Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hump Day Hunks: 2010 Olympic Games Edition II

Happy Hump Day Hunks! We're into Week 2 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and there's no stopping the Olympic fever that has gripped the city. For your viewing pleasure, I have a more international flavour in today's Olympic edition. If you missed the first Olympic edition Hump Day Hunks or you just want a refresher, check it out here.

Above: French hottie Simon Fourcade, Biathlon
Above: Sven Kramer of The Netherlands, Speed skating
Above: Dario Cologna of Switzerland, Cross-country skiing
Above: Errol Kerr of Jamaica, freestyle skiing

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hot for Hockey: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Style

A dream came true last night when I attended my first ever Winter Olympics mens hockey game. Not just any old hockey game, but for my home team: CANADA! Being the boys' first game in the tournament, I wanted to look my best decked out in our nation's colour, red.
Apologies for these photos not being the most creative but it was hard trying to get style shots in a line up of several thousand!

I broke my own rules from my piece on What Does One Wear to the Hockey Game (no skirts) as I pulled out a high-waisted, grey bandage number for the occasion. Rules are meant for breaking, right??
When the Canadian team stepped onto the ice for the pre-game warmup, the crowd went nuts with chants of "Go Canada Go!" reverberating throughout the stadium. I was especially proud when our very own Canucks goalie, Roberto Luongo, came out and played magnificently in a shut-out win.
Crosby, Toews (both Hump Day Hunks), Iginla - they were all there. In the matchup against Norway, it almost looked like an exhibition game at times of NHL all-stars on one side, and amateurs on the other.
The stadium was washed in a sea of red.
The players lined up for a hand shake at the end of the game, with Canada winning 8-0 over Norway.
Red plaid shirt by Aritzia
Red I heart hockey tee by Lululemon
Grey high waisted bandage skirt by Aritzia
Black tights from Hong Kong
Motorcycle flat boots from Vincent Park
Green patent shoulder bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Hubby's Seiko diving watch
Have you been catching any of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics on TV where you are? Or if you are in Vancouver, are you swept up in the Olympics fever yet?

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's a Beautiful Celebration!

This past weekend has been a crazy celebration fest - 2010 Winter Games starting, hubby's birthday, Valentine's Day, and Chinese New Year. I ended up partying at sold-out Molson Canadian Hockey House on Saturday and the whole city just feels like it's on a constant Olympic high. Very quietly, It's a Beautiful Life turned one a few weeks ago. I can't believe it's been over a year since I started this journey of blogging. And for my one-year blog birthday, I invited some of you to submit something beautiful and inspiring to share.

What's to come this year for It's a Beautiful Life? I am working on a new look and will soon have a new URL so I'll keep you posted. There will be more travels abroad, Hong Kong coming up and possibly Europe (Copenhagen and Paris!). Hump Day Hunks is here to stay, and my usual outfit posts, style reviews, ponies, and food porn. And if you're not already, you can follow me on Twitter via @abeautifullife.

Thank you to all my dear friends for participating. I enjoyed each one of your gifts below.
From La Flore et la Faune, who created this beautiful drawing of me earlier this year (a highlight):

For your 1st blog birthday I send you a cocktail. Because a cocktail is a metaphor of beautiful life. A mix of various tastes and sensations. Technique and work for a pleasant result. Et l'art de vivre...

For you I prepared a Mojito. It's fresh, dynamic, minty, sparkling and witty. Related to parties, to travels (Cuba), to litterature (Hemingway). Cheers !
From Kelly, Option8:
Happy Anniversary to "It's A Beautiful Life!". This is an image of "The Dance Examination" (c.1880, pastel & charcoal on paper) by Edgar Degas. While this piece may not be Degas's most famous, I chose it because I greatly admire his mastery of pastel. I love Degas's paintings and illustrations of dancers because they speak to the little girl in me who wanted to be a ballerina.

Kelly, I LOVE Degas. Like every little ballerina, I grew up wanting so much to be like the girls in his pictures. Thank you.
From Kat Arnett of Fat Girl Skinny:
The most beautiful thing in my daily life is Mt. Baker. I'm fortunate where I live to have an amazing view of mountains all around. Even on my grumpiest and most caffeine deprived morning, seeing the mountains always takes my breath away.

Kat: I love your food and photo blogs. You always make me laugh, and I totally appreciate your efforts at making me less of a dim-witted cook. Thank you.
From Hauteworld, who seems to be my soul-sister twin that lives in Paris:
I thought that for your lovely blog-birthday, I'd provide some lovely French delicacies, so I headed over to Ladurée, picked out some yummy macarons (top left), had half of them packaged in special boxes (far left and right) and created a birthday cake out of the rest (center). Unfortunately they were too fragile to post, so you'll have to come pick them up in Paris ;-)

S, as a Taurus yourself, you knew just exactly what to get me! I can't wait to come savour this in person with you.
The above two gifts are from Teresa of Senses and Style, whom I have the privilege of working with:

It’s difficult to articulate what inspires me. As sentimental as it sounds, any unique forms, colours, shapes, and lines would enthrall me. This affinity for design spreads to all realms such as industrial, web, fashion, food, and architecture.

Even when I was a toddler, I used my vivid imagination and crayolas to create adventures on paper. I fondly remember my inner Architect sketching out this complex multi-storey high living space…within a mountain. And you go from one floor to the next either on a slide or pole, and when you need to go up you just jump on an elevator platform. I’m sure NASA or the White House have stolen my blueprints by now for their covert operations.

But the source of where my semi creative side comes from had eluded me for awhile. A trip across the world finally brought profound answers. When I went to China, it completely enlightened me and opened my eyes to my rich history and culture; this manifested into unbelievably beautiful buildings, hidden vibrant alleyways, vivid landscapes, and smiles of long lost families and relatives. The journey to my past explained my present and inspired me to pave the way for my future.

Teresa, thank you for sharing a piece of what inspires you. Travel is one of the most amazing experiences, and I look forward to reading more about your journeys this year.
From MizzJ of Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy:
Here's my photo for your 1 yr celebration! It's a photo of me in Chiang Mai, Thailand at an elephant reserve. This photo holds a dear spot in my heart because this place was special - it wasn't your typical elephant farm peddling rides to tourists, this was a home for abused, unemployed domestic elephants. Every elephant here had a tragic story of abuse and torture and seeing them happy and healed was something I'll never forget.

Thanks J for this beautiful story. I spent nearly 3 years of my childhood in Thailand so it's a very dear place to me. For those of you interested, the reserve is called Elephant Nature Park.
From the awesome twins Cath and Lar at Cajun Asians:

Congrats and Happy Birthday!

I attached the photo of Tilda Swinton for Pringle of Scotland because I love the textures and color combination. And I love anything that reminds me of Scotland - one of the most wild and beautiful countries in the world.

Cath and Lar, thank you so much. Tilda is a pure style queen, and I would love to visit Scotland one day.
From Raul of Hummingbird604:

When Liv asked me to share something beautiful in my life for her blogiversary, I immediately thought of lilacs (the flowers). You see, my Grandma loved the colour purple. She loved lilacs. And Liv's personality reminds me a lot of my Grandma. Whereas my Mom (my Grandma's daughter) and I are extremely extroverted, and can be sometimes loud and talkative, my Grandma was soft spoken, but always confident. Beautiful, in a serene kind of way. I find that's one of the traits that Liv shares with her. Liv's personality and writing are beautiful but not loud. Serene and confident. My Grandma was like that too. And lilacs do remind me of that kind of personality, beautiful serenity. Happy blogiversary, Liv!

Raul, that is very sweet! I have enjoyed knowing you and you are an inspiration to bloggers of all diversities. ps - I always knew I was an old soul =D.
From Erin, of Haus of Hybrid:
This is the 'Imagine' sign at Strawberry Fields. Not only does it remind me of one of my favourite places, New York, but it also evokes the feeling of hope. With all the struggles in the world today, it gets difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life. But with a little imagination, hope, hard work, and sincerity, anything is possible.

Erin, I love your attitude. Anything IS possible.

From Nicole of Le Mode du Jour (photo credit Caiti Anne):
The photo is titled: "i need to keep part of me to myself"

Why I chose this photo: To me, solitude is beautiful. Having moments to yourself. Taking time to reflect. These are moments in time that remind us of who we are and why we exist. And if not for either of those things, then for self-preservation. That part of ourselves we can't or won't share with anyone else is what makes us real.

Thanks for letting me be apart of your 1 year anniversary blog post celebration, you're truly an inspiration :)

Nicole: Beautiful photo and well spoken. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Want to take part in my 1-year celebration? It's not too late - leave me a comment that you want to participate and we'll get in touch.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hump Day Hunks: 2010 Olympic Games Edition

Happy Hump Day! Vancouver is filling up with athletes, spectators and media in time for the 2010 Olympic games. Along with that, of course, are hunks of all nationalities. Hunks of the tall and muscular variety. Accents a possibility. With less than 2 days to go, I present to you Hump Day Hunks: 2010 Olympic Games Edition.

Chatelaine Magazine is steaming things up with this photo shoot of Canadian Olympians posing with strategically placed equipment. I should not be so surprised there were quite a few freestyle skiers and french Canadian boys featured - remember mogul freestyler, Jean-Luc Brassard? See the rest of the photos here.

Above: Jean Phillippe Le Guellec, biathlon, Quebec City

Below: Vincent Marquis, freestyle skiing, Quebec City
Below: Steve Omischl, freestyle skiing, North Bay, Ontario
For a more wholesome image, I found Sean Crooks, cross-country skier. Yes, cross-country. Sounds kinda boring but nevertheless cute.
I am being a bit biased by showing way more Canadians than anyone else, but I haven't forgotten about our neighbour to the south. I already featured a couple of American hockey hotties on HDH before, and for someone new, here's the saucy Bode Miller of the USA Alpine Ski Team.
Mizz J at Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy made me laugh when she said, "There be tall, blonde, Swedes out there!". So she was my inspiration for this next hunk, Mattias Ohlund of the Swedish national hockey team. He also played in Vancouver for a little team called the Canucks for over 10 years.
For good measure, see also the list of the world's best/worst lovers here.

I'm quite flattered that my friend at VancityBuzz was inspired to start his own version of Hump Day Hotties featuring lovely ladies. He's also got a plethora of Vancouver Olympic related posts so check it out. I'll also be doing some posts over the next couple of weeks about the winter games for whatever free events I will check out, so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ready, Set, Gold! T-5 to Vancouver 2010 Wnter Games

The excitement is building here in Vancouver as we are five days away to the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. I've been seeing Olympic officials and athletes (that's you, Team Slovenia!) hanging around my work place hood the last few days now, and it seems everyone is sporting Olympic gear of some kind (especially those popular red Team Canada mittens).
And why not? Especially when boutiques like Aritzia are putting out super cute Olympic-licensed gear, like this faux-fur lined hoodie from the Park Life line. The first edition sold out quickly, and the new line has some awesome pieces for getting in the spirit without sacrificing style. Other highlights from the line include the retro Canada tees and tanks, and the First Nations inspired grey sweatshirt. I can't get enough of the vintage Olympic patches on my hoodie and it's sooo cuddly.
Above: Olympic faux-fur lined hoodie, Park Life by Aritzia. Fleecy Nightcap Equestrian leggings from Holt Renfrew. Denim logo hobo bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Green and pink trainers by Asics.

For for the lucky ladies taking part in the medal ceremonies, Aritzia has created some lovely outwear. The wrap sweater coat and old-school ski jacket are figure flattering. This should help keep our Vancity reputation for having some of the most gorgeous girls in the world.

I have to give props to Team USA's gear, designed by Ralph Lauren. Sure, some of it is outrageously expensive, but if you can steal from the boys (like I did here with my boys polo), you can find bargains.

Love these fun kicks that come in white, red and blue, and this Opening Ceremony Knitted hat.

Let the Games Begin!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Roxy X Cynthia Rowley = Hot Surfette Style

If there's one spring/summer collabo I can't wait for, it's this Cynthia Rowley and Roxy line which will launch in March 2010.
Inspired by the surf and sea, the collection (judging by the preview) focuses on soft, muted colours in shapes that holler back in time for a 60's inspiration.
Quite different to the usual bright and loud surf wear. Most of all, I'm eager to see what the wetsuits will look like. Anything will look better than the "seal suit" I currently don for cold waters.