Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Spring Brings: Rock and Republic 2009

Here's a good reason to look forward to spring and summer - the uber sexy collection from Rock and Republic. Short, tight i-dare-you mini dresses and skyscraper high stilettos can be the wrong kind of come-hither but this collection hits all the right notes for me. There's a definite eighties rocker edge, but it's done in a tasteful way. White, black and metallic skinnies are sweetened up with ruffled tops. The body conscious blazers would be a great addition to any wardrobe - pair them off with the collection's "skinny bitch" jeans or top it over a bubble skirt. I especially love the bandage style dresses which remind of me Rachel Bilson's white number from Herve Leger for Max Azria. I'd love one or two in both black and white.

There were also a few very sexy secretary looks - tight high waisted skirts accentuated by wide belts with tucked-in white button up shirts and cardigans. Demure but very hot. Equally hot but not shy is the black leather dress. Never thought that I would ever consider leather for a dress but it works here.

On the men side, the collection featured more skinnies: skinny jeans and ties.

Better start toning up for those skinnies and bandage minis.




Bah! Baked Goods

I love entertaining. I had a small holiday gathering at my house a couple of nights ago and I asked my dear cousin Wanda, chef at Bah! Baked At Home Catering, to put together some goodies for my guests. Wanda trained with Vancouver legendary chef Karen Barnaby and worked at the Fish House in Stanley Park for a number of years. We served an onion and leek tart, mini shepherd's pies, one bite triple chocolate brownies, mini vanilla cupcakes with lemon icing, and lavender vanilla tuille cookies. Wanda gave me some chai-spiced nuts too (perfect on their own or in a salad), and those were out. I rounded the party off with an antipasto platter and sushi.

Everyone loved the miniature sized bites, and the shepherd's pies were definitely a hit.

Many thanks to Wanda and Bah! Baked at Home for the help which made my party a snap!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Latest Obsession - Ilse Jacobsen Wellies


I saw a girl wear these Ilse Jacobsen wellington boots at the local coffee shop and thought they were adorable. I've spotted them at a few local shops and they are on my hot list, especially in this snowy, slushy weather. Unlike Hunter boots, which I like also (recently bought a forest green pair for hubby), the Jacobsen wellies are lined with a soft woolish material. The boots are hand made in Denmark. They come in a variety of colours: black, cream, caramel, red, blue, and dark brown. I love the cream but the caramel might win me over on practicality.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Spring Brings: Marc Jacobs 2009

I got the style.com's app on the iPhone a while ago and I have never enjoyed watching and flicking through fashion shows as much. It's so much easier than on my old PC! With all the snow that we've received, I'm dream of the Spring 2009 collections.

Here is the first of a series of spring shows - Marc Jacobs 2009 RTW

It's definitely a mish-mash of style. I'm not really sure what to define it as: purposely mis-matched yet somehow it magically flows together. There was gingham and plaid, high waists and hats, and some asian and african inspired pieces remixed to a lady-like tune. Style.com likens it to a global mashup. I'm really digging the corset belts, the richly textured, layered looks, and the long slim silouhette.

Below are some of my fave looks.






Sunday, December 21, 2008

Social networking for fashionistas


Just when I thought I was tapped out for social networks (facebook. linked in, myspace), I stumble across a most brilliant idea for the fashion obsessed girl. Enter Polyvore, a social application which brings together the intersection of fashion, design, social networking and e-commerce monetization. Community members can create their own "sets" (various images as selected by the person) and display and share with others. Each set has a tag which identifies what the item is and no doubt a link to the store for purchase. How brilliant is that? From a community member perspective, this allows me to find inspiration from other people's sets, to connect with those with similar tastes and interests, and connects me directly with the retailer to close the loop. From a brand point of view, there can be no harm in participating in this. After all, isn't word of mouth and viral pass along any marketer's dream?

I just created a profile (user name is beautiful_life) and a set (Femme Fatale - gucci ankle boots, tight black skinnies, marc jacobs clutch, elizabeth and james snake ring) to test it out. No doubt over the next few weeks I will be playing around with this. Anyone else out there playing with this? I would love to hear your thoughts and join your network. I'm also keen to find out whether they have a facebook app for this to show off my totally awesome sets.

Very stoked about this. More to come!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Essentials

We've been in a deep freeze on the west coast of Canada now for nearly a week, and with more snow in the forecast, it makes these winter essentials all the more necessary.

I recently bought a pink beret from Fine Finds, kind of like this one, only mine is a bit fuzzier as it's made of mohair and less cable-ly. Pink isn't usually a favorite colour of mine but this one was so sweet and pairs so nicely with grey that I had to grab it. Plus -15 Celsius outside made it an easy decision.



I've also been living in my Matt Bernson Rivington boots the entire autumn and although they're not any good in the snow, they've been my number one purchase this fall. They match everything - tucked into skinnies and tights, with flowy dresses and bubble skirts. I love the slim wedge heel, the gold side snap buttons, and adjustable leather straps. The smell of the leather was just lovely (being an equestrian, I am a leather freak).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blicq Art

My dear friend Justine is the daughter of Canadian painter Anthony Blicq. He was an artist born in the UK and he came to live in Canada during the 1940's as a refugee during the Nazi occupation. He later split his time between Greece and the West Coast of BC, and his work reveals the influences of both these very different regions.

I was drawn to his work immediately. For me, it captures a perfect moment in time. The brushstrokes convey a sense of urgency, of the now, and there is an almost child-like earnestness and honesty in the way it's constructed. Now I am no expert in art, but for me, his work sings to my soul.

I never thought I would be lucky enough to own an original piece, but last month I remembered I had some money stashed away from over 7 years ago in a bond, and the interest could help me pay for it. I was ecstatic.

It took me a long time to decide on the two pieces that I would purchase, as there were well over a dozen that appealed to me. I finally chose the two pieces that had captured my heart the first time I ever saw them.

The first piece is Eagle at First Light. When I see this, I feel peaceful. I am in a happy state of solitude.














The second piece is Churches. I can't really explain why I love this piece, but it takes me a a far off land that I hope to someday visit.














I feel all the more attached to these pieces through my connection with Justine. It means a lot more to me to have a piece of her family history in my home, and it serves as a reminder of the wonderful friendship we share.

On Giving Up and then Renewing

I gave up on this short lived blog for a while. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to keep it up, and self-doubt crept into my mind whether anyone would find this worth while reading. I let it sit, and it died in my mind for 9 months.

Today I am starting once again with renewed faith that I can and will blog again. The inspiration has come from many places: friends, work colleagues, mentors. I can't put it on any single moment that I decided to restart this, or any particular person. It was a slow thought that germinated in my mind over the past month and today is the day to make it happen.

So with no further delay - I will get to it. There's lots to post about since I have experienced and seen so much over the past few months so I will get to it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Little Evan












A good friend of mine just had a little baby boy, Evan. He is just perfect! I held him for a bit and there's not much I think I need to say. What's even more beautiful - the glow in my friend's eyes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nothing more beautiful than perfect unison

video

My riding coach passed this along to me and it's utterly inspiring. Using just her body and shifts in weight, this woman is able to work in perfect unison with her horse. there are no artificial aids or even any tack to help her guide the horse. They are communicating to each other so clearly and just working together as a team.

There are days that I ride and it seems I am just fighting against everything the whole time. My pony Spice locks her jaw and it makes me tense and lock up. Watching this woman, everything just flows so easily and naturally. It's just amazing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Silence

We've had some snow storms over the past few weeks and it's reminded me of how much I love the sound of silence. When the city becomes blanketed in snow, a muffled stillness falls through the air, bringing a sense of calm and peace.

I'm trying to reach this sense of calm and peace by holding my mind still, but it's hard for a monkey-mind like me. My body hasn't achieved a point where I can sit still for long enough so that my mind can slip into a blank ease. I might achieve moments of it, but it is something I need to work on.

I had a few moments of silence to myself when I went down the mountain gondola the other night. I was alone, wrapped in the blanket they gave me. In between the thudding and vibrating of the gondola, I indulged in the sheer silence and wondered if the Universe could hear me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Smile from a friend

Last night I had dinner with a friend whom I haven't seen in a while. We've been friends for about 7 years, which actually seems to be rather a short time compared to the long time friendships I have formed over my past 27 years of life. She is one of those individuals that inspires me every time I see her. It's like I received a parcel of energy. She radiates with such a warm energy that comes straight out of her heart. We share a love of travel, wine and food, and surfing, amongst many other things. It was so inspiring to share our ideas and dreams together, and even though I haven't seen her for months, we connected with such ease.

It's easy to lose touch with each other and ourselves in our hectic lives. Even though we are always just a click or a text or a poke away, somehow this all makes me feel more disconnected somehow. We make up excuses but there really isn't any. Reaching out is easier than you think, and someone out there is probably thinking just the same thing you are.