Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oscar the Weimaraner goes skiing!

Jenni over at Gnomelover recently asked: What is the best thing to happen to you this year? (By the way, she is having an awesome giveaway, and you can enter for a chance to win an Urban Outfitters gift card here).

2015 has been kind of weird. I've worked way too much. Snow conditions have been pretty dismal lately too, with frequent bouts of warm weather turning what little snow we've received into slush and mud. However, the warm weather also means that we've been able to take Oscar skiing with us. He is short-haired and usually gets cold too quickly.


If you can believe it, one thousand vertical meters of this failed to tucker him out. (If you have a Weimaraner, you already know that they have limitless energy). There is also a video of him on the uptrack on Instagram.

Next best thing of 2015? I got new ski boots (Dynafit Neo PX CR). They weigh half as much as my previous boots, which actually does translate into me going twice as fast on the uphill. I was a little nervous about getting them because I had to remount my ski bindings to accommodate them and I was worried they might not ski well on the down, but they handle pretty well. And I did a 30 km ski this weekend without any blisters. I am very pleased.

How has 2015 been for you?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Outfit: Lavendel and the Many Faces of Oscar

Valentine's Day seems to be a big event in the fashion community if my Instagram and blog feed are anything to go by. There were so many lovely outfits throughout the week. I've really enjoyed seeing them.

My husband and I had reservations for our favourite restaurant. We had the tasting menu. My husband's favourite course was a scallop with corn fritters. I loved the ravioli with slow-cooked pork ragu. The main courses (salmon for me and filet mignon for my husband) were excellent too.

I thought the bright colours and polka dots of this dress were a good choice for Valentine's Day. The fit and flare silhouette is romantic, too. I paired the dress with a leather jacket and booties for a bit of an edge.

If you are wondering what the fluffy thing to my left is, it's a cat toy. You're welcome.

Oscar is actually part robot, in case you didn't know.
My husband thinks we look like we're dancing in this photo. I can't decide if Oscar is enraged or horrified.
"Ok, are we done yet?"

Outfit details:
Jacket: Burberry (similar)
Dress: Anthropologie, Lavendel Dress
Shrug: Smart Set, very old (similar)
Tights: Target
Booties: Browns (similar)
Necklace: gift from a friend, very old
Purse: Sophie Hulme, Twin Keyhole Clutch Shoulder Bag, sold out (similar)
How was your Valentine's Day?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Outfit: Ted Baker

Overheard in Nordstrom's in Calgary:
Woman #1: Finally, we have something that Vancouver doesn't have!
Woman #2: I know!

I have many disappointing memories of poring over YM or Seventeen magazine as a teenager and never being able to buy the makeup or clothes featured in the articles because they weren't available in Canada. It's not surprising, I guess. We only have 10% of the population of the U.S., so a lot of companies don't find it lucrative to expand north of the border.

Online shopping has totally changed what's accessible to Canadians, but I was still very excited when Nordstrom's finally opened its first Canadian store in my hometown, Calgary, last year. I've only been there once, and I was disappointed to see that they weren't carrying all the brands that the American stores have, but it was still a fun experience. 

Nine times out of ten, when I see a dress or coat that I love on Glee, it turns out to be a Ted Baker item. The only Ted Baker stores in Canada are in Toronto though, so I've always been hesitant to order online without having an idea of how their sizing runs.

I ended up finally trying on some Ted Baker dresses at Nordstrom's. There were two dresses in this floral print, a sheath and a fit-and-flare. I ended up buying the sheath because I have lots of fit-and-flare dresses already.

I wore this dress when my husband and I went to Flashdance: the Musical. This was without a doubt the worst live show I have ever seen in my life. The singing was off-tune, the choreography was cheesy, and the musical manages to lose what little plot the movie actually had. I have never actually contemplated walking out on a show at the intermission but for the first time, I was very tempted. This is also the first time I've gone to a show in Calgary and the audience has NOT given it a standing ovation, so I think other people felt the same way. 

My husband does not share my love of musical theatre. In the past, I have coaxed and wheedled and threatened him into going to The Lion King, Chicago, and Rock of Ages. After this debacle, I think it will be some time before I can convince him to go to another show.

At least I got some outfit photos.

Outfit details:
Dress: Ted Baker (sold out, same pattern in a slightly different style on sale)
Blazer: Aritzia, Talula Exeter Blazer, on sale
Boots: Frye, Paige stud (similar without the studs)
Bag: Sophie Hulme, Twin Keyhole Clutch Shoulder Bag (sold out, similar)
Necklace: very old
I've linked up with Shopping my Closet's Style Me Wednesdays link-up. Check it out!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Outfit: Burberry and a Blogging Tip

Here's my first ever (and probably last) Blogging Tip of the Day:

If you tend to accumulate a backlog of outfit posts, try not to take them in front of seasonal details. Like, say, Christmas trees.

Anyway, better late than never, right?

I took a chance and ordered this dress online as it had been heavily marked down on sale. Luckily, the dress fits almost perfectly. I wore this dress when we went for dinner at Hawksworth in Vancouver. The food was good! We had the tasting menu and my favourite course was the wagyu beef. Yum.

I hesitated for a long time before buying this dress. It's the first "designer" piece that I've ever bought, and even on sale, it was way more than I've ever spent on a single item of clothing. Yes, the quality and the execution are impeccable, but was it really worth the price? I guess the bottom line for me was that I really liked the dress and will wear it often in the future.

Have you ever bought a designer item? Would you rather have one designer piece or multiple middle-of-the-road pieces for the same amount of money?

Outfit details:
Dress: Burberry (similar on sale)
Tights: Target
Booties: Browns', very old (similar but with buckles)
Purse: Sophie Hulme Twin Keyhole Clutch Shoulder Bag, sold out (similar)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Outfit: Parque del Buen Retiro

I had lots of plans to take outfit photos in pretty dresses while I was in Spain, but the weather was not quite as balmy as I'd been hoping although it was pleasant when the sun was out. I ended up dressing for warmth most days. Also, we took these photos the day that we rented the electric assist bikes and pants were more practical.

The Parque del Buen Retiro was one of my favourite spots in Madrid. It is full of tree-lined paths, fountains, playgrounds, art galleries and a pond with boats. It is a very popular spot for tourists and locals.

Outfit details:
Sweater: Banana Republic (caution, sleeves run short!)
Jeans: American Eagle
Scarf: from Nepal
Coat: Banana Republic, Charcoal Wool Trench Coat
Purse: Chloe, Small Marcie (lots of colours, including black, red, green)
Boots: Stuart Weitzman, Lowland Boots

Saturday, January 17, 2015

And... I'm back!

A belated Happy New Year to everyone!

I was lucky enough to have a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year's, so we decided to go climbing with some friends in Spain.

Jeff actually flew to Spain two weeks before I did and was pedaling his bike from Barcelona to Madrid while I was stuck at work. This is the first time that I've been the one who gets left at home. It is not as fun as being the one who gets to go galavanting.

I stopped over in New York City on my way to Madrid. It was Christmas Day, and I had an amazing dinner by myself at Perry Street. Was it a little bit awkward? Yes, but the delicious food was worth it. I had a green salad, lobster poached in coconut milk with kaffir lime leaves and potato dumplings, and chocolate lava cake. The potato dumplings were probably one of the tastiest things I've ever had. 
Lobster for Christmas dinner
Next, I made a quick stop in Zurich to catch up with a friend. When I landed, I texted him that I'd arrived... and he sent back a message saying that I would soon be welcomed by the sights and sounds of Switzerland. There's a very efficient train that whisks passengers from the arrival gate to the baggage claim area, and this is what you see from the train:
And this lovely montage is accompanied by the sound of mooing and alpenhorns. Seriously.
We only had a few hours. Fortunately, there is a Confiserie Sprungli conveniently located in the terminal for all your Luxemburgerli needs.  See previous post about Luxemburgerli here.

Next stop was Madrid. Jeff met me at the airport and we caught a high-speed train to Alicante. From there, our friends picked us up and drove us to the casita we were renting near Alcalali, about an hour away. The casita was surrounded by fruit orchards and vineyards, with the nearest climbing just 10 minutes away.

We quickly established a routine of getting up in the mornings, having some fresh squeezed orange juice, and then going climbing.
Who needs the Dawn Wall? Jeff is wearing red and I'm the little pink speck
Tucked into the only shady spot on the cliff
Views of the Penon from the Olta climbing area
 On our rest days, we tried to do some sightseeing, which was kind of tough during the holiday season. Almost everything we tried to see was closed, including the castle at Guadalest. This is supposedly one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain. We had the GPS give us directions from Alcalali, and the most direct route took us up and over the mountain pass on the left side of the picture. It was a single lane gravel road which was very poorly maintained and covered with snow at the top. I wasn't sure if our rental car would survive the trip but we made it one piece.
Since we couldn't go in, I settled for standing on the castle wall
We spent a few days in Madrid at the end of the trip. If you go to Madrid, my best tip would be to rent one of the city's electric assist bikes. These are available all around the city at little kiosks and the drivers in Madrid tend to be very accepting of bikes. With the electric assist, you can easily go around in traffic and zoom up hills without breaking a sweat.
View of the city from the Temple of Debod, a group of Egyptian ruins that were rebuilt in Madrid
We had two very memorable meals in Madrid. The first was at Camoati, a hipsterish restaurant in central Spain that had great wine and delicious roasted vegetables, among other things.

On our last night in Madrid, we ate at La Capilla de la Bolsa. The Epiphany (when the 3 kings were said to have visited Jesus) is a national holiday in Spain, and the restaurant was packed. My favourite dish was this salad with shaved asparagus, radishes, prawns and anchovies. I don't usually like anchovies, but there was something about the anchovies and the fresh asparagus that was really amazing.

And of course, it wouldn't be a trip to Spain without a lot of jamon iberico and tapas.

Meat candy!
Tasty little tapas
 I know I'm behind, but how were your holidays? Did you travel?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Outfit: Vancouver

As I mentioned in the last post, we spent the last weekend of November in Vancouver. 

It happened to be Grey Cup weekend, and the Calgary Stampeders were playing the Hamilton Tiger Cats. And, they actually won! Maybe in tribute to my hometown, the weather in Vancouver that weekend was actually very Calgary-ish. Sunny and cold, and there was even a dusting of snow on the ground.

One of my favourite places in Vancouver is Stanley Park. I never spent much time here when I actually lived in Vancouver, but as a tourist, I've loved exploring the park and discovering its treasures. 

The totem poles in the photos below are one of BC's most visited tourist attractions. They have been there since the 1960s. Most of them are replicas now.

I just realized while creating the links for this outfit that everything is Banana Republic (except for the accessories and boots). What can I say. I love the charcoal trench. It fits snugly, and looks equally good belted or worn open. It's not particularly warm though, and I don't see myself wearing it when it gets really cold. Also, the belt is really, really long. The sweater is cozy, and I love the longer length paired with a mini skirt.

Outfit details:
Coat: Banana Republic, Charcoal Wool Trench (on sale!)
Sweater: Banana Republic, (similar)
Skirt: Banana Republic, last season
Tights: Target
Boots: Frye, Paige stud (similar without the studs)
Scarf: Hudson's Bay Company, very old

Do you ever wear a single brand head to toe?