Thursday, September 11

Canada Has Determined That is a Lie

I've been gearing up for fall lately. Nesting. It might be that the wedding's over and I have too much time on my hands or it might be that it's getting colder and I'm thinking about cozy sweaters and rooms I don't mind hunkering down for six months in.

Of course if you live in Edmonton you know, and all others let me tell you, this year we seem to have skipped fall and gone right on to that other thing.

Seriously. It snowed this week. What's with that? My sister broke out her winter jacket but I'm refusing to let the parka see the light of day until at least mid October. I remember distinctly that last year it didn't snow until November.

Anyways, I've been working on a little bedroom makeover, cleaning out my closet, thinking about organization, and buying a crap ton of new fall clothing items. Probably should have restrained myself on that last one, but for some reason I found I couldn't help myself. I have a gateway problem where the first hundred dollars is impossible to spend but once I finally do it the money flows freely until it's kinda gone. I should be good now... but seriously guys, I got so much nice stuff! So many sales! So irresistible!

None of my clothes have arrived yet, but I am super super excited about the bedroom updates. Can't wait to share. :)

Tuesday, September 9

Curly Girl

Last week I started hunting for a stylist on the North end who I could entrust with my difficult, curly hair. My stylist for the past year and a half was my friend Katy from Kick hair salon, she did a great job getting me ready for my wedding but I was more than ready to see someone closer to home who I wouldn't have to use a vacation day to see on the South side.

I started checking Yelp and reading reviews and through someones random review discovered that there were  now DivaCurl certified stylists in Edmonton, like, lots of them. Having searched high and low for a DivaCurl stylist some five years ago and given up due to the big fat 0 I encountered, I guess it hadn't occurred to me to check the website for awhile. See, some six years ago I read the Curly Girl Handbook by the makers of DivaCurl, a natural and chemical free hair product line made just for curls, and became hooked. I learned so much about  my hair from reading the book and it really helped me learn the basics of living with curls. This book really took the place of a curly girl mentor in my curl-free childhood (I think my mother has just come to terms with the fact that she is the one who gave me curly hair). I've been sulfate free ever since!

Anyway, I went back to the DivaCurl website and checked their map of local certified stylists (there's not only hair products but a specific way of cutting hair and styling that is recommended) and discovered two salons within walking distance of my house! I chose to visit Filippos Salon at Northtown mall due to its proximity to my bus stop. They also have a whopping three certified stylists to choose from, and carry a wide variety of the Deva product line.

I was paired with Stylist Kelsey Sebo who did a great job getting rid of all my horrible split ends and bringing up the length a bit. It was really amazing to get the full DevaCurl experience, everything from the 'plopping' with a micro fiber towel, to the cutting method. I purchased the DevaCurl shampoo and conditioner to begin using again, and am just waiting to finish my other products before I invest in the rest of the line. I couldn't believe how great the gel worked at the salon. I also purchased the cool Diva diffuser, but lo, it doesn't fit on my big fat hair dryer at home! I'm keeping an eye out for one with a slimmer head and soon will be able to regal you with the coolness.

If you're a curly girl, I would highly recommend checking out Kelsey or another DivaCurl certified stylist and getting the full experience. It really makes a world of difference.

ASOS high waist skinny jeans and crop top, Birkenstocks from Modcloth
Anyway, more about my outfit. I wore this on a long weekend Monday, it was bloody freezing and everywhere I went I was shivering out of my skinny jeans (not actually). The sandals -- my biggest mistake. That being said, I felt awesome and looked pretty damn hot. ;)

Tuesday, September 2

There Be Dinosaurs

Shortly after returning from our honeymoon this August, Nick, myself, my sister and some of my cousins all ventured out to Jurassic Forrest to see some dinosaurs. It ended up being a beautiful day for it, sunny but not too sunny, warm but not too warm, and we really enjoyed the lovely trails!
I was super excited to see Fireweed there, as it covers the countryside in PEI! It was almost like being back on the island. 

 Edited with A Beautiful Mess photoshop actions

Friday, August 29

Just Beachy

On our last full day we took full advantage of the island (and our rental car), heading from Charlottetown to Basin Head beach. Rumored to be the best beach in all of Canada, we weren't disappointed.

This also happened to be the moment I discovered that a light summer sweater is perfectly paired with a bikini. I kept myself well protected this way from the drafty breeze of the ocean, but still enjoyed the sun. Speaking of enjoying myself, I think you can tell I'm enjoying the heck out of the flower crown Nick bought me in town.
I've talked at length here about 'beach bodies' and not being afraid to rock a bikini even if you have problems with your own body. Confidence is won by bearing all, and I made a conscious effort to take portraits on the beach with the shirt off. Weirdly, I think the best thing about these pics is the lipstick, haha, but I'm also stupid proud of that midriff. Check out the crazy tan lines from our previous  beach excursion! Should have worn this bikini first me thinks!
ASOS bikini, thrifted skirt, Birkenstock sandals, Jo Totes camera bag, H&M sweater

Wednesday, August 27

Boyish and Casual

Ever since college, or the last time my uniform consisted of jeans and a T-shirt, I've been a big fan of skirts and dresses. Almost to the point of banishing jeans from my wardrobe. I mean, jean shopping is one of the worst things in the whole world and I absolutely hate the feeling of too-tight denim. Lucky for me, the 'boyfriend jean' appeared on the horizon.

It took me awhile to jump on this trend, and a lot of angsty change room visits before I bit the bullet and ordered my first pair of boyfriend jeans from ASOS. Happily, they fit perfectly and are still a staple in my wardrobe today. Less happily, the once artfully torn thigh of my boyfriend jeans has grown an awful lot. Between jumping puppies and snagging it on things (it's so big now I occasionally snag it on my own knee while getting dressed...) the artful leg hole has become something of a giant, unintentional cut-out. I'm thinking it's time to buy a new pair of boyfriend jeans and I'm eyeing up this pair of patchwork ones from The Gap.

While I'm at it, I might have also fallen in love with these other wardrobe staples. Joanna of 'A Cup of Joe' recently posted about how her brothers french girlfriend wore a uniform of jeans and a sweatshirt on a recent vacation and ever since I've been looking for an appropriate everyday sweatshirt like this one.


I can tell my style is evolving lately. I moved my clothes rack from the bedroom into a spare room and I put everything away in drawers except a few key pieces: my silk blouses, a chambray top, a raglan sweater and a denim skirt -- which I hung from a valet stand. Since then I've been going back and back to the valet stand and haven't bothered with the clothes in the spare room at all. It's a handy trick for deciding if you're ready to part with things. As I prepare to go ahead with our bedroom makeover (I've been obsessing over it lately, thanks pinterest), I might move our winter clothes onto that rack in the spare room and move forward with donating a lot of the old stuff. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 22

The Island

A few of my favorite shots from our honeymoon in PEI. Eastern Canada really is something special and I can't wait for a chance to go back and explore some more.

All edited with A Beautiful Mess Photoshop Actions (Hank and Magnolia, edge burn and top glow)

Thursday, August 21

Beach Day

 On our second day in PEI we rented a car and made our first excursion to Brackley Beach! Man, was it ever gorgeous. We had been cautious of the weather, as it was quite cloudy, but as soon as we stepped onto the beach it was as though the clouds lifted and the sun shone only on our little spot. It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful beach. I've never swam in an ocean where the water is warm (relatively) and so calm it's bath like. Beautiful.
Haha, Nick took a bunch of pics on the beach with my phone and this is by far the best face I made. Sad. ASOS bikini bottoms and Modcloth top.

Monday, August 18

Light it Up

 One of the road trips we did in PEI had us stopping by Victoria on the Sea, an adorable little fishing village with a small boardwalk, a chocolate shop, the famous Landmark Cafe, PEI's biggest tree (there was a plaque) and this little lighthouse!

After Victoria, we continued on to Summerside, the second largest city in PEI (so Nick says) and also where my new husband was born. By the time we got there it was threatening rain and quite cloudy out, but we snapped some pictures on the boardwalk and at a little tourist area, then jumped back in the car.

This Anthropologie dress is one of the most comfortable things I own. The fabric has a quilted feel to it, thick and drapey, you can see the texture in the below pics. I bought this little hoodie at The Bay right before we left and it ended up being the only jacket I wore, perfect with everything in my closet.

Anthro Dress, Jo Totes camera bag, Toms Shoes, sweater Style and Co Sport from The Bay

Thursday, August 14

Little Lola (9) - Happy Birthday

It's been an eventful couple of years for our family; moving houses, renovations, Lolas addition to our lives and getting married, but my favorite of all the changes has been this extra little life that makes our family feel complete (for now). Lola and her sister Molly had their first birthday last Tuesday while we were in PEI, and I can hardly believe my little pup is growing up so fast.

It's cliche, or maybe it's just cliche when we're talking about kids, but she's both changed so much and stayed so much the same. Wow, that face has sure changed but look at those raised ears, listening for a command or question? The same. The same white heart on her forehead that strangers always remark upon seeing, the same attentive stare, the same puppy eyes. But those long legs! That confidence that allows her to make new friends and to play so freely with her cat sibling and puppy sibling. She hasn't always been so confident! We worked hard for that.

She is such a good girl, sits so well and downs at a distance. She recently overcame her fear of putting her face in the water, and she's learning to swim! She'll play fetch until she falls asleep with the ball under her chin. She always has a huge smile on her face and when describing her personality our friends say Lola is just 'happy'. She's confident enough to run after her sister at the park, but she knows not to go too far or be away too long. She listens to 'come', and understands house boundaries. When I don't want her to follow me into a room, all I use is one upraised index finger. I'm terribly proud of her, and I know that as we continue our training and work that pride will only grow.

We love her so much.

This next year of her little life we're going to try and expose her to so many new things! New parks, new friends, new dogs. We want to try taking her to my parents cabin  next weekend, maybe next summer we'll try camping! I want to take her swimming and expose her to new animals (my sister has a bunny who could probably beat Lola up). There are so many new experiences to have with a pup in tow, and I can't wait to continue this adventure.

Happy Birthday Lola!

Wednesday, August 13

Stay Classy

 Our first full day in Charlottetown PEI I wore this comfy number. When I originally bought this skirt from ASOS I didn't think I would get much wear out of it, but lo, it has become one of  my go to pieces both for work and play. It's super comfy and can be dressed up or down with a T or blouse. In this case, I paired it with a shirt I got in one of my Wantable Intimates boxes. It's an amazingly comfy, drapey shirt that I often sleep in. That doesn't stop me from wearing it out of the house, it's too cute to only wear to bed. In this case, I tucked it into the front of the skirt and let it drape a little in the back. To dress this skirt up, I could have paired it with a white button down and some jewelry. Easy!

My camera bag is Jo Totes and it has been an invaluable travel companion both to Mexico and PEI. It's the perfect carry-on for the plane and has lots of room in it for all my things (plus camera). I think on some days I carried two cameras, my travel wallet, various lipsticks, tissue and more. Love it. Plus, the blue stripe pockets go wonderfully with the nautical theme I used to pack for this vacation. ;)

Jo Totes camera bag, Toms shoes, ASOS skirt