Monday, July 30, 2012

chambray and a dress

our charity denim fridays for the summer at work is kind of hard to carry on given the heat. the brutal drought weather isn't helping me wrap my mind around wearing jeans to the office. the solution is a dress of course!! lol. 

my affinity for structured dresses is pretty predictable, but this can be styled in so many ways. switch to a pair of wedges, and i've got a weekend mom outfit. this is from land's end (they ship to canada my dear canucks!) and i took the petite in this dress (link here). this was my first time buying from them, and i used their sizing chart. wearing the 2P and it is a bit big on the sides but it is not obnoxiously big. in fact, i'd have worn this with a belt in any event. with the extra 30% off sale on this dress, it came home for a total of about $50. 

outfit - dress: land's end, here; belt: club monaco, old, similar here; shoes: christian louboutin "jaws"; bracelets: hermes; necklace: j crew, here

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

PFC #18: what to wear to impress your date!

for this petite fashion challenge, hosted by amazing amber at easy petite looks, (go to her blog to check out all of the participants) she challenged us to dress to impress:

What to wear to... impress your date! 
I think this PFC will be a lot of fun for all of us, regardless of whether we’re single or in a relationship. The single ladies should be awesome at this. I’m excited to get some inspiration from you! For the taken ladies, we still need to dress up for date night (at least once in a while!!). Generally, I think we wear what makes us feel good, regardless of what other people think. But what is your secret for making your outfit a little more memorable?? Have fun with this one!
But what is your secret for making your outfit a little more memorable?? Have fun with this one!
Bonus points for pics taken with your dates or on a girls night out!!

sadly, no bonus points for me.. hubby and i don't go out on date nights much. when we do go out, he generally doesn't like the fancy restaurants, and likes low key places (patios) and going to the movies.  my attempts to make the date-night outfit a bit more fun and memorable would be to add some fun shoes like the rockstuds. spikes. spikey spikes..  and a kitten heel (i swear i can walk for days in these shoes).

i have grown to love how studs and spikes can work into outfits.  in small doses, it can be really feminine (like in this post). i really love this zara top - it's so fun with the safari cut but the buttons are little spikes. they are likely the cutest itty bitty spikes i've seen. (we won't tell them that they're cute.. i don't think they'd like that - they're still way cool though). if i weren't doing a date night thing - for an office look, switch out the shorts for a black pencil skirt or wide legged black pants with a solid pump. 

outfit - blouse: zara, new collection but not yet online, similar here and another option here; shorts: H&M; shoes: valentino rockstud kitten heels, wore them here; necklace: liz claiborne, old; bracelet: banana republic island mosaic bracelet on sale here; extra arm accessory: band-aid :P)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the bare accessories

i was asked if i could list out what i thought were essential if i had to parse down to the bare essentials of accessories. i've gone hog-wild hoarding collecting accessories over the years, but if i had to boil it down to "necessities".. this was tough to do! hope you like my list! 

what would be your list of bare accessories?

1. one classic necklace and one statement necklace: the classic pearls are versatile, and can be worn dressed up or down. you can pair it with a suit, dress, or jeans and a tee. a statement necklace gives a wow factor to an outfit. the only drawback with a statement necklace is you can't make the same statement all. the. time. but a good piece can make a fun change to a basic.

left: ram necklace, j crew; pearls, from my mom

2. a good watch:  a classic watch will also go a long way. i love my oversized michael kors watch. it has an oversized big face, men's wear inspired, and i can wear it in and out of the office.

3. a solid gold or silver bangle or cuff: you don't have to stack all of them (though it would be fun!) but if you got a solid gold or silver, it would be a great basic accessory. if you grow to stack, they are fantastic foundation pieces to stacks. after the stack fad subsides, worn alone, they are very elegant. 

silver cuff and gold hammered bangles: t+j designs; small gold bangle: the Bay

4. one statement bracelet: just as you would with a classic, if you were to add anything, make it divergent from a timeless piece. while the timeless pieces can be good and reliable, a good statement piece can also be a lot of fun. they don't have to be expensive. there are many vendors who sell this starfish bracelet. i got this one from ebay for 17$.

5. belts: my go-to staple belts are skinny belts. i can wear them around pants, but also higher up to give a definition of a waist. black is a good classic of course, but if you want to have fun, a  leopard print is just as versatile. 

black belt: tommy hilfiger, suede; leopard belt: j. crew

6. a wide belt - similarly to the skinny belts, if you were to venture outside that zone, a wider belt gives you versatility with outfits in the same way. i've worn this club monaco belt with jeans, and with dresses.

7. a good black pump: shoes for me are one of the ultimate accessories. however, a classic black pump is a necessity for any wardrobe in my opinion. it can be a simple pump, slingback, kitten heel or wedge. with a classic shape, these can be worn for work or with jeans. i've worn all of these shoes to death, and they live permanently in my office.

top - left: valentino kitten heel; right: tory buch slingbacks
bottom - gucci wedges; louboutin simple pumps

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Monday, July 23, 2012

weekend paisley

our family went on a mini-weekend trip.  now that the kids are a bit older, we have been trying to incorporate a bit of everything for everyone. while we try to spend as much time together as possible, it is a holiday for us all, so we try to accommodate everyone.

we went to a waterpark resort, where the boys got to run freely and play in the water, which they adore. as part of the group itinerary, i was able to meet up with a dear and amazing girlfriend for breakfast, and a quick shop stop. i had a lot of fun at yorkdale mall (hit H&M, tory burch, j crew and holt renfrew in my alloted 2 hours). hubby got to go hang with some buddies for a while. while it is a bit rushed for the parentals, at least there is a bit of a compromise and we all get a little bit of our own time. 

do you try to partition time while on holidays?

outfit - denim jacket: zara, similar here; linen t-shirt, zara, shorts: j crew, here (sold out but style #79117; belt: hermes; bracelets: club monaco; shoes: havainas; purse: marc by marc jacobs
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

coveting: j crew new arrivals

i knew i was doomed when i got that "new arrivals" email from j. crew. the first thing that comes to mind for me though is "how much more do i need to get from there? don't i own most of it in some form or iteration??"  of course, each time, i always end up coveting something new.

the trick with j crew is two-fold (well, for me anyways). firstly, you need to figure out what pieces will fly off the shelves both in store and online. each season has particular pieces that just won't wait for a sale or first mark-down. secondly, ask yourself if you will be devastated that you missed out on an item if you wait too long. that's usually my gauge for what i should pounce on. lesson? the gap and j crew dot chambray blouses. i waited too long despite knowing that they would fly off the shelves. now they're pretty much sold out everywhere! 

i've pinned and earmarked these as items to watch. j crew prices in canada are higher than in the US. add shipping and duties, it's always a math game for me whether i'm okay spending full price. was there anything that caught your eye with new arrivals?

i am a total sucker for blazers, so have to be strategic about blazer buys. this is a really fun one from the picture: shrunken blazer in embroidered plaid, here. this may merit serious consideration because it is catalogue/online only.

the pepper tweed jacket is so cute - *brain explodes with tweedy goodness*

sleeveless shift dress in pepper tweed, here. i own so many dresses, this will be a definite sale wait for me. but at first cut. my size doesn't tend to stick around long when classic pieces go on sale.

this optic dot tee is a great separate and will be great for layering.

this port of call sweatshirt, here is quirky and different. i can totally see this with a pair of jeans for the weekend, or if i want to rock the boat, wearing it with a pencil skirt and heels at work. 

everly cap toe pump, here - a pointy toe box and contrasting cap toe? sign me right up!! i got the zara ones in the camel and black toe box last season (was it last season? i can't remember..), and love that look. it's very chanel, very classic, very chic. definitely keeping my eyes peeled.

another fun shoe is the etta cap toe pump, here. it looks too similar to the zara pair i have (in concept..) and the dominating ivory colour may not suit my colouring, but she sure is pretty to look at!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

neutral dots

i've finally booked my flight to washington DC to see my best friend in august. i am SO excited!! she and i talk regularly but it will be really great to spend a weekend with her and catch up in person. knowing me as she does, she told me she has planned shopping adventures.

when i go to the US, i try to get to stores that aren't accessible to me in canada - brick and mortar j crew, ann taylor, h&m and other boutiques. i don't always buy but I definitely knows that i have to try things on because some sizing things, i can't guess for online purchases like shoes, and bottoms. if i buy, it is usually because i know i can't get it here. 

my trips to the US are always part shopping spree, part shopping recon. i have to be very strategic about where i want to go because i'm there to visit, not to shop!! my next trips will likely be NYC and chicago to meet up with my other besties!!  *rubs hands with glee* 

do you have any shopping strategies when you travel?

isn't this necklace awesome!? i saw a spiked necklace on Kelly at alterations needed (here) and loved how she made a spiked necklace look feminine. one day, i was out of town for work and stopped into F21 on the way to a meeting (some people say distracted travelling.. i call it multi-tasking..) found this necklace there and one of my first spiked items came to be.

outfit - top: j crew linen dot popover, here; skirt: bcbg, old; shoes: ralph lauren collection; bracelets: hermes, club monaco here; necklace: forever 21
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

lady like

happy hump day! this week has been an interesting transition for me. we completed a major project that now has me back in the office keeping civilized work hours. while i enjoy having more time to myself (dear 15 hour days.. i won't miss you. love, P), i have to re-program my pacing to not go "all out" all the time. this is the balance part that i tell younger colleagues about. when life gets crazy busy at work, it is imperative to take advantage of the down times, or you will burn out.

how do you try to balance out quieter times at work?

i'm wearing the tory burch addis dress (sold out at neimans, nordies, but still at saks here) in terms of sizing, i find tory burch to run true to size. this dress is a XS. i don't understand why the model on saks has it so big that it hangs like a bag though..

outfit - dress: tory burch, here, shoes: christian louboutin rose indien yoyo, similar here and here; necklace: c/o t+j designs, here - use PHIPHI for 15% off

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Monday, July 16, 2012

in the navy

it may seem bizarre, but when i want to relax, i go to the mall. my husband considers it "cruel and usual punishment" but i like to wander around, stop into stores, try things, touch clothes. it's funny but women shop by touching things. i may not necessarily like a piece of clothing, but i'll rub it to see what it's about. it's also quiet time for me, because usually none of the boys want to go with me, so i get to grab a starbucks, putter around for a bit and just be. 

now, the only exception to this "retail therapy" thing for me is christmas. at that time, the mall is avoided. at all costs. and i buy presents online. with gift wrapping. :P do you believe in "retail therapy"?

outfit - blouse: zara, here; skirt: banana republic, here; belt: tommy hilfiger boys; shoes: zara, here; bracelets, aldo accessories and hermes clic H; necklace: F21, here)
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Friday, July 13, 2012

denim shorts

TGIF! it's the weekend! i had a crazy week at work, a while back. my colleagues that worked around the clock with me and i celebrated by having a really fun and relaxed lunch out at a patio. nothing screams civilized like a patio, good friends, and sparkly girly drinks. on the way back, we stopped in forever 21 and i was floored to have found this blouse. you have to know that i never find anything in forever 21. never. happy weekend to you all!!

outfit - top: forever 21, similar here; shorts: joe fresh, here; shoes: town shoes, old, similar here; belt: club monaco, old, similar here; bag: rebecca minkoff; bracelet: hermes

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

lieber blog award and one lovely blog award!

it must be christmas in july because 2 lovely bloggers, with each passing day awarded me a lieber blog award and laura at pieces of love a lovely blog award. 

i really can't express how amazing and humbling it is that other bloggers and readers are enjoying my little blog. i am grateful for each comment that is posted here, and each time you visit, it is seriously the most awesome thing, so thank you all for your love and support!

the liebster blog award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. thank you to WEPD and Laura for the nomination!

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs!

  • 11 things about myself
1. i am a tomboy and geeky nerd at heart.
2. i love comic books (seriously.. you should listen to me talk with my brother in law about comic book movie adaptations and whether they're true to character) and sci-fi shows (buffy, supernatural, battlestar galactica..)
3. some of my best, closest and dearest friends do not live in my city but we email/chat/phone almost daily
4. i don't like to swim.. or big bodies of water
5. horror movies freak me out - after i saw "the ring", i had to sleep with the lights on for 2 weeks
6. my family and friends come first before anything i can do for myself. always.
7. even though i read more than a human should during the day with my job, i really enjoy reading books in my down time
8. before kids, i used to do martial arts on a regular basis and was a black belt
9. i am a klutz
10. i love to eat salty things more than sweet - i'd rather skip dessert to eat more dinner 
11. cooking is my other passion

  • With Each Passing Day's Questions:
1. If you were given the chance to meet your favorite blogger, who would it be and why? this is the hardest question, as i read many blogs and have so many favourites. if i had to narrow it down to one, it would be Jean at ExtraPetite. she is the first blog i "followed" and i love her style and grace. she's also very elegant and classy - and able to mix high and low effortlessly. while i cannot sew to save my life, i also enjoy seeing how she transforms something. 

2. What is your favorite movie? my favourite movie is "superman", released in 1978, starring christopher reeve and was directed by richard donner. a close second is "star wars: episode IV a new hope" which is the original one from 1977, starring mark hamill, carrie fisher and harrison ford. (i told you i was a geek)

3. What is the one thing you cannot live without? if it is a material thing, it would be lip gloss. 

4. Do you speak another language? i speak 3 languages: english, french and vietnamese. i can swear and order coffee in other languages, but they may not count. :)

5. What country have you visited or would like to visit? i would love to visit florence, italy, any part of australia and bali. 

6. If you could have any person's wardrobe collection, who would it be? i covet too many people's wardrobe collections!!

7. Have you ever done anything spontaneous? the most spontaneous thing i've ever done is go on a blind date with a guy, who ended up being my husband.

8. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? i would love to learn cooking at the cordon bleu 

9. What is one word that would describe your personality? i'd use "sassy"

10.What was the best advise your mom ever gave you? have your own career/identity

11. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose to be? wonder woman. she rocks.

  • My 11 questions:
1. what is your biggest fear?
2. in terms of your job/studies, did you end up doing what you thought you would when you were younger?
3. if you could buy one thing without worrying about the price tag, what would it be?
4. what is your idea of a relaxing day?
5. how did you meet your best friend?
6. what is your biggest pet peeve?
7. if you could have an alternate career, what would it be?
8. what is your favourite season and why?
9. what is your greatest accomplishment?
10. where do you see yourself in 5 years?
11. if you could change one thing from your youth, what would it be?

I am also nominating the following sweetest, kindest, lovely bloggers for the lieber blog award (i also know some other amazing bloggers --> check out my blogroll!)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

dots and dots

this is an amalgam of my favourites of the season dots and peplum. the navy and white interplay was fun and my son called it the opposites outfit.  while i have always loved polka dots, i have fallen for peplum this season. to be frank, i have still not figured out why i simply cannot get enough of it... has there been a trend this season that you have fallen head over heels for?

*piper says hi*

outfit - top, zara, similar here and here; skirt, j crew sold out (style number 72981. also wore it here); belt: asos; bracelets, mix and t + j designs bangles; shoes: christian louboutin nude yoyo; watch: michael kors

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