Monday, June 30, 2014

Black and white

I got my hair cut last week, and on impulse, I asked my stylist to chop off about 5 inches.

Fortunately, my impulse turned out to be a good one, I think.  I had a few seconds of panic when she started cutting but I was happy with the results.

You can see a bit of my vegetable patch in the background. There are tomatoes in cages, and then there are some bean, pepper, zucchini and cucumber plants along with a few rows of swiss chard and lettuce.  I'm pleased to report that there were minimal casualties from the hail storm we had last week.

Top: Forever 21 (similar here and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie Flounced Ponte Pencil Skirt 
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Purse: Burberry Petal (recently on sale)
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I'm slow to adopt trends (ie animal prints, peplums).  I've been equally hesitant to try wearing crop tops, but I've found a way to make them work for me.  

I've seen other ladies totally rocking the tight crop top with high waisted jeans combo but I'm more comfortable wearing a looser crop top with a high waisted skirt, and trying to keep things a little bit on the dressier side.

Are there are any summer trends you've been wanting to try?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sasquatch Teat

Last weekend, my husband was mowing the lawn when a car pulled up alongside him and a man leaned out of the window.

"Can you tell us how to get to the Sasquatch Teat?" He asked in a thick French accent.

To his credit, my husband was only momentarily confused. The mountain behind our house is called something that sounds similar but is extremely offensive.  It's a peak west of Mt Charles Stewart and has no other official name.

I like Sasquatch Teat much better.

He helpfully gave directions, and they were off on their way.

Later that day, we saw the rescue helicopter circling near the peak. I hear that they made it to the summit and then decided to take an alternate route back down... then got cliffed out.  But they are ok.

I'm not usually much of a hiker, but I can't climb much right now because of a wrist injury so my husband was able to talk me into doing the scramble up "Sasquatch Teat". It doesn't get a lot of traffic, and parts of the trail were ridiculously steep. Most of the hike follows a ridge with a sheer cliff on the other side, so the views were pretty amazing.  Definitely worth doing if you're ever in the area!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reviews: Anthro's tag sale

Anthropologie is having a huge tag sale this week.  I've decided not to order off the website anymore though after paying $75 duty on a $280 order, so my only option was to see what was available in store.

I tried on this dress.  There was only one left and it was in fairly poor condition, with some of the blossoms coming unstitched.  My camera doesn't portray the colour accurately, and it was actually more of an orangey pink.  The dress is fit and flare, fits true to size and drapes nicely.  The sweetheart neckline is a little bit plunging in the front and you'd have to be careful about which bra you wear underneath.  I gave this one a pass because of the damaged overlay.

Stitched Blossom Dress

Next, I tried on this skirt.  Again, my iPhone 3 is not the most accurate tool out there.  This skirt is a very vibrant and beautiful green, kind of like astroturf green.  I'm wearing it with a sheer blue tank with a tie at the neck that was way too voluminous and sheer.  Sorry, I didn't feel like posting photos of my bra online.

The skirt was also ridiculously voluminous.  The ponte material is very stiff, and I wish I'd taken a photo of the skirt standing upright on the floor by itself after I took it off.  It definitely is a bell skirt.  I'd love to compensate for having Asian flat butt syndrome, but not to this extent! Definitely a pass.

Ponte Bell Skirt

Did you buy anything from the Tag sale?

Edited to add: I forgot to share what I actually did end up buying.  These glasses! There is also a cat version, which might be of interest to Cynthia and Marcy, except that no cats would ever degrade themselves by doing tricks.

Paw Print Juice Glasses

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food: Market

Last week, my husband and I went for dinner at Market.  It opened last year and generated a lot buzz, with CBC food critic John Gilchrist giving it a 9/10.  It was Calgary's best new restaurant for 2013 as per CBC eyeopener, and it was also nominated for enRoute Magazine's top new restaurants in Canada for 2013.

So, we had pretty high expectations.

The decor is very hipster.  Eames moulded plastic chairs, glass pendant lights, rustic wood paneling, glass terrariums suspended by hemp rope, menus on heavy wooden boards, chalkboard signs.  Very of-the-moment, but to be honest, I found it kind of cliche.

I will also admit that for a restaurant that prides itself on serving local, seasonal and regional cuisine, I was very surprised that one of the features for the day was lobster poutine.  I mean, the restaurant carries the local philosophy to the point that they grow their own greens in house, they make all of their sodas, they butcher and cure their own meats and bake their own bread.  I'm sure it's delicious, but to me, it was like going to a vegan restaurant and finding bacon bits on the salad.  

We ordered a beet salad to start, with cured trout, potato horseradish cream and goat cheese.  It was delicious.  The flavours were very fresh and crisp.

For our second course, we shared the duck confit tacos with cilantro and aioli.  The plastic tube on the left contained vinegar (I think) which you could squeeze onto the tacos before eating.  They were delectable. The duck was tender and flavorful, and I adore cilantro.

For our main course, we got the pork belly and scallops for two.  These were served with fennel puree, apple and seasonal veggies like patty pan squash and mushrooms.  I found the pork belly to be a little bit dry, but apart from that, we enjoyed it and there was enough for me to take home for lunch the next day.

For dessert, I had the peanut butter and jam doughnuts.  These were sprinkled with sugar and spice and paired with peanut butter mousse, peanut brittle and huckleberry jam.  They didn't blow me away.  The doughnuts were still kind of raw on the inside, and I thought the rest of the dish was flavourless.

I had the homemade ginger ale and it was not the spicy, gingery soda that I tend to prefer.  Just kind of sweet.

Overall, the meal was enjoyable and reasonably priced.  I'd give it a 7/10 which for me means that I probably wouldn't make a repeat visit.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blue Dandelions

It kind of feels like summer has come early.  Well, it did earlier this week when it was sunny and warm and we had dinner on the patio in the backyard.  Of course, just in time for the weekend, the weather has turned grey and cold. 

I'm going to be away for 4 weeks during the summer so I'm trying to make use of my summer dresses now.  I love summer dressing... it's so easy to put on a dress, add a few accessories and go.  This blue sundress is one of my favourites.  I bought it the summer that I "discovered" Anthropologie.

Dress: Strappy Dandelion Dress, Anthropologie
Belt: Slim Bow Belt, Banana Republic
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Necklace: Peacock Fairy, from a giveaway on Gnomelover
I really love the details on the back of the dress.  Still not sure about the hem though, which feels really short in the back because of how it's cut on an angle.

I won the beautiful necklace that I'm wearing from a giveaway on a blog I read pretty much every day, Gnomelover.  It was made by the lovely and stylish Heather who blogs at The Peacock Fairy.  She also has a wonderful Etsy shop with many beautiful treasures.  I really like her collars.

Do you have any favourite summer outfits?

Thursday, June 12, 2014


One of the things that amazes me is how quickly retailers like Zara and H&M are able to churn out very cheap, very affordable versions of what you see on the runways.

Skirt: Burberry Prorsum English Trellis lace pencil skirt 
I loved Burberry Prorsum's lace skirts for Spring 2014, but couldn't see myself shelling out $1,000 for one.  I found this version at Zara, and although I would preferred pink or purple, I figured I'd make do with fluorescent lime green.

Jacket: Gap 1969, last year (similar)
Shirt: Bosco T shirt, Aritzia
Skirt: Guipure Lace Pencil Skirt, Zara
Shoes: Puma, old
What do you think about designer knock offs?

Monday, June 9, 2014

S&S 2014: Club Monaco

It's been years since I've shopped at Club Monaco.  I associate them with the logo sweatshirt I begged my parents to buy me for Christmas when I was in Grade 6.

Then, around Boxing Day, I ended up going into the store for a quick browse and found this cobalt blue dress.  I was impressed by the quality of the materials and the fit, and it was on sale for a great price.

I went into the store a few days ago and loved almost everything I saw.   I love the pretty colours and details of this season's collection.  Not sure that I have the panache to pull off a jumpsuit, but I love how flowy and breezy it looks.

The green floral pleated skirt and the white lace shorts came home with me, and if I had more room in the budget, I probably would have snagged the floral maxi dress, too.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to share an outfit post soon.

Friday, June 6, 2014

More sale reviews

Sorry for the long delay between posts.  Work has been crazy!

I did find 20 minutes to pop into the local Anthropologie store.  Unfortunately, I'm not quite as efficient as Jenni over at Gnomelover.  She managed an amazing number of reviews in the same amount of time.  You should have a look at her most recent reviews if you haven't already checked them out.

Despite the bevy of beautiful markdowns online this week, the pickings at my Anthropologie sale room were slim.

I tried on this dress, which caught my eye on the website months ago.  I love the colours, and the silhouette is flattering.  It fits true to size. There are lots of cute details with this dress too, like a crinoline to give the skirt some shape and a soft lining.  But the back of the dress is baffling.  There is a fabric flap that hangs over the shoulders, and it sticks out on either side like wings.  (You can see them in the picture under my right armpit.)  Do not understand.

I can't find the name of this dress online.  Anyone?

I also tried on the Carissima Sheath, which is not on sale but has been getting rave reviews online.  I found a 00P on the last chance rack.  I'm not a 00P but figured I would try it on to get an idea of how my size might look.  The online reviews are correct.  This is a beautiful dress with lots of unique details.  It's made of a lacy, delicate sheath with strategically placed panels.  There is a nude slip underneath, the straps of which are connected to the dress so that they stay put.  The black ribbon belt is a nice contrast although I would probably swap in one of my own belts instead.  The 00P almost fit, which makes me think that this dress probably runs true to size.  It was a bit tight around the upper thighs, but I noticed some extra fabric around the hips especially in the back (I do have mild Asian flat butt syndrome though).  Overall, a beautiful dress and I might consider ordering it off the website with my birthday discount next month....

Carissima sheath
And that's all I managed in 20 minutes.