Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Drawer Redo

Are you one of those people who have a junk drawer?  It's a drawer that you toss all your stuff into.  You know, any little thing that you're not absolutely sure you want to throw away, but don't quite know what to do with goes into it.  Well, I have several - one in every room.

So the other day, I was thinking what a waste of drawer-space that was, and decided to tackle them one at a time.  Here is the one from the bedroom:
Pink Calico Drawer Redo
And here it is after the re-org.  I have a few small boxes and containers from travels, so decided to use them to hold rings, bracelets, etc.
Pink Calico Bracelets
Can you tell I like Hello Kitty?
And I also used some plastic deli containers etc.  I normally only use the ones you don't have to clean.  Have you noticed how some things come in an excess of packaging? You know, it's vacuum packed and then put into a plastic container and then boxed and the box is cellophaned!  Not so good for the environment, so I try to re-use any that I come across. 
Pink Calico Bracelets
Bracelets! Only a Dollar!
Pink Calico Bracelets
Mostly made by the kids.

Now everything's organized! I'm quite pleased with the final result and can't wait to get started on another one.

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Monday, 27 February 2012

A Visible Doctor's Visit

Today being Visible Monday, but also Visit the Doctor day, I wanted to wear something visible but accessible.  I wore lots of layers: several tanks, a couple of cardigans and a big fluffy scarf. It looked like this:

The skirt is the same one which I got for New Year's - I find the cut is not as straight as I like, but that's small potatoes - it's comfy.

The orangey-red/white tank is a Danskin tank from Walmart (no excuses, it was cheap and I liked the print).  I really like this tank; it's super-comfy because it is fitted but stretchy like most dancewear.

The red cardigan is from Sears from a couple of years ago.  It had been marked down repeatedly till it got to about $6.  I like it for the ruffly detail around the button front.
It's quite hard to match reds and oranges and I've always marvelled at how well these two items go together.

And finally a look at my Spanish army boots:
Don't worry, I changed shoes when I got to work.  I've been wearing these boots sooo much this year, it'll soon be time to get another pair.

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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Oscar Savings

This year once again, we did not watch the Academy Awards show. We are saving about $60 a month (plus tax) by not subscribing to cable.  We don't really miss it because we do have Netflix and watch most of our shows on the computer.  Any current shows we like are usually available on the webpage of the station which broadcasts it.   But, although we don't watch the actual awards ceremony, I am still a big fan of the red carpet fashions.

Here are my faves from this year:

The first set of gowns I liked for their romantic or old-world feel.  Penelope Cruz looks effortlessly elegant in her off-shoulder gown.  I think this one is my favourite.  The next one in pale pink with beading I also like, it's very pretty and feminine.
Oscars 2012 Penelope Cruz in Armani Prive
Oscars 2012 Kate Mara in Pink Beaded Gown

Oscars 2012 Cameron Diaz in Gucci

Oscars 2012 Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli
Then we have the ruffles and bows.  Both these looks are very simple but have a bit of flourish.  I just noticed that these two gowns are completely different in fit, but funny how they both appeal to me.

These next two, I like for their blingy-ness.  Shiny, sparkly, celebratory.
Oscars 2012 Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
Oscars 2012 Ellie Kemper in Armani Prive

And here are two which I like for their off-worldly look. I'm sure this is not the look that Gwyneth and Shailene were going for, but I can imagine rulers from a far away world wearing stuff like this. 

Oscars 2012 Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

Oscars 2012 Shailene Woodley in Valentino

These two appeal to the younger me.  They are fun - one has multiple ruffles and the other has polka dots, and they're red!
Oscars 2012 Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Oscars 2012 Natalie Portman in Vintage Dior

And finally, if I ever had a gown-required event to attend, it would probably be in something sensible like this:
Oscars 2012 Glenn Close in Zac Posen
Oscars 2012 Louise Roe in Black Halo
They say there are lots of after-parties with food and drink so you likely need something with a jacket, or breathing room.

There were lots of other beautiful gowns too, but these ones were my favourites.  What do you think?

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Friday, 24 February 2012

Burgundy Burgundy

I've always heard that burgundy is one of those colours which you either love or hate. Call it what you will: burgundy, maroon, wine, oxblood, claret, I love it - ever since about grade 5 when I got burgundy-ish slip-on shoes which had a very slight heel. I remember I felt quite grown up. They had a pale greenish-yellow trim and some kind of buckle (weird right?) and they went with everything. I used to wear them with red pants. My mom paid $5.99 for them and it must have been a good deal because I remember that my best friend's mom was grilling me about them because my friend's shoes cost $13.99 - but they were shiny black patent. Funny how I still remember the prices from so long ago.

So back to burgundy. It's supposed to be a new colour for fall. Yay! I think it's because Kate and other celebs wore burgundy to some events last year, and its dribbling down to us.

Here are some burgundy coats and gowns from the past year or so:

I love the colour - it's so rich and luxe.  Here are some items for the rest of us:

dress on left by: vaudeville and burlesque

dress on right by: dorothy perkins

you can even get a burgundy sari

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

New to Me

Those of us who love shopping as retail therapy but who are also relatively thrifty will probably never buy anything at full or regular price.  A not-really-necessary skirt or blouse likely looks 100% better when it has been reduced to $4.99.  We scour the bargain racks looking for that super deal and even if it is not exactly what we want, will buy it because it was cheap.
Clearance Signs

Others of us will clip coupons and collect promo codes to nab that perfect must-have latest item.  We frequent bogo sales and will buy something just to get that gift-with-purchase, all in the name of "saving".  But how many of us will consider pre-owned goods?

While you can be frugal and penny-pinching without having to buy anything pre-owned, most of us actually buy pre-owned items all the time. As a major purchase, some of us will buy a pre-owned car or house.  We likely would not hesitate to buy pre-owned books.  Even our pop bottles and beverage containers are all re-used. If you frequent garage (or car-boot) sales, everything is pre-owned.  The very idea of antique furniture means that it is old and obviously pre-owned.   Recycling has become second nature.

But many will balk at pre-owned wearables.  Consider this: How many items of new clothing are made each year?  What is the cost to the environment to make it?  Where does all the old clothing go?  They say North Americans recycle over 2.5 billion pounds of clothes each year!  Such a waste. 

True, there are many people in developing countries who need clothing, but just think: what if we all recycled our wearables?  Yuck you say. Yet clothing is washable.  You can wash it.  Would you stay in a hotel?  Who would you trust to wash something? Yourself?  or a hotel?  Check this if you said hotel:

There are all sorts of nasty videos about supposedly clean hotel sheets too.  So, give me a nice vintage wearable any day!

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Portion Size

One of the big barriers to weight loss is portion size - especially if you go out to eat.  They give you so much food that you are stuffed to the gills.  I read that someone recently had a heart-attack while eating a "Triple Bypass Burger" a huge burger loaded with meat, cheese and calories.

We are so accustomed to eating big portions that we don't know what a real serving looks like. Serving sizes are actually much smaller than as served in most restaurants.

Here is the Canada Food Guide for how much of each type of food to eat:

Canada Food Guide

But, how big is a serving?  It turns out that servings are actually quite small.

A serving of cheese for example is only 1.5 ounces.  That's about 4 or 5 small little cubes:
Serving of Cheese
I could eat way more cheese than this!
A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
Included a penny for size reference

And a bagel is like having 5 servings of bread !!!

Veggies though you should eat lots of. So go crazy.  I'm not sure, but I think veggies are better than fruit because fruit can be sweet.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Chunky Scarf

I was watching Spanish Big Brother (Gran Hermano 12+1) the other day and one of the contestants had a big chunky scarf which she put around her neck for sleeping. It was unusual because it was tighter - like a turtleneck, but the neck part only.

I tried to find a pic either of the actual item or something similar but nothing.  The closest was:
chunky scarf
but it was tighter and was a complete circle - almost like a giant hairband.

My neck always gets cold too and I have to wear a scarf or a high necked top most days.  I wonder if these big chunky scarves can be refashioned from a sweater?

Today's outfit, all different pieces but very similar to yesterday's which was also in shades of blacks and browns.
what i wore
This was lots of layers again.  A long sleeved t-shirt which you can't really see under the floral tank.  The tank feels very old-ladyish - perhaps because both my grandmothers wore florals a lot, but I liked the neutral colours.  Here it is closer up:
floral tank

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Monday, 20 February 2012

A Thrifty Monday

Today's post was going to be a Refashion post, but what with making and eating dinner etc it is now a bit late to do any sewing ... I did get some more stuff from my favourite notions store and hope to have something to post soon.

So instead, onto my thrifty outfit.  We were at Costco again on Sunday.  They have good basic clothes (think jeans, t-shirts, jackets) at relatively low prices: jeans start at $19, t-shirts at $9 and jackets around $29.  They are usually not made from cheapy materials.

There was a long-sleeved Ellen Tracy t-shirt for $9.99 in a nice neutral taupe  colour and when I got to the cash desk it was only $2.50 !!!

It being Monday and thus cold in the office, I layered the t-shirt over a polo, and wore my Apologies Mr Miyake vest under a Ports Int'l sweater.

I matched it with a Sears skirt that was another deal from last summer.  It was $40, marked down lots of times to finally $7.99 and then I got 50% off, so $4.  The skirt is one of those tube waist things which I love.  It's become my "skirt to wear instead of jeans" and I have it in lots of basic colours.

Here's the outfit:
what i wore
The visible-ness of course are the Docs.  These are the super-high ones from the other day and they always attract a lot of attention for some reason. 

The sweater I like because it has an interesting pocket detail:
Ports International
2 Pockets !

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Many Tanks

A refashion bonanza: Our local Jysk is renovating and had a few items on sale.  I got a fabulous thrifty deal on men's tank tops:
tank top
Only $1 for a package of 2 tanks, 100% cotton.  I bought quite a few black ones for refashioning and just plain wearing. 

I usually wear tanks under everything for extra warmth and especially like men's tanks because they are not quite so skimpy on fabric as ladies' tanks.  They are also longer in the body, so stay tucked in - there's nothing worse than that blast of cold air you get when clothing doesn't stay in place.

I already have a bit of fabric ready and hopefully will have some time tomorrow to do a quickie refashion.  Stay tuned!

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Friday, 17 February 2012


I've always loved clothing which seems "normal" but is a little bit different, whether it be the fabric, or a weird print or cut.  But sometimes I also like clothing which is made to be looked at (whether or not anyone is wearing it) so when I heard that for Fashion Week, Proenza Schouler showed pieces in Brocade (!) I was quite excited.

Here are some fab pics from
Proenza Schouler Brocade

This one is my favourite, it's like a piece of art.
Proenza Schouler Brocade

Proenza Schouler Brocade

Aren't they great?  I hope this dribbles down to us in the next year or so.  I can totally see dressing up an office look for dinner with a blingy jacket, blouse or scarf.  Can't. Wait.

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Dollar ?!?

Today we had a training session at work and to spice it up we had Mancakes. No, nothing racy, they are actually cupcakes for men. Quite tasty, but rather expensive and perhaps due to the not-so-low price and intended demographics we expected slightly bigger cupcakes.  Lots of manly flavours like bacon and buffalo wings though!

So, onto today's post.  Something thrifty:
 The thrifty items in this pic are:
  1. the striped blouse, $3.99
  2. the kimono-sleeved over-layer, it was ~ $1 at a liquidation store
  3. and the bracelet was only $1 too!
Here is a closeup of the bracelet:

I can't believe it was only a dollar! Or do I just not have a good sense of what things should cost?  Even for coloured glass and resin stuck onto machine-stamped metal, I would think it would cost more than a dollar, no?

So the other thing I'm trying today is to add Bloglovin':
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Let's hope it works!

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Very Pink and Red Valentine's Day

I've always wanted to join the

Pink + Red | Everybody, Everywear

Link-up so have succombed and wore Pink and Red today.

Here is the outfit:
what i wore

It looks like I need a giant picture for the link-up so here it is:

This wasn't the original outfit I planned, but it was colder than expected so I changed to this thick, lined shirt.  It has an interesting button configuration:

And I like the sleeves, they are slightly flared:

I guess pink and red really do go together because the scarf is actually pink with a red print.  Those brown spots are not dirt in case you were wondering.  It's part of the print and is more of a dark khaki-ish colour which matches the skirt.

Went so far as to have matching hair accessories:
hair bun

Hope you have (or had) a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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