Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011....wrap up

I know I only started writing this blog at the end of October, but I thought I'd give a short summary of some of the more interesting activities and occurrences that happened during this year.

Most significant
I turned 40 in May. This was kind of hard but I'm dealing with it because the alternative isn't very appealing. Part of dealing with it is this blog and showing to people (and myself) that 40+ doesn't have to be boring. The best proof of that is the blog Advanced Style.

Best Trip
In June, B and I went to Paris. I had 4th row tickets to see Duran Duran at the Grand Rex but due to Simon LeBon's vox problems the concert didn't happen. We'd already been in Paris for four days when the show was cancelled, which was a bummer, but hey, we were in Paris!

Paris street cafe

I didn't do half the things I wanted too because it's such an overwhelming city. If we go back, because technically I still have DD tickets, I have a list of things to do like visit the Salvador Dali museum, go to the Moulin Rouge (tourist trap that it is), and go to the consignment stores that I missed this trip.

One thing I did do was get a tattoo from Sunny Buick. We spent four hours in her studio and by hour three I wasn't sure I was going to survive to finish but I did but it hurt like hell!

Sunny Buick tattoo

Best Concert
I actually have two best concerts but for very different reasons. I got to see my two favourite musical acts from the 1980s - one locally in a very intimate setting and one in Montreal in a big venue.

The first was Lloyd Cole (formerly of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions) who played at a small bar here in Halifax. I'd seen him twice before - once in Toronto in 1995 and once in Boston in 2001 - both times he was accompanied by a band. When I was in grade 9 in 1985 I became a huge fan of the Commotion's album Easy Pieces and spent a lot of time brooding while listening to this tape on my walkman (yes, yes, I'm old).

Seeing him solo with just a guitar was a very unique and cool experience. I do believe I cried.

Me and Lloyd Cole

The second was I finally got to see Duran Duran after almost 30 years of being a fan. I remember listening to their Rio album in 1982-83 and then going to the record store to buy Seven and the Ragged Tiger in 1984. I was only 13 when they came to Toronto in support of that album so I wasn't able to go which was crushing because how was I going to marry Nick Rhodes if he didn't know I was alive?

I kid, I kid....maybe
Over the years, I'd lost track of the band while I lived through University, marriage and moving across the country but when their new album, All You Need is Now, came out in December 2011 I decided that I had to see them before I turned 40. I was unsuccessful in getting tickets to their shows in Toronto and Montreal in April of this year which led me to joining their Fan Club and ordering the tickets for the Paris show which didn't happen. I turned 40 without seeing the band and really thought my opportunity was lost since Simon's vocal problems seemed to be very serious.

Then they scheduled a new North American tour and that Fan Club membership came in very handy helping me get front row tickets to the show in Montreal. And the wait was totally worth it because it was a wonderful concert.

My husband took this photo for me. SQUEEE!
At one point in the show, Simon LeBon jumped off the stage and was talking to a guy two people to the right of me and being the Canadian that I am, I didn't touch him. I DIDN'T TOUCH HIM! Am I insane? Apparently so.

The iPhone app Free Candle is a great concert app. I believe John Taylor saw it and laughed.
As you can see above, I was clearly in the moment.

At the end of the show, the band members came to the front of the stage and I had a feeling that Roger Taylor was going to throw his drumsticks into the audience.

This was taken right after he let them fly in my direction. I caught one and the guy two people over from me (who had the intimate moment with Simon that I didn't interrupt by pawing at Simon) tried to grab it away from me so we ended up having a very immature fight over it. Luckily security stepped in and I emerged the victor. I gave the drumstick to my sister, who was also at the show, since Roger was always her favourite band member. You can see more pictures on my Flickr here.

The next day I couldn't stop crying. So much build up, an amazing show and then crashing down to reality. As a Highly Sensitive Person I tend to obsess about something and focus on it happening and after it does, there's quite a sense of loss. This is something I've learned in 2011 to better manage but this was just so overwhelming that it took me a while to recover.

As an aside, the band Neon Trees opened for Duran Duran. I'd only heard part of one of their songs (in a car commercial) so I wasn't really interested in seeing them but they were GREAT! I have a new second favourite band.

So that was 2011 in a nutshell. Hopefully I'll keep up this blog in 2012 so this wrap up will be a little easier (and possibly shorter).

Friday, December 30, 2011

Boxing Day finds

On December 26th, I was happy to see that a few of my favourite stores in my old home town were open and offering some good sales. I like supporting smaller, local boutique stores where I live and when I travel. Both because I like to support small business and look for unique things to add to my closet.

Top: Annie 50 from Flaunt
Pin: Pretty Chic
Skirt: Desigual from Millennium

It's hard to get more unique (outside of Couture) than Desigual though skirt is actually fairly tame for for this brand.  I love the bright and colourful flowers and its swingy style. I do find this brand's sizing weird. This skirt is an XL so if you're buying this brand and can't try it on then you might want to size up.

The top is the same brand as the shorts I wore yesterday. As you can see, I remembered the name of the store where I bought them. I thought it was a cute, multipurpose top that would work with jeans, skirts, trousers and in all seasons. And it's red, my favourite colour.

I think these boots might be the same shade of red as the top.

Boots: Fluevog Hope | Desire

I really like this family of shoes from Fluevog and have four different styles of Hopes. They came if great colours and have nice sturdy wooden heels.

The word "sturdy" might bring to mind something more functional rather than fashionable but I find Fluevog is able to blend the two with great style.

But I might be biased.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Working on the weekend baby she's working all through the night

Back to work today after the Christmas holiday. I was supposed to go back to work yesterday but my flight didn't arrive back in Halifax until 1:00am and I didn't get to sleep until about 3:00am. So I took yesterday off to sleep.

In keeping with the Christmas theme, here's what I wore today which made me feel kind of elvish (as in Santa's elf rather than Tolkeinesque elves).

Sweater: Danier via Value Village (remixed)
Tunic/Dress: thrifted with no tags
Shorts: Annie 50
Boots: Cydwoq via ebay

I bought this tunic at Meow, my favourite store in Guelph which was where I got the Dolce and Gabbana shoes.

These boots are the real reason I felt like an elf. Am I wrong?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thrifting score!

On December 24 I went to my favourite thrift store. We only had a few minutes so I had to have a quick look around but I set my sights on these. 

Dolce & Gabbana shoes for $40.00!  Love the beading, love the 1980's pointy toe. Can't wait to wear them on Wednesday. 

Today I got a Desigual skirt for 50% off. Might go well with these shoesies.

Flying home tomorrow which is good since I miss my kitties. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday and Thursday

Here's what I wore on Wednesday. 

Sweater: Smart Set
T-shirt: Banana Republic (thrifted)
Belt: All Saints
Skirt: Asos
Shoes: Fluevog Hope | Promise

(I'm typing this on Blogsy so it might be formatted wonkily)

The skirt and these shoes go together quite well even if the shoes are clunky next to such a flowy skirt. 

When I was walking to work I had to go up some steps outside and I stepped right on the hem of my skirt almost making me fall down. Ooops. 

On Thursday I wore two colors that I don't wear very often. Pink and purple. I bought this tunic in Vancouver 2 years ago at the Marimekko store. Even though I don't really like pink and purple this top was just too cute to dismiss based on the colours. It's not it's fault!

Top: Marimekko from Vancouver
Pants: remixed (
Shoes: Melissa

I tried to get a close up of the shoes but they're all blurry. They have pictures from Le Petit Prince on them!
I'll try to get better photos next time. They hurt my feet quite a lot after a few hours in them so I'm considering them "sit and look fabulous" footwear. These shoes ain't made for walkin. 

I'm away for a few days for the holiday but I hope to get some goodies at my favourite thrift store tomorrow. I hope things aren't too picked over. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blue skirt, teal shoes

I'm a day behind (and a dollar short?) which I probably good since I won't be working on Friday so I likely won't have an outfit post on the 23rd.

December 20
 Yesterday I wore one of my newly thrifted skirts. It's a 100% silk Banana Republic skirt that I got for $31.00.  It's navy blue which is great for pairing with lots of different colours.

Blouse: From Lisbon, Portugal
Belt: Smoking Lily in Vancouver
Skirt: thrifted from The Clothes Horse
Shoes: Fluevog Soprano | Katia

On Queen Street, there are 3 different used/vintage clothing stores in almost the exact same location so it's easy to look through a lot of stuff without having to drive around the city. There's another great store about 3 blocks away. Makes for a fun afternoon.

I decided to mix teal with the navy blue skirt and tights. I bought this blouse in 2008 in Portugal and don't wear it often enough. Maybe because nothing seemed to work well with it before.

These shoes go well with the blouse but they're not as comfortable as some other Fluevogs. Luckily they are cute.

Today when I got home from work, there was a package on my front porch. It was an eBay order that was shipped on the 13th from the Netherlands. I didn't expect they would arrive until after the holidays so that was a nice pre-Xmas present.  It was also a nice surprise after a particularly frustrating day as a bureaucrat working for the public good.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Olive (not) Drab

On the weekend, I visited a few thrift stores looking for some last minute unique gifts. I failed miserably at finding things for other people but I was quite successful in finding some new things for me. Isn't that always the way?

December 19
This is what I wore on Monday.

Dress: i clothing co. (thrifted from Elsie's)
Boots: Anthropologie (eBay)
Tights: Sock Dreams

I thought this dress what kind of interesting with the buttons on the top left on a slant and a zipper up the side. I also appreciate the pocket on the front.

I'm wearing two pairs of tights here. I layered a pair of olive crochet tights over a pair of plain opaque black tights for added warmth since winter has finally arrived in Nova Scotia.

These boots are a tiny bit big for me so the two pair of tights made them fit a little better. These boots were an impulse buy on eBay and I've had some trouble styling them since their are an odd brown/mustard colour. I think they work fairly well with this dress.

I'm only working four days this week and then I'm off for the holidays until next Wednesday. I hope everyone has a nice quiet week.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fascinating Fascinator

This is a close up of the fascinator. My husband bought it at the Gothic Christmas Craft Show a few weeks ago.

Don't worry - the chicken foot isn't real.  He also got another one that has a clipper ship on it. It's huge but I might try to wear it to something after the holidays.

I hope you get lots of LOOT for Christmas! Happy HoHo!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


On Wednesday I had some cortisone injections in my sinus to help reduce the swelling and hopefully result in me being able to smell and taste. It worked but I ended up taking Thursday off sick since my nose would not stop running. So annoying. By Friday it was much better and I'm in sensory overload! That's why I had no outfit posts this week.

Saturday night my husband and his photo studio partner held a shindig at the studio mostly for their Dungeons and Dragon's "club" and they set up a photo booth which ended up being a lot of fun.

I bought this dress last week at Banana Republic. It's quite awkward since it has a bazillion large sequins on it.

Fascinator: local craft show
Dress: Banana Republic
Shoes: Noa Noa
Drink: Gin and Tonic

I know you can't see it very well but there's not much too it. It's just a sleeveless shift dress.

I was channeling my inner Isabella Blow though my hat isn't half as exciting as the Philip Tracey hats she wore. I hope to have a close-up photo of it shortly.

Here I did some Tebowing. My friend B doesn't know what's going on.

And then I did some planking.

Never plank when there are sneaky people behind you.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter white

I forgot my camera yesterday so I didn't get an outfit photo yesterday. Sorry loyal readers. =)

I've hadn't really considered about wearing this cream springy dress during the winter but after I saw Terra's outfit on Stylish White Female I had an idea to make it more seasonably appropriate but adding this tulle jacket/overdress thingy that I bought in San Francisco a few years ago.

Tulle Jacket/overdress: Krista Larson (bought at Kati Koos in San Francisco)
Dress: Noa Noa (ebay)
Shoes: Fluevog Miracle | Hollie

This is only the second time I've worn this jacket (really, what should I call this?) and I was really pleased how this all came together.

 I had to add some colour so I pulled out this olive shoes that my husband bought me in Vancouver a few months ago. This 3" heel is higher than most of my shoes so I try not to wear these when I'm going to be doing much walking. They're definitely "sitting down all day" shoes.

This weekend my husband's photo studio is hosting a "formal" dress Holiday party. I bought a dress tonight at Banana Republic for 40% off that's pretty sparkly. I'm excited to get dressed up. Hopefully I'll get some photos since there should be a camera or two around.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sing Blue Silver

Friday is Casual Day when we usually get to wear jeans, which would totally work for the blue day on Neutrals Week, but I decided to wear this dress. It was created by a local designer whose clothing line is called Cranky. My husband does some photography for her so sometimes he brings home things he thinks I might like. This dress has pockets so it's totally me.

Blouse:  Winners
Dress: Cranky
Shoes: remixed Chie Mihara

This photo makes me laugh because it looks like I only have one leg coming out of the middle of my body. Just call me Lowly Worm.

I bought this sweater a few years ago from Anthropologie. It has a pretty surprise on the back of birds and flowers.

Since I'm a knitter people often ask me if I made the sweater which is quite flattering. There's no way I could ever make the design on the back.

I wore my Chie Mihara Rostar shoes with stars, a moon, and comet trails on the heels. I love these shoes.

Happy weekend from Lowly!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My clothes are dirty but my mouth isn't dry

No outfit post today since:
  1. we had a weather bomb today so I dressed for warmth
  2. I don't own any cognac coloured clothes so I couldn't do the Neutrals challenge today
  3. My outfit was rather uninspired.
So I'm just going to show you random things.

This is a shoe pin that I bought at a thrift store in Paris. Shoes + Me = BFFs so I figured it was worth the €15.00.

This is pinned on a sweater that I knit because I'm crafty like that.

This cameo I bought at a Goth Christmas Craft show. My coworker saw it and said "It's so prett....."

It's not pretty, it's pretty SPOOKYYYYY!

This is a plant in my office. I hung my Abominable Snowman in it today to festive things up. With the weather being in the 10-15C range all week, it's kind of hard to believe that Christmas is only three weeks away. I've only bought one present. So basically I'm screwed.

And finally this is my snowman collection. I didn't buy any of these six snowmen. Nor did I buy the festive mugs. I did, however, buy the snowy houses.

Et voila. The end of a completely pointless post!

Tomorrow is Navy blue day. Whoo whoo!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wash away the rusty disease of your brown town days in our silver sea

Today's Neutrals Week challenge was brown. I had planned a completely different outfit but when I put it on it didn't look like I had hoped so I made a quick switch.

Jacket: Biscuit General Store (local store)
Dress: local designer from Dress Me Up
Skirt: Mod Cloth
Shoes: Fluevog Rivers

This dress used to be 5 cms shorter but there was enough of a hem so I could let it down but I still feel more comfortable.

I bought this dress a few years ago at a used clothing store that also sells local designs because I fell in love with the fabric.


It's a wonderful shiny fabric with these great bees on it.

My tights look like woven squares so I have a little pattern mixing going on again today.

The shoes are Fluevog from the Rivers family but I can't remember their name. Nice simple flats.

The blog entry title is a line from a Duran Duran song "To the Shore". 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grey lady of the sea

Today is day two of the Neutrals Week challenge. Grey! I have a lot of grey in my closet so this wasn't easy. Too many choices.

Sweater: Value Village
Necklace: Nectar Jewelery on etsy
Blouse: Marc O'Polo - Frankfurt, Germany
Skirt: Lilith - NYC
Shoes: Noa Noa on eBay

Rather than have a plain column of grey, I decided to mix some plaid/stripes in this skirt and this circular patterned blouse.

I really love this skirt which was a big splurge when I was in NYC in 2008 and my first interaction with Lilith which is a fun and unique label from France. When I was in Paris in June our hotel was on the same street as a Lilith store which was good and dangerous.

I'm not sure about these shoes. I love the colour and the scallops on the straps but I think they can look a little dowdy. They're also a wee bit big. Maybe that's my real issue with them.

I like pairing this necklace with this blouse. The top has circular floral pattern and the necklace has embossed leaves and branches. No one would notice that they go together so well without inspecting very closely.

I bought this pin that says "If the Slippers Fit" at a craft sale on the weekend. Seemed to be relevant to my interests.

And the Fluevog pin...well, what I can I say about that other than I know I'm weird.

Tomorrow is Brown day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Black tuxedo, black tuxedo, black, black, black

Today was day 1 of the Neutrals Week challenge. Today's colour choice was black.

Necklace: Fireworks Gallery (local store) 
Dress: Daniela Besso on Etsy
Belt: Lüt Boutique in Vancouver
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik bought at Jeffrey in NYC

This was pretty easy to pull together. Jersey knit dress + belt + witchy shoes = fabulous.

Both my necklace and watch include gold elements which match the zipper on the belt which pulls it together and the argyle tights keep it from being too plain.

Wearing black does make me feel more polished but it also brings out my inner Gothwannabe.

When I bought these shoes in NYC I said that they looked "witchy" which I totally meant as a complement but the sales clerk seemed put out by that. Maybe I should have called them  "pilgrim" shoes?

Tomorrow's challenge for neutrals week is grey.

If you don't recognize the post's title, it's a line from a song by Maestro Fresh Wes from 1989.  My sister bought me this tape when I was in the hospital recovering from surgery to my foot.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday Fail

Here's an example of something that just didn't work and ended up being extremely unflattering.

December 2

Blouse: gift from coworker
Skirt: Isaac Mizrahi for Target via Value Village
Legs: Noa Noa
Shoes: Tn_29 -

I love the idea of this waistcoat but I have to admit that it does nothing flattering for my figure. It gives me a sausage casing like appearance. It's also not very well made and I have had to sew the snap buttons on more than once. I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet but it may end up in my thrift pile by the end of the winter.

This skirt was a last minute replacement for another skirt that wasn't working. Unfortunately I hadn't had a chance to iron it so it's not sitting very well. Another fail.

As you can see, my tights are striped rather than solid beige. I threw convention to the wind and wore white shoes.

I saw these shoes at the Gravity Pope store in Vancouver when I was there last May but they were over $400. I got them on sale on the website a few months ago for less than 1/2 price. I thought that was a good score.

This coming week I'll be participating in Megan Mae's and Keely's Neutrals week Fashion Challenge. Each day will focus on a particular neutral colour.

Here's the schedule:

Monday - Black (Easy!)
Tuesday - Grey
Wednesday - Brown
Thursday - Cognac (might not be able to do this one)
Friday - Navy
Saturday - Pop of Colour

Who knows what I'll pull together.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two days, two outfits, two new scarves

I didn't get a chance to post my daily outfit yesterday because after I got my ear tube inserted at the hospital I went out for burgers with my husband. Last night Prince was in town giving a concert and I wanted to go but I didn't think it would be the best place for me right after regaining my hearing. I'm regretting it though since apparently His Purpleness was in fine form.

Both of these outfits were built around new scarves that I got on Tuesday.

November 30

Scarf: Alexander McQueen (gift from husband)
Dress: Shabby Apple (bought from knitter in Toronto)
Shoes: Fluevog Wherever Tav (no longer available)

This dress is very, very blue. Almost electric blue. I like the length and style of the dress, but the fabric wrinkles very quickly. The sleeve length is also perfect for covering my upper arm tattoos so I don't need to wear a sweater or a jacket.

When I got home from work I had a package waiting for me with an All Saints scarf in it. After I opened it my husband said "I bought you something today for Christmas but I'm going to give it to you today" and he handed me this awesome Alexander McQueen scarf.

I've never seen the skulls in this blue colour before so I was quite thrilled. He's a very good present buyer.

I bought these Fluevogs on sale earlier this year but this is the first time I've worn them. They look black but are actually navy and brown. I'm uber-scared that the tassels are going to fall off so I should probably get some super glue and make sure they are fastened on good and permanently.

As I said earlier, I had to go to the hospital to get a tube put in my right ear. While I was there my ENT suggested coming in another day to get cortisone injected into my sinuses (I suffer from sinus polyps and usually have no sense of smell and taste). I had this done before in 2001 and it isn't the most pleasant procedure but I'm willing to give it a try if it means I can taste my turkey at Christmas.

December 1

Today I wore my new All Saints scarf. I found this on one of those websites that sell designer/brand clothing and make up for less than retail - and its usually older stock. This scarf is in the 7 Deadly Sins print that hasn't been available for a few years so I was very excited to find it.

Scarf: All Saints (
Sweater: Pretty Things Boutique (local store)
Dress: Anthropologie (Charlotte NC)
Underskirt: Value Village
Shoes: Franco Sarto (Charlotte NC)

I bought this dress and the shoes in 2009 in Charlotte, NC when I was on a trip sponsored by the US State Department. We went to 5 cities and in most places we were taken to an historic building or location to learn something about the city. In Charlotte, we were dropped off at a mall for 3 hours. Kind of odd, but who am I to complain. I scored some pretty good stuff and it was better than looking at the construction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Here's the scarf so you can see the pattern. Not your typical bureaucratic fare.

A few months ago I wore a sweater with skulls on it to work. One of my staff was being picked up by her boyfriend and she asked me if I wanted to go see her new chihuahua so I went outside with her to the car. The next day she told me that she had this conversation with her boyfriend:

Boyfriend: Was that your boss?
Staff: Yep.
BF: But...she was wearing a sweater with skulls on it?
S: Yep.

I guess he found that odd. It was casual Friday but that didn't seem to make a difference to him.

Do you try to break the workplace barriers with your clothing choices?