Sunday, November 18, 2012


i bought my first pair of prescription glasses this week.

they're not my first pair of glasses; i like fashion way too much to let a little 20/20 vision stop me from wearing faux frames every once in a while. which, in my relatively conservative office, is apparently hilarious. glasses without a prescription? you crazy, gurrrl.

the sales people at every optical store i visited all said the same thing: "congratulations!" i felt like i was joining a club with a corneacopia of options {haaaa, sorry}.

trying on glasses is tricky. a pair may look good, but you have to tell the sales people that they're not you {without hurting their feelings}. you keep looking until you find a pair that makes you ... you, so that when you look in the mirror you'll recognize yourself. with all that in mind, it took me a few days. i ended up buying a pair of acetate frames by super by retrosuperfuture, an italian manufacturer whose sunglasses i've loved for years. 

in honour of my new supers, and to drag me away from this rainy late fall day and get me dreaming of sunshine and hot weather, here are a few fabulous sunglasses by super.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

shoes :: buy local

every week i pick up the alternative weekly to keep an eye on cultural events, local news and my guilty pleasure, the "i saw you" column. but let me tell you the best/worst thing about reading the paper: finding out about sales. you didn't know you needed that pair of fluevogs until you saw that full page ad about their sale with all the pretty shoes splashed across the page ... right? 

i've always appreciated fluevog and respected them as a local brand. their flagship store in gastown is one of my favourite retail spaces in the city. i even went to camp with john fluevog's kids. but i've never owned a pair; i always thought their men's shoes were stronger than their women's offerings, they were never really my style and their price point is definitely in the quality-over-quantity range. but recently, they've been creating some killer contemporary kicks on the women's side that are making me want to shop local ... and check out that sale i read about in the paper {which is the evening of nov 20th, btw - see you there?}.

see above for a few of my favourites, clockwise from top right: hannah $299, astern $399, malcolm $299, impel $245, cha cha $229, paglia $385, boogie woogie $255, notion $275, wizard $99

Friday, November 2, 2012

fashion friday :: life's a beach (via trip styler)

my instagram feed has been filled with images of first snow this week from friends across the country. i imagine after a few mornings scraping their windshields, the novelty has worn off and those friends are already online bookmarking tropical destinations, hoping to swap their parkas for pareos and their boots for bikinis.

even on the west coast, i'm dreaming of trading my rain umbrella for a tiny drink umbrella, preferably in a coconut, at a swim-up bar, surrounded by surfers who speak very little english. before i get carried away with an ally mcbeal-style daydream, i must remind you that the perfect styles for your sunny getaway are on sale now. and it makes sense that if you buy the perfect sandals or swim trunks now, you'll just have to find somewhere to wear them soon...right?!

women (clockwise from top left)
rodebjer petite swimsuit {sale!}, we are handsome dutch frilled swimsuit {sale!}, heidi merrick carp tunic {sale!}, osborn sandalia black sandal {sale!}, miu miu plunge-front swimsuit, topshop chunky oversize sunglasses, target braided hat, madewell toe-strap boardwalk sandal, zimmermann frill rash guard {sale!}, lemlem bella patio dress

men (clockwise from middle)
Warriors of Radness coastal trunk {sale!}, wings + horns shorts {sale!}, filippa k t-shirt {sale!}, warriors of radness renegade pullover {sale!}

this post was originally featured on

Friday, September 28, 2012

fashion friday :: falling for portland (via trip styler)


tax-free shopping. need i say more? no, but while we're on the topic, i must mention that the city of roses, famous for its culinary and coffee scene, cycle culture and offbeat tv show, has some pretty killer shops where you can spend your tax-free dollars. here are a couple of my downtown favorites...

  frances may portland 

around the corner from my favorite portland hotel, the ace, is my favorite portland shop, frances may, where you can find lines like rachel comey, lizzie fortunato, apc, suno, rag & bone, wings & horns and gitman brothers. you can also spend some quality time chatting with friendly shop girl, ashley {among others!}.

  alder & co. portland 

just up the road, you'll find alder & co., a well-curated home, accessories and clothing store. just a warning: it's almost impossible to leave without buying something! 

portland mini shopping guide {for women & men} 
- una 
- filson 
- odessa 

this post was originally featured on

Saturday, September 8, 2012

minted & boxed :: part 2

note: this post is part of a two-part series on monthly subscription services that deliver fun and fashionable goods straight to your door. kind of like the 2012 version of your dad's old time-life and columbia house subscriptions that your mum used to get angry at him for forgetting to cancel {or was that just at my house?}...

walking through times square several years ago, i was offered a sample-sized tube of mascara. [cue "yes please"] the girl giving away the samples told me no one was stopping, and she couldn't understand why people didn't want something free, so she gave me two. [cue "yes please"] she was right; who doesn't want something free? [remember this ad?] then again, don't stand in the way of new yorkers - especially when they're trying to get through times square.

also, who doesn't love samples? i'm pretty sure they're the reason i shop at sephora. and what's more fun than the drugstore aisle with all the little travel-sized products? the recent success of american beauty sample company birchbox [and its global competitors] is proof of our love of samples - even when they're not free. the two-year-old company was started by two harvard business school grads who, like me, loved a good sample. they recognized that unlike clothing or books, beauty products were struggling to find a stronghold online because of their touch and try nature. so they created a samples-only service where, if you loved the product after trying it out, you could purchase the full-size edition on their site, as well as watch how-to videos featuring the monthly samples. genius! [watch a video about birchbox here]

here's how it works: you fill out a survey and sign up for a delivery of deluxe-sized cosmetic and skincare samples by top brands. the price and frequency of the delivery varies by company. here's a snapshot of what's out there, with a focus on canada-friendly services...

$10/month + free shipping
recent samples: fresh soy face cleanser, laura geller lipstick, boscia bb cream, oscar de la renta perfume
**note: subscribers receive different items than other subscribers based on profile and they're always a surprise


recent samples: china glaze nail polish, stila mascara, mark lip stain, simple eye makeup remover
**note: samples come in a tube instead of a box

recent samples: wella ocean spritz hairspray, neutrogena sunscreen, marcelle bb cream, evian face spray
**note: bonus points for super cute packaging and lots of full-sized samples, but they seem to offer a lot of drugstore brands

recent samples: LA fresh nail polish remover pads, joico k-pak revitaluxe hair treatment, caudalie scrub,  ck one shock perfume
**note: this company serves up its samples in a reusable make-up pouch

loose button
recent samples: kerastase hair mask, essie nail polish, venus razor, pantene pro-v shampoo & conditioner
**note: formerly called luxe box and distributed monthly, loose button recently switched to quarterly delivery and doubled their price, but upped their sample count

here's what i think: these services are perfect for frequent travelers, product junkies, anyone who's searching for the next trend and anyone who needs a little guidance. and in our increasingly digital world, it's fun to get a package in the mail - especially one that's wrapped so nicely. however, you could also end up with lots of unwanted products that take up precious bathroom cabinet real estate. in the process of writing this post, i signed up for the quarterly loose button box. if i don't like something, i'll give it away to a friend or donate it (unopened) to local women in need.

let me know if you've tried any of these services!

Friday, September 7, 2012

fashion friday :: runway style (via trip styler)


september is huge in the fashion world with the spring 2013 runway shows in new york, london, milan and paris. but honestly, how am i supposed to keep up with next season's trends when i'm still trying to make a dent in my 916-page september vogue? it's much easier to focus on what's hot on the other runway for fall 2012 travel style. 

printed jeans

forever 21 tie-dye denim :: current/elliott leopard print jeans

grey sweatshirt


white blazer

boundary & co oona blazer :: madewell tuxedo blazer

slouchy denim


shawl-collar cardigan


this post was originally featured on

Friday, August 3, 2012

fashion friday :: like a virgin (via trip styler)

i think my favorite expression is "bananas!" i blame rachel zoe and gwen stefani. speaking of bananas, did you hear the big news in travel fashion this month? {sadly no, a law banning pyjama pants in airports has not been passed, despite my letters to international airport authorities.} banana republic has redesigned the uniforms of virgin america's flight attendants and pilots. virgin, how do i love thee? let me count the ways.

in order to drum up excitement for the redesign, banana republic put its designers into teams for a design challenge à la project runway, with virgin execs choosing the winning looks and virgin teammates weighing in. the final looks, described as "utility chic", mirror the airline's branding and cabin aesthetic.

the new uniforms take flight next month, just in time for the airline's fifth anniversary. but wait! there's more! like what you see on your crew? for a limited time, variations of some items will be available in banana republic stores and on virgin america flights. it might not be high fashion, but it's definitely 35,000-ft high fashion.

virgin isn't the only airline marrying fashion with function; toronto-based porter airlines' flight crew sport uniforms designed by pink tartan, while korean air flight attendants sport gianfranco ferre.

trip styler tip: flying through san francisco? be sure to fly out of SFO's terminal 2, home to virgin america and american airlines. it not only has a yoga room and a kiehl's, but also hip and healthy food choices like the plant cafe organic, pinkberry and cat cora, where on my last trip a virgin pilot serenaded travelers on a baby grand piano. it also has a wine bar if that's your version of yoga...

this post was originally featured on

Friday, July 6, 2012

fashion friday :: summer style with heidi merrick (via trip styler)


summer: hey you! i'm here now!
me: finally, you little tease.
summer: i come at the same time every year...
me: i know, i just wish you were here all the time. i was ready for beach days, iced coffee and shorts forever ago.
summer: well then move to california, why don't you?
me: touché, summer, touché.

it's officially summer. unless, of course, you live in the southern hemisphere, but i digress. what was it the fresh prince said about summertime? "the weather is hot and girls are dressing less". true that, will smith.

when i think of summer style, i think of heidi merrick. raised in carpinteria and based in los angeles, this true californian creates beautiful clothes that are summer personified. her spring 2012 collection is an homage to the glamour of 80s pro surfing, a culture that embodied her upbringing with a father who made surfboards and a mother who owned a surf shop. her clothes have a breezy west coast ease to them, but always with a special touch -- a little somethin' somethin' that sets them apart. bonus: they're made in LA within walking distance from her studio.

here's a mini Q&A with heidi, who believes that when dressing for the beach, you should dress to honor the beach. {i love that. thanks heidi!} and what better way to honor the coast than by rolling up in a pair of black lace shorts?

what does summer style mean to you?
summer is when everyone tries to look like californians and californians are their most cool and natural! i love to wear something beautiful, like exquisite, to the beach. because the coastlines are the most beautiful settings the world has and they deserve it. besides you only wear the clothes for a hot second of greetings and kisses, then you're off in the water.

what's your summer uniform?
right now {at work} it's the la paz shirt, any pant and sandals.

what's your next summer travel destination?
i think my next stop is scorpion bay. a girlfriend of mine has the coordinates tattooed to her gorgeous body so i'm guessing it must be amazing!

heidi merrick is available at as well as online and in store at {the lovely/must-visit} oliver & lilly's in vancouver. traveling to los angeles? make an appointment to visit heidi's studio in downtown LA. i mean COME ON -- how awesome is that?

this post was originally featured on

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

minted & boxed :: part 1

note: this post is part of a two-part series on monthly subscription services that deliver fun and fashionable goods straight to your door. kind of like the 2012 version of your dad's old time-life and columbia house subscriptions that your mum used to get angry at him for forgetting to cancel {or was that just at my house?}...

on a recent trip to palm springs, my friend katrina announced that she wanted/loved everything we saw that was mint coloured, from the fiat 500 to the j.crew beach tote. while i share her love for all things mint, this post is about a whole other kind of mint. 

beachmint is the parent company behind websites that carry products designed {read: approved} by celebrities and delivered monthly to your home. join jewelmint and choose jewelry designed by kate bosworth and stylist cher coulter, stylemint for t-shirts by the olsen twins, shoemint for shoes by rachel bilson and stylist nicole chavez and beautymint for skincare by jessica simpson and skin expert nerida joy. their newly launched sites include homemint for home goods by justin timberlake and interior designer estee stanley and intimint for lingerie by brooke burns-charvet. 

here's how it works: when you sign up, you create a profile based on your personal style and once all your credit card and mailing details are sorted, you either choose what you'd like to receive each month or the site selects something for you. if you want to skip a month, that's fine too {but you have to remember to opt out every month}. shoes are $80, jewelry and t-shirts are $30 and skincare, home goods and lingerie prices vary. unused returns are accepted for store credit {or refund with restocking fee}. all beachmint sites ship to the US, but only jewelmint, shoemint, stylemint and intimint ship to canada at this time.

here are a few cool products that are available right now...

here's what i think: i haven't joined these services, but i've heard from friends and other bloggers that the quality of the products is reasonably good. plus, it's fun to get things in the mail. the danger lies in forgetting to opt out every month and/or being sent things you don't want, need or love. furthermore, while shipping and returns are free in the US, they're not free in canada.  

PS. how much do i want the handcuff bracelets and rug pictured above? {spoiler alert: a lot} let me know if you've tried any of these services.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

week·ly round·up #6

vancouver is such a tease, especially at this time of year. a few weeks ago i tried to make "the switch" to iced americanos, but i've been hopping back and forth between hot and cold ever since as the weather changes. thankfully, they're both so darn good at matchstick. see below for a new york magazine article on cold coffee vs. hot. speaking of new york, a kind neighbour dropped off a stack of issues at my door last week. which is why it's important to be nice to our neighbours. lesson of the week, y'all!

1. always hilarious blog of the week :: eject {kelly oxford}
2. coffee article of the week :: why does iced coffee cost more than hot?
3. most anticipated new show of the week :: girls
4. etsy shop of the week :: victory shop
5. album of the week :: the lumineers
6. video rental {download} of the week :: young adult
7. vancouver shop of the week :: the board of trade
8. solar eclipse photos of the week :: burning love los angeles
9. boyband news of the week :: backstreet's back all right
10. classic film of the week :: vertigo

Friday, March 16, 2012

november in new york

i love new york, even though it isn't mine.
- truman capote

i went to new york and i forgot to tell you all about it. a long weekend in november over american thanksgiving with gorgeous weather, delicious food, visits with vancouver expats, sister/sister time and a christmas spectacular.

where we STAYED

where we ATE & DRANK

where we SHOPPED {PS. more shopping suggestions in my trip styler column}


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

oscar fashion smashion 2012

beyond the allure of women in couture and men in tails, i have a theory about why oscar fashion is so huge: it's because no one watches the films anymore. the nine films nominated for best picture this year brought in the same amount of money at the box office as the only five films nominated 10 years ago. we're paying more, but going less, which is why sunday's oscars attempted to remind us of the magic of the movies. so if we can't discuss the movies, and the telecast is a snooze, what's left to judge besides angelina's right leg? {did i say judge? i meant discuss.}
in what has become an annual tradition {2011 & 2010}, here's my compilation of oscar night trends and favourites. who did you love? who did you love ... less? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

urban outfitters home

when am i too old to shop at urban outfitters?

that's a valid question, since they carry a lot of hipster crop tops and neon jammers. but i'm a rules-shmules kind of girl, so i say "never!" especially because they have great home items that don't all scream "college dorm!" or "first apartment!" they are, however, made for small spaces, and draw on mid-century design. furniture quality varies, so thoroughly read the online reviews or visit the nearest store with a home section {ie. three stores in seattle}.

here are a few of my favourites...

velvet tufted headboard {various colours} $349

zigzag curtain {various colours} $39 / zigzag duvet cover {various sizes} $69-99 / zigzag wood base dress form $300 / zigzag printed rug {various colours} $39-74 / zigzag shower curtain {various colours} $44 / ziggy chair $279

rocky mountains wall mural $140 / marquee alphabet light $179 / woven wall hanging $99 / marquee arrow light $199

ikat duvet cover {various colours} $79-99 / indigo ikat slipper chair $329 / reversible ikat pillow $44 / ikat rug {various colours} $59 / ayana storage bench {various colours} $299

vintage floor lamp {various colours} $119 / brimfield bookcase {various colours} $79 / coil side table {various colours} $79 / loop de loop side table {various colours} $49

madeline chair {various colours} $349 / mid-century sofa {various colours} $479 / mid-century rocker chair {various colours} $289 / night and day convertible sofa {various colours} $589

draper media console $199 / hairpin coffee table $129 / industrial rolling side table $99