January 2014 in pictures

January 1 dog is a golden lab puppy // January has been coooold, keeping warm with my huge Club Monaco scarf // poor chilly doggie // New Year’s Resolution: exercise more! // screw eating healthier, eating pizza // and sandwiches // Anthro top from 2009 and Hilary Druxman necklace // trying to convince myself to get off the couch and work out // reward: milk chocolate with maldon salt

Yep, this pretty much sums up my January. Cold! Dogs! Exercise! Eating badly again! Lots of jewellery on Instagram! Hoping for a better, healthier diet in February and warmer weather.

And because it’s what I do, here are my sunset photos from January.

Well, sunrise/sunset:



A hair-raising tale

There are times when perseverance, stubbornness, and downright pigheadedness will serve me well, and there are times when it might make me burn all my hair off.

For some boneheaded reason, I’ve been obsessed with trying to curl/wave my hair with a straightening iron, because it looks so easy. Never mind I have a curling wand that works great.


No, these aren’t the amazing results of the straightening iron, This is the curling wand. The results with the straightening iron were terrible, seriously I-can’t-leave-the-house-looking-like-this, no-photo-evidence-because-there’s-no-way-in-hell-anyone-is-seeing-me-like-this terrible. I can’t get the hang of it and it drives me nuts. But why am I trying so hard when I already have a tool that works?

Because it’s supposed to be simple and easy. Blog tutorials like this one and this one make it look easy! I must be really hair incompetent if i can’t do it!

At least this time I had enough sense to stop while I was ahead, while I still had hair on my head, that is. I’ll have to file this technique under the heading “I can’t do it, but that’s ok.” The perfectionist in me is struggling with the “that’s ok” part, but really, that’s ok.


Cold weather clothes

The funny thing about Toronto is that Canada Goose parkas are everywhere as soon as it gets the slightest bit cold (at freezing or just above freezing), so I wonder if people who need them when it’s not very cold need to layer two or three of them when it’s really really cold. I’m a penguin so most of the time I’m fine with just a wool coat, layering as I need to. But it has been really really cold for a while now, so cold that I’ve had to take the subway instead of walking to and from work, and I hate it. What is this, Ottawa or Montreal weather?

I don’t want to pay $700 for a Canada Goose parka that I won’t get enough use out of, but I’ve been considering a Soïa & Kyo parka now that they are on sale. (That’s another thing I’ll never get used to, it’s January and it’s freezing and already winter stuff is on sale and spring clothes are in stores!)

Except that the hood of the Carmella Down Parka might eat me alive.


Seriously, that’s the biggest hood I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t look like that in the product photo. I’m not sure why it looks so insanely huge on me.

I also felt like a stuffed sausage inside a marshmallow (apologies for the blurriness).

It’s awesome and ridiculous and at the same time (also, this was a size too big so it adds to the marshmallowiness). If I were a very cold person, I would snap it up right away, but I’m a penguin so I’m going to wait to see if it goes even more on sale.


Blue and green boxes and shiny things

My table was taken over my Stella & Dot boxes over the past week and a half, after Leslie lent me most of her samples to try out.

The packaging is very pretty, but I had no idea what was in anything so I had to put post-it notes on each one so I knew what I was reaching for. Nice to receive jewellery in these boxes, not practical for storing.

As with most brands, I didn’t like everything. (That’s inevitable, even with my favourite brands I probably only like about 20% of their offerings.) Aside from Norah Pendant, which I wore multiple times, there were only a few others that I liked.

The Sutton:


I love that you can wear the Sutton multiple ways, although it took me a while to figure out how I was supposed to wear it 5 ways (I consider myself an intelligent person, but some days I am profoundly dum).

The Mae & Somervell (although I would prefer the silver Somervell)

I really like the layering effect of these two.

But here’s the thing: the hipster in me wants to wear things that are unique and different. When wearing the Mae and Somervell to work, I ran into one person on my floor who was wearing the same combination (and who was also a Stella & Dot rep), and then I saw two other people in the building wearing the Somervell. I work in a pretty big office, but the hipster in me did not like.

It’s not like I’m incredibly unique and different in the way I dress either, I’m pretty conformist. I’m no man-repeller and I’m not even very fashion-forward either. I’ve jumped on bandwagons, I got the knockoff J.Crew bubble necklace I wear all the time because I saw lots of bloggers wearing it and I really liked it (but I don’t see anyone else wearing it at work). I have aspirations of uniqueness that I don’t achieve, so maybe that’s why the ubiquitousness of Stella irrationally bothers me.

Wow, that was a little more deep than I intended on a Saturday morning, so I think I’ll stop there.


Bad day, good day

from Instagram: Hilary Druxman silver nugget necklace

It can’t be a bad day if I’m wearing my favourite necklace (one of my favourites, it’s hard to rank), but I did one of my patented boneheaded careless moves this morning and lost my makeup bag. I’d pulled it out in the elevator when I was leaving my condo and I thought I shoved it back in my purse, but it was gone when I got to work. I tried to look on the bright side of things (I still had my phone, wallet, and Bose headphones), but I was pissed at myself for my stupid carelessness. I figured it was gone and I’d have to replace it (luckily not all my makeup, the majority of it stays home).

But I found it outside my building when I got home.


Club Monaco Kelsey Dress // Mexx cardigan // black Wolford tights // Tory Burch Reva flats

That’s how happy I was. That’s some good karma, I’m going to have to pay it back/pass it on at some point.


A little sunshine yellow

I have a deep aversion to the colour yellow. I’m not sure where it comes from; maybe I was traumatized by the crocheted yellow dress my mom made for me when I was little. Maybe I’ve deeply internalized the idea that Asians shouldn’t wear yellow because it just doesn’t go with our skin tone. Regardless, I just don’t like yellow.

But a little yellow might be ok.

Club Monaco Cece Cashmere Tee (Spring 2013) // Stella & Dot Norah Pendant // Club Monaco pencil skirt // Wolford tights // Nine West nude heels

The necklace is yellow. I would prefer it in a different colour, but it’s growing on me quite a bit. I also like the pop of yellow on the deep blue.

Last week I wore it with teal:

My friend Leslie is still hooking me up with Stella & Dot, to wear and have fun with. Although I keep resisting hosting a trunk show (I really don’t like that sort of thing), I’m more than happy to borrow her samples, take pictures of them, review them, and maybe buy a few here and there, the ones that I really like. I didn’t think I’d want to buy this one, but it’s seriously growing on me. For consideration.


Always look on the bright side of life

I may have started 2014 off on the wrong foot, with my pessimistic rant about the new year last week (I think that was just PMS combined with the lingering effects of a bad cough and a bad case of I-don’t-want-to-be-back-at-work), but I’m determined to pull it back.

I was going to post my New Year’s resolutions even though I’m late and it’s already getting towards late January, but then I realized that my list is pretty much the same as last year.

But I’m not going to be pessimistic about that, I will not see that as having accomplished nothing last year,  it’s just a continuation. I’m going to continue eating healthy as much as possible, being financially responsible, not procrastinating, and definitely staying optimistic. (Glass half-full! Half-full!)

I’m also going to add these more easily-measurable goals:

  • Move every day. I will never be a gym person, and that’s fine. When the weather is good, I walk two hours every weekday. Even if I don’t do that, I need to move. Even just 10 minutes a day. It’s beneficial and I can commit to that anywhere (but likely at home).
  • Read at least one book per month. I always have my iPad or iPhone in my hand. I read blogs, online articles, etc. all the time, and that’s fine, but I want to get back to reading actual books. My goal is to read at least one book per month (re-reads count, I was going through my shelves the other day and realizing I own a lot of books that I want to read again). I’m already ahead, I’ve read two new ones this month already.

(A Short History of England packed a lot of history into not very many pages, so much so that I felt like I learned a lot and also nothing at all. I think everyone is reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and like most people I found it really funny and entertaining. Never mind that it took me two hours fighting with my Kobo and Adobe Digital Editions to download the library ebook, in the end it was worth it.)

  • Wear everything in my closet. I heard somewhere that we tend to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time (or it could just be Barney Stinson making stuff up). I think I fall into that habit, especially with something new. So I’ve done the trick of turning all my clothes hangers around and then turning them back the right way when I wear something. It’s awesome to keep track of what I’ve worn recently and what I haven’t worn in a while.
  • Make an effort with photos. Last year I used my iPhone camera pretty much exclusively. I’m not going to stop using my iPhone; my goal has never been to have a huge blogger following and entice people with gorgeous photographs that get pinned all the time. In the end, my blog is for future me, and future me only wants to remember what I wore and what I did, but future me might also appreciate a few better photos every now and then.


January is the cruellest month

I heard a coworker say that January is just so DULL, and I totally agree. The holidays are over. The first full week back at work was painful. The weather has been bad. I had to layer to commute to work, and I felt like a stuffed, constricted, angry sausage. Outside of the layers, I’m still feeling constricted (thank you holiday weight gain).

J.Crew Merino v-neck sweater // knockoff J.Crew necklace // J.Crew No.2 Pencil Skirt // Wolford tights // Michael Kors heels

It’s barely mid-January and I feel like I’ve started the year off on the wrong foot. I’m already failing at the ever-popular “eating healthier/being healthier” resolution, despite (or maybe because of) all the Weight Watchers/Jenny Craig/Curves/Herbal Magic/Slimband/Special K/yogurt commercials on TV. I don’t have retail therapy to fall back on because I’ve pledged not to do that either.

I think what’s also bumming me out is that I expect to much of a new year. It’s a clean slate and a fresh start, and somehow I expect that I’ll be able to change what I don’t like easily. I expect that when the calendar clicks over to January I’ll want to do things right away instead of procrastinating, I’ll be compelled to exercise every day, and I’ll suddenly reach for the steamed broccoli instead of the milk chocolate English toffee (ain’t gonna happen).

(Seriously what would you choose?)

Of course, I know I’m setting myself up for failure this way. The calendar clicks over and I’m not suddenly embracing all my resolutions easily and freely, so the whole year is shot and why even bother trying. That will be my resolution of the year, don’t give up, keep going.

And stop procrastinating. That’s the worst one. I’ll do that one later. ;)




I’m finally ready to acknowledge the new year now that I’m starting to feel better again. If I were a superstitious person, I might say it’s a bad sign to end a year and start a new one sick, so it’s a good thing I’m not superstitious. Bad colds/coughs happen.

Of course, feeling better also means I have to go back to work tomorrow and wear real clothes.

New year also means making resolutions that generally won’t be kept, but I’m a believer in resolving to change/improve anyway. There’s nothing wrong in resolving to eat healthier (more vegetables! less sugar! less in general!), work out more, stop procrastinating, and shop less/smarter. If I don’t at least resolve these things, I won’t attempt them for at least two weeks.

In all seriousness, I am aiming for a less indulgent year. 2013 was pretty hedonistic for me, so I want to dial back in 2014.

One thing that won’t change is the pictures I take from my balcony. I gotta enjoy this view while it lasts!

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