30 August 2012

$23,000 Can Get You...

A new car, a decent start on a down payment for a home (I live in Vancouver people), a college education, a pretty awesome trip around the world...I could go on...

Or it could get you this purse, owned by Christina Hendricks, designed by Farbod Barsum.  Is it worth it?  You be the judge:

The Isabella from Farbod Barsum, made from American Alligator and will set you back about $23,000.

25 August 2012

Fashion = Fun

I know I just stated the obvious with that title but waking up earlier for my new job this week and trying to get myself looking put together has been a chore.  I went to my tried and true uniform as a fallback and while it saved me the energy from trying to be creative and put on something cute, it got pretty boring pretty quickly.  Yesterday I finally realized:  I'm bored of this uniform!  I need to get away from cardigans over tops with dress pants and do something different with my work wardrobe!  Bonus: my new department is more relaxed and I'm no longer managing anyone, hence I don't need to be as "professional" as before (though of course there are boundaries to this!).

After this realization, I knew I needed to perk up my wardrobe with a few fun but functional items. so last night I headed to the mall with a friend of mine, and made some purchases.  I didn't spend a lot but it was enough to reinvigorate me and help me get back to the root of it all, which is:  fashion is fun!  So don't take it too seriously and play with it a little!

Royal blue leopard print jeans...can I pull these off?  Yes!
From Material Girl and they are only $30!

More leopard print? You bet!
From Old Navy.

21 August 2012

Truth and Beauty

The fashion world is up in arms about designer Tom Ford's blunt comments on supermodel Gisele Bundchen becoming "too old" for the industry.  Though I don't agree that she's getting old (c'mon the girl is 32!),  I can see why he would feel that she has a tough time ahead of her as she becomes less relevant in the fashion world:

"This sounds negative, but when you're considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, it's very, very hard when that starts to slip away. It's hard to feel good about yourself when people react to you differently. And, Gisele, I hope you're not reading this, because it's going to sound so negative but I know through some of my best friends who are really famous actresses — I'm not going to mention their names — who were at one point considered to be among the most beautiful women in the world at different periods of time, and how hard it is for them emotionally. So, I hope Gisele is prepared for that, because it's so difficult."

He speaks the truth!  If everyone constantly is telling you are "x" for a signifcant portion of your life, then if you slowly lose that quality, how could you not feel less like yourself?  It is a natural part of dealing with aging to consider how you might be less attractive and want to preserve that, so imagine trying to handle that when it's your job to be beautiful and desirable all the time.  I do feel a bit sorry for Gisele...but then I remember how rich, smug and self-agrandizing she can sound and then I don't anymore!

19 August 2012

The September Issue: Glamour Magazine

In the quest to spend less of my money frivolously, I stopped buying magazines on a regular monthly basis a while ago.  I honestly didn't miss my monthly edition of Glamour, InStyle, Self, etc, etc because I was starting to feel like there wasn't anything unique or useful in them that I couldn't find somewhere else (i.e.:  blogs, websites, Pinterest).  This month, I did make an exception and picked up Glamour magazine's September 2012 edition, guest edited by Posh Spice herself, Victoria Beckham.  Truthfully I was only interested in reading about her, because I'm a big fan but I was pleasantly surprised by the entire issue.  There are great touches of insight about fashion from Victoria (as well as some "real life" stuff like her favourite quinoa pasta recipe), as well as tons of interesting features by talented bloggers like the Man Repeller, Emily Weiss from Into The Gloss and a funny commentary on changing your man's style by the delicious Jason Sudekis from SNL.   

I've already read the issue from cover to cover twice and am now obsessed with it as my fashion bible for fall.  Pick this one up now ladies (and men)...it's definitely worth your $5.99!

12 August 2012

Spice Up Your Life

In case you missed it, the Spice Girls performed at the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremonies tonight.  As a major, major fan of the group I think they looked amazing and rocked their performance.  As predicted by me, they got a huge ovation from the live audience...sorry One Direction, you need to bow down to the legends that these ladies are!

Don't they look fabulous?  Age has served the Spice Girls well.
I love the raspberry mini dress that Baby Spice aka Emma Bunton wore.

Not only did she get to re-live being a pop star but Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) also got to show the world she's also a fashion designer during the "supermodel" segment of the closing ceremonies when Georgia May Jagger wore one of her dresses.  

Georgia May Jagger in a golden Victoria Beckham design.

11 August 2012

To Tote or not to Tote?

I am super excited about starting a new job soon, mostly because it is a great opportunity for me to "challenge" my brain and learn lots of new, cool things about banking (yes, banking can be cool people!).  I'll be working in beautiful downtown Vancouver for my first few months, which means commuting to and from work via "Skytrain" instead of driving as I have for the last few years.  Such presents a fashion dilemma:  how do I "tote" all my stuff with me during my commute?

Luckily I love shopping and immediately have zoned in on looking for a new bag.  I have a basic black tote as well as some larger purses that I'm pretty sure will hold what I need (wallet, phone, lunch/snacks, e-Reader) but it's always fun to be on the hunt for another option to fit my new "toting" needs.  Here are some options I found via the Nordstrom website:

Kate Spade New York 'West Chelsea - Alissa' shopper

I really like the colour of this Kate Spade bag as well as the classic shape.
It looks big enough to schlep all my stuff in stylish way.

Reed Krakoff Gym Leather tote

A pricier option but I do love Reed Krakoff.
Not sure I would take this one to the gym as the name suggests...it's too nice!

Tory Burch Michelle Tote

This marigold Tory Burch is probably my favourite tote I've found so far.
The colour is to die for, not to mention the sleek bucket shape.

Kate Spade 'New York - Daycation' coated canvas bon shopper

A more reasonably priced Kate Spade "bon shopper" but that's because it is coated canvas not leather.
I do like the idea of a fun print, though it would limit the number of outfits I could wear with it as opposed to a non-printed tote

9 August 2012

Miss M's Favourite Okanagan Wineries

If you are ever up in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia, you must visit some of its amazing wineries for tastings.  After spending a week in the stunning desert town of Osoyoos, I have some favourite wineries and wine picks to share.  Osoyoos is just south of Oliver, which is known as the "Wine Capital of Canada", boasting wineries of all sizes and varieties.  I would definitely recommend staying in more picturesque Osoyoos (preferably near the lake) and making the short drive north to Oliver to visit its wineries.  We also ventured farther north to Summerland which was a bit of a longer drive but a gorgeous one at that.

Many of the wineries have restaurants or at the least a selection of breads, cheeses and meats to purchase and enjoy on their patios, so you can easily make a day (or two) of visiting some of these spots.  Generally speaking most wineries will offer you a 3 to 5 wines for tasting for free or a minimal fee that you can use towards your purchases.  My favourites wineries in no particular order are:

Dirty Laundry
I won't spoil the story for you because the staff in the tasting room tell it so well, but they do fabulous job of extending the theme of the winery to make your visit to Dirty Laundry a truly memorable experience.  I loved everything about this place - the lighting, the fun lingerie draped everywhere, the amazing patio...oh yeah and the wines were fantastic too!  My recommendations would be their "blush" wine called "Hush" (it's a blend of red and white grapes) as well as their Riesling and Port called "A Girl in Every Port".  Dirty Laundry is top of my list to go back to next time I'm in the area.

Dirty Laundry winery in Oliver, BC

Hester Creek
If you are looking for wines that you can pour down your throat with ease (haha!) both the whites and reds at Hester Creek are easy to drink even if not paired with a meal.  I adore their Late Harvest Pinot Gris for a sweeter after dinner option, as well as their Pinot Gris and Cabernet Merlot.  The tasting room is absolutely gorgeous and so is their onsite restaurant which we heard has great pizzas.  If you are looking for something smaller than a full meal, they do also offer a $10 food and wine pairing at multiple times during the day where you can learn how to pair wines with complimentary foods.

There are lots of expansive and expensive wineries to visit while in the Okanagan, but I highly recommend visiting some of the charming smaller vineyards to have a more personalized tasting experience.  Our stop at Thornhaven felt more warm and welcoming than some of the larger "touristy" wineries we visited.  The tasting room is small but the wines were surprisingly good (well for a winery that I had never heard of).  I definitely recommend stopping here on your way out of Summerland after you visit Dirty Laundry.  My favourite at Thornhaven was their Pinot Gris but I know my bf enjoyed their reds quite a bit as well.

Road 13
Road 13 was the first winery we visited in the "Golden Mile" area of Oliver and it was a great start to our wine tasting adventures.  Their wines are very crisp and clean for the whites, and deep and layered for the reds.  A lot of their wines are a blend of different types of grapes, which after multiple tastings I found I really actually enjoy blends.  My top picks at Road 13 were the Stemwinder, Honest John's White and Rockpile.  The tasting room has a castle-like facade and a fake drawbridge in front of the door, which adds to the charm of their already beautiful location high on the bench above Oliver.

8 August 2012

The Real World

Vacations are great for getting away from everything in your "real" life that causes stress...the noise of the city, annoying neighbours, troublesome co-workers, frustrating family members, etc, etc.  After being away for a week in beautiful Osoyoos, BC (seriously, you must go there it's amazing!), I was thoroughly relaxed and felt at ease.  All those stress-causing things in my life seemed to melt away.  I'm not sure if it was the company, the beautiful setting, the wine or all those things in combination, but for the first time in the longest time, I felt carefree, even though I knew that I still had real things to "worry" about back home.

In fact, it didn't take long for reality to set back in when I returned, but I found I didn't feel the same sense of longing to go back on vacation as I have after past trips.  As I've "grown up"over the last few years, I feel much better equipped now to deal with the issues that come up in life in a healthy way.  I try to take the stressful things that I can't control in stride, because at the end of the day, the only thing I can control is how I react.  Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to avoid issues and bury them away, but guess what...they always come back in some form.  It is the easy way out to find distractions and fill up time to put off dealing with reality.  No longer being on vacation, I still feel at ease, so I'm glad I've taken the time to deal with the "real world" so I can enjoy life wherever I might be.