Friday, 11 May 2018

Fancy Dresses, Side Ponytails & Weddings In Your 30's

 

At the beginning of April we were honored to celebrate the union of my husbands longtime friend Chris and his beautiful wife Jill.  Chris and my husband Logan grew up together and he was the last of the three amigos to tie the knot.  We have enjoyed getting to know the lovely Jill over the past couple of years. She is intelligent, kind, hard working, independent, beautiful on the inside and out, and most importantly she makes Chris happy.  My hubby was extremely honored to stand by Chris' side on his special day. 



 

Being girls we took the opportunity to get gorgeous together.  We didn't plan on in but we all ended up rocking a version of the side ponytail and matching pretty well.  The girls were able to re-use their dresses from the holidays and I spoiled myself with a new addition which I fell in love with upon first glance.  I saw the dress at a local department store two months prior to the wedding, and then waited to see if it would go on sale, and scored it at 50% off !  Sometimes the wait is just worth it.  My oldest snapped a few pictures for me and then we selfied it and kind of had a blast doing it.  It was a really nice occasion to share with just the girls and we all felt pretty in our attire. 


 

The best man got me thinking about the differences of going to a wedding in your early 20's to  celebrating in your mid-30's.  This is what I came up with. 

 

1.  Weddings tend to be much fancier.  When Logan and I tied the knot at 21, we paid fully for our big day and we were minimalists, plus we only had 5 months to plan the big event.  NO I WAS NOT KNOCKED UP. 

2.  Kids!!!!  Seriously they are everywhere!  Hahaha.  You eat last because you serve the kids first.  You go to the bathroom twice as much because of kids.  Your conversation is interrupted constintly because someone is talking, crying, whinning, or has spilled food on you or themselves.  If you have little kids you are at the mercy of their schedule.  We are thankful in the stage of our lives where are kids not longer have strick shedules, bedtimes, eating routines.  We are also over being the "perfect" parents, so they basically just run wild and we take the title of "irresponsible" parents willingly.  But in all honesty,  it warms my heart to see all my friends, their little ones and our little ones creaking  their own bonds and friendships with one another.  A new generation of friends. 


3.  Dancing all night is a full on aerobic exercise routine.  Yep,  in your 30s dancing all night equals a checkmark for working out  because lets face it you have to squeeze it in somewhere and it won't be tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a rest day, trust me.   Remember dancing all night at the bar and then working out the next day? 

   (FYI, I love dancing and I shut the party down still wearing my heels) 


4.  Paying for it!  This brings me to my next point, you no longer can function the next day if you went hard the night before.  Depending how hard you went, you may be a lost cause for a couple of days, resorting to the only parenting techinique left, allowing your children to be babysat by the Disney channel or some  other form of crappy entertainment and snack food for beakfast, lunch & supper.  The good news, your kids will think they hit the JACKPOT and they will love you more than ever.


5.  You buy real gifts.  Now that you have a real job, you need to man up and actually buy a proper gift, or in our case give $$$.  People getting married in their 30's  likely have enough crap and would like to upgrade their crap or help pay for the wedding/honeymoon. 


All in all we had an absolute blast at the wedding surrounded by friends we've had for years.  In the craziness of life, I am so thankful to still have these people always in my corner.    Not much in life can be better than that. 





Happy weekend! 

 
 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Busy Mom Reading More in 2018: Book Review


 

Hi everyone.  If you read my goal 2018 update last week, you might be already aware that I wanted to read a book a month in 2018 or a total of 12.  So far I am doing pretty well and have completed five books in total, am almost done listening to two audiobooks and am reading my sixth.  Below you'll find a couple of 5 star books, a couple of 4 star books, and a book I didn't even finish.  Eek.  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.


☆☆☆☆   Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham  

 

If you’ve read my blog over the past year, you know I love Gilmore Girls and am now sharing the series with my girls as well.  Who wouldn’t want have the mother-daughter relationship of Lorelai and Rory?!? I picked this book up over the Christmas holidays, so technically it was my first book completed in  2018 .  It was an easy read, compiled of short stories from Lauren Graham’s life from an early age, to birth and growth of the Gilmore Girls, to the challenges that many face in Hollywood.  At times all I could hear was Lorelai in my head, and other times it was what I would assume is the  real Lauren.  Excellent choice for a beach or road trip read this summer.



☆☆☆☆  The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin


Our book club kicked off 2018 with this book, The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.  This is a book that helps you discover which of the four tendencies, upholder, obliger, rebel or questioner, you most likely resemble.   My best friend declared me an upholder even before I had a chance to research what the book was about or take the online quiz  (take it if you haven't done it yet, it's FREE)..  The author describes each of the tendencies  with insight, hilarious examples and backs it with research. Though I clearly identified with the upholder tendency, I also have large pieces that fall into the obliger category, specifically when it comes to working in a primarily collaborative workplace, where going full steam ahead by yourself would result in little getting accomplished, not to mention a complete breakdown of the collaborative process.  I didn't give it a five stars because I feel like it's not super simple to just fall into one category like the book sometimes reads. 



☆☆☆☆☆ The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

 

Finally five stars and not because I choose this book for book club.   Historical fiction, or regional fiction (not sure if this is a real category but a story that takes place in a country/culture I know little about such as the Kite Runner), have  become my favorite reads as an adult in my 30's.  The story takes place between WWI and WWII in France, with the main characters coming together in an unlikely search of a young woman.  Throughout their journey the story of heroic women comes to live as they  became secret agents during WWI.  Everyone in the book club LOVED this book.  The characters are rich, interesting, troubled, heroic and compelling. 

 

 

☆☆☆☆☆ I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

 

 

 

Giving it five stars, like the Alice Network, but for completely different reasons.  This is a fast-paced, criminal, suspense novel that develops all  the characters fully and makes you sit at the edge of your seat.  There are very few books now days that I will stay up past 11p.m. to  read, but this one did.  I read it in less then a week, which is quick for me.  Within the first few pages a death happens and your are thrown into a race for truth and justice, though the truth is often not what it seems.

 
 

☆☆☆  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach  to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

 

 

 

Usually, I am all over books like this but the first couple chapters almost had me throwing in the towel.  I swear and am rarely offended, but the word was used as a gimmick and it got old very quickly and became super annoying.  That all being said I am glad I pushed through because it became much more thought-provoking and less vulgar. There were some key lessons that I took away from the book is are:

 "Do Something" Principle (p. 158).  Even when you are feeling stuck, or overwhelmed, just pick a place to start and get moving forward in whatever, rather than just spinning.  I love this idea and try to use it whenever I am overwhelmed b the sheer amount of work that's on my plate.

 

"Action isn't just the effect of motivation; it's also the cause of it." (p. 160)

 
 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

 

 

I quit reading it around page 235 out of 600+.  No review really except that it’s long.  The characters are more interesting then I originally thought they would be, and the writing was dense but draws you in.  My demise came when I left the book for over a week, and just didn’t find it compelling enough to return to, especially with over 400 pages to go.  😊  I think I’ll watch the Nextflix version instead. 

What do you do when a book just doesn’t draw you completely in?

Do you jump ship? 

Do you push on? 

How long before you throw in the towel?

 
 

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Rocking the Pencil Skirt


 

I love a good pencil skirt.  Every time I wear a pencil skirt, I feel like a powerful, intelligent, witty, sexy woman.  When I am wearing a pencil skirt and blouse, I feel like I am channeling  my inner Jessica, Donna and Rachel from Suits at the same time.  A powerful combination. 

 

  





I usually don't spend a ton of money on clothing but a solid, black, pencil skirt never goes out of style so it's worth the investment to get one that fits you super well.  I generally prefer a high-waist pencil skirt so I can tuck my blouse in, but I know that not everyone is comfortable having their belly so exposed and that's a personal preference (disclaimer, I also have those days and there is not way I'd be caught tucking my skirt in and will likely be wearing a flowy tunic to hide the bloating). If you prefect to wear a top that isn't tucked in, I would stray away from super long or flowy tops.  Keep the top so it's hits you at the hip and helps define your shape.  Show off your curves ladies and be proud!   Either way, a nice structured pencil skirt always looks polished and feminine for any occasion and it's such an easy last minute look. 

 

Now I want to acknowledge and celebrate a blogging friend Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood on her birthday.  Happy birthday girl!   Ada has supported me and featured me on her blog a few times over the last couple of years.  She loves to play with clothes, colors and textures and brings in to life every week on Thursday over at her blog.  Hope over to the blog to see what she is wearing and what many other ladies, across the ages and the world, are wearing. 

 

A Message from Ada: 

"Every year that I have been blogging, since I became a mom, I thought it would be fun to have a Blog Birthday Party on my blog, including other fashionistas and blogging friends. It started in 2013 and this is the 6th year of this fun birthday tradition. When I first started it in 2013 as a beginner, I invited my closest 5-6 blogging buddies who came to visit, read and comment my blog on a daily basis. Over the last 3 years this fun party has grown and it has become a two-day celebration. This year I am joined by another 20 fashionistas who I am lucky to call my friends and who are all super stylish to boots. A lot of these ladies have been celebrating my birthday with me on the blog other years too and I am very glad and flattered to see them return. Thank you beauties for making this tradition super fun, joyful and fashionable once again! Cheers with a Pinot Noir! Here is to another year of getting older and hopefully wiser!!"


Onto the Link-Up Birthday Party!
 







Monday, 30 April 2018

Continental Drift: Goals 2018 Update & Link-Up

 

Welcome to our Continental Drift linkup! The reason we are  dabbling at a link up was that we wanted to connect and learn from bloggers from all across the world about their passions and lifestyle.  We will host the  Continental Drift link-up the first of every month.  The concept for myself and my fellow hosts (Mutton StyleSydney Shop Girl ) is that we, the hosts, will write a post about our life on our continent/Country/state over the past month (hence the name) and our favorite thing from the month.

 

Starting June 1st we will have a prompt that we are writing about.  You are welcome to join us using the prompt  or link-up with  any family friendly topic that you like,  be it DIY, cooking, sewing, crafts, lifestyle, de-cluttering, traveling, moving homes, fashion, style, beauty, make up, etc. Your hosts to this linkup come from UK, Canada and Australia.  Enjoy getting to know each other!

 
 
 
 

2018 is over  a quarter completed and I wanted to revisit my goals for the year both personally and on the blog.  I find that when I sit down to revisit my goals it paints a clear picture of what I've done and where I need to put more time and energy.  Though I generally stick to whatever goals I originally outlined for myself, I have learned that  it's important to readjust goals accordingly and I don't believe in doing stuff unless I really want to.  Anyway let's take a look at the 5 goals I had set for myself at the beginning of 2018.


 


1.  Swimming.  I am proud to announce that I completed a 10 week swimming course!!!  I learned to do  the front crawl pretty well, the back crawl okay, and the breath stroke and the whip kick not at all :)  I am now going to the pool once and week to swim laps and am able to do approximately 500m.  At some point, I would love to try out a mini triathlon but don't feel there yet.  My goal it to continue the swimming throughout the summer by trying it out in the lake once a week.  (see readjusting my goal for the summer)

 

 

2.  The "Wearing My Closet Challenge" in January was a hit for me, see post here.  I didn't buy anything new and I also lasted through February as well!!!  Recently I purchased a few pieces for spring/summer such as this bright yellow kimono, along with many other pieces that I will be featuring on the blog every Friday and on my IG (below are a few of the outfits that have been posted on IG).  Currently, I am sticking to my budget of $100/month, except for my trip to Portland, but I don't think I really need much else to get me through spring/summer at this point so I am thinking I'll be doing a no shopping May and probably July/August.


 

3.  Reading.  I am doing pretty well on my goal of reading 12 books for the year.  Blog post coming with my full book review next Wednesday, May 9th!

 

4.  Cooking.  I loved trying out new recipes from Hello Fresh, full review of the service and recipes found here.  I also have tried some great new recipes from my Yum & Yummer by Greta Podleski that I received for Christmas.  My two favorite recipes have been the Double Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake (super easy and absolute goodness in every bite), and the Sensational Spinach Salad that I've been taking regularly to work for lunch. 


 
 

 

 

5. Family Time.  We have spent tons of family time together over the first part of the year, hitting the slopes at a local hill, swimming, having cabin time, etc.  One of my specific family time goals was to get back into reading with the girls and  I've definitely made time to read with Anya since the new year.  We are trying to get back into a routine of having her read out loud to us right after supper and us read to her at bedtime.  Halie goes off and reads her own books but for Easter she received the book Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle that her and I are going to start reading together before we go see the movie.






As far as my goals, I will continue to make time to read daily with one of the girls, as I feel we are still struggling with the routine.  I am also happily reading a lot more and find tracking my books very helpful in ensuring that I carve out time to just read instead of watching TV in the evening.




Now please follow each of your hosts Bojana of Bodaciousblog, Sydney Shop Girl and Mutton Style  on at least one platform (Instagram, Twitter or blog) and comment on their blogs.  It would be great if you could read and comment on the blog above yours in the link up.  You might make a new friend. Please also do add a link back to our blogs on your posts to help the linkup grow.  Thanks for stopping by, we look forward to learning more about everyone!

 

An InLinkz Link-up





Friday, 27 April 2018

Hello Brightness: Yellow Kimono & Straw Bag

 

Spring  has finally arrived!!!  Last week we began the week with a snow storm and four days letter we were into full on spring with a balmy +19C.  All the animals, humans, in hibernation stormed the streets in celebration of the spring that we were all worried would never arrive!!!




Like many others we took advantage of the weather to get outdoors, get our scooters/bikes out and head downtown to walk by our beautiful river.  I of course took advantage of the weather, location and my new found spring energy to get a few outfit shots in.   

 

I can't think of a better color then the bright yellow to welcome spring!   I had been searching for a yellow kimono for quite some time and stumbled upon this one at Winners of all places.  Honestly, I had given up on finding it locally when to my surprise there it was.   I absolutely fell in love with it and immediately snatched it up.  I've already wore it over a tunic, a white tee, and I think it'll look fantastic with jean shorts during the summer. 



 
 





My other favorite spring/summer addition has been this Zara straw bag.  I really wanted the bamboo one form Amazon but getting it shipped to Canada was $$$ so I found this great alternative.  Zara now has a great return policy and I was able to purchase a few items without worrying about whether they would be the right size, since knew I could ship them back free of charge.  The purse is quite large and I am able to fit my wallet, make-up bag and there was still room for more stuff.

 

I hope that wherever you live you are enjoying the spring weather too.  This weekend I plan on having some patio drinks and getting outdoors with the family as much as possible.  What are your weekend plans?


Shop This Look:

Kimono:  Similar H & M; Similar #2

Straw Bag Zara

Guess Sunglasses (similar)

Friday, 20 April 2018

Traveling Light: Spring Packing List for Portland


 

If you read my post on Wednesday, you know I enjoyed a trip to the city of Portland, Oregon, last week.  I am still flying high from he excitement (yes, I don't get out much).  Over the years I've learned to be much more intentional with my wardrobe including what I pack when going on a trip.  I was tracking the weather in Portland and knew it was similar to Vancouver and Seattle.  I also knew that I could do office casual for our Reading the World conference and that we would likely go out in the evenings. 

 

I didn't take outfit photographs on this trip so you'll just have to imagine most of them but since the weather is still chilly and it drizzles most of the time I took:

 

Footwear: booties and flats (I mostly wore the booties because they kept my feet warm & dry)

Shirts: white tee, blouse, tunic (that layers under the kimono/blazer)

Bottoms: leggings & jeans (because they go with everything and don't ever appear dirty)

Layering Pieces: kimono/cardigan of your choice; blazer that is neutral (I choose navy)

Dress:  cute dress that layers under either the blazer/cardigan  (because you'll want to go out & look fab!) 

Outerwear: trench coat (professional and fairly rain resistant)










Another thing I was sure I wanted to  do was take in the city sights and natural beauty by either running or hiking. So I also organized a wardrobe that would allow me to do both of those activities in style and comfort. 


 



Though I created a minimalist list of items that could fit into a carry-on in theory, with make-up, hair products, accessories and a need for space in the bag so that I can shop, I still took my big suitcase.  Looking forward to sharing a few of the items that I did pick up while in Portland, though I kept it to a minimum.