Thursday, October 27, 2011

the girl with the hat.

Recently, I started cleaning out my closet, replacing summery clothes with wintry ones. I store my summer clothes in a duffel bag, to await their return in spring and make me feel like I've got a new wardrobe twice a year. It only gives me time to "miss" certain garments.

This dress was one that I was looking forward to wearing. It really only feels "right" to me in autumn, perhaps because it's a bit short for winter? I definitely wouldn't go bare-legged in this guy. These purple tights are the only coloured tights I've worn so far this fall - they keep calling my name!

The outfit felt a bit... bare when I was heading out the door. Even though I was just headed to the grocery store, I wanted to feel "complete". I popped on my hat and I was good to go! I got stares at the store, sure, but it was worth it.

Dress: thrifted // necklace: gifted // hat: can't recall // tights: Joe Fresh // flats: Alfred Sung

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My desk, part 2.

So here is my "made over" desk. It's not done yet, but this is what it looked like after a little bit of rummaging around my apartment.

As you can see, I've added a bunch of things to the wall: post-it notes bearing inspiring quotes and a to-do list (that kept falling off, darn post-its), and a trio of food info pages from a magazine put out by our grocery store. The pages feature tomatoes, apples, and eggplants. They seemed like fall-appropriate foods to me.

 I've added a shiny silver piggy bank to my desktop. On my shelves, there is now a storage box and some electronics (USB computer speakers and my pair of external hard drives - I've saved all the digital photos I've taken since 2004, plus I have a huge music collection).

While this is an improvement on the naked desk, it's still not how I'd like it to look. I want to better-organise the shelves, add some cork board tiles to the walls, organise my desk drawer, and just jazz the space up in general. I'll be back on Friday with the final product. 

Now, I'm off to decorate!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My desk, part 1.

I've been promising desk makeover stuff, so I'd better start delivering. This week, my desk will be featured in a three-part series. Is that extensive coverage or what?

Today I'll show you the raw materials I started with. Here is my (mostly) naked desk in its natural habitat.

So far, there is a lamp, a vintage toothbrush holder housing pens, a little box holding paperclips and the like, a decorative tea light holder sitting on the base of my lamp, a calendar off to the side, and my external hard drives sitting on the top shelf.

As an unemployed lady, I can't really afford too much by way of "sprucing things up". Until I'm employed, it's an unpainted, imperfect desk for me, decorated with stuff from around the house and a few dollar store accessories I splurged on (yes, when you're as poor as I am, the dollar store is a splurge - so is the desk, for that matter!).

Stay tuned for the makeover, part 2, tomorrow. It's a minimalist makeover, but that's not enough for me, so part 3 on Friday will show the final, overstyled product. I was never very good at minimalism.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apple dip.

My dad brought my husband and I a big bag of apples on his last visit. While I do love an apple on its own, there's something kind of magical to me about the combination of apple and nut butter. Besides, plain apples get a little less exciting after you've eaten a dozen of them.

Enter my SCD-friendly and addictive apple dip - I've made several small batches already. I don't actually dip the apple slices in, because the dip is too thick, but I'm not sure what the proper term is for "delicious-half-dip-half-spread-that-I-eat-with-the-spoon-I-used-to-make-it-with". Anyway, it's tasty and wonderful and fairly healthy. Doesn't it look good?

I think so, too. Here's how you make it.
  1. Get a bowl.
  2. Put nut butter in it (I've used storebought almond butter and homemade almond/cashew/brazil nut butter, because that's what I tolerate/can afford. Peanut butter would be tasty too!).
  3. Add unsweetened shredded coconut (I like using enough to really thicken it up to a no-bake cookie consistency), pure vanilla extract, and your sweetener of choice (honey for me!).
  4. If you're feeling indulgent, you can add some cocoa (it tastes like Nutella!). You could also add dried fruit, crumbled nuts, spices (nutmeg might be good, or cinnamon), and whatever other crazy stuff your heart desires. You could also go REALLY crazy and make these into nut butter truffles by omitting the cocoa, rolling the dip into balls, freezing them for a little bit to firm them up, and dipping them into melted chocolate (YUM).
  5. Eat it with a spoon, and some apple too, if you remember. Enjoy. Or else.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Desk, part 2.

It's official: I am in love with my desk. Sitting and working at it makes me feel productive and accomplished, even when I'm sitting here eating yogurt and watching YouTube videos. The power of a desk!

Another non-productive use of desk time was spent looking at Miss Vu's desk on flickr. She redecorates her desk fairly often, being one of those "creative types". My desk is smaller than hers, which leaves less room for experimentation, but I plan on having some fun. In case you're into that sort of lovely craziness too, here are my favorites from her collection.

Pretty adorable, right? Hopefully my desk will look this nice soon...

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Lately, I've been craving a workspace. When we moved into our current apartment, there was no room for a desk, but I happily did most of my studying at school or at the dining room table at night. However, now that I'm at home during the day, when there is tons of light pouring into the dining room, I can't really sit there with my laptop. Sitting at the couch isn't really the greatest alternative, either.

Enter kijiji (a Craigslist equivalent). Within a few days, I found a $20 desk and brought it home using my friend's car. Now that it's sitting pretty in my living room, though, I have to take the next logical step: decorate it!

Naturally, I popped over to my Pinterest page and started looking for inspiration. I want to incorporate the area into the rest of the living room, but still have it feel like a productive space. Here are some of my favorite desks, workspaces, and home offices.

Love the simplicity!

The three clipboards on the wall might be a fun alternative to a cork bulletin board!

The wall-mounted lamp is a great way to free up desk space. Love the colour scheme too!

This bulletin board is great! You can close the shutters to hide your work when company comes and still have that beautiful green colour and interest.

This is just head-to-toe adorable. Shelving could be a good way to incorporate businessy things with pretty artwork.
Some drawer organization inspiration! I love the cute little lucite dividers.

In an ideal world, this would be my living room.

Hopefully, I'll figure it all out soon. My desk might find itself with an exciting new coat of paint (white to red? I think it'll work), and who-knows-what on top of it, in its shelves, in its drawer, and on the wall above it. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Peasant Pas de Deux.

I've been obsessed with watching ballet videos on YouTube this weekend and reminiscing fondly on my dancing days (I did ballet for 12 years!). Some of my favorites have been watching male dancers, especially Baryshnikov, doing amazing leaps and turns and watching Kitri's variations, including 32 fouettes in a row, from Don Quixote.

A special favourite, though, is the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle. When I finished my last year of ballet school, I performed the last portion of this as a solo in a tutu. What a wonderful feeling! "My" section starts at 06:40 in the video below, but the whole thing is worth watching. Natalia Osipova and Vyacheslav Lopatin do a fantastic job.

A question about loafers.

Yesterday, I popped into the thrift store with a friend of mine, looking for a nude top, something for organising my papers, and a bowl to put on my front hall table to store our keys in. I found all of those things, and I also discovered a darling 60s housedress and a pair of flat loafers. This is all delightful, yes, but the loafers pose a bit of a problem.

I'm unsure of how to style them. Part of it is because I'm insecure about how big and long they make my (admittedly large) feet look. Another part of it is that I've never owned nice loafers before, and unfamiliar shoes always seem to faze me. They look sort of like these, but with a longer and more rectangular toe box:

Cute, right? So I turned to Pinterest, which is probably my favorite website on the whole wide internet, for inspiration. What I discovered was this: flat loafers go with skinny pants. Pants pants pants. See evidence:

I, however, love my skirts and want to wear them while I show off my pretty new-to-me loafers. I had some difficulty finding gals wearing dresses with flat loafers (as opposed to heeled loafers), but after some digging, I discovered that I might get away with loafers and bare legs:

It looks like I could pull it off. However, fall is coming and bare legs are hardly an option. Can I add tights to the equation without looking like a dingus?! We shall see...

(this lady might be rocking some sheer hose? or a really weird tan? hard to tell...)