Thursday, September 30, 2010

#82. Cultivate your own style

I recently took a trip to visit my younger brother where we went to a nice restaurant, an outdoor wine festival, and a pub, and let me tell you it took everything in me not to allow the ‘fashion victims’ to see the reaction on my face to what they were wearing. At one point I witnessed a guy (who had to be over 19 to be in the bar), wearing skinny jeans, sneakers, a loose plaid men’s work shirt and a backwards ball cap. At that point I messaged a friend and asked what the world is coming to if fashion sense is lost on our youth?

The ‘look’ made me cringe, and no look has ever gotten quite the reaction – is this me getting old?

Then, I glanced at the door and saw what appeared to be a girl squeezed into a men’s black sock. The dress was SO tiny her bits and pieces were hanging out & it was COLD that night. I motioned to my brother to look at what should be considered prostitution, and he educated me on the term ‘turtle dress’. Turtle dress what? Is what I was thinking – it’s because her snapper was hanging out. It disgusted me that this type of dress is so popular it has its own term. Really, what type of guy are these chicks trying to pick up? They live in that city to get a college or university education, so I’m thinking I need to go teach a class on ‘how not to look like a hoe’ 101.

Me being old again? I hope not.

Now except for my jeans and a solid colored fitted t-shirt phase where my sister referred to me as ‘plain jane’, I do think I somewhat pay attention to fashion. However, when I went into my closet to figure out what to wear to this ‘hang out with people 6-8 years younger than myself’ weekend, I had a hard time finding something that would do. I wanted to wear my new grey boots, but standing for hours at a festival, and a ½ hour walk home after the bar ruled those out. Next I think jeans, jeans are a safe bet. I went through what had to be 8 pairs and ended up wearing a pair I owned when I was 23. A fitted plaidish shirt (plaid is in), and a bench jacket, that was way too thin to be outdoors all night, oh and sketchers that are good for walking in – and as far as I know, I think I fit in. Well, maybe not compared to the turtle dresses, but that ship has sailed, aged, and capsized.

I would have to say my style is dressy, yet casual. I buy items that can crossover from work into nights out. I’m starting a boot collection in multiple colors for the winter, and I seem to have an addiction for jackets. I JUST bought this one from danier on my lunch:

You’ll rarely catch me in a dress, will always catch me in skirts, and never in red or pink (complexion won’t let it happen). I hate pantyhose, avoid panty lines at all costs, and never carry an umbrella – I don’t melt. 90% of the time you’ll find me done up, but on weekends I love jeans, sweaters, no makeup and ball caps. I go with the flow, and attempt to stay current, but who has the time?

What about you? How do you stay on top of things fashion wise? And how can we rid the world of these ‘turtle dresses’ and teach these young girls class & self respect?

Monday, September 27, 2010

#92. & #72. Tie a few knots & Sleep in a hammock.

T has always made fun of my knot tying abilities – but really why do I need such skills? I don’t own a boat that needs to be docked, or a dog that requires being tied to a tree. So other than my maybe once per year camping trip I never have to tie knots.

The same thing happens every year. We get to the campsite, steak out our trees and put up our hammocks – we each have our own hammock as we are not so good at sharing. Every year T comments about my knots and states that he is not lying in my hammock as it is unsafe. Do you think I consciously do this on purpose? YES. Because I always get the prime location, and I’m not sharing that either.

Please note that my hammock has never fallen, and I have spent hours in it reading.

On one trip we had and adjacent site to friends of ours who brought up a rather small dog. I was peacefully reading in my hammock when a daddy-long-legs landed on my face. That’s right – MY FACE. I whisked it off only to have it land on my arm. So of course I freaked out – there was jumping and screaming and clothes being torn off - of course pure entertainment for T and our friends. When I finally calmed down enough to explain to them what had actually happened (T hates spiders almost as much as I do) T feels something brush his leg. Of course he freaks out and kicks his leg, and ends up punting this poor small innocent dog half way across the campsite! It’s funny now, but at the time he had to apologize over and over and over for kicking their dog.

I now look for trees with a higher canopy so the chances of another spider attack is slim to none.

We camped at The Pinery Provincial Park a few weeks back and here are my excellent knots:

And as you can’t take a picture of yourself sleeping in a hammock – here I am as a kid. I had wandered off long enough for my parents to come looking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#77. Memorize your favourite smells & surround yourself with them

Had to wait until now for this one as my absolute favourite smell on the planet is the smell of burning leaves. Odd I know, I never claimed normalcy. There is something about that smell that brings me back to my childhood and growing up on or around farms. It also helps that fall is my favourite season, so of course the smell would be associated.

My second favourite smell would probably be automobile exhaust (explains a lot doesn’t it?), and within automobiles, snowmobile exhaust to be precise. It reminds me of my dad and winters in Kincardine. I remember being pulled in my sled behind the snowmobile to get to elementary school – this must be where it all started.

It is hard to surround myself with these scents as one is seasonal and lighting up what little leaves we have in our yard would probably be frowned upon, and hanging out at gas stations tends to creep people out. There is a gas station on my way to work where the attendant looks like a younger George Clooney, I hang out there for as long as possible for two reasons!

If I have to pick a scent for candles & soaps in my house, I will usually choose a vanilla. However, I’m not really picky.

The smell I absolutely hate is the smell of the landfill that this stupid city decided to expand and take on trash from Toronto. While driving on either of the two major highways into or out of the city if the wind is blowing in the right direction it’ll turn your stomach. I’m not sure what politicians thought this was a good idea, as it’s not a ‘welcoming’ or ‘come back again’ smell – but I’m sure a few people’s pockets were lined.

Anyway, on a side note I'll share my favorite poem about the wonderfulness of burning leaves:



Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.

They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke

Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.

Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!

A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites

On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.

The last hollyhock's fallen tower is dust;

All the spices of June are a bitter reek,

All the extravagant riches spent and mean.

All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;

Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild

Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.

Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,

Time for the burning of days ended and done,

Idle solace of things that have gone before:

Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;

Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.

The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.

They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise

From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,

And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;

The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.

Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.

Nothing is certain, only the certain spring

Monday, September 13, 2010

#90. Make a killer cocktail

Do you like raspberries? Do you like lemon? Do you like Vodka? Then I have a cocktail for you!

I was killing time in the lunchroom at work and came across a LCBO magazine with pages and pages of yummy alcoholic recipes- but the one that caught my eye happened to be non-alcoholic. I was pissed, who puts an eye grabbing picture and recipe for a non-alcoholic beverage on the back glossy cover of a magazine for liquor?! That’s prime ad space.., fine I get social responsibility and all that…, but come on, it looked so good. So I decided vodka would make the drink better.

Here is what you need:

1. 26er of Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka

2. Freshly squeezed lemon juice (if you’re being fancy) if not the bottled kind is fine.

3. Raspberry juice

I make these cocktails by the pitcher because it makes the whole process easier. One pitcher takes ½ the bottle of vodka, an entire bottle of raspberry juice, and squeezes of lemon juice (to your liking). Raspberry juice is incredibly hard to find but I have found a great one by SUN-RYPE.

There are tons of raspberry/cranberry concoctions, but to me they just don’t cut it. There is also raspberry juice frozen from a can which is equally as good and the cheaper choice– off the top of my head I’m thinking it's minute maid. Pour all of this into a pitcher with some ice and serve in whatever glass you prefer. You can make it fancier by adding fresh raspberries to each drink.

Now, I would love you show you all this concoction made up perfectly with beautiful pictures of it taken, but after ‘taste testing’ the batch you’re not really thinking about your camera – so you get these beautiful pictures of the batch (or 2) I made while camping. NOTE the amount of alcohol as you don’t taste it, but you sure as hell feel it the next morning :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

#21. Find the Perfect Red Lipstick

First let me tell you that I don’t wear lipstick ever. I don’t wear lip gloss; I don’t even use Chap Stick – unless I have to in the winter. I also am under the strong belief that red lipstick makes me look like a hooker. 

My cousin’s wedding is quickly approaching and my dress is black & white, so I figured I’d wear my red heels (yes I can pull those off), and that I’d find some red lipstick to top off the outfit. I’ve had the dress since May and figured lipstick couldn’t be that hard.

I looked for some kind of inspiration in other blondes that wear red lipstick – you know Gwen Stefani, or Scarlett Johansson, or Christina Aguilera. Scarlett goes so far as to say she uses red lipstick for therapy. I myself think wine, running, or shopping is therapy – but if it’s that good – I had to test it out for myself.

I am not frugal but I am against running out and buying every red lipstick available just to try it on, what does that leave me with – testers. Testers in drug stores, department stores, and grocery superstores. Where are all of those places? In Public. When you look like a hooker do you really want to be out in public?(unless of course you a first year university student) When you try on a red lipstick, look at yourself in the mirror and decide Bozo the clown can pull it off better than you can, you immediately wipe it off – only red lipstick stains. So the brightness is gone, but you now look like a hooker the next morning, or Courtney Love.

Did I mention family pictures are being taken at this wedding? Pictures that are going to be around and framed in family member’s homes – I know this because the last family picture taken 10+ years ago still haunts me. So if I’m going to pull off red lipstick I have to do it 10+ years of trends good until the next if ever picture is taken. That’s pressure.

So I get it all narrowed down, decide on a Revlon lipstick as when I’m only likely going to wear this lipstick once, maybe twice, I’m not spending an arm and a leg on it. I have it in my hand, I’m wandering the store waiting for a prescription to be filled before I can check out when I wander down the hair dye aisle and remember that I’m having my hair colored the night before the wedding, so it’s quite possible the lipstick won’t match.

Wasted hours and numerous appearances looking like a hooker for nothing, lipstick went back on the shelf, and I’m giving up. There is no way in a small town after 8pm on a Friday (when my hair appointment is over), that I will find the perfect red lipstick that will look good in a photograph for 10 years – impossible.

Another blogger posted pictures of herself as a blonde as a redhead and it gave me the guts to finally do it (while I’m still young). So instead of red lipstick, I’ll have red hair, and for the next 10 years when I look at the family picture I just might kick myself :)