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Layering Ideas For Transitional Weather

After I published my post on wearing tights with open-toed shoes, Ingrid emailed me again and said:

"Thank you for taking the time and effort in responding to my question. Do you think you can do more postings on layering in the future? I'm lost at times in knowing what to layer in this kind of 10 degree weather. Thank you once again!"

Ingrid, I'm with you on this one. In-between weather always confounds me. It's not quite spring but it's mild outside; it's not quite winter but the temperature can turn chilly on a dime. It can go from sunny to drizzling to downright freezing in a single day.

To deal with this transitional weather, my most recent layered looks rely heavily on:

  • Lightweight wool jackets and coats
  • Arm warmers and fingerless gloves
  • Jeans
  • Cardigans and lightweight pullover sweaters
  • 3/4 sleeve tops
When combined, these items give you tons of body temperature adjustment options. You can wear everything when it's cold outside, take off the arm warmers when you're indoors, or remove the cardigan if you find yourself overheating.

With the magic of Polyvore, I whipped up a few outfits (very) loosely based on my own wardrobe to illustrate how versatile these items can be when worn together.

10 degree weather layering look 2

Look #1 features a 3/4 sleeve tee, a sleeveless cardigan, and hot pink arm warmers. (I don't have hot pink arm warmers...yet.) Although this outfit mostly uses neutrals, I think the pops of pink and green, combined with the beige, white, and gray, keep things on the light side. Toasty yet spring-like.

10 degree weather layering look 4

Look #2 comes pretty close to what I have on as I'm writing this post, except that I don't own any Hello Kitty earrings and I added those just for fun. I love layering white tees under an embellished tank top. If you remove the cardigan and go around in short sleeves, you never feel quite as chilly as you would if you were wearing just a tee or tank, and it looks so much more interesting. You can button the cardigan up or wear it unbuttoned if you need something to keep your arms from getting cold. Top it off with a belted trench or a lightweight wool coat.

10 degree weather layering look 1

Look #3 is perfect for looking pulled-together when you're running errands or off to meet a girlfriend for an afternoon matinee. (Confession: It's a bit of a go-to look for me when I'm in a hurry.) Wear the jacket fully buttoned and the fingerless gloves if the weather suddenly turns cold outside. The cotton striped sweater is long-sleeved and lightweight, meaning that it'll keep you just warm enough. Like Look #1, this outfit relies on pattern (stripes, the patterned flats) and a pop of colour (tomato red) to lighten up the neutrals.

10 degree layering look 3

So far I've featured looks that revolve around jeans, but what do you do when you want to don a dress or skirt? Look #4 shows how it can be done. A knee-length coat in a lightweight wool fabrication, leggings, and tall leather boots keep legs warm if it starts to get windy. A red sweater dress with short sleeves is tolerable if it's warm; if it's cold, add a scarf and some fingerless gloves (or black arm warmers) to take the chill off. The statement necklace adds a bit of visual interest if you decide to forego the scarf.

Ingrid, I hope you found this post helpful! To my lovely readers, do you have any favourite layering strategies or items you swear by for transitional winter-to-spring weather?

Update: At the time I finished this post and published it, it was snowing. What gives, Mother Nature?!

How To Fake A Full Night's Sleep With Eye Makeup

We all do it: Stay out partying until the wee hours, pull an all-nighter to finish a term paper or meet a deadline, then pay for it with tired, puffy eyes the next morning. This was the position I found myself in last week as I over-extended myself with too many commitments and not enough sleep. My exhausted look required a bit more than my "brush my brows and apply mascara" routine to get ready in the morning. Luckily, with the following tools and makeup tricks, I managed to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with minimal effort as I braved another day.

1. Groomed brows make you look polished even if you don't wear any makeup, and it only takes a couple of seconds to brush unruly brows into shape. I got this Eco Tools brow and lash brush as part of my 5-brush Eco Tools set and it's become a morning necessity.

2. A pale or neutral eyeshadow brightens eyes and goes with anything. I use a Cover Girl eyeshadow palette with a pearly pink shade myself, but I would love to own Clinique's Colour Surge Eyeshadow Trio in Come Heather ($21.50) if I ever have to part with my old palette; the shades are very appealing and wearable for daytime. I use an eyeshadow brush to sweep the shadow across my lid and up to the crease for a sheer wash of colour.

3. Almay Bright Eyes Cream Shadow in Golden Gleam has been one of my makeup staples for the last couple of years in creating that bright-eyed look. I blend a bit of this shimmery creamy shadow on my brow bone just under my eyebrows and on the inner corners of my eyes for added radiance.

4. Mascara is a daily must for me. My classic standby is Cover Girl Lash Exact, but lately I've been using L'Oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes.

5. My brother turned me on to Garnier's Anti-Puff Eye Roller when I swiped his one morning. (I love that he's into skincare products.) The caffeine content and the massaging action of the rollerball aid drainage in the eye area, decreasing darkness and puffiness and making eyes look more alert. I notice a definite difference on the mornings I use it.

All told, from putting my contacts in to putting on that final coat of mascara, this routine takes me 5 minutes tops. And now, I ask you: What are your tools, tips, and tricks for looking well-rested on days when you've had no sleep?

Update: I thought it only fair to you guys to mention it: After a week of using the L'Oreal mascara, I was forced to throw it out. The black brush was just clumping too much. I suspect this has to do with the black formula drying out after repeatedly being dredged up from the tube, exposed to the air, then scraped off and pushed back into the container. My final verdict is that although this mascara works wonders, in the long run if it dries out so easily it's kind of a waste of money.

Reader Question: Wearing Tights With Open-Toed Shoes

Last week, I received this email from Ingrid along with a picture of her fabulous new two-toned shoes:

"Hi Lisa,

I want to let you know that I immensely enjoy reading your blog :D.

I'm not great at matching clothes so I would like your advice on something. I bought these black with white trim open toe pumps and I would like to wear it with my grey sweater dress. Is it wrong to wear tights with these shoes because I'm a bit uncomfortable showing off most of my legs because the dress is short when I sit down. Have you seen anyone dressing like that before? Is it okay to wear tights? Thanks for your opinion Lisa :)"

Ingrid, I love your taste in shoes! I think tights would look fantastic with your new heels. Tights with peep-toe shoes were actually a major trend during autumn 2008, and as the economy falters and people try to coax more versatile looks out of things they already own, I imagine that this look won't be derided by the fashion police anytime soon. (But then again, who gives a hoot what the fashion police think?)

In fact, the only drawback I can think of is more practical than aesthetic. High heels stay on your feet in part because they adhere to your bare skin. You don't get the same effect with tights on. Try wearing tights with your shoes around the house as a test drive. If the shoes don't constantly slip off and reduce you to a shuffling mess, then you're fine. If they do slip off, you might want to consider black opaque leggings instead.

The best and most versatile option would be opaque black tights. Wear them with your gray sweater dress, yes, but pair them with skirts and dresses of all colours, with close-toed pumps and tall boots--they'll go with so many things you'll want to reach for them every time you dress up. The Bay, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and American Apparel are all great places to look for this wardrobe essential. If the package doesn't say "opaque," look for a high denier count, which indicates that the nylon fibres used in the tights are thicker and the tights won't look so sheer.

Urban Outfitters sells their black opaque tights for $12 a pair, or 2 pairs for $20.

Feeling more adventurous? Try opaque tights in bright colours like hot pink, electric blue, or purple. Layer a pair of black lacy tights over the colourful ones to tone down the colour and add visual interest and depth. (I saw Karla do this once and I've been dying to try it ever since.)

Opaque pantyhose in Sangria (AA), $16; lace fishnet tights from UO, $14.

One final word: If you're looking for a pair of tights to wear with a sweater dress specifically, go for nylon/spandex blends that are smooth and silky to the touch rather than knit tights in cotton and wool. In my experience, wearing two knits together creates friction and static electricity, which means that your skirt will probably bunch together and ride up.

Do you have a style question you'd like an answer to? Email me at solo.lisa.blog@gmail.com!

And The Winner Is...

Tis Serendipity! Congratulations, lady! I'll be contacting you shortly for your mailing address. To everyone who participated, thanks for entering the contest and updating your links so promptly. :)

Links à la Mode

Breakfast at Saks - NY Fashion Week from afar - Breakfast at Saks reviews the William Rast show
Consume or Consumed - Harnessing a Trend: Exposed Slips
Couture Allure Vintage Fashion - Dressing the Best Actress Oscar nominees in vintage.
dramatis personae - Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler: Booze, Beads, & Costumes–Experiencing Mardi Gras like a Local.
Egregiously yours - Spring look book, part one: chambray blue, luminous grey and crisp white.
fashion in my eyes - Barbie all the way!
fete a fete - shu uemura Spring Mirage mode makeup!
Independent Fashion Bloggers - PR: Frienemy or BFF?
Juicy Watermelon - Juicy Watermelon Meets Hello Kitty
Modelizing - more bergdorf loving from me
Or False Glitter - Adventures in heels too high to walk in
Retro Chick - Work, Rest & Play: Asymmetry
Shopping and Info - Shopping and Info found the English version of J Crew and loves the prices.
Solo Lisa - Danish-born, Vancouver-based designer Malene Grotrian hosts an exclusive fashion show in her studio
Studio Purpura Fashion Blog - New York Fashion Week Fall 2009 - Rouge reds, Bold Metallic Colors and Fur!
Style Amor - I GOT FIRED FROM THE FASHION INDUSTRY!: 5-Tips On How To Move On With Your Life and Career
Style Symmetry - Who doesn’t love Marilyn Monroe?
Style With Anna - Fashion Tips For The Skinny Guy
Summershoes - International Size Guide to find your right size around the internet
THE COVETED - threeASFOUR AW09/10 presentation
the musings of ondo lady - Lose yourself in Wanderland Boutique; the cool pop up store that is taking Manchester by storm.

Sweet Tweets

As far as social media goes, I always feel like the latecomer to the party who enters a conversation just as everyone is laughing, and I wonder what's so funny. Yes, it took me a while to get onto Twitter, but I'm there! My time at the Northern Voice personal blogging and social media conference over the past two days convinced me I should start Tweeting. Follow me on Twitter (SoloLisa) and read my updates in my blog's sidebar. Also, if you haven't entered my contest, do it now! Remember: Only people who leave a comment on the original post with contest details are eligible.

Contests Galore!

Dujour Magazine's "Runway to Real Way" Contest

I'm a bit behind the curve posting about the Dujour Magazine contest, but it's not too late to enter! Check their website for coverage of the latest NYFW trends and create a Polyvore collage of how you'd wear them, or re-create the look with your own wardrobe. My Stylefinds editor Shallom has the full details here.

Toronto Craft Alert's Get Er Done Giveaway

Toronto Craft Alert is holding a Get Er Done contest for all the talented and procrastinating DIY chicas out there. If you have unfinished projects lying around, finish them and submit photos of your creations to the contest's Flickr pool. Anyone can enter and first prize is a crafter's dream of a $700 gift pack full of supplies and special offers. Full details here.

The Solo Lisa contest

Update your link to me with my new blog name and URL, and win Random Cute Things! I kid you not. Full details here.

Forever 21 Finds

Forever 21 is one of my favourite websites to browse because of their eclectic merchandise and affordable price points. I would never order something online from them without being able to see the merchandise in-person (the quality might not be up to snuff), but these pieces sure make for good eye candy. Enjoy!

Concave wood sim cuff, $4.80. I love the modern sleekness and texture of this cuff. Just imagine how good it would look paired with a one-shoulder jersey dress and a clutch for the evening.

Painted flower earrings, $2.80. These earrings remind me of the enamel blossom cocktail rings by Kenneth Jay Lane and Chanel.

'Martina' faux fur trim jacket, $15.99. The jacket's faux fur collar and boxy shape dress up denim and lend a ladylike vibe.

Chiffon trim pointelle cardigan, $27.80. Yet another piece that evokes comparisons to Chanel, the frayed chiffon accents and raised rounded buttons make this sweater look more expensive than an under $30 find.

Leopard 3-quarter sleeve cardigan, $24.80. I'm not usually a fan of leopard print, but there's something so appealing about it in black and white. This cardigan would look great with a high-waisted black pencil skirt--talk about being a femme fatale!

Contempo sweater neck tunic, $27.80. Sweater dresses have become one of my winter addictions in the last year. The gray and white colour blocks on this version define a narrow waist and lengthen the body.


New Look, New Home, New Name, Same Lisa (Kinda)

As you may have noticed, things are changing around here. I've been contemplating a blog makeover on and off for the past couple of months, and after a few hours' work everything came together. I bought a new domain (it's now http://sololisa.com/), revamped my banner, and widened my layout to make use of empty space. Oh, and I shortened the name of my blog from "Solo Lisa y Nada Mas" to just "Solo Lisa."

Face lift aside, changing my URL and blog name have been on my mind for a while for these reasons:
  1. The old name and URL were really difficult for English-speaking readers to remember. Google Analytics tells me that most of you Google to get here instead of accessing my URL directly.
  2. The old blog name reflected a different self, the self that existed when I started blogging and was interested in Latin pop culture and fashion in equal measures. While I still love Latin music and cinema and am as passionate a salsa dancer as ever, I find myself blogging less about those interests and more about fashion. I wanted to update my blog name to reflect that change in me. It's still "Solo Lisa" as in "Only Lisa," i.e. only about my opinions, interests, and what's happening in my life, but with a bit less Latin flavour.
To celebrate the changes afoot, I'm holding a contest! The prize is a mystery goodie bag full of Random Cute Things. And by random and cute, I mean random and cute: Expect anything from earrings to a Hello Kitty notebook to novelty Post-It notes among the many Random Cute Things in the goodie bag. This is all you have to do to enter:
  1. Link me at my new domain (http://sololisa.com/) and blog name (Solo Lisa)! If you already have me blogrolled, please update your link.
  2. Leave me a comment on this post telling me you've completed step 1.
One winner will be chosen randomly from the commenters. The contest closes Sunday February 22nd at 11:30 pm Pacific Time. Good luck, and thanks for reading and for sticking with me during this blog transition period!

Malene Grotrian Studio Show

Malene Grotrian and her models pose for a post-show photo op. (Photo by Toranj Kayvan. Click the photos in this post to enlarge.)

You may remember from last week's post that I met Danish-born, Vancouver-based designer Malene Grotrian at the Blushing Boutique Valentine's Day shopping party. After falling head over heels for her beautiful bustiers, Malene invited me to a fashion show at her Gastown studio. It was a good thing I got an invitation straight from the designer herself, because as I found out when I arrived last night, the gathering was quite small and intimate. Malene belongs to a networking group called BNI, and guests at the show consisted of BNI members, friends, and family only.

Malene designs evening wear and separates that can transition from the office to cocktail hour. Her pieces veer from structured, architectural lines to flowing silhouettes that drape across a woman's body. The constant theme running through her collection is "Dream into the future": She draws on "antique elements" from the 30s and 40s and uses luxe Italian fabrics reminiscent of a more decadent age, but combines them with more modern details and shapes for an overall look that transcends eras.

Malene demonstrates how the tie neck can be reworked into various looks and explains what makes her bustiers so great. (Photos by Toranj Kayvan.)

What impressed me most about Malene's pieces was their versatility. A polka-dot print tunic could scrunch up into a top to be worn with skinny jeans or leggings, or be pulled down to form a mini dress. (And unlike the AA high-waisted skirt which purportedly does the same thing, this version has enough coverage to actually be called a dress!) A "one size fits all" halter dress meant for sizes 2 to 14 draped artfully on slim women and accentuated curves on more voluptuous figures.

Photo by Peter Jensen

From left to right: A gray plaid sheath with a black cowl neck and jersey sleeves; an emerald green "one size fits all" halter dress; an LBD with a cream-and-gold bolero jacket. (Photos by Toranj Kayvan.)

My favourite pieces of the collection included a cream-and-gold bolero jacket with a sculpted ruffle collar and inverted back pleat, and an electric blue satin cocktail sheath. The sheath is a stunner from all angles with its bold colour, feathers around the bust, lace-up back, and back slit. And who could forget those bustiers? Malene paired the ones in the show with tiered full-length and knee-length bubble skirts. She also debuted her first ever leather bustier, modelled by the lovely Jacqueline Ryan.

The show-stopping blue dress! (Photos by Peter Jensen.)

Angela Murphy and her colleague (also named Lisa!) from Mary Kay did the makeup for the show. Models sported smoky yet subtle eyes in different coloured shadows, finished off with a bronze or berry lip. Justine Brooks's nature-inspired statement necklaces and earrings--made with sterling silver, peacock feathers, and stones sourced from Shanghai and Cairo--provided the perfect finishing touch, as did the handbags and belts by Danish label Friis & Company.

Justine Brooks and some of her jewelry designs. (Photos by Toranj Kayvan.)

A big thank you to Toranj and Peter for the lovely photos!

Product Review: L'Oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara

Not being blessed in the eyelash department, I consider mascara to be one of my daily makeup essentials. It was thus understandable that when Matchstick contacted me about trying out L'Oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara, I jumped at the chance. Matchstick sent me two tubes of the mascara along with a makeup bag full of other L'Oreal goodies--a black liquid eyeliner, makeup brush, and a smoky eyeshadow quad.

I was pretty stoked about the accompanying loot, but it was the mascara I was dying to try out. L'Oreal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara promises to lengthen your lashes by up to 80% and mimic the lush, full look of lash extensions with its 2-step application process. The white base coat creates a tube-like coating to pump up your own lashes' length and volume. L'Oreal also claims this mascara washes off very easily with water--no rubbing or makeup remover required. Unfortunately, one of the tubes I was sent was completely dried out! I opened the black end and pulled out a bristle brush with tons of dried black clumps sticking to it. The second tube I opened was usable thankfully.

The good news: The mascara does everything it promises to! The first time I tried it out, I didn't notice a distinct difference between the effects of this mascara and my classic standby, Cover Girl Lash Exact. The second time around, I applied the white layer more rigorously, starting from the base of my lashes and wiggling the brush all the way up. This resulted in a dramatic difference. It does indeed form tubes around your lashes, as I discovered when I washed my mascara off with a wet terry cloth. Instead of flaking and blurring into a smudgy mess, it slid off in thin black lines. I tried wearing the mascara with contacts and am pleased to report that it doesn't irritate my eyes.

The bad news: The brush for the black coat clumps something fierce. Every time I applied it, I had to run the brush against the rim of the container to remove all the excess black gunk the nylon bristles dredged up. Also, when I did get clumps, they were harder to comb out with an eyelash comb than standard mascaras; I suspect it has something to do with the lengthening and volumizing effects of the tube extensions. Lastly, this mascara retails for $14.99, which seems a bit pricey for a product that has to be replaced every 3 months, but I suppose that's still a lot cheaper than paying for lash extensions.

A special offer for Solo Lisa readers! Log on to beautytubes.ca and get $5 off.

Update: I thought it only fair to you guys to mention it: After a week of using this mascara, I was forced to throw it out. The black brush was just clumping too much. I suspect this has to do with the black formula drying out after repeatedly being dredged up from the tube, exposed to the air, then scraped off and pushed back into the container. My final verdict is that although this mascara works wonders, in the long run if it dries out so easily it's kind of a waste of money.

Links à la Mode

Breakfast at Saks - Must Have Shoes: Omelle
Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - All the rage of resin jewelry.
Dogmom’s Dish - Flash-tastic Golf Fashion From Across The Pond
dramatis personae - On Member Only Shopping Sites
fashion in my eyes - Miami love
Fashion Pulse Daily - Fashion Pulse Daily: Check out our pick for a funny (yet fashionable) Valentine’s Day gift.
Fasshonaburu Fashion - Winter to spring transition style tips
féte a féte - Fascination with Fascinators!
Independent Fashion Bloggers - Photos you can use on your blog without breaking the law
produzentin - produzentin’s online shopping guide
Retro Chick - Have you got that Lovin’ feeling? Stylish & Ethical Gifts for Valentines Day.
Shopping and Info - Shopping and Info has lilac and lavender tops and dresses in mind for the spring color of the season.
Solo Lisa y Nada Mas - Get the luxe look of an Alexis Mabille tie waist skirt for less
Star Fashion Addict - Fun valentine gifts under .00
Studio Purpura Fashion Blog - Christopher Deane - Emerging Designers Who Embrace the Lace & Love the Chiffon!
Style Symmetry - How To Host a Clothing Swap Party!
Style With Anna - 10 Fashion Tips at the Gym
The Art of Accessories - Show the man in your life some love this Vday!
THE COVETED - Elixirs of Love
The Subadult Years - Ethics versus service… what is more important?
Thrift Eye - Shoe Typeface

Be My Blushing Valentine

Love and loveliness reigned supreme at the Blushing Boutique Valentine's Day shopping party I attended last night. I met one of Blushing's designers, Kathi Moore, at a networking event in January and had been meaning to drop by the boutique ever since but never got around to it. When Kathi sent out the Facebook invite and mentioned frocks, fondue, and wine--well, it was a very difficult invitation to resist. After all, along with Ric Yuenn and Narcissist Clothing Co., Blushing is one of the best places in Vancouver to find a beautiful, locally designed and made girly girl dress for a special occasion.

The store is stocked full of sweet dresses and great separates, mostly by local designers. Blushing also carries a carefully edited selection of shoes and denim, and trust me when I say that it's all very ladylike denim--dark washes and flattering fits, no rips or tears or false distressing to be seen.

Designers Malene Grotrian and Kathi Moore pose by Malene's tie-neck blouse (note that she's also wearing it!).

One of Malene's signature pieces is the bustier. She lines hers with metal boning so that the bustier is comfortable and moves with the body but still retains its slimming silhouette for years to come. Malene explained that cheaper bustiers use plastic boning to cut costs, but the plastic doesn't last long because it heats up when worn close to the body, and as the body moves and bends and sits and stands, the plastic warps with age and the bustier loses its shape. I got to try on one of Malene's bustiers later that night, an electric blue satin number. It was the first time I'd ever tried wearing one and it was amazing. I may have to save up for one.

Part of Blushing's spring/summer 2009 collection. I love the floral print and hot pink accents on the silk halter dress!

Kathi stands next to another dress in Blushing's spring/summer 2009 collection. "This one is sure to be a hot seller this season," she says.

The lovely lady in the fuchsia dress and leopard print coat and accessories is Jacqueline Ryan, a longtime Blushing client and one of the most genuine and warm fashionistas I've ever met. We closed the place down chatting up a storm.

Jacqueline will be modelling some of Malene's clothes in an upcoming show. I can't wait for that event!

As you can tell from this photo, I wore the Tar-jay jacket again. I got a giddy little thrill at the disbelieving looks on people's faces when I told them where it was really from.

Betsey Johnson Mesh Bow Watch

  1. I haven't worn a watch in about five years, partly because I have notoriously bad luck with watches. The last one I owned went through the wash in my jeans pocket. The one before that fell on a public washroom floor and the face cracked. (Thankfully both were cheap watches that cost less than $20, or else I would've cried many bitter tears.)
  2. This Valentine's Day, I'm going to attend the Two of Hearts Boutique grand opening and then catch an afternoon matinee of He's Just Not That Into You by myself, fashionable and fabulous single gal that I am.
You ask yourself, how are these two things related? Well, you see, if I were celebrating Valentine's Day with a boyfriend, this Betsey Johnson mesh bow watch ($95) from Urban Outfitters would rank high on my list of desirable gifts from said beau. I'm too clumsy with watches to splurge on one myself and I'm trying to keep an eye on my spending after the new shoes and camera, but (ahem) I wouldn't say no if this watch were given to me. More jewelry statement than pragmatic timepiece, I love how the bow takes centre stage and the watch face dangles off to the side. The contrasting gold textures--polished metal, fine mesh, metallic leather--give the entire piece a luxe vibe and set it apart from the pack. It would be the perfect finishing touch for an LBD and kitten heels--the sort of thing Blair Waldorf or Audrey Hepburn would wear for a candlelit dinner with her tall, dark, and handsome leading man.

How are you spending this Valentine's Day?

Tagged: 10 Things, 3 Times

Ages ago MizzJ tagged me to list 10 things I love, 10 things I hate, and 10 random facts about myself. As I said last week, I don't know how many more random details I can share about myself without boring you and without repeating anything! I'll try not to do either, although I make no promises.

10 things I love:
  1. Sleeping in
  2. Gossip Girl
  3. Salsa dancing
  4. Instant messaging
  5. Flannel pajamas
  6. Any sort of noodle soup
  7. Poutine
  8. Mascara
  9. Flirtations ;)
  10. Sincerity

10 things I hate:
  1. Selfishness
  2. Close-mindedness
  3. Early mornings
  4. Whole milk
  5. Mosquitoes
  6. People who don't shovel their sidewalks when it snows
  7. Salad with no dressing
  8. Country music
  9. When my contacts bug me
  10. Guys who pull a 180 in their behaviour as soon as you tell them you're not interested
10 random things about me:
  1. I prefer salty foods over sweets.
  2. Sometimes I talk and/or kick in my sleep.
  3. I'm a published poet. My poems have appeared in various youth anthologies that publish high school students' work, and in my first year of university I was runner-up in my campus paper's literary contest in the poetry category.
  4. We (that is, my family and I) have two budgies named Dobby and Fruit Loops. They mostly chirp amongst themselves unless they're out of food, and then they'll chirp really loudly until someone refills their food dish. They're quite plump.
  5. MizzJ and I met four years ago when we were both interns at the software company I now work at.
  6. I like staying in bed until 4 in the afternoon on some days, but not to sleep. I lie there reading.
  7. My daily beauty routine consists of mascara, lip balm, and moisturizer. I try to do something with my hair, make sure my eyebrows look groomed, spritz on a bit of perfume, and I'm out the door.
  8. My parents don't know I blog.
  9. The only piece of jewelry I wear 24/7 is an adjustable silver bangle that used to belong to my mother. I've been wearing it since I was six years old.
  10. When people incorrectly guess my ethnicity, the guess I hear most often is Korean.
I'm tagging:
  1. Everyday Sugar
  2. Fabutopia
  3. Oh Lady E
  4. My Cuervo Girl
  5. The Ongoing Project

Today's Outfit: Sniffles Can't Stop Me

I've been fighting a bad cold for the last few days and I'm just starting to feel a bit better. Have you ever have a runny nose and congestion so bad that you swear your brain is trickling out your nostrils instead of mucus? Yeah, that was me on Friday. I used up five tissues before I managed to roll out of bed.

During my recovery, I've been taking comfort in my new shoes and playing with my mini tripod and camera. I didn't wear this outfit out of the house but now I'm definitely considering it.

I bought these sandals during some impromptu lunch hour sales shopping before I got sick. With the bold crisscross straps and wedge heel, they're a departure from my usual style, but they're incredibly comfortable and versatile. (It also didn't hurt that they were on sale and discounted quite a bit!) I can't wait until spring so I can wear them with my girliest floral sun dresses and full skirts.


Luxe Or Less: Alexis Mabille Tie Waist Skirt

Picture courtesy of Style.com

I rarely come across a couture look that's actually wearable in real life, so imagine my delight and surprise when I saw this gray skirt from the Alexis Mabille SS09 show! The high waist, the side tie, the tailored lines--altogether it struck me as the perfect blend of tailored femininity. It was also a familiar look that I'd seen before for a lot less money when I was coveting a tie waist paper sack skirt by Joe Fresh last fall.

This tie waist skirt by Joe Fresh was $29.

The Joe Fresh version unfortunately isn't available anymore, so I've been eyeing other tie waist skirts. This chocolate tweed number by Robert Rodriguez ($121.54) is a pretty scrumptious alternative. The only downside is that it's from Bluefly, which according to my reader Em has scary brokerage fees for goods being delivered to Canada.

For all of these reasons, I think my best bet would be this version by CiCi, a clothing line by Vancouver-based designer Jenny Yen. (You may remember from this post that I did some website work for Jenny in the past and got a CiCi sweater dress in return.) CiCi is designed and made locally, and it's close to my heart because I've met the designer behind the label. Jenny and her Two of Hearts design partner Tabitha Savoie are taking the plunge and opening their own boutique this week; maybe I can ask Jenny to put aside one of these skirts in my size. I can get my hands on a style I've been craving AND support local design talent...it's a win-win all around, don't you think?

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