Holiday magic c/o Rain Hair Salon

Besides the obvious great things about holidays, such as presents, family time and delicious food, one of my favourite things about the holidays are fancy holiday parties.  I rarely get the chance to get dolled up for anything, which is why I loved clubbing when I was younger.  Now that I'm er, getting up in age, I don't find myself squishing into a tight dress and heels as often, so I have even less chances to pull out the makeup and glitter.  That's why I love glitzy Christmas parties as they're great opportunities to dress up and eat free food!

This year, I got to attend 3 Christmas parties: my offices', Mr. Artist's and my good friend Sheila's work event.  While I've definitely got the clothes and makeup part down, one part of glamming up I'm a total dunce with is hair.  My hair is super slippery and resists any sort of tie, curling, or pin without my bombing it with heat, or chemicals, or both. Usually I resort  to doing nothing with my hair, or curling it with my flat iron, but up-dos? Definitely a very rare thing, which is why I was delighted when I got the offer by Vancouver salon, Rain Hair Salon to rescue me from my holiday hair doldrums for Sheila's party.

Located near the famous Granville Island, Rain Hair Salon offers professional styling for affordable prices. Besides getting your hair did, Rain also offers clothing and accessories by Gentle Fawn, Matt & Nat, and Alternative Apparel, and an extensive selection of Bumble & Bumble hair products, which they use exclusively.

For this party, I knew the setting was "dress formal,"  so I wanted to opt for something elegant and pretty.  I took to Pinterest for inspiration and decided to try out a messy French twist as pictured below (top half):

I arrived at Rain on a particularly rainy Vancouver afternoon where the salon was positively buzzing with activity and was whisked away by my stylist Crystal.  I highly recommend booking with Crystal as she was super friendly and helpful, chatting with me about each step of the process, so that I felt like I got an education as well as a hair-do!  Plus, this girl has got some seriously gorgeous red hair.  So jealous.

In order to force my hair into submission, Crystal had to add some serious texture.  Firstly, she curled my hair all over and then rubbed in some texturizing Bumble & Bumble Surf spray and some Bumble & Bumble brown hair powder (dry shampoo) before back-combing the hell out of it all, resulting in this:

Then, she magically whipped it all into a sleek twist, pinning it from top to bottom, resulting in this:

Unbelievably, this only took her 45 minutes.  45 MINUTES.  Crystal assures me that it's possible for me to do this on my own, but I think we all know that after 45 minutes I'd probably just end up surrounded by bent bobby pins, frizzy hair and sobbing on my bathroom floor.

Anyhoo, after throwing on a dress, some jewelry and agonizing over shoes, the end result was this:

Thank you to Crystal, Donovan and Rain Hair Salon for the unforgettable perfect up-do! 

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Aritzia dreaming

Hallo, I'm back from the holidays! My Christmas this year was filled with lots of family time and food as always.  I was only visiting at my parent's house for a couple days, so I mostly spent it at home helping my mom cook and reading through her extensive recipe collection while eating copious amounts of shortbread.  A New Years diet is definitely on my horizon! Unfortunately, I'm not off to a good start as my days since coming back home have been spent with Mr. Artist eating way too much pasta and Japanese BBQ.  And copious amounts of shortbread.

Assuming that I manage to stay the same clothing size, I should hopefully be able to find something to purchase with the nifty Aritzia gift card I received this Christmas.  Aritzia is one of my favourite stores that I rarely purchase from, seeing as how I can never get over how their $100+ average pricing is supposed to be "affordable."  Get over yourself Aritzia.  Charging me $55 for a scrap of fabric that you call a "bra-lette," but which is made to support the boobs of an 11 year old?  Plus, your consistent "sale section" consisting of items that are *gasp* $5 off?!  However do I resist thee. 

Anyways, despite my crone-ish complaining about Aritzia, I always shamelessly drag Mr. Artist inside and love every Aritzia item I own.  Yep, I'm a shameless hypocrite, so help me figure out what I should buy with my gift card!

Lately, I've been mulling over the idea of buying pants that are not denim, nor leggings.  What can I say, I guess I'm growing up!  These Wilfred Casbah pants have that stylish sweatpant look that favour it for anything from tanks and cardys on weekends, to patterned blouses for evenings and the price isn't bad either for $54.99!  Alternately though, the T. Babaton Callum pants have a similar silhouette, but are made of a chicer silk crepe material for $80.

The second possibility is this comfy Wilfred Bistro Cardigan.  Although I already own a long heather gray boyfriend cardigan, a pink/black cardigan, a black cardigan, a grey sweater cardigan, a navy cardigan and a purple cardigan, I don't have a dark grey cardigan, so this is a perfectly legit option.  Right???

Finally, the third option I'm pondering is another blouse.  I've been obsessed with sheer and silky blouses this year as they're great work and play options that always make you look put together.  Plus, they look great under CARDIGANS (yes, I'm obsessed).  This T. Babaton Bergen blouse is made of silk georgette that has that perfect drapey fit I'm in love with and comes in a variety of colors.  I'm pondering either the black, or lake (emerald green) shades, but neither photograph very well, so I posted up this lovely creamy nude option.

Which do you think I should go for?

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Livin in a hamster paradise...

This compilation article of the 25 funniest auto-correct fails of 2012 is so funny that you should not read this at work unless you are either alone, or your coworkers already think you're sane.  Since I think mine probably already think I'm a little "different" I had to refrain from continuing to read after almost snorting coffee through my noise reading the above.

And I'm quite sad that nobody has posted a parody video of Coolio's Gangster Paradise featuring hamsters. If anyone creates, or finds one, hook a girl up!

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What's for dinner: Miso garlic chicken pasta

I think it's actually been a month since I made this recipe! See blog, this is how much I've neglected you *hug* but I think it's finally time to post this one.  I'm stupidly quite proud of this recipe because it's not just my usual tweaking of real recipes, but an honest-to-god made up one I just threw together one night!

Ad-libbing is the best part of cooking imo and probably why I haven't been super into baking yet - that, and I don't own a mixer (product review people???).  Also, baking doesn't entirely scream healthy living to me, although I wholeheartedly believe that baked goods are an essential part of life and happiness.

Anyways, you are probably wondering what I'm babbling on about.  Below is the finished product of my experimentation:

So how did I make this?

It all started with miso.  I had made miso dressings, but I wanted to know - could I make a miso pasta sauce??  Yes, yes you can.

To do this, you'll need:

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1.5 large chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1/2 packet of whole wheat spaghetti (bonus HP!)
  • parmesan, to taste
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tsp mirin, or you could use sugar, to taste
  • lemon juice

Cook the pasta to desired texture in a pot of boiling, generously salted water.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the miso, S&P, olive oil, and mirin.  Stir vigoursly.  A fork or whisk would be ideal here, but I used a spoon just fine.  Stir till you get the consistency above and taste.  Add more miso if you want it saltier; more sugar or mirin if you want it more sweet.  You could even add some dashes of lemon juice for extra zing!  The mixture is entirely up to you.

In a saucepan, cook the chicken until it's a nice golden color, usually around 5-7 minutes. Put aside.

When the pasta is done, drain and set aside.  Then throw the garlic and onions into the pot along with a teeny bit of oil (make sure your pot is dry inside first, or else you will send off a storm of oil spitting up at you!).  Once the onions are browned, throw in the tomatoes and cook until their juices are just beginning to ooze out.  Now comes the fun part.  Turn off your stove and throw in your pasta, chicken and the sauce and toss it all together.  Sprinkle with as much parmesan as necessary and then add a bunch more.  Eat.

Serves: well, I was eating this for lunch and dinner over a week, so I would say at least a couple dinners for 2, it really depends on how much pasta you like

Time: 45 mins

Happy eating!

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Blanche Macdonald Grad Fashion Show 2012

A few weeks ago, I was invited to check out this year's grad fashion show for the design graduates from local fashion and beauty school, Blanche Macdonald.  I was excited to accept the invitation as it's great chance to check out the new talent coming out of this great city.  

The event was hosted at the Atelier campus downtown and featured a full-length runway and a very stylish audience.  Most of the designs were quite wearable and featured some interesting shapes.  Although the materials used weren't exactly the best quality, Sheila, who attended with me, said that she had heard that the designers were given a budget, so that was understandable.  I thought overall that the graduates did a nice job and I enjoyed it much more than the last Vancouver Fashion Week I attended.

Here are the highlights below:

Designer: Sandy Shen 

Designer: Paula Dee Janes 

Designer: Leah Evans 

Designer: Josephine Li 

Designer: Michelle Hardy 

Designer: Colleen Shneebeli 

Designer: Tammy Lim 

 Designer: Katy Baldock

Designer: Jena Lewis 

Designer: Ann Der

All photos taken by me

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#365outfit Challenge Weeks 42-44

Leather shorts: Bedo | Sweatshirt: c/o Uranium | Bag: Kate Spade | Booties: Kenneth Cole Reaction 

Sweater: Calvin Klein | Pants: McQ | Shoes: American Apparel 

Flats: Steve Madden | Cardigan: boyfriend's | Dress: H&M 

Blouse: TopShop | Pants: H&M 

Sweater: H&M | Jeans: William Rast | Booties: Urban Outfitters | Pearls: gifted | Necklace: c/o Uranium 

Sweater: Aritzia | Skirt: Zara | Bracelet: Pandora 

 Silk blouse: Club Monaco | Pants: TopShop

Sweatshirt, skirt: Aritzia 

Leopard cardigan: Macy's | Sapphire bracelet: c/o 

Sweater coat: gifted | Boots: Hugh Puppies | Bracelets: gifted | Sweater: TopShop

... and I'm back and it feels so good!  Thank you everyone for your comments on my blog dilemma.  I think the little 2 week break was good for me to rethink stuff and figure out my blog issues.  I think I still am learning that it's ok to take blog breaks and not be obsessed with growing my blog.  My blog is not my job.  My blog is supposed to be an outlet for me, to enjoy my creative side and to meet like-minded people.  I love sharing my thoughts and love for fashion, but that doesn't mean I have to be tied to my computer all day!  I think this will have to be my mantra going forward.

Anyways, I ended up deleting my old blog.  I wasn't willing to pay for storage, but I couldn't figure out how to migrate my posts AND its images to another online location.  I did however find a nifty solution!  Blogbooker is a free site that lets you convert your blog (text + images) into a pdf FOR FREE!  It was like Christmas come early for me, as nerdy as that sounds.  Simply export your blog, then upload the resulting XML and your blog url to the site and in a few minutes, voila! Instant blog book with table of contents and all images ready for printing or just electronic viewing.  3+ years of my life, condensed into a 2200+ page pdf.  It almost feels cleansing to have it all condensed and archived now.  Maybe one day if I'm REALLY REALLY bored, I'll even read through it :)

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