Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clog Blog

Talk about love at first sight! I confess I was not looking for a pair of clogs but I was drawn to these ones. They fit like a glove and the heel is a funky, chunky shape. One quick whiff told me they were real leather, despite the fact these clogs were cheap relatively cheap. 

There is more to my clog-loving story. The only designer I follow is Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. Since watching the famous Signe Chanel documentary, my respect for the craftsmanship of this luxury brand has grown exponentially. As an amateur sewer, watching the ingenious of Chanel's staff at work blew my mind. I couldn't care less about celebrity, but I thought if I could meet one it would be Karl Lagerfeld. 
Before trying to have a baby, my husband Ben and I took one last child-free trip to NYC. Imagine how my heart stopped when as we were crossing through Time Square, Ben said, "There must be someone famous there." Following his gaze, I saw a shock of white hair, surrounded by a crowd of people. Unmistakably it was Karl Lagerfeld. Muscling our way through the throngs I realized we were at the scene of a Fendi photoshoot at which Lagerfeld was the photographer! My sweet husband let me stand there for an hour, with my mouth hanging open, as I watched Lagerfeld at work. At times I was only three feet away from him. The best part was when the security guard asked me to move because I was in one of the shots. That means Lagerfeld saw me! Isn't that like meeting someone (Maybe I should have let the security guard arrest me. Then Lagerfeld may have really noticed)?

At the Chanel Spring 2010 runway show, most of the models were wearing fabulous clogs. Since I will never own a Chanel anything, I was excited to find my own unique take of an item from the brand. These clogs do the job well! Thank-you Winners!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coco Balls

Definition of positive addiction: A beneficial habit - where the benefits outweigh the costs.

As a breast-feeding mama, my baby sucks the energy right out of me. To get some extra oomph, I've resorted to chocolate. Raw cocoa to be exact. Wandering through my local health food mart I discovered Coco Balls. These balls of joy are filled with healthy, energy producing ingredients such as dates, apricots, nuts, flaxseed and coconut. In the name of health, I have become addicted to these delectable treats. Going for a walk to get some "alone time" has become an excuse to spend time with my friend Coco.

Fortunately, I have an excellent book called the Thrive Diet by triathlete, Brendan Brazier, which gave me ideas on how to make my own Coco Ball recipe. Here it is:

1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1 banana
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup walnuts (or any other nuts you like)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor except coconut. Once you have a sticky mixture, roll it into balls and coat with coconut. Freeze balls or put in fridge for a healthy, yummy snack.

* My Coco Balls do not look like the ones in this picture. They look like baby terds.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Live Small, Think Huge

 Living in a small rental suite in the city was very uninspiring for the interior designer in me. I had no creative motivation until I stumbled across a gem of a blog, www.tinyassapartment.blogspot.com. This blog offers solutions to small space living. I am amazed by the ingenious of people who can take 300 square feet and turn it into an uncluttered haven of comfort and cool. What I also found unique to this blog is that many of the homes featured are rental apartments. The creative juices are now flowing and I can't wait to dip my feet in the water. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cheap Entertainment

Men will resort to the strangest things to make a baby laugh. The other day, I watched in awe as my husband stood in the middle of our living-room, repeatedly whacking himself in the head with a pillow. I observed similar behavior in my parent's home. My dad lay on the ground, hitting himself (in the head) with a wooden hammer. The result of their self-inflicting harm is wonderful, Levi bursting into chortles of laughter. However, that method seems exhausting (and painful?).

A wise grandma gave me a wonderful tip on how she entertains her grandchildren. She paints her nails a vibrant color and wiggles her fingers in front of their little faces. I can handle that. For extra entertainment value, add a bauble.  With hardly any exertion it is possible to explode a babies mind with the wonder of color and texture (but not taste).

The gold ring I'm wearing in these photos belonged to my paternal grandmother. The roses are made of coral with pearls for leaves. It was a gift from my grandpa on one of their trips to Hawaii. I wonder how many of her grandchildren were entertained by this ring?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Please Flush

Little do my neighbors know that every time they flush their toilet when I'm showering, they contribute to my overall health and well-being. One of the joys of living in a 100-year-old house in the city is a shared hot water tank. Some would say this is a curse. I'm going to convince you it's a blessing.

Four months after having my son, Levi, my body crashed and burned. I stopped sleeping, my nails all but peeled off, and my hair begun to fall out. If you look closely at my mug you can see baby hair growing back in, giving me a new set of bangs and a haunting reminding of a seventh grade haircut.

To put my body back together I visited a naturopath who recommended hydrotherapy. The jest of hydrotherapy is to shower with warm water for three minutes, then quickly change it to a cold spray. This is done for three cycles. Hydrotherapy is supposed to stimulate your thyroid, assist with detoxification, improve your immunity and the functioning of your PNS.

I scoffed at the suggestion. Who in their right mind would choose to shock their body with a burst of freezing cold water? I loved the comfort of a warm shower after 24 hours of poo, puke and smooshed banana.

Since there was no way I was going to subject myself to the treatment, it was fortunate that my neighbors were willing to help out. When I'm showering and they flush the toilet, a shock of scalding hot water spews out like a sniper's bullet. I would hover in the corner of the shower, frantically trying to adjust the temperature, which then went from too hot to icy cold.  One day I sucked it up, stepped under the shower head, and let the cold water hit the mark. My neck and spine received the brunt of the attack, and after a few moments the water turned warm again. How did I feel? Amazing!

A shared hot water tank has turned from a plight to a pleasure. Thank-you for flushing, downstairs neighbors!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Style Snapshot

Imagine the Equator as the cutting edge of fashion and then picture me, lost at the North Pole. Now that I'm  busy with my baby there's no quicker way to navigate the maze of fashion trends and tragedies then to look to the styling people around me. My friend Tami was kind enough to give me a snap shot of her personal style.

What is your background in fashion?

A. My mom tells me that when I was a baby and she took me shopping, she'd hold up two outfits and I would smile at the one I liked. I still get happy when I find a gem. But to answer your question, I went to FIDM in LA and majored in Visual Communication and knew that I wanted to be a stylist, decorator or merchandiser professionally. For a couple years after graduating I was a freelance stylist in LA, working small fashion shows. Working freelance is tough with bills to pay so I started working for Urban Outfitters and now I'm the District Merchandising Manager for the Pacific Northwest.

How would you define your personal style?

A. That's really hard. The best I can do is "eclectic."

Are there any trends you think have run their course?

A. That's a dangerous question. Fashion always seems to circle back around. If I tell you never to wear a knitted animal head hat or jelly shoes or even jersey gaucho pants (I would seriously mean that), but you never know, it could be the trend next season.

What is your favorite accessory? Piece of jewelry?

A. Accessories are my weakness. My favorite pieces are ones that my mom used to wear in the 70's. I have a coral and turquoise ring that I regularly wear that my mom got when she was traveling in Kansas. I recently bought an Australian-designed necklace from Little Dream in Gastown. It is is a long, dainty silver chain with a nice chunk of turquoise and some jangly pieces in a cluster, made of fork tines from vintage silverware. I just got a double ring (in three colors so I can wear it with anything) that is a thick, chunky cross.... it's a good conversation starter.

What kind of places do you like to shop?

A. I love to shop at thrift or vintage stores when I travel. I really like to go to the monthly Portabello West Market at the Rocky Mountaineer Station. I went there before Christmas and bought my baby niece such cute things!! They have great, local jewelry, art and clothing. I go to the Vancouver Flea Market on Terminal and you can find some little vintage jewels as well.

Do you have any websites or blogs that inspire you?

A. Yes!


Photos: Tami is wearing her flying to Portland outfit. Her vintage crested blazer is from her stepmom. The thrifted patchwork vest is made with Indian silk. Her necklace and Colonial Madness heels are from UrbanOutfitters. The double cross ring is her new favorite accessory and Tami has collected her  bangles over the years.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Love Studs

Check out these tough shoes! They are the most impractical shoes I've bought since having a baby. I love the thick heel and the stud detailing. I found them while rummaging through Salvation Army. For six dollars, you can't go wrong.

Living in the city forces me to be frugal, but miserly doesn't equate to misery. In fact, I get my thrills out of thrift store shopping. Oh, how my adrenaline pumps trying to maneuver a stroller through smelly racks of clothes while playing chicken with elderly folks and their walkers! Guess who always wins?

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Get The Skinny"

Skinny jeans are not meant to be maternity pants. Shocking, right? My skinny jeans represented a post-baby body that now feels like a long-lost friend. The above method of allowing my skinny jeans to grow with my belly seemed brilliant until I realized I was walking around with an elastic band holding my pants up, and my fly wide open.

  Disappointed but not defeated, I was ecstatic to find a pair of skinny jean maternity pants at H & M. In my naivety I failed to realize that it's not only your stomach that grows while pregnant.

 If ever pregnant again, I'm hoping skinny jeans will no longer be around to tempt me. Fortunately I have now discovered that companies like Mavi will turn any of their jeans into maternity wear. Note to self: Mavi's boyfriend style would convert perfectly to fit a baby belly.