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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Food: Vero Bistro

One of the great things about our neighbourhood is that we're within walking distance of lots of amazing restaurants and shops. 

Our favourite is Vero Bistro.  Actually, Vero would probably be one of our favourite restaurants in Calgary. The servers are always attentive and friendly.  The ambiance is cozy and romantic. And the food is freaking fantastic. The cuisine is French/Italian inspired, but there are also Asian and Spanish influences.  

Their brunch menu is amazing.  I highly recommend the Berkshire pork ragu poutine, the sweet potato gnocchi with gorgonzola, and just about everything else. My husband would probably recommend the Iberian ham... he insists on starting every meal at Vero with a plate of finely sliced Jamon Iberico, preferably with a glass of prosecco to wash it down.

We often head over there for dinner; the menu changes fairly frequently but there's usually a delicious fish or seafood option, and they have great options for wine pairings.  Also, during the week, they have some interesting specials.  Tuesday is usually a "no menu" day, where you eat whatever tasty creation the chef prepares.  And Wednesday is steak and frites day; you get three courses including a yummy salad, steak and dessert.  Last week, they also had a lovely salmon option.  

Salmon and frites with asparagus

Mango sorbet and a cheesecake like dessert
Here's what I wore, with the photo taken in front of the hardware store.  I had trouble finding similar items to link to, but I'm able to say that Deletta regularly comes out with similar tank tops. 

Top: Anthropologie, by Deletta, old
Skirt: Club Monaco Fleurise Skirt
Shoes: Puma, old
Bag: Banana Republic, old 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reviews: A few from the Tag Sale and some full-priced items

Anthropologie's Summer Tag Sale is still going strong, with an extra 20% off of markdowns.

The sale racks in Calgary seem to have several dozen of this tank top in different colours.  I tried the turquoise blue version in XS and the white version in S.  There was also a patterned magenta option.  I did not notice too much of a difference between the two sizes.  The fabric is kind of sheer, but I liked how it was drapey without being too clingy.

I thought both colours looked nice paired with the Songbird Skirt.  This is an Eva Franco design, and although this brand usually runs small on me, I took my usual size.  The pattern is very whimsical, with little birds, bugs and flowers.  The smattering of colours means that you can pair it with lots of different tops.  There is a lining, which oddly enough is a stretchy, tight fitting pencil skirt instead of an A-line lining.  It has piping and pleats which make it nice and flowy.  With the extra 20% off, this skirt ended up coming home with me.

Anthropologie Sloane Tank
Anthropologie Songbird Skirt

Anthropologie Sloane Tank
Anthropologie Songbird Skirt
I also tried on this pair of cropped pants, and I think this is possibly the first pair of pants I've ever reviewed on this blog.  Pants, in general, do not inspire me, but occasionally, I find they're necessary.  I found the fabric on these very stiff.  The hips and upper thighs were too loose.  There is a band just above the knee though that was way too tight.  These pants look cute on the website but they didn't work for me.  

Anthropologie Westport Cargos
Armed with my birthday discount, I actually tried on some full-price items.  These pants fit well and were super comfortable.  I also liked the length (no hemming required) and they seemed to be minimally wrinkled for linen pants.  As I mentioned above, sometimes pants are necessary, and I figured these would be useful for traveling.  I ended up buying them with my birthday discount.

Lana Linen Trousers
I also tried on this dress.  There were lots of things that caught my attention on the hanger: the lacy fabric, the feminine shape and the scalloped hem.  It has a nude slip underneath, and from the front, it looks great.

Anthropologie Windward Dress
Alas, from the back, not so much. Another pretty dress with a weird back detail. I'm not sure what this is but it seems to be causing the online reviewers similar consternation. (One review referred to it as a "shark fin". Ha.)

Have you bought anything from the Tag Sale? Any full-priced items that you're keeping your eye on?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Black and white

I got my hair cut last week, and on impulse, I asked my stylist to chop off about 5 inches.

Fortunately, my impulse turned out to be a good one, I think.  I had a few seconds of panic when she started cutting but I was happy with the results.

You can see a bit of my vegetable patch in the background. There are tomatoes in cages, and then there are some bean, pepper, zucchini and cucumber plants along with a few rows of swiss chard and lettuce.  I'm pleased to report that there were minimal casualties from the hail storm we had last week.

Top: Forever 21 (similar here and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie Flounced Ponte Pencil Skirt 
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Purse: Burberry Petal (recently on sale)
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I'm slow to adopt trends (ie animal prints, peplums).  I've been equally hesitant to try wearing crop tops, but I've found a way to make them work for me.  

I've seen other ladies totally rocking the tight crop top with high waisted jeans combo but I'm more comfortable wearing a looser crop top with a high waisted skirt, and trying to keep things a little bit on the dressier side.

Are there are any summer trends you've been wanting to try?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sasquatch Teat

Last weekend, my husband was mowing the lawn when a car pulled up alongside him and a man leaned out of the window.

"Can you tell us how to get to the Sasquatch Teat?" He asked in a thick French accent.

To his credit, my husband was only momentarily confused. The mountain behind our house is called something that sounds similar but is extremely offensive.  It's a peak west of Mt Charles Stewart and has no other official name.

I like Sasquatch Teat much better.

He helpfully gave directions, and they were off on their way.

Later that day, we saw the rescue helicopter circling near the peak. I hear that they made it to the summit and then decided to take an alternate route back down... then got cliffed out.  But they are ok.

I'm not usually much of a hiker, but I can't climb much right now because of a wrist injury so my husband was able to talk me into doing the scramble up "Sasquatch Teat". It doesn't get a lot of traffic, and parts of the trail were ridiculously steep. Most of the hike follows a ridge with a sheer cliff on the other side, so the views were pretty amazing.  Definitely worth doing if you're ever in the area!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reviews: Anthro's tag sale

Anthropologie is having a huge tag sale this week.  I've decided not to order off the website anymore though after paying $75 duty on a $280 order, so my only option was to see what was available in store.

I tried on this dress.  There was only one left and it was in fairly poor condition, with some of the blossoms coming unstitched.  My camera doesn't portray the colour accurately, and it was actually more of an orangey pink.  The dress is fit and flare, fits true to size and drapes nicely.  The sweetheart neckline is a little bit plunging in the front and you'd have to be careful about which bra you wear underneath.  I gave this one a pass because of the damaged overlay.

Stitched Blossom Dress

Next, I tried on this skirt.  Again, my iPhone 3 is not the most accurate tool out there.  This skirt is a very vibrant and beautiful green, kind of like astroturf green.  I'm wearing it with a sheer blue tank with a tie at the neck that was way too voluminous and sheer.  Sorry, I didn't feel like posting photos of my bra online.

The skirt was also ridiculously voluminous.  The ponte material is very stiff, and I wish I'd taken a photo of the skirt standing upright on the floor by itself after I took it off.  It definitely is a bell skirt.  I'd love to compensate for having Asian flat butt syndrome, but not to this extent! Definitely a pass.

Ponte Bell Skirt

Did you buy anything from the Tag sale?

Edited to add: I forgot to share what I actually did end up buying.  These glasses! There is also a cat version, which might be of interest to Cynthia and Marcy, except that no cats would ever degrade themselves by doing tricks.

Paw Print Juice Glasses