April in pictures

My iPhone was busy in April!

April = C3PO // Ladurée macaron T-shirt from Uniqlo in Hong Kong (so cute!) // Les Petits Macarons (but I’d rather just buy them than try to make them myself) // boy and girl magnets from Tokyo // I’m not sure what this is // rabbit in glasses // April showers bring May flowers right? // Stuart Weitzman baby shoes // April flowers

I did some window-shopping:

Club Monaco Mint Crystal Statement Ring (I didn’t buy it, but I was thinking of it) // in the window at Artizia // in the lingerie department at Holt Renfrew // in the window at Holt Refnrew // apparently Banana Republic is ripping off J.Crew now // Banana Republic jewellery is pretty though // butter dishes at Anthropologie // Homegrown Monogram Mugs // the courtyard behind the Eaton Centre

I stalked some dogs:

boxer/hound mix puppy // this golden retriever is happy to receive my pats // this lab looks confused // this elderly golden retriever sniffed my hand and then shunned me (I’m not used to dogs walking away from me!) // this collie just wants the ball // Lucy the Viszula stares // India the 15-year-old, three-legged German Shepherd/Doberman mix is a sweetheart // this dog is shy // this guy is windswept

I visited my friend’s farm in Perth, Ontario:

This duck is named Douze (because he came with a band that said “12” on his leg) // adorable baby // donkey // chicken / more chickens // barn cats hanging out with chickens

And I ate (and then ate some more):

Chinese chili turnip (sooo good!) // fried dough noodle rolls // rice and preserved sausage with Chinese greens // Vietnamese grilled chicken // basil and mint and lettuce // chicken shwarma // smooshed Prairie Girl cupcake is still a delicious cupcake // jerk chicken thighs on the BBQ // zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers on the BBQ


Hometown glory

Toronto is my home now and I love living here, but technically Ottawa is my hometown. I was just there for a weekend visiting friends and family, and had the chance to wander around a little.

Commemorating war animals, and a bear with fish on Sparks Street.

War Monument, and the weird double decker buses the public transit system is running now.

Commemorating Oscar Peterson.

It’s not the prettiest time of year in Ottawa (it’ll look nicer in a few weeks), and it feels really small-town to me now. I was happy to be back in Toronto Sunday night.

But I’ll always miss this:

Chipwagon poutine: so much better than anything Toronto can offer.

Speaking of hometowns, I’ve really felt for my sister’s city in the past week. I’ve been in Boston twice this year, and both times walked up and down Boylston where the explosions went off. My brother-in-law works near MIT and they were in lockdown in Cambridge. At least I knew my sister wasn’t out running the marathon (since she had back surgery 11 weeks ago), but they had friends who were watching from the sidelines who were thankfully all okay. Some seriously scary stuff.


Three quarters

Why is it that whenever I’m looking for something specific, I can’t find it?

I know my closet lacks basics that make it easy to put together outfits, which is why I end up wearing the same things over and over again. So I went on a search for some simple, basic ¾-sleeve T-shirts (something about a ¾ sleeve that turns a casual T-shirt into a more work-appropriate top) to pair with my skirts, and of course I couldn’t find any at the usual suspects (J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, etc.). Velvet has some nice ones, but $$$.

So if I can’t find them, make them.

I picked up a couple of Gap’s Essential long-sleeve V-neck Ts, and I plan to take them to my tailor to get a few inches chopped off. I would do them myself, but I don’t have a sewing machine.

Long sleeves:

Gap Essential Long-Sleeve V-neck T in navy // Anthro Sumukhwa Skirt (Maeve) // Wolford tights // Nine West heels

¾ sleeve:

Funny how a few inches of exposed forearm changes everything.


an old Anthro love

So last week I had an Anthro rant moment, and after that I’m now very wary about buying anything new there. But I also remembered that I still have pieces from over 3 years ago, pieces I love and pieces that have lasted.

Anthro Wind-Rippled tee (Deletta – 2009) // Anthro Alluring Sway Skirt (Cartonnier – 2010) // Wolford tights // Nine West heels

Here are two pieces that I’ve had for a long time and have lasted despite many wears (and wears together, I’m pretty sure I’ve worn this before but too lazy to go back and check). Frankly, I’m surprised about the top lasting this long because it’s a thin jersey knit T-shirt. It might not be long for my closet.

So new Anthro pieces = wariness, but old Anthro pieces = wear until they fall off my body.

I really love the ruffle detail on this top. It’ll be a really sad day when I’ll finally have to give it up.



(Warning…long, picture-heavy post.)

I kinda want to live at Club Monaco right now. I want to buy everything (well, almost everything), it’s like it’s Anthro back in 2010. I don’t know what it is about their current aesthetic that’s so appealing to me right now, but it’s working for me. Now if only I were as tall and thin as they think I should be.

I love the neutrals and the black and white stripes.

The Grace Knit Skirt is striped in the front and solid black in the back, and the Cory Solid Sweater is a great light top. Yes, it’s see-through, but I’m surprisingly fine with that (I will wear a cami).

Hello, shapeless blob Rachel! The sales staff very helpfully got be some “basics” to try on with the skirt. I don’t know on what planet the Rena Top is a basic, but it’s definitely not for me.

The Bailey Dress in white looks pretty nondescript online, a little more appealing on the hanger, and like a nightgown on me. A pretty white nightgown, but a nightgown nonetheless and not the little white beach dress it’s supposed to be. Also a little pricey at $229 for rayon (masquerading as silk).

One thing about these pics and the store (Bloor St, close to work) is that the grey curtains make a great backdrop and look really nice, but I hate them as dressing rooms. It’s way too easy to peek in on people changing (like I inadvertently did on the woman in the next “room”) and to expose yourself in your underwear (like I did when one sales associate rushing by in a hurry moved those curtains just enough).  After that, I asked for a clip to keep the curtains shut so I wouldn’t be flashing the world.

Mint and other pastel colours abound, along with sparkly accessories displayed in greenery…

Francis Print Pencil Skirt and Harper Dress

I tried the Francis Skirt (also seen here on Roxy) with the Cece Cashmere Tee at a different store (North Yonge, close to home), one with real walls and a real door I could shut and lock. The print on the skirt (the website calls the colour “Teal Fluttering Petals”) is gorgeous, but the SA had me wondering the length is too long for me. (Or maybe it’s because they like short short short skirts. Free alterations at Club Monaco though, that’s a bonus.) They seem to be pushing the cashmere tee hard (their selling point is that it’s cashmere at under $200 and that’s super amazing). My quibble is it’s see-through and I’m pretty sure it’ll pill really fast, so no thanks.

And finally the Lenora Dress (tried at yet another lunchtime visit to the Bloor store). Apparently based on the Louis Vuitton signature Monogram print (CM calls it “Star Foulard Print,” also available in a short), according to the SA. It’s polyester but it feels like expensive polyester (and expensive it is, at $250). Looks completely different on someone with boobs than it does on the model. If I hadn’t seen it on Roxy first, I would have passed it by. It really is a lovely dress, and I was really tempted to get it for a posh wedding I’m attending next month, but I stopped myself. Despite the flattering fit and the lovely spring-y colour, I don’t think I’ll get a lot of use out of it. The higher neckline (I always prefer V-necks) and the polyester are strikes against for me. So sadly, I’ll pass.

But it goes really well with my bag and my old Club Monaco scarf! I think I’ve had this scarf since 2006. When I love something from CM, I love it a long time.


an Anthro rant

Anthro Parkway Convertible Top (Left of Center) // knockoff J.Crew bubble necklace // lululemon wunder under leggings (not sheer) // Will’s boots

I bought this top at Anthro on Newbury St in Boston two weeks ago, because I was drawn to the bright turquoise colour, the length, and it’s casual appropriate-ness (I struggle with casual clothes, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting casual pieces). But it’s going back, because after two wears, there’s a hole under my right arm. Unacceptable. Anthro, you disappoint me. And it’s a shame, because I really did like this top…



To tuck or not to tuck?

Anthro Volante Tee (Deletta – 2010) // Club Monaco Tavie Skirt // Wolford Satin Opaque tights in Anthracite // Tory Burch Reva flats

Apologies for the blurry photo on the right, but I was in a rush to get out the door in the morning (also why I’ve been taking iPhone mirror photos almost exclusively lately, it’s so much quicker than setting up a real camera). I don’t usually tuck because I’m self-conscious about my tummy pooch (also I feel like I’m always adjusting all day), and I feel it’s camouflaged when I leave my tops untucked. I went to work untucked, but maybe I should try tucking more…

Also, I planned to go into Club Monaco at lunch today to check out their April collection, but then I realized I was wearing the Tavie Skirt. Is it just me, or is it weird going into a store wearing clothes that are still displayed? I find it weird. It's probably just me, but nevertheless I waited until after work when I changed into leggings to walk home and then went to browse, look, touch, and try on (more later this week).


Green loves blue like I love you

Anthro Drape & Twist Tee (Postmark) // J.Crew Jenna’s Cardigan // Hilary Druxman necklace // J.Crew No.2 Pencil Skirt in vivid jade // Wolford tights // Nine West heels

According to Trinny and Susannah, “blue and green should never be seen” is a saying. I’ve never heard it; maybe it’s specific in England?

Club Monaco silk cami (2005?) // J.Crew Jenna’s Cardigan // Matsu necklace // J.Crew No.2 Pencil Skirt in vivid jade // Wolford tights // Nine West heels

I like the combo.



Oh, nibbles (and a photo wrap-up)

Really strange things come out of my mouth when I’m exhausted. I was doing my post-trip laundry the other night, and I discovered I missed a few items too late into the cycle to add them. I meant to say “oh, crap” or “oh, eff” or even “oh, figs”, but instead it came out as “Oh…nibbles.” Will was walking into the bedroom at exactly that moment and he couldn’t stop laughing at me. It was partly how I said it, unfortunately can’t recreate it. I told him I meant to swear and I missed…by a lot.

This is why I’ve been so tired:

Toronto Blue Jays home opener with work colleagues (they lost 4-1 to the Cleveland Indians). Also, baseball is so freaking boring. I understand why people drink so much at baseball games.

There’s also that extended long weekend in Boston, really nice and relaxing while I was there, but travelling wipes me out when I go straight back to work the next morning.

Early morning over Lake Ontario from Toronto Island Airport // free almonds in the Porter lounge // sizzling chicken in ginger sauce (lunch very shortly after I landed) // Vietnamese artwork // homemade dumplings (at my brother-in-law’s request) // Anthro owl cookie jar at the Newbury St location // Marimekko pillow // pinkyotto on Newbury St (the teddy bear heads are weird…) // maraschino cherry from my cherry ginger soda at Myers + Chang

My sister is recovering from her surgery and doing really well. She’s moving slowly and has to lie down a lot, but her progress is great. We walked to manicures and to Porter Square for coffee, and she was able to go out for a haircut on Newbury St, dinner at Myers + Chang, and Shake Shack in Chestnut Hill. Her appetite has come roaring back, which is good, because when we get together, we eat.

Something Sweet Without Wheat in Woburn, MA // a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie (good texture, but it tasted like chickpea flour) // gluten-free whoopee pie (better) // chocolate cannoli (not gluten-free) // Georgetown cupcakes (also not gluten-free) // cheese from Formaggio Kitchen

While my sister was getting her hair cut, I wandered around Newbury St for a little window shopping, including wandering into the Anthropologie.

Pretty // Pretty // WTF-is-this-kill-it-with-fire

Easter Sunday lunch was at the Shake Shack in Chestnut Hill. Heard lots about it, never been in NYC, so wanted to try it out. Totally worth it! The burgers, fries, and concretes (frozen custard) were delicious.

Taking pics of the sign while we were waiting in line (wasn’t too bad, we went right at 11 a.m.) // adorable baby onesie // even the puppies are covered! // such a hipster table // mmm, crinkle fries and burgers // vanilla half concrete with chocolate toffee and chocolate truffle cookie dough mix-ins (the cookie dough was too much, but the toffee was awesome)

I could totally go for more Shake Shack now.

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