Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New You?

Photo: dotw on Flickr

Tradition dictates that every 365 days, you should try to kick bad habits and start your life anew.

Will this year be the year? Will this be the year that you achieve real change in your life? Despite it being a wholly arbitrary event, there is something cleansing about tagging a new number onto the end of the date, hanging new calendars, "out with the old, in with the new" and generally hoping for a better year than last.

This is a time when many of us get reflective. At least, I do. I have always been big on resolutions. For years, the last few pages of December or the first few pages of January in my journal would be filled with a zillion promises that I made to myself. With a new year came hope, excitement and a chance for a fresh start. In fact, I'm one of those people who actually sticks to her resolutions and sees them through.

For the first time (ever, really) I don't have a gigantic list of things that I want to change going into the new year. I don't have any real "resolutions," per se. Sure, I know that I need to learn how to relax. And that I should find more time to take better care of myself. 2008, well … it was amazing, exhausting, transformative, exciting, terrifying, emotional and … how the hell was it just one year? I started it in my very own apartment, which now really feels like home. I made some absolutely stellar new friends. I took on a job which has challenged me and forced me to grow in ways that I never could have imagined. I'm a better (stronger) woman for what this past year has taught me.

Looking back, I can't help thinking of the naive 25 year old that I was only a couple years ago. As Ben Harper just said on my ipod…"I’m more afraid of falling…" which I was, up until now. That being said, I have also most definitely stumbled a few times as I've gone along. What I am most proud of, is that I have been able to dust off my knees, get up and keep going.

The truth is, I'm always striving to be a better version of myself. I think about that all the time, not just at the end of the year. Regardless, I would like to bid farewell to 2008 as I look ahead to what I believe promises to be a most incredible new year. I just can't wait to see what 2009 has in store!

Happy New Year. Truly. It will be.

Monday, December 29, 2008

This Part Of My Life Is Called...

..."In Between." I'm on my way somewhere, I'm sure of it.

Photo: Source

The alarm went off far too early for my liking this morning. My new memory foam pillow from Nood isn't helping the "early to rise" routine at all- but it has been enabling me to sleep better than I have in years. I can't stop raving about this thing, it's incredible! (good call, Shawna) Plus, I'd been spoiled and sleeping in as late as I wanted for the last five days while on Christmas vacation. Today, it was back to reality. And boy, was it harsh. I'm not sure exactly what it was about today, but it completely defeated me. I felt near tears right up until I left the office. I'm very grateful for my friend across the country who may be a little nuts, but is a constant source of support, can always make me laugh, listens to me vent and only sorta makes fun of me when I get all emo.

Photo: MTV Music on Flickr

After work, I felt like I needed some retail therapy to help cheer me up. It was almost like my car drove itself to Holt Renfrew. It must have known that it's Boxing Week and the 50% off sale was still going on. I hadn't really planned on checking the sale out (since what you don't know can't hurt you), but somehow I ended up there anyway. It must have been fate. I may have purchased a DvF dress that I don't really need, but I love, love, love it (and how does one really gauge necessity, anyway?) It's simple and basic, but really quite elegant. It was also rather fitting, seeing as though I got home tonight just in time for the series premiere of what is clearly going to be a new obsession in my world, "The City." In this spinoff to MTV's "The Hills," leading lady Whitney Port has just started working in PR at Diane von Furstenberg. How could I not love this show? Whitney basically has my dream life- well, my dream job in my dream city, anyway- oh, and my dream wardrobe. I could do without the Australian though- he's not my type. I noticed mixed reviews of "The City" via my Twitter feed tonight, but personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it (even if I did keep looking for Lauren and then realizing that she's still in LA. Duh.) This new Olivia character is a snob and a half... a stunning, snobby nightmare- which will, without a doubt, create some entertaining drama.

It looks like I have another weekly MTV addiction on my hands. With the show's focus on friends, fashion, love and nightlife—and with her caramel locks and joie de vivre—Whitney just might end up being NYC's newest "it" girl. If she ever needs somebody to fill in, I'm available.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Operation: Reassemble

The holidays are full of “good cheer” aka a lot of booze. So it might be smart to get your detox in order now so that after you’ve put the holiday treats and leftover turkey down, you can reassemble yourself for the New Year.

Photo: Ren

One thing I’ve noticed is that my face doesn’t bounce back the way it used to when I was younger. After a night out, my eyes look tired and my skin seems to look almost heavy. My plan to combat a face pooped by the party:

  • Ren Multi-Mineral Pore Minimizing Detox Mask, $34 (purchase here or at Sephora)

Ren seems really cool because it’s “pure as it is potent,” meaning it works without any nasty chemicals or synthetics. I tried it out tonight while I relaxed in a hot bath and let me tell you, it is AMAZING. I highly recommend this product.

Photo: Sephora

On Christmas morning, the first thing that caught my eye under the tree was a Sephora bag. It seems that when my mom and dad were down in Seattle last weekend, my mom insisted that a stop be made at my favourite store on the planet, heaven on earth, aka Sephora. What she picked out for me is an amazing set of products from a line that I've never used before.

Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection, $145 value (purchase at Sephora)

Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection is infused with real ruby powder to enhance your beauty with the same authentic, fascinating qualities of the ruby. These 100% pure bareMinerals eye and face colors capture the vitality of ruby gemstones. The warm colour palette of this collection, including brushes and a lip polish, provides you with a daily dose of luxury and a naturally radiant way to express the real you.

So far, rave reviews from yours truly on this simply fabulous set. I'm looking forward to experimenting more with these products. It's a very different colour palette than I'm used to wearing, so I've enjoyed creating some new, glam looks with it. Should I find myself in any kind of social setting for New Years Eve, this set (plus the hot clutch that comes with it) will definitely be an asset.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hockey Over Shopping

After all the preparation, planning and anticipation, I always feel a bit deflated once the whole thing has come and gone. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy every second of it.

On Christmas eve, after watching lots of old favourite holiday flicks with my parents (including Home Alone one and two), my brother and I hopped in a cab (a little later than usual, on account of the snow) and headed to Di and Shawn's house for their traditional Christmas eve get together and karaoke extravaganza. I almost missed out this year because we were all terrified of the road conditions out in the valley, but we decided that it just wouldn't feel like Christmas if we didn't get the whole group together. We had to make it happen. Needless to say, I'm glad that we made it out for a few beers, and tons of singing, dancing and holiday cheer.

After a fun-filled Christmas morning at home, and then a delicious turkey dinner with the fam at my aunt and uncle's house, my dad, brother and I got in the car and hit the snowy roads on a mission to get to GM Place for the Canucks vs. Oilers Boxing Day game. We met up with my uncle and two adorable, little cousins on the way. The six of us braved the elements and were lucky enough find ourselves, hotdogs in hands, in our seats, in time for the pre-skate. The boys may not have pulled off a win, Oilers took it 3-2, but the third period was definitely entertaining.

We all had a blast at the game- the only down side was that the drive home was even sketchier than the drive in. Thankfully, my dad got us home safely.

For those of you wondering about the incredible deals that this shopaholic got on Boxing Day...wonder no more. I chose not to brave the crowds at the mall this year. I just didn't feel like I needed anything enough to deal with the snow and the crazy people, no matter how sweet the bargains. I watched the maniacs lined up outside the Coach store downtown on the news yesterday and in all honesty, it made me very happy that I chose not to partake in the madness.

Anybody make any epic Boxing Day purchases yesterday that you'd like to brag about?

This way, I can shop vicariously through you.

One more big family dinner tonight and then I'm heading back to the city tomorrow. I kind of wish that I could stay for another week of relaxing and sleeping in...

I hope that all of you had an absolutely joyful holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve Eve

Photo: Patchwork Pottery on Flickr

I've pretty much been the worst blogger known to man over the last few weeks. Christmas holidays aren't what they used to be. Apparently things don't slow down for me the same way that they did when I was a kid. I haven't baked a single cookie or wrapped any gifts, nor have I sent out my cards... and it's Christmas eve eve, so I guess I'm screwed. Work has been insane, my social calendar has been full, and I've barely had a second to take a deep breath, let alone write anything worthwhile to post here. It has been the most insane December of my life.

Last Friday night was the company Christmas party. It's always a fun evening, always a gong show, always a fabulous meal at Provence and a chance to get all dolled up. We started pouring the champers early on. Most of the next two days were spent recovering. Shawna was my hangover buddy- we ate pizza, watched movies and slept a lot before a morning walk to Starbucks in the snow.

Sunday was my best friend Eddie's birthday. He's in town visiting from Baltimore so we made our way to Hapa Izakaya on Robson for dinner with friends to celebrate. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with Eddie over the next few days while we both retreat at our parents' houses in the valley. It sounds like there's a good chance we could be snowed in, so that will mean ample opportunity for catching up.

Last night I met up with the lovely Melissa for delicious wine and eats at one of my favourite spots, the Salt Tasting Room. The evening never seems long enough when the two of us get together because we always have endless stories to share and ideas to discuss. She wrote an adorable post about our date here. I can't wait until she moves to the city this spring.

The snow has pretty much been ruining my life for the last few days- preventing me from doing things that I've wanted to do, and adding a certain amount of stress and anxiety to everything that needs to be done, including getting to work in the mornings. Thankfully, Shawna and her sharkfin-mobile came to my rescue. Today, I managed to escape from the city in my own car. I'm home for Christmas, and I'm very excited to be spending the next few days here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

I finally got around to getting into the Christmas spirit this weekend. At the end of a long and draining week, Keira and I spent a fun-filled Saturday together. It was just what we needed. We sipped peppermint mochas, nibbled on cranberry bliss bars, and spread some love at the SPCA Toy Drive for the Animals where we got our photo taken with Santa and fell in love with a dog named Buddy. Then we hit up Holt Renfrew and took advantage of designer discounts (we heart Marc Jacobs), indulged in manicures, indian takeout and delicious red wine...oh, and some back to back Mick Dundee action too. Can you believe that it was my intro to the legendary Aussie? I must have lived under a rock in the 80s. As I walked home, snowflakes landed on my blonde head and blanketed the city around me, turning it into a winter wonderland.

Make sure that you check out Keira's post and photos of our day.

On Sunday, I pointed my Jetta east and headed out to my parents' house to trim the family tree. It's one of my favourite Christmas traditions. Each ornament has a story behind it, so we always spend time reminiscing as we pull them out of the box and hang them on the tree. We also listened to my brother's classic CD mix of the best Christmas carols of all time. I like to sing along. My family probably wishes that I didn't.

The whole holiday season really seems to have snuck up on me this year. I can't quite believe that the big day is next week! Thankfully, I'm finally feeling a little less like the Grinch.

Are you all ready for Christmas?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Best Of The Best

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Last night was the Best of 604 Awards gala at The Cellar on Granville Street. The event was put on to perfection by Miss604, Rebecca Bollwitt. A big thanks to Rebecca for all of her tremendous hard work in putting together such a fabulous evening for us. I can only imagine how much more momentum this will have behind it next year, given what a huge success it was.

Photo: penmachine on Flickr

You can find a complete list of the winners and runners up in each category right here on Rebecca's blog.

Photo: on Flickr

It was quite exciting to be in a room filled with so many familiar faces, many of which I've only ever seen in blog photos. We sipped cocktails, cheered for our favourite blogs and shared lots of laughs. Oh, and we posed for some photos too...'cause I mean, we just wouldn't be bloggers if we didn't. We also raised some money for a very important cause.

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Keira, Amy, Lindsay and I also managed to create some random Thursday night adventures after we left The Cellar. You'll have to click over here to read more about what exactly we got up to.

It was one of those truly awesome nights. You know, the ones that really make you appreciate how lucky you are to have incredible, fun, silly ladies in your life that you get to spend time with (and drink with!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stipe For Lacoste

Photo: : Lacoste

Michael Stipe, frontman for REM (and one of my favourite musicians of all time) has been chosen by Lacoste to design a polo shirt as part of their Holiday Collector’s Series. This is the third in the series, with Stipe following Tom Dixon and Michael Young.

On the multi-colored printed polo, Stipe “created a monumental two tone photographic image depicting a crowd at a stadium concert from the perspective of a performer on the stage.” The image was originally used in the Visionaire 54 Sport issue. The polo is available for both sexes and comes in a multitude of colors: Ore, Rubine Red, Mother of Pearl and Palm Green. Only 12,000 shirts will be produced in the limited edition run. The polo comes with a price tag of roughly $300, but nevertheless, I know exactly who will be putting this on his wish list this Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Faces And Labels

Photo: Harper's Bazaar

Everyone’s favourite exhibitionist fashion designer, Marc Jacobs is posing in the buff for his latest limited-edition Louis Vuitton collection, tan lines and all. The day-glo graffiti design is a tribute to the late designer and artist Stephen Sprouse who tagged all over bags and cases for the popular LV Spring 2001 collection.

The new exclusive collection, which includes t-shirts, dresses, sunglasses, bracelets, a towel, and a sweatband, debuts next month along with a special website dedicated to Sprouse, dubbed The site, set to go live Dec. 15, will feature cool interviews from people who knew Sprouse and their commentary on how he influenced fashion and art. Jacobs claims that he "channeled Stephen" throughout this project, and even created a custom- made skateboard and skateboard case, which is going to be up for auction.

It was reported earlier this year that Madonna was shooting an ad campagin for Louis Vuitton, and now a few of the images have surfaced. The pictures were shot by Steven Meisel, who previously shot Madonna for her book SEX. The campaign is set to roll out in February. The chemistry between the two is evident as - in a sepia-toned setting reminiscent of a Paris café in the Forties, with its zinc bar, bentwood chairs and air thick with smoke - Madonna transforms into Marc Jacobs' vision of the quintessential Parisienne, striking provocative poses in the season's sexy short skirts, ethnic-inspired sandals and animal-print bangles.

Photos: :LA Times Blogs

This is a quote via WWD on how Marc Jacobs came up with the idea of using Madonna:

“When Marc Jacobs found himself in a meeting on a recent Monday morning to brainstorm about Louis Vuitton’s next fashion advertising campaign, inspiration struck. ‘I just blurted out, ‘I think we should do Madonna,’’ said the designer, Vuitton’s creative director, mentioning he’d attended a concert by the pop icon the night before in Paris. ‘I was totally just blown away by it, and moved by her performance, by what she had to say, and her energy.’ As the meeting went on, Jacobs tapped out a message to Madonna on his BlackBerry, and within about five minutes came the reply: ‘I’d love to.’ Although [Vuitton’s director of communications Antoine] Arnault declined to give figures, he said media budgets for the fashion campaign would be on par with a year ago. And he dismissed as ‘absurd’ reports pegging Madonna’s fees at $10 million. ‘It’s very far away from that,’ he assured.”

Photo: NYmag

Daisy Lowe's
name became famous on account of her illegitimate father (Gavin Rossdale) and socialite mother (Pearl Lowe). But now the model is making her mark with her own style and she is Marc Jacobs' latest muse. She is set to be the star of the spring and summer ad campaigns for his Marc by Marc Jacobs line. "I think she looks adorable," the designer said. The images were shot by Juergen Teller. Now, Lowe is not your typical stick-thin model, but is known for her curves. Recently, the London Times wondered if her rise was paving the way for a new wave of models who are a normal, healthy-looking shape. Lowe has posed for plenty of editorial spreads for magazines like Italian Vogue and i-D, but her advertising work is more limited. She's modeled for lingerie giant Agent Provocateur, Converse, and French Connection, but never a high-fashion designer like Jacobs. With one of the industry's most influential designers behind her curves, will the aesthetic trickle down?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Smitten Kitten

I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with some truly incredible professional athletes last week. One of these guys in particular, made quite an impression on me. I have to admit, I have totally been crushing on Aaron Bittner. What can I say? I have a weakness for cute boys who snowboard. Come on, just look at him!

P.S. Lauri Heiskari is kind of awesome too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My December Must Haves

Photo: Quiksilver

Dresses by Quiksilver Women's: With holiday parties come a good excuse to get all dolled up and put on a fabulous dress. The Audrey is a cap-sleeve dress in silk, which has alternating panels of tulle in the front and back, a satin removable slip with tulle trim, knife pleats at the front, a shirttail hem, hidden pockets along the seam, and exposed satin zipper detail at the back.

Photo: Quiksilver

The Lily dress features a silky brushstroke plaid print and a solid vest bodice with a racerback, exposed satin zipper detail at the side seam, a shirttail hem in the back, decorative stitch detail, and fabric covered buttons. I plan on wearing both of these dresses during Christmas festivities this month.

Photo: Sephora

Diorshow Mascara by Christian Dior: When I was in Sephora last week, I decided to splurge on some new mascara because I haven't been loving my regular Maybelline so much lately. I wanted something ultra-glam, so I picked up a tube of Diorshow, which is Sephora's best seller both in-store and online. I have to admit, it lived up to the hype. This is hands down the best mascara that I've ever used (and I've pretty much tried 'em all). Long, black, separated, curled, thickened lashes! No clumps, no smudges. It even keeps my naturally very straight lashes curled to perfection all day.

Photo: Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Eyeshadow Mosaic: Four shades in one compact, which can be used alone or together to create the perfect look. I have a makeup kit full of MAC shadows from my days as a makeup artist that I'm absolutely bored with. I picked one of these mosaic kits up in "Sultry" and it's just that. I love it.

Photo: Revolve Clothing

7 For All Mankind Flynt Jean in New York Dark: Despite my seemingly large collection of denim, I'm always on the look out for that next, perfect pair. I know that a good pair of jeans can last years, will go with any outfit and most importantly, that there's nothing better than putting on a pair of jeans that you look and feel hot in. I recently added a pair of Flynts by Seven to my wardrobe. They're the ultimate go with everything, classic that I've been looking for.

Photo: Kerastase

Kérastase Ciment Thermique: With the massive popularity of heat styling tools, especially hair straighteners and blowdryers, it is becoming more and more important to protect your hair from the extreme heat these tools put on your hair. No matter how good the tools you use are - any extreme heat will sooner or later have a damaging effect on your hair, causing it to split or break off or making the colour of your hair fade. This is where Kérastase Ciment Thermique comes in. Basically, it's a Thermo-cosmetic reconstructing milk which reinforces weakened hair. Activated by heat, Ciment Thermique covers the hair fibre, adding a layer of protection and moisture to the hair. The hair is left firm, supple and strengthened, with added shine. I have never been more impressed with a product's ability to do what it claims it will do.

Photo: UGG Australia

UGG boots: These have become an absolute staple in my world. They are by far, the most comfortable footwear in the universe. I was happy to (finally) replace my old and very well worn "two tones" with a brand new pair last week. My cozy toes thank me.

Photo: Bath & Body Works

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine/ Breath Freshener: A mint-infused lip balm, which provides a glossy high shine as well as a refreshing, cooling sensation. It keeps your lips moist and protected while peppermint oil gives your breath long lasting freshness. I'm completely addicted to this stuff. Plus, the mint makes me think of something else that I love this time of year...


Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Twist: 'Tis the season to indulge. I'm pretty sure that I don't need to go into detail about why this makes my list. This particular drink is key for the holiday season. In fact, it's very likely that I will get one this afternoon.

What are your must haves for this month?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Best of 604

The lovely Rebecca Bollwitt of (who is in my opinion, the Queen of Vancouver Blogs) has created what she's calling the Best of 604. It's the people's choice awards, celebrating the best of Metro Vancouver online.

Photo: Miss604 on Flickr

Always innovative, Rebecca continues to inspire and impress me with her amazing ideas. This is such a fantastic way to promote local blogs. Vancouver has such a great blogging community and it's exciting to celebrate it. A big thanks to Miss604 for putting this together.

Here's the deal- nominations are currently posted on the website. You can vote for your favourite blogs in several different categories starting today. Ballots will be up until December 10th at midnight PT.

Best of 604 will wrap up with an awards reception, where winners will be announced at The Cellar on December 11th. Free tickets are available through EventBrite. Donations to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be collected at the event.

I am so honoured to be nominated in such incredible company, in two categories: Best Style/Fashion Site or Blog and Best Personal Site or Blog.

If you love me, you can click here to vote for me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Miss Mellis

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Today is Keira-Anne's birthday. If you read her blog, you know that she's quite a girl. She's as cool and smart as she is beautiful. She could give Martha Stewart a run for her money in the kitchen any day and can whip up the most amazing batch of chocolate chip cookies you've ever tasted in your life in the snap of her perfectly manicured fingers. Animal lover, fashionista, Frye boot wearing blogger and absolute sweetheart, Keira-Anne also happens to be one of my all time favourite people to go on adventures with...especially in the rain. She has a huge heart, which she keeps her friends and family very close to at all times. I certainly feel blessed to call her a friend of mine.

So today, I want to wish Keira the happiest of birthdays. We must celebrate over cocktails when I get back to town.

You can go ahead and give the birthday girl some love today right here.