‘Tis the season

Shit dudes.

The internet.

It’ll get ya.

See, I was reading Sarah Jane’s first fashion post, and one second I was marvelling at her adorable outfit, and the next I was deep in the bowels of Forever XXI’s “Festive Finds!” webpage, desperately emptying my shopping cart and manically clearing my browser history.

Honestly, it’s a good thing that I have some modicum of self-control, lest I find myself spending hundreds of dollars (on the regular!) on every single sparkly shift dress that I happened to encounter, whether in-person or over the world wide web.

Although what really grinds my gears is that I spent the majority of the time looking for this dress without any luck whatsoever:

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Zilch.

Nada.

Bupkiss.

This dress may exist somewhere in the Forever XXI online ether, but for all I know, having it displayed on the site’s landing page is just a clever ploy to get shoppers to 1.) look at their wares for sale and 2.) just end up purchasing some other piece of clothing in its stead, because everything costs less than thirty dollars so who really give a crap anyway?

(This is just a theory of course, but one that I think may have legs.)

One question I do have for everyone is:

Is December really a time where people gallivant about, going to multiple holiday parties that require a continual rotation of fancy duds and perhaps also champagne flutes, and other cliche Christmas-inspired accoutrement?

Is this a thing that really does happen?

(I am inclined to think no, but then again that one Joe Fresh ad that keeps popping up on my Facebook feed is making me believe that the majority of others are very much disposed to think otherwise.)

I mean, I love December and the many social engagements that it brings. I normally receive invitations to two or three friend-thrown parties, and maybe Marc’s staff Christmas get-together, plus fun, after work low-key hangouts with good friends that I have not seen in a while (the operative word here being “low-key” – we’re talking fireplaces, hot drinks, comfortable clothes, and a lot of laughing.)

But it’s definitely not as if I am careening about from event to event on a nightly basis.

My schedule, busy as it can be, would never require the purchase and cultivation of multiple yuletide specific getups.

There are only so many party skirts one gal can handle over the course of thirty one days.

Plus I’m also apt to believe that after a week of solid fa-la-la-la-ing I would literally be forced to throw out the partridge and chop down the pear tree.

But maybe I am completely wrong – perhaps there really are individuals out there, who spend the entire month decked out in their finest metallic body-con minis (googled it for you), partying each and every night to the strains of Bandaid 30, drinking their Bailey’s on ice, and waiting until they get to the top of the grandest of staircases to bite into their Ferrero Rochers.

(Can you tell my love for Christmas springs not from its spirit, but from its ridiculously cheesy and year-to-year repetitive series of advertisements?)

No doubt that for this my name is firmly entrenched at the top of Santa’s naughty list.

Which if I had to put money on it, is definitely another section of Forever XXI that I haven’t had a chance to explore.

Haven’t had a chance to explore – yet.

Underneath it all

Well, is January 18th.

JANUARY 18th!

What the what.

It’s January 18th and I am here to talk about underwear.

Yes, underwear.

UNDIES.

The whites.

Bras.

Panties.

(I actually shudder at the word “panty.” Whoever coined that term should have been exiled immediately and fined all of their underwear, sentenced to roam the netherworlds (hehe) forevermore without the comfort of a protective layer of cloth to separate their genitals from their clothing.)

Just imagine the chaffing!

AHEM.

Back to the task at hand.

As a young, nubile woman I find the whole “underwear/lingerie” thing absolutely confounding.

Now don’t get me wrong here – I find nothing wrong with the concept of a beautiful undergarment, nor do I begrudge absolutely anyone who chooses to spend their hard-earned cash dollars on fancy, frilly brassieres and garter belts (or the what-have-you.)

It’s just for me – I cannot even.

I’ve believe you me, I’ve tried.

This past Christmas, I walked head-on into the new Victoria’s Secret megastore (the twinkling, garish purple and pink disco – cum – bordello that now takes up real estate on Robson and Granville) with the express intention of purchasing some new duds.

The problem being that I lasted approximately thirty seconds inside of the store.

I just couldn’t handle it all – the entire building seemed to be grotesquely pulsating: the too-loud pop “music” remixes blaring from every speaker; the raucous crowds of women careening about the “2 for 40” bins; the scattered detritus of disinterested boyfriends and husbands glued to their smartphones or desperately looking for a quiet corner in which to sit; the too-interested boyfriends and husbands, hovering about the change rooms with “their choice” bras clenched tightly in their fists –

IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH.

(Also, I’ve got to say – having some non-descript teenage boy wail on about how much he will love me no matter what while I peruse racks and racks of padded bras is a very strange experience indeed. I would recommended all lingerie stores employ string quartets to entertain their patrons whilst they shop.)

But I also have the tendencies and tastes of an eighty-year old, so they should also take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

Or Werther’s Original.

Okay, once again I am all over the road here.

What I’m trying to say is: underwear, for me, serves a function, and as long as that function is served, I am happy.

There are too many things I would rather do with my money then spend gobs of it on fancy-schmancy undies.

Because at the root of it all – I feel totally hot, (and awesome! and strong! and gorgeous!) without them.

I know I look great in my fruit of the loom, unpadded, unadorned plain underwear.

Also – if you’re using that stuff to present yourself as a sexy minx/naughty schoolgirl/lion tamer/etc. – all of that stuff just comes off anyway, doesn’t it?

(Doesn’t it?)

The dollar to time spent wearing the garment ratio is totally off!

Now, I’m sure there are many people out there who would (and probably will) tell me that if I ever gave lingerie its fair shake, I would feel completely different (and yes, I concede that they are probably correct).

But until that day – until I properly gird my loins (harhar) and make it into a store unaffected by all the glittery pomp and sexy circumstance, I will continue on as I do.

Wearing my whites.

Polar Bear Swim
Polar Bear Swim – 2014. In the whites.

Plainly.

When I was young, I never needed anyone

Things I love to do by myself:

1. Eat dinner. Whether at home, or at a restaurant, sometimes it’s nice to just grab a bite solo. This can mean anything from yam fries and a glass of prosecco while reading the latest Esquire, to snacking on sushi whilst sitting on a sun-drenched patio.

Tonight it was the latter, and it was glorious.

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Just delicious.

2. Watch a movie. I never really get why people get so shirty about the idea of going to see a film on their own. I mean, movies are not inherently social outings, AM I RIGHT? And if they are, well, that just means you are doing it wrong.

DON’T PRETEND THIS ISN’T THE TRUTH.

People who talk in movies must face the wrath of humanity. It is a fact that they will eventually contract the bubonic plague, or have all their toenails fall off solely due to the fact that they don’t obey the rules of the movie going experience.

Now, I actually don’t watch movies in the theatre anymore (seriously, I cannot remember the last flick I saw at a multiplex), but once upon a time I relished the opportunity to walk past a famous players and decide on a whim to catch a show.

That was nice.

3. Run. I cannot run with others. When I try, I get all weirdly competitive and passive aggressive, and I am just the worst. And for this I apologize.

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Alone. Again.

4. Shop. I should begin by qualifying that I actually really, really love shopping with other people. Friends, family, husbands – I’ll take ’em all, and we’ll have a great time trying stuff on. But when it comes down to brass tacks, and I know that there is a specific “it” I need to procure – be it a gift, or a dress, or a pair of shoes?

Well then I need to venture out into the retail wilds on my own.

Because I go rogue baby.

ROGUE!

5. Cook. It drives me crazy when people don’t clean as they cook. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO LIVE THAT WAY?

Clean and cook or die.

(Or just don’t cook with me. That seems easier, doesn’t it?)

What about you dudes? What activities do you like to partake in, all alone and on your own?

I will sit here by myself, and read about them.

Making it all bearable

Hey kids.

First off – LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SKY IS GOOD GRIEF IT KILLS ME.

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Seriously, I near but froze my toes off, tip-toeing around my balcony yesterday morning trying to get these shots.

But are they not oh-so worth it?

And then, because I’m one who can never just leave well enough alone, I had to take a second round of shots as I walked to the metro (plus one final snap when I arrived at the skytrain station.)

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Honestly, I’m surprised that I don’t catch more people taking snaps of the sunrise. I mean, am I the only sap left in the world who’s moved by this kind of thing?

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I was some kind of high-flying migratory bird, or climatologist, or Greek god in one (or all of) my previous lives, what with how pathologically OBSESSED I am with the sky.

P.S I’m calling dibs on Athena, here and now and NO SWAPSIES ALLOWED! That badass gal is my homegirl through and through, ya dig?

Anywho, I can only hope that we continue to have good weather so I can carry on getting all shirty over cloud striations, and the way the early-morning horizon looks like a giant space toddler’s blue and orange finger painting project.

(p.s. I think I’ve been reading too much Drew Magary, hence the current love affair with CAPS LOCK. Do not be alarmed. As with all crushes before it – both written and otherwise – this too soon shall pass.)

In the interim, fry up time!

All that glitters is not gold.

So my fabitty fab sister in-law Vanessa is engaged to be married, and her wedding day is coming up daisies (or within the calendar year if you will). As such, she is on the hunt for a gown in which she will be fit to wed her dearly betrothed.

Now, I love weddings like the wedding-mad fool that I am, so I readily agreed to accompany her shopping the second that she asked. We spent last Saturday afternoon together, along with my mother in-law (or CAPTAIN C as I like to refer to her), visiting the various shops that line downtown New Westminster, perusing their incredibly diverse wares.

Now, my sis is a lady of discerning taste, and to say that there were some stores that didn’t quit fit the bill is a bit of an understatement.

For instance, I managed to covertly snap this picture of one of the prom dresses available for purchase at one of the shops:

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WHO?

WHY?

HOW?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD MAKE A DRESS OUT OF THE SAME MATERIAL USED TO CREATE THE SPACE SHUTTLE.

Seriously, somewhere out there Rumpelstiltskin just rolled over in his grave.

(Also, that pink number isn’t anything to write home about either.)

Needless to say, we didn’t last long in that shop, and quickly moved on to a store where everything Ms. V tried on brought tears of happiness and joy to my eyes (and not, you know, a panic attack.)

Different strokes and all that, but my capacity for completely gaudy get-ups is limited, especially outside the confines of an H&M dressing room.

NEXT!

To a Tee.

Remember when I wrote about how awesome my little sister’s butcher shop is?

Well, check out these smashing Highland Drive t-shirts HOT OFF THE PRESSES:

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Don’t you want one?

I have already placed an order for both M and myself, so you should probably think about procuring some of your own. All the cool kids are doing it!

Find out how you can get your mitts on these sweet things by following my wicked sister on the FACEBOOKS HERE.

(And while you’re there, you should probably stop by Ye Olde Rant and Roll and like that too. SHAMELESS PLUG Y’ALL.)

Techno queen.

Sometimes I feel as though I am overrun by gadgets.

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(This overwhelming sensation definitely played a leading role in what kept me from getting a cell phone for so long.)

I mean, I go to work and sit at a compute – writing, reading, researching, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, e-mailing, scheduling, etc., etc.

Then I come home and use my laptop or tablet, like some Asimov inspired cyborg.

And it is because of this that I make such a concerted effort to make sure that I unplug at every available opportunity. I read like a reading thing as much as I can, go for walks with my husband, take endless photos of my cat (and the sky), cook, listen to the radio (what would I do without the CBC!?), talk on the phone with my far-away loved ones (ACK! I have just realized that most of these things are gadget related!), or just sit and think my madcap thoughts, all alone and on my own.

However, on this last point I really need to get better at “just being.”

Growing up, we used to always call it “bear by yourself” time. I want to re-learn how to be bear by myself.

That’s all she wrote this Friday my loves.

Wishing you all a very fabulous weekend, whether it is adventure filled or quietly serene!

Take each moment, and enjoy.

Sale, sale, sale!

Yesterday M and I braved the elements and suited up to do retail combat with all the other Haligonian boxing day shoppers.

Little known fact – here in Halifax, everything remains closed on December 26th and the shopping extravaganza doesn’t start until the 27th.

(I like to refer to it as Boxing Day Part II – Box Harder.)

When we first left the house it was bitter cold, but the air was clear of any snow flurries (or cloud debris if you will). However, about ten minutes into our walk downtown, the white stuff started in earnest and didn’t stop for the next couple of hours.

I’m pretty sure that between the time we left the house, and by the time we pried our boots off our feet upon our return, it had snowed a good ten centimeters.

Ch-ch-check it:

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Mr. M bought two new pairs of shoes – running and dress – and I bought this little green number:

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(Please excuse the rumpled state of this dress – I haven’t had a chance to iron out the creases. Rufus also refuses to take part.)

(As does Simon.)

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We were so cold walking back that we had to make a pit stop to warm up. We chose a little Vietnamese cafe and I ate this delicious coconut curry tofu soup:

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Good grief that broth packed a punch – hot, spicy, delicious.

Elsewhere in the cosmic kitchen, we’ve been playing games like the game nutters that we are, eating delicious and decadent food, running like Forrest Gump, listening to great music, dancing about the kitchen, and watching movies late into the night (and sometimes into the early morning. I officially don’t need to watch another Bond flick for the rest of my days here on this here planet.)

We even suited up and worked a shift at my sister’s butcher shop and storehouse. (Stay tuned for a much longer post on this incredibly business venture.)

Here I am in full shop regalia:

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This was pretty much one of the most fun things EVER – talk about fam jam teamwork (although I was pretty adement working the cash, as handling large quantities of meat isn’t exactly my bag.) We even had a family photo taken in the store last night.

I cannot wait to see the final results.

What’s been happening in your necks of the woods? Did you purchase anything on boxing day?

I’m so sorry that I have been lax in keeping up with all your brilliant blogs. I’ll be back to normal soon – at present I’m just soaking up all the family time I can get.