Friday, October 30, 2009

Death by Diamonds and Pearls

Happy Halloween weekend, mes amis! I have so much blogging to catch up on, and the story of my life right now is just work, work, and more work. It will get better. Last weekend, I went to a Fall fair held by an upper crust private school. It's known for the great silent auction items as well as second hand (or pre-loved) fashions. I picked up some bargains: a beautiful silver sequined clutch for $4, 2 scarves for $2 and an ugly-cute handbag for $2. I can't wait to show them. I also bid on a pair of Olympic hockey tickets for 2010 but I didn't get it.

And tomorrow night, I actually have Halloween plans to go out for the first time in probably 8 years! I kid you not. I'll be hanging out with the uber stylish Teresa from Senses and Style, fresh from her Europe trip. She even picked up a couple of gorg scarves from Italy for me (I will post, but sneak peek at her blog). I can't wait to go out in my's not quite as hot as the Nutcracker getup but it's not a bad last minute replacement. We'll be doing the haunted house thing, having some drinks and dinner, and then who knows?
For now, an outfit post from a couple of weeks ago. I got this plaid shirt from Vincent Park and I love how I can dress it up with a satin pencil skirt or make it preppy countryside with jeans and my beloved Ilse Jacobsen wellies.

Black plaid shirt by Quiksilver, from Vincent Park
Black satin skirt, from Hong Kong
Saddle Bag, Christian Dior
Gold-studded black leather boots, from Hong Kong

In case you're wondering about the post title, it's a song by Band of Skulls, who I'm really into right now. They sound a bit like a richer, more complex White Stripes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Hotness

No, not that kind. I mean, not the dress-up-as-skanky-as-possible looks. When it comes to Halloween costumes, it's sometimes easy to go from looking like the lady of the night to a lady of the night.

I've picked out a few that I love. First up, is the stylish yet adorable Nutcracker. If I were dressing up, this would be my first choice. Not only because that military/marching band jacket look is super in right now, but I've always wanted to wear a big furry hat.

As an equestrian, of course I love this dressage-inspired look. I'd carry a longer whip though!

And I give top marks to Gwen for just having fun with her fried egg look below. It's quirky, kinda nerdy and totally cute.
Some other ideas I love but didn't find any pictures worthy to post are: Mystique from X-Men, a dead ballerina and thanks to my friend Amanda, a fallen/dead trapeze artist.

What are you dressing up as this year and do you love or loathe Halloween? Is it a way to mask who you are or does it actually reveal a window into the psyche?

Equestrian and Nutcracker costumes can be found on

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

I love the colour of the trees now that autumn has fully arrived. They're orange and red and purple and yellow...all the pretty bright colours straight out of a crayola box. I keep wanting to take pictures, but I'm always afraid they won't turn out as beautiful as I can remember them.
Last weekend when it was rainy and miserable out, we made lamb shanks simmered with red wine in the slow cooker (recipe as a guideline here, though we didn't follow it exactly). The first real robust, hearty meal this fall/winter. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the carrots and parsnips soft and sweet. A perfect meal for a cozy dine-in night.

Equally cozy is my emerald green velvet blazer. I almost binned this in the donor dump last year, but I dug it out back from the closet grave and gave it new life. The details on it are amazing: ruffled edged pockets (you can't see here) and a velvet sash that is lined with satin on the inside.
Speaking of the dead, Halloween is next week. For great costume ideas which are stylish, sexy yet classy, check out the What to Wear post by La Couturier.

Emerald green velvet blazer, from Hong Kong
Ruffle blouse, from Hong Kong
Dark denim, Minedred Jeans from Vincent Park
Brown Leather boots, by Matiko from Vincent Park

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


First off, I really want to thank you guys for reading this blog. It's been nearly a year since I first started writing and your responses have been beyond anything I imagined. Your comments rock and I look forward to reading them everyday. Along the way, it's been fun connecting with some of you who also have wonderful blogs. And I'm about to honour some of you below.

A big note of thanks to my good friend Kelsey at The Anthology, a daily must read. She gave me this award below, and now I'm passing the love around. To you, wonderful writers, bloggers, fashionistas, divas and human beings, I pass this onto you:

When I started It's a Beautiful Life, my hope was to share something in the daily life that was beautiful to me. I have gained so much more than that, and once again thank you!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crossing Over to the (Dark) Vintage Side

Remember when I did a post about a new vintage era possibly starting in my closet, as inspired by blogger friends who rock the vintage look? Well, here is my first vintage piece on It's a Beautiful Life. Mom was in town a few weeks ago and we were digging through her closet of unwanteds. Hanging by its lonely self was this very rock-star worthy, blue houndstooth blazer by Escada. The shoulders were all 80's, perhaps late eighties, and the cut was custom tailored for my little momma. Oh how I love the velvet trim: makes me feel like rockstar royalty.

What's even better, is knowing that this piece was given to my mom from one of her best friends. This lady is extremely wealthy, and also once bought me my first concert tickets (NKOTB baby!). And I think she'll be very happy to know I'm now wearing her gift.
By the way, a mutual friend of The Anthology and I, says vintage must be 25 years or older. Now according to that rule, my piece wouldn't be classified as vintage. What do you guys think? Does clothing have to be older than 25 years to gain the title vintage?

Vintage Escada houndstooth jacket with velvet trim
Blue tee with metallic stripe from Hong Kong
Leather pants by Teen flo
Blue roundtoe pumps by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Metallic silver clutch from Fine Finds

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 Postcards and Said the Whale

This is long overdue - I received postcards from two very lovely, wonderful people a few weeks ago and now I've finally gotten around to posting the pictures. Firstly, I took part in the cool Postcard Exchange that Deanne from Dream Sequins so kindly organized. For sending a postcard each these two awesome bloggers, I in return got two cards in the mail. And here's what I got:

The top card is of course New York, from Deanne. I absolutely love her blog - she had awesome coverage of NYFW and love her profiles of hot designers and bloggers.

The second card I got was super cute - it is from Alicia from Crossing Over to the Dark Side. Great collection of inspiring photos and images.

I know i haven't had too many posts lately - but I will do some outfit posts over the weekend and in the upcoming week. Things have just been crazy with the teaching gig and I'm really looking forward to this weekend!

Totally unrelated is what's playing alot in my iPhone/Pod/Tunes these days - Said the Whale. They're a great little band from Vancouver, and their tunes are keeping me upbeat and in good company for those long nights working away. My faves right now are Howe Sound and Camilo (The Magician).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chanel Spring 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! I'm squeezing in a quick blog post here before I jet off for a family turkey dinner. I saw this gorgeous Spring 2010 Chanel RTW show posted on and I wanted to share some of my favourite looks with you. I must say sadly I currently own no Chanel items other than makeup, but a watch and classic quilted handbag is most definitely on my list!

Karl Lagerfield created a collection for a youthful, coquettish kind of girl. The setting was a country barn where models walked across a hay-strewn floor, looking slightly devious. The clothes were for the upscale girl gone country, perhaps out for a romp and a roll about in the French countryside.

The classic tweed skirt-and-jacket sets were there, in nude and beige shades (very on-trend) but in very short cuts (also very on-trend). I was crazy about the clunky clogs and wedge heels, as well as the criss-crossed hosery.

I loved the fun and slightly naughty spirit of the collection, and these are clothes that I would love to have in my closet. I also really enjoyed the fuller shapes of the dresses, which further highlighted a narrow waistline.

The two looks below remind me a little Kirsten Dunst's world in Marie Antoinette - completely sugary and frivolous, but just the kind of eye candy I love.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cherry-Topped Sunday

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I'm still catching up and last week has been busy. I've taken on a part-time role (in addition to my day job) teaching e-business and marketing at a fashion design program, so things aren't going to slow down. The good news is, I think we're less than 12 weeks away to Christmas (yay Hawaii!). So please bear with me.

With all the excitement, I'm sure glad last weekend I got to take it easy and splurge at the Four Seasons in Whistler. After a day of mountain biking, I swam a few laps in the heated outdoor pool, jumped in the hot tub, and then sunned myself poolside before hitting the spa (can you believe this is possible in the alpines at the end of September?). There was no better way to top off the day then to head out to the highly celebrated Bearfoot Bistro (not to be confused with this other Bear in Tofino). Award-winning head chef Melissa Craig and her crew did not disappoint.

Above photo: me goofing around in front of a pretty painting at the Four Seasons. I love the colours!
Below: Melissa Craig (to the left) and her team pumping out perfection in a bite.

Our epicurean journey began with an amuse bouche consisting of shrimp, wasabi mayo, and pesto.
A very elegant heirloom tomato and smoked black cod salad was my appetizer. It was served with balsamic vinegar beads, dill, and olive oil powder. Simply incredible.
A lovely 2004 pinot noir from Foxtrot Winery in Naramata, BC. filled our mouths with juicy berries, hints of chocolate and caramel, and warmed our hearts.
My father ordered the whole Dover sole which was served tableside with the bones removed exquisitely by the server. The citrus beurre-blanc were to die for!
I savoured a red piece of tenderloin, served with shaved foie gras butter in a miniature pan.
But best of all, the cherry topper on a perfectly indulgent Sunday, was the dessert. Bearfoot Bistro offers their "Nitro Ice-Cream for 2" where the ice-cream is churned by hand at your table with the help of some patented liquid nitrogen (hence the smoke below).
It's served with all the toppings needed for the ultimate sundae: brandied cherries, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauces, crunchy chocolate pearls, and nuts. I would go back just for this!!
After the ice-cream, we got a personal tour of their very large wine cellar. We saw a Magnum of Opus One in there!
And yes, I did get to lick that wooden spoon afterwards, hence my very satisfied expression below.
Below: Me screwing around again in front of a Bear sculpture after dinner.
Peacock silk dress, from Hong Kong
Studded brown boots, from Hong Kong

Thursday, October 1, 2009

MK&Ashley Olsen on Fashion Television

Fantastic interview by Jeanne Beker of Fashion Television with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They talk about style inspirations, their clothing lines, and growing up in the spotlight.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3