Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The 2nd Annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge! Day 3

Day 3, in which items being to make their repeat appearances...the long cardigan returns, as do the red Fluevogs.

I felt very Parisienne in this. Oui, oui! I had the scarf tied and pinned a bit better at work (I pinned it through the scarf onto the shirt underneath to keep it from sliding around my neck), but I was lazy when I got home and had to put all the clothes back on again. Very tiresome, some days.

The orange skirt makes its only appearance this week (I could totally do many more days with these pieces). I liked how it went with the plummy red of the shoes.

And no, I don't have tattoos on my legs - those are nylons with printed designs running up the sides of my legs. Wild, eh? They go from the foot right up to the top of the panty. Amazing what you can find in the bargain bin at the Bay.

The stuff:
My lovely thin cashmere/cotton t-shirt. I am adoring this belt, too. It's so versatile, and the colour is ...elephant grey. These earrings were a poor choice - one of my ears is getting sensitive to jamming these in twice a day.

Link to the full 10 + 5 clothing items and accessories in this year's challenge here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The 2nd Annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge! Day 2

Today's outfit has all new items! I like try and alternate days of wearing things to give them a chance to "rest". other pair of shoes is the yellow boots! I knew these would be the biggest challenge for me to build multiple outfits around - and I do love a challenge. I also wanted the texture of the croc with the plaid and the pattern in the t-shirt (which has a titch of yellow in the design).

The first skirt to make an appearance is this wonderful houndstooth. I love it because, frankly, it makes my butt look great.
It's all that walking - it's great for the glutes! I also like that this jacket (gorgeous colour) has a peplum back, to accentuate the booty.

The stuff:
Hello, yellow boots! Grandma J's brooch makes an appearance, and the earrings return. I love the design on the t-shirt. Sparkly!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The 2nd Annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge! Day 1

Okay, Day 1! And we're off!

Unfortunately, since yesterday when I sorted all this out, the weather has gone from lovely and warm to cold and rainy. Fortunately, I planned for lots of layers.

And although I have a fair bit of black in my challenge wardrobe this year (due to having to plan for a funeral), I really wanted to try mixing patterns and textures. Today's outfit is the mix of the patterned dress and the striped tights. Woo, she's wacky!
First up is the dress with the black cardigan over it, belted. Added my awesome new tights (a freebie item, yay!) and the red Fluevogs:
Heh, I put my leg up on the table to take that picture.

The stuff:
I'll be wearing the same earrings every day, and using the bracelet and belt frequently.

I hope I don't OD on any of these pieces, like I did with the belt in last year's challenge. I tried to plan so that I wore each major item twice, max 3 times.

The 2nd Annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge! The Items are Presented

I was so excited to hear that Jane was doing another Capsule Wardrobe Challenge - I had a great time doing it last year (click here to see the list of the clothes I wore last time). It's such a fun exercise to try to come up with 5 totally different looks with a limited number of items.

Without further ado...the clothing items! As with last year, I went clothing-heavy and only picked two pairs of shoes.

From the left: Dress (Jacob, gift from Elaine), black wool cardigan (Express, consignment), black and white houndstooth skirt (Nygard, consignment), orange tweed skirt (no label, consignment), black skirt with beaded waistband (Kensie), striped cashmere top (Majestic, gift from Caro), blue suit jacket (Le Chateau), red rocker tee (Libertalia).

The shoes - oh, yes, I am doing all coloured shoes! The yellow boots were my own personal style challenge.

Red shoes (Fluevog Teapots, gift from L), yellow boots (Aldo, consignment).

And these are my five accessories:

Black sash/scarf (was part of a skirt I no longer own), belt (Plum), pin (Pastelli, Grandma J, vintage 1950s), earrings (Plum probably).

You'll notice I'm not doing a bag...mostly because I don't use a bag for most of the week since my clothes are packed into a backpack every day. I will have one on Friday, and I'm not counting it towards my challenge! It is for holding my lunch, wallet and some extra clothes - it's not a fashion item.

I will actually be doing two outfits on Friday - I have a funeral to go to mid-way through my day, and I won't be able to wear my "casual Friday" outfit for that, obviously. This is also why I have no jeans in my mix - I felt that the extra bottom gave me more options, too.

Let me know if you're participating in the Capsule Wardrobe Challenge - I'll swing by your blog and check it out!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Special Request: What I Eat - and a Couple of Questions

Hey! This is not a fashion post, so skip on by if this isn't your thing. I don't mind. Really, go ahead.

Lyn, or Lady K, has been full of questions (Lyn, I'm not sure where you're from - Hungary? but your English is excellent):

I was amazed to find out that you was once on the heavier side of the world!!!??!!! No ideea of this at the beginning! Loved also, your posts about your dear Father and your daily fast walking to-and back from your workplace!(how many km. is that/day?-and how long takes you that?)You are very brave and a wonderful person!! Congrats and keep on doing! thank you so much for inspiration!!!

You're very welcome!

I was absolutely on the heavier side of the world! I weighed close to 200 lbs...and I am 5'4". I have struggled with my weight and body image issues for nearly my entire life.

Part of starting this blog was to be personally accountable to myself about how my clothes fit and how I feel about my body. A surprising side effect to blogging has been that I have a much more accurate picture of what I really look like...after all, there are pictures.

To get back to the questions, my walk each way to work takes about 40-45 minutes, depending on traffic (some days, the lights are against me!) on how late I am. It's about 6K each way, and I do it 4 days a week, so 48K a week, just from going to and from work.

Thanks for the kind words, Lyn!

Will you tell us again how you rewarded yourself after you loss weight? I mean how did you do it after certain markers? I think you said shoes. Makes good sense! You look nice and trim as always. I keep remembering I can do it too.

As I lost weight, I set small milestones. First, it was the 10% of my starting weight (I got a keychain from WW). Then, whenever I hit a round number, like 170, or when I had lost milestone of weight, like 5, 10 or 20 lbs, I rewarded myself.

For the first 25 lbs, I bought accessories, shoes, things that wouldn't be too big as I lost more. At 25 lbs, I spent about $250 and bought a mini-wardrobe of about 12 clothing items, so that I'd have clothes that fit me for work. Thereafter, I would reward myself with a clothing item (a pair of size 10 jeans! a medium top instead of XL! a belt!). When I hit the 50 lb mark (my official goal), I bought a wonderful dress, which I don't think I have worn on the blog - I need to get it hemmed - appropriately, I call it my Fifty Pound Dress.

I had also been saving my money, and once I'd lost 55 lbs, I spent about $2,000 and bought a full new wardrobe. Everything had to be replaced, from my underwear, to my workout clothes, to my winter coat, and even my tights! Everything. The only things I had left that fit were shoes (and some of those were too big as well) and jewelry. I had to have my wedding ring resized too.

So I spent quite a bit of money on all those clothes, and I want to make sure that I keep my weight off! I don't ever want to go back to being heavy and unhealthy.

I know, this is not exactly the place to deal with, but could you please make us once a post on your diet which keeps you so thin and beautiful for ever? For ex. to see exactly what you eat, on a weekday.(if possible, with photos:-). This can help some of us a lot, especially regarding meal sizes, quantities, and time schedule on a healthly diet...thanks so much

Okay, first of all, sucking up is so nice.

Regarding food, I'm a Weight Watchers' lifetime member (I've maintained my goal weight loss for nearly 2.5 years). One of the things WW teaches you is to write down what you eat - and I have been tracking my food for over 3 years now...but I've never actually taken pictures of my food, so I was intrigued to see how my attitude towards my food is when I can actually SEE what I've eaten. You know, like on those health makeover shows when they lay out all the disgusting junk that the person has eaten in a week?

So here we go!

Monday to Thurday - Breakfast and Daytime: I'm really very boring. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, and I take the same lunch to work every day. The plus side is that it makes grocery shopping easier (I know exactly how many apples to buy), and I do have little variations. My breakfast is always 1/4 cup of Fibre One, with some sort of unsweetened or barely sweetened cereal on top of that. Lately, I've been into the Nature's Path Whole-Os. I use skim milk. In the summer, I have raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries on my cereal as well.

This is my daytime food - see why my coworkers make fun of my massive lunch?:Yes, I take all of that to work and I eat all of it every day. I buy whatever fruit is in season, plus always apples and bananas. This week I had nectarines, pears and kiwi fruit. I also have a baggie of sugar peas and radishes. I pack a salad of mixed greens, a tub of cut-up carrots and a tub of plain yoghurt. I also have a sandwich on whole wheat WW bread. A couple of days a week, the sandwich is deli turkey with Dijon mustard and onion sprouts, and a couple of days a week, I'll have egg salad (made with low fat lemonaise) with sprouts.

Around 11:30, I get hungry, so I have "second breakfast":Usually, I have a grapefruit too, but they didn't look good last week. I had them all this week. I spoon bits of yoghurt onto the banana, then I quarter the kiwi. I eat half of the yoghurt each day.

I keep dressing in the fridge at work: I finished this bottle of Annie's low fat Ginger Vinaigrette, and am now onto Newman's Own low fat Balsamic Vinaigrette. Hmm...looks like I ran out of sugar peas that day and was down to just radishes.

I eat the carrots and the apple on my walk home, so that I'm not starving when I get there. When I run out of carrots, I cut up celery instead.

Main Meals during the week:

Monday:L and I usually eat late (we both blog, then I cook), around 7. This is chili (okay, actually a mix that I got at the Fair from Mitchell's Soup Co. - you just add extra veggies, meat and water and stew it for about 6 hours) that I made the weekend before, using leftover pot roast. I also added in fresh tomatoes, green onion and yellow peppers. This dinner is the thawed out remainder.

As those bowls are smaller than they look, I also made us bun melts:
Whole wheat kaiser buns, with a slice of Canadian bacon, with chopped up peppers, green onion and tomato, topped with a sprinkle of asiago cheese, then done in the oven for about 10 minutes. Yum!


Tuesday is our poker night - it's also the night we get groceries, so time is tight before 3-4 guys arrive at our house at 7. L and I treat ourselves to Subway:
I always get a turkey wrap (no cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles and mustard), and I always peel off most of the wrap. I find Subway's wraps too doughy - I wish they did whole wheat wraps.

Wednesday:We each had a plate of shrimp with Seattle's Public Market Wasabi cocktail sauce (spicy! woo!) for an appetizer.

Then we had dinner about an hour later:
Fresh corn on the cob, and thawed out soup. I make a giant batch of soup about once a month, whenever I buy one of those BBQ whole chickens at the grocery store. After we have a meal with the chicken, I debone it and cook up some dee-lish soup. This soup has mushrooms, brown rice, carrots, celery, yellow pepper, green onion, broccoli and cauliflower in it.

On Thurdays, we always have a bottle of wine with dinner. After all, it's almost Friday! This night, we had spaghetti. Extra lean ground beef, onion, celery, red pepper, green onion, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. Sometimes I skip the ground beef and do prawns - then I add a big scoop of fat free sour cream and it's a nice creamy tomato sauce. I usually do a double batch of sauce (I cook two different ones, since L loathes mushrooms, and sometimes I like to add zucchini to mine. He also likes his a lot hotter than I do.), and then we have it again within a couple of days, but with a different pasta. I always use whole wheat pasta.

Friday is the start of the weekend, and I treat myself to plain oatmeal and frozen blueberries (fresh fruit if it's in season, sometimes a bit of honey for extra sweetening), plus an egg (like my microwave egg cooker? it rocks!) and a glass of milk for breakfast.

In addition, Friday is my "no exercise day" and it's "eat out lunch" day. I bring all the fruit, yoghurt and the carrots to work, and eat them, but my main lunch is at a restaurant. This week, we went to Kelsey's and I had the grilled salmon salad (dressing on the side, of course!):
It had walnuts, red onion, strawberries and crumbled blue cheese along with a nice-sized piece of grilled salmon. Yum!

To prove that I dip my fork in the dressing vs. dumping the dressing all over everything:
We had to rush out to meet friends to see a movie after work, so I whipped up a quick chicken burger for each of us (10 minutes prep). I buy bags of pre-cooked chicken breasts and always keep a stash of frozen whole wheat kaisers handy. I put lemonaise, lettuce, sliced tomato, ketchup and Dijon mustard on these.

I forgot to take a picture until I was nearly done!
I didn't have the camera with me, but we went to the pub after the movie and I had two pints of Coors Light (it's Friday!) and Mexican lettuce wraps to eat (spiced ground beef with salsa and sour cream that you wrap up in lettuce leaves to eat).

L had to take the camera to work with him on Saturday, but I wrote down all my food. Saturday is my "free day"; I go to my WW meeting in the morning, and my new week of tracking starts on Sunday morning, so I reward myself by allowing myself to eat whatever I want for Saturday. This way, I never feel deprived, and I can hold off more easily on mid-week temptations if I know I can have that special or "forbidden" food on Saturday.

I ate:
- my weekend breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries;
- Eggs Benedict (English muffin, two soft-poached eggs, spinach, mushrooms, green onion, pesto hollandaise on the side) with salad at my favourite diner while I was out shopping;
- most of a bag of Barbara's Jalapeno Cheese Twists;
- a little box of Jelly Belly jelly beans;
- a can of Amy's organic chili (with mushrooms added) and a whole wheat bun for dinner.

I'm pretty sure I drank either most of a bottle of wine or a few vodka and Frescas, too.


Sundays right now are NFL day. I usually watch the morning game and the evening game. In the afternoon, I either go shopping at my favourite consignment stores, or I go for a run, then nap, read, blog...whatever. L and I don't do anything on this day. It's very relaxing.

I had the usual oatmeal/blueberries, and for lunch I made quesadillas: A multi-grain tortilla, with Canadian bacon, mushroom, peppers, green onions, refried beans and a very small amount of skim cheddar, cooked in olive oil, served with salsa.

For dinner, we had a smoked salmon and goat cheese pasta:
It was loaded up with broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, celery, green onion and mushrooms.

"Wow," you're thinking, "Aside from the booze, she eats disgustingly healthy."

But you would be wrong. For I have not yet mentioned The Snacks. I am a big snacker. And snacking made me big! Being aware that I love my snacks, I stock the house with relatively healthy things that I don't feel bad about having in small quantities.

Of course, there's Tuesday, the aforementioned poker night with the guys. I have to be conscious of my portions and limit myself to a couple of small handfuls. This is typical: Chips!
Poppycock (caramel corn with cashews)!Pringles! (note they are reduced fat - I bought those)

And finally:Thanks, Tony, for always bringing some yummy grapes.

I do eat lots of fruit as snacks: Asian pears, strawberries, grapes, pomegranates (they're in season right now), but I do like a variety. This is what I ate this week:
I ate a lot more nuts than that - I usually have about 6 almonds, cashews and walnuts a day. Throw in a Babybel Light cheese here, some Lindt dark chili chocolate there, a handful of Crisy Minis rice cakes, some Guiltless Gourmet Mucho Nacho Chips, and of course, my old friend:
Popcorn! I eat a bowl like that about twice a week. That's 1/2 real butter and 1/2 olive oil.

I do eat my snacks in moderation, but a night doesn't go by that I don't have something.

A couple of notes: This menu works for me and my lifestyle. I'm not trying to tell you how to eat, just showing what I eat. I also do a lot of exercise in a week. In addition to my walking four days a week, I walk 8K to my WW meeting, play a 2 hour game of Ultimate, and do a 1 hour speed walk. I also often shop for 4-5 hours (that counts as exercise!). I'm also maintaining my weight - not trying to lose. When I need to drop a couple of pounds, I eat more fruit and popcorn when I snack, and try to avoid processed food. I very much try to eat as much plain food as I possibly can. It's worked for me.

I learned: I don't like recording my snacks! That's the area that always comes back to bite me...what a surprise.

Whew! Well, there you have it. That's a typical week for me. I hope it was as illuminating for you as it was for me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Casual Friday - A Lady in Dragon and Flames

Ah, Friday! How welcome you are!

I built my whole outfit around one item today...but we'll get to that shortly as I strip down. To start, it's 5 to 8 in the morning, and whoa! I am amazed at how awake I look.

Fake it till you feel it, indeed.
That's my gorgeous new red bag. I finally gave up my Betsey Johnson leopard bag (shown here, ha, I also said "fake it till you feel it" in that post, too funny); the pockets had all blown and it had lost its shape altogether. So while I was sitting having lunch last Saturday in my favourite diner, I emptied everything into this bag and gave ol' Betseyville to my dear waitress, Sarah.
It's the first wear of the season for this jacket. I love this jacket so much - it is all kinds of awesomeness - however, it is a love it/hate it thing, I've found.

Jacket off, but I had it on all day:
I am committing a major faux pas by tucking my thin sweater into my jeans (otherwise, I have escaping muffin-top). The horror!

The dragons!
I planned to stop at Shi Studio tonight after work, so I deliberately wore these shoes, because they remind me so much of all the gorgeous fabrics they use in their wearable art. They had a big sale on, and I bought a bunch of amazing stuff. I'll be doing a theme week after next week's Capsule Wardrobe Challenge to showcase all the great pieces I bought. Shout out to Cory and all the fab ladies there! Thanks for the wine!

The stuff:
Oh, now we're getting there. This necklace was the jumping off piece. L bought it for me at a fair he was at last weekend. Isn't that sweet? The tile is made of a wooden domino.

He was attracted to the image on the tile, which reminded him of the Lady in Chains on the back cover of Leonard Cohen's first album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen."

This is the image, but don't buy this album - go buy a real Cohen album.
And here's the necklace, close up:

Have a great weekend! I will be doing my food post at some point.

Jacket (Bebe, consignment), sweater (Jacob, consignment), jeans (Seven7, gift from Caro), belt (gift from Ruth), shoes (Aldo), earrings (gift from L), necklace (locally made, gift from L), ring (consignment), bag (Grace).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Little Ms. Plaid

After yesterday's crazitude, my coworkers spared me narry a glance today, despite my efforts at mixing patterns. I try to look awake in the mornings:
Can you tell I'm forcing my eyes open? I got this skirt last weekend - I have been keeping an eye out for plaid lately. I've always loved plaid (I have owned many plaid dresses over the years), and I agree with fellow bloggers who think it's going to have a major resurgence. But then, when is plaid NOT in style?

The stuff:
You can see the stripes in the jacket better here. I had to wear a flat shoe as I had (yet another) dentist appointment today and had to walk to and from the bus stop several times.

Yay, it's almost the weekend!

Jacket (Vero Moda), top (Planet), skirt (Le Chateau, consignment), shoes (Predictions, consignment), necklace (Plum), earrings (gift from L).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Perhaps I went a little too over the top today:
I did hesitate before I bought the tights. It's the pattern. Those diamonds are just too big, and they make my legs look odd, and the colour is not quite right (too pink on the tights). But, oh well, fashion is meant to be fun, and this was a fun outfit to wear!

The stuff:
My new grey leather belt, which I just love, is from Plum (shout out to Tracy, best salesperson in my city). The awesome cross L bought me years ago, my old cuff and the shoes...ah, the shoes.

A close-up of the necklace:
I don't know what "JS" stands for.

Dress (BCBGirls, thrifted), shrug (Debut), tights (Hue), shoes (Ralph Lauren, consignment), cuff (vintage, mine), belt (Plum), necklace (from Plum, gift from L), crystal stud earrings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bugging Me - Somewhat Sombre

I felt a little dark today, but it's a nice change from all the brights and colour I normally do. I feel like this is subdued for me.
But it does have bugs! (Although, yes, I know spiders are not insects, but they're both arthropods).

The bluey top is new - it has a rounded square neckline and little seams of ruffles and satin on the bodice (very Ren Faire). It was $7 in a thrift store.
Othello is being Yowly McCrankypants tonight, so he gets a bit of cat weight-lifting.

My feet are blistered from my new runners (damn, I hate that breaking in period), and my knee is all puffy and turning pretty colours from curling. Kari, curling is very slippery - if you are clumsy like me, you are going to fall down. Personally, I don't like falling; it makes me feel brittle, so I am probably not going back to curling. I need to find a sport that has a lesser incidence of accidental injury.

Anyway, the skirt is also new - it's dark grey wool with a fine pinstripe. The high waist gives it a nice 40s look, I think.

The stuff:
My dark green Fluevogs! I love them but they are a snug fit (and a size 10, how hilarious is that after yesterday's size 8s?).

I wore the bug brooch on my skirt waistband.
He's coming to get you!

Cardigan (Vero Moda), top (Ricki's, thrifted), skirt (Gap, consignment), shoes (Fluevog), bracelet (The Cobbler), earrings (Plum?), brooch (Le Chateau), ring (gift from Mom and Dad, c. 1985).