Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bought: The Costa Blanca Accessories Wall

What: Multi-chain necklace, bead necklaces, pearl and ribbon necklace and pearl and bead bracelet

Where: Costa Blanca (Toronto Eaton Centre)

Price: 50% percent off so, they were free (ok, about $20 for the lot)

Costa Blanca having a 50% off sale is a bit surreal. Nothing you pick up - NOTHING - will be more than $25, and most items will be under $10. Now, I'm not big on the clothes at Costa Blanca, because they will disintegrate unless kept in a vaccuum-sealed environment. But the accessories are cute and trendy, so I stocked up.

The pearl and ribbon necklace broke within 5 minutes of tying it on, and there was also some gnarly glue on the ribbon. I managed to fix it up pretty well, and have worn it twice. Be forewarned that whenever you walk, the necklace will bash against your boobs and swing side to side, which must look weird to whoever you're walking towards.
The one on the bottom right had these atrocious dangling heart charms. I took a pair of needle-nosed plier and pulled open the links attaching those charms, so its a bit more tasteful now. Needle-nosed pliers are as much a necessity in your wardrobe as wooden hangers or heel pads. I use my pair all the time to help pull free zippers or make small jewlery adjustments.

I did buy a shirt as well - it came out to $12:

It was sweet and simple, without any of the shoulder-cutouts, sequined trim or bra-appliques that Costa Blanca is prone to. It's completely sheer, but you didn't expect Costa Blanca to totally sell out, did you?

And just in case you were wondering: the store was bloody insane. Merchandise everywhere, sweaty people straining to button on crappy wool coats, girls trying on skirts over their jeans. And into this mosh pit sails a mother with a double stroller/battering ram.

Bought: Red Guess Military Walker

What: Red GUESS Military Walker (a sort of refashioned pea coat)

Winners (Front Street location)

$149.99, pre-tax

This coat is Big. Not the size, but the look. It's a deep poppy red, has oversized buttons, and a big black belt buckle (mine is different than pictured), puff sleeves, and a funnel neck. That's a lot of design on one coat, especially when its on a 5'3" frame.

I love it, though - everything from the flat black buttons to the red leopard-print lining. However, I feel best in it when worn with sheer black stockings and black patent pumps. The minimal volume on the bottom sets off the coat perfectly. But, when I put it on a pair of jeans and flats with the coat, I feel like it's swallowing me up.

I love it but its not an everyday wear coat. It will be the perfect coat to keep me warm to/from some holiday parties. And I bought a simple black wool coat as well, of course.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bought: BR Wool-blend sheath

What: Wool-blend textured sheath dress

Where: Banana Republic, Toronto Eaton Centre (two minutes before close!)

Price: Regularly $185 CAD before tax - $125 CAD total with 40% off coupon

I usually avoid Banana Republic because it gives me a bad case of sticker shock. Simple gray high-waisted skirt - $95. Black scarf - $45. Gold costume bangle - $50. I end up running out and right over to Forever 21 where I buy something under $10 that's hardly work appropriate.

This was a deal though, thanks to BR's 40% off on Wednesdays coupon. A friend of mine passed one my way and I made sure to use it. I got to the store 15 minutes before close, tried on every dress in the store, and went with this one.

On me, it fits quite a bit tighter. With a bright cardigan on top, opaque patterned tights, and a my sky-high loafers, I love the look. But I still wouldn't have paid full price!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bought: Ben Sherman Westminster

What: Ben Sherman Westminster

Where: Body Blue Denim Lab (Danforth location)

Price: Originally $108; on sale for $28!

So obviously a deal. It's a great shirt, beautiful fit. Even if the darts do deflate my boobs a little.

I loved it, and fortunately preferred the previous year's style, which was on sale, to the regular priced 2010 style.

I think I'll be able to dress it up and down. And this does stick with my resolution to buy only clothes appropriate for the office. And it was $28. Justified.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bought: Aldo Guarneri in Blue and Carney Food

What: Aldo Guarneri casual sneakers

Where: Aldo at the Eaton Centre

Price: $19.98 (sale!)

I couldn't find a picture of the blue shade I have so, instead, I used my expertise to "Photoshop" the image. I put that in quotes because I actually used Powerpoint to doctor the photo. That's why it looks so good:

There are some very astute shoe bloggers out there who have a real issue with sneakers (hello!) But as these are definitely not gym shoes, I think they're ok to wear out and about. I paired these with a pair of black sporty tights and a simple green cardigan and I think it went well.

Well enough to go to the Canadian National Exhibition. Sure, it's too expensive now, and the rides are exciting mostly because you could very likely die on them. But it is still worth it because of one place: The Food Building.

In this heaven-on-earth, you can find the following...

Poutine. Montreal smoked meat sandwiches. Curly fries. Wedge fries. Corn dogs. Deep-fried snickers. Waffles. Elephant ears. Funnel cakes. Hot dogs. 99 cent spaghetti. Bacon on a bun. Snow cones. And every food chain you can think of (Subway, Manchu Wok, Thai Express, Pizza Pizza, etc.)

I showed some restraint. First, I got curly fries and scarfed them so quick there was no time for a pic.

Next, a $1.50 hot dog covered in mustard. Ohhh it was good.

Then, a pack of cinnamon sugar Tiny Tom Donuts. Here is the Tiny Tom donut process, a wonder of scientific management:

Can you believe the guy tried to sell us (3 people) on the "Buy 10 dozen, get 2 dozen free." My 100-lb sister was considering it until we pointed out that we would be the proud owners of 144 donuts. I kinda regret talking her out of it.

I also wanted to ride the Polar Express, but it was closed so we tried Alpine Bob instead. As we got off, we saw that the carnie who had "closed" Polar Express decided to open it right after we asked. What a jerk. I can't get too mad, though, because he was missing all four of his front teeth.
I loved it. And I broke in my new shoes (well, they broke me. I got a blister.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Made: Cinnamon Buns

I like to bake. It appeals to my analytical, assembly-line side: I love having everything lined up in little glass dishes on the counter, precisely measured. And yeah, I do pretend I'm on the Food Network, what's it to you?

I don't have much of a knack for cooking. I'm OK but rarely trust my instincts as to how much paprika is enough, and whether the ribs are done. So I stick to baking.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. This woman is amazing and I am currently trying to get her to adopt me. The recipe can be found here.

These are not yet baked - but they looked so cute, like they were cuddling, I had to share:

Some tips:
  • Do let the dough/buns rise as she suggests. They end up bigger, fluffier, and its fun to uncover the dough and be like "HOLY SHIT IT'S HUGE!"
  • Do make extra icing and eat it directly out of the mixing bowl.
  • Do clean the pans quickly after, or else the sugar fuses to the dish will end up hiding it like I did. Let's hope no one looks in the garage.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bought, Braved: Brazilian Wax

What: Brazilian Wax

Price: About $60 total, with a nice tip

I've actually had three Brazilians, and from now on will be going about once a month. I like it! I feel a lot fresher and sexier.

It does hurt, but suprisingly the most painful part is the bikini line and the upper area. The - um - more intimate parts hurt quite a bit less. This may be due to the fact that 10spot uses regular wax (with cloth strips) on the bikini line, while they use hard wax on the other areas.

It's best to go to a place that has good reviews and can make you comfortable. 10spot plays episodes of Will and Grace or Arrested Development in the waxing rooms, and the aestheticians are all very sweet and professional. I wouldn't recommend you go to a salon where you can't speak the same language as the person pulling off the wax strips. This isn't like a manicure - you need to be comfortable and not tense, or else the whole process will be more painful.

The positioning is a bit weird. You'll be spread-eagle, one leg up, on your knees, on your side, etc. But it's necessary and yields the best results.

And I do it without drinking half a bottle of Riesling or taking a few Advil, so really, it isn't so bad.

The results are amazing. And if you've never done it before, the man in your life will completely lose his shit when he sees it.

While it does start to grow back about 10 days later, it will grow in less thick and eventually, your waxes will only take a few minutes.

Tip: When the aesthetician hands you a mirror and asks you to check if you're happy with it, don't be shy. Stand up and check it out - ALL of it.

Bought: La Senza Panties

HI! Google just told me some people actually read this! Please comment so I know you are real.

La Senza panties; Satin Brazilian, Microfiber and Lace Thong, Lace Thong

Where: La Senza

3 panties for $30

La Senza seems to be pretty much everywhere except the U.S. I guess Mme. Victoria has got the market cornered there, but if you haven't been to a La Senza or at least their website, you're missing out.

They have cute, well-made, affordable bras and panties, and regularly have good sales. They're also very innovative, constantly coming up with new fabrics and construction methods that promise to push even my modest A cups right up to my chin. I'm not crazy about their lingerie (too much animal print and ruffling for me), but I always enjoy visiting the store.

So, as the boyfriend was returning from a summer away, I decided to buy a few pairs of sexy panties. The 3 for $30 sale meant these panties were still on La Senza's high end. I bought each in a peachy/beige shade.

I bought them expecting to only wear them for a few minutes at most (ooh la la!), but I've found that each pair is really comfortable. I usually HATE thongs, g-strings, tangas, etc. but I've worn each of these at least once this week.

Is it the microfiber fabric? Is it a sexual awakening? (nope.) Whatever it is, good on you, La Senza.

If you're looking for simply cut panties and don't mind some loud prints, try out La Senza Girl. Wade through the Hannah Montana merchandise, and the panties are usually on sale for $2 a piece.

And a few updates:

Garnier Synergie Pure SOS Anti-Blemish Pen:
Worked OK. I would give it a 7/10 for effectiveness. It is better than doing nothing, and has kept my problem areas clear. But the stickiness...that really got to me. My hair stuck to my face, my pillow stuck to my face. Annoying.

Crest Vivid White Night Striped Toothpaste:
I'm pretty impressed! 8.5/10. My teeth are noticeably whiter, it tastes nice and refreshing. I would say this is worth it even if it isn't on sale.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Made: Amy Butler "Birdie Sling"

I am a beginner sewer. While it's definitely a hobby, I like to make things I'll actually use, not just cushions and tea covers and little bandanas for my dog. He doesn't even appreciate them, anyways: apparently Maltese have more personal style than I expected.

My very first project was a pattern by Amy Butler. Her house must be incredible. It's a tote-like bag called the Birdie Sling. Here was my first attempt, made with some gorgeous Amy Butler print and a strong black organic cotton:

I lugged it all around school, packed with a laptop, lunch, thick textbooks, my Income Tax Act...this bag was my life. Until the dry-clean only white strap started to get yellow and nasty.

So, I decided to make it again. This time, I cheaped out and went to Ikea and bought a cute little print. I also used an old pillowcase to line. I skipped all the random "interfacing" as well, except on the strap, and I used scraps. So this is the ghetto version, and I actually like it more:

The first one cost about $40, the second about $12. Not including my time to make the bags. To include that, add about 50 cents.

Overall, great for a beginner, fun, very useable, super sturdy, and pretty styling in my opinion. I also reviewed it here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Said: "What did you do to your hairs?"

No, this isn't about a Brazilian gone wrong or anything.

My sister is engaged to a jolly French Canadian, a Quebecois, Pierre-Luc (love the French tendency for double names. And hyphens.)

He is quite anglicized (yes, it's a REAL WORD) but occasionally something slips out or he does something that causes a double-take.

1. Last weekend, he went out to pick up McDonald's. Happy Meal for me, quarter pounder for my sister. Large fries for him, which he proceeded to cover with poutine curds fresh from Quebec City, ketchup, and salt. Now, I think poutine looks like this:

Nice, rich brown gravy. Pierre's poutine was just fries with cheese and ketchup. Sans poutine gravy, which causes the cheese to melt slightly and really makes the whole dish. So, Pierre's, version, eww.

2. Anytime any of us get our hair cut or coloured, Pierre will kindly remark: "I like your hairs!" Yes, each and every one of our 100,000 hairs, he likes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bought: Aldo Fessenden Sandals

What: Aldo "Fessenden" Sandals

Where: Uh, Aldo

Price: $45.00. But $29.98 online. HELLO?

Well, I need them for tonight. The shoes I was convinced I could walk in all night turned out to not be shoes. No, they turned out to be my mortal enemies. So I had to grab these ASAP or my night would be crap.

They are cute. I'm mad I paid way more than the Aldo website offers, but whatever, it's only $15. And I think that if I manage to be creative (ie. recreate how the salesgirl in Aldo tied her sandals), I can get two or three different looks out of these.

UPDATE: Never mind, not even available on the Canadian site. And can't be shipped from the U.S. site. Hello, justification.

Bought: Garnier Synergie Pure SOS Anti-Blemish Pen

As discussed, I am hosting some pretty nasty blemishes right now. They are angry, specifically angry at the skin just between and above my eyebrows. Now, I don't know what that skin did to these zits to make them so upset, but now they have some beef with my temples, too.

WHO GETS ZITS THERE? Someone smart is going to respond and say: Stop wearing your hair down, or use less product. Yeah, no. My hair is barely cracking "styled" right now and I can't cut back on product. Just can't.

So I bought this.

What: Garnier Synergie Pure SOS Anti-Blemish Pen

Where: Pharma Plus/Rexall


It was on sale at Rexall, the gross pharamacy with cheaper prices. I am all for avoiding the crazed Shopper's Drug Mart mark-up, but only if you what you buy at Rexall is sealed.

And so far? I applied it about 6 times last night and I would say there is about a 50% improvement. It feels cool going on and smells nice. But, it does make your skin rather sticky and leaves these...well...shiny-looking spots. Like something dried on your face, which this did.

I'm not sure if it's all that much better than toothpaste, to be honest.

Update, 1 week later:

Worked OK. I would give it a 7/10 for effectiveness. It is better than doing nothing, and has kept my problem areas clear. But the stickiness...that really got to me. My hair stuck to my face, my pillow stuck to my face. Annoying.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bought: Napoleon

What: Print, Bonaparte at the Grand Saint-Bernard, Jacques Louis-David

Where: RMN shop at the Louvre

Price: €15.oo! Score!

A close friend calls me Napoleon. Now, I am short, but that isn't the true reason. I merited this nickname through the frightening (at least, I think so) bouts of rage that take me over a few times a week.

Ie: I returned home late last Sunday night to find my street (a small court) packed with cars. PACKED. Two neighbouring houses were apparently setting the roof on fire, simultaneously.

I don't hate a party, but I do hate when a party-goer parks her Subaru in my driveway, leaving me no place to park. And hey, bitch, I had an episode of Lost in Austen to catch.

So instead of knocking on my neighbours' door and finding the Subaru owner, I take the direct approach. All 5'3" of me stands in the middle of my court and screams:

"Who the f*** parked their car in my driveway?"

And about a minute later, the Subaru was gone.
So this is related to something I bought, btw. Last Easter I was in Paris and picked up an inspiring print at the Louvre. I recently got a frame at Ikea and now it hangs out on my wall. We megalomaniacs gotta stick together.

Bought: Crest Vivid White Night Toothpaste

What: Crest Vivid White Night Striped Toothpaste, Revitalizing Mint

Price: $3.99 (sale!), regular $5.49

Where: Shoppers Drug Mart

I have a bad habit of swishing my coffee, which leaves my teeth looking gross. I also decided to be European and smoke while I was living there last year, and that did enough damage to still be visible a year later. My boyfriend also mentioned a few weeks ago that he was going to get some teeth whitening done and told me "maybe you should, too." Ouch.

Instead of forking over ~$50 for Whitestrips and the like, I decided to use Crest's Vivid White Night toothpaste. It was on sale, and apparently the increased sensitivity caused by the toothpaste is much less than Whitestrips would cause. Also, I be cheap.

I'll update after two weeks, when I should be seeing some results. Other reviews were all glowing, except this guy:
"Don't be fooled into thinking that this toothpaste works-
it doesn't do anything but make your breath rancid."
I've been looking for a way to ensure rancid breath all through my day.

Update, 2 weeks later:

Crest Vivid White Night Striped Toothpaste: I'm pretty impressed! 8.5/10. My teeth are noticeably whiter, it tastes nice and refreshing. I would say this is worth it even if it isn't on sale.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bought: Soïa and Kyo Chaïma Trench

What: Soïa and Kyo Chaïma Trench, in black

Price: $149.00 CAD

Where: Holly's, Toronto Dominion Centre

So yeah, I do a lot of shopping on my lunch. I have a great beige trench from Banana Republic (needs a bit of altering in the arms and hem though, if that's even doable on a trench.) However, Soïa and Kyo coats are pricey, and with this one regularly $280.00, I couldn't avoid the deal. I've lusted after their coats and will hopefully find a fitting one for the winter as well.

It's gorgeous. The back view shows the details I love: the bell sleeve, big flat buttons, and lacquered belt. The inside is lined in a creamy satin with a birds-and-trees print. The whole collection has a whimsical appeal to it.

I made quite a fool of myself over this coat, though. I saw the labels through the window and stepped in, shocked that the coats were on sale. Then, I thought of my perfectly serviceable and brand-new trench hanging in my closet. My sister needed a new trench, so I tried it on to check the size. It fit good - reallll good. But I called my sister and told her to come pick one up for herself.

5:30 that night, I run out of my office and into the store, clutch the only remaining small to my heart, and buy it. The saleslady was having a field day with it. Then I called my sister and undid any good karma by telling her to keep her paws off that trench.

Bought - Nine West Laborc Pump

Price: ~$150.00 CAD

Where: Town Shoes (Toronto Dominion Centre)

It was down to these and an aquamarine platform. The deciding factors were the studs (apparently, huge for fall and strewn over everything in the store), the work-appropriate colour, loafer-inspiration and the hidden platform which promises added comfort.

Four hours into wearing them. The toes on my left foot keep going numb, but my right foot feels fine. Still love them, but not sure I've got the right outfit to set them off.

I'm more concerned with the mosquito bite on my forehead and the awkward teenage acne that's setting up camp there.

- Dodo

Dodo'z Manifesto

This blog may be a bit blah. I hope it will turn out as a collection of things I buy and make. That way, when my parents claim I have nothing to show for the mound of credit card debt I'm likely to have in a few years, I can direct them here.

Anyways. If anyone happens to read this, I'm always grateful for outfit suggestions! I fail at that part of the wardrobe formula.