Saturday, January 31, 2009

Running, Running, As Fast As We Can

It’s super easy to lose motivation during these winter months, so I thought it was time to turn up the heat! When I heard about Team Hot Years, started by Fo' Sho Shawna and a crew of other totally hot babes, I knew that I had to pick up a Nike+ iPod sport kit, create a mini (to look just like me) and kick my hinny into high gear. The sensor fits into your shoe, the other part fits into your iPod Nano and together they motivate you to get your butt out there and run like the wind by tracking your workouts, telling you how far and how fast you've gone, and how many calories you've burned plus allowing you to join up with teams and create challenges for one another. After each workout, you upload your results, and then voila! can share your progress with your friends and teammates on then celebrate your accomplishments (or trash talk your competition). You can even download Nike+ Coached Workouts on iTunes, and let a pro like Lance Armstrong tell you when to speed up or slow down.

I completed my first workout with my new Nike+ this afternoon. It was more of a "test" than an actual run. I wanted to figure out how it all works before our big challenge starts tomorrow, so I set out for a walk in the sunshine, which ended up being just over 6 kilometers. I'm going to become obsessed with this thing. I can feel it already. This was also my first workout in my new shoes. The air cushion support in them is absolutely awesome.

I've really missed running. For years, I ran religiously. I trained for races and set goals for myself, taking great pride in achieving them. In addition to Shawna, who killed it in her first half marathon back in December in Vegas, Miss Melissa has also been a serious source of inspiration to me as I follow her runs and workouts via her blog and Twitter. Nothing pushes you to get out there more than seeing your friends' success. That's the whole idea behind the Nike + program. And it works.

I've always loved running. It's something you can do by yourself, and under your own power. You can go in any direction, as fast or slow as you want, fighting the wind if you feel like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs

You can meet the ladies of Team Hot Years over here in the mini aquarium on Shawna's blog.

Meet my mini below:

Friday, January 30, 2009

So This Is Fat, Is It?

Photo: The Superficial

All this bullshit splattered across the tabloids and gossip sites over the last week with regards to Jessica Simpson's weight is exactly what makes it so damn hard for us. How the hell am I supposed to feel hot when this babe is being called fat? I happen to think she's absolutely gorgeous- no matter what size she is at the moment. Forgive a girl for choosing an unflattering outfit, please.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Today as I was busting my ass on the elliptical machine at the gym, trying to avoid the guilt I felt for sneaking a cookie after dinner last night...I started thinking. I was looking around at all the other girls working out in that gym; staring into the mirrors, their reflections looking back at them. Were the same feelings of inadequacy going through each of those girls heads? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why don't we ever feel like we're good enough?

In the moral order of our media driven society, the definition of what constitutes beauty, or even an acceptable body, seems to become more inaccessible all the time. We live in a universe where you could bounce a quarter off the well toned abs of any celebrity, and magazines are filled with airbrushed photographs of emaciated models with breast implants. We are constantly bombarded with images of Nicole Richie and The Olsen's among other twenty somethings who look like they need feeding tubes. How is any normal girl supposed to feel attractive or desirable when these ladies set the bar?

The pursuit of beauty has become an obsession for so many. It is an obsession that gnaws at the insecurities of most women; even those who are, by any objective opinion, drop dead gorgeous. Nobody wants to acknowledge that in our sophisticated decade, something as superficial as beauty can propel one person forward and hold another back. Society needs a revolution in its values. Beauty needs to be defined with much broader parameters. We need to avoid being trapped into the suffocating vanity that cuts off oxygen to the brains of so many girls (myself included!)

Beauty is nothing we can ever hold onto, yet we've panted after it through the ages, eager to drink it in and swallow it down in huge, hungry gulps- like the very breath of air itself. I've realized that if I have to sacrifice having fun and doing things that I enjoy in life to look a certain way, the choice is clear. Living fully and being happy is what life is for. Perfection is an illusion.
And in my experience, many of those who appear perfect to the outside world are merely camouflaging a plethora of imperfections on the inside.

I've come to the conclusion that you've got to have a healthy relationship with your body if you want to be happy with it. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I wish I could say that I love and accept myself as I am, but the truth is, I have spent much of my life worrying about how I look and feeling insecure about my body.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, and the grass is always greener on the other side-two cliches that, like most cliches, happen to to be true. We are all different, and we all wish we had something other than what we have. What we women need to do, instead of worrying about what we don't have, is just love what we do have. Get to know your body. Love it, respect it, treat it right.

Because really...doesn't the world have more important issues to focus on?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Photo: koelneransichten on Flickr

Sometimes when we close one book in our lives, it allows us the strength and courage to open another. I'm feeling ready to grow again. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is to make the changes that I want to see. It's taking the leap of faith and having the guts to actually make a change that can be the tricky part for me. Some of the things that once made me happy have now been causing me a considerable amount of anxiety. I had to recognize this and not allow myself to become stagnant (and miserable). I'm making a solid effort to create the reality that I want to live in for myself.

I don't think that honesty will ever break you. This is why I have to be honest with myself about what will and will not make me happy. I am someone who perhaps too often leads with my heart. Maybe this is why I keep finding myself trapped in emotional mucky messes, time and time again.

I want to live a life rich in experience. I want to be able to say I've done the things I've dreamed of doing. I want to always be trying new things, testing the waters, finding out who I am and what is going to make me happy. I have a responsibility not to be afraid of who I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I always have. And I have nothing but gratitude for the passionate people who have touched my heart and soul and impacted my life in such a profound way (even if they didn't turn out to be my future husband). If one lesson has really jumped out at me, it is the importance of living in the moment. Carpe Diem, as they say. Live. Laugh. Love. These are the important things to me right now. It's a beautiful world...and I have so many discoveries left to make. I can't fail. I can only succeed at finding what doesn't work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Just Need A Second To Breathe...

Photo: Kay on Flickr

I know, I know...there haven't been any updates around here for what seems like an eternity. The truth is, there just hasn't been time for the creative juices to flow. Hell, there hasn't even been time for me to keep up on my Google reader feeds or do my laundry. I have gone straight from the road, to KNOW? SHOW, and then into "head down order entry" mode. Yes, I'm completely beat. I almost didn't recognize the haggard face that stared back at me in the mirror this morning.

Something I've realized lately...

I really love my apartment. With all the travelling that I've been doing over the last year, I've really come to appreciate the feeling of home. I love coming home to this little place at the end of a long day.

Updates...soon...I promise. My anxiety over lack of content is starting to kick in HUGE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lovely Lady

Photo: Huffington Post

With all of the attention around the inauguration of Barack Obama, did anyone stop to check out how stunning his lady looked today?

Her lemongrass-yellow dress and jacket are by Isabel Toledo, a Cuban-American designer.

There was nothing traditional or remain-in-the-background about Michelle's outfit. She deliberately did not wear a typical "First Lady" frock. From the sunny, optimistic color to the choice of a dressy, almost evening look, she exuded pride and confidence. Mrs. Obama seems very comfortable in her own skin and completely grounded. I have to admit, the images of her and Barack holding hands and laughing today warmed my heart. Could they be any more adorable? I don't think so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Uh-oh...This Could Be Trouble!

After having my ebay cherry popped last week with the purchase of my very own little black heart, I've finally gotten with the times and jumped on the "online shopping" bandwagon.

Whether you're looking for bags or blouses, sweet kicks or super hot dresses, once you sign up for “sale mail,” you’re bound to be hooked. I discovered a website that's just like having your very own personal shopper, who is always on the lookout for amazing sales on your favourite designer labels, and in your size to boot.

Let me introduce you to Shop It To Me!

There are 500+ brands that are featured (including YSL, Prada, Theory, Marc Jacobs, 7 For All Mankind, Victoria's Secret and a ton more …)

The service is totally free and so is signing up. All you have to do is go to and create your profile by choosing the brands you like from the list. Then you input your sizes. Shop It To Me will send you a list of items on sale in your size from the brands that you love every week.

Now, how cool is that?

UPDATE: Shop It To Me has been kind enough to include me on their "Trendsetters" page. Check it out and discover a ton of awesome bloggers who love shopping too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Relentless Progression

Today I was told that I seem "calm" this season. Perhaps this new demeanor is even more glaringly obvious to the people around me on account of the fact that over the last year, "calm" was not a word that anybody would have used to describe me. I was the opposite of "calm." In fact, I was frantic, frenzied and stressed to the max- pretty much all the time.

Then I had an epiphany. I decided to "post up" and stop letting external factors and psychological bullies bring me down or push me around.

Now, it finally feels like I'm coming into my own. I have discovered that sometimes what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. And I am.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Whimsical Return To The Scene

In the early 90s, a young designer named Christian Francis Roth came into the fashion industry "like a splash of tonic." He immediately won the hearts of the New York City fashion world. Despite the acclaim of critics though, his business failed to make money. The designer of the totally adorable Crayola crayon dress realized that a deluge of press coverage just wasn't enough to make it. That being the case, he decided to take some time off from the design scene to learn the business from the production side.

Roth designed the iconic Crayola dress (above) in 1990.

Welcome to 2009 and here is Roth, older and wiser, making a big return with a new collection to be released under his own signature label, Francis by Christian Francis Roth. It will be positioned between the upper-end contemporary and entry-level designer tiers. Although he has aged since his fashion debut when he was 20 years old, his collection is still young at heart. He calls his Spring 2009 lineup "Gangs of New York."

“I first got the idea looking at my 16-year-old daughter, Annie. She and her friends travel in packs and have a similar look. They’re like little gangs,” Roth says. A few weeks later, he watched Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic, The Warriors. He knew he was on to something from the opening sequence, which depicts New York City gangs, each dressed in their signature uniforms, boarding the subway. “I almost choked when I saw it,” says Roth, who for this collection created six high school cliques, which hit the runway in a Nolita gymnasium. First came the After-School Specials (Upper West Side prepsters), then the Lace- ups (jocks), the Downtown Locals (graffiti-happy hipsters), the Twill Seekers (Upper East Side WASPs), the Pieces of 8th (inspired by St. Marks Place in the 1980s), and finally the Tie Breakers (twisted black-tie prom wear).

Each set included spirited riffs on classic high school stereotypes, such as oversize crest patches on blue blazers; strappy silk dresses designed from a ’70s NYC subway map (a ringer for one shown in The Warriors); shifts with drawings by graffiti artist Meres; and a blown-up interpretation of Lacoste’s signature alligator and Ralph Lauren’s Polo pony in a brawl. “We got a call from Lacoste after the show,” Roth says, “but when I told them we weren’t producing the shirt and that it was just for fun, they asked me for a souvenir!”

Obviously, several pieces from Roth's new collection have immediately been added to my Spring '09 Must-Buy List. This man seems to have the remarkable ability to truly understand the most unexpected of creatures, the quintessentially streetwise New York Woman, in all her nuances and eccentricities. Roth is in the business of originality, irony and just plain irresistible clothes.

To say that I can't wait to see what else is to come from this label would be a massive understatement. I'm always a sucker for a ready to wear line that's dripping with creativity.

Welcome back, Mr. Roth. The wit and sense of humour that you have put into this collection is truly refreshing.

Photos: New York Magazine

Friday, January 9, 2009

Banishing The Bounce

Photo: Victoria's Secret

It has been all quiet on my blogging front this week. I'm sorry for the lack of updates. A mountain of a workload, plus being away from home with all kinds of business to take care of has meant zero time for the blog.

One thing that I have made time for while I've been on the road though, is regular early morning visits to the gym.

Being that I'm rather um, large chested, finding a sports bra that's comfortable
and flattering has always been a challenge for me. Underwire is a must but comfort is also key. I feel like the life is being squeezed out of me when a sports bra cuts off my circulation. For years while playing sports, I wore underwire bras with sports bras over top. Yes, that's right folks, two bras at once. Sure, they kept my knockers in place while I booted it up the hill, or hit a jump shot at the buzzer, but hello "pancake boob" ...not to mention a zillion straps digging in and poking me, bulk city, and being all sweaty in totally unbreathable fabric. I envied the smaller chested women so much, because they didn't have to worry about their ta-tas while getting their sweat on. I wished more than anything that I could take mine off and leave them in the locker room while I went about my workout.

"Your breasts can bounce up to eight inches during exercise."- Jacqui Stafford, Executive Style Director for Shape Magazine

See? You need something that's going to hold 'em in place or you're liable to knock yourself out on the treadmill.

It is for all of these reasons that I was beyond ecstatic when I found this stellar, new miracle bra.

Victoria's Secret VSX Sport Triple System Tech Sports Bra

Here are the features that this baby boasts:

• Body-Wick™ technology moves moisture away from the body to keep you dry and comfortable
• Interior cushioned underwire frame reinforces support and motion control
• Triple-layer mesh for cooling ventilation and superior support
• Molded cup spacer adds subtle shape enhancement and stabilizing support and coverage
• Adjustable, padded hook-and-eye closure allows for precise fit

Finding a sports bra that keeps the girls up without giving me one big, massive "uniboob" is something that I had never thought possible, until I found this bra. Plus, the fact that it actually makes my tits look really good while I'm at the gym is just incredible in my world. This is why I deemed it worthy of an entire blog entry dedicated to its awesomeness.

You too can banish booby bounce and blitz those unwanted jiggly bits wearing this super supportive and totally flattering sports bra- and it'll only cost you $38 US. That Victoria, she's got all kinds of tricks up her sleeve.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Know Your Hands Will Clap

Photo by Marcus Palmqvist, ©Atlantics Records

If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know that my latest musical obsession is a Swedish chanteuse named Lykke Li. It was love at first listen. I seriously can't get enough. I've had her sugary debut album, Youth Novels on repeat since I bought it. She uses her sweet, innocent, and absolutely beautiful voice to sing about love, estrangement, and trying to get by in a less than ideal world. She does it damn well.

With a look that perfectly mirrors the smoky dance floor vibe of her music, her personal style also makes me want to dance, dance, dance amongst sequins, stripes and speaker phones. Lykke's very distinct look tends to include tons of black, layering of slouchy tops with cropped jackets and loads of large jangly pendants. Any girl who can effectively mix pretty glamour with a dishevelled scruffiness wins points in my book, and her combination of nonchalant stripes with magpie sequins in the video for “Little Bit” (which is awesome for a hundred different reasons, not least of all the dancing boy in short shorts and braces…) is a prime example. So is her combination of old black t-shirts with top-knot chignons and smoky bedroom eyes. I think I might be a little bit in love with this girl.

Lykke Li will be in Vancouver to play at The Commodore Ballroom in February. I'm definitely hoping to catch the show.

**Photos are not property of Work In Progress. They have been taken from various websites. If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Friday, January 2, 2009

Creative Energy Made Wearable

Photo: Style Discovery on Flickr

When Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton became lifelong friends, they could hardly imagine that their friendship was going produce one of Australia’s most iconic fashion labels. Their success story began in 1999 at London’s Portobello Road markets, with a stall set up to sell their own creations. Their little side business took off, and when the ladies returned to Sydney later that year, Sass & Bide was launched. What started as a little side business has turned into an absolutely marvelous fashion story.

Photos: JS Graphic Design on Flickr

Two years later, the dynamic duo were invited to the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in Sydney, and in 2003 launched their assault on the world with their international parade debut at London Fashion Week. New York followed a year later and the two fashionistas haven’t looked back since.

Photo: Denimology

Today, the Sydney-based duo are one of the most talked about teams of the industry with a rapidly expanding international presence. Sass & Bide jeans are splashed across editorial pages of magazines and merchandised within ultra-hip boutiques and department stores. The intricately stitched label (which took its name from both of the founders' nicknames for one another) can be spotted upon backsides belonging to many of the hottest celebrities in the world. The Sass & Bide style is inspired by the obscure and the beautiful - a unique style for women who appreciate a quirky yet ultimately sexy aesthetic. Their famous and highly-coveted denim collections feature body hugging jackets, play suits, skirts dresses and mini skirts.

I adore everything that is Sass & Bide. Their humble beginnings, and how far they've come are a true inspiration. What's not to love about this unconventional, eclectic mix of delights?

P.S. I really, really want this top.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Non-New Year's Eve NYE

Since we agreed that New Year's Eve is highly overrated, Keira and I decided not to partake in all the hype last night. On the other hand, neither of us really wanted to spend it solo with a cup of noodles and 'Meet Me In St. Louis' either. That being the case, we figured that the evening would be best spent together. With no pretentious parties on our agenda, we were certain that the two of us would have some fun, no matter what night of the year it was, or what exactly we ended up doing.

Here's how I spent my last hours of 2008:
  • A few glasses of chardonnay at Keira's apartment. It went down easy. We were both giddy and just a little tipsy by the time we left.
  • Lots of photos.
  • A walk to Yaletown, only to find out that our intended destination, Cactus Club, was closed for a private party. (No offense, but really?)
  • Yummy cocktails, three pounds of Wings and a giant piece of totally out of this world mud pie.
  • Lots more photos.
  • Next stop: Duane's apartment.
  • More wine.
  • South Park, 'Young People F*cuking', Apple TV surfing.
  • Home with pajamas on exactly 10 minutes before midnight. Perfect.
All Photos: Keira-Anne on Flickr