12.16.2013

Whirlwind trips: Cool California

First, I want to apologize to my NUMEROUS readers for not having posted for over 3 weeks. I have been travelling a lot lately and just had enough time to do what needed to be done.

That said, that doesn't mean I did not have a good time. As a Canadian girl, any temperature over 0 degrees Celsius, or 32 Fahrenheit, feels like a warm summer breeze. So even though I was hoping for a little sunbathing when I went to L.A. in late November and San Diego in early December, seeing the beach and sunshine, even at 15/60 degrees, it felt just like a the end of summer to me!


Santa Monica, on a cloudy/windy day.


James says there is something depressing about an empty, cold beach. I disagree, I think it still looks great and it even has more calming properties... Which really makes me forget about all my worries.


I don't want to complain, I've got a lot of folks living the blizzard in Canada. but James and I seem to have recurring bad luck when we travel with weather, especially on very short trips. When we decided to leave the beach because we were freezing, it finally cleared up :).


And while we were stuck in the "freeway parking lot", we witnessed a wonderful sunset.
I haven't seen a lot of L.A. but to me, it is a city of extremes where ugly/beautiful and calm/crazy exist side by side. I don't know if it is for me but it's a great place to visit. Plus, I noticed that everywhere I went, the ceilings were incredible. Hidden within modern skyscrapers, you could always find a beautiful baroque-inspired ceiling.





Balboa Park, San Diego.


Japanese frienship Gardens in Balboa Park.


I could have wandered for hours in these gardens (and I did, and I didn't even get to see the zoo), but I had to meet up with James since we wanted to see Mission Beach before the sunset and we were leaving the next day.


And what a beach! Again, the temperatures were a little on the cold side, but you could still feel that super-cool surfer vibe (and even watch surfers practicing from up close!). That's how awesome San Diego is.



This is by far my favorite beach so far (in California). I know there are many more but nothing could beat that sunset. 




The next morning, we hit La Jolla for a quick breakfast at Brockton Villa-They have A-MAZING french toast (or must I say, french soufflé!). It's worth enduring the strong smell of bird feces for a little while (and I'm not kidding...it's a real problem they have.


Stay classy San Diego (and hopefully I will be coming back-for good this time!)


11.24.2013

Whirlwind Trips: Denver

Lately, I have been taking a lot of short trips around the US. I just came back from two days in Denver followed by two days in Los Angeles. I struggled quite a bit to pack lightly for a cold and a warm city, but I managed to enjoy both trips without that many clothes to choose from.

When you travel, you realize that you truly don't need even half of what you possess. While I spent less than 48 hours in Denver, I managed to squeeze in some time to discover a few eateries-and "drinkeries"!
My choices sometimes depended more on my actual location than on reputation, and Yelp helped me a lot to find good places close by.

First stop: Highlands Cork & Coffee.

Built in 1907, this modest coffee house can be described with one word: cozy. This was perfect for a quick snack and drink after a flight/before a dinner.



While being small in size, they manage to have a few good wines, several different coffees and amazing snacks and bites. They also offer their walls to local artists so they can expose and sell their masterpieces.


Their artichoke dip was truly amazing. It's a perfect place to get some work done.


Or to read a book while enjoying a glass of wine. Fun coincidence: I was reading On The Road by Jack Kerouac, and the main character just happened to arrive in Denver while I was travelling there.


The ambiance in this café is warm and relaxed, they play indie music and even snowboard movies. It set the tone for a chilled trip and reminded me of good ol' Canada.

Second stop: Historians Ale House

So Denver, we have a problem. You're full of microbreweries. You know I love beer, but gluten and my stomach don't get along so much. Luckily, Denver seems to be a place with so many healthy options, I have been able to enjoy a gluten-free beer on a roof-top bar with a (partial) mountain and city view!


I had a hard time getting a good shot of the view, you really need to visit to see it!


This bar has for a mission to recreate the ambiance of the old epic Denver. Their vintage decor (inside) and friendly staff make it a great venue.



It was a little chilly but luckily, I had my American Apparel Circle Scarf.

Third stop: True Food Kitchen

The (part-time) health nut in me literally went crazy on that one. True Food is a restaurant that only serves healthy meals made with organic ingredients. They have a ton of vegan and gluten-free options:


And a beautiful, nature-like decor:


We were in awe when they served us the veggie bowl. Doesn't it make vegetables way more interesting?


We also shared a hummus plate (with a Greek salad on top) and edamame dumplings, yum!


 

I ordered the chicken curry-amazing. After all this food, I couldn't finish my plate and I was so sad that I couldn't bring the leftovers home (we were leaving in the morning, and so were our hosts).


I really fell in love with Denver, even if I didn't see much of it. The few people I met and the food I ate were enough to convince me. And anyways, I do believe in love at first sight.

Running in Washington Park also helped...


Have you even been to Denver? What are your favorite spots? If you live there, what is it like?


11.17.2013

What to Wear: Football Game

It's fall season and it means a ton of different things (apples, Halloween, Thanksgiving, cozy sweaters, winter tires, etc. ). It also means football to some people. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of watching sports (especially on TV/especially hockey). BUT, who doesn't enjoy a nice day out catching the last warm rays, drinking a (couple of) beer(s), eating hot-dogs and enjoying a great atmosphere? While I don't care that much about the issue of the game, I really like sharing a good moment with friends and looking at the field once in a while (when I'm not talking/if I didn't forget my glasses).

A football game is a tricky event to attend fashion-wise, because you will be seen by a lot of people but you don't want to look like you tried too hard. You also want to be comfortable and to stay warm. You won't be moving much and you will be drinking cold drinks so you need to be prepared!

Football Game


All the details for this set are here.

1. You will need to start off with a chunky knit (avoid loose knits, the wind will go through), preferably over a long sleeved t-shirt.
2. Dark jeans will be confortable and you will avoid stains due to too much excitement while holding a hot-dog (please, not skirts or dresses).
3. A scarf is essential as stadiums can get windy. Plus, it adds an element of style!
4. Good sunglasses are essential. Or eyeglasses if you need them. Warby Parker sells polarized prescription lenses for so cheap, there is no excuse!
5. Warm socks in a natural fabric like wool will allow your feet to breathe in the daytime and keep them warm when the temperature drops!
6. A sleeveless vest is a great option. While it keeps you warm and acts as a body windbreaker, you won't feel stuck with your big weater and it's easy to remove when needed.
7. Go for a cute but comfy flat bottie. You can even let your wool socks peek for a true outdoorsy look!
8. Pack some small gloves in your backpack, you won't regret it while holding a cold beer!
9. A headband that covers your ears, instead of a hat, won't mess your hair up and looks cute. My ears tend to hurt with cold wind so it is an essential to pack!
10. Don't be fooled! This is not a scarf. It is a blanket! You can either sit on it to make the bleachers comfier or cover yourself if it gets cold. It can also give you extra cuddle time if you share it with someone you love.
11. This Herschel Supply Co. Packable daypack is insanely practical: if empty, it can be folded in a tiny little pouch!

I know some of these things are incredibly unaffordable, but they represented best my idea of an ideal outfit and surely can be found in more wallet-friendly options.

Are you planning on attending a football game this fall? What do you usually wear or bring when you go to a game? Did I forget anything essential?

11.10.2013

Iron & Wine... & Blue

I am very excited because tonight, I am going to see Iron & Wine at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The Ryman is an amazing venue that used to have a religious vocation (it was previoulsy a Tabernacle). The acoustics are incredible and I expect a great show since Iron & Wine are a very harmonious group. If you don't know them, you should check out my favorite song, Rabbit Will Run.

Quickly, I am sharing with you the outfit I plan to wear tonight for the show. I recently fell in love with the navy and black combo which used to be something I avoided. I love the subtle difference between the two colors, especially paired with black leather. I opted for a feminine look with a touch of rocker chic (added my the leather jacket and buckles on the boot).

Iron & Wine

This Zara t-shirt from their linen collection has an amazing fit and feel. And those Jeffrey Campbell boots are truly amazing. Details for the whole set are here

Hopefully I will get good photos of my own look and will add them to this post!

Are you doing something fun this Sunday night? Or are you getting prepared for the week?

11.08.2013

My Favorite Brown Riding Boots

My latest obsession has been riding boots (you can ask my boyfriend, he will testify, I've been looking at them a lot). Of course, they are far from being a new trend but being in the South, I have newly discovered they can deserve much more space in a girl's closet. 
Therefore, I wanted a new pair. A brown pair (my other pair being black). 
I have browsed in a ton of online (and real) stores and I have come up with my top 4 brown riding boots (for every budget, YAY!). The details are here.

Favorite brown riding boots

$: Those cuties can be snagged for only 40$ at Target. Of course, they are not real leather but they are a good choice if you want to update your wardrobe without breaking your piggybank.
$$: Those Michael Kors boots are currently on sale for 199$ at Nordstrom (originally almost 300$). The leather is beautiful and they are perfect for longer, thinner legs with their elastic band in the back. They are actually the ones I bought, being a skinny-calved girl (this is not always a blessing).
$$$: Those Tory Burch are usually over 400$, but they're also on sale for 331$ at Nordstrom right now! I have tried them on and while my wallet did not want to go that far, they felt and looked amazing!
$$$$: Frye. Enough said. If you don't know about this boot company, look at their boots online. They apparently last forever and the leather is gorgeous. But they are 368$... Tip: Open a Macy's card and get a discount...they have Frye boots in-store! 

I'm not used to paying that much for boots, especially since where I'm from, in Quebec, no matter how much you pay they never really last more than 1-2 winters...


Brown riding boots literally go with everything, but lately I have been thinking of them in a "early century" way. Maybe it's because I have been reading Jack Kerouac, thanks to my friend Matt, but I really feel like going on a road trip to the country side in an old Chevy van. Dressed like this:


Fall Road Trip: Riding boots
The details of this look are here.

So what do you think? Are you tired of riding boots or do you think of them as a timeless classic? Are you the kind of person who invests in a good pair of boots that lasts or do you buy cheaper shoes for more frequent wardrobe updates?


11.04.2013

Warby Parker: Winter collection

I once owned polarized sunglasses and since then, I haven't been able to go back to non-polarized lenses. The only problem with that is that polarized sunglasses are (usually) very expensive so I have been shopping for a very long time to find the perfect pair-with a price that is not over the top. My friend at The Lady Olive recently told me about Warby Parker eyewear. I looked them up and I... celebrated. Finally! A brand that, as they say themselves : "was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically craftd eyewear at a revolutionary price point". This totally fits my own principles of not paying for a brand but paying for quality. Don't believe me? Check for yourself! All their polarized sunglasses are 95$ and if you want to add prescription lenses, it's 150$! Still cheaper than most, if not all, polarized sunglasses!

I have been obsessing over those Everett sunglasses in Gimley Tortoise for a while...
Anyways, when Brian at Warby Parker asked me to comment on their new eyeglasses winter collection, I got excited! Their new collection reflects the cozy mood I have been in for a while, since I have been lucky enough to have a super-long fall!You can see the whole collection here, but I've identified my two favorites and put some outfits together to go with them. If I needed new eyeglasses, I would definitely drop by their website. You can even order five pairs to try at home for free before you commit! And they are all 95$, including anti-reflective prescription lenses and free shipping (to the US).


My favorite pair is by far Durand. It comes in tortoise as well but this color reminds me of a warm fire place in a wooden cottage. I imagine myself reading a good book and sipping on hot chocolate after a day out in the cold. 
Durand - Warby Parker
Details for this set are here.


I also like very much the Watts model in newsprint grey. They appear as much more urban to me but still have their cozy feel (as you can see, I'm into rounder shapes, but they also have a bunch or square-ish shapes for those who prefer that). I would see myself running errands around the city, looking effortlessly stylish on a cold, windy day. 

Watts - Warby Parker
Details of this set are here.

So what do you think? Are you crazy about their glasses-and their prices, too? Which one is your favorite pair?
Oh, and one last thing: they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need with every pair sold. Another great reason to buy go for Warby Parker!

10.26.2013

Cozy

This is THE reason why I'm looking forward to fall every time summer ends. For me, cozy outfits are quite the uniform when it comes to fall weekends. Chunky sweaters, comfy boots, puffy vests and scarves are my fall go-to, in neutral colors (if you look at my wardrobe you can notice that stripes and leopard-print are in the neutral category- I own too many items with those prints!). On a fall day, I enjoy taking slow walks in lovely neighborhoods (with huge trees) where I can step on leaves (or even better, jump in piles of leaves!). I really appreciate those little things especially since fall is a season that goes by way too fast (and quickly gets replaced by freezing winters).





My friend Camille Brunelle helped me out again shooting these photos. I'm very lucky because as most of the leaves are gone and the temperatures have dropped here, I will be travelling down south in a few days and will be able to enjoy a few more weeks of my "fall uniform" while here people are all about winter tires and winter attire!

Sweater: American Apparel, High-waist jeans: American Apparel, Vest: J. Crew, Boots: Steve Madden ( at Macy's, sold out in this color, similar here), Leather pouch: Gap (sold out in leopard print), Scarf: Pieces at Vero Moda (old, bought on sale for 5$ !!)

10.20.2013

Last Leaves

This weekend I was lucky enough to have my friend Camille Brunelle and her camera (and skills!) for a photoshoot. We took what I feel is my last fall walk before all the leaves have fallen. I always feel sad in the fall that such magnificient colors go by so fast.  They shouldn't be allowed to!  But I'm pretty sure they will be gone by the end of the week, as it is terribly windy here in Quebec. Well at least, it'll be just in time to create a spooky atmosphere for Halloween!









As you can see I am still obsessing over leather this fall and one leather skirt wasn't enough. I had to get a different one that is much more playful than my pencil skirt, that I actually wear to work. Denim and stripes make a perfect pair to wear with leather. I won't be able to wear over-the-knee socks for long and will have to switch to tights very soon...sadly!

Skirt: American Apparel (It's real leather. I suggest to wait to have a discount code in the newsletter!), Crop top: American Apparel, Denim jacket: H&M (old, you can still find good options in store), Socks American Apparel (they are "thigh-high". Don't do the mistake I did and buy the "over-the-knee" instead. I'm 5'9'' and still have to fold them over), Boots Jeffrey Campbell (Love 'em!).

Late fall also means I'm getting really excited for Halloween! I'm hosting a party at home...I still feel like a child when it comes to wearing costumes. Do you still get excited for Halloween? What will be your costume this year?