2012: Year in Review

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 has come and gone. Can you believe it? Where did the time go? It seems as though it was yesterday I was making my first New Year’s resolution.

In 2012 I resolved to try something new every month. I think I succeeded.

January: rode in an ambulance and got CT scan
February: went on a date with a complete stranger (in NYC no less!)
March: applied for a job I didn’t have a chance in getting, but landed among the top 3 candidates
April: signed up for the Bar Method’s 90 Day Challenge
May: took a leap of faith
June: applied for my first out of Province job
July: attended a wedding solo where I'm not really tight with anyone other than the bride and groom (Yes, it’s just as awkward as it sounds)
August: went to my first music festival
September: took my first overnight bus trip from Ottawa to NYC and back
October: joined the FHFF team/started shamelessly promoting myself to strangers in Ottawa to get a job
November: started my first French novel (I’m still reading it…)/met 1-on-1 with the Associate of my department/submitted my first article for print
December: did the bone luge at Wildebeest

2012 was a bit of a tough year for me, but it's ended on a solid, good note and I can't wait to share it with you. 

Did you manage to keep your 2012 resolution? What are you resolving for 2013?

Have a happy and safe New Year! See you in 2013!

Photoblog: Ottawa

As we here in Vancouver bask in the wonderfully wet and mild winter (where my friend recently went golfing), I thought I'd share some over due photos from my most recent(ish) trip to our nation's capital, Ottawa (where they have a ridiculous amount of snow). It's a lovely city with so much more to offer than just Parliament (which is pretty cool). I would recommend visiting before it loses it's charm (and becomes as touristy as Victoria - you know what I'm talking about).

Burrata & figs from Town

The sun setting over Parliament & the Peace Tower

Yeah, I wore a hoodie dress to a black tie event

Persian delights 
Repping Canada on Remembrance Day 
Carb goodness from Grounded

Coffee tools at Bridgehead
Remembering at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Delicious Caesar from Oz Kafe 
Rabbit poutine from Oz Kafe

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers (for men)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Stockings can be one of the most fun and easiest things you can put together for Christmas. But aside from the standard fare (magazines, mandarin oranges), here are some items that show just that little bit of extra effort.
Image via Dela Cruz PR

Instance Harlow socks - $11.50
Cool socks for guys are a thing right now.
Image via Dela Cruz PR

Urbanears Medis earbuds - $60
They come in a variety of colours, patterns, and styles.

Save on Meats sandwich tokens
Encourage do-gooding.

Image via etsy.com

My Bella copper money clip -  $24
The best part, get it personalized. Lots of other styles available on Etsy.

Image via amazon.com

Tovolo sphere ice molds - $12 (set of 2)
Round ice prevents your drinks from becoming diluted.

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers (for women)

Monday, December 10, 2012
Stockings can be one of the most fun and easiest things you can put together for Christmas. But aside from the standard fare (magazines, mandarin oranges), here are some items that show just that little bit of extra effort.
Image via sarahapp.com

The Lip Slip - $24 (from BeautyMark)
My favourite lip gloss. Read my review.

Image via kitchening.ca
Kitchening & Co. macarons (Urban Fare & various other Vancouver locations)
Delicious and they look pretty.

Image via katespade.com

Kate Spade business card case  - $58
It's always really great to be able to give someone your business card from a professional looking case. If this one's out of your budget, Etsy has lots.

Image via cwonder.com

C.Wonder cashmere heart gloves - $58
They're super cute and they have smartphone-capable fingers!
Image via cwonder.com

C.Wonder monogrammed stationary cards - $10 (set of 8)
Because everyone wants monogrammed stationary. No? Just me?

Bombay Brow Bar brow tab (6 services for the price of 5)
I don't know about you, but I'd be stoked to get this.

Event: The Sartorialist x Secret Location

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Vancouverites, the Mayans must've been right; the end must be near. Why else would fashion's most famous blogger grace us with his presence?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, The Sartorialist was here.

We came, we saw, he signed books (and prints), and was just a delight.

We were discussing how he picked the images for his prints
Aside from how he picked the images that were made into prints (he felt that they all kind of represented places he's visited), we also briefly discussed something, or someone, new to his site...

Last week, my friend Justin tweeted that his "first post" was up on The Sartorialist. Puzzled, I clicked through.
As it turns out, Justin (of Tucked Style) is the newest member of The Sartorialist team as the Men's Fashion Editor. He's crazy, fun, knows his menswear, and is a very talented photographer. I strongly recommend checking out his blog.

Being in Vancouver, I often forget that in other places, particularly in the US, people actually blog for a living. In fact, they not only blog for a living, but in Scott's case, he can gainfully employ others - not just have free interns (that BoF article is extremely interesting, by the way).

But that's a topic for a different post.

Blazer: Forever 21, T-shirt: Wilfred, Jeans: Banana Republic, Boots: Rachel Comey

Event: Secret Location x Man Repeller

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
A couple weeks ago, Gastown's Secret Location welcomed Man Repeller, Leandra Medine, to Vancouver.

The crowd to see Leandra was pretty crazy. But what else would you expect for one of North America's most well-known bloggers?

The line to see Man Repeller
Secret Location owner, Carey, looking fierce in items found at the store
And now a super awkward montage of photos.

Leandra and I quickly chatted about my favourite post of hers from this past New York Fashion Week. I had had a similar conversation with a couple friends in the menswear industry in New York a few days before that post went up and have had similar conversations with people since.

It's funny, I can totally relate to the situation Leandra describes at Fashion Week. And while there are a lot of photographers who want the crazy outfits, the more well-known, established bloggers are starting to want those who look much more effortless.

It begs the question, has street style maxed itself out in terms of it's insanity, encouraging people to dress in ways they otherwise wouldn't? Is street style going to experience a regression towards more minimalism or just cease to exist (in a world where we are increasingly self-indulgent and narcissistic)?

Leandra's face was getting sore from excessive smiling, so naturally I provided a public service

Save on Meat's Mark Brand & CBC's Big Decision

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I don't often write a lot about myself here, aside from self deprecating commentary, but I wanted to share with you a story that I really connect with and that is deserving of some seriousness. Regardless of whether you're from Vancouver, the USA, Europe, or Asia, we can all relate to the causes of these issues. All it takes is for one person to lead the charge.

Mark Brand became a household name thank to the OWN network's 'Gastown Gamble', a show that told the story behind Mark's acquisition and revival of the historic Save on Meat's butcher shop in Vancouver's Downtown East Side, Canada's poorest neighbourhood.

Image via Ki Communications
Aside from just reviving a local icon, Mark wanted to establish a social enterprise in the neighbourhood through collaboration with other local programs, providing the area's residents a chance to start over. Rather than viewing these people as addicts, prostitutes, and other nefarious labels, Mark (and his partners) gives them back their identities, their names.

Currently, Save on Meats supports a meal program that feeds 450+ DTES residents daily (we're talking 7 days a week, daily), and is rolling out a one-of-a-kind meal token initiative on November 29, 2012.

The Save on Meats meal token program aims to target that dilemma we all face when we're approached by the homeless. We want to help, but we can never guarantee where the money we give is going - food? Drugs? Alcohol? These tokens, worth $2.25, enable the holder to visit Save on Meats and exchange the token for a breakfast sandwich. The tokens have no monetary value and cannot be exchanged for anything else.

Through his media team, Brand says of the program, "This token program has been a long time coming. It isn't just about being able to provide someone with a nourishing meal, but also the engagement into your community and the power of real human interaction. This is our city and we want to make it better every day with unconventional solutions."

Tonight, Mark Brand and Save on Meats will be featured on CBC's The Big Decision (at 9:00pm!). The show features 2 Canadian businesses that are struggling in the current economic times. Arlene Dickinson, a Canadian marketing communications entrepreneur, will make the Big Decision, as to whether she will step in and invest in Save on Meats, or the competitor.

Earlier this fall, Mark spoke at both TEDxSFU and TEDxVancouver, sharing his story of how Save on Meats came to be and the social enterprise that is currently helping transform the DTES. You can watch Mark's TEDxSFU talk here (TEDxVancouver talk isn't available yet).

Save on Meats has some cool things happening over the next few months - stay tuned to their website for more details.

Event: Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Show

Monday, November 26, 2012
Last week I attended the annual Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Show, featuring the school's recent graduating class.

In their final semester, fashion design students have to come up with a 3 piece collection - designed and created in 4 months. What an impressive feat for students enrolled in the 1 year intensive program, with varying backgrounds in design. At Blanche Macdonald, students learn pattern making, garment construction, and portfolio development.

My favourite designs from the show:

Colleen Schneebeli 
Jena Lewis
Katy Baldock
Paul John Reyes 
Summer Li
I really love the juxtaposition of the pristine white dress and the tattooed model in that last photo.

And since I never shy away from an opportunity to look like a nerd... I ate about 6 cupcakes before, during, and after the show...as evidenced by this photo. I'm actually wearing a respectable outfit for once...unlike here, here, here, and here (and probably many more).

Dress: Banana Republic, Shoes: Zara, Watch: Timex

Fashion show photos via Dela Cruz PR.