Category Archives: Friday I’m in Love

Friday I’m In Love: Vacation Prep (otherwise known as a reason to buy random stuff)

I’m headed to Italy in a little under a month. It’ll be my second visit – my boy and I loved it so much the first time we’re headed back for more. The benefit of this is that we know what to expect: For instance, we know how to order food in restaurants (get multiple dishes). We know how to cross the street (step onto it). And we know that a daily gelato is an absolute must (more if your waistline can afford it!).

Notwithstanding the fact we’re basically prepared, I still have the sense that I’m lacking in necessities…that I don’t have the right clothes, or the right shoes…that I need more “equipment” (read: gadgets) to help me deal with everyday life on the road. It’s silly, really, because I get this feeling before every single vacation I go on….and all it is, is an excuse to buy stuff.

Here’s what I’m currently loving, and absolutely must have for my upcoming trip:

An e-reader. Every vacation I pack my bag full of books, in the hopes they’ll last until the plane touches down back home. More often than not….they don’t. This time around, I won’t have the weight or the worry that I’ll run out, because instead I’ll be bringing dozens, if not hundreds of books with me on my brand spanking new Kindle. Yep. I’ve already bought it (because, of course, I had to “learn” how to use it!), as well as an apple green cover, complete with a handy-dandy light (perfect for reading in low-level lighting conditions like a plane).

A new tote (or purse, or shoulder bag, or whatever). One that can double as my carry-on for the plane, and that I can use in my day-to-day adventures. Something that’ll fit my Kindle, wallet, tour books, water bottles, snacks, maps, a cardigan, small purchases, you name it. Oh, and it’d be great if it allowed me to organize everything inside and closed securely.

Something like Selina Vaughan’s absolutely beautiful and unique vintage seed sack totes. Available on her website, as well as through her Etsy store, these bags are both large enough, and appear to have a sufficient amount of organizational aids inside their zippered closures. I’ve been lusting after these for awhile, only can’t decide which one I like best….

Another purse-maker that’s caught my eye on Etsy is Milloo from Greece. She’s got a great assortment of styles, in both affordable canvas, as well as more expensive leather versions. I particularly like her Kallia bags (especially the bright red and green ones), as well as the Elessa. This one’s got more of a purse-y feel to it, but remains sufficiently large to pack a lot of stuff, and offers two ways to carry it. Both practical and pretty.

Shoes. Don’t I always need shoes? Of course I do! But my upcoming trip is just an excuse to get them now. As usual, my shoe fantasies err on the side of practical and cute. Like Ugg Australia’s Neema II in Mist Denim….I won’t lie to you: I bought these after work yesterday. As soon as I’d slipped them on my feet, and felt their cushion-y softness, it was a done deal. So comfy.

Skinny pants. Dare I elaborate? Jeggings. I don’t know if I should be happy about this new found (and comfortable) discovery, or hanging my head in shame.

A dress. Anyone who knows me really well thinks I’m lying right now…but it’s true. Before every vacation I start dreaming of a world where I shave my legs regularly (!) and wear dresses. Deep (deep, deep) down, I want to be more feminine, and wear dresses. Even deeper down, I suspect a part of me also sees the practicality of not having to match a top and bottom…but I digress.

I discovered Shabby Apple this week, and have once again begun dreaming in technicolour about wearing dresses. Like their super cute Gondola dress that looks like a separate kelly green top (love!) and amazing striped bottom (love x2!).

And if only I looked good in yellow (do I? I don’t think so…)…because I adore the cute scalloped top on Bellissima. It just looks like a happy outfit to wear:

So…am I nuts? Or does everyone have the same irrational need to buy new things before a vacation? (Because honestly? my wallet would definitely appreciate a slightly more practical approach, considering the costs of the vacation itself.)

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Friday I’m in Love: Sleep

Hand in hand with procrastination and vegging out is their very close friend, fatigue. I am so. freaking. tired. And I mean all of the time.

Though in fatigue’s defence, I don’t believe it is exclusively due to the winter doldrums or to my recent bout of under-stimulation. Rather, I blame it on my new-ish job that I started in January. While two months seems more than enough to acclimatize to a new position, this one has the added “bonus” of being in a language that is not the one that comes most naturally to me….which makes everything just a little bit (or, to be honest, a lot) harder. And which, by the end of the day (and especially the end of the week), has been leaving me pretty wiped out.

So….I am 100% head over heels in love with sleep, and all of its accoutrements:

Like this absolutely gorgeous bedroom spread in turquoise and white…if I had my s*** together and money were no object (I wish!), this is what my bedroom would look like…thanks to House of Turquoise for digging it up on Vancouver’s The Cross Decor and Design.

In reality, though, I know that pristine bed with its super-perfect headboard and pillows will never be mine…more likely is this DIY love headboard which I also happen to love love love by Dana from House*Tweaking:

Though I might not use yellow, and I might come up with another word (maybe “dream” or “sweet dreams” or even plain old “sleep” might serve as a nice directive), I love the absolute simplicity and aesthetic of this…and the fact that it’s mostly made with recycled materials doesn’t hurt. Dana not only provides a handy how-to on her site, but was helpful enough to provide a follow up to show how to hang it, as well.

Though, of course, my actual bed would look more like this one I found on Tumblr’s create.find.admire because, well…I hardly ever make it:

…Not because I’m a slob or anything…I just think beds are for sleeping. So along with my DIY headboard and messy duvet (surely with a cat hidden somewhere in there), the following print by Ashley G and Drew would be right at home, somewhere in close proximity:

As would this cutie-pie I love my bed hoop embroidery and applique by ThreeRedApples:

And when I’m actually sleeping? I’ll cuddle up with my cat (or my boy…depending on which is most agreeable at the moment), and pull a silk ‘Kitty’ sleep mask over my eyes while I drift off into a dream world filled with beautiful cushy beds and pillows like those from the House of Turquoise.

Goodnight, everyone…and sweet dreams!

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Friday I’m in Love: Sackboy

This week brought very good tidings in the mail: Little Big Planet 2…For those of you who don’t know about Little Big Planet, it’s one of the reasons why I love love love to play video games (which will surely be detailed ad nauseum in an upcoming “why I play video games” post)…it’s the cutest ever cooperative game I’ve yet to come across, with the cutest ever concept (Little Big Planet is effectively the result of all of our dream worlds), and it features the cutest ever character:

Its name is Sackboy. And YOU get to dress him or her however you want…as you play the game, you collect more accessories and costumes that you can mix and match (though every outfit I create is accompanied by vampire teeth, and a zebra tail…I’ll try to get a video capture from the game). In addition to playing dress up with Sackboy, you can also give him/her expressions that range from maniacally happy to ferociously angry to completely terrified to overwhelmingly sad….and make him/her dance.

It’s just altogether too cute. And I love it.

Did I mention we got the “deluxe” edition that included my very own Sackboy doll?! …Hmmm…maybe I’ll have to learn to sew doll clothes so I can dress her (because obviously? my Sackboy is a girl).

So I know what I’m doing this weekend…how about you?

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Friday I’m in Love: Pretty Nails

I love pretty nails. When I was younger, I used to pride myself on how well I maintained mine…always long, always well shaped, and always polished. Unfortunately, I rarely find the time to paint them anymore. What’s more, I tend to keep them short because I can’t stand the way they clickity-clack against my laptop’s keyboard if they’re too long (which is always a threat…my nails grow like weeds).

Last night, however, I actually made an effort to make my (short) nails a pretty lavender:

…which happens to match my watch face perfectly (sweet!):

(Source: I found the rainbow nails photo, above, on Pinterest, which had attributed it to weheartit, which in turn had attributed it to Tumblr…honestly, I have no idea where it’s from)

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Friday I’m in Love: 2011 Goals

Because everyone else is already doing it, and I love to jump on bandwagons, I thought I’d look forward to the new year and share a few of my goals for 2011:

1. GET & STAY ORGANIZED
I always struggle to get (and most importantly) stay organized…but the last few months of living in a temporary apartment have made it a Herculean effort. More often than not, the apartment (and especially my office) has been a complete (and embarrassing) disaster area.

During my week off, I made the effort to clean up and organize my office…it’s still fairly “temporary” in that most items remain in bins or boxes, but I’ve at least reined in the chaos. I’d like to try and keep it this way.

2. GET A GRIP ON MY FINANCES
I’m a fantastic saver….give me money, and I’ll squirrel it away and not spend it. But that’s about all I’m good at….which just isn’t going to cut it in the new year as I become a full-time self-employed consultant. Having to manage and remit all of my own taxes to the provincial and federal governments, track expenses, and surely a ton of other factors I’m too overwhelmed to comprehend absolutely scares the bejeezus out of me. But I don’t want it to….which means I’ve got a lot to learn.

3. SET UP AN ONLINE SHOP
I’ve been talking and talking about it, but this year I actually want to set up a Pretty Gurl Bijoux online shop…Now seems as good a time as any (even better), as it’ll complement my self-employed status quite nicely….expenses and income for the shop will be just one more thing to track.

4. CREATE MORE
My head is filled with ideas…I’m constantly coming across inspiration…I keep collecting (old stuff, new stuff, whatever…I’m a bag lady) in anticipation of all the things I want to make. This year, I want to set aside more time to actually sit down and create: both for myself, and for my (future) shop. Can’t wait to get started (in fact, I think I kinda already have…more soon!).

To help motivate myself, I’ve pledged to participate in Project ReStyle, the brainchild of Elsie Flannigan and Rachel Denbow…both creative titans in the blogosphere.

5. TAKE MORE PHOTOS
I love photos. I love looking at photos. I love taking photos. But I’m notoriously bad at taking them on a regular basis (I usually pull out my camera on vacations, and leave it buried in a drawer the rest of the year). In 2011 I’m going to make an effort to record everyday things, in addition to (and instead of just) extraordinary things. I got a brand-spanking new compact camera on steroids for Christmas, I’ve (finally!) signed up for a flickr account, and will try to take at least one picture every day (or so…). Wish me luck.

6. GET OUT MORE
In case you didn’t know: I am an introvert. I am perfectly happy to sit by myself for days at a time just doing my own thing. I have no difficulty keeping myself busy or amused. (Does it come as any surprise I studied archaeology? I wanted to sit in a hole and dig….by myself.)

This year, I want to get out more (and not just on solitary excursions): I want to see my family more, I want to reconnect with and see friends, and I want to go out on more dates with my boy.

Think I can do it? I sure hope so.

Do you have any goals for 2011? What about non-goals? (stuff to avoid or to keep doing?)

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