Thursday, April 30, 2009

Peaches and Cream

Today felt like Summer and there's nothing like biting into a sweet, ripe peach plucked from the orchards of the Okanagan.  I love grilled peaches, tossed with feta in a salad or with velvety vanilla ice-cream.  And the colours of this dress are just as sweet.  Silky, burnt peach on top, Devonshire cream on the bottom.  Paired with candy pink kitten heels.

In the photo, I realized my heels were sinking into the grass, so I did a little hop and skip which resulted in these action shots.

Dress and shoes from Florence Hill in Central, Hong Kong.  

Those eyes...

Our Canucks win a thriller over the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, 5-3 and my fave hottie speedster Mason Raymond made a nice play on a four-on-one to assist on the winning goal by Sami Salo.    Need I say more?


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To harem or not to harem?

It's been a hot topic amongst some of you, and overwhelmingly, the question is "WHY?" Why on Earth are those dreaded MC Hammer pants back? Along with peaked shoulders and cropped tops (next trend subject to be discussed), will we regret this?

I haven't ventured into harem territory yet but I am very, very intrigued. Balmain's Fall 2009 collection showed me where the harem pant could go, but I was still cautious. My mom, who is more adventurous than I am, already picked up a casual navy pair, and they are both comfy and stylish.

The harem shape is quite versatile. Go casual by tucking the pant legs into flat boots, as demonstrated by Bottines Kookai (above pic).

Another one of the hottest looks I've seen is from Karla's Closet. Striped harem pants, tucked into a simple tank with wedged heel sneaks, create a more punk-inspired look.

Or go girly and play up the curves with soft, loose layers and pointed toes.

What do the fashionistas out there think of the harem pant? Are you wearing them, and if so, how?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vancity Funky Style Magic

This guy makes me drive fast, and if I'm not driving, he makes me want to move. And he's got some serious style. I'm talking about Joel Armstrong, resident DJ at Vancouver's Red Room and creator of Dot Dot Records. His original tracks, like Vancity Magic and Crazy featuring Marcie, have been earning their way up my iPod playlist. I caught up with this talented electronica artist to get him to strike a pose, as well as to learn some jungle survival techniques.

Tell me about the single you’re working on.
It’s a melodic tech house number, groovy with a sparse but memorable hook. Sort of a less is more approach to writing music on this one.

What motivates you? What are you inspired by?
Sunshine, depression, happy moments, bland solid colors with bright highlights, good friends, Bon’s Off Broadway, music, art that really shows the artist’s soul, comfort, change and when someone smiles at me while on the sidewalk.

Your music makes me drive fast. Is that your intention?
Of course, however with me it has the opposite effect; I’m pretty much a grandma behind the wheel, just with quicker reflexes hahaha.

Where do you get your duds? How would you describe your style?
I get my duds at various places. Specifically: American Apparel for their T-Shirts, H&M for their colorful underwear, RW & Co. for their plain, affordable, collared T’s, Vasanji for unique jeans, Target for cheap shoes, La Senza for silk thongs, Value Village for cool things I can’t find anywhere else, Buffalo Exchange (in Portland) for awesome deals on pants, jeans (I think over the last year I’ve bought 4 pairs there), and shirts/sweaters, True Value Vintage, and Urban Outfitters for everything in between.

My style is ... super wicked awesome to the max, just without the arrogance haha.

Why do you love Bons off Broadway so much?
$2.95 breakfast all day. Awesome burgers. It feels like home there. Bon is cool and so is the security officer dressed coffee pouring guy with the fake irish/scottish accent (its sort of like a cross between the two if that’s even possible). You also need to see all the sweet B-Movie posters on the walls.

If money were no object, you would….?
Buy a sailboat, and bring all my friends with me to sail the Greek Islands. Open a lazy café/bar on the coast, somewhere in South East Asia, maybe Thailand or Malaysia. Do something with underprivileged kids, something related to music, the arts and life skills, that I could do anywhere.

Since you grew up in the Indonesian jungle, can you give us jungle-city dwellers any advice on how to survive in the bush?
Haha, um...well if you see a funky colored snake, avoid it. Bathing in rivers after dark attracts leaches. Bamboo shoots are a good veggie source (and there’s usually tons), don’t drink unfiltered water unless you have no other option (even rain water, always boil it for at least 15-20 minutes), most fruit you’ll find is edible and delicious, don’t walk around without shoes or sandals as many weird/odd parasites can enter under toe-nails and if you get a cut in the jungle, it’s quite difficult to keep wounds clean in the jungle.

Your current iphone/pod/touch playlist:

Blossom Dearie – Manhattan
Blonde Redhead – Dr. Strangeluv
Bitter:Sweet – Dirty Laundry
Bobby Darin – Cute
Bush – Letting Cables Sleep (Nightmares On Wax Remix)
Everything But The Girl – Missing
Gotan Project – Vuelvo al Sur
Groove Armada – Your Song (Tim “love” Lee’s Semi Bearded Mix)
The Herbaliser – Sensual Woman
Ian Pooley – Sundowner
Joel Armstrong – Vancity Magic
St. Germain – Sure Thing
Looptroop – Fort Europa
Morcheeba – Sao Paulo
Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Parov Stelar – Chambermaid Swing
PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
Radiohead – Nude
Royksopp – Poor Leno
Tycho – The Disconnect

Joel will be in and around town over the next couple of months, doing local and international shows. You can catch Joel at the Red Room on May 9, as well as the Lotus Sound Lounge on June 26.

Sexy Times with H&M and Canucks

Ran into my good friend Kelly of Option8 last week and I couldn't resist taking a pic of her fabulous oversized vintage sunnies and her sexy kitty-cat cuff - MEOW! She was shopping at H&M for the matthew williamson collection which has garnered great reviews from all accounts.

I also got a chance to see Kelly's very hot Playoff nails - Green, White, and Blue for our Vancouver Canucks.  Now that's fan dedication.  I love it!  

Unfortunately her stalking didn't result in a sighting, like me who ran into overtime hero Alex Burrows last week.  

Below: me cuddling up to Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks for a snap.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Star vs Street Style at Coachella

It's finally getting sunny here in Vancouver (but still cold) and there's nothing that's more summery than a good music festival.  Along with Glastonbury, Coachella would be on my top list of festivals to attend.  Even if you can't find any music or bands you like, just being there for the fashion is worth it.

I scouted out some celebs and street stylers at Coachella - who do you think looks better?  The stars or the streeters?  Along with ripped jean shorts, gladiator sandals, and bikini tops, swingy white dresses, vintage florals, and 80's neon were major themes among concert goers. Wayfarers and heart-shaped sunglasses were spotted on more than a few.  

Above: Chloe Sevigny, looking cute in a sheer white dress at Coachella.

Kelly Osbourne and Kimberly Stewart below.  I like Kimberly's dress.
Kirsten Dunst's drop-waisted white dress is sweet but I don't like the flip flops.

I think the streeters below showed more original style.  A lot of the ones profiled in rocked vintage gear.

All street stylers pics taken from

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Michelle Obama Dress

Those of you who know me know that I just adore Mr. President Barack Obama.  I once even wrote a post about what to wear if I lunched with the President of the United States.  With this sleek, moody floral number, I think I've found my perfect dress if he should ever come to Vancouver.

I picked up this black dress and abstract, black and white floral peeptoe pumps from a lovely boutique called Florence Hill in Central, Hong Kong.  It has the most perfect dresses running in petit sizes, as well as shoes, jewelry and accessories - a one-stop shop if you're looking for a frock for an occasion.  

I call this my Michelle Obama dress because the detailing of the flowers reminds me of the creative textures and fabrics she often dons.  Like Mrs. O's style, this dress gives a new twist to a classic shape and theme (floral), and it makes me feel as sophisticated as the ladies who lunch. When I've got a dress like this on, it gives me the right to fling my hair however which way I choose.   J/K!! (ok not really).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guest Starring at The Anthology

A big shout out to The Anthology for which I wrote a guest blog post this past weekend. It's one of my favourite blogs out there, and I can't wait to have The Anthology write a guest post on It's a Beautiful Life.

For my readers out there, if you have a story idea or would like to contribute, please contact me on Twitter @ABeautifulLife or post a comment here. I have not set up a specific email yet for a Beautiful Life but I will do so soon.

Thanks again to The Anthology for the love!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's All About Texture

I finally got around to getting some pics of my new stuff from the trip today. The weather wasn't as nice as I had hoped for, so I didn't get many outside snaps. That said, I still found a way to feature the gorgeous cherry blossoms that are in full bloom right now outside my house. I am also blogging from the EEE asus and I'm having problems with cropping photos so please excuse that.

I was so happy to have found three items from my HK Hit List: Fringed, Leather Jacket, and Cut-Out Bootie Sandals, all featured in this outfit. None of these items are brand names, but rather are from various boutiques in Hong Kong.

Brown bomber leather jacket: by Blues Heroes (haha not St.Louis tho - GO CANUCKS GO!). From Hong Kong
White beater fringed tank top: from a small boutique in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK
Blue Grey tiered skirt: from small boutique in Tsim Sha Tsui, HK
White leather mesh cut-out sandal slingbacks: from Causeway Bay, HK

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Daily Inspiration

Sorry about the lack of posts this week...I know some of you have been checking back in anticipation of my latest wares from my trip and I just haven't had time since I got back to sort out my picture and laundry.   Anyways, I will have some up tomorrow and hopefully the weather cooperates and I can get some nice shots outside.

Until then, here are a couple of other fashionistas I spotted on Lookbook (thanks to my friend Amber for the tip).  I'm in awe of how amazing the styling is from the peeps in this community, and how professional the shots look.  It's definitely inspired me to learn more about photography.

I love her Cheap Monday outfit, and her hair is amazing.

Her pink glasses are super cute, as are her tresses!  

Monday, April 13, 2009

HK Hit List #1

Ok this is somewhat cheating but as my trip is over as of tomorrow night (I depart midnight tomorrow), I have to get to the last Hit List item. It's actually items and I've already scored a few pieces here. Without further adieu, HK Hit List #1 - Fringed and Studded. I feel like I would be ready for Coachella in this ensemble.

I'm wearing -

Nirvana white tee (says "All in all is all we are" on the back and features graphic of Kurt Cobain from Smells like Teen Spirit video)
Fringed suede vest
Jean shorts
White woven, double wrap leather belt
Studded green leather strappy flat sandals
Baby pink "80's" satchel with fringy straps and hardware

Everything except for the jean shorts are items I have scored on this trip to HK.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Asia Food Bytes

The past week has been a food extravaganza here in Asia. It's been a real treat eating all my favorite foods as well as trying some new stuff. I've been spoiled with a wide variety of cuisines - from traditional Shanghainese noodles and dumplings to Asian Fusion to home-made Cantonese fare. I've also indulged in so much dessert and ice-cream that I think I can't eat another bite of sweets for at least a week!

I didn't take shots of all the good things I ate but here is a little photo recap to give you a taste. Some of my faves and/or most memorable meals are also listed below.

Above: my niece about to dig into her favorite dessert, souffle (or "softly" as she calls it).

We enjoyed Easter luncheon at the beautiful Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong today. Besides a selection of main courses, there was a buffet for starters, salads and dessert, as well as a pasta and prime roast carving station. Some of the delectable sweets featured below included a green tea tiramisu, mini hazelnut chocolate mousse dome, mini creme brulee, a variety of pannacotta served in shot glasses, strawberry cheesecake and an ice cream station. There was a lobster and white asparagus salad (served in a cocktail glass) which was also outstanding as an appetizer.

In Shanghai, we ate at an modern asian fusion place called T8. It's a pretty sexy and modern lounge and restaurant that serves lovely cocktails such as the Xintiandi Fizz that I ordered (gin, watermelon, strawberry and lychee juice and soda). The interior features black and red lacquered wood and cozy bench seating and low tables. I ordered the Duck, Three Ways, shown below.

My fave and/or most memorable food bytes:
  • the best xiao long bao (meat and soup stuffed dumplings) and dan dan noodles (noodles in a spicy peanut sauce) at Crystal Jade Restaurant, Shanghai. The dumplings had beautifully thin skin and was stuffed full of soup inside.
  • freshly made rice-rolls with extra sweet, sesame and spicy sauce from the market downstairs.
  • five course meal featuring the Shanghai hairy crab in every single dish, where the meat is completely shelled. Some varieties included steamed crab served with sweet and sour vinegar, stir-fried crab legs with asparagus, stir-fried crab with hand made noodles, and in soupy dumplings.
  • japanese soft serve ice cream on top of a sweet potato slice, served with red bean and dumplings on the side.
  • smoked tea duck, "lion's head" (pork and spices) meatball in a clear broth, and dumplings at Fortune Palace in Shanghai
  • extra thick toast with butter and condensed milk in a typical Hong Kong style cafe...yum!

Friday, April 10, 2009

HK Hit List #2

Shopping yesterday was extremely overwhelming as there is just an incredible amount of goodies here. I already picked up 3 pairs of shoes, some pretty frocks and a few other items. I have to stay focused, and one good way to do that is to get back to basics to my hit list. I've got another long day of shopping ahead today!

This next item is one that I've been desperately for a long time now. I keep looking for "the one", and I won't compromise on this. Item #2 on my HK Hit List: The Leather Jacket.

Below: S.W.O.R.D. Pradua Leather Jacket

Below: Gryphon Mini Moto Leather Jacket

Below: Mike and Chris Woven Leather Jacket (note the gorgeous woven detailing on the shoulders)

All images from

Shanghai Highlights

Had my first full day of shopping and brought back a trove of treasures...more on that later. First, a quick photo update of Shanghai.

On day 1 we traveled to Suzhou, about a 45 minute drive from Shanghai to visit the countryside towns and gardens. We visited the Humble Administrator's Garden, a world UNESCO site and considered one of China's four finest classical gardens. The garden was created during the Tang dynasty (618-907) as a scholar garden, and later was acquired by a government official and enlarged into a series of pavilions and ponds connected by walkway paths during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). We also visited some of the water villages nearby, some of which were built nearly 500 years ago also in the Ming dynasty.

Above and two pictures below: Humble Administrator's Garden

Pictures below: water village

Thursday, April 9, 2009

HK Hit List #3

I only have a few days left in Hong Kong and I need to ramp up my shopping efforts to tick off some items from the Hit List. On the hunt for my Hit List #3: Floral prints. Dark and moody, abstract, or small sweet buds, they are all equally enchanting.

Above: Kate Moss for Top Shop black floral dress

Above: Anthropologie Rain Washed Dress

Above: Forever 21 sweetheart neckline floral tank