Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So Serious

Don't take life too seriously. 
Levi spent a good portion of the evening with his goggles on. I think he likes the way the world looks in purple.
P.S. My son does not have a mushroom cut. I swear.
P.P.S I have a Tasty Tuesday coming....on Wednesday

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mommy Monday: Pretty Little Things

 I took a little mommy retreat today and headed downtown to spend a M.A.C gift card I received at Christmas time. It was a very short trip but it was therapeutic for me to browse through all the colourful makeup and then have one of the makeup artists do up my lips. I found a gorgeous shade of bright, matte pink lipstick called, Nicki, that I'm excited to pair with stand-out accessories like this amazing belt I picked up at the thrift store. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fashion Friday: Prudish but Pretty

When I layered this dress with the sweater on top, I remembered the dress was short but it wasn't until I took this photo that I realized it was more like a mini skirt.  I ordered the dress online and ignored the length measurements. Oops. If I feel like I've forgotten my pants, the look doesn't fly for me. When I added the jeans underneath I felt so much more... covered. I've decided on a new style motto,  prudish but pretty. 

I also noticed in the Fall 2012 ready-to-wear shows an abundance of pants layered under skirts and dresses so I guess I'm not too far off the mark. I'll have to feature some of my favorite runway looks next week. Maybe : )

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday

1. Date night with my hubby. We went to Gastown and I always find the lit up streets so romantic, even in the rain. We checked out the Poorhouse Pourhouse and talked each others ear off. A date with Ben reminds me that he is not only my partner in life but my best friend. 

2. Tuesday morning was rough after a sleepless night. I opened my back door and found a dear friend had left a bag of home made cookies, a colouring book for Levi and bird food for our feeder. What a lovely surprise. I was weepy all day because I felt so well taken care of. 

3. Levi has decided to potty train himself. He came racing into the kitchen this morning, said he wanted to go on the potty, whipped off his diaper and pajamas and did a pee pee and a poo on his potty. He then told me he was all done with diapers. Okay. 

4. Jethro is sleeping better. He is the sweetest, I can hardly stand it. The way he looks at his older brother with such adoring eyes is priceless and makes every sleepless night worth it. And he likes to cuddle. Okay, I'm getting weepy again. 

5. Parents. They travel in from Coquitlam to babysit. Even on week days they come rescue us so we can have our date nights or even simply rest while they entertain the boys. 

I am so thankful.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Kale Apple Shitake Risotto

I keep throwing out the meat I buy because it goes bad before I use it. I've sworn before that I'm going to go full-out vegetarian and it seems that going green is my natural leaning anyways. I love risotto and I found this Kale Apple Shitake Risotto here

The most fun part of the recipe was making my own broth, something I've never experimented with before. Risotto is definitely a meal that has to be served right away. We had to wait a half an hour for papa to get home which made it a little stickier then I prefer. But otherwise, yummers! And really easy to make.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mommy Monday: No Surgery Needed

By now you may have noticed my Photo-A-Day challenge turned into a Photo-One-Day challenge. I suck :) I couldn't wrap my mind around any creative ideas and I couldn't stand the thought of taking sub-par photos just for the sake of completing the challenge. Maybe another month.
Photo c/o Physique  57 via the  NYPOST

I decided to shoot for some more regular Mommy Mondays instead. Pressing on my mind and feeling it in my butt is a fitness routine I began a month ago which I have to share with you. I'm not in any way being compensated for promoting this specific program but it's just so good. Have you heard of Physique 57? A friend mentioned the at-home video series and I latched onto the idea because I hadn't been making it to the gym. I read up on the program online and was sold. The workout program combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to sculpt a long, lean, and strong body. And oh my goodness, it works.

I have lost inches off my bod but it comes with a price. The moves themselves aren't difficult but it's the muscle overload that makes you want to cry, every time. It's hard not to cuss out the instructor Tanya Becker for her intensity and cheerfulness, but truthfully the combination is motivating. 

Trying to bounce back into shape after having my second baby following my own program was not producing the results I wanted. Physique 57 fast tracked me to the healthy post-baby lifestyle I desired. I haven't lost tons of weight which was never my goal and could be dangerous as a full-time nursing mom. Instead I've lost fat and gained muscle, and the saggy parts of my body are magically (actually more like through sweat, blood and tears) lifting. 

I also want to put in my two cents about exercise and post baby blues/depression, because I've been there and I'm still working through it. Exercise, where in you actually break a sweat, is a huge mood booster. It's crazy how many times we can hear the same message about what will improve our well-being yet still not take any steps to help ourselves. From me to any struggling moms out there, it's worth it to break a sweat and allow those endorphins to do their work. With Physique 57, I can bust out one of the videos even with the kids around and get through a complete workout. I feel better physically and mentally (Picture me going from screaming into a pillow to a saner, prettier version of myself).

P.S. If you're doing the video and it's killing you, just imagine my hubby doing it with me and that'll give you a good laugh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Head Gear

In my teen years I was so uncomfortable with my body. I was as skinny as a string bean, extremely self-conscious of my big nose, braces and chipped teeth. In grade eight I remember wearing the same t-shirt almost every day until I realized I was wearing the same t-shirt every day. Also burned into my brain is the memory of my brother having a hot friend over, and as I was talking to him I became acutely aware that I was wearing my full helmet head gear (I have another great self-awareness story that involves Taylor Kitsch coming into my back yard to find my mom, sister and I in a beached dingy filled with water, but that's a story for another day) Ahhh, self-awareness, sort of like a punch to the gut. 

I asked my mom to take me shopping and I found a forest green, silk crop jacket embroidered with flowers and a pair of white jeans. I dressed in the outfit for my grade 8 school dance and my brother walked into my room and said, "You actually look sort of good." That's a big compliment coming from a 14 year old boy. I only recently sent the jacket off to Sally-Ann. 

I was 19 when I realized the way I dressed could alter how I was perceived by people. I had a few more curves, the braces were gone and I fell in love with fashion magazines. I poured over editorials for hours, studying how dressing could be an art form. I worked hard at being fashionable and even though I received compliments on my clothing choices I still felt like I was sporting head gear (Now I wish I had a head gear picture because seriously, it was a beast). 

What was the lesson here? Identity issues cannot be masked by what's on the outside. I needed to be grounded in my faith, who God created me to be, how I was perceived by him. That took time, humility and a good husband who thought I looked most beautiful first thing in the morning, no make-up, old t-shirt, stinky breath. 

Now there's now. I'm almost 30, I've given birth twice and usually the only clothes I buy are for little people. Despite the vast changes to my size and shape, I like getting dressed because it's no longer for other people and it is my choice of art form (sometimes not pretty art. C'mon yoga pants are comfy). I don't take it too seriously. I.e. the skinny jeans I'm sporting are cleverly held up by an elastic band, the black dress can be yanked to the side for quick nursing access.

Who are you dressing for?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

In junior high I was never one of the girls who received candy grams and flowers from friends and admirers on Valentines Day. Naturally I longed for that sort of adoration, to be recognized as special. Now in hindsight, if I had known what great love the future held, I wouldn't have given a rats ass about a single carnation and a piece of chocolate. God has filled me to overflowing with love in the form of my little family. Ben and I had a special date last night and tonight we made pink, heart shaped pancakes and had a candlelit dinner with the babies. Mmmm... satisfaction. With so much love, I'd better make sure to spread it to others. So from me to you, HUGS!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

From My Closet

I don't know how trends begin. Do designers sit down over a cup of tea and discuss what similar looks they're going to have hit the runway? Or do they have spies in each others showrooms? I suspect they might be keeping their finger on the pulse of street fashion because style bloggers have been sporting the Mayan/Aztec look for a while, in accessories and clothing. 

Band of Outsiders
Band of Outsiders Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Mara Hoffman

Rag and Bone

Mara Hoffman (She gets two because I wanted her whole collection)

Gary Graham

Michelle Gadd bah hahahaha! (Mexican hoodie c/o my hubby's closet)

*All runway photos via Style.com; Fall 2012 Season.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I love my family. I love that it is filled with artists and intellects and that I'm constantly amazed by their talents. My brother is a brilliant theologian and regularly requested for speaking engagements and book collaborations. My sister decided to start a furniture making business to supplement their income while on maternity leave. She now has a constant flow of clients requesting her custom headboards. And then there are the musicians. Songs seem to flow out of my husband and now his youngest sister. Which leads me to Esther's latest song, "Up." 

Have a listen and be amazed by the talent of this 17-year-old.

P.S. Emerald is family too. Her grandma is my mother-in
law's cousin. Seriously. I can't help bragging. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How To be Mod(est)

On Left: Kim Appelt, Faster Rep and mom of three!

Friday night I attended a trunk show for the diffusion line of basics, Faster, by the knitwear designer, Mark Fast at The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. My interest in Fast comes from a rather random association when 11 years ago we attended the same small Theology School in Abbotsford. We were acquainted through classes and it was one of those everybody-knows-everybody campuses. Imagine my surprise when years later I was going through runway shows on Style.com and I came across his collection at London fashion week. Theology to fashion. Who knew?

Mark Fast clothing is known for it's innovative knitwear techniques and body-con, revealing pieces. His diffusion line is exactly that and when looking at the dresses, tights and other intimates, it's clear you have to be confident in your bod to wear Faster. My first reaction was ha, ha! Nope. I couldn't/wouldn't wear these clothes any where but the bedroom (TMI, sorry). I've spent the last couple of days wondering how to bring some of my prudishness to his clothing and finally I had an Aha! moment. The beauty of basics is in the layering. 

Take this dress for example. Tight, short, hello cut-outs! Not something I'm going to wear every day. However, add a basic black cami underneath, a long pleated skirt over top, possibly a shear blouse to reveal some of the detail in the dress and your cool cut-out arms are still exposed for all to see. I would leave the house in this and the Alexander Wang booties (Because, you know, they're freakin' awesome). How would you make this dress work for you?
 1. UO blouse
2. AA black cami
3. Alexander Wang booties
4. Anthro skirt

For more info. Check out Mark Fast on Facebook

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Photo-a-Day: Day 1

The first photo challenge for February 1 was My View. I was trying to be poetic and take a photo of the little birdies who frequent our bird feeder every morning but those guys are fast. Instead I thought I'd go for my other view: The kitchen counter. Every Wednesday we have a group over from our church and it is a lovely but late night visiting with friends. Thankfully, I'm a take care of it tomorrow kind of person so I don't mind leaving a mess if I'm super tired. However, be prepared if you show up to our house the next day, before 12 PM  9 AM, for a disaster zone. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Your Butt Makes Your Butt Look Big

 I don't know how it's possible to take self-portraits without feeling totally ridiculous. For instance, do I ever stand like this in my every day life? Umm, no. Unless I am seriously trying to do a quick armpit check. Furthermore when I'm setting up for a shot, I always think, how can I look the most skinny? Which, goes back to the age old adage, it's your butt that makes your butt look big. Or in my case, my nursing jugs that make my jugs look big. What it really comes down to is acceptance, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I also no longer have the body of a 19 year old. 

The whole point of this photo is to show you the vintage dress I had altered. I'm happy with how it turned out, especially how the length feels less granny now. The whole look is still missing something though.... layers, texture, print. What do you think?

I got this lovely House of Harlow bracelet for Christmas from my parents and I've paired it with another gold bracelet and three Goody hair bands which are designed to pass as arm candy. I think the hair bands are a brilliant idea. I always wear elastic bands on my wrists, might as well wear ones that look pretty!

In other news, I'm embarking on a photo-a-day challenge for the month of February which I will feature on Elasticpantcity. The challenge is being hosted by Fat Mum Slim and I'm super excited to participate.