Friday, 29 June 2012

How to ride a bike and not kill/embarrass yourself.

I haven't had time to post much, simply because pretty much all of my free time these days is spent biking around Ottawa like a fiend. I've said before that I think biking in Ottawa is probably one of the funnest things to do ever. And I still stand by that. You get to see so many neat spots that you wouldn't normally see from a car. Plus it's great exercise. I can already feel my legs shaping up and de-celluliting. ;) 

But before I met Charles, I wasn't one to bike around by myself. It intimidated me. And I didn't want to pull a classic clutz move and fall over or get hit by a car. Plus if all you see is those spandex-wearing road bikers around, you may get the impression that in order to bike, you have to do like them. When in Rome right? Wrong. I feel like I can have just as much fun biking as well as not compromising my fashion instincts. 

It does help too that my boyfriend is literally a biking guru. The other day he fixed something on my handlebars WHILE I WAS STILL RIDING THE BIKE. So every time we go out riding he teaches me something new. And slowly but surely I am gaining SUPER COOL bike riding SKILLZZZ. 

Here are some tips that I've found super helpful!!

As much as my gut tells me, "It's summer, your toenails look cute, get some strappy sandals and go!", I need to resist. There have been times when pedaling that my foot has either slipped off the pedals or I've scraped my big toe on the pavement. And every time that's happened, I've been glad to be wearing Keds instead of my favourite Steve Madden gladiators. Gotta protect your piggies! Talking about protecting your toes and feet brings me to my next tip...

2. Pedal with the balls of your feet. 
If you pedal with the arch of your foot taking up the most real estate on the pedal, you aren't really optimizing your muscles and it's harder on your knees. The balls of your feet are the strongest part. So you should pedal with them slightly ahead of the axle of the pedal. Plus if the balls of your feet are near the centre, then your toes aren't hanging over the edge and you're less likely to do the toe-pavement scrapey thing. 

3.  Bumpy road? PEDALS LEVEL
One thing Charles always stresses, as a mountain biker, is to keep your pedals level. I try to make it a habit, if taking a break from pedaling is to bend both my legs and keep the pedals level, or stand up keeping the pedals level. That way, if there's a giant rock or a giant pot-hole, you won't accidentally snag your pedal on it and embarrass yourself.

4. Curb hopping, LEAN BACK.
A lot of the times when we're riding our bikes, we tend to switch from road to sidewalk. I know, I know, you aren't REALLY supposed to be biking on the sidewalk, but sometimes the road is just too much for me. Recently, (as in yesterday) Charles taught me that the trick to riding your bike up the curb is to just simply, lean back. It's truly magical. Before, I would have to awkwardly stop, pull my bike up the curb and then re-position myself and start biking again. Being able to just lean back and keep going is a total game changer!

5. Wear shorts that BREATHE
I am not one to wear skirts on my bike. I am far too concerned about showing the world more than I'd like to. But at the same time, we usually go out to dinner, or stop at the mall during our rides, so wearing some Adidas soccer shorts are out of the question too. I usually opt for some soft, breathable cutoffs and a cute top. Nothing is worse than having to adjust your clothes all the time. 

Anyways folks, I hope you all have fabulous long weekends!! And if you have any bike riding tips or cool tricks to teach me, let me know! Like I said, I am totally down with improving my skills! 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Curating vs. Creating

The past few weeks, I've had an itch. My brain was just buzzing needing to do something. I can play with Pinterest 'til the cows come home, but does it ever really quench the creative thirst? In my opinion, no. It does not. The same goes with creating looks on Stylebook. It's fun for sure, but there's nothing tangible. While curating can be super fun, and creative in its own aspect. It really doesn't beat taking a pen to paper, and making something from scratch that you can touch.

Which is exactly why on Sunday I went to Michaels and picked up some water colour paints. At first It was because I had this idea in my head of a flowing, folded skirt, dyed to look like water colour. I saw it in my head and wanted so badly to see it on paper. And once I started painting, I just couldn't stop.

Creativity is a process. You get inspired by something, then bit by bit you change it to make it more like something new. I've always been under the impression that I'm a creative person with little talent for actual art or creating. (In the past I have half-heartedly tried to learn to sew or DIY, but it never seems to stick) I have always shown my creativity by showcasing other people's work. My whole life I have been a curator, from elaborate collages in my childhood bedroom to hanging purses on the wall in my first apartment.

But as this itch in my brain to create something gets more and more irritated, I'm finding that the difference between Curating and Creating really isn't that huge. I'm now starting to see curating as a means for creating. I started painting in my water colour sketchbooks and so far, I'm having a lot of fun. While I may not be the best painter (My hot pink studded biker jacket attempt looks more like a Libarace-esque blazer) or have the most original design ideas, (yet!) but these little sketches I've made so far are slowly starting to ease me away from a curating and into actually trying to create something  from scratch. 

Here are some of the little "fashion" sketches I've made so far. :)

They don't call it "the creative process" for nothing!

Monday, 25 June 2012


Spent another glorious day by my parents pool this weekend. There really is nothing better than spending a day away from the city tanning and swimming and eating. After I moved out a few years ago, it was one of the things I really missed: summer swimming. My parents house is pretty much better than any vacation in the summer, they always have the best food and the comfiest lounging chairs. Sigh...I'm already thinking about going back!

I've been wearing a lot of neutrals lately, trying to go for a more "understated-minimalist" look.  Plus in the country, shoes are optional.

Friday, 22 June 2012

We've got Obsessions

Some things I am currently OBSESSING over. BTW, I paid my tuition today...I am officially a Student...OH MY. Back to obsessions...

All white everything.


Biker Jackets (although I dare not wear one in this HEAT)


Summer Booties. (Love these with anything)


Enjoy your weekend chaps! I know I will! :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fashion Music Baby

When I was a teenager I was all about boys in bands. And I don't mean to say that I was a giggly groupie. I mean, the idea of women in music, just kind of turned me off. Of course, Britney Spears didn't count, she was a pop singer. But when I starting really digging rock music in my teens the idea of woman "frontmen" or a woman guitarist, just didn't sit right with me. I can't even begin to explain why (because I can't figure it out myself) and to be honest, I am now kind of embarrassed at my women-in-music-hating ways.

Especially since that now, the CD detritus littering the floor of my car consists almost exclusively of women artists. Rockers, cool chicks, riot grrrrls. It's only now in my 20's that I'm realizing how awesome it is for women to not have to shake their bon-bons and sing through autotune to be bitchin' rock stars. In fact, there's lots of times where Charles would introduce me to a new band and my only complaint is, "this is too manly...I like girl bands".

A lot of the times in music, I find that having a girl in your band can look sort of gimmicky. "We choose the girl!" (I think for every situation in life there is a Mean Girls quote that fits accordingly) When you have a band totally employed by boys, then a girl holding rain stick standing next to the lead singer looking all tortured and trendy, it's clear that she is only there to get your band some buzz. I think it was that sort of thing that led me to believe that girls just didn't have a proper place in rock music when I was a teen.

But now it seems that women are all I want to listen to. I draw such inspiration from these ladies who have totally changed my perspective on female alternative music. Sure back in the day there was Alanis and all those Lilith Fair chicks, but to be honest they never really resonated with me the way the likes of Neko Case, Cat Power and Lissie do. It must be an age thing. 

In my mind, music, fashion and style go hand in hand in hand. And what I like about these artists is that they don't appear to be fabricated by a team of stylists behind them. They make their own choices with their music, and even more so with what they wear. And what's great is that they all have such good taste. It shines through in their music, and also in their enviable style. 

In my teens I dressed like a boy, trying to emulate the male rockers that I idolized, the Bert McCrackens and the Davey Havoks, but now I'm gathering style inspiration from these seriously cool female musicians who continue to blow my mind with their talent. Each one of them (though their style style as well as music style is very different) represents something I see in myself, or want to see in myself. Whether it be Florence's whimsical goddess aura, or Lissie's casual cool, on any given day I can identify with them and their way of expressing themselves through music and fashion. 

Lissie's country style is so effortless and cool, like her voice and her stage presence. It's just "cool".
I love seeing Florence in dramatic, yet sleek outfits, she has perfected walking the line between looking like the heroine in a fairy tale to looking like the evil witch. Doesn't the bad guy always have more badass costumes?
I love how Cat Power can go from looking like country girl to all of a sudden a grunge lounge singer. Guess which one I like best? So versatile and cool. 

Marina of Marina and the Diamonds totally rocks the whole, electrified cheerleader look. She is always rock'n'roll and always mixing and matching, but it always feel right, never contrived, just like her music. Charles once described her as a hardcore Kelly Clarkson. LOL

Kate Nash is a 50's punk, feminist goddess. Her outfits are just as clever as her lyrics. She's also living proof that you can be a feminist and totally fabulous and fashionable at the same time, contrary to what most people will have you believe. 

In a post-Spice Girls world, where if you were a strong woman and liked to sing you immediately were lumped in with the Christinas and Shakiras, I find it so refreshing that even as a 20-some-odd girl, I can get inspiration from these women who not only make amazing music and have great style, but are also intelligent people as well. GIRL POWER! :)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Summer Bleachin'

I dip bleached these vintage cutoffs the other day after being inspired by Pop Champagne's post on ombre cutoffs. May have cut them a little too short, but when you're out in the country, jumping from a cool pool to a bowl of homemade potato salad, it's okay!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Casual Friday

I have been more than ignoring posting things the past few days. I've been feeling uninspired and grumpy this week, which probably has a lot to do with a new stress at work. Not saying my job is hard or anything, but sometimes, negative changes to your work environment can result in negative behavior in your personal life.

That being said, I am SO glad it's Friday. We are in for a really great weekend ahead of us, swimming, tanning, eating, drinking. SIGH. I can't wait. :)

This is what I wore to work today. It's all very muted and pale. I love wearing these booties with skirts and shorts. 

The big gold ring is one that I bought at the Blogger Sale last weekend. It's super fun!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Rainy Day Dreaming

Just some rainy day fashion inspiration. Heaven knows I need it today...

Monday, 11 June 2012

Two Years

Today is our two year anniversary!

Charles and I have been together for two years now... I feel so lucky to have such an amazing person in my life. 

Two years ago I would have been working shift work at a call centre, and Charles would be meeting me after 1AM to watch Discovery Channel and drink wine and eat iced cream until the sun came up. Then I would go to bed for the day and Charles would have to go straight to work. Oh what new love does!

We started hanging out after I had a bad day at work, wanted to have a glass of vino to de-stress, and discovered that in my move to my new apartment, I forgot to pack a cork-screw. Charles, being the gentleman that he is, offered to literally drive across town to bring me one  so I can have a glass of wine. And it's been bliss ever since. 

Yesterday we were talking about time, and how it passes, and Charles mentioned that even though we have only been together for two years it seems like it's been much longer, since so many important, fun and exciting things have happened since we've been together. And I couldn't agree more. Since dating Charles, my life has been so rich with happiness, we've done so many things together that I would never have been able to do alone. And every day I am so thankful to have him in my life.

I love him so, so much, and I can't wait to celebrate more anniversaries with him.  Especially if he keeps it up with these kinds of anniversary gifts. ;)

I am such a fan of costume jewelry as opposed to really delicate "Peoples" style stuff. Usually I don't wear many rings, because I feel like I've got a bit of the man-hand syndrome going on. I usually just stick with a little star sapphire that belonged to my mother. But this ring is PERFECT. I love everything about it. Especially the fact that it came from Charles. AWWWWWW

White Jeans

Finally bought some white jeans. And let me tell you, once you get past the constant fear that you're going to spill something awful on them, coffee, ketchup, marinara sauce, they are quite nice. I tried about 10 pairs of white jeans at various stores, but ended up choosing these Rag and Bone beauts. They're soft, stretchy and even after two wears, pristine white.

Let's see how long it lasts...

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A room of my own

My friend Kim and I went to Ikea this week, and although I promised myself I wouldn't spend any money, that didn't mean that I couldn't get all inspired with inexpensive home decor!!

Something that I've always wanted, since like FOREVER, has been an entire room dedicated to my clothes, bags, accessories, arts and crafts and just whatever I wanted.

I spent our trip to Ikea just making a mental list of all the things I would want to buy for the day when Charles' and I move into a bigger place. (which is kind of asking a lot since our current apartment is pretty spacious in terms of apartments) In my mind, the next place we get will be a house, and we will buy it. So there that is.

So for when we do buy our house (in however many years that will be) here's some schtuff I wanna put in my clothes/accessories/bag/craft room. :)
LIATORP Sofa table IKEA Can be placed behind a sofa, along a wall, or be used as a room divider.
This may look like your average sideboard, but the top is actually glass, and the shelves roll out. HELLO JEWELRY DISPLAY.

ISALA Side table IKEA Separate shelf for storing magazines, etc. Keeps your things organized and the table top clear.
This little side table looks great in the Lilac colour.

KIVIK Chaise IKEA Generous seating series with a soft, deep seat and comfortable support for your back.
I MAY be getting carried away, but what is a closet room without a chaise lounge? (Answer: nothing)

VĂ„TE Floor lamp IKEA Diffused light provides a general light.
They may be completely unoriginal, and everyone in my age-group has these all over their apartments, but I am a huge fan of these paper floor lamps. They give off such a nice soft light while looking very neutral and clean.

LEVANGER Mirror IKEA Safety film  reduces damage if glass is broken. The mirror can turn if you choose to mount it with the enclosed hinges.
While I'm not a huge fan of the colour of the frame, a 3 way mirror is a MUST. (frames can be painted anyways)
To me, that's a good start. Besides, how uncool is it to buy everything from one place anyways? (Answer: Very uncool) I already have some great nick-nacks to put in my yet-to-be created room. I've got some cool hooks for the wall and a great rolling rack I bought from a store I used to work at. It's all coming together quite nicely actually. Now all I need is the actual space! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fashion is Funny?

Fashion is learning to laugh at itself.

Stereo-typically in movies and TV shows, the fashionista is always the serious one, the snotty one, the uptight one. Posh Spice was called that for a reason. I mean The Devil Wears Prada is a good example, and remember how awful Olivia Palermo was portrayed in The City? (Although that one may have more truth to it, I'm not sure)

Lately I've been finding though, that fashion is all too ready to laugh at itself. Just look at the buzz surrounding a possible Zoolander sequel. (Hansel is so hot right now) People are literally losing their minds in anticipation. And even in the first Zoolander, the amount of models, designers, actors and musicians associated with fashion that had cameos in that movie is ridiculous. VICTORIA BECKHAM IS IN THAT MOVIE.

And of course everyone has seen The Platform's HILARIOUS take on "fashion girls", P'Trique. If you haven't seen the videos I really suggest you go watch all of them right now. If you're like me, you'll be dying because P'Trique gets it so right. And just like in Zoolander, there are a TON of fashion "insiders" all too willing to poke fun at themselves and play along with P'Trique. They even made a funny video full of fashion insiders to announce Charlotte Free as the new face of Maybelline New York. (#TopChicret)

Even designers are getting in on the action when it comes to making fashion funny. With outlets like twitter, designers can tweet some pretty profoundly hilarious stuff. Roberto Cavalli stands out in my mind as one of the funniest tweeters. And Karl Lagerfeld always delivers some hysterical gems in interviews. Anna Wintour even went on the Colbert Report, matching and even exceeding wits with Stephen Colbert. 

The fashion industry seems to have reached a point where it doesn't mind becoming a parody of itself. And I for one, think it's great. Everyone needs to laugh at themselves once in a while, why should fashion be any different? 

Check out P'Trique go head to head with Anna. (#TotesAmaze)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

make-up-less sunday art

With Charles in the studio, and my laziness at a record high, today was the perfect opportunity to have a "Make-up-less Sunday" I didn't do my hair or put any makeup on. I did my chores, dishes, vacuum, fold the laundry, and then proceeded to look around the apartment for something fun to do. 

What I found was an old record frame we had laying around, (as music lovers, we are big fans of putting records in frames to use as wall-art, and when the frames are on sale, we buy a few just in case.) I also found a few magazines laying around and decided to make myself a little collage for my vanity. 

Just sitting at my Dining table, singing some Kelly Clarkson, makin' a collage. RELAXATION.
I feel like making collages is the easiest, and most fun way to inspire yourself and showcase your interests in your house. Literally all you have to do is rip up a magazine and organize in a frame, (or on a book, or on a chair, like I tend to do) I don't even use glue, I just tape the images in a couple areas and use the glass of the frame to hold the collage together. SO EASY. 

Anyways, here's the finished product on top of my dresser. When he gets home I may ask Charles to actually mount it on the wall (since I'm a total Mangler I like to leave putting holes in the walls to Charles) but part of me likes it just chilling the way it is.

Gisele in Givenchy, J. Brand, a couple editorials, Prada sunglasses and some Stella McCartney flowers makes for  some sweet inspiration when getting ready in the morning. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!