Monday, September 30, 2013

Mani Monday: Going Nude

I sadly relapsed to my nail- and cuticle-biting ways at the beginning of the month so now I’m trying to let them grow out without drawing too much attention to my hands. Whenever I wear polish I am so much better about not picking my nails so the next few weeks will be a bit of a recovery period for me. As bright and fun as nail art can be, this month I’ve been drawn towards clean and neutral polishes that are the perfect “completer piece” for my nails. I’m on the hunt for the perfect nude, one that isn’t too pink, applies easily, and offers full coverage with two coats. 

Here’s the thing - I am trying to find that perfect neutral with peach undertones, instead of the common white base, as it is much more flattering with my skin tone. Essie’s Marshmellow and Mademoiselle have been recommended over and over again, but they are definitely too "milky" for my taste. I’m also not the biggest fan of that brand as I find the polishes too thin and prone to chipping. 

Right now I’m wearing OPI’s Dulce de Leche and I’m pleased but not in love. The peachiness is on point and coverage is pretty good (three coats would have been better though as it is a little streaky). Not my favourite but a solid 8/10 for a nude polish. What do you think?




I find that nude polishes are fresh and always add a dose of sophistication that show that you care about the little details, even when they’re not in your face. This type of manicure is also a great way to elongate your fingers if you’re self-conscious about having little stubbies, plus it is considerably easier to maintain. 

For me, the hunt continues for the perfect nude polish as this one by OPI falls just short. Any suggestions?

Linking up with Well Shut The Front Door and At the Pink of Perfection.


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Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Links I Love

The transition of the seasons, the beginning of some big changes in my life… September has been quite a month! Lately I’ve been enjoying the morning sunshine from outside the cubicle walls, focusing on my writing, being an awesome wife and coming up with tasty slow cooker meals, trip planning for Central America, going on romantic anniversary dates to the casino, loving fall TV, and playing tennis! I’ve been doing a ton of reading too - here are my favourite links of the month.

september-monthly-reads

Travel Fashion Girl shares her checklist of 10 hostel travel essentials. The only item I’m missing is ear plugs - gotta put those on the list! 

Lauren offers some advice for travellers thinking about house-sitting, an option we're considering while we’re abroad. I'd love to read about more experiences, anyone have a story to share?

Jumpsuits are one of those things that never ever look right on me. The torso is always too short, my crotch looks like it’s hiked up to my bellybutton, and the length always seems to hit that perfectly awkward spot above my ankles which makes me look like I’m rocking high water pants à la Steve Urkel... 

steve-urkel-strutting

Le sigh. I just have to admire Adriana’s dressy tux-inspired jumpsuit and Julia’s beautiful royal blue piece from afar. 

Looking to start up your own business? Advice from Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur behind the Virgin empire >> “Screw it, just get on and do it!” So eloquent. 

Lately I feel like I've been struggling with how to find my blogging voice. The Indie Chicks share 3 ways to help.

Alison is right on the money with her predictions for the next big fall trend and what she says should be in your closet. 

Let’s end this post with something funny yet thought-provoking - 5 career lessons learned from Heisenberg. (Yes, another Breaking Bad reference.) The series finale is tonight - are you ready? I have a feeling that Jesse is going to be alright and walk away from it all. Walter White, though? I’m not so sure about that… 

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Emmys 2013 Best and Worst Dressed

Starting off with Allison Williams in a simple and rather boring Ralph Lauren dress.  Pretty, yes, but thumbs down for being too middle-of-the-road.

Carrie Underwood (why was she there?) in a purple Romona Keveza ball gown. I love the shape of this dress, in fact it's very similar to what I chose for my bridesmaids. But it's just that... bridal... therefore naturally more conservative and a bit more "poof" than it needed to be for the Emmys. I would have liked if Carrie had chosen something more streamlined and fashion-forward for once. And something not in taffeta. Never in taffeta.

Julie Bowen in pale pink Zac Posen and lots of ruffles. I like the detailing on the bodice but those little sleeves have got to go!

A unique choice by Connie Britton wearing a gold embroidered Naeem Khan blue strapless dress. I think this went very nicely with her complexion and showed off her long lines.

Elisabeth Moss wearing a pretty black and white embellished dress from Andrew Gn, but nothing that knocks it out of the ballpark.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Links à la Mode

It is such an honour to announce that I've been chosen for Independent Fashion Bloggers Links à la Mode roundup! I have a huge smile on my face right now. Missed my post from the other week, An Ode to Quitting? You can check it out below (it's the last link) as well as some other great reads from fabulous bloggers.


lalam0919


Falling for Fall

Fashion Week, September Issues, Back to School (or just back to work) Shopping... Nothing is hotter than September for fashion. Even though fashion week's clothes don't hit the stores until next year, seeing the trends on both the runways and on the fashion elite gives us inspiration for what to wear now. Luckily we have amazing links to the fall finds we'll be falling for.



Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup


SPONSOR: Eastdane United Nude, Prism Bags, M Nii, Levi's Vintage, Evleo, JW Hulme, Gareth Pugh, Diemme, IIIbeca, Stone Island, & Men's Brands

Thank you IFB! I'm off to explore some other great blogs!


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Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Just Sayin'... Target Edition

This past Tuesday marked the opening of Ottawa’s first Target stores as the retailer (finally!) opened shop in Canada’s capital city. Considering this week also featured the debut of 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target in American and Canadian stores, it was quite an anticipated event. 

Image via Our Mode
And while I thought the collaboration had some lovely pieces (like this navy and black blazer and this funky trench coat), I didn’t think it warranted the hysteria-level scramble to swipe the shelves of pseudo-designer purses and clothing. (Didn't it seem like everyone and their sister was itching to get their hands on one of these cute and very hotly desired mini-satchels!) 

Elaine writes about her “social experience” that she went through at 3 am waiting for the US launch and this Daily Mail article details how shelves were wiped out within 10 minutes after one LA store’s opening. Clearly some people are very eager shoppers. But, in the words of Peter from Family Guy, you know what really grinds my gears? 

Crazy eBay ladies.

Yes, I said it. And if you are a crazy eBay lady, why you gotta be so mean?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

5 Things You Learn When You Move In With Your Man

As I sit on my balcony with the sun warming my face on this beautiful autumn day, I’m smiling and feeling so grateful for the things that have been going on in life lately. My last post received such meaningful and heartfelt comments that made my heart swell. Thank you lovely readers, it means so much to read your kind and encouraging words and receive such a positive response. I'll be replying to everyone in the next day or two so if you haven’t heard back yet, make sure that you’re not set up as a no-reply commenter by connecting your email address to your profile (or you can just hop back over to that post and scroll down to get caught up). 

I’m having a late start to the week because my husband and I had an extended celebration of our one year anniversary on Monday :) After being apart for the weekend, we spent the earlier part of this week reconnecting with a little quiet time, indulging in delicious dinners, and even getting dressed up to go on a date to the casino (a somewhat rare event as elaborated upon in #5). I now realize that pretty much nobody else gets dressed up to go to the casino, at least not during the week. I’ve also learned where all the old folks party on a Monday night! But that’s besides the point. We’re not big gamblers so we were pleased to walk outta there $10 up at the end of the night after playing a few exciting hands of Blackjack.

Anyway, we were chatting and reminiscing about our first year of marriage and joking about the things we’ve learned about each other since living together. So, in honour of our one year wedding anniversary, I’m skipping the mushy gushy post about him being the love of my life (I already scored +10 good wife points for writing him a super sweet card) and going straight into my roundup of 5 things you learn when you move in with your man. 

5-things-you-learn-when-you-move-in-together

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Ode to Quitting

“I should be doing more, I should be toughing it out, really we are talking about first-world problems here, it’s not like I’m being tortured or anything. I should just take my paycheque and be quiet,” I argued to myself the night before I quit my job.

I seemed unable to shake this ever-present guilt and doubt about following through with my decision. Logically, I knew I was fully justified in my reasons to quit and recognized it was time for me to move on from the company. This is not the life that I want to live. Am I an irresponsible person or a selfish wife for leaving a stable position to jump into something unknown, something new? What if I landed flat on my face while everyone else around me continued to take off? Would I regret this move if it turned out to be a huge risk that didn’t pay off?

Not at all. The answer began as a whisper but transformed into a too-strong-to-ignore response as time went on. The thought of another six months, far less two more years, made me want to jump out of my boss’ window arms flailing in the air behind me (my position did not justify an office, far less an office with a window, as my manager liked to remind me). Seeing as how his office was located on the first floor, I opted to avoid the decidedly overdramatic yet underwhelming exit and just hand over my resignation letter instead.

It’s okay to quit things in life, despite what others may mislead you to believe
People leave their jobs all the time, it’s not that big of a deal! You’re young, it’s time to move on, you’ll be fine. Why do you feel so guilty about quitting?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The People We Meet

In honour of last week's big news about my upcoming trip, I'd like to share a travel-related story about Jerry, a local teenage boy I met in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

I’d spent the morning exploring the temples of Angkor, a truly awe-filled and inspiring experience that left my heart bursting with wonderment and wanderlust. I would be leaving the country the next day and returning home to Canada after more than a year abroad, so I wanted to soak in Cambodia and its charm on my last evening. My friends and I met for one last dinner together and decided to enjoy an evening on the town. We headed to the infamous Pub Street and started with cocktails on the patio at Funky Munky where, naturally, you could also indulge in a fish pedicure while sipping on your drink. [Sidenote: have you ever heard of or experienced a fish pedicure? You put your feet in a tank and minnows suck all the dry skin off, going in between your toes and everything! A very effed up feeling especially for someone like me who is freaked out by fish! Never again!]

Anyway, so while I was hanging out as the others had minnows sucking on their toes, a local boy who looked about 12 years old hobbled up to me with a smile from ear to ear. “Excuse me miss, would you like to buy a book? I have many books here for you!” The boy, who introduced himself as Jerry in well-spoken English, had a crutch on each arm and a red basket slung across his body filled with pirated copies of the latest best sellers. He only had one leg and moved rather laboriously down the laneway. To this day I can’t put my finger on it, something in his smile or his demeanour I suppose, but he stood out from so many of the other children I'd encountered so far. I invited Jerry to sit down with me as I looked through the basket of books. 

cambodia-street-kid

Jerry proceeded to tell me a bit about his background. He had lost one leg and his father by age ten, but we didn’t go into the details of how. Jerry said he still went to school during the days then sold books in the afternoons and evenings. He was the eldest male, after all, and despite his disability he still needed to support his family. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What I'm Loving: Mustard Yellow

In light of my big news last week, my wallet is a lot tighter these days, so while it seems like everyone is indulging in the end-of-summer sales I'm wishing from afar and creating virtual outfits instead. Lately I've been crushing hard on mustard yellow. Paired with cobalt blue, chambray, aubergine, or white, cognac brown, and leopard print as I did below, mustard yellow is such a versatile colour. I especially love how well this hue transitions from summer to fall and is the perfect way to perk up your outfit.
Click here to see where you can purchase these items
With a casual blazer and chic accessories, this outfit is great for those of us who were dropped right into the cooler weather once the calendar flipped into September. An oversized "boyfriend" blazer is a great alternative to the typical cardigan - it's still loose enough to relax and sit comfortably in, but adds a bit more polish if you need to take your style game up a notch.

What's your favourite colour for the fall? 

PS - Who says you can't wear white after Labour Day?
PPS - Hop on over to one of my Pinterest boards to see other mustard yellow looks that I'm loving!

Linking up with the beautiful ladies at Style Elixir / Plane Pretty / The Pleated Poppy / Get Your Pretty On / Because Shanna Said So

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Big Changes

In my very first blog post, I discussed how growing up I felt pressure to follow a certain kind of path in life: University. Grad School. Corporate career. Buy a house. Have kids. Retire. Relax. 

As I grow into my twenties and learn more about myself, I don't know if I necessarily want or don't want those things any more. All I know is that if they happen, I want them to happen in an exciting way. An adventurous, passionate, stimulating kind of way. A way that my husband and I intentionally choose, on a path that we actively decide to pursue, not just moving along as the current of life pushes us in the direction we’re expected to travel.

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Last week I quit my first “big girl” job after two years of employment in the corporate world and steady paycheques every two weeks. It’s time to pursue new creative and professional opportunities and I’m excited and anxious and ready to be entering a new phase of our lives, as Matthew and I like to refer to it. Plan C if you will. The good ole days in Ottawa are coming to an end.

My husband is seeking a commission in the United States Marine Corp. (That sounds super formal to me but I’m just going with how Matthew told me to describe it... in normal people talk he is going into the military and becoming a USMC Officer.) He’s already spent four years as an enlisted Marine and deployed around the world, and when he left the Corp. three years ago we thought it was the end of that chapter. I know it’s way more common for Americans, but military life was completely foreign to me before I met Matthew. His heart is pulling him back though and I completely support his decision, so here we are, wrapping up life in Canada, and getting ready to make some serious changes. We are heavily considering international posts and experiencing ex-pat life in a new corner of the world, but for now we have a few adventures that need to happen first. 
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