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RESOLUTION SONG: I was kind to myself in 2011

2 Jan

So 2011 has come to a close. This past year was fun, and a pretty pivotal one for me.

Perhaps it’s because I’m about to turn 30.

According to this astrologist:

“Time, responsibility, age, and reality, are all associated with one planet in astrology and that planet is Saturn. The transit of Saturn around the birth chart is a very reliable indicator of where we are in our maturation process because it completes a cycle every 29-and-a-half years, splitting our lives into three stages of growth: childhood, adulthood, and the elder years. With each cycle building upon what was learned in the previous one.”

Woah! Sure explains a lot. So how am I changing leading up to my 30s? One thing I really tried to cultivate this past year was to exhibit love, care and compassion towards myself. I stopped giving myself a hard time about not being good at things, taking a while to learn things, or deciding once and for all that something’s not for me.

I’d been saving up a little chunk of cash to buy myself something necessary on Boxing Day. I’ve been in need of an external hard drive, an iPod sound dock, and/or practical-yet-lovely black boots. But while doing some last minute Christmas shopping on December 23 I happened to take a peek in Holt Renfrew. They’d already started their Boxing Day sales soooo, what the hey. Let’s just take a look, yeah?

I went in, I browsed, I was tempted. Then, on my way to the door, I fell absolutely in love with these beauties:

Chie Mihara. Oh how I have always wanted you!!

Her designs are the perfect blend of past and present, topped with a muted, whimsical indulgence. There they were on the rack: 50 per cent off, in my exact shoe size of 38.5, which is surprisingly hard to find, and oh what amazing style. I tried them on and instantly felt like I was walking on a cloud. A very sexy cloud. But oh how I could walk! I just felt so strapped in. My feet had never felt so in command.

But then I thought, no, this is silly. What I really need, to be honest with myself, is a good pair of flat black boots. I should look for those. No heels. No. Leave them behind.

So I left, and I wandered around some more, looking. I even bought myself a pair of practical black riding boots, which were beautiful and a good price, but it all came back to the shoes. I went and tried them on again — this time with a lovely salesman who chatted with me about crazies and Chirstmas theft — and I strutted my stuff as best I could toward the mirror. I’ve never felt better in a pair of heels. Ever. They were made for me. On some level in my mind it had already been decided. They would be mine. Oh yes, they would be mine.

So I returned the boots and traipsed home, eager to get these puppies on. my. feet.

But wait!

Early in the morning on the 24th, as I was wrapping all my Christmas gifts, I had a silly little idea. Why not wrap them up all beautiful-like and open them on Christmas Day? With a little “to me, from me, thanks for being beautiful” tag on top. Ha!

It’s not that I need someone telling me I’m beautiful. It was more that I extended the ritual of gift-wrapping and gift-opening toward myself, as a gesture. We all need to make gestures toward ourselves. And though it might seem dumb to spend time wrapping a gift for myself, it felt good. And it was fun!

I made my brother take photos of me opening them:

And here are some self-portraits:

Happy holidays! Now give yourself a hug.

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SCAVENGER’S DELIGHT: True Value Vintage Closing Sale

23 May

Omg omg omg. True Value Vintage is having a closing sale. This past weekend, spend-savvy shoppers had the chance to pick through a sea of clothing in their stockroom and fill a bag with as much vintage as they could for an even $20.

It.

Was amazing.

It was a challenging shopping experience though, especially solo, as they had no mirrors or change rooms, and you weren’t allowed to bring in anything other than your wallet. However, I fared well as you may imagine. I am completely not above digging my way through gigantic piles of clothing and slinging chosen items across my shoulders all homeless-like. Even while a dude yanked a pair of 70s trousers from beneath my feet sending me toppling into a pile of leather jackets and nubbly sweaters, I managed to maintain my dignity.

Laughs all around!

Seriously though, it was really fun and everyone was very friendly amidst the intense scavenging that was taking place.

This is where people like me come alive.

So after more than an hour of digging and gasping with pleasure and wrinkling my nose at some fashion atrocities (all part of the fun), I emerged with thirteen awesome items for $20.

Here are the highlights:

Adorable sailboat skirt and red halter. “Why hello… summer!”

Awesome vintage Hawaiian shirt. Will look amazing with a tobacco-coloured, wide cowboy belt I got from the mom collection.

Cute-as-pie ’60s daisy dress (hee). Looks much better on me than it does on this slightly malformed dressform. I’m thinking of giving it some edge with a denim vest.

Ahoy! Bikinis tops and bottoms!

Tres demure vintage heels – they need the heel nubs replaced, but this is simple enough to have done.

Blouse that feels like a silk/polyester blend. It’s very light and soft. I’m thinking it’ll look good with a bandana, boyfriend jeans and sandals — a sort of ’60s-housewife-in-the-garden look.

And the piece de la resistance — this amazing ’70s sheepskin-trimmed maroon leather jacket. I have wanted a jacket like this for soooo loooong. When I found it I thought I had died and gone to teenage-clothing-desire-dream land!

Srsly, ever since I watched the video for the song Astounded by fellow Canadians Bran Van 3000 (remember way back in 2001?), I have been in love with that woman’s jacket. And also her beautiful face. And her kissing partner. So much lust. So much shaggy-haired, sheepskin-collared face-sucking.

Maybe this new addition to my wardrobe will increase my kissing karma?

Only one way to know for sure…

Gotta wear it!

All photos by me. True Value Vintage is located at 710 Robson St. If you love vintage, go now.

Sandals = feelings of greatness

20 May

It’s gonna be 20 degrees today! At last, spring is upon us. And you know what that means…

Scandals. IN SANDALS!!!

I love wearing sandals. In fact, I recently confessed to a friend that I measure success and happiness by how often I get to wear a bikini and sandals in a given year.

I am going to do both of those things tomorrow and I’m guessing my serotonin levels will skyrocket.

Here’s a sneak peak of the sandals I’ll be sporting today. Picked ’em up at this year’s epic shoe sale at Army and Navy for a tidy $40. Not too shabby for Nine West! And today is the first wear! O how I love them.

In her book Shoes, Linda O’Keefe says sandals were the first crafted footwear. They date back to 3500 BC, when ancient Egyptians made imprints of their feet in wet sand, fashioned soles out of braided papyrus and added rawhide thongs to keep them in place. The sandal existed in some form for thousands of years — in Italy, Japan, Spain and even rainy England.

After having gone out of fashion for more than 1,000 years, the sandal made a comeback in the ’20s. Heels were attached, accentuating the feminine arch, and this gave the previously modest foot an excuse to sport coloured toenails and rhinestone straps.

Tres sexy.

Shifting gears back to modern day, I always get excited for sandal season’s new styles. Here are a few choice finds for spring 2011:

Pour La Victoire at Umeboshi, $259

John Fluevog, $259

John Fluevog, $259

Free People, $114

Aldo, on sale for $52

Camper, at Gravity Pope, $200

Jigsaw, on sale for $124 CAD ($72 GBP)

Anthropologie, $138

Anthropologie, $188

Click here for more spring 2011 trends from InStyle. If you’re hoping to create a look that’s a little outside-the-box this season, check out this guide for pairing sandals with tights. It’s a fashionable and strategic option in a city where the weather reinvents itself as often as Madonna.

Enjoy the sun!

First photo by me; second photo courtesy of mensrag.wordpress.com; all other photos courtesy of the links below.

FLOWER POWER REBRAND: A new addition to my jewellery collection

11 Jan

I went poking around on Commercial Drive on Sunday and came across this little gem from Attic Treasures:

It’s a large, metal flower-power pin from the 1960s! In punchy red! With stripes of white and navy in the middle! I loves me some red, white and blue for some reason… perhaps because the colours are masculine. Could be because my mom always favoured red, or because my grandpa was in the navy, or because I have several American relatives.

Who knows!

At $20 it was a tad pricey for my pocketbook since I’m quite good at sourcing stuff like this from thrift stores, but I also found a wicked, ’60s-painted-fabric wall hanging for a mere $30.

(We needed a large piece for the wall behind our dining room table, so I felt justified in buying the pin because the wall fabric was such a good deal.)

Ahhhh, how I can justify buying anything when it’s red:

  • “But this red shade is being discontinued…”
  • “I’ve never seen this [insert item here] in RED before…”
  • “Ooh, they only have the red one left!”
  • “Look! Red leather!”
  • “Aren’t red shoes supposed to be lucky?”

Agreed?

Well, whatever. Red works on me.

Now witness my latest photo essay titled, Me and My Red Flower-Power Pin: A Story of Triumph:

Love love!

And here’s the wall fabric I bought that started this whole affair:

Highest praises? Lemme know what you think!

All photos by me.