Translated: Juanes

I usually translate the really sad Spanish love songs, but this one is so upbeat and I've been listening to it on repeat for the past hour or so. It's so perfect for all the springtime lovers out there.

Click here to listen to the song.

Lo Que Me Gusta A Mi ("What I Like")

When I'm thinking of you
love is what strongly exudes from me
for this I always live so happily
since you're what I most want for me.

When I depart for Medellin,
in every mountain I draw traces of you,
and if I go to Bogot there also
the beautiful savannah makes me think of you,
and I have travelled the entire world and

I tell you that never have I seen something more beautiful than your gaze.
I tell you that I have seen the moon at night talk to the sea,
but never have I seen something more beautiful than your gaze.
And it's your eyes, your smile, and your mouth
and your pretty little face that I like in the end.
And I'm getting to be someone who's always a crazy man
when I look bit by bit at the way in which I like you.

Yesterday it was really really but really hot
and I felt cold because I didn't have all your love.
Today on the other hand it's cold and I feel warm
because you're once again with me, my great love,
and I have travelled the entire world and

I tell you that never have I seen something more beautiful than your gaze.
I tell you that I have seen the moon at night talk to the sea,
but never have I seen something more beautiful than your gaze.
And it's your eyes, your smile, and your mouth
and your pretty little face that I like in the end.
And I'm getting to be someone who's always a crazy man
when I look bit by bit at the way in which I like you.

Shoes or Stable Financial Future?

I spent my afternoon utterly engrossed by a fashion blog I'd never read before. I won't name any names, but I'll say this much: It was written by a high-maintenance Hong Kong girl who seems sweet and articulate and has a huge weakness for the finer things in life: high tea at posh restaurants, expensive makeup and skincare products, designer shoes and purses, Internet orders from Neiman Marcus. My disbelief grew as I kept reading. I thought, wow, there are people that live like this?!? How can she afford the constant influx of Fendi and Chanel in her closet?

Several pages of old blog posts later, the situation became a bit clearer. This girl was 27 and had been working full-time for a couple of years since she graduated, and she still lived with her parents. (There were asides about her parents seeing her packages come in the mail.) In a post about resisting the temptation of yet another designer item, she confessed to being 27 and not having anything to show for it except shoes and purses. If you read between the lines, it sounds as though she spends every single penny she earns. How can you be 27 and not have any savings, an RRSP, a GIC, or anything? At this rate she'll end up like Carrie Bradshaw - she will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!

I totally admit I'm the last person to judge, seeing as I'm a 23 year-old shopaholic with a full-time job and I still live with my parents rent-free. My previously harsh stance against expensive items has softened in the face of my weakness for pretty luxurious things. But even I have my limits as to how much I can bring myself to spend, and I don't think I could blow a whole paycheque on shopping without shuddering. Also, as much as I love shoes, I realize there are more important financial goals for myself beyond "investing" in my shoe collection. I'd like to move out for good and hopefully own my own home in several years. This is why at least half of every paycheque goes into my savings account, if not more. I hope that by the time I'm 27, I'll have more to show for it than accessories.

Today's Outfit: April 28, 2008

It was raining pretty hard for spring today, and outside it feels like fall, not like summer's just around the corner. I went for leather flats instead of canvas shoes or my Ralph Lauren flats for the sake of dry feet, and a sweater to keep me warm.
  • Purple cami (RW & Co)

  • Black 3/4 sleeve wrap sweater (Jacob)

  • Trouser-cut dark wash jeans (Old Navy)

  • Quilted black patent pointy-toed flats (Steve Madden)

  • Silver heart pendant necklace (Coach)

  • Pearl stud earrings (Claire's)

  • Black rose hairclip (H&M)

H&M At Lougheed Town Centre

H&M's expansion into Vancouver mirrors the way a four-star restaurant might serve a multi-course meal. Its sizable Coquitlam Centre location is the successful and succulent appetizer that is placed gingerly before you to whet your appetite for what's to come. As soon as word reaches the kitchens (or ahem, the H&M folks) that the appie has gone over well with its audience, the cooks begin working on the entree. In this case, the entree is the flagship H&M location opening next month in Pacific Centre, an event which is sure to excite local fashionistas. In the meantime, we have the new H&M location which has just opened in Lougheed Town Centre to satisfy us.

I'm sorry to say it, but the Lougheed location is basically the ball of sorbet that comes in between courses to cleanse your palate so that you can enjoy the next course. Yes folks, it was kind of a let-down. For one thing, the Lougheed H&M is about half the size of the Coquitlam location. The accessories selection isn't as extensive, the clothing selection is pretty limited and doesn't include the fun juniors fashions that the Coquitlam H&M has, and there's no lingerie section. Men can write this location off entirely as it only features fashions for women and children.

I love the things I did find, but I think the next time I go to H&M I'm going to head out to Coquitlam. Coquitlam Centre has much better stores than Lougheed in general, plus the H&M there probably won't be as picked-over as the forthcoming Pacific Centre one.

Gray racerback tank with rhinestones. It's an everyday basic but BeDazzled. I can definitely picture myself wearing this tank with skinny jeans for dancing; it's just sparkly enough for evening and just casual enough for a sweaty night of salsa.

Brown embellished skinny-cut tank. I loved this tank as soon as I put it on. On someone who's petite, the cut is very slimming and flattering. (Hmm yeah, I can hear the "Life's unfair" and "Like you need the extra slimming effect!" thought bubbles forming over some of your heads.)

White and silver scarf. The scarf is lightweight and soft and opens up into a large shawl. Think of it as spring's answer to the pashmina.

Black hairclips with roses. My bangs are getting a bit long and lately I find myself parting my hair to the side and securing my sideswept bangs with a couple of bobby pins. The black hairclips are shiny and blend in with my hair, plus the roses remind me of the trademark Chanel camellia. I can just imagine how wonderful one of these babies would look while wearing my Chanel sunglasses.


Today's Outfit: April 26, 2008

I admit this picture would've been much better sans flash, but I was in a hurry and didn't realize it was on, and after this pic I didn't have time for another.

  • Sunglasses (Chanel)

  • Khaki blazer (Mavi Jeans)

  • Black V-neck tee (American Eagle)

  • White gold and diamond necklace (a gift)

  • Trouser-cut dark denim jeans (Old Navy)

  • Black peep-toe low wedges (Karen Elise)

  • Green canvas and off-white leather bag (RW & Co)

Eye Candy: My Shoe Collection

A couple days ago, I reorganized my shoes while watching America's Next Top Model and the season finale of Girlicious. As girls engaged in catty competitiveness onscreen, I took all the shoes out of their mismatched boxes and put them back in their proper boxes with some tissue paper lining. I labelled all the random boxes used to house shoes that didn't come with any. This little chore gave me a reason to put all my shoes in one room and survey them, so I thought I'd share some pictures as part of an Eye Candy post.

My entire shoe collection (30 pairs and counting):

My weakness for bows on shoes:

Buttons as accents:

Buckles as accents:

Red heels:

Colourful canvas:

Black patent leather:


Too Cute Not to Post

This is one of my faves from Doug Savage's Savage Chickens. TGIF!

Lovely Links

My friend Lucas (who's already made several cameos in my blog entries) introduced me to Overheard in New York, a hilarious compilation blog of real out-of-context conversations and one-liners from the Big Apple.

If eavesdropping isn't your thing, read through messages from well-intentioned mothers to their offspring on Postcards From Yo Momma.

I helped out a friend with dark denim advice here; now read what Amy Verner of the Globe and Mail has to say about wearing jeans to work.

Hilarious chicken cartoons from one of my coworkers - I always check out this site to start the day off in the right mood.

Guess Renae Dress

Here on the left coast it feels as though spring has sprung...and it's sprinting in the opposite direction back east. I have too many dresses and skirts and not enough warm weather to wear them in, so I'm not going to rush out and buy the Renae dress by Guess ($101.42 - subject to change as the exchange rate fluctuates) even though I think it's one of the cutest examples of the nautical trend that I've seen to date. The red and navy stripes make a bold sailor girl statement and inspire fantasies of hanging out with the yachting crowd.

With a dress so decidedly nautical, I would go for non-nautical accessories to keep things interesting, not costumey:

Purse options
  • A buttery soft brown leather bag

  • A metallic tote

  • A Chinese embroidered red and white silk purse

Shoe options
  • Gladiator sandals

  • Gold or silver ballet flats

  • Cork wedges

Jewelry options
  • Bangles or cuff bracelets

  • Hammered gold or silver disc earrings

  • Oversized hoops

Dark Denim Jeans

This request came to me from a coworker today - let's call her Miss Dark Denim for the sake of anonymity:

"Lisa, I'm looking for a new pair of far I've checked out Levi's, the Gap, Below the Belt, etc. etc...but I haven't found the right pair that I wanted! Any suggestions on where to get a pair of dark-wash jeans (that hopefully aren't too long since I keep on finding ones that fit ok on top but need to be hemmed on the bottom)? Thanks!"

Ah Miss Dark Denim, a girl after my own heart! I love dark wash jeans because they're a lot more versatile and respectable than lighter washes: they can be worn in casual workplaces or for going out, or dressed down for weekends. The only downside I've found to dark wash denim is the colour does tend to rub off on light fabrics. Until the excess dye washes out of the jeans, try not to sit on any white couches and be careful when pairing the jeans with a light-coloured trench or winter-white wool coat.

It sounds like your search has already taken you to a couple of good jeans spots with no success. For everyday wear, I've had great success finding dark wash jeans at Old Navy and Banana Republic. Both places carry jeans with 30" inseams , but in my experience searching for these jeans is like looking for the Holy Grail: the 30" inseam jeans sell out the quickest and are difficult to find unless you order them online. If you factor in the cost of shipping and any duties and taxes, it might be a lot cheaper to buy the regular inseam (32") jeans in person and have them hemmed.

Here are a couple of options that could work well for you:

Old Navy "The Sweetheart" classic rise boot-cut jeans in Dark Authentic, $29.50. I actually have these jeans, and I have to say that for the price they aren't bad at all. (True story: I went into Mantique wearing these jeans once and tried on a T-shirt in the fitting room. When I came out of the fitting room with the T-shirt on, one of the sales girls exclaimed, "That shirt fits so well, and those jeans look so good on you! Which ones are they?" She'd basically confused what I was wearing with the more expensive denim that Mantique sells.) The fit is nice, although "boot-cut" is a misnomer because these jeans are pretty slim through the leg and feel more like straight-fit jeans once they're on. They also stretch out quite a bit (which I blogged about here), so if you try them on and find you're between sizes, opt for the smaller pair.

Banana Republic petite classic dark wash bootcut jean, $78. Banana Republic is known for their polished yuppie aesthetic, which might explain the relatively classic styling of their denim line. A quick look through the petites denim section of the website yielded these dark denim wonders, but they have other styles in dark washes as well. If you go the Banana Republic route, I suggest going to the Robson location and carefully browsing through their second floor sale section; that was how I found my BR dark wash skinny jeans.

If you're willing to shell out a little more dough, these brands are worth a shot:

Lucky Brand denim Mimosa wide-leg pant, $120. Wide-leg jeans are a hot style right now, and this particular pair is also pretty work-appropriate because its fluid lines mimic the styling of classic wide-legged trousers. For the summer, dress them down during the day with cork wedge sandals, and dress them up with sky-high patent leather platform heels at night. You can find Lucky Brand jeans at the store of the same name in Metrotown.

Rock and Republic Kasandra Satisfied Intent Blue jeans, $238. R&Rs are definitely on the pricier side of the denim spectrum, but they look so damn good. It's like their designers have tapped into every woman's desire for a pair of versatile dark wash jeans that make their legs look thinner and their butts look better. If you go for a pair of dark wash R&Rs, beware: of all the dark wash jeans I've ever bought, these ones had the worst excess dye problem. Until they've gone through the wash at least 10-15 times, don't wear them with white coats and don't sit on light-coloured upholstery. Also, I've found that while the pair I bought fit just right in the dressing room, the waist has since stretched out by about an inch or so and I now have to wear a belt with them...something to consider when you're trying them on. In Van, Rock and Republic jeans are available at Aritzia.

Off the top of my head, these are a couple of other places around town where you can look for jeans if you haven't already tried them:

  • Mantique

  • Mavi Jeans (they used to have one in Yaletown, but I think the closest location to our office now is Gastown)

  • Off the Wall

  • Bootlegger

  • Jacob (very classic trouser-like dark denim styles...check the Robson location for the best selection)

  • RW & Co (ditto)

  • Guess

  • Buffalo

  • Parasuco Denim Cult

As for the hemming issue, I've always had to hem my jeans. Consider hemming an investment: for less than 10 bucks at most alteration places, you can get your jeans hemmed to the right length for you and look like a million bucks! If you've already paid $100+ for the jeans, the least you can do is pay a bit extra to get them hemmed.

That being said, here are a couple extra tips for how to prolong the life of your jeans:

  1. Before bringing them in for hemming, wash your new jeans and throw them in the dryer on tumble low at least once. That way you won't end up with too-short jeans.

  2. For dark-wash jeans, flip them inside-out and zip and button the fly before washing, and wash them in cold water to prevent fading. Ideally, you should also use a liquid detergent rather than powder because it's less abrasive on dark fabrics; try Cheer with Colour-Guard.

Fab Flats (Part 2 of 2 of the Shoe Advice Bonanza)

This week seems to be all about the shoes. Right after I posted about the A&N shoe sale, I got a request from D regarding mary-janes for his wife J. Then I got this message from a friend via Facebook who'd seen my A&N shoe sale post. Let's call her Miss Sushi Shoes for the sake of anonymity, and once you read the message she sent me you'll see why:

"Wow, gorgeous shoes... Any recommendations for cheap (but expensive-looking!) businessy flats? I need to go shoe-shopping for an upcoming job interview. That and all my shoes are either brown, boots, lime green, bright blue, or have sushi patterns on them."

Okay Miss Sushi Shoes, let's get started!

First of all, I'm very intrigued by these sushi-patterned shoes you speak of; why haven't you ever worn them around me? They sound like they'd be just idiosyncratic enough to get along famously with my Kitson sneakers:

I think we should schedule a playdate so our shoes can meet and get to know each other.

Anyway, a quick phone call gave me a few more specs to work with:

  • The flats had to be extremely simple - "not even a bow on them."

  • MSS wears a large shoe size and considers her feet to be fairly wide.

  • The interview's on Tuesday, which means no Internet orders (darn, because I saw some cute flats on Piper Lime).

  • Numerically speaking, her budget is $100 or below and $120 max. She doesn't want to spend "too much" but she still wants good-quality comfy shoes she can wear for a long time to come.

  • Since it seems like she has every type of shoe except the basic black shoe that would look professional in an interview situation, I'm inferring from the help request that this is exactly what she's looking for.

My first recommendation would be to stop by the A&N shoe sale and see what they have. When I was there, they had a whole wall of simple quilted patent leather flats in red, navy, black, and gray for around $20 a pair - plus you never know what you'll find on the shelves. However, the A&N shoe sale is also kind of a crap shoot if you're looking for something as specific as a pair of simple flats. If you don't find what you're looking for there, I suggest hitting up the next couple of places.

The Bay

Just a hop, skip, and bus ride away from the A&N location downtown, the downtown Bay location has a droolworthy shoe department with a great selection. The reason why I'm recommending The Bay in particular is that this year they started carrying Lauren by Ralph Lauren stuff, a relatively affordable yet expensive-looking line that features a lot of classics. One of my all-time favourite pairs of flats is a black-and-white tweed pointy-toed pair with black velvet bows from Lauren by Ralph Lauren which, incidentally, I scored at last year's A&N shoe sale. I don't know exactly what The Bay will have, but a quick gander at the Zappos selection for Lauren by Ralph Lauren yielded these black leather beauties. I know she said no bow or detail, but the black ornament on the vamp makes it look expensive and classic, and it's the same colour as the rest of the shoe so it blends in.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Pamela flat, $99


The next stop that could yield some definite possibilities is Naturalizer, a chain known for their insanely comfy, work-appropriate leather shoes. Plus, Naturalizer shoes come in narrow, medium, and wide fits to suit every foot shape. I kind of wish I'd found the Dumia mary-jane when I was doing my mary-jane post.

Naturalizer Dossa flat, $71

Naturalizer Dumia shoe, $71

Once MSS goes out shoe-shopping she'll probably find a lot more possibilities than the ones I recommended above; flats have been in for a couple of seasons already and they come in so many colours and styles. MSS, if you're reading this, good luck with your job interview!

Marvelous Mary-Janes (Part 1 of 2 of the Shoe Advice Bonanza)

I phoned my technical writing editor D yesterday at work to ask him a question about my content. One tangent led to another, and before we knew it, we were discussing the A&N shoe sale. D mentioned that his wife J had been looking for a basic mary-jane she could wear with pants, jeans, and skirts for the longest time but couldn't find anything to her liking. I showed him this picture of the Point Zero black mary-jane I found at last year's A&N shoe sale, which I always like pairing with jeans and denim skirts:

"See, that's perfect," D said. "That's exactly what she's looking for but she can't find it anywhere. If you can do a post on mary-janes that'd be great!"

Ooh goody! I love reader requests because you get the satisfaction of helping someone and the fun of shopping without spending your own money. The first place I thought of for shoes was I love Zappos because of its huge selection, user-friendly web design, and reputable customer service. Sadly, Zappos is American and its Canadian equivalent has a much smaller selection; nonetheless, it's a good starting point for browsing and getting an idea of what's out there. My favourite feature on the site is the customer reviews: customers who've bought the shoes rate them on things like style, comfort, arch support, and whether the fit feels true to size. If you have to order online, reading the reviews is the next best thing to trying on the shoes themselves.

These are the specs and assumptions I was working with when I began my search:

  • D said the shoes should be a comfortable wear-with-anything basic that can be dressed up or down. Each shoe I picked out had to, in my mind, look good paired with a knee-length skirt, jeans, or trousers.

  • J wears a size 9 or 10 shoe, so I figured I'd steer clear of really chunky styles and go for something more streamlined.

  • Because I'm envisioning the shoe worn with skirts or dresses that show a bit of leg, I think a strap that goes across the middle of the foot rather than the ankle would be more flattering.

Taking all that into consideration, here are my top picks. Enjoy!

Ecco Bouillon mary-jane, $124

Fitzwell Elaine mary-jane, $69

Kenneth Cole Reaction Keep Open mary-jane, $83

Sofft Phoebe mary-jane, $91


Army and Navy Shoe Sale: The 2008 Edition

The Scene

My Army and Navy shoe sale pilgrimage this year turned out to be very similar to my experience last year, which I blogged about here. Like last year, I chose to go around noon on the first day so that I could pick out some great shoes but avoid having to line up to get into the store. This time around, the sale boasted shoes from Steve Madden, O Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, Naughty Monkey, Bronx, and Ann Taylor among others. I had a bit more experience under my belt; I was going to the shoe sale during my lunch break at work instead of going straight after a final exam; and I was taking three A&N shoe sale rookies with me (the co-op students from my team).

The same chaos, crowds, and piles of shoes greeted us when we walked in, but this time instead of being overwhelmed like my accompanying rookies were initially, I dived right in, putting any pair that looked like a possibility into my basket to try on.

The Scoop

I learned a lot from my experience last year and remembered to wear shoes that could slip on and off easily. I also didn't wear anything thick or heavy because of how warm it can get in the basement, and I packed light, taking only my umbrella, cell phone, debit and credit card, bus pass, and employee security badge with me.

I think this year I also learned how valuable braving the sale with friends can be. While Nancy was browsing the larger shoe sizes, I spotted a brown satin Oscar de la Renta pump. It was love at first sight except for the unfortunate fact that I only had the left shoe. I combed the racks and looked under shelves but to no avail, when lo and behold, Nancy showed up holding a pair of those exact pumps in black and in my size! She explained that she'd found them hidden in the size 10 shelves. I would've never found them by myself, and I'm so happy that the shoe gods blessed me with a shopping companion who has a good eye. (I wonder if I can write that on her co-op evaluation: "Quick learner. Rapidly adapted to a challenging environment and flourished...especially in a shoe-induced piranha-like feeding frenzy environment.")

The Score

This post wouldn't be complete without pictures of my shoe haul!

O Oscar by Oscar de la Renta brown patent slingbacks:

Ann Taylor black patent platform heels:

O Oscar by Oscar de la Renta black satin bow slingbacks (aka the ones that Nancy found!):

Karen Elise black leather low wedges:

Here's what's so wonderful: the whopping total for all four pairs after tax was $151. If I were to pay full price for the O Oscar shoes or the Ann Taylor heels, that much money would've been just enough for one pair.

When Did Skinny-Bashing Become Okay?

Yesterday I checked out one of my all-time favourite fashion blogs, Daddy Likey, and found a hilarious post/open letter from blogger Winona to snooty vintage store sales assistants. Based on what's in the letter and the experiences of the commenters who commiserated with Winona, I can only conclude that there are definitely sales assistants out there who are catty, mean, and condescending, and as someone who used to work in retail I can't condone their dismissive attitudes or how they're behaving like absolute cows.

However, I was also kind of dismayed at some of the anti-skinny girl vitriol on display in the comments. Here's a small sample:

"Bitches. They're just angry 'cause they're hungry."

"Not everybody belongs to club Bulimia."

"F***k those bitches. They are just supremely jealous of your boobs."

"I am loath to base my self-worth on someone who hasn't eaten a candy bar in at least a decade..."

Okay, so here's where I'm coming from. I'm 5'3" and around 120 pounds with a petite build, and depending on the store, I can wear anything from a size 0 to a size 4. I've been known to scarf down more pizza in a single sitting than a 6'4" ex-boyfriend (much to the amazement of his parents). I have a daily Snickers addiction when I'm at work. This is just how I am.

Now, I understand that society judges people based on appearance and I fully understand that it's wrong to behave badly towards a person for being "overweight." But when did it become socially acceptable to express solidarity with full-bodied women by going to the opposite extreme and bashing someone for being thin? I seriously don't get why expressing self-love for your own curves has to involve putting slim women down. If it's wrong to judge someone for being a size 10 or above, it's equally wrong to stigmatize someone for being on the small side.

I know the more petite among us don't have to put up with as much crap as the curvier gals, but we still get our fair share of unfair judgement. True story: I used to work with a woman in retail who wore a larger clothing size than me. When she went out to get lunch, she'd always offer to bring something back for me. At the time I was trying to save money and knew the eateries around where we worked were expensive, so I'd decline and eat the small lunch I brought with me, then go home later and gorge on a homecooked dinner and popcorn or kettle-cooked potato chips. Whenever she left me to get her lunch, she'd have this questioning look in her eyes that said "Are you sure? I'm worried about you." I think she was convinced I had an eating disorder because of how I looked and the fact that she never saw me eat anything other than my lunch in the store, and that me collapsing from starvation in the store was imminent. This happened a few times until she got to know me better and watched me polish off meals that were bigger than hers.

How's this for a radical idea: We can love how we look without putting down the appearances of others. Hmm? Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for a Snickers from the vending machine.

Today's Outfit: April 15, 2008

This was what I looked like coming home on the bus today. I felt like a West coast Asian version of Blair Waldorf (minus the bus bit because everyone knows Blair travels by town car).
  • White coat (Sirens)

  • Jeans (Old Navy)

  • Tote (Coach)

  • Black and white tweed pointy-toed flats (Lauren by Ralph Lauren)

My Favourite American Eagle Goodies

Yesterday I went online and found the link to my hot pink tee so I could show a friend what it looked like, and while I was on the American Eagle site I started browsing around. I don't usually find a ton of stuff I like or want at American Eagle because they have fairly basic wardrobe staples that seem overpriced for what they are. However, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the new arrivals for the summer season. Here are a couple of my favourite items.

AE Ruffle Dress, $44.50. I love the deep V, cinched waist, simple ruffles, and plummy colour of this dress. It almost reminds me of something that local brand Narcissist might come up with.

AE Platform Wedges, $44.50. The hot pink hue is perfect with denim or crisp whites for the summer season.

AE Leather Wristlet, $29.50. This little wristlet has a practical outside pocket, zip compartment, and card slots to stash your stuff for a big night out. I would definitely go for the chalk-coloured wristlet since I always love the clean look of a pure white purse but cringe at the thought of it getting dirty. At this price, I'd be cringing a little less if something happened to it.

AE Butterfly Belt, $29.50. Picture this belt cinched over an A-line dress, a floaty skirt, or an oversized cardigan.


AE 1977 Open Neck Tee

Alright, so right after I said I was skeptical about neon in this post, I knew some neon-coloured item would come along and catch my eye and make me eat my words. (This is exactly what happened to me with skinny jeans; click here and here for the full scoop.) Anyway, last Saturday I made a rare sojourn to American Eagle Outfitters and saw this hot pink tee and fell in love. You know what? I'm wearing the shirt right now, and in it, I feel as hot as the hue.

Women's AE 1977 Open Neck Tee, $19.50

P.S. I've had some feedback regarding how my links are hard to spot because they're almost the same colour as the surrounding text, so I'm changing them to hot pink to make them stand out more. Yes, I'm loving the colour that much. :P

Today's Outfit: April 12, 2008

Today was the first genuinely warm day of spring. After an extended season of sweater weather and wool coats and boots, I was so excited about being able to wear warm-weather gear that I actually started daydreaming about my outfit yesterday afternoon! (Hey, it was a slow afternoon.) I decided to go with the nautical trend and wear a top that seemed to be a hybrid of sailor girl and Harajuku Lovers. Because it was so bright and, well, nautical, I had to counterbalance the top with black accessories and jeans. The cardigan was supposed to keep me warm in case the weather took a sudden turn; in Vancouver, you never know when that'll happen.
  • Red-and-white striped top (Pull and Bear)

  • Black short-sleeved babydoll cardigan (H&M)

  • Jeans (Old Navy)

  • Red headband (Claire's)

  • Pearl stud earrings (Claire's)

  • Skinny red enamel bangles (Old Navy)

  • Sunglasses (Chanel)

  • Black purse (Nine West)

  • Black patent quilted pointy-toed flats (Steve Madden)

Today's Outfit: April 11, 2008

Excuse the bad posture in the pic: It was taken at the end of the day after a full day spent hunched over at my computer and drinks at the YBC.

  • Black corduroy dress (Chulo Pony)

  • Blue long-sleeved tee (Smart Set)

  • Brown tights (H&M)

  • Black leather boots (Aldo)

  • Blue cloisonne and gold earrings (a gift)

Head Over Heels For A Hoodie

If I were one of the girls on SATC, I'd be a tad more adventurous than Charlotte but not gutsy enough to be Carrie. If I were one of the girls on Gossip Girl, I'd say my personal style aligns with Blair Waldorf's more than Serena Van Der Woodsen's. What can I say - I like the classics and just plain class, and there's always at least one trend every season that I'm deeply skeptical of (I have my reservations about the comeback of neon this spring).

And yet despite my resistance to trendiness, I can't help but be drawn to this Silence & Noise Later Days Racerback Hoodie ($54) from Urban Outfitters.

I think it's the unexpected details of this piece that get to me: the odd but effective combination of a racerback tank and a hoodie, the three-button cuff at the back, the subtle folds of fabric fanning out. Picture this hoodie layered over a striped long-sleeved sweater or a colourful turtleneck for chilllier days, or over a lace-trimmed cami or a tube top in the summer.

Translated: Ricky Martin

How do you move on when you keep thinking of the past?

Click here to listen to the song.

Con Tu Nombre ("With Your Name")

I leave the window open for if a song comes
and a net of butterflies hanging from the balcony,
for if the wind leaves behind some story there entangled
from forgotten notes, from characteristics of your absence.

Before, before I dream of someone new,
I have to forget your lips,
before I have to uproot from my memory
every verse that started...with your name.

Some letters burn and an errant melody,
a handful of words cut off halfway.
When time leaves behind this deserted road
without arriving anywhere and I strip away your traces...

Before, before I dream of someone new,
I have to forget your kisses,
before I have to uproot from my memory
every verse that started...with your name.

This is the last time that I sing
your name, your name...
This is the last time...

Before, before I dream of someone new,
I have to forget your lips.
Before, before I close my eyes,
I have to forget your skin,

before I have to uproot from my memory
every verse that started...with your name.

Carrie Bradshaw's Jewelry Looks

Eccentric, inimitable, eclectic...these are all words that can be used to describe Carrie Bradshaw's style on Sex and the City, which is as predictable from one episode to the next as the state of the world economy. Some of her fashion choices can make us gasp in admiration or gawk in disbelief. I'm not even going to try to do a "dress like Carrie Bradshaw" post like I did with Blair Waldorf because there's no way to sum up the wardrobe of an individual who switches looks every time she switches scenes. But in preparation for the release of the SATC movie next month (SQUEEEEE!!!! Can you tell I'm excited?), I'm going to round up some of my favourite Carrie jewelry looks here. Unlike her clothes, Carrie's jewelry choices are surprisingly classic and easy to integrate into an everyday look.

(Carrie's fabulous walk-in closet...I'm drooling!)

Costume pearls. In the episodes "The Agony and the Ex-tacy" and "The Real Me" from Season 4, Carrie is seen wearing multiple strands of costume pearls a la classic Chanel. I couldn't find a picture of her look from those two particular episodes, but rest assured it's not as over the top as the picture in the centre below, or as simple as the one on the right...just somewhere in between. Get the look with multiple strands of costume pearls from accessories meccas like Claire's, Ardene, or Xcetera.

Personalized name necklace. This is probably the most famous jewelry look sported by Carrie over the course of the entire show. I used to work next to a jewelry store that sold the cheap versions of the Carrie necklace, presumably like the one Carrie says she bought at a carnival, but alas by the time I got around to buying one they were sold out of Lisa necklaces. You can get a luxe 14K gold version of the Carrie necklace made to order from Patricia Field Online for $189, or a sterling silver version from for around $30.

Personalized bamboo hoops. This look screams ghetto fabulous. I've already posted about my love of Carrie's earrings here but they're worth mentioning again. The ones from the Patricia Field website are downright exorbitant for a pair of earrings which don't really go with the preppy/posh vibe of most of my clothes, but I spotted non-personalized pairs of gold bamboo hoops at Icing by Claire's which might be nice if you want to dabble with the look.

Oversized gold heart necklace. I love this piece of jewelry, which was featured in multiple looks in the Fleet Week episode where Carrie and co. go gallavanting with sailors in New York. It's bold and classic, fun and feminine. Unfortunately I can't find a picture of the exact necklace and my screen captures from the episodes don't render well. Get the look with this necklace from Coach ($98).

Oversized gold oval locket. Carrie wore this look in the Season 4 opener when the girls prepare for a friend's engagement party. Gold lockets are timeless and as sentimental a piece of jewelry as heart pendants...perfect for a romantic like Carrie. Search your local jewelry stores for a version that suits your taste.

Layered horseshoe necklaces. This was a recurring look in season 4: Carrie would wear cubic zirconia horseshoe necklaces layered on over another, one horseshoe necklace by itself, or two horseshoe necklaces layered with the famous Tiffany floating heart necklace. Order a set of three horseshoe necklaces from Emitations for $89.50 and work the look.

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