Is it Spring (Décor) Yet?

This time of year is super boring. I got back from Mexico a couple weeks ago, my tan is faded and the Christmas frenzy has long since passed (I haven’t taken my Christmas décor down yet, isn’t that ridiculous?) I’m actually so embarrassed and just text my roommate to plan a date to do it. I took my wreaths down so at least my neighbours think I have my life together. But I don’t. I just feel extremely unmotivated this time of year. I mean I COULD spend an evening tearing down the winter wonderland that is my home, OR I could turn on the Christmas tree lights, drink a bottle of Cono Sur Viognier (so cheap, so good), and catch up on episodes of modern family. IF YOU DON’T THINK THE LATTER SOUNDS WAY BETTER NEVER COME BACK TO THIS BLOG.

In search of motivation I am doing a couple fun things to spice up the worst time of the year ever. I have started a run club at my office and I am taking French lessons. The goal of both is to be overall a little sexier come spring. A girl can dreamAnyway, another thing I am really excited about, that fortunately is contingent upon getting my ass in gear and taking the garland off my headboard, is spring decorating. I’m excited for the days to start getting longer, the sun to fill my apartment later and to bring a ton of fresh color into my décor.

In a recent post I talked about my affinity for gold. The love is alive and well. In fact I would say I have renewed my vow to gold as I cruise pinterest and see how beautifully it transitions from the warm reds and browns of winter to the bright purples, oranges and greens of spring. I’ve got some strong influences guiding me for the upcoming season; via my friend Whitney‘s influence, I am really loving fun art deco style / chinoiserie inspired prints and anything that feels like it would look perfect poolside in Palm Springs. This site has the most amazing prints, I want custom calling cards and address labels immediately and I am OBSESSED with the custom lucite trays. I’m also craving bright cushions in fun prints, which is a carry over from last year. Cushions are such an easy way to add a splash of colour and really change the look and feel of a room for only a few bucks. In a frugal DIY attempt I made my own cushion covers last year but the material wasn’t perfect. So I am on the hunt! Where do you shop for well priced cushions / cushion covers? 

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Juice Cleanse Part One

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. It’s always nuts around the holiday and my laptop has been a genuine nightmare so I will be boxing day shopping for a new one and then I will be blogging all up in your grill, all day, like err day. But I wanted to drop a quick post. I am on day 2 of a 6 day juice cleanse! When I am complete I will be posting all my shopping lists recipes and plans so be sure to check back and perhaps incorporate it into a new years resolution!

It’s going great so far. I’m definitely struggling in the office around lunch when everyone is heating up delish food, but yesterday I went to my gym for a 30 minute steam and today I went for a brisk walk up to Robson and back to keep the hunger pains at bay! Rumor has it the initial struggles (hunger, caffeine headache, etc) wear off after day 3, so I am looking forward to that! And to letting you all know how it pans out!

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all my fresh produce ready to be juiced

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the first three days juiced and ready to go!

Will be back soon with an update! Hope everyone is ready and excited for the Holidays!

Gold Rush

Whenever my Mom and I go to HomeSense together I get extreme anxiety. My Mom is an AMAZING interior designer and rips through that place like a bat out of hell. She tries to buy me anything and everything she thinks will look cute in my apartment which is obviously very nice, but also very overwhelming because she’s a whirlwind and I’m a planner. I need to think about how things will fit with the rest of my decor, their longevity, if I can get a better deal (I’m a huge bargain hunter) and what my plans are for the space etc. etc. I source almost everything online before I purchase it. This way I can get all the deets, look at it while i’m in my house (genius) and be really confident when I go to buy. It’s also because I’m lazy and returning things is the worst thing in the world. EXAMPLE: My Mom tried to purchase rug a few weeks ago on a whim and it didn’t work, so the next day she went back  and exchanged it, brought a new one home didn’t like it, ended up returning it again and going rugless in that room, straight up brazilian.. after all that effort! I’m exhausted just thinking about it and may never buy a rug again as a superfluous act of solidarity. This is for you Mom!

ANYWAY. Accessories are always the easiest purchase. They are generally cheaper and ergo less of a commitment, they can be seasonal and they really add feeling and finishing to a room. Right now I’m into gold. Silver is out. Gold adds such an elegant, modern feeling to a space and you don’t need much, just a few pieces to add a bit of shimmer shammer (there is for sure a 99 cent lip gloss named ‘shimmer shammer’ out there somewhere). Also, it’s neutral enough it works in almost any space.

These are a few gold pieces that I love love love right now.

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1. These sweet candle-holders from Crate&Barrel are a perfect way to add a touch of gold.

2. I am OBSESSED with gold cutlery. I think the trick is to keep it matte and super simple, if it’s at all ornate it can look dated. This set by Cutipol has nailed it. With the holidays fast approaching what better time to invest in gold cutlery?

3. This decorative ampersand is available at The Cross (which is where I would like to go when I die) and is exactly what I’m talking about when I say “finishing a room”. Which is really just a tricky way of justifying buying stuff that has absolute no real life value or purpose at all but is so pretty. It would look so sweet on a mantel mixed with some leaning photos, on a bedside table of a happy couple, on a shelf that houses red wine and stemware (caught that? can I get an amen?) really it would look cute anywhere.

4. I love this gold vase by Christiane Lemieux. The fact that it isn’t solid balances the size perfectly. I love that you would get a hint of green stems through it if filled with fluers.  

5. This end table is so cool, it offers a very chic Art Deco feeling that is so popular right now and I need it in my apartment immediately.

6. A tray is such a great addition to any coffee table/ottoman  situation. This one would look great in a living room or on a bedside table with some fresh flowers and a candle. It would also be perfect on my bar housing my crystal decanters.

Check out my WANT and INSIDE boards on Pinterest to see more of my favorite things!

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Pretty Bird

It’s been a busy week full of late nights and early mornings, and if there is one thing I know for certain about myself it’s that I desire, nay, require sleep. I love it. I will happily tuck myself into bed while friends are out partying if it means I get to hold up nine fingers when I start counting the hours until I have to wake up. To me, nine hours rest, is the ultimate life win. And yes, I have seen the picture of a young brunette jumping in puddles or the pretty blonde running on the beach with eloquent hand writing across it that reads “you’ll never regret the things you did, only those you didn’t” or some kind of yolo crap. But believe me when I say I DO REGRET some of those things I do. When I am hungover at work remembering the bottle service at celebrities that seemed reasonable on a Tuesday night, that led to the aggressive twerking performance I gave my co-workers and the super cute tights and sweatshirt I am wearing in my office on Wednesday as a result, I’m not smiling fondly thinking “oh Wendy… life in your twenties! live it up you wild card!” I’m thinking, “I would sell my soul to go back in time and watch 2 hours worth of The Good Wife in my apartment and be in bed by 10.” But alas, those nights happen, and they are fun, and a week later I usually am pretty glad I went out and had a good time. But those nights along with just normal busy life stuff can often lead to less than my desired 9 hours which means I am setting my alarm as late as possible, which requires an absolutely dialed morning routine.

I love makeup. Always have, always will. On evenings and weekends I love to play with eye shadows and lipsticks and all kinds of different looks, but on those busy mornings where my hair is going to be in a top knot, my outfit is going to be basic and i’ll be flying out the door in 30 minutes, my makeup will never be sacrificed. These are products I use religiously every day.

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The key to almost everything in life is a good foundation

And makeup is no different. In my opinion the foundation is the absolute pinnacle of wearing makeup. What’s the point in painting if the canvas looks like shit? It also comprises over half of the total time spent doing my makeup. My two favorite products in life are the 1. MAC Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer and 2. MAC Studio Fix Powder.  They are both very opaque so not much is needed. You never want it to look caked on. These combined provide a flawless finish and make the rest of your makeup application a breeze.

3. MAC Bronzing Powder I use this year round. In the summer it’s great to amp up your sun kissed look and year round it’s great for contouring. Just make sure it’s not shimmery. 4. Benefit Brow Zings Defining my eyebrows changed my life. That’s a slight dramatization, but it really changed my makeup routine. Defined brows make you look instantly more polished and they frame your face and you will never go back. It takes some playing around to get comfortable with but seriously do it. I always find that the women who work at benefit counters are SO helpful and will walk you through how to use any product. Also, I always ask for a few of their disposable mascara brushes which you can use to comb through your brows before and after adding the wax to help shape them! 5. They’re Real! Benefit Mascara This mascara is amazing and caused me to no longer bother with eyeliner for my daytime look because it’s just that good. And lastly 6. C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Gloss I have actually probably 20 of these in every purse, bag, and coat pocket. They are so minty and shiny and fresh and they come in a variety of sheer colors if you don’t love the clear, as well as cinnamon and other flava flavs if mint isn’t your thing.

I won’t drone on for too much longer, but of almost equal importance to the product is the tools used for the application of it. These are the 3 brushes you will always find in my bag! Always remember to clean your brushes regularly. Especially those used for liquid foundation and concealer!

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In order: The 190 Foundation Brush for my concealer and liquid foundation if I’m using it. The 116 for blush, bronzer and contouring. And the 182 Buffer Brush to apply an all over dusting of Studio Fix powder. You can see those, and all MAC brushes here.

What are you favorite products and makeup rituals?

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CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE

For those of you who don’t know, that is a reference to a relatively inappropriate Rhianna song, but it has been stuck in my head for the past few days as I have been spoiled rotten this past week for my 26th birthday. Yes. 26. I am unwed, childless, I rent, I’m 26 and still make a HUGE deal out of my birthday. Every year I think it will be a quiet event as I get older and wiser, but I LOVE birthdays, and every year, without fail, I end up making such a big deal about the count down to my ‘big day’ I by default intimidate everyone around me into pulling out all the stops. This year was no different and as a result this post is kind of a multi-review/story telling/gloating? kind of post, about what a lucky chick I am. Let’s start at the beginning…

THE PARTY 

Because my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, and the following weekend (this weekend) is thanksgiving, I decided to have my birthday party the Saturday prior. The Friday night before I went to visit my mom at our vacation house, where she gifted me a new DSLR camera as my birthday gift from my family, which is how I am able to supply all these lovely pics!

Saturday night arrived and my girlfriends Katie and Kristen came over, locked me in my bathroom while I was curling my hair, and did up my kitchen with balloons, candy, candles, cupcakes, champagne and a few of my fav snacks. It was SO cute and so sweet!

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We drank champagne, had a great dance party and headed to my friend Sharans where we were surprised by tons of friends with more decorations and champagne, organized by my awesome brother. After that we danced the night away at Portside and wound up eating french fries at Seigels Bagels at some unearthly hour. It was perfect.

The following morning my friend Kelly took me to brunch at Abigails Party. It was the perfect morning after cure. Abigails is bar-none my favorite place to brunch in the Kitsilano / West-side area, but they also have an amazing prohibition inspired cocktail list if you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink in the evening. I highly recommend it! If you are going for brunch, get there early, it is a popular spot for good reason and almost always a bit of a wait!

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After that it was pretty much business as usual until my actual birthday on Wednesday, where I was feeling the love all over again. My team decorated my desk and covered it in confetti and candy, my brother bought me coffee and came by with flowers, and my boyfriend, who is currently in Belgium, had the most amazing bouquet delivered to me. My very sweet girlfriend Denise took me to lunch at my favorite sushi place, Kita no Donburi then there was cheesecake in the afternoon (purchased at Trees Coffee – which makes the best cheesecake EVER as well as the most amazing spinach and feta scones) and after work everyone stuck around for a few drinks in our office lounge. The moral of the story is I have some amazing people in my life and I don’t need to eat any candy or cake for the next year!

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 my decorated desk and fluers from my bro

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Denise enjoying tea at Kita no Donburi

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a birthday delivery from the best boyfriend on earth

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drinks with Nikki and Andrea

At the end of the day I headed home and enjoyed champagne with a few good girlfriends and received a couple sweet gifts including The Man Repeller novel from my roommate Arielle which I am so excited to read!

It was a great few days, and I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend in White Rock with my family at our vacation house!

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my apartment looking vibrant with birthday flowers!

What do you look forward to on your birthday?

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Pre-Spent Paycheques

As things start to really cool down in Vancouver I find myself firstly, cruising redtag for cheap last minute vacations, but more realistically cruising the internet for warm winter wear. This results in every payday being accompanied by a shopping list of almost equivalent value. Here’s what’s on my shopping list for October:

WEEKENDS –  When I say weekends, I don’t mean you’ll never see me in jeans on a Saturday, but this is my go to uniform for running errands, Sunday walks and coffee runs. The first layer would be my go-to Lulu Lemon Wunder Unders topped with the Karma Long Sleeve running shirt which is my base for any warm/active layering. After that I am lusting after new runners and at the top of my list are the Nike Free 5.0’s which are randomly available at Aritzia now. I also have my eye on a hooded puffer vest; this one available at H&M for only $34.95 fits the bill. Lastly topping any outfit with a good pair of Ray-Bans not only makes for an easier weekend make-up routine, but also steps up the style of an otherwise pretty basic and practical outfit!

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MONDAY-FRIDAY –  I work for an eCommerce company which is awesome for a million different reasons, but one for sure is the laid back dress code. Here is a standard weekday outfit for me, it’s pulled together enough for my office and easily transitions into drinks and/or dinner after work. On a day to day basis you will find me in my Mackage leather jacket but after this upcoming purchase that will change. This double-breasted coat from H&M is exactly what I have been looking for in a longer coat that will work perfectly with jeans and booties as well as over a dress and heels. Next, I’m lusting over light ankle-length destroyed denim and this pair of Current/Elliot’s is aces. My girlfriend Sharan purchased this top from Aritzia a couple weeks ago and it is the PERFECT Vancouver hybrid. Silk and plaid. Maybe it’s the West Coast (Best Coast) in me but I LOVE a good plaid top. I think I have gotten more wear out of my boyfriend flannel than any shirt in my life, and this silk version is the perfect way to step up my plaid game. (This top would also look awesome with leather leggings.) A good boot is necessary for the rainy winter months and because I am cursed with bigger calves, an expertly cut ankle boot is VITAL. This pair from Aldo is a great height and the slight dip in the front keeps my ankles looking like little baby deer ankles. Lastly I am obsessed with Jenni Kayne flats. They are SO chic and the perfect option for a day sans rain or a night out where I have a date with the dance floor that my heels can’t handle. This pointed flat shoe from Zara is an awesome, more affordable, option!

What’s on your fall/winter shopping list?

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Autumn Fashion Idols

I couldn’t figure out if I should write this on what I am wearing most this fall, what I wish I was wearing most this fall, or what I really really wish I was wearing most this fall (which I just accidentally wrote as “most of all” – touche subconscious) Anyway in the wise words of Drake “started from the bottom now we here,” Today I’ll share with you my creme de la creme fall inspiration and over the next week work backwards to what’s on my realistic wish list and then to what my current live in fall pieces are!

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Nicole Richie… she is always one of my go-to inspos. the sunglasses, the print, the shoes. aces.

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this is obviously not very wearable but i love the sheer with the heavy knit on top and the pockets. im also obsessed with high slits and any kind of asymmetrical skirt.

Imagespiced up skinny jeans and an oversized white button down. i love the hit of red and gold on this fall classic.

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 this is the perfect summer/fall crossover outfit. no further explanation necessary.

Who are your style icons?

Sugar + Spice + Everything Nice

I came home from work the other day to find cook books all over the kitchen and living room and it only took me about 2 seconds to realize what had happened… my roommate Arielle had officially joined team Fall. There is something about this season in particular that has perfectly paired foods. Sure certain foods and flavors affiliate with certain seasons but fall food is exclusive to fall. I mean you won’t find anyone eating pumpkin pie in April because that would be insane.

I’ve been a vegetarian for about 20 years so I thought I would share with you a few veggie friendly recipes and blogs that I love and will be enjoying over the next couple months!

1. Vegan Chili

This is always the very first thing I want to make when the weather takes a turn. It’s warm, satisfying and definitely ranks as a comfort food. Not to mention it’s perfect for working girls to freeze and heat for quick and easy lunches. (plus its almost impossible to screw up) Here are two I’ll be trying:

This Jamie Oliver one for sure. I LOVE the idea of having sweet potatoes in it. Yum.

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Also this Whole Foods spicy veggie chili. Spicy chili is where its at.

2. SOUP

I recently stumbled across this Vegan food blog lunchboxbunch.com and found this awesome article on fall recipes. There were two featured soups and I couldn’t pick so I’m sharing them both!

Rustic 3 Squash Soup and Creamy Saffron Cauliflower whoa.

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3. Heirloom Tomato Tart

I pinned this heirloom tomato tart almost two months ago from joythebaker and haven’t stopped thinking about it. This definitely requires a bit more skill than other recipes, but it sure looks worth it.

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4. All the Red Wine

This is where the ‘everything nice’ comes in. I’m a white wine drinker year round sans sept-nov. Red wine is SO cozy and I am SO poor so here are a couple of my fav budget reds!

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1. Finca Los Primos – Malbec     2.The Show – Malbec      3.Gabbiano – Chianti

Check out my pinterest YUM board for more recipes. What are your favorite fall eats/drinks?

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Autumn at the Empire

Fall posts have been coming out the wazoo this week and I thought I would add my two-cents. I am OBSESSED with fall. It is bar-none my favorite season ergo I have some pretty strong opinions on how to do it right. Over the course of the next week I will share my fav decor, food, fashion and fun-things-to-do fall musts.

DAY ONE – BUILDING YOUR ENVIRONMENT

In the words of Colin Nissan: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Thank you, Whitney, for this essay. It is perfect.) There is nothing that drums up the nostalgic feeling of cozy autumns past more than the scents + colors + music of fall (and tastes but that’s for another post).

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This Votivo Aromatic Candle in Smoke on the Water is the perfect fall scent. I have this burning from Sept 1st – Dec 1st without fail.

Next, Japanese Lanterns Physalis. These come on long sparse branches and last FOREVER (literally they dry out and you can save them for a second, even third, season) they are cheap and add the perfect orange hit of fall to your home. I have my apothecary jars half way filled with pine cones and topped with dried japenese lanterns from autumns past.

Lastly music. I have pictured here an old National Album. The acoustic haunting sounds of the National, Bon Iver, City and Color and many of the like are the perfect fall pairing for me. You can listen to my full autumn playlist on songza here. You’ll also find some Metric, Anya Maria, Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse on there. You’ll hear this in the background of ritualistic games nights with my girlfriends at The Empire (which is how we have referred to our apartment for the last 3 years) where we will be drinking (too much) red wine, eating vegan chili and playing board games on dark and rainy westcoast autumn evenings. Nothing better.

So what are your favorite fall things for the home?