Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: OOTW

Even if I find time to plan my #OOTD the night before, I still manage to have second thoughts by the time I wake up. Thus, my outfits are spur-of-the-moment decisions and are usually base on what I have to accomplish that day. If I'm moving around a lot, then comfort and ease of movement is key. If I'm going out after work then versatility and the ability to be dressed up or down is the goal.


Day 1

The 9 to 5 Family Of Greens: Plaid pants, chiffon top, and sparkly gems. Is it obvious that turquoise is a fave?



Day 2

(Work) Dress to Play: Flowy maxi & patterned layers- swapped my blazer out for a night look with my go to tweed topper.



Day 3

All In The Details: I tend to tie things together with a necklace-baubles, charms, long or short.



Day 4

On The Go: Velvet stretchy tights, a roomy top, and flat shoes-these camel leather loafers from Aldo strike the perfect balance between comfort and style.



Day 5

Barely There: On and off duty nude dress and short sleeve blazer-a plain Jane kind of day, but this silk one was a thrift of a steal.


Day 6

The Cool Factor: Literally. Scarves are my go to for accessorizing & practicality. This shimmery one makes a statement on its own besides the sentimentality of it from my travels in Cambodia.


Day 7

Fur Real Deal: This faux fur vest has been the best investment piece ever! A fabulous layering piece, and one I don't feel guilty about.


xo Sarah 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Modern Chainmail




Lately, I've been pretty obsessed with this Banana Republic blazer (on sale, of course). The jacket is unusual with its metallic basketweave fabric that reminds me of chainmail. The asymmetrical zipper and snaps further enhance its edginess while the back flounce and raw trims along the sleeves and hem (like Chanel's classic boucle blazer) add that feminine touch. 

Although it is a stand-out piece, it's quite a versatile one at that. Pop it over a t-shirt and jeans for a casual look, over a flared skirt for something a little more flirty, or go fierce with killer boots and funky hair. To make a more unusual piece adaptable, select garments in neutral colours as you want to focus more on the fabric construction, hardware details, and/ or design lines.

What I found most challenging with this post was having to be both the model and photographer. I had a limited window to take the shots as it was only effective when there was enough sunlight pouring into the room. Because I had to take my own photos, I learned more about the camera's functions, and I got a bit of a workout walking back and forth between each shot. 








xo Ann

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: OOTW

With most days of the week spent at work where the dress code is pretty casual, my go-to OOTD usually consists of a t-shirt, cardigan, and leggings. I often dress for comfort and simplicity but ensure style is not compromised. (My closet is not very colourful and you'll never catch me in sweatpants and a hoodie.) Layering is key to building my outfits and allows for me to wear a majority of my wardrobe year round.



Day 1
In my mind you can never go wrong with wearing black and white.
I love mixing this cardigan with my velvet leggings for an extra fuzzy outfit.

Day 2
Jackets are one of my many weaknesses. This is one of my 
favourite for adding a splash of colour to my outfits in the spring. 

Day 3
Some days are meant for lounging right? I love pairing an oversized hoodie
 with leggings for when I'm running errands and catching up on Downton Abbey.

Day 4
Button up shirts are a major staple in my wardrobe. Usually I opt for 
crew neck tshirts and collared tops, however I rediscovered this blush 
chiffon tank which layers well with cardigans and button up shirts.

Day 5
One of my best purchases; this jean vest is perfect to layer over t shirts, sweaters 
and dresses. I even threw in a bit of colour to this outfit with my burgundy leggings.

Day 6
Apparently I'm really into layer denim and stripes. This denim shirt is one of 
my favourite pieces in my wardrobe for its versatility and gold chain detailing.

Day 7
Scarves - not only great to incorporate pattern 
but also practical to keep warm on those windy days.


XO Steph

Friday, 11 March 2016

Distressed Vintage Cork Board




Cork boards are fantastic for pinning notes and reminders, but the designer in me also thinks they make great mood boards. You can quickly pin your ideas and inspiration, shift them around easily, and remove ones that deviate from the current theme. Oftentimes, the selection is heinously generic. I don't want to pin beautiful ideas onto an eyesore, but I also do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on ornate frames as well.

My attempts to beautify a very basic cork board (Michael's) is to glue decorative corner pieces (Home Depot) onto its existing frame, which have both been painted to create a distressed look. Shanty 2 Chic provides a thorough and comprehensive explanation on achieving this finish using petroleum jelly, and you can refer to her tutorial for more visuals.


Supplies


Cork board
Wooden decorative corner pieces (4)
Sandpaper
Dark acrylic paint
White latex paint
Paintbrush
Paint tray
Painter's tape
Petroleum jelly
Superglue


Instructions

  1. The frame may be treated, so you'll need to prep the surface by sanding off the varnish. A rotary sanding machine will make the job much faster. Otherwise, it just takes a bit more patience to do it manually. 
  2. Start with the dark base coat. Acrylic paint is suggested because it is cheap and dries rapidly. Paint the areas that you want to have show through the white paint. I painted the frame and corner pieces and used painter's tape to prevent it from getting onto the cork board itself. 
  3. Selectively apply petroleum jelly as this provides a buffer between the base coat and topcoat. Generally, that will be on the corners and edges.
  4. Paint the frame and corner pieces with latex paint. You can also paint the cork board, but based on my experience, I found it caused some bubbling. Allow for each layer to dry before applying another. I used three coats for a thorough coverage. 
  5. Glue the corner pieces onto the cork board, and allow for it to dry and set completely. 
  6. Using coarse-grade sandpaper, gently abrade the areas where you want to reveal the base coat. 
  7. Hang it up, and pin your inspirations, ideas, and/or reminders! (Tip: Re-purpose old stud earrings as pushpins.)


What I Would Have Done Differently


If I did this project again, I would have left the cork panel unpainted. Going over it with latex paint resulted in bubbling that unfortunately wouldn't settle once dried.


xo Ann

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: OOTW

This month's Tuesday Thoughts is about sharing our outfits of the week. For me, I don't often plan my ensembles in advance. What I wear tends to be chosen based on how much I have time to get ready, the weather outside, and whether or not I can be bothered to shave my legs. It is kind of fun to look back at what one has worn over the week, and see if any running themes or commonalities can be identified.



Day 1

I am incapable of wearing all black. There needs to be colour somewhere. 




Day 2

This one is my favourite with the bright colours and gold-toed shoes.




Day 3

"I'm afraid I just blue myself." - Tobias Funke




Day 4

A dress fit for a vixen. This one garnered plenty of compliments! 




Day 5

These floral pants are my go-to for lazy days, or when I just need a little more breathing room since they have an elastic waistband.




Day 6

Feeling glam in red, gold, and leopard!




Day 7

This pleated mini skirt has so much fullness and is perfect for flirty days.




I'll admit, this is not my favourite Tuesday Thoughts. It did challenge me to learn how to take outfit selfies although this still needs some practice. My arms aren't long enough to capture the outfit, and my fingers aren't limber enough to balance a phone and snap a photo at the same time. 

xo Ann

Friday, 4 March 2016

Closet Cleanse



You may have dreaded it or loved it, but closet cleaning is as much a necessary and helpful practice to de-clutter, organize, and rearrange your wardrobe and perhaps even your life. I recently did a deep closet cleaning. Despite the time it took and the mindful excuses that kept pleading to keep just about everything, I felt so much lighter by the end physically and figuratively.

I find that the biggest joy and motivator for me is being able to relinquished my old and unworn clothes and donating bagfuls to non-profit organizations. It enables me to be service others who are less fortunate. This time around, I actually felt guilty and disgusting for having so many things that I've kept just for the sake of keeping them. Some were worn once or not even at all. Others were purchased on an impulse, for the thrill of snagging a great deal, or resulting in a lack of careful thought processes in my purchasing habits only to be left by the wayside and forgotten. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!

As the practice of downsizing and "less is more" lifestyle grows, it influences our wardrobe choices (see Steph's post), I highly encourage you to clean out your closet with these guidelines that I've found to be helpful in my own purge.




1. Look through a drawer or rack of clothes at a time as we usually tend to group similar items together. It's overwhelming to start when you're staring at your closet aimlessly.

2. Have two areas in your room to distinguish the keep vs. don't want pile. It may help to do this in a quick manner so your excuses don't start growing on you. These quick questions can help:

  • Q #1: Have I worn this in the past 6 months? Have I worn this in the past year (if it's a seasonal item)? Imagine the possibilities it could have in someone's else wardrobe rather than your own. Share the love and shed the possibility of it collecting dust!
  • Q #2: Can I still fit this well? Is this item too small for me? If it doesn't fit it should go, but unfortunately our diet frame of mind work always pleas for a second chance. Unless you are actively making progress to fit this item again, it has got to go!
  • Q #3: Does this item suit my current style? Seriously, will I wear this again? Our fashion sense changes from time to time, so there's no point keeping it if it's just for sentimental value. If you liked it enough, you would've had a photo of you in it by now. Yes, fashion trends come and go, but if it doesn't appeal to you, the chances of you wearing it again is slim even if they happen to be bell bottoms that are bound to come back... Oh right! They're already back!

3. Once you've sorted all your clothing, shoes and even accessories, bag them in their respective categories and choose what you want to do with your clothing. Below are some suggestions:
  • Contact an organization or non-profit you want to support to see if they have a pick up service scheduled in your area. If not, there are definitely donation centres and bins around the city for you to drop off at.
  • If you are a collector of brand names or perhaps have clothing that is in quality condition, consider putting them in a local consignment store where you can earn some money back (generally 40% of the sale price).
  • DIY projects! If you are hands-on and an avid creator, there are so many sewing and non-sewing ideas out there to turn your pre-loved clothing into something different.
  • Host a clothing swap party after having convinced your friends to do a closet cleanse as well. Your clothing will find a new home, and you might even gain some treasures for yourself too! 

4. I promise you will feel on top of the world by now. What's great is that your wardrobe has down sized a bit (or a lot in my case) and it will feel effortless wearing what you like to wear most accessibly. You can also do a closet inventory and make note of what items you already have, what you need to replace (ex. staple items that have worn out), and how much to invest into trends each season. It's possible to keep your closet balanced, wallet under control, and mind happy!


Images: 123


If you need a little more persuasion, check out the following sites below for further inspiration: 

Style Book App: Spring Cleaning 


xo Sarah

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Meraki Monthly: March



Spring will soon be upon us, so say hello to topsy-turvy weather, allergies, muddy shoes, and spring cleaning. Since the weather is warming up, festivals, foodie events, and obscure activities are creeping out of hibernation. Also, we're looking forward to the new collections to be showcased at Western Canada Fashion Week! Where has the time gone?!


Closet Cleanse: For those who aren't yet ready to commit to the discipline of a capsule wardrobe.
1-Item-4-Ways: Exploring versatility in modern "chainmail".
 Distressed Memo Board: Transform a generic cork board into a fanciful piece for cheap.
OOTW: Tuesday Thoughts features our outfits for the week.
// No post on Good Friday //

YEG Events

YYC Events

March 3: Love Her
March 4-13: The Big Taste
March 19: Gate to Plate
March 21: Grow 'N' Learn
March 26: Taste of Jamaica