Month: December 2014

Favourite New Thing

Max Studio fit n flare dress
Dress, Max Studio (via consignment); necklace & shoes, J. Crew; bag, MbMJ (via eBay)

You know when you buy something and you are sooper dooper excited to wear it. All. The. Time? I guess you could say that I feel that way about this J. Crew necklace. I’ve been kinda “over” their statement necklaces this year, but this one doesn’t feel like a big whopping cliche. It adds just the right amount of pizzazz, without being insufferable.

J. Crew melody tassel necklace
cute dress

In other news, this Max Studio dress is still cute. I love the silhouette, but the print is a little “blah” for me. I was going to write “understated”, because you know that wearing grandma’s floral couch is my preferred approach to doing prints, but you might disagree. In any event, I think this is the reason why I don’t wear this dress nearly as much as I should.

In other other news, I still have not mastered the art of the messy-but-still-office-appropriate bun. I’m going to blame this pathetisad effort on the fact that I hurt my back a couple of days before, and it affected my range of motion. Also, I worked a 12-hour day and had no time to wash my hair the night before. So, there you have it: all the (TMI) details you didn’t know you wanted.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Mag bag Fools Gold
shoes & bag are cute too

The One Where I Go to a Conference

Yes, you guys: I finally did something mildly interesting. I went to a conference. In Ottawa. It was my first time in our nation’s capital, and it was great. I have the Instagram pictures to prove it, and the bathroom selfies to … prove I wore clothes while doing it, I suppose. And now you’ll get to hear aaaaall about it.

First of all, may I just say: getting away for three kid-free days is blissful. In theory. But between adjusting to a new routine (like, say, waking up without my usual “alarm clocks”), and worrying about how everyone was coping without me at home (short answer: just fine), it wasn’t nearly as blissful as I anticipated. With that said, don’t cry for me Argentina; I got a good chunk of personal reading time, a lovely hotel bed all to myself, yummy food eaten sitting down, some sightseeing, and even a bit of shopping done. Oh yeah … and I learned a bunch of (work related) things. Work is boring, so let’s talk about clothes instead.

First, the packing.

I wanted to enjoy the full benefits of traveling solo, and that included packing light and eliminating the need to check luggage. This went against my instinct to pack All The Things (just in case). But I persevered; I knew that my hotel was immediately adjacent to the biggest mall in town, so I figured I had the worst case scenario covered. In total, I packed 13 items, including shoes and my plane outfit.

packing for work conference
everything but the shoes and coat

Can we take a moment and marvel at the fact that I only took 2 pairs of shoes with me? If that doesn’t win the award for Unlikeliest Thing You’ll Ever Read On This Blog, then we need to run a re-count. I packed my trusty black wedge pumps (comfortable for potentially endless networking events, stylish enough for day- and nighttime wear) plus my equally trusty Ecco boots (comfortable for traveling and sightseeing). That was it. No fancy shoes. Nothing sparkly, nothing colourful. ‘Twas a miracle, I tell you.

But something went terribly wrong: after taking the photo above, I somehow forgot to pack my Yoana Baraschi jacket. This I didn’t realize until I checked into my Ottawa hotel and unpacked. Since the jacket was the centerpiece of my second conference day outfit, I had a bit of a problem on my hands. And I had no handy solution, since I had deliberately under-packed, and had no alternate outfits on hand. As it was, my options were (a) wearing my “plane outfit” sweater, or (b) trying to find something at the mall. More on that in a moment.

My husband’s cousin lives in Ottawa, and he kindly offered to act as my guide. I spent my last afternoon in town sightseeing (and visiting family) and it was super fun.

Ottawa Byward market
Le Moulin de Provence in Byward Market – I can highly recommend the cherry strudel
Notre Dame church Ottawa
Notre Dame church
Ottawa National Gallery
National Gallery
Ottawa Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill – Centre Block
Parliament Hill Ottawa East Block
Parliament Hill – East Block (my favourite)
Ottawa Parliament Hill Centre Block
Parliament Hill Centre Block entrance
Ottawa Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada – impressive, but not nearly as pretty as East Block
Ottawa National War Memorial
National War Memorial

Ok, enough about me. Let’s talk about my clothes. {har, har}

My excursion into Rideau Centre was a disaster. Compared to West Ed Mall, or even Chinook Mall in Calgary, Rideau Centre is small-ish. Nonetheless, on Black Friday (the day I happened to need to shop for a replacement outfit), it was packed to the gills. The sales were mediocre, but that didn’t even matter. At J. Crew, I couldn’t find anything in my size; everything was size 0 or 2. At Banana Republic, the line for the changing rooms was about an hour long. After that, I gave up. I went and walked around the Byward Market instead to get away from the madness, and decided to just make the best of it with the clothes I already had. Thankfully, the second day of the conference had a short, morning-only programme, and I didn’t have to parade around in my makeshift outfit for very long. Speaking of which – ready for those bathroom selfies?

plane outfit; J. Crew butterfly sweater
Plane outfit – there & back
conference outfit; travel capsule; work conference outfit
conference, day #1
conference outfit; travel capsule; work conference outfit
fancy dinner outfit (conference related) – I ended up wearing this dress with black opaque tights & boots instead
conference outfit; travel capsule; work conference outfit
conference, day #2
conference outfit; travel capsule; work conference outfit
sightseeing/casual outfit

And there you have it: the ups and downs of a work travel capsule. Au revoir, Ottawa!

The Impossible Skirt

Pleated skirt; pink plaid skirt; pink plaid pleated skirt
Skirt, consignment; sweater, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Prada; bag, Marc Jacobs (swap)

I love this skirt. A lot. As a bonus, it still fits, even though I bought it two years and a lot of pounds ago. Yay for A-lines.


It’s a pain in the butt to accessorize. Matching is basically impossible. This pinky mauvey colour is a chameleon; every time I think I’ve found a match for it, it morphs into something different. Finding a complementary colour has proven difficult too. I don’t know why, but it stumps me every time. I usually wear it with black, so this time I tried my “new black”: burgundy. ‘S alright. I think it would work better with a more purple-leaning burgundy.

J. Crew melody tassel necklace
necklace, J. Crew

This necklace was my only retail purchase over the Black Friday weekend, and I love it. The length is adjustable (by a lot), which makes it really versatile. And it fits right in with my current burgundy obsession.

Pleated skirt; pink plaid skirt; pink plaid pleated skirt
burgundy to the rescue?