2012-03-29

Beg, Borrow, Steal

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Dress? Vintage (similar here) Jacket? Zara (similar here) Shirt? Winners Shoes? Jeffrey Campbell, StyleSense Clutch? Thrifted Earrings? Bebe (similar here) Belt? Roots, thrifted

A few years ago, I found this carved leather clutch at a thrift store and I gave it to my mom. Also a few years ago, my parents found this vintage crochet dress at a church sale and they gave it to me. Aren't we such a little thrifty, gifty family?
But beware. This is where the warm fuzzies in this post break down. Because I kept the dress and then, I took back the clutch. I am sure my original intention was to simply borrow the clutch but it's been about 3 years since I 'borrowed' it, and we need to call it as it is. I stole from my own mother. And I would do it again. This clutch is totally worth it.

2012-03-28

Snapped: Matt and Kyle

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I've been thinking lately that some pictures deserve to be rescued from my phone archives or promoted from my Instagram feed, to the blog. Especially cute pictures of Matt (the husband) and Kyle (the cat) who are excellent at being very adorable together. As much as I get frustrated over how much Kyle favours Matt over myself, my heart melts at these two little little best friends forever...

2012-03-27

Action Movies and Approvals

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Jacket? Scotch and Soda Jeans? h&m Shoes? Cole Haan, hand-me-down! (similar here) Silk shirt? Thrifted Cap? Variety store (here for $2!!) Purse? Roots 

It's official. The baseball cap got the unprompted thumbs-up from Matt. That means I didn't have to do my usual routine and ask 'do you think this looks cute?' and he didn't have to answer 'you look nice' without looking. This time Matt noted that he liked my outfit and was a fan of the baseball cap before I even had a chance to ask the empty questions. Which is kinda cool, because I was a fan of this quirky and casual little get-up myself. 
And then Matt outdid himself and took this hilarious picture of me as I was scrambling to get into the archways.  This picture makes me feel like I need to be in an action movie; chasing bad guys or perhaps being the bad guy. Sadly I don't have time to be a movie star. I'm too busy having routine conversations with my husband.  


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P.S. Did you see my interview on Tess Dress? I teach you how you pronounce my last name! I'm kidding, that's impossible... But I do talk about a lot of stuff and things.

2012-03-24

Spirit Fingers: A Nail Post

The thing with the nail art trends that are popping up all over is that they require patience and effort. I'm ok with a little effort, but patience is not my best virtue. The whole waiting for forever for your nails to dry and then ineveitably hitting your hand against the wall (where did that wall come from?) as you walk by, ruining all that work, is too much for me to handle.
But in a moment of boredom I played around with some designs and ended up with nails like this.

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These nails are the perfect return on investment. They take a little bit of effort but they last forever. I do my nails like this quite regularly now because I like to be distracted by shiny things and because the compliments from others have become addictive.

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The trick for your base colour is to use a nude shade that blends in (I used one of these by Sally Hansen). This way when your nails start to grow out, it is not painfully obvious. And yes, I am that lazy... But the very best part of this nail look is the sparkle wonder that is 'Set in Stones' by Essie. It was part of the holiday collection and I can't seem to find it in stores anywhere but it's still online here and here. This stuff is the best! Its consistency is a little thick, so it is easy to gloop (good wording, eh?... this is why I don't have a nail trend blog) the sparkles at the tips and then dry brush a few sparkles down towards the bed of the nail to soften the effect. Here is the part I like. If you screw it up, just throw some more sparkles on. If you run into a wall, just throw some more sparkles on. If you chip a bit off, just throw some more sparkles on. With a good topcoat, you can easily get a good week and a half out of this look before things get too ratty. 
Despite my enthusiams for my sparkly nails, I was perfectly content to let the photos stay on my instagram feed, never intending to do post about it. But then... I left my sparkly nails on for work and this is how well they stayed put after a  full day of landscaping. My mind blasts.

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If you can get over the fact that I don't often use gloves at work (the dirt and I are one in spirit), I hope you can be impressed with the little home manicure that could... I was so impressed I wrote a post about it. The last time I was so impressed with something, it was with Skinny Girl Margaritas... but I can't remember enough to write a post about that too... 

(Full disclosure- The following day I was working with damp snow fencing and that moisture did end up chipping off the sparkly tips. Chances are you aren't wrestling with snow fencing, so I think you will be OK...)

2012-03-23

Normal

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Pants? Thrifted (similar here) Blazer? American Retro, Winners Tee? Joe Fresh Purse? Thrifted (white and cheap here or neon and not cheap... but awesome here) Bracelets? Thrifted, Stella and Dot and reworked vintage 
Shoes? Ralph Lauren, DSW (here)

Sometimes, even when I am wearing high-waisted floral pants and a blazer with ostrich feather trim, I can think of nothing to write about. That's probably because some reality TV show is on in the background and it's hard to focus on what to write about with all the yelling going on. Why is it that people on reality TV can't seem to talk in a normal tone of voice and always need to yell at each other to make a point?

It concerns me that the next generation may grow up thinking that constant screaming is a normal way to communicate. It also concerns me that the next generation may grow up thinking that weird pants and a feathery jacket is a normal way to dress. Who am I kidding? I love this outfit. The only thing missing are some sequins. 

2012-03-21

Pink

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Skirt? Eloise c/o Tess Dress Sweater? J. Crew Factory (here) Shoes? Ralph Lauren, DSW (here
Necklaces? Clyde's Rebirth (top and bottom), J. Crew (middle-sold out but similar here and here) Purse? Roots
Pictures by Merl

I've mentioned it before... That there was a time when I liked pink a little too much. I thought that my pink hooded jacket needed the companionship of my pink sneakers and my giant pink handbag. I was also walking on the wildside back then, with some auburn streaks in my hair... streaks that often looked pink to match everything else I had going on. It was the chameleon affect... I remember that exact outfit and even better, I remember feeling pretty. freaking. cool. wearing it. I wish I could tell you my pink phase was when I was 13 years old but the truth is, it was third year university.
I can only hope I've learned some style lessons since then. At the very least, I've discovered that all a sweet pink skirt needs is a little neon and a lot of necklaces... This skirt in particular also requires some twirling action because what's the fun of a full skirt, if you can't catch some air? And would you believe it, even without the matching purse, shoes and hair, I still felt pretty. freaking. cool.

2012-03-20

The Long and Short of It

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Dress? Lida Baday, thrifted (similar skirt here) Sweater? J. Crew Factory (here) Shirt? Gap, swapped 
Shoes? Sigerson Morrison, thrifted (similar here) Purse, belt and wood necklaces? Thrifted 
Neon necklace? h&m Roots? Terrible

The story behind these outfit pictures started with some alterations. The truth is I hate doing alterations on clothing. I'll do some for myself but I have gotten much better at saying 'Ummm... no... I don't want to hem your pants. I would rather scoop kitty litter for an hour.' But there is one sweet lady I can't say no to... and that is how I ended up with two of her skirts in my fix-it pile and an apple pie as thank-you. Matt was particularly excited about this pie because for me to buy baked goods is rare and for me to bake is even more rare.
Sadly, when this delicious pie came out of the oven, I acted like a blogger and tried to instagram a picture of it immediately. That was the moment I dropped the pie all over our kitchen floor. I felt horrible (rightly so...) when Matt pointed out that I ruined a pie because I wanted a picture that badly. The lesson to learn is that you need to live your life to eat your pie, not live your life to photograph your pie.
But enough about learning and lessons... I had to go get a replacement pie! The pre-made stuff from the grocery store wouldn't cut it and so I went to a local bakery to try and make amends. I bought a new pie and some cider donuts. I took a chance and showed up with those donuts at my brother's place nearby to ask him to take pictures of my outfit. Because he loves me and because I came bearing baked goods, he agreed to take my pictures.  You need to take your opportunities as they present themselves, even if they are quite unexpected...
And that is how this outfit post is brought to you by wasted apple pie and bartered cider donuts.

2012-03-17

This Week We Thrifted

Last weekend Elissa, Jessie, Pamela (from Market Publique) and I co-hosted a little thrift tour in Austin, TX. The weather was spectacularly crappy and as much as that was a bummer, I think it ended up working in our favour. I mean, if it had been sunny and wonderful, anyone travelling from a colder climate might have preferred to soak up every ray and skip the tour. As it turns out, thrifting is the perfect rainy day activity.

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(Jessie and I sharing an umbrella and a moment... picture stolen from Megan)

We boarded the two rented buses and headed over to Savers. The people at Savers were beyond sweet... They gave us space, coupons and even had a table of food (food... which on this weekend was the most prized possession) ready for us when we walked in the doors. I was a little nervous because as much as I believe there is always something worthwhile in every thrift store, would there be enough good stuff for over 70 people? I really hoped that the people on the tour who thrift all the time would learn a little something they didn't know before and take home a successful haul. But I especially hoped that people who never thrift would get over some of their inhibitions and see that thrifting is fun. When I write 'thrifting is fun' I start to picture cheerleaders and pompoms spelling it out for us but as cheesy as it sounds, thrifting really can be a lot of fun...

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(Judging by the amount of Savers bags on the way home, one could assume it was a success!!)

The best part was hearing the stories of the participants and seeing their best finds. Some people wore their finds straight away on that same weekend! Sigh... I love the joy of thrifting...

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(clockwise starting in the top left corner, Kirsten, Diana,  Merl and Sofia)

Kirsten told me she had always had a problem getting into thrifting because it can be overwhelming. And then she probably walked out with the biggest bag full of finds. Finds I would have punked the second she turned her back.
Diana hadn't been thrifting since she was a child but might have to get back in the habit, especially after finding that pretty, pleated, pink, polka-dotted skirt. Say that 10X fast...
Merl accepted her fate as president of the Cat-Lady Federation with grace and said yes! to the multi-coloured caftan...
Sofia bought a wool, houndstooth Ralph Lauren jacket as my urging. Who am I kidding? I yelled at her... The jacket had horsehead buttons, it needed  to go home with her!

And that, my friends, is a thrift tour... Let's do that again sometime!

2012-03-15

Coat and Cape

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Cape? Thrifted Coat? Thrifted Denim shirt? Vanilia (similar here) Jeans? 7 for all Mankind (here or these are even better here) Boots? Holt Renfrew Last Call (similar here)

In an attempt to get chronological again, I still have an outfit post from before I went to Texas... It was only last week that I wore this (I can date that based on my extreme roots situation, which works like carbon dating but much more accurate) but now it seems like a month ago. That's because last week wearing a cape over a coat was a clever way to keep out the chill and now that chill has been replaced by some sunshine and good vibes. I'm not complaining... though it will be sad to put my cape away for the season after I only just found it at the thrift store. 
What I am looking forward to most this spring is bare legs, sangria on the patio and adding more boxwood hedges to my front garden. What I am going to miss most about this winter is... well, nothing.

Also, I apologize for talking about the weather a lot, it's just been so crazy that it is messing with my mind...

2012-03-14

Cheap and Charming

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Silk shirt? Jessica Holbrook, thrifted (similar here) Jeans? 7 for all Mankind (here) Shoes? L'attitude, Winners Cuff? Goodwill auction

I got this silk shirt in Texas for $2.40... I had a rather limited suitcase situation so I had to think carefully about what I was buying to bring back. Against the advise of others, I put back the purple suede skirt I had in my hands and took this oversized shirt instead. I was partial to the shirt's charms. Undoubtedly, this shirt lived its early life on the pages of the Sears catalogue, but once the shoulder pads were removed, it got a new identity. The intention was to take this mom shirt and make it modern. The good news for you is that I am so enamoured  with this shirt that I will leave the mom jeans alone for now... It's good news for me too because mom jeans make my butt look a foot and a half long. 

2012-03-13

Cover Girl

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I'm back from Texas! Tired, unorganised, kinda greasy and full of good memories. I'm sure I'll have more to say on all that later...
Last week, I never had a chance to post on something pretty exciting that happened just before I left... I was on the cover of the Go section of The Hamilton Spectator!!! This makes me a cover model, right?
The writer of the article ended up following me on a thrift adventure (a very successful thrift trip I might add... this blazer and this skirt were part of the haul) and she wrote an article about the blog and thrifting. She also wrote about my boyfriend, Matt. This boyfriend of mine likes hockey and beer and is actually my husband, Matt... I just had to clear that up before the rumour mill gets out of control. The media attention has been relentless...:)
A special thanks to The Spec for the feature and to Sheryl Nadler for writing such a nice piece about me. She was endlessly patient as I talked about thrifting... a lot. It was like the dam broke when I was talking to her and I couldn't stop yammering on about the only sport I have ever been any good at; the sport of thrift.

2012-03-08

Puppy Love

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Dress? Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar here) Jacket? Maison Scotch Shoes? Coach (similar here) Belt? borrowed Necklace? Banana Republic (similar here)

I left sunny and pleasant Ontario and made it safely to windy and rainy Texas. There is a lot wrong with that weather confusion. But my disappointment in the weather has been soothed by hugs from Kendi, margarita's with Bryan and overwhelming love from their sweet baby Carlos. I do feel bad though because Carlos is clearly favouring me over them. I woke up this morning to find Carlos waiting at my bedroom door. I hope our friendship can survive a traitorous dog...

2012-03-06

This Week I Thrifted... Something Special

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What? Forest green Gucci clutch
Where? Bibles for Mission (here)
How much? $10
Why? As if the 'why?' needs to be answered... this little beauty was a special find.

Look at me! Thanks to Bibles for Mission, I have my first designer handbag. Along with hosting the traditional Christmas dinner for the family this past year, this purchase puts me solidly into adult territory. I'm kidding. Adulthood has nothing to do with designer bags... or designer shoes for that matter.
Nevertheless, this clutch was a delight to find. It was on the ground (for shame) where it had tumbled from a little display area and I nearly passed it by. On a second glance, I stooped to pick it up and when I touched the soft silk, I knew I had a good thing. It got even better when I opened up the clutch, saw the labels and even a store tag left on! There was a second where I worried that I might be getting tricked into thrifting a counterfeit clutch but after some research, I am confident it is the real thing. The clutch is silk with perfect finishing and weighty hardware.
It's in such mint condition, that I am almost afraid to use it. Almost...

2012-03-05

Let Them Eat Cake

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Pants? Gucci, Holt Refrew Last Call (similar here) Blazer? Ralph Lauren, thrifted Tank? Joe Fresh (similar striped here or solid here) Denim shirt? Vanilia (similar here) Shoes? Dumond Necklace? Thrifted Clutch? Thrifted

When I was younger, my mom would celebrate the arrival of spring by baking a cake on the day she saw the first flower of the year. This first flower would usually appear at the end of March and it often co-incided with her birthday week as well. That meant one week could contain both a birthday cake and a spring cake. For a child who grew up with very little sugar, two cakes in one week was an extraordinary series of events.
This year, thanks to a mild winter/global warming/the hub of loving warmth that surrounds our house, the first flowers appeared in our backyard at a really early date. I put a picture of it up on Instagram last week. My mom doesn't follow my Instagram (but you can... myeditblog...) so she might not yet know that it's cake time. 
Without a cake, I celebrated spring as a fashion blogger instead and exposed my ankles.

(And yes, I realize that we are not in the clear and there is still chance of a big snowstorm that will squash all my early spring dreams.)