Monday, August 25, 2014

What I did with my summer vacation: Part 1

This should really be part 2 if we're going to be chronological, but due to technical difficulties, most of the photos from the first part of my trip are on my husband's computer. And it's been way too long since I've posted, so here we go. Non-chronologically.

I went to Tanzania. I am a bit sad to admit that the main motivating factor for this trip was actually work, rather than my own sense of adventure. But it has been on my list of places to visit for some time and I'm glad that I finally got to check it off. My husband met me after I was finished working and we went on safari for 2 days.

2 days doesn't sound like a lot, but we were able to visit two different areas.

First, we went to Lake Manyara, where you can sometimes see tree climbing lions (we didn't see any, unfortunately). We had a private guide who drove us around in a Land Rover. The roof hinged up so that we could stand and look out at the animals.

View of the lake, which is actually part saltwater and part freshwater
We did see lots of other animals. Like elephants.



And giraffes! Giraffes are one of my favourite animals. I just love how improbable they seem.


One of the amazing things about going on safari is that the animals are generally not that hard to find. The wild animals where I live are difficult to spot. If I have visitors, I can usually find them an elk, a deer or a group of bighorn sheep to gawk at. But it would be difficult for me to find a moose, a bear, a porcupine, or a coyote. And there are animals that I've never seen in the wild, like wolverines or cougars.

But when you go on safari, something like this watering hole is actually pretty common. Yeah, that's just a zebra and some wildebeest and cranes.



And that's a monkey with blue balls. Aptly called a blue-balled monkey.



We spent the second day at Ngorongoro Crater, another lake formed by the collapse of a giant volcano.



 There are flamingos, which I totally did not expect to see in Africa.


We saw gazelles.

Hyenas! I loved the hyenas. They look so cute and cuddly, like round little dogs. I was surprised to learn that there used to be hyenas in Europe.


And, of course, where there are hyenas, there are lions. They eat huge meals every few days, and spend a lot of time lying around digesting their food.  There are 4 lions in this picture. When they put their heads down, they blend into the grass remarkably well.


One of my friends told me that 2 days on safari is plenty, and I think that's probably accurate. In order to avoid total photo overload in this post, I didn't include photos of all the birds we saw... or the hippos, bushbucks, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs and other creatures. We would have loved to have seen a leopard or cheetah, but I guess they're more commonly seen in the Serengeti. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

High-low

I've seen this colour referred to as mint, but I always think of it as seafoam green. And then I end up thinking about the 1970s...

My hair is already starting to grow out. I'm really appreciating the shorter length in the summer! It takes me under 10 minutes to get ready in the morning. My hair tends to be poofier and less angular than when my stylist did it a few weeks ago, but I'm still pretty happy with the style.

This is entirely different from what happened when I last made a major change to my hair back in high school. I brought in a photo of a boyish pixie cut and got a nervous feeling in my stomach when the stylist glanced at it briefly and said: "Don't worry! I know exactly what you want!"

30 minutes later, my hair was maybe 3 inches long and kind of mullet like. You know, the classic high-low hairdo. It was so short in areas that there was nothing to be done to fix it. I went home and cried myself to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and started crying again.

While I'm not a fan of high-low hair, I like high-low hems!

Shirt: Anthropologie, Tiny (similar)
Skirt: Plen+y, old (similar in blue)
Sandals: Nine West, similar
Necklace: Peacock Fairy


A very nerdy action shot!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Navy stripes

I think Anthro rolled out its first version of the Column Dress last year. Since then, we've seen multiple variations.  Like this one...

I can understand why this dress is so popular. The diagonal stripes are flattering, and the shape is feminine and pretty. And it's comfortable! The hem on each individual piece is unfinished, but it's held up surprisingly well. If it pops back, the price showing is $9.95, which would be pretty amazing!

Dress: Anthropologie, French Stripe Column Dress (similar,  Piped Stripes Column Dress)
Shoes: Brown's, old (similar)

Monday, August 4, 2014

And now for something entirely different

Different background! And... shorts! Quite the departure from my usual outfit posts featuring skirts and dresses.

To be fair, these shorts are kind of skirt-like. They're looser fitting, and the lace overlay is pretty and feminine. At least, I think so. My husband is not a fan of these shorts.

Shirt: Plen+y, very old
Shorts: Club Monaco, Carrie shorts (also available in black)
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Necklace: Peacock Fairy
What do you prefer when it's hot out? Shorts? Skirts?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Uniform

This is probably my go-to outfit when I'm not sure what to wear. Skirt, neutral shirt, cardigan, flat shoes.

Cardigan: Anthropologie, Kay cardigan
Shirt: Banana Republic, (similar)
Skirt: Anthropologie, Songbird skirt
Shoes: Puma, very old
Random anecdote: we live in a pretty touristy area, and a few days ago, my husband was outside BBQing when a van drove straight onto our lawn at a 90 degree angle to the road. As my husband stood there, gawking, a woman popped out of the driver's side and trilled: "Don't worry, it's just me!"

She came over with an address scrawled on a piece of paper. My husband helpfully gave her directions.  She hopped back into her car and then proceeded to back out onto the road. She drove forward a few feet, then reversed onto our lawn, performed a three point turn and then drove away.

My husband came into the house and told me that a Korean woman had just driven across our lawn. I asked him how he knew she was Korean, and he told me that there was Korean writing on the piece of paper. Of course, I had to test him. I found an image on google of Korean, Japanese and Chinese writing all on the same page and asked him if it was Korean, Japanese and Chinese. To my surprise, he told me he thought all three were on the same page. In my husband's words: "Chinese writing looks complicated, Japanese writing is swoopy, and Korean has lots of circles."

Anyway, I think I could probably run a weekly column based solely on things that tourists have said to my husband (with the first post being the Sasquatch Teat post I shared a few weeks ago here.)

And possibly, I could also run a weekly column on ways my husband has outsmarted me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Green (and blue and pink)

One thing I have realized from writing on this blog is that I own a lot of green clothes. Actually, if you asked me, I'd probably say that my favourite colours are blue and pink. But my wardrobe suggests differently!

This dress is on sale right now at Club Monaco. The waist is elasticized, so it's pretty comfy and perfect for a hot summer day. The back is open at the waist, and although I forgot to take a photo, there's a good one on the website. 

I've never been a handbag person, although seeing all the beautiful handbags on other blogs has made me consider what I use to haul around my stuff! I was worried this bag might be too big when I ordered it online but I think it is just perfect.

Dress: Club Monaco, Ruth open back dress
Bag: Banana Republic, Parkside satchel (also in black)
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Do you have a favourite style of handbag?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Food and an Outfit: 34th birthday!

I turned 34 on July 9.

Most days, I still feel like I'm 11 years old.  This might be because I tend to not make a huge deal of my birthdays, and in fact, usually the only tradition I have is to take a day off work. And that might be because my birthday is after the school year ends, and when I was a little kid, most of my friends had already left on their holidays by the time my birthday party rolled around...

But I digress.

This year, as usual, I took the day off.

I went to the lake, read magazines, and got bitten by lots of mosquitoes.  Even swam in the lake.  It was a beautiful day.

Quarry Lake. This is what passes for a beach in the mountains. 
My husband and I had dinner at Rustica Steakhouse at Silvertip golf course.  Not surprisingly, we opted for steak.  (Chateaubriand, if you want the details).  It was yummy.  There are no pictures because no matter how you slice it (pun intended), medium rare meat in its own juices is not particularly photogenic.

Here's what I wore.  There seem to be an infinite number of iterations on this dress.  Fit and flare, optional straps.  I opted for the straps, of course.  I liked this dress because of the pretty embroidered flowers.  The centers are cut out, and the slip underneath is yellow and shows through.

Dress: Anthropologie, Forget Me Not Dress
Shoes: Nine West, old (similar)
Purse: Banana Republic (similar)
Closeup of the embroidery details, and a few forget-me-nots in our garden/jungle
It was a lovely day, and I'm another year older, and hopefully wiser.