Thursday, July 31, 2008
I haven't yet posted on these topics, for a number of reasons, among them: It may be the most boring thing you've ever read; I'm not a health professional (not that this has ever stopped me in the past); and, let's face it, what works for each of us is based, in no small measure, on how individual chemistry gets it on with basic science. So I'm not exactly out to promote the book tour. Oh, and then there's the small matter that I'll need to write multiple posts, just to scratch the service of my high-maintenance ways.
Let's also call a spade a spade. There's eating and living well to be healthy (worthy goal) and eating and living way to be more lovely (also a worthy goal, IMO, but one that's fraught with complicated subtext). It's hard for me to detangle the two but that distinction may be very relevant to some of you...
So let me put it to y'all out there in Bloggywood: Might you actually want to hear about my strategy and opinions? (Please don't feel the need to be polite. Nothing is more wretched than coming to your fun fashion blog only to hear about some idiot girl's food diary...)
Oh, and while I'm asking the questions: How much time and/or energy do you invest in maintaining your health through diet and exercise / looking the way you want to look?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So here are the guidelines (I'm so over calling them rules!):
1) Link to the blogger you received it from.
2) Give it to 7 blogs.
3) Link to those 7 blogs.
4) Leave those seven bloggers a comment about receiving the award.
As so many blogs have received this already, I've opted to highlight some sites that I'm still getting to know. Apologies for any duplication - but, I say you, can't be tagged too many times with an award acknowledging your great site...
No Signposts in the Sea
The Vintage Society
And here are a couple of perennial faves:
Godammit, I'm Mad!
I'll leave the 7th spot available to any brilliant new blogger who's looking for some love. Just let me know...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Here are three worth taking a close look at:
Of course I love this blog because its tone, in general, reminds me of mine! Sal writes about fashion-infused experiences as they impact her life. And because she does it so deliciously, I know I'm going to enjoy whatever she has to say. She roped me in with her rather serious, incisive posts about weight (and stepping on the scale). But she's quite light-hearted for the most part... And doesn't her blog win best name of the week!?
This blog deserves an award for making tolerable - nay enjoyable - to me beautiful design layouts without calling up that lowbrow status anxiety which my husband likes to point out is beneath me. Somehow the photos shown are inspiring and democratic. More about dash than cash (and if that's not true I'd prefer to live in the fantasy). It's the renegade, design analogue of the downtown fashion blog. Could I actually be maturing, I wonder? Or is this site a work of genius? I'll let you decide...
That's the thing about exploring a new genre, before you know it, you find yourself smack dab in the middle of broader community. You know, like-mindedness and all that... At any rate, Please Sir hooked me up with Decorno (mash up of Decor and Porn) where I discovered a) witty, acerbic writing on a variety of entertaining topics and b) one of the most arresting images I've seen since, well, ever:
I'm not going to lie, this blog may test your ability to handle gorgeous interiors you will lament never being able to achieve...
Hold on. I'm taking that back. You know how we all love fashion whether it comes wrapped in Hermes ribbon or discovered, like a gem, off the beaten path? You know how personal style is a function of mindset, confidence and a great eye? Well I'm extending my boundaries, people. I hereby declare interior design fashion for your home. And if I can swing it fairly believably on my imperfect self with my imperfect budget, I can sure as hell do it with a piece of beautiful architecture.
Leading me to wonder, are blogs the new therapy?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Bangs are a French woman's botox.
HILARIOUS! Not only is it true that bangs are cute and a la mode, they hide any lines that years of expressive communication have wrought.
Now, due to her amazing skin-care regimen, healthy lifestyle and good genes, Ms. E doesn't have a wrinkle to her name (not that I malign wrinkles, mind you. Nonetheless, bangs are an amusing distraction in these crazy times.
So, in the spirit of bringing her into the fold, here's a glimpse of my haircut experience today.
We went from muffin head to close cropped in the blink of an eye (full of fine, itchy hairs!).
This shot manages to look a) horrible and b) nothing like me (cuz I'm gorgeous, ok?). It's simply a vehicle for showing the hideously long bangs:
Here we are after the haircut but before the colour. The fringe is shorter than ever - but that's the kind of haircut risk-taker I am :-). Gotta love me in that robe!:
FYI, it is seriously difficult to take a photo of yourself using a cell phone camera without cutting off half of your face and forehead.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yesterday's post was inspired by this idea that's been tumbling around my brain for a while...
As you know, I don't have all the space in the world and I don't have a trust fund. I don't work at a fashion magazine or a sexy agency. I do not own a gallery. People don't pay me to dress stylishly. So why do I shop so frequently? More to the point, why do I buy?
Of course, the answer isn't simple. (Arguably the question isn't either.) I shop because I love the activity. You know how some people knit. That's how I shop. It's not some mindless function for me. It's a creative undertaking, a perfect form of mood alteration, a social occasion. Not unlike a fine meal or yoga or sex.
I shop because I enjoy observing beautiful things in their natural habitat. That stripey nautical T in it's spot at Club Monaco. That perfect snakeskin bag at Apt. 909. These items exist so harmoniously with their appealing surroundings that I can't help but to want to experience them for myself. And then, what starts as a theory, when it looks right on me, becomes utterly compelling. Come on, you know that feeling. There's nothing like becoming one with something new (especially if it had another life before you).
Vintage is perhaps the most appealing, not only because of its general pricepoint, but because it's like that badass boyfriend who took all those drugs and fucked those other girls before you. It's lived a life, you know. It was there a long time ago and it will likely outlive you and that is powerful shit.
So that's part of why I shop - who can even quantify the full landscape of reasons - but why do I buy? As people have suggested to me (and to themselves, I'm sure), why not look and touch and try and then walk away? Well, peeps, believe it or not, how much I shop is a testimony to how much I walk away - if this makes any sense at all. I frequently walk. I always buy less than I want. And sometimes that sadness for the objet that got away trails me for miles like a stray leaf caught in the breeze.
Which is why I love shopping with and for others. I am thrilled to search out beauty on behalf of someone else. Occasionally, it even blinds me to the gorgeous things I'd like for myself and I have a true "cake eating" experience. All the creativity, the opportunity to perform a service, a chance to observe someone grow in confidence with lovely new purchases, all on someone else's dime. I know, the selflessness :-)
I'm curious to know why you shop. Do you think you have a "problem" or are you a collector? Do you curate the pieces, treat them with the love and respect they deserve or are they, eventually, creative clutter at the bottom of your drawer? Please share your thoughts...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The closet organization has to rival that of the shelves at Marlowe. This is what will make your former purchases as enticing as new ones.
Those things you bought and then forgot about immediately (or wore a lot and then retired temporarily) must be clean and pristine. If the skirt you haven't worn in 3 seasons has a moth hole and 2 buttons missing, you're not exactly going to grab at it.
IMO, you should start the home shopathon with a list of all the things you're hoping to end up with - much as if you were out for a regular retail experience. If you're looking for a cool body suit / fitted T / pair of denim shorts, that's what you need (desire). How cool to want it - as you did at some past moment when you actually procured it - and then find it (already folded and colour coded on the bottom shelf) for free?
Don't kid yourself. You bought these things at one point because you loved or needed or wanted them. As such, you'll likely feel the same way again if you give the garment half a chance. And, if you look at it (that thing you lost at the back of the closet days/weeks/months/years ago) for more than 10 minutes and get an itchy "yuck" sensation, please toss it. I mean recycle it. Because it probably isn't ever going to flip your switch but it might just be perfect vintage to someone else...
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Seriously, I haven't taken off that painted shell necklace since I bought it. I wish I could figure out its vintage. I did email HQ but I haven't heard anything back so if anyone has any ideas, pls let me know.
Oh and, PS, I realize that the garden looks like shite here. It's because the part we haven't yet landscaped (the weed farm behind the tree) is taking over. If ever I could remember to turn myself around, prior to taking a photo, you'd see the pretty - which is to say orderly - view.
However, having recently read a post on Susie's blog, in which she cheerfully admitted to posting less than flawless images in the interests of showcasing the fashion object at hand - you know, the thing you care about - I'm working on becoming less uptight compulsive perfectionist.
PPS The alter ego who can't bear to read home decor magazines because they so starkly highlight her many shortfalls, is hoping you won't think less of me.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The lingerie, while it spans A - J cup territory, has never really worked for me. The back sizes are just too big (even at a 30) and the cup sizes are cut, if not small, then strangely. Let's just say this brand is for a different body type than mine. Nonetheless, I think they make some very functional and pretty things (if a bit fussy) that probably work really well for women who aren't stick thin and, as a result, don't have the smallest chests in the world (this in contrast to small women who have narrow frames and large boobs).
You know about my manifesto to beautify the shape of tits the world over, one well-fitted bra at a time. And the Change philosophy really is about selling women underwear that fits (as a result they don't sell online). So I'm down with it, even if I'm not going to buy. Oh, and did I mention that you can get a bra for less than $100.00. For a well-constructed, attractive bra in a larger size, that's fairly impressive.
Check out a couple of pretty looks (couldn't download the more interesting pics, so you're stuck with their "basics" unless you check out the actual site)...
You know bras and bikini tops are similar, but different, beasts. What I really appreciate about Change's swim line is that it actually sizes the bikini tops with standard bra measurements and those sizes go from teeny to ample. The tops, as it happens, seem more suited to my shape than the bras. Maybe it's the way the fabric stretches, maybe it's that the bikinis are just better cut for me? They seem to work well for women with boobs that tend to spill out from the top (rather than bottom heavy breasts). Now that I think about it, they probably work quite well with fake tits.
Perhaps you know the general rule that you should go up a back size in bathing suits. It's this fact, I imagine, that makes the bikini tops actually fit me snugly (but not bulge-y tight) where the bra bands are just too big. Change has created numerous styles (see here) to accomodate women of many different breast shapes and coverage needs. They're bottoms are really generous and tops often come with a choice of skimpier and fuller bottoms from which to choose.
I tried, and really liked, the blue halter, #10 in the Flash slideshow. It gave great lift and a very sculptured line. And, it's on sale for 50% off! (BTW, tops and bottoms are sold separately...) I didn't buy it because, quite honestly, I rarely wear swimsuits and yet have managed to purchase 2 this summer already. And, while I'm warming up to the bikini - if Helen can do it, so can I! - I think I should get used to the one I just bought, first. Oh, and the suit above fits really snugly in the top. So it was practically pornographic. It's more a look for St. Tropez than Christie Pits Public Pool, if you know what I mean.
If anyone has bought from Change, do let us know what you think...
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Well, in the spirit of this - more in the spirit of having dispensed with all the away-cating I'm likely going to do for the foreseeable future - I decided to pretend TO is Mtl. And, then, when I realized that seemed pathetic, that it didn't quite do justice to this sophisticated city in which I live and which some people actually enjoy, I decided to pretend TO is fun. Not a word most people associate with this industrious bastien of commerce.
Cut to our Sunday lunch at Terroni on Queen St., a restaurant staple that is both uniquely TO and the real deal. 80-year old moms touch shoulders with tv personalities. First dates intermingle with harried (but hip) new parents and tiny tots.
And, though I didn't get a photo, we managed to dine today with the (not exactly warm and fuzzy) food-god himself, Susur Lee. Um, you know you're not eating crappy-style when Susur's at the table to your right.
Here are a few candid photos:
In case you're wondering if Mr. Lee was comped his meal en famille, the answer is a succinct "no". (I sneakily checked out the bill on his table as we were leaving. Don't judge: It was research.)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Note that this looked and tasted fantastic but, regrettably, got mixed up with my daughter's "decaf cappuccino" so I had a headache till lunchtime while she was literally so boing-boing wired I practically had to body-check her. Till I figured it out. Then I was seriously irritated. Like a caffeine addict needing a fix.
And here's Holt's Cafe, a place I always visit whenever I'm in Montreal. Of course, I live a mile away from my own Holt's Cafe (on Bloor Street), where I can get hideously overpriced, tiny meals in a space-aged modern room anytime I'd like, but somehow that location has no appeal.
This place is so truly "ladies who lunch" that child portions are actually larger than the adult meals and wine by the glass is excessively, ahem, generous.
Here are a few more photos of the beautiful Holt Renfrew Montreal. This truly is a beautiful shopping space:
Friday, July 18, 2008
At any rate, Dex has one store (that I've been able to find), on St. Laurent north of Sherbrooke, in a block with zillions of appealing shops like Space FB and Lola and Emilie and U&I. (There's also quite a lot of crap on this lively block, for what it's worth. Oh, and Schwartz's Deli. I hate smoked meat but if you're into it, apparently there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Not even NY... I've never walked past that place in 20 year's worth of visits without seeing a lineup out the door.)
I always stop into the Dex store in search of a well-priced gem of the "unwrinkleable at the bottom of the handbag" variety. It's a discount location of sorts, meaning that everything seems always to be on sale for 50% off the tag price (at least every time I've been there it has been).
Here's a great little dress I got for $40.00 (originally $80.00):
Isn't the drop-waist cute? Don't you like the creamy, off-white shade (so much easier to wear than stark white)? And who doesn't love a zip front dress?? (Talk about ease-of-access!) Yesterday I wore this with a yellow cardi and the red gladiators and I felt so modern, so street. Of course, I'm a woman who italicizes the word street, so perhaps you oughta take it with a grain of salt...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Look, I'm know you've seen this. I'm sure Access Hollywood has it on high-rotation. (And with good cause.) Even those Fug Yourself women couldn't come up with anything bitchy to say...
Holy crap this woman kicks ass. I want to look like her right now, never mind when I'm sixty-fucking-three years old. (Bet you didn't think I had the wherewithal to curse so many times in such a short space.)
Please corroborate my opinion...
I was struck with melancholy-tinged pleasure as I wandered from piece to amazing piece (the Mondrians, the Picassos, the Russian collection, Nan Kempner's burgundy wool jumpsuit in size minus 2, extra tall). As other bloggers have mentioned, it's not a vast show. But there's not an inch of wasted space.
My daughter particularly enjoyed an embellished, beaded wedding garment with the writing "Say You'll Love Me Forever".
I got two photos before the security person advised that it was "illegal" to snap shots. Fair enough. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.*
*Honestly, they don't do justice to the detail up close...
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Meet Judy and Amanda, graphic and fashion designers respectively (by day) and sales associates extraordinaire on the occasional weekend whilst their friends Angie and Tyson, co-owners of HQ, are busy out of the store:
HQ is a gallery (downstairs) and a boutique (upstairs) with an emphasis on local talent (Angie's own line is called Norwegian Wood) and eclectic vintage accessories. It's also the place where I got these shoes lo those many weeks ago!
Check them out, along with my gorgeous new painted brass shell necklace ($15.00) and my new Tshirt ($46.00). I realize that's pricey but it has cool flowers stencilled on it!
And, in the spirit of posting photos of myself that really aren't shit-hot, in the interests of showing off the clothes like, right this minute, here's a shot of my new, linen paper bag skirt (Haiku, $90.00), the delicate lines of which are not adequately conveyed, I fear. Don't worry, you'll be seeing this one (when I have a chance to pair it with the right shirt etc.) many times again. I love buying brands I haven't seen before, esp. when they are the grassroots creative output of Canadian designers!
So, I may have been there for all of 43 hours, but not a moment was wasted.
Coming later today - and continuing on and on and on - is K Went Shopping in Montreal theme week.
Stay tuned for pics and details on the following highlights:
- My experience at Headquarters Galerie and Boutique (in a word, awesome!)
- Walking and cabbing and metro-ing through rain and shine. And the rain was torrential...
- Going to the YSL exhibit at the Musee de Beaux Arts
- Shopping on St. Denis and St. Laurent and St. Catherine and de la Montagne and the list goes on. The purchases are sooooo fun!
- Seeing Wall-e at the AMC (formerly the Montreal Forum, now a movie complex?!). In brief, DO NOT TAKE YOUR KID to see this. Total trauma will ensue. 3 hours of crying. Cartoon is not for children. Or adults with any issues about the state of the world.
- My awesome hotel, the Gault, where everyone should stay at least once because it is so beautiful and luxurious, it will thrill you.
- Yummy food.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Point is, this woman takes awesome pictures. And because I really don't know what she's saying, I've got it in my mind that she's a very privileged, very chic young person who's living the high-life with her (seemingly zillions of) friends in one beautiful locale after another, looking fantastic all the while. Do you agree?
Recently she did a post about A Home For Alice. Have you heard about this project? Billed as a "world wide art project", the artist (Alice) is compiling photos and written descriptions from people all over the world who write to her to tell them why they feel at home in their homes.
Something tells me Miss C. should give this a go. Her outrageously splendid home would definitely make the cut.
Wish me good shopping vibes (the kind that bring gorgeous finds at an absurdly low price) and I'll write when I'm back from Mtl.
Here's how it works:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
It took me a while do do it because reading books hasn't been top on the list lately... Ah, literacy!
So, my book is Lust in Translation: Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee by Pamela Druckerman.
Here are the sentences:
About a year after beginning the affair with Danielle, he finally left the therapist he'd been seeing for six years. "I solved the problems," he explains. "The problems were marriage and sex."
See how adultery can save you some cash :-)
I'd be intrigued to see what the following bloggers may come up with:
Super Kawaii Mama
and anyone else who wants to have a go...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
(All images are from Loewe Resort 09.)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Remember, I will be going to Mtl this weekend - new home of the world's largest uranium stash - so it's sure to be a shopping bang :-)
But, back to the mundane details that are taking front and centre:
Look, I know I'm not the first girl to have a bathroom redone. And I do have another bathroom I can use in the meanwhile. And I do realize that many people renovate without the benefit of a designer and a team of skilled professionals. (Note: Perhaps those are the ones who still have some money left for food when it's all said and done :-)) Not to mention, said team is doing excellent, clean work, if at a slower pace than I would optimally prefer. And then there are all those things no one can predict. Don't worry, I intend to spare you the details.
But if you know anything about me by now it's that I am a whiner who doesn't like to feel out of control. In. Any. Way. Who loathes mess like only a card-carrying obsessive compulsive can. And who's a bit of a drama queen. With a cold. And a toilet in a box in the dining room.
To forestall eye glaze, I'll desist from discussing the electrical and the subfloor in favour of posting some photos shortly. That's if I ever get around to snapping the befores. Because, if you can't see me in a new vintage frock you should at least glimpse some seriously stylish shower tile. It's channelling a fancy paillette gown. Honest.
Monday, July 7, 2008
For starters, here are the rules:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to.
The Songs (they're more about the vibe than the cred):
F**k and Run (by everyone's fave fin-de-siecle feminist misfit, Liz Phair) She was badass in her day.
A Trick of the Tail (Genesis) My husband terms this (scarily) "progrocklite". And he was there so he should know.
You Belong to Me (either Carly Simon OR Michael McDonald - you know, that really old guy from the Doobie Brothers in the 70's). I've always wondered who penned the song, because both renditions are totally excellent and each artist really seems to own it. Thanks to wikipedia for advising that they actually co-wrote it!
It's Different for Girls (Joe Jackson) All out proto-new wave. Is that Elvis Costello singing backup??
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (Spoon) Believe it or not, my (then 4-year old) kid turned me onto this band a few years ago.
Angie Baby (Helen Reddy) DO NOT LAUGH (if you're even old enough to remember who this woman is). So what if I danced to her variety show in my night gown tied at the side with a rubber band in 197_? She was pretty and I got to stay up late. Anyway, just give this song a chance. It's almost disco and the words are whack. Seriously. Imelda, can you pls. corroborate??
Great DJ (The Ting Tings) So good to rock out to when you get out of the shower.
I'm so late to the game here that I'm fairly certain everyone has done this already. And between the post-vacation stress and the many posts I read daily, I can't exactly remember if my blog friends below have taken up the challenge:
Of course, every reader has a tacit invitation to participate, should (s)he so choose!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
What I Came Home to:
- A miserable chest cold, product of too much relaxation after too much life craziness.
- A child on hospital watch with dozens of scary-ass bites that seemed to contribute to a heightened immune response causing hives around mouth and highly enlarged (i.e. visible from above the skin) lymph nodes. (She's improving, fyi.)
- A half-complete bathroom reno - forgive me for neglecting to mention this but I was in denial, all details to come soon, I'm sure you're beyond thrilled to know. Upshot is that all the demolition was supposed to be done and everything except a couple of key features in place upon my return. But instead the new toilet is in my dining room (boxed, thankfully) and walls are untaped (construction-speak for "all there is is blueboard right now") and there are tiles all over my exceedingly narrow hallway. Did I mention the dust?? Which, btw, just makes the chest cold that much more hideous.
- A migraine (I get about one of these a year) which came on the heels of discovering that I had written out two exceeding large cheques to the designer and contractor and, in my pre-vacation fatigue and frisson, neglected to transfer money from the line of credit into the chequing account. So those cheques bounced and the NSF fee was 80 bucks, not to mention I had to get to the bank on Saturday to have a certified cheque made out because the contractor is half-way through the job and (I suppose, rightfully) suspicious. Rule one of renovations: Don't piss off your contractor.
Note to reader: I cannot believe I did this. How wretchedly ineffective of me. You must know that I have never bounced a cheque in my entire life. Like not even for $30.00. So this filled me with horror and embarrassment the likes of which made my blood vessels dilate super quickly, and then to immediately contract. Hence the horrendous, day-long migraine - including ocular hallucinations! (These are different than antihistamine hallucinations, btw...)
Wow, could I be less post-vacation rosy glow? Do you just want to smack me at this point?
I promise, give me a couple of days and you'll hear all about the good stuff. And then, you may recall, I'm off to Montreal for a fast-track weekend of eating and shopping. I'm so bringing the camera for that one.
PS: I'm putting together answers to a couple of games I was tagged to do. Oh, and just getting back into my blog-reading groove now. Can't wait to hear what y'all have been up to...