Hamilton or the GTA (or really anywhere in Ontario) and you can fully commit to taking in a cat, please consider doing so. Because the cats are euthanized twice a week (my heart breaks to type that), it is important to take action IMMEDIATELY if you decide to adopt a cat... You can also volunteer to provide foster care to a cat in need. Transportation, medical care and food are provided for cats in foster situations.

I know this isn't what I usually post about, I like to keep things fluffy and thifty... but please think about adopting a cat!!! Our cats bring us so much joy everyday... If you come over for coffee, Matt will probably try to get you to take a cat home with you because it is his thing to pretend to be unhappy in our be-kittened household and deep down (not so deep down), he loves the cat crew too. He gets this smug look on his face every time a purring Kyle (pictured above) snuggles up around his neck and falls asleep. I'm still working on those jealousy issues...

Take a moment and look through here to see the beautiful cats that so badly need forever homes. By adopting a cat, you will be saving their life!

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If you adopt Miss Fiona here,  please have me over to meet her!!!

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Handsome Matrix needs a home so badly... will you consider it here?


If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask Jennie, an awesome rescue agency volunteer by contacting her at jennie_birnbaum@hotmail.com... And while this post is primarily aimed at people who live locally, cat adoption is an issue across Canada and the States. Please help out if you can!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for reading this post!!! And if you adopt a cat, let me know so we can hug it out!!!!! 

2012-02-11

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

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Jacket? American Retro, Winners Jeans? Calvin Klein (similar here) Boots? Ash, Winners (here) Shirt? Thrifted Clutch? Thrifted

I'm sorry February, but you aren't the most pleasant month. I think someone (Mr. Hallmark maybe?) threw Valentine's Day in there to try and make February more appealing but I'm not sold on it. I mean, pink and red are cool and I'm always going to be a big fan of shiny hearts, but in general, Valentine's Day isn't going to save February from its low ranking.
I think that the only thing going for February are the end of season sales. Especially those sale racks at Winners (T.J. Maxx...), where stuff from obscure brands sits around and patiently waits around for me... Items like this blazer (and last year these beloved boots).  I know I danced on my soap box and preached about thrifting blazers but the exception to that post is a jacket with feather trim that is deeply discounted. Yes, it is a very specific exception... for a very special blazer.

2012-02-10

Size Wise

Most of the time I am smart enough to know that my self worth comes, not from the number on the size label inside my pants, but rather, from the number of cats I adopt... However, that doesn't stop me from having an inner celebration when I can button up a size 6 in the fitting room at the Gap. This is despite the fact that I am well aware that the size 6 has nothing to do with my vegetable consumption or my intense (lies...) work-out schedule, and everything to do with the Gap seducing me into buying a pair of pants...
We are not a number and yet, we can so easily be affected by one. I hate that I care... I really do. I mean, I'm too smart to get caught up in that, right?
And there-in lies one more reason to love the thrift store. It's a place where, at best, size labels are a starting point, not an identity. I've written a post about it before, that because clothes in the thrift store come from all over the world, come from different decades and come from a plethora of stores with completely different sizing standards, size labels have little meaning. I am often a size 8 (an Old Navy size 8 or a Zara size 8? Yeah, this can get confusing...), so at the thrift store I, at the very least, check everything on the racks from Small- Large and from size 4-12... Often items don't even have a size marked anywhere and are just thrown with other clothes based on a educated (or not) guess.
Below are examples of thrift store purchases that have not been altered at all. The proof is in the pudding... (I just googled the origin of that saying, it's not as interesting as I would have anticipated). The thrift store is probably the only place where I hardly look at the size and I base my decision to purchase on fit, not on a number printed on a label... I'm glad I have learned to have an open mind to sizing beyond size 8 in the thrift store. Because without an open mind, my closet would be a sad place lacking that red blazer, the black wool dress, the gold lace skirt and that purple long-sleeve dress... And let's keep my closet a happy place...

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