Got Beat

I got beat on Boxing Day, beat by exhaustion. I woke up awfully early to avoid the crowd and long lines as best I can, which was not much of a success. On the bright side, I managed to purchase $644 worth of items for ~$240, 63% worth of savings!

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Tips for future Boxing Days:

1) The food court is probably one of the busiest so grab a bite before leaving your house or eat at a nearby restaurant because good luck on finding an unoccupied table.

2) Wear comfy (and easy to change out of) clothes. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to ninja through the crowd in uncomfortable clothing, or when trying on clothes.

3) Avoid using large satchels because carrying one around would be too much of a hassle. Stick to backpacks or mini cross-body bags so that you can maneuver around easier. You’re also doing everyone else a favour, trust me.

DSC04737 DSC04736DSC04730 DSC04744 DSC047461) Denim Jacket: GAP (similar here) | 2) V-neck Tee: Topshop | 3) Distressed Jeans: Levi’s (similar here) | 4) Sneakers: Ralph Lauren | 4) Recycled License Plate Cross-body: Reworks in Calgary

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

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(Fall)ing for Winter

It’s not Avril this month but Calgary weather made us fools with an all day snowstorm, not to mention some hail. Where did fall go? My family and friends were a bit concerned at the my lack of preparedness for the low temperature, but I’m not putting my fall clothes to waste. Layering is key: to look chic and stay warm. A classic wool/cashmere blend overtop a knit, collared shirt with a statement necklace asks for attention. For a little element of punk rock, these striped skinnies and black booties worked perfectly. For an unexpected touch, I used my faux fur cross-body bag.
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I’ve always loved bowler hats because it has so much character but with my short pixie haircut, I am even more of a fan! This dark red, almost maroon is the perfect pop of colour. Since I didn’t want the hat to be too overpowering, adding a little more texture to my hair by curling it was a good solution!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAren’t these boots beautiful!? Not only are they wonderfully made with all the details, I got them on sale for $37.50 from its original price of $150. Such a steal! That is why shopping in America is always better than in Canada.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES1) Knit Grey Shirt: Nike (Gifted) (similar here) | 2) Wool/Cashmere Blend Sweater: Club Monaco (similar here) | 3) Striped Skinnies: Levi’s | 4) Boots: Kensie | 5) Bowler Hat: Minimum | 6) Spike Necklace: Store in Granville St. (similar here) | 7) Faux Fur Bag: Co-Lab

I hope you found inspiration from this outfit!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

University Must Haves & Tips!

sam_1801Winter is Coming and first year students are shivering in both excitement and worry! But fear not, I’m here to give you tips on how to survive this big transition.

1) There’s nothing worst than forgetting your bus pass and getting ticketed for it. I’ve been there. To avoid this accident from happening, find a wallet that has a window ID. I found this functional and chic Michael Kors wallet that has the window ID at the back, a keyring and multiple compartments. Its small size is ideal for tight spaces.

2) At first you would think that having pizza or burgers everyday is a dream come true since fast food is very accessible in most campuses, but I must warn you that your health, wallet and tastebuds will not like you in the long run. It’s not a sin to have the occasional greasy, overpriced food from campus, although I highly suggest that you bring food from home/dorm most of the time. This glass Lock&Lock container is a must in my list as it’s the perfect size, is BPA free, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe and best of all, has a locking system that seals it air and water tight!

3) If you so prefer and your professor allows it, laptops and iPads are good ways to remain eco-friendly and sharing notes will be easier. However, I personally find these options distracting because who wouldn’t be tempted to check social media when sat in lecture for hours? I’m going to be honest, I plead guilty to such crime! To avoid this, try it old school. This cute trio from Studio-Oh! that I found from Chapters will do the trick! Also, despite paying overpriced tuition, don’t expect luxurious, oversized tables. It’s most probable that you will find very small desks so aim to buy small notebooks. Lastly, binders will be your enemy!

4) What’s paper without writing utensils? As tempting as it may be to buy those pens and pencils that come in 12s, trust me, you don’t need any more than one. Invest in one good, expensive pen & pencil because it will last you longer and you don’t have to worry about asking it back from that unprepared classmate. Unless you intend to make ‘sharing’ into flirting with that cute guy/girl in class, then perhaps you can save an extra one ; ) I highly recommend brands such as Pentel, Pilot and Staedtler.

5) You may think that school books are more than enough of a read, but if you’re like me who enjoys leisure reading, you’d probably find yourself procrastinating with other books. There is nothing wrong with that because at the very least, this option expands your knowledge and you’re less likely to fall into the trap of pulling an all-nighter because you were too distracted with the internet and all its glory! Bookmarks are very helpful in both leisure and school reads. This feather bookmark is from a local market but you can buy ones similar to it on Etsy!

6) As organized as day/weekly planners may be, there are too bulky and incompatible with my preferences. I like post-it notes better and as a fan of Hello Kitty, these are perfect for those short notes, reminders and to-do lists!

7) Earphones are necessary not only for your favourite tunes in those daily bus rides, but also for when you need peace & quiet when studying. You are likely to encounter a person who prefers studying in groups but as friendly and fun as that may seem, it can sometimes get distracting. Plugging in your earphones, even without music playing, is the ultimate ‘Do not disturb’ sign. If they are really persistent or you just happen to be in a noisy environment, consider noise-cancelling headphones such as the ones I own from Sony.

8) If you are lucky enough to experience dorm life like I did, decorating your own room for floormates/housemates to visit is exciting! Those first few weeks will feel a little lonely, but adding personality into your space will attract people that share common interests and you’ll eventually find some good folks, possibly even lifelong friends. So don’t be afraid to show your inner geekiness and with that, I chose this Game of Thrones Stark Stein! You know nothing, Jon Snow”.


I hoped this post was informative for you freshmen. Which school are you attending and what field of study? Good luck and take care!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

 

Day 7: Ate to our Heart’s Content

To relieve ourselves of exhaustion and prepare for a tiring flight tomorrow, we decided to spend our last day in New Jersey. We never intended to go to Carlo’s Bakery because we thought it was far, but after finding out that it was a 10-min drive from our place, we paid a visit. Seeing its quaint exterior outside of the TV screen was very exciting! Upon entering, a strong whiff of baked goods could make anyone hungry. We took a ticket and waited until our number was called. Unfortunately, none of the cast from the show was in the shop.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Even though I’m lactose intolerant, I took the chance of taking a taste of these pastries: Dark and White Chocolate Mousse! They were perfectly baked although after not having consumed sweet goods for a long while, I found them too sweet for my tastebuds.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES For lunch, we went to Newport Mall. I had maki and salmon sashimi. One cannot expect much from mall sushi but this particular location made them exceptionally! If anything, it’s even better than other sushi restaurants I’ve visited. The sushi was fresh, warm and the salmon was fatty and tasty that melted into my mouth.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Then, we went to get smoothies and found that they were made lactose free. How considerate was that place!? Our family officially holds the title of bottomless stomachs. Though as for I, this vacation from my diet shall end soon. I actually miss my healthy ways: oatmeal, multigrain and fruits and vegetables!

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It was nice to have a relaxing day and the nice, friendly people of New Jersey only made it better! If I were to live here, could I have one of these houses? They have so much character!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Day 4: Typical Tourists

Our morning started a little later than usual because our bodies needed a little more energizing. After finding dislike and inconvenience in using public transit, we decided to drive down to New York and find a parking spot close to our adventuring. Not only was this more efficient, it was surprisingly cheaper.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESCentral Park was our first stop. I did not expect it to be as lively as it was: many people were exercising, tourists were lured into riding bicycles or carriages, vendors were in every corner and there was all kinds of performers. As a former viewer of CSI NY, I made a joke that there must be a crime scene somewhere in the park and sure enough, I found one. Let’s pretend it’s real.

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On the benches, there were messages engraved in metal plates. I was very fond of these two. Adorable, are they not?

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Walking around Central Park for a couple of hours depleted our energies. We grabbed lunch soon after and without surprise, ate Middle Eastern food. It was very tasteful but the portions were too big for our stomachs.

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Being outdoors for the majority of the day, we decided to finish it by going shopping. We took transit down to 34th St. from 59th as to not waste our paid parking. Claiming to be the biggest Macy’s store, we decided to check it out. It was indeed enormous! However, it was very crowded as if one was in a fish market: loud and packed. Having spent too much time inside gave me a headache.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESCentral Park’s peacefulness from the honking cars and traffic was a good way to spend the morning. It definitely reminded me of my jogs around Waterfront and Stanley Park in Vancouver. Oh how I miss my second home!

A plus tard et avec l’amour!

Day 3: Shopping is our Exercise

We went for a 2-hr. drive to Atlantic City to go shopping in outlet stores. We expected it to be up to par with the ones we visited in Seattle and Florida but the deals were not that great, nor were there lots of stores. But to my surprise, I ended up finding a wallet which I direly needed and cheap shoes to add to my collection.
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We ate at Longhorn Steakhouse. The food was superb! I ordered a 6 oz. sirlion, with a side of broccoli. The broccoli was very well prepared that I forgot I had steak to eat. When it was time to pay, my sister tried to use her Canadian TD debit card and found that they accepted it. I suppose that was possible since TD branches exists here too.

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After hours of walking around and shopping, we stopped by McDonalds for snacks. We have been to the States multiple times however, we still remain surprised at how cheap it is! This amount could have bought you only 2 smoothies back home.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe drove back up to Westfield Centre to go shopping at UNIQLO. We knew that we had to go here because our friends highly recommended the brand for its simplicity and good quality. We had 30 minutes to shop before close and I managed to finish in 10. The store was huge and well organized! I was running around like a maniac.

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The four hours of sitting in the car was good rest for yesterday’s hectic schedule and shopping was also quite therapeutic. It was nice to have a day off from the bustling streets of New York.

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!