Outfit deets:
* BCBG jacket (borrowed & sold in my former closet sale).
* F21 faux leather top.
* Accessories:  Gucci shades (Christmas gift many years ago) & MK watch (also a Christmas gift a few years ago).

While taking these photos, Serena commented the jacket looked like a flying squirrel.  She immediately gasped thinking I'd be upset but I burst into laughter--I had never thought of it that way, and it was kind of true, despite really loving the jacket.  

Fashion is always in good fun, and I've had a silly Dad who's always made cheeky comments about my clothes; a cropped jacket, 'Hey, your jacket shrunk in the wash', distressed denim, 'Oh, I see you took a tumble and ripped your jeans...', and so on, so it's safe to say, I can handle it.

What are your plans for the weekend?  This is the last weekend I have my apartment before I have to give the keys back.  My parents are going to help me move the last few items out--some being stored at their place, some to the new place--which will of course be followed by more unpacking.  We received our new duvet cover so now the hunt for shams, accent pillows and a few other items can begin too.  Otherwise some sleeping in, some breakfast in the new kitchen, and some relax time.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Photos by Serena Rivard.

Outfit deets:
* Ardene 'Partier' top (new!); how cute is this?  When I saw it I had to think for a minute but then realized the nod was for Cartier--cute!  It was super cheap and totally on trend.
* Dynamite waterfall blazer.
* Zara jeans (old) which you've seen a few years back in a parking garage with all black errthang.
* Aldo Periera booties (Christmas gift) which I had my eye on for months, but never purchased and then funny story, my mom purchased for herself, they came in, didn't really suit her and I saw them in her pile of 'returns' and snatched them up.  I told her I pay for them but she said I could have them as a Christmas gift--it was Christmas day when this happened, too!
* Accessories:  Expressions by The Bay necklace (old but they still have it), Ardene 'Love' bracelet, F21 wrap bracelet & Aldo bangle.

Okay, it's that time.  New Years resolution time.

I said I would share and I've been thinking long and hard--and you know I'm a fan of attainable resolutions--so here goes:

* Minimum one video per week on my YouTube channel.

* Don't take on everyone's problems--listen, empathize, let go.

* Pay off my credit card every month.  #keepinitreal

I think that's good.  Those are attainable, but also challenging for me.  

Making videos is a time consuming ordeal, and while it's a labour of love, there is a lot of behind the scenes work from preparation of myself (hair, camera make-up), the camera itself (setting up, focusing, etc.) and then the editing which is easily three to six hours per video.

I'm a naturally empathetic and compassionate person, who takes others problems and make them my own; it's my (astrological sign's) way of helping others.  In reality, it causes stress and worry, and most of the time it's the other person who has to fix it on their own.  That isn't to say I'm going to turn cold hearted, I just need to learn to accept I can only help someone else so much.

Finally, my credit card.  A balance on my credit card looms over me and while it might not be a terribly high amount, it still looms.  I want to pay it off, and keep it at zero come the end of every month.  Definitely do-able, but will have to keep my spending in check.

What are your resolutions?  I'd love to hear!  Share them in the comments below.

Outfit deets:
* Billabong top which I scored super on sale a couple years ago for $2 at Winners.  This is the first time I've worn it.
* Mexx faux leather skirt from my Boxing Day post a few years back.
* Ash booties which are definitely in my Top 5 Favourite Shoes despite never wearing them a ton.  You've seen them with black skinnies, at Toronto Fashion week this year & on the weekend.
* Accessories: G21 sunnies, H&M cuff (old) & 'hope' necklace by Emily Elizabeth.

Happy Wednesday!  I'm so pumped this is a short week--who isn't?--and we are quickly approaching the weekend.  I live for the weekend and while this one is quite open as it stands, it doesn't matter. 

There are always things to do or something always comes up.  I will, however, be working this weekend on my next PDO video which will be different than anything I've done before and editing some other videos I have in the queue, if time permits.  In the mean time, you can check out my latest vlog from this past weekend HERE.

Outfit deets:
* Dynamite jacket (old) which you've seen many times, but a favourite outfit post with waxed denim almost two years ago.
* Joe Fresh sweater dress.
* Sirens leggings.
* Bumper booties (old) which you have seen with skinnies, an all grey outfit, and (my favourite) a skirt + leather jacket combo.
* Accessories:  OASAP clutch (c/o), Ardene pashmina & gifted square bangle.

Christmas is quickly approaching (hello, less than a month away!) and I'm becoming frantic.  I need to take a breath.  I have started my shopping, but it feels like there is still so much to do; I haven't even decorated my place yet.  Now I know it's not December yet, but, I always say November 20th is the 'go-ahead' day for all things Christmas, for me at least. 

Last year at this time, my apartment was pretty ugly.  I was using hand-me-down furniture (from the 90's) as we were waiting for our house to sell (and in turn, keeping the house staged).  And in all honesty, I felt a little depressed that I couldn't decorate for the holidays.

Well, I could have decorated.

I just felt it was kind of pointless, considering the furniture and coldness of the place.  Still though, it didn't feel Christmasy and I was happy to spend several days at my parent's place surrounded by a beautiful tree, tiny ornaments, garland-laced railings, festive lights, a fire place, and more.

This year is different though.  My apartment feels like home as I have my furniture and have created a space for myself that feels like myself.  Additionally, there is no longer an eye sore that is my living room (ha!).  Ish.  I am so excited for Christmas that, although I really shouldn't be bringing more stuff into my apartment (it's already quite full), I went to my parent's house a few weeks back and picked up a big chunk of my Christmas decor.  I love decorating with reindeer and trees, and tend towards larger pieces.  The stuff has been sitting in a corner of my dining room, but this week I am determined to decorate.  Let's get this Christmas party started!

Do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you have a theme?

*** I have been listening to a local radio station that plays Christmas music 24/7 now, it makes me so happy.  #thelittlethings

* Gap denim jacket (thrifted & DIY'ed), Mexx dress & Suzy necklace

* Smart Set denim jacket, H&M (white) bubble top, F21 top, Zara pants, Aldo wedges & Suzy belt 
(this outfit is from the day I went to get my hair coloured)

* Old Navy top, Sirens jeans, Aldo wedges & H&M belt (full outfit post)
* Sirens cardigan, Old Navy top, Vigoss jeans & Aldo wedges
* Joe Fresh sweater & tank underneath, H&M jeans & Aldo wedges
* Gap denim jacket (thrifted & DIY'ed), Mexx dress, Givenchy fishnets & Urban Original boots (same as above)
* Garage denim jacket, Sirens tee, Garage skirt, unknown tights, Bamboo boots & Le Chateau necklace
* Smart Set denim jacket, F21 tank, Bongo pants, Aldo wedges & Mexx necklace (full outfit post)

* F21 top, Sirens jeans & Joe Fresh necklaces 
* Dynamite blazer (one of my favourite outfit posts ever), Winners top, Sirens jeans, Bumper booties & Mark necklace

* Joe Fresh dress & unknown tights (full outfit post)
* American Eagle cardigan, Winners top, Joe Fresh skirt, Bumper booties & H&M necklace

* Dynamite blazer, F21 top, Sirens dress pants, Joe Fresh belt & Suzy necklace
* Old Navy button-down, Sirens jeans & H&M belt (same as above/full outfit post)

* Dynamite blazer, Winners tunic, Sirens leggings, Aldo booties, vintage necklace & thrifted brooch

* Joe Fresh jacket, Urban Behaviour top, Foxy jeans, Aldo wedges, Auslini bangle & Bijoux Terner necklace

* F21 jacket, Lily Pulizter top (thrifted), Seduction jeans, Joe Fresh flats & Jacob bangle

 * A.Co Designs top, H&M pants & Suzy necklace

* F21 top, Stitches lace top, Urban Behaviour skirt, Aldo wedges & Suzy necklace

* Dynamite faux-leather blazer, H&M dress (worn as a top), Stitches skirt & Suzy necklace (full outfit post)
* Alainn Bella sweater (won), H&M pants & Mexx necklace
* F21 sequined top, H&M tank underneath, F21 pants, Aldo flats & H&M necklace

* Dynamite jacket, Le Chateau pashmina, H&M pants, Gucci shades & Urban Expressions bag
* H&M jacket (thrifted), Dollarama ring & Urban Expressions bag

 Outfit deets:
* Sirens sweater which I purchased in the fall and didn't end up wearing it nearly as much as I thought I would over the winter.
* Stitches skirt - this is stretchy, double-thick cotton and I have it in several colours.  It's also the base I used to make my feather skirt.
* Aldo wedge booties which are one of my favourite pairs of boots I have, so much so I asked for them in black for Christmas (and got 'em!) and wore 'em with a leopard dress.  These ones have been worn with pink pants and with a skirt in the fall without tights.
* Accessories: F21 tights (which got a hole in them on my first wear, here, in the toes -cheap-), Guess bangle, PharmaPlus beaded bracelet, Pandora bracelet, Swarovski bangle & gifted square bangle.

I totally forgot about this pictures and they have come in real handy as I was kind of grasping at straws as to what to blog about today.  Always nice to have outfit shots that haven't been used... mind you, I'm long not wearing tights anymore and this outfit is from February. 

Here's a fun fact though, this is the outfit I was wearing when we sold our house/the night we signed the papers.  

It's hard to believe that house has been someone else's home now for over two months.  I thought I was going to have a super hard time letting it go, walking away from the first house I've ever owned, the first house I really made my own.  I went back and forth in my mind as to whether I should keep it (buy Mike out) or start fresh.  Every thought ran through my head: would I regret selling it?  Would I lose money if I sold it and then bought something else?  And if I kept it, could I handle the memories that house held?

Ultimately I decided I did not want to stay there (and neither did he) and we sold it.  The day before we closed officially I was there alone packing up the last few items that remained and it was certainly emotional.  As I filled up my car and locked the door for the last time I turned around to the house that used to be mine.  Ours.  With tears in my eyes I said my silent good bye and drove off forever.

And you know what?  To this day, I haven't experienced much sadness over it at all.  It's as if owning that house ran it's course and I think because we had it on the market for so long (eight months) it was just a relief to no longer pay a mortgage and rent.  The first month after we sold and I only had to pay rent was like, 'Wow! I have some spending money!' (and not like I'm rich or rolling in it or anything like that, but it sure is nice to not be tight every month anymore).  I think it also helps that we sold the house to this beautiful, sweet couple who were so happy and grateful.  That's just the icing on the cake.

Have you ever sold your house?  Did you find it hard to move?  Did you miss the house?

Outfit deets:
* Smart Set denim jacket (couple years old) which I've worn with these pink pants before with stripes.
* H&M henley bubble tank that I've had for a year.
* Bongo pink pants which are becoming a wardrobe staple (funny  how that happens since I was so apprehensive about wearing them at first) and last seen with a khaki denim jacket and polka dots and a sock bun.
* Le Chateau wedges (new!) that have tassels on 'em.
* Accessories: Stitches bird+cage necklace, MK watch & random bracelets

What do you feel like?

An frequently asked question but one that's response can be so hard to put into words.

I have had trouble expressing how I feel in the past; not wanting to hurt someone's feelings or give them the wrong impression, so I go along with whatever it is they want (I'm talking minor things here people, like weekend plans).  I was always nervous to say how I really felt in fear it would come across the wrong way or they would perceive it incorrectly.  A problem that most people who know me intimately might not think I have.  You see, I have been described as outgoing, friendly, loud, bossy, someone with a strong-personality... confident.  You wouldn't think someone with those traits, those qualities, would have a hard time speaking their mind.

And sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I speak my mind very clearly.

But sometimes it is much harder.  Sometimes I fall into the 'yes-trap' and have a hard time saying no.  Sometimes I accept invitations, plans, ideas when I really don't want to.  And hey, sometimes it's great to compromise, but when you find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no more often than not, that's when a change is due.

About a year ago, a friend recommended a book to me: 'The Disease to Please' by Harriet B. Braiker (a Doctor) and within the first 20 pages, I was totally doing the, 'Yes, this is so me.  I'm so this type of people pleaser!'.  There are three types of 'pleasers' in the book and your type is established through a series of mini-questions and surveys.  It's shocking how accurate it is.

I didn't end up finishing the book, just got busy with other stuff, but I really feel like the first quarter of the book already fed me so much.  Already fulfilled me so much.  It was a little bit eye-opening and surprising too.

I have been working on saying no over the past year.  This has to do with people-pleasing; always wanting to say yes to please others.  It's not easy, but over time it gets easier.  I read a fantastic quote though, about a month ago, "Learning to say no can be very difficult at first because the people around you that have been interacting with you have become used to you saying yes.  The other person may get angry, and then you have to know that their anger has nothing to do with you.  It has to do with them.  Just remember to say to yourself: When I say no to you, I'm saying yes to me."

Isn't that so true?
 Dynamite blazer, H&M dress (worn as a top & last seen here), Stitches skirt, unknown tights, Aldo booties (last seen here), Suzy necklace, Pandora, Dynamite & F21 bracelets

First off, thank you all so much for the amazing comments, yet again, on yesterday's post.  You all brought a big smile to my face; your compassion and empathy, your kindness and sweet words all mean so much.  Thank you.

So in other news, I am so excited: I just booked my flight to Florida!  Ya!  I wasn't planning on going down this year (financially it just wasn't feasible) but things have changed and I am going!  Yipee!  I'm so excited to spend a week and a day on the beach, wearing sandals, eating at my favourite US restaurant (Chili's) and spending some QT with my parents (they go every year and rent the same condo).

I packed a couple weeks ago and sent a suitcase down with my parents (they drive) so I wouldn't have to (a) lug a big suitcase through the airports (simply a carry-on now), and (b) have to pay additional fees to check my baggage.  Not having to think about packing in itself is a stress reliever (more on what I packed later). 

However, the one thing I am 'stressed' (if you can even call it that) about is reading material.  I love to read (especially on the beach) and am currently reading a book, but not obsessed with it (obsessed in the I-will-finish-this-in-a-few-days obsessed).  I'm looking to you dear readers for some good book recommendations.  Are you reading anything right now that I simply must check out?

I wanted to share this photo to give you guys a sneak peak into my new apartment (finding space for my shoes is a work in progress!), plus I kinda liked the photo.

Related posts:  

Jessica Simpson blazer (last seen here). H&M dress, Sirens leggings, Aldo booties (last seen here), Pandora, Dynamite & F21 bracelets, Dollarama ring & Walmart multi-'A' necklace

I'm anxious.



Here's why:

I have a hair appointment on Thursday with my old colorist...the same girl that did Mike's hair for many, many years.  Years before she ever did my hair.  Basically, I ruined my hair with a box colour once, prompting it to turn goldfish orange, and she saved my life... er... hair.  And ever since then, we've been living in perfect-hair-colour harmony.  Until Mike and I split.  And then I figured, 'I can't go back there...it's his hair stylist...what will I say?!' (she came to our wedding!).  Even after Mike told me he doesn't go to her anymore, and I went somewhere else that was ridiculously over-priced and the girl turned my hair grey, I still didn't want to go.

However, I bit the bullet.

I called and made an appointment last week.

My appointment is this Thursday.

I'm very anxious.

The reason I'm going back to her though, is because she's amazing.  AH. MAY. ZING.  She gives me the perfect colour blonde, the price is great and I know what to expect (and she knows what I like).

I haven't coloured my hair since September and my roots are killing me.  With a potential seaside vaycay in my near future, I'm determined not to go down south with these roots because while I love the ombré look, I feel like I've missed that bandwagon and I hate jumping on after it's been a trend for over a year (with my luck, I'd likely 'jump on' only for it to be really dated in a month from now).  Plus, I simply love love love being blonde. 

Would a situation like this make you feel anxious?  Am I crazy?  Any tips? 
Joe Fresh top (last seen here), Bongo pants (last seen here), Aldo wedges (last seen here), Bijoux Terner necklace, MK watch, Pandora, gifted, PharmaPlus & Mexican bracelets

I am simply astonished by the out-pour of love through comments, tweets and emails you have all sent me with regards to my divorce post.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I'm really feeling the love and support, you are all such wonderful, compassionate people.  I'm so lucky (thank you!).

So yesterday was Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Tuesday!), which is a religious holiday (although I'm not very religious) where you have pancakes for dinner.  That means Lent starts today (from what I understand), where you give something up for 40 days.  A few years ago, for fun (and to see how strong my willpower was), I gave up bagels... and it was pretty easy.  After that year, I never participated again.  I do not want to give up bagels anymore.  Would you give up an indulgence for 40 days? 

 * I used the app Pic Collage to create the photo above.  You can now edit your photos while creating collages, this filter is called, 'Daydream'.  However, I still love Instagram (search: acoest1984) more.
Dynamite top, Bongo pants, Aldo wedge booties | Bumper booties, H&M & F21 necklaces,
 Michael Kors watch & various bracelets

I wasn't planning on posting these photos (ha!  Note the different shoe on different foot?  Ghet-toeee).  I took them one morning before work when debating between the two pairs of booties, hoping seeing it in photos would help me decide.

Do you guys ever really, really want to like something or wear something with your outfit but when you put it on, you know it's just not working?  Same for me with this outfit.  I really wanted to wear the Aldo wedge booties, but ultimately decided on the other ones as they felt more fitted to the outfit.

Which booties would you pick?

Joe Fresh dress, Qupid boots, American Eagle belt, uknonwn tights, Auslini bangle & Suzy necklace

So I finally put together an outfit so I can wear my new boots and what happens?  Fire alarm at work.  Ya.  I didn't even get to strap these puppies on since I wear a commute boot into work and change shoes when I get there (Canadian winters are harsh on shoes).  I got to work, fire alarm in full effect, so we are moved to another building... where we wait... for over an hour... to finally be told we can go home for the day.  Woohoo!! A real 'snow day' (it was snowing like crazy) which never happens but bummer because these shoes never saw the light of day.  Oh well, next time.

What are your plans for the weekend?  I plan to relax tonight, catch a movie tomorrow night and spend a whole lot of time relaxing.  Oh, and pancakes are on the menu for a Saturday morning breakfast (mmm, it's been a while).

Here are some fun links from around the web:

These closets are nuts.

I would love a pair of these flats in yellow.

Some great relationship tips anyone and everyone can apply.

People.  In love.

I know the holidays are over, but this ornament chandelier is simply awesome.

Have a great weekend! xo

 F21 top, Mexx skirt (last seen here), Lilliana pumps (last seen here) / Aldo booties (last seen here), unknown belt, Givenchy fishnets, Suzy necklace & various bangles

I used to plan outfits around my shoes, but in the past year that has changed.  Now I tend to pick the shoes last (unless I have a new pair that I want to rock purposely) and sometimes I an indecisive; case in point, the outfit above.  

I couldn't decide on the girly ruffle pumps or the edgier wedge booties.  I ended up going with my plain black pumps (the ol' tried 'n' true) as I wanted something feminine and while I love those Lilliana pumps above, they don't stay on my feet very well when I'm walking around (which I do a fair amount of at work).

Which look do you prefer?
 Reitman's blazer (thrifted), Joe Fresh dress, unknown tights, Aldo boots (last seen here), Ardene watch, Mexx & F21 bracelets, Hot Diamonds, Suzy & Sirens rings
 Alfred Sung dress, unknown tights, Aldo boots, Ardene necklace, Swarovski, F21 & Costa Blanca 
bangles & Charlotte Russe ring

I'm on a diet.  Ha.  Haha.  Hahaha.  That is laughable because I don't do diets (you think I have that kind of will power?).  So, I guess I'm not really on a diet, but as I sit here and type this, my stomach is growling despite just eating (cottage cheese with berries).  I am certainly watching my intake since completely over indulging throughout the holidays, and am trying to get back to eating clean.  However, I'm starving.  How starving?  I just ate two Vitamin C pills to drown out of cries of my angry stomach.

Okay, so I'm not that hungry, I have eaten today, and eaten well.  An egg white omelet for breakfast (with cheese and broccoli), an apple for a snack, turkey soup, (10) almonds and the cottage cheese.  Tonight I have plans for grilled chicken (going to use my panini press instead of my oven) and a large side salad with cherry tomatos and low-fat feta.  Are you bored yet?

I wouldn't say this is a New Years Resolution (that's far too cliché), just a kick start to get back into my regular routine.  You see, over the past few months I have been indulging maybe slightly too much.  Not to the point that's it necessarily noticeable to others (is it!?) but it is to me.  And I don't like it.  One bit.  Something must be done.  Also, I'm not really digging the way it's making me feel, and when that happens, it's time to kick your own butt, hence, precisely what I'm doing.

While perusing YouTube the other day, I came across a BodyRock.tv workout they had posted, which prompted me to their site (I had a friend who used to do their workouts and she raved about them).  Sure enough, tight lean bodies, friendly (and likeable) attitudes, and simple (but killer) workouts you can do in your own living room (or at the gym, if you have a membership like I do).  Awesome.  I'm taking one of the workouts (it's seven minutes; pu-leeze, you can do anything for seven minutes) to the gym tonight and going to give it a try after I hit the cardio.  Also, I was able to download the Gymboss interval timer app on my iPhone versus forking out the cash to purchase one, which means no waiting to try these workouts 'properly' and no excuses.

I find I often need some sort of variation, kick-start or newness for my workouts.  Zumba seems to be the only thing I've stuck with consistently (almost three years) but everything else gets pretty boring.  I recently tried Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  Phew!  What a doozy.  Seriously killer.  There are three workouts (level 1, 2, and 3) and you do each for ten days before moving onto the next.  I certainly couldn't discipline myself to workout for 30 days in a row, but when I was lacking motivation to hit the gym, it was nice to go home and have an alternative in my living room.  That said, it didn't last long before I was unmotivated to workout from home, so back to the gym I went.

And now?  Well now I just found out that my favourite Zumba instructor might not be teaching anymore (the only time I can actually guarantee I will get my ass to the gym) and I want to cry (dra-ma-tic).  She was there when I started doing Zumba as a participant.  She started out by helping another instructor, she would teach one song a few times, and slowly she would teach half the class until she took over and it became her class.  She's amazing, and I don't want her to leave.  Wah wah.

That's all.  Happy eating.

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