Saturday, December 13, 2014

Anthropologie: Post-Black Friday reviews

Sadly (or perhaps fortunately), I was in Vancouver for Black Friday. I can't get over the extra sales tax in British Columbia (it's 7% vs 0% in Alberta), so I stayed out of the shops.

I visited the Calgary Anthro store last week and am happy to report that there are still lots of good deals, particularly with the extra 30% off promotion that was ongoing last week. I think that is over, although there's a 25% off sweaters promo now.

Looking at the photos, I wonder if I should have brought this top home. It's a sheer, loose fitting cotton and polyester top that fits true to size. It is loose but not boxy. The material feels kind of stiff, and it's not as drapey as I would have liked. I think it would look equally nice tucked into a pretty skirt or under a blazer.
Embroidered Tulle Tunic 
I have a huge weak spot for any kind of top with lace detailing, particularly in the shoulder area. This lightweight sweater is made of a cotton modal silk blend, which I was surprised to discover. The online reviews suggest that it is too short/awkward around the waist, but I found it fit very well. It fits true to size and just skims the body. The length is definitely a little on the shorter side but it's still very wearable. One caveat: I'd suggest buying this one in person because some of the sweaters I tried on had threads on the lacy detail that had come loose and it'd be easy to snag and damage them. There are 4 different colours, and I actually ended up buying 3 of these. I think they were a great deal for $41.
Nettie Pullover 
Florals were a big trend this fall and winter. I like how the darker colours of the Baikal Dress make it transition well into fall and winter. The material is thick and substantial, and the fit and flare shape is flattering. I like the extra coverage around the neckline, too. They were out of my usual size, so I took a size 2 and it fit well except that it was a touch loose around the waist. I am not sure if that means this dress runs small. I don't mind if a party dress is a little bit loose around the waist... more room for Christmas dinner! I think this dress would look cute with gold heels, and I also have plans to layer a chunky sweater over it for work.
Baikal Dress
I am pretty sure my husband will tell me this looks like a lace doily but I'm ok with that. This comes in two colours, the off-white pictured here and a purplish grey colour. Some of the cardigans on the rack were looking rather poorly, with loose threads and tufts of fuzz so I'm not sure how this will hold up.
Odense Crochet Topper
This dress also comes in blue and black. The tulip hem is a little bit different, and you'll be happy to know that it is sewn so that there's no chance of a wardrobe mishap. The fabric is super soft and cozy. It felt like I was wearing fleece. It fits true to size. I love this shade of red, and ended up happily taking it home with me.
Splitshade Tulip Hem Dress
Did you buy anything during Black Friday?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Climbing: Bishop

Bishop is probably one of the best winter climbing destinations in North America. It's most famous for bouldering, which consists of climbing boulders without a rope. Instead, you use a thick foam pad called a crashpad to cushion the ground if you fall off. Walking through an airport with a crashpad on my back is a sure way to attract lots of attention, and I always feel a bit silly when I explain what it is and what it's for. 

The most popular bouldering areas are the Happy Boulders in the Volcanic Tablelands, and the Buttermilks. The Happys are made of volcanic tuff and the problems there tend to be fun and gym-like with lots of pockets. The landings are flat, and there are lots of good moderate and easy problems.

A bluebird day in the Happys
The Buttermilks are made of monzonite and the problems here tend to rely more on friction and crimpy edges. When I think of the Buttermilks, I think of highballs... high boulders that are really more like cliff faces. Some of the highest boulders are 45 feet tall. I'll admit I'm more of a lowball person. I like to be able to jump or fall off at any point and not die.

Weekday bouldering in the Pollen Grains, just behind the main area in the Buttermilks
There are a few other bouldering areas near Bishop that are worth checking out. I like the Druid Stones, and they're a good place to check out on a weekend... the 45 minute approach tends to keep the crowds away. The Sad Boulders are similar to the Happys, but the good problems there are mostly out of my ability so I can't say I've climbed there much, although we had fun the one day we were there.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Outfit: California desert

I know, I know. I'm shocked too! Two jeans outfit posts in a row.

On our first trip to the Bishop area, we were delighted to find a guidebook called "Touring Hot Springs: California and Nevada". We've since been to five different hot springs in the Bishop area. We took these photos on the way to one of the hot springs. I'm not sure if it was the Sheepherder or the Crab Cooker. We got lost on the way, which is easy to do on the dirt roads that criss cross the desert.

I did not take any photos of the hot spring. It was a concrete tub that was coated with algae. If that sounds gross, it really kind of was. The only redeeming thing was that the water was very hot. I've been to other hot springs that were better maintained.  

I coerced my husband into taking these photos after we got out of the hot tub, which is why my hair looks extra crazy.

Outfit details:
Shirt: Topoxte Dropwaist Tunic, Anthropologie
Jeans: American Eagle, (similar)
Shoes: Naturalizer (similar)
Sunglasses: Oakley

Friday, November 21, 2014

Plaid in California

My husband and I just came back from a quick trip to California. We spent some time in Tahoe, which was new for both of us, and then headed down to Bishop. We spent part of our honeymoon in Bishop 6 years ago, and it was our first time back there together. It was also Jeff's 40th birthday, so we had lots of reasons to celebrate.

Along the way, we stopped at Mono Lake. It's a salty, alkaline lake that almost disappeared in the 1970s due to water from the Owens River being diverted to Los Angeles. Thanks to conservation efforts, the lake is now protected and the water levels are rising.

We didn't spend much time by the lake. We had just driven through a small blizzard, the sun was setting, and it was windy and cold! The tufas by the lake are amazing though, and I'd love to go back on a warmer day.

Outfit details:
Jacket: bought in London, UK 4 years ago (similar)
Shirt: Jacob, old (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (similar by Michael Kors) (similar on sale, buy 1 get 50% off)
Boots: Frye Paige studded (black or brown both available)
Scarf: bought in Nepal

Monday, November 10, 2014


I am not much of an autumn person. Partly because in my neck of the woods, there's summer, winter, and maybe just a few days in between that could be considered fall.

This year was different. Autumn seemed to stretch all the way from mid-September to early November. I felt like it was actually a real season!

It was a windy day when I took these photos. I love to watch how the wind moves across the grass in ripples and waves. But it was too windy to have my hair down for very long.

I bought the Petaluma skirt on sale and have found it very difficult to style. I think looking at these photos, I'd opt for a pump with a high heel instead of the flat booties.

Outfit details:
Jacket: thrifted
Sweater: RW&Co, very old
Skirt: Anthropologie, Petaluma skirt
Shoes: Nine West, old (similar)
Bag: Burberry, Crossbody bag from last season (this season's version in house check)
Do you like fall? Do you have a favourite season?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Assiniboine and Lake Magog

I can't resist sharing more photos from our trip to Assiniboine Provincial Park. It is one of the most stunning places I've ever visited.

We camped along the west side of Lake Magog. We brought beef bourguignon stew for dinner, along with a bottle of wine and it was so delicious after a long day of hiking. I always sleep well when camping. There is something magical about falling asleep in the cool night air with the stars overhead and the sounds of the forest. A word of advice: do not keep any food or anything strongly scented in your tent! One camper had his tent tipped over by a grizzly bear the week before we arrived; he had left snacks in his tent. 

Mt Assiniboine is often referred to as "the Matterhorn of the Rockies" because of its distinctive shape. It was first climbed in 1901 and there are several routes to the summit. 

Mt Assiniboine reflected in the waters of Lake Magog

Outfit details:
Dress: Anthropologie, Sweetwater Dress
Belt: Smart Set, old
Shoes: Nine West, old
Do you have a favourite place to visit?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

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