Monday, February 28, 2011

22 of 30: stripes week, day 1.

striped top: Joe Fresh // brown pencil skirt: thrifted, The Limited // 3/4 sleeve cardigan: Joe Fresh // navy tights: Joe Fresh // brown boots: gifted // paisley scarf: gifted // red-faced watch: gifted, Roxy

Welcome to stripes week! This (work)week, I'm wearing one of the two striped shirts in my 30 for 30 items every day. In not-stripe-related news, I hope to write a bit about my experience dying two clothing items on the weekend.

I am a big fan of Diana Vreeland, mostly because I think she's very witty and utterly charming. A few weeks ago, I picked up an autobiography of hers, "D.V.", at my favorite used bookstore, but I put it back. I've been regretting it ever since. Since I've been working really hard lately, I decided to reward myself, and now I'm really excited to read it! I also picked up the recommended-by-Cleolinda "The Devil in the White City", which I think is also becoming a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio (if it is, I know my husband and I will be seeing it, since he loves himself some Mr. DiCaprio)?
I also thought that the bookstore would also make a nice place for some photos. It was hard to find a place to put my camera (no tripod), and I didn't want to get caught (so embarassing!), so it ended up being a bit less cute, a bit more awkward. Oh well.

Tune of the moment: "Pour un infidèle" - Coeur de pirate

Sunday, February 27, 2011

21 of 30: errands.

blue puffer jacker: thrifted, Patagonia // green hat: Joe Fresh // green fingerless gloves: nit by my friend Sarah // green purse: thrifted, Liz Claiborne // orange pashmina: gifted // yellow sweater: Lands' End Canvas // long black tank: H&M // black skinny pants: Banana Republic // brown knee-high boots: gifted // earrings: Le Chateau

Somehow, a very windy and rainy last night turned into a lovely sunny today, with a light coating of snow making everything look especially pretty. My husband and I took advantage by paying a visit to the farmers' market, hoping to find cheap honey and a hat that would actually keep my head warm. We succeeded in the former and now have a giant jar of honey, but as for the latter, it looks like I'll have to learn how to knit this dream hat myself or commission a friend.

We also petted cute dogs, disovered a new SCD snack (Jennie's Coconut Macaroons, which are so tasty), bought a bizarre print of a dog requesting "bone marrows of desire" at the thrift store, ate some Indo-Caribbean food, and continued watching episodes of "Bleach" obsessively (I've also developed an uncanny ability to guess plot twists in advance).

I am officially in love with weekends. Second only to my husband.

Friday, February 25, 2011

20 of 30: plaid it again.

plaid shirtdress: Lands' End Canvas // black tights: thrifted // athletic socks that I wear so my boots fit properly and my tights don't snag // hematite studs: gifted // black pumps: Seychelles (not seen) // red lipstick: Revlon "British Red"

Friends, it has been a heckuva week. Two of my colleagues were gone at work, and it was very, very busy. Today I was actually on my own, for the most part, and I kept things under control! I'm pretty proud of myself for handlings things so well, but now I am POOPED.

Luckily, my sweet husband called me at work and was advised of my challenging day. He came and picked me up from work, we did a bit of shopping, and I came home to find the fixings of a delicious-looking dinner! I am so spoiled. After squeezing in some outfit photos and some cuddling with the cats, I'm all set to continue this lovely date night with my wonderful husband. Hooray for weekends!

Tune of the day: "Late Bloomer" by Sarah Harmer

19 of 30: coffee stain.

navy maxi dress: thrifted, Old Navy // black tee: Joe Fresh // granny boots: gifted, Rieker // leggings: thrifted // silk longjohns: MEC // beaded necklace: Black Market (local store) // braided leather belt: thrifted // blue scarf: gifted // grey hoodie: thrifted, Gap

Every day on my lunch break, I sneak into the stairwell at work and take pictures, because it's still freezing outside. Because I am shy and afraid of being spotted, I put my iPod on full blast and set it down on the stairs instead of putting the earbuds in.

Today, the song playing was Sarah Harmer's "Coffee Stain", which is a beautiful but tragic song about love falling to pieces. That's why, despite my cute and cheerful outfit, I look so sad in these photos. I had to twirl to make myself feel better.

{It worked.}

18 of 30: busy day.

embellished white tee: Gap // pink cardigan: consignment-ed, Calvin Klein // draped skirt: Joe Fresh // black boots: gifted, Alfred Sung // burgundy tights: Joe Fresh // wide elastic belt: thrifted // pewter acorn necklace: thrifted // multicoloured flower earrings: gifted

Today, work was NUTS and I didn't have time for a proper photo session. After work, I ran to a volunteer orientation meeting and was still late. Then, I came home, did some cooking with my hubby, and dyed my denim pencil skirt (I hope alterations to 30 for 30 garments is allowed...).

And now, to go to bed early. "Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

17 of 30: en français

striped top: Joe Fresh // trouser jeans: thrifted, Larry Levine // black pumps: Seychelles // opal and diamond necklace: gifted

Lately, I've been enamoured with french style. Visions of Breton stripes paired with neutral pants and jeans, paired with natural makeup (and perhaps a bold lip), have been dancing through my head.

That's probably how I ended up with two striped tops in my 30 for 30, and why next week will probably be all stripes, all the time (also lots of washing said striped shirts). They're just so darn versatile, fresh, and chic. It's no wonder they were one of the first items featured on Everybody, Everywear. I'm also taken with Tania's red striped shirt (which she paired with grey and called "gred", another idea worth stealing).

How do I love thee, stripes, let me count the ways...

Monday, February 21, 2011

16 of 30: the accessories make the dress.

black draped tee dress: Joe Fresh // black 3/4 sleeve cardigan: Joe Fresh // teal tights: Joe Fresh // black pumps: Seychelles // blue and green beaded neckalce: thrifted // purple gem earrings: gifted, thanks Tante Lynn! // silver jade and turquoise bracelets: gifted by my godmother <3

I was reading an entry on Privilege the other day about accessories. Lisa points out that accessories are often what shows personality: a punk (studs, Chucks), a prep (pearls?, black pumps), and a princess (opera gloves, chignon) would all style a little black dress differently.

When I put on this little black dress this morning, I wondered what my accessories would say about me. I knew I wanted to wear this necklace that I picked up at the thrift store on the weekend, and I picked out tights, earrings, and bracelets that matched. I'd nromally go with a coloured cardigan, but my 30 for 30 cardigans don't work: the red cardi is too loose to work with the drapiness of the dress and the pink cardi wouldn't have matched, so black it was. I think this outfit probably says "slightly bohemian 9-to-5er", but I can live with that.

Also, between my wedding ring being a half-size too big, losing weight and a dry winter, my rings are practically falling off my fingers lately! I finally got fed up with them twirling around my fingers, and that's why I'm wearing them on my necklace today.
Today marks a milestone in another challenge: day 90 of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet! I can't believe I haven't had sugar in the past 3 months! I think I'll celebrate with more pear salad with mustard vinagrette (I've made it at least three times already).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

15 of 30: Not productive, but VERY fun.

navy maxidress: thrifted, Old Navy // pink cardigan: consignment-ed, Calvin Klein // black wide elastic belt: thrifted // earrings: gifted.

I wore a 30 for 30 outfit today, since I feel like I'm behind. Besides, if my outfit looks bad, at least it's a weekend, right? Anyway. But did I take pictures? Not really, no. Instead, my husband, younger brother and I hung out and read funny articles to each other, ate cheesecake, and then went for a walk. Then we sent my younger brother off for the week and the husband and I did a bunch of stuff:
We went to the thrift store (in this case, the Salvation Army in our neighbourhood). We bought a bizarre three-photo series of a man who appears to live in the 1970s...permanently. He has the mustache to prove it. An elderly gentleman in the thrift store was convinced that the man was a jazz musician that he'd seen before. We were bummed out to hear that there were actually more of the photos, but someone has bought the other 3 the night before.
We also picked up something practical: a navy futon cover to hide our ugly 80s-style multicoloured pastel monstrosity. This looks so much better on our futon.
I also had a weird experience: the items I donated earlier this week after a closet purge were for sale in the store! I knew the Gap maxi-dress was the same one I'd donated because the stain on the stomach was still there (le blush).
For dinner, we made a meatza (SCD ground-beef-crust pizza) for the first time. For toppings, we had crumbled bacon, yellow pepper, tomato, sauteed onions and mushrooms with brick and parmesan cheeses.
For an appetizer, I made a salad with a spicy mustard vinaigrette. It was my first time making a vinaigrette that actually followed a recipe, which is probably why it actually tasted good. I'm really excited to be able to eat raw fruit and veggies, and really excited by my creativity!Here's the vinaigrette recipe: mix together 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons Dijon or spicy brown mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey, using whisk or a fork. Adjust proportions to taste. That wasn't so hard, was it? I used the dressing on top of a salad with baby spinach, spring mix, red d'Anjou pear, and crumbled pecans. It was very tasty. If you're a strawberry fan, slice some of those babies in as well. They'll be happy to be there.
Later on, we had some friends over. I served them some cocoa-orange banana ice cream. I know cocoa isn't SCD-legal, but it hasn't bothered me in the slightest.
Though it was not as productive of a day as I had planned, it was a lot of fun.

Friday, February 18, 2011

14 of 30: Hoochie mama

Black scoopneck tee: Joe Fresh // pink cardigan: thrifted, Calvin Klein // denim pencil skirt: thrifted // brown bamboo-fiber tights: Walmart // silver earrings: Joe Fresh // belt: thrifted, Jordache

When I first put this on, I thought it was quite cute. I really like the peplum effect I got by belting my cardigan. It's very sweet, I think, and almost demure.

However, the combination of the cheap tights, the silver danglies, and the light denim pencil skirt make me feel like… a hoochie mama. I feel like I should be sitting in a pub in a British soap opera wearing too much mascara (sorry, Coronation Street, but sometimes your female characters look kind of like hussies). I think black tights might have saved this outfit…

Oh well. I'll blame a long, tiring work week and the fact that a fair number of my 30 for 30 items have been swallowed up by my giant, intimidating laundry pile. One of my weekend goals is to tackle that pile until it cries for mercy. Wish me luck!

{failed photo location#3667.}

13 of 30: Lumberjack or Betty Draper... or both.

Plaid shirtdress: Lands' End Canvas // thick black tights: thrifted, Ralph Lauren // granny boots: gifted, Rieker // necklace: estate sale, worn to bits by me

I have loved shirtdresses ever since that fateful day at a close friend's wedding rehearsal two summers ago. One of the girls from the choir was wearing this magnificent, retro-styled dress that I was sure was vintage. Imagine my surprise when she told me that it was from H&M! I went out and snapped it up very shortly afterward. I wore it constantly, and it was one of my items in my last 30 for 30.

Ever since, I've been on the lookout for more shirtdresses. I had yet to find a single one that makes my heart flutter like that blue number. That is, until I saw Sal of Already Pretty in a (plaid!) shirtdress, telling us that it was on sale. So I cheated on my shopping ban and bought it in red.

And I am such a happy girl! The full skirt is very flirty, and just the right length: sassy, but not inappropriate for the office. Perhaps when the weather gets warmer and the tights come off, I'll have to retire it for the season, but I think this baby is going to be with me for a long time.

{me, post-dress-induced-joy-twirl}

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

12 of 30: Pump up the volume!

Striped shirt: Joe Fresh // wideleg trouser jeans: thrifted, Larry Levine // black pumps: Seychelles // blue scarf: gifted // Roxy watch and silver hoops: gifted

I pretty much never wear volume with volume. I am of the belief that proportions are very important when getting dressed. If your blouse is voluminous, wear a sleek skirt. Sometimes, an all-sleek outfit can look sharp or sophisticated (never a tee with skinny jeans, though, unless you're putting a big cardigan on top), but volume with volume is meant for gypsy costumes only.

Except I tucked my shirt in this morning. And when I got to work, I realised that I looked silly. So untucked my shirt became. It was comfier, and it looked better, but I'm not sure I like it. I'm not sure it would have been improved by a belt cinching it at my waist, either. Hmmmm…

Do you dress with proportions in mind? Do you think volume can work on the top and the bottom at the same time?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

11 of 30: Uncertain, a.k.a. Awkward Pose Day.

Yellow boyfriend sweater: Lands' End Canvas // orange pashmina: gifted // brown pencil skirt: thrifted, The Limited // black tights: thrifted, Ralph Lauren // black pumps: Seychelles

I have a bit of a problem. In the 80-odd days since I've started the SCD, I've shed at least 10 pounds (about a pound a week). Unlike most people with Crohn's, it was weight that I could afford to lose, and I'm happy to be a bit lighter.However, this morning when I got dressed, I found myself putting on a skirt that no longer fit me. The waistband, on the loose side the last time I'd worn it, was now practically falling off my hips. I tried paperbagging it with a wide belt, but it just looked silly. I went back to the closet and looked at my asymetrical striped skirt. It, too, had fit loosely on its last wearing, and I imagined it would be much of the same.

I finally settled on my brown pencil skirt, but I noticed that it wasn't hugging my waist as much as before - it was starting to gape away from it, thus the sweater OVER the skirt. Even my sweater, despite being a boyfriend style, feels like it should be a size smaller (an extra-small?! I've only ever worn one extra-small before that actually fit me properly).

As the 30 for 30 continues, I'm worried that I'm find myself with fewer and fewer clothing items to wear legally. I'd feel like a cheater for switching out those two skirts now, since I've worn them both at least once already. Let us not mention the fact that my "official" items post has yet to materialise... sigh.

Part of me wants to quit the challenge altogether, since my weight loss hasn't stopped yet (It's supposed to even out eventually, according to SCD veterans). That would make me sad, though: I don't like quitting, and even though I did complete the 30 for 30 last time around, I did a terrible job blogging about it. This was going to be my first "real" 30 for 30. This leads to part of me wanting to stick it out, suck it up and keep going, thinking of the people who wore 6 items of clothing for 30 days (an unimaginable challenge for me). If they can do it, surely I can handle, say, 20 items for the next 19 days?
For now, the plan is to stick it out and see how it goes over the next few days. What would you do if you were in my shoes, dear reader(s)?