Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Minor trespass in a thrifted outfit

Since I’ve started blogging, I see walls in a whole new way. Namely, 1) are they less than a five-minute walk from the office and 2) will they make a good backdrop for pictures? N and I found a great little spot that had a brick wall, a wooden fence covered in ivy AND a random ladder prop. (The brick wall did not end up making into the pictures). We found this bloggers’ delight in one of those joint parking lots shared by a few different homes, so if you want to be technical about it, we were probably trespassing. But when you’re two girls taking pictures of each other, and you don’t appear to be using the ladder to gain entry into the house, people seem to leave you alone.

This outfit is one of my personal favourites, and I'm happy with how the pictures turned out. I brought back the pink skirt I wore in this post, and added some transition-to-fall pieces – a forest green silk button-down and fish-scale pumps in a similar hue, plus a white button-up sweater I keep at work to ward off chills. An 80s-style multicoloured belt tied the colours together. I recently realized all of my winter pants are boring black, grey and navy so I’m trying to squeeze out colour while I can! 


Cardigan – Vero Moda
Blouse – Thrifted (BCBG)
Skirt – Thrifted (Love 21 by Forever 21) (also seen here)
Belt – Thrifted
Shoes – Thrifted (Naturalizer) (also seen here and here)
Bracelets – Thrifted
Wallet – Danier
Earrings - ? (also seen here)

I'm also linking up with Silverstyle's Trending Through the Decades with Jewel Tones challenge. Check out her blog - and terrific thrifting skills - here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jumping around, and a piece of American history

 N and I took these pictures in an underground parking garage just before the start of the weekend. Clearly I needed to RELEASE SOME ENERGY. We tried to get a good jumping shot but the failed ones were just as amusing. I had a good laugh over the weekend when I started watching some home videos of me at age 2...all I did was jump!

Speaking of this weekend, B and I got to see something really neat at my friend's parents' house. They were cleaning out her grandmother's house and found a American Civil War-era service medal with a picture of President Lincoln and a flag with 13 stars. They also have a medical ledger dating from 1865 from a doctor stationed at Fort Strong. I thought it was super-cool, B was over the moon with excitement. He's going to help them find a museum or other organization that can preserve these special items and put them (hopefully) in the public domain.

Skirt - Vertigo Paris via Winners  (also seen here)
Shirt - Gap (thrifted) (also seen here)
Tank - RW & Co. 
Necklace - Sportsgirl
Sandals - Thailand markets
Bracelets - Gifted

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Honey-lemon-rosemary chicken with rice and coleslaw

Time to mix things up with a food post. I have to say, my photos don't do this dish justice. You'll have to trust me when I say it's really tasty. 
Tip and a digression: I used my Le Creuset french oven for every step of the chicken dish. The cast iron distributes heat evenly and slowly which is key for a nice glossy sauce. You can skimp on certain things for the kitchen - Dollarama cooking utensils work just fine, and you can pass on an avocado slicer or a spoon rest - but spend the money for good cookware and a decent knife set. You won't regret it. 


Preheat oven to 350. Brown 8 chicken thighs in butter or margarine then set aside. In the pot you used for the chicken, combine the juice of 4 lemons, add an equal quantity of honey and 2-3 tablespoons of fresh or dried rosemary and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, scrapping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. 

Once mixture boils, remove from heat, add the chicken back to the pot, cover and put in oven. Cook for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove chicken and set aside. Bring sauce back to a boil on the stovetop (lid off), reduce heat slightly and cook for several minutes, stirring often, until mixture is thickened and glossy enough to coat the back of a spoon. Serve over rice. 

(I haven't tried these, just thought of them!)
Add chopped shallots before cooking.
Garnish with toasted almonds or pine nuts.
Substitute a gourmet flavoured honey or a dark honey.
Add grated lemon rind.


To make dressing, combine 1/2 cup light mayo, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 T sugar, 1 tsp mustard powder and celery salt and pepper to taste. Toss with 1/2 head of chopped cabbage, a tablespoon of chopped chives and a handful of chow mein noodles for crunch.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I had a frustrating start to my birthday but the day ended on a good note. I was on a training course yesterday but had trouble finding the building because every other street in the area was closed for construction, so I got lost - several times. I also realized I don't have much tolerance for people who are too busy fiddling with the system we're being trained on to actually listen to the instructor....and then ask a bunch of questions on material THAT WAS JUST COVERED, which delays everyone. So I just sent some mental daggers into the offenders' heads and three of us who had bonded over our collective frustration flew out of there as soon as we were done the practice exercises. Then I decided to go to Costco, even though I should have taken B up on his offer to do the groceries this weekend while I hung out with my friends. Another mistake. We needed a ton of stuff, the place was a ZOO and I ended up using suitcases on wheels to lug everything from the parking garage up to the apartment - it still took two trips. Needless to say, I never made it to the gym, just to bed for a nap.

My family, B and I reunited for dinner at a very homey restaurant called Huong's Vietnamese Bistro. The kitchen happily obliged our request to 'just serve us a bunch of dishes you recommend'. This is a great option for small, family-run restaurants when you don't know the cuisine well. The food was delicious. I got some lovely prezzies: yoga pants, a clothes steamer and a duffel bag. B lined up a surprise weekend for November, which is the first weekend we're actually free. I'm not getting many hints out of him! And my Dad gave me an incredibly thoughtful gift - a DVD of old home videos of me he had converted from old technology. I can't wait to snuggle up with B and watch it.  Happy Friday all, hope you have a great weekend!!


Pants - Tuzzi (also seen here)
Tank (worn underneath) - Winners
Top - Winners
Blazer - Mexx
Necklace - Aakriti Designs
Shoes - Guess (also seen here
Bracelet - Gifted and Le Chateau

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's my birthday and I can twirl if I want to

So, the truth is this is a scheduled post of an outfit I wore a few days ago, but my tiered, tomato-red dress seemed celebration-worthy. I found it in the vintage section of my local thrift store and was intrigued about its history - maybe B's archaeology background is rubbing off on me. I googled the brand, which led me to learn that Bretton's was a high-end department store in Canada between 1985 and 1996. It fit my criteria for being  comfortable, well-made and unique. I can't wait to wear it right into fall.

On the agenda for today is a work training course that's rumoured to end early. I'm hoping to follow that up with a nice workout and then my family, B and I are going out for Vietnamese for dinner. This weekend some of my closest friends are in town so I can't wait to see them :) I'm a very low-key birthday kind of gal so I couldn't ask for a better couple of days. 


How's that for a shadow?!
I can't take any photos into the sun without my eyes watering like crazy. I'm dying here.

Skirt - Vintage (Bretton's)
Blouse - Thrifted (Chico's) (also seen here)
Necklace - Thrifted (Jones New York)
Belt - Thrifted 
Shoes - Guess
Ring - Diva

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lace top remix

N and I stumbled across this pretty ivy-covered doorway which was perfect for our photos, even if this set didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Oh well. It's actually part of an otherwise seedy-looking hotel, you know, the kind that looks like it rents rooms by the hour (*wink wink*). That's the magic of blogging - sometimes there's a totally different world going on just beyond the frame of the camera.

I've always loved this gauzy lace top with details like fabric-covered buttons and a Victorian-style collar, but it's hard to wear. For lack of the proper terms, it's got a horizontal seam separating it into upper and bottom halves, so it looks odd tucked in. And wearing layers in the winter covers a lot of the embroidery. So I decided to knot it and wear it over a simple black dress instead. The necklace was a gift from my cousins and is much cherished!



Dress - Jacob
Top - Max Studio via Winners
Shoes - Guess
Necklace - Gifted
Bracelets - Gifted and Le Chateau 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Barbie pink skirt

I've gone a little snap-happy this month in anticipation of having to pack away all my summer clothes. That means...lots of outfit posts in the next little while!

I'm happy that joining the blog world has open my eyes to the wonders (if not the smells) of thrift shopping. With my birthday approaching I decided my wardrobe needed an overhaul to better reflect my age. Between that and hearing informally that I'm up for a promotion (yay!), I've been on a couple of sprees. The mecca of Value Villages in Ottawa is the Bank Street location. $160 got me a giant bag of blazers, skirts, belts, tops, dresses...even a navy virgin wool coat which B declared to have a 'housecoat-esque quality' (I'll let you be the judge come winter). It feels selfish to buy only stuff for myself so I was thrilled to find a classic dress in my Mom's size from her favourite store that ended up fitting her perfectly :) Now I'm on a self-imposed shopping ban but I'm lining up thrift store dates with friends who want to get into it as well.

Two of my thrifted finds were this Barbie pink skirt, and grey blazer with faint pinstripes and white piping on the pockets. I like how the grey grounds the flashiness of the skirt. My camera battery died before I got any detail shots but you can see the camisole I wore underneath better in this post.

I'm not liking how the rolled cuffs look in these pictures. Oh well - hindsight is always 20/20. 

This picture is just...awkward.

Skirt - Thrifted (Love 21 by Forever 21)
Camisole - Hand-me-down
Blazer - Thrifted (Elie Tahari)
Booties - Thailand markets

Monday, August 22, 2011

Leopard prints and sorbet colours

The last time I wore this leopard-print skirt I paired it with a top in a similar tones and gold accessories. This time, I went for contrast  - a lime silk top with a tie neck and a coral cardigan with 3/4 sleeves and ruffle details on the front. I threw on a classic beige trenchcoat for the rain that was threatening all day.

I tend to be wary of thrifting shoes unless they look very new and are comfortable. These suede wedges with fringe detail from Aerosoles fit the bill and will be great for fall.


Trench - RW & Co.
Skirt - Thrifted (Joseph Ribkoff) (also seen here)
Top - Old Navy
Cardigan - Thrifted (Coupé)
Shoes - Thrifted (Aerosoles)
Earrings - Diva
Watch - from my Dad's closet
Ring - Gifted
Bracelet - Aakriti Designs