Day for Exploration: Inglewood

It has been ages since I’ve wanted to pay a visit to one of Calgary’s coolest neighbourhoods: Inglewood. And since I’m an avid fan of cafés, I had to finally check out Gravity! The interior was absolutely posh and the food was superb. Is it a surprise that I didn’t order coffee? Go figure, they served Phil & Sebastian.

DSC04592I have a terrible habit of going shopping when I’m stressed, most specifically during exam times. Inglewood is definitely the place to go for all things local and unique! Of all the stores I visited, my top three favourites are listed below:

1) Reworks: This store is the absolute coolest! They are all about artistic innovations made from recycled materials, whilst supporting small businesses and/or local artists.

2) Olivier’s: Sweet tooth got you craving? This is heaven for all chocolate and candy lovers! Upon entrance, you are easily drawn in by the scrumptious whiff of their fresh, local goods. I made my last purchases of gifts & a little something for myself and family.

3) Phoenix Comics: How could I resist not going inside this haven of all things geek? What I appreciated about this particular comic store was it was well-organized, unlike most that are cluttered. It made maneuvering around and finding things easier. Also, if you collect pins like I do, they have plenty of awesome ones! They also have a vintage, yet pimp Ronald McDonald statue.

DSC04575 DSC04580 DSC04578 DSC04576


Since stores are individually built, prepare well to dress in warmth if you are to visit in the middle of winter like I. Layers will do.

DSC04582DSC045871) Oversized Shirt: GAP (similar here) | 2) Leggings: H&M | 3) Coat: Thrifted (similar here) | 4) Boots: ALDO | 5) Thigh-Highs: Free People | 6) Backpack: Vintage from momDSC04595Inglewood is definitely a gem & will now be one of my favourite spots to hang out!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Advertisements

Day Out in Wang

I finished my first exam this morning and since my next and last isn’t for another while, I decided to make a visit to Kensington: Naked Leaf & Pages! Teas and books are always good presents.

DSC04490DSC04499 DSC04497 DSC04495


I finally wore my Alexander Wang x HM purchase, that is this cool jacket! There is no other way to dress a Wang piece than with monochrome, or in my case, all black. Unaware, the works of flash brings out a surprise of the reflective detail embedded in this jacket! Très cool, non?

DSC04514 DSC04519DSC04507 DSC04509Almost everything I wore today are either limited edition, unavailable online or vintage, so no links for tonight. However, I hope you found inspiration!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Jamming & Nomming

Winter season is best season for spicy cravings and what’s better than tteokbokki, which is Korean rice cake with sweet, red chili sauce, and kimchi pancakes? But no Korean meal is complete without traditional beverage: makgeolli for a first.

My friend suggested we go to Don Day, a quaint Korean restaurant on 7th Ave in downtown Calgary. The setting struck me a little because it was if I was immediately transported to Korea, that is judging based on what I’ve seen from K-dramas. Need I mention that K-pop music was playing and oppas were our cooks? In short summary, this has been the most authentic and best tasting Korean food I’ve had in Calgary! I will definitely find myself coming back for more.
DSC03895 DSC03897 DSC03896 1 DSC03899


Perhaps I couldn’t wait for another Friday to come that I’ve resorted to casual attire. I am absolutely in love with GAP’s supersoft tees. I went a little crazy two weeks ago when I bought a couple pieces. They are so comfy and easy to wear. Highly recommended!

DSC03913 DSC039231) Shirt: GAP | 2) Jeans: William Rast | 3) Socks: UNIQLO | 4) Sneakers: Ralph Lauren (similar here)

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

60s Knit

Inspired by Free People and stuck in 60s mod, voilà! But who can forget iconic Twiggy and her spider lashes? Sure, I’ll never be as pretty as her, but she is such an inspiration that the least I can do is imitation. So a couple layers of mascara later….
DSC03657 DSC03651 For those non-Canadians or simply do not know, Remembrance Day is soon. It is when we commemorate soldiers that fought and died for our country. As a sign of appreciation and respect, we wear these red poppies. Canada wouldn’t be as it is today if it wasn’t for their brave hearts.DSC03660DSC03673Back to a lighter note, I thrifted this ‘made in Italy‘ sweater for $24! How crazy of a steal is that? It is a size too big, but the oversize fit just adds to the ‘cozy factor’. And if that’s not enough knit, why not throw in these thigh-high socks.

Though the softness of all these knits make me appear friendly and in all honesty, I’m not the friendliest. So as to keep my guard up, perhaps a spiked, statement necklace and stack of geometric earrings will help.DSC03669 DSC036791) Sweater: Thrifted (similar here) | 2) Corduroy Shorts: American Apparel | 3) Tights: Claire’s (similar here) | 4) Thigh-Highs: Free People (Gifted) | 5) Oxfords: Arnold Churgin (similar here) | 6) Necklace: Local Store in Granville St. Vancouver (similar here) | 7) Earrings: F21 & DIY

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Exotic Taste & Bright Days

Perhaps holding on to hope for warm and bright days was not such a bad idea as today, the magical genie granted my wish. With the majority of the day spent outdoors: consisting of deep conversations and park walks, it was a good reminder of how satisfying life is wi-fi free, while well indulged in good company.
DSC03637For lunch, we had a first visit to Rose Garden Thai Restaurant located in Stephen Ave. The setting was very authentic, as well as the food. Though to be honest, it’s not the best Thai food I’ve had in Calgary. But if in need of a quick fix, it’s worth a visit. Their good hospitality and delicious, coconut rice is what would bring me back.

DSC03631 DSC03632DSC03630Since we supplied Naked Leaf teas at work and my manager urged me to pay a visit, I decided to do that today. We were drawn in by the warm and unique setting, not to mention the fragrant scents of tasteful teas. The owners were so friendly and accommodating. They informed us that with the purchase of ~100g of tea, we would obtain a free tin customized with local artists’ drawings. Knowing that my purchase supports local artists was enough to convince me to come back for more!
DSC03633My dark outfit may not have represented how I really felt today but to be fair, served me well when the night fell to a Chicago setting of strong winds. But overall, I’m thankful for today.
DSC03640DSC036431) V-neck Tee: GAP | 2) Leggings: H&M | 3) Burgundy Coat: Vero Moda (similar here) | 4) Boots: Very Volatile (thrifted) | 5) Socks: UNIQLO | 6) Satchel: Dooney & Bourke (similar here)

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

British Invasion: 221B

Recently, I have been subconsciously inspired by British style: simple, yet has an indescribable charm. Perhaps I am lacking the eye candy of a beautiful British man who lives in 221B who’s got me poppin’ my collar. To those who are currently suffering from such deprivation, I am with you. Perhaps a third time of watching all the seasons isn’t such a bad idea… if only my GPA didn’t need a little more attention.
DSC03546I have absolutely no idea what my bag says for it’s in Indonesian, but my best guess would be that it’s rice related because it’s recycled from the material used in rice bags.
DSC03543DSC03541

1) Pea Coat: Aeropostale (Gifted) (similar here) | 2) Ripped Jeans: Levi’s (similar here) | 3) Bag: Local Store (similar here) | 4) Boots: Kensie


I needed a little day off from everything and the beautiful, chilly weather has got me in the mood for a little exploration around one of my favourite neighbourhoods: Kensington. It is full of art, diversity and innovation: an energy I find refreshing and inspiring. A little retail therapy at a local store, Silla, and a visit to possibly my favourite café, Vendome, was my way of getting away from it all. Escapism would be incomplete without immersing myself in self-reflection and poetry. There is nothing more calming than finding time to ‘ajoute life’ into paper. DSC03536 DSC03535 1 DSC035482A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Market Collective’s 6th Year

Market Collective was established in 2008 to promote local arts and culture. After moving out of Calgary in 2006 and returning this year, the city has undergone great progress. I’ve found that there is improvement in establishing connectedness between Calgarians because events such as Market Collective aid in doing so. It’s always nice to be part of a good community!
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I’m all about great finds and vintage. There were a few stalls of shoes and clothing, but I ended up buying from Joyce’s Closet. Joyce, the owner, is an absolute dear! She has a good eye and seems to be very knowledgable about fashion. As usual, I won’t be showing what I bought until I wear it!

 SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES 


But it’s not only all about shopping in Market Collective. There is food, food and more food! What I love about food trucks is their menus are so innovative and made for sharing. My friend and I decided to order from Yummi Yogis and Waffles & Chix. I highly recommend the regular Waffle & Chix and the Goji Strawberry Protein Smoothie! We overestimated our appetite that we had leftovers to bring home.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We ate in front of the stage and listening to Kirsten Ludwig was pure eargasm! I loved her hauntingly beautiful, soft voice and fashion sense! It was a pity I couldn’t stay for the rest of her performance. Her music is definitely on my list of ‘albums to buy’!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


Though I knew I was not to leave without purchasing earrings. Since getting my hair cut short, I’ve been wanting studs to complete my outfits. When my friend and I saw Adrian Martinus‘ artwork made from recycled materials, we were in awe of his artistry. Each piece of furniture or jewelry (which was made in collaboration with Anne Tranholm), was well executed. I was particularly fond of this table, but I have no space for it in my room, nor money to even purchase it. Instead, I bought two, cool studs that I am very excited to wear! 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I had so much fun looking around and it was a nice way to spoil myself for the last time this summer. I am now back to work and saving money shall commence! I will definitely come back again next year to empty my pockets, fill my stomach and backpack home some goods.

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

 

Najib is Special

After living for a decade in Canada, it’s about time I find my fix for Middle Eastern food blues. I miss UAE an awful lot and would asking for a little taste of it be too much? But the hunt is finally over as my friend found this little gem hidden in the corner of one of Calgary’s quietest neighbourhoods, Bridgeland. It’s Tazza!

I would eat everything on the menu but my favourite has got to be the Najib Special! It’s marinated chicken served in Zatar with fresh veggies and that mandatory garlic sauce. So yummy~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESArabic coffee is distinct from your regular espresso. The addition of cardamom adds a refreshing kick to your usual coffee. It is best served with something sweet and since baklava is one of my favourite desserts, it must be ordered!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESNajib is indeed special 😉 It’s so good and the authenticity of their food is the closest to that back home in UAE. You can just see it in my face 😛SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


Then we went to the Bridgeland Market across the street and bought non-dairy ice cream. It’s a lactose intolerant’s piece of heaven!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESQuinoa Milk exists? I should try it out next time…SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd now, I shall enjoy falafel chips and baked fries with hummus. Middle Eastern nostalgia at its best!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

For the Love of Vintage

Having lived in Vancouver, it has exposed me to lots of different ideas: healthy living, kale-eating, hipster loving and vintage shopping. Or you could say it has converted me to an almost full-pledged Vancouverite at heart because I’m all of the above. Fun fact: I still walk at a quick pace.

I live in Calgary now and prior to moving back, I feared that the transition would be difficult. It was and most especially on a personal level. But the anticipated change in lifestyle due to the lack thereof of diversity in services and shopping also contributed to my growing concern in ‘fitting in’. What was I to do without my favourite thrift/vintage/consignment store, Front and Company!? I was afraid to become entirely zombified of mall clothing. Call me hipster if you must, I’ve accepted it 😛

I’m just kidding…

I mean no offense to people who prefer shopping in malls or outlets. I just wish that they would try out thrift, consignment or vintage shopping before rejecting it. Although I do understand if they refuse to because they have been pre-worn by strangers. But in my defence, though rare, some of the items are actually brand new. If you remain unconvinced, vintage bags are at the very least an item that would be worth looking into.

Vintage shopping is fun because there is so much diversity and character in each piece. Since vintage pieces are usually one of a kind, the struggle in finding a size and/ or it being in good shape can sometimes be frustrating. If luck is on your side, this is when you find gems. Figuratively.

Enough chitter chatter and let me finally share one of my favourite stores in Calgary, Used House of Vintage! I have visited one of their locations in Granville Street Vancouver, though I found that I prefer this one in Calgary, down 17th Ave. I would guess their products is a reflection of whoever manages it and I could say my taste is more compatible with that of Calgary’s.

Their products are unique (as expected) and well-picked, the store is charming with its clean, well-organized layout and the customer service is awesome! In my two visits, I have managed to spend at least 30 minutes going around the store and chat with the sweet saleslady. I have failed to ask her name, twice, because I get too excited in talking to her about fashion and vintage stuff. I rarely meet people who share such an addiction… so you can understand, right? I’m also terrible with names.

I have been on the hunt for black, high waisted shorts or pants as I am itching to try crop tops without exposing my non-existent six-pack. I was ecstatic to find a pair of vintage Lee shorts, perfect in wash and fit, though it was sadly too short. In the end, I opted out in buying it but instead, finally snatched up my first crop top, an American Apparel. An incentive to find the perfect black, high waisted jeans I suppose?

At the checkout, a vintage Moschino bucket bag attracted my attention. My growing love for black and it being accentuated with gold hardware did not help in trying to resist from asking to take a look. What harm would a peek do?

Long story short, the answer is empty pockets.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES I would have posted the items I bought for this visit but I think I’ll save it for future ootds! It’s better in action 😉 SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis last picture was not in the vintage store, but another. I just failed to take a good picture of my ootd in Used House of Vintage.

Outfit details:

1) Round Sunglasses: Queen Boutique in Kensington Calgary (similar here) | 2) Dress: Local Store in Calgary | 3) Cardigan: ZARA (similar here) | 4) Boots: Nine West (similar here) | 5) Watch: Marc Jacobs | 6) Lipstick: Marc Jacobs in Crush


I hope I have convinced you to go thrift/vintage/consignment shopping or even just try it out! Don’t be afraid to do so, it’s tons of fun!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

 

Finding a Hair Salon

Moving to a new city is challenging in itself: settling down, finding new friends and of utmost importance, finding a hair stylist! I have always been experimental with my haircuts that it’s important to me that I find the right fit. After living here in Calgary for a few months, I’ve finally found my go-to stylist after three trials!


1st trial: Gina Hair Salon @ #18-1324 10th Ave SW

image (1)This haircut was impulsive and a walk-in. The hairstylist informed me that she was able to accommodate me, even without an appointment. I was truly ecstatic that day to find that out because I felt the awful need to get a haircut. At the moment, I was satisfied with my haircut but now that I look back, it was awfully executed and the service was mediocre. I cannot fully put the hairstylist into blame as it was a walk-in, however I would have preferred to have been denied the walk-in than receive dissatisfaction. Price paid was not worth what I received.

 


2nd trial: Fai Hair Design @ Suite 218-2066 18 Ave NE

C

Foremost, I apologize for not having a better picture of this haircut. However, I can say that I was more satisfied with this salon visit than the previous. This salon was recommended to me by my sister. She says that Fai specializes in Asian hair and therefore, proves himself to be a good hairstylist. I truly cannot deny this claim because I was very happy with the overall service. It is apparent that he is very experienced because he cuts quickly, but not at the pace of haste that finesse is absent. I would have returned to this salon but I wanted to at least try elsewhere before settling. Price was fair for the service received.


3rd trial: RedBloom Salon @ 638 11 Ave SW, Calgary

For days, I looked online to read reviews of hair salons and I decided to try out a more higher-end salon, that of which ended up to be RedBloom. The reason for this is that they offered $10 off for the first visit and this was enough of an incentive to try it out. As well, their hair stylists had short descriptions of their preferences and specialities. Wanting an asymmetrical haircut, quite a daring kind,A I went ahead to book an appointment with Amanda who claimed to enjoy ‘fun cuts’ (her hair looked cool too!)

Upon entering, the salon looked exquisite! I was taken back by the posh interior of zebra-coloured wallpaper, red chandelier and large mirrors. I was greeted with the choice of water, tea, or coffee and pampered by the unexpected scalp and shoulder massage prior to the haircut. As well, there was a long, but very informative consultation of my desired haircut. It was apparent that Amanda was well-experienced because it was as if she was reading my mind! She knew everything I wanted and was able to address my concerns before and after the cut: from length, after care and styling. She was the friendliest too!

The service great and I absolutely adore my haircut. As I’ve already mentioned, the price is a little on the higher side of things but I can no longer trust anyone else with my hair but Amanda after this piece she has well executed!

RedBloom even featured my transformation in their Instagram account!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!