IMG_7720

San Diego Sunshine

I just returned from an amazing, sun filled week in San Diego. You would think that, living in Canada, I travel to the United States all the time, but I usually go as far as possible when I travel, so I haven’t been to many states. To be fair, San Diego is really far, probably the furthest place in the States from where I live, so it’s not like I stuck close to home this time either!

I traveled with one of my best friends. She and I went to Spain nine years ago, so I knew we would travel well together! We also have our freak out moments at different times, which is a definite plus while traveling (her: can’t find the bus stop, me: too many people and someone touched me.)

We had originally booked a hostel, but ended up staying in an airbnb house, which was much better. I learned many things on this trip, the most important one being that I’m so done with hostels. I’m a grown-up now, no more sharing a bathroom with 13 people.

San Diego is a big city, and I’m sure we didn’t see everything, but we did as much as we could, and that included relaxing on the many beautiful beaches!

Day 1

We started with mimosas for breakfast, then we walked and walked and walked (over 21 000 steps, according to my fitbit!) We took a guided tour of the city on a trolley and stopped in several interesting places, including Old Town, Coronado and Seaport village.

Day 1

Day 2

We went to the zoo! I was so excited! I have a love affair with giraffes and they were amazing. There was a baby giraffe too. We also saw elephants, koalas, pink flamingos and pandas. There were plenty of other animals too. In the evening, we were so exhausted and were wondering what to do. We didn’t want to go out, but we didn’t want to just hang out around the house either. Someone gave us tickets to an advanced screening of Antman, so we ended up going to the movies!

Day 2

Day 3

Our first beach day. We went to Pacific beach and it was wonderful. There was quite a bit more seaweed than I would have liked, but it was the ocean, so I’m not really complaining. We had Mexican food for lunch, ate gelato and relaxed in the sun. It was a perfect day.

Day 3

Day 4

We took a trip to La Jolla to see the seals. They just lay out on the rocks, sunning themselves and pay no attention whatsoever to the people walking around them taking pictures. It was surreal to get so close to them. Also, they smell really bad. After lunch we left the cove and went to the beach. Less seaweed this time. I bought a hat and it made me feel fabulous.

Day 4

Day 5

Before we left, we booked a culinary walking tour of downtown for day 5. What we didn’t know was that it was the Pride parade, right in our neighbourhood! We missed the parade, but still saw plenty of colour and partying going on. Also, strangely enough, it rained! There was a huge thunderstorm, which is very unusual for San Diego. The end of our tour got canceled, so we got to go on another one the next day.

Day 5

Day 6

We started the day off at the Hillcrest farmer’s market. It was so cool to see people selling food they grow themselves, and there was definitely a different variety than what we have at home. On the way, I stopped at an atm, and it was covered in glitter! The Pride festivities were still going strong. After the market, we headed to North Park for our second culinary walking tour. There was wine. Bliss.

Day 6

Day 7

Our last day was spent in Balboa Park. There are lots of museums in the park, but we wanted to enjoy our last day of beautiful San Diego weather outdoors. We visited the botanical garden, the rose garden and the desert garden. We had to leave in the afternoon to make our flight, but it was the perfect last day in this amazing city.

Day 7

I loved San Diego and I would definitely go back. I enjoy spending a whole week in one city, because it gives me a better feel for a place and I don’t have to pick one or two things to see, I can do it all (almost).

Where to next?

Realistic travel inspiration

I love traveling. I also rather enjoy Pinterest. When you put the two together, you get an abundance of lovely images with inspirational quotes on them like “Travel while you’re young, don’t worry about the money” and “I’ve left my heart in so many places”. These are great, and I pin them to my Wanderlust board like nobody’s business.

But.

Traveling is not really like that, is it? I’ve recently returned from a ten day trip to Costa Rica (I’ve been there three times. I love it. You might even say I’ve left pieces of my heart there.) It was an amazing trip, and quite the learning experience. However, it wasn’t picture perfect. The airline lost my luggage (it went to Hawaii) and I found myself buying 12$ deodorant and carrying around hotel toiletries in a shower cap. A three hour trip to a volcano took over 5 hours, and I was green by the time we got there. Oh, and it rained and the clouds covered up the volcano. I went hiking in flip flops and used my credit card like I stole it from someone. It was real. It was incredible.

Sometimes, the travel bug is an actual bug, and not worrying about money means spending 14$ on a toothbrush. I think what Pinterest needs is some realistic travel inspiration, not just the pretty stuff. So here is my take on travel inspiration, for the real world.

travel

adventure

animals

bugs

flip flops

free

horse

lost

moments

rum

sand

smell

Happy travels!

Call me crazy

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If I like something, I like it. No need to feel guilty about it. Everyone’s always going on and on about how dark chocolate is their guilty pleasure. You know what I like? Milk chocolate. The kind with lots of sugar and fat and deliciousness. And I don’t feel bad about it either.

We all like something that would make other people think we’re crazy. You love hiking in the wilderness for days, with snakes and bugs and being smelly? Good for you! I don’t. You enjoy wheatgrass? Superb!

These are some of the things I like. They might make me seem weird to you, or kind of crazy, and that’s ok. But none of them are guilty pleasures, because that’s the worst oxymoron I’ve ever heard.

Airports

I like airports. If I’m in an airport, it means I’m going on an adventure. My tea costs 7$ and my carry-on bag gets heavier and heavier, but I’m off to see the wizard! Or, the world, anyways. Maybe I’m on my way home, which always feels nice too. No matter how many books I have with me, I will almost always buy one in the airport bookstore. I love bookstores in general, but one in an airport is like an oasis. All those stressed-out, rushed travelers could benefit from a few minutes surrounded by books.

Re-reading books

There are some books I’ve read so often, I can open them at any random page and just go from there. I used to think everybody did this. Apparently not. Oh well, you’re missing out, you know. If you loved it the first time, it only gets better. The characters become real, and their world does too.

November

I’ve mentioned this one before. I like November because it’s my birthday month, but also because no one else seems to like it, and that’s sometimes reason enough. I like rainy days where I am inside, looking out, drinking tea, reading books and writing. Grey is a good colour, because it makes others colours stand out. Walk around in a pink raincoat and yellow umbrella, and watch people smile.

Dresses

I actually don’t understand why people don’t enjoy wearing dresses. They say things like “They’re so uncomfortable”, “I don’t like tights” and “You look so fancy”. If you don’t like dresses, that’s ok. But I love them. They make me feel amazing, and to me, they are 12 million times more comfortable than jeans. I really don’t like insults disguised as compliments (I don’t imagine anyone does). I often get told I’m “fancy”. It’s said in a joking manner, but really, it’s not. I don’t tell you you look so “comfortable” in your jeans. Live and let live people.

I also love a lot of things that could never be considered a guilty pleasure, even by people who believe in those, like my new niece, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading, traveling, venting about life to my best friend, writing, dreaming and planning my dream library.

This post turned out differently than I expected. I think it comes down to enjoying what makes you happy, and not judging other people for what they like. I really don’t get the whole vegan thing, but if that’s what makes you happy, then what does my opinion matter? As a rule, we are gentler with other people than we are with ourselves. So maybe we should all take it easy on ourselves.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink tea and eat chocolate in my new dress, while simultaneously re-reading a favourite book and planning my next trip, where I will visit 5 different airports.

do-more-of-what-makes-you-happy

Jingle Bell Frock

It’s over. Just like that, December and it’s dresses are gone! I can keep wearing dresses, of course (and I will!) but the whole concept of Dressember and the wonderful little community that goes with it, are on hold until the end of the year.

It’s ok, I’m a big girl. I can think of something to keep me busy until next December. I’m thinking sewing and traveling, with plenty of yoga and reading thrown in the mix. Also, let’s not forget tea drinking, furniture painting and blog writing. The year ahead is wide open and looking quite fabulous!

Here is one last look at my Dressember outfits.

Day 23

I really like this dress, but I don’t think winter is a good time to wear it. So.Much.Static.

IMG_7105

Day 24

Christmas eve! Yay! First, a daytime outfit, where I was wearing my boots.

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

My Christmas eve dress. I love this dress so much! It’s from Modcloth. I wore it on Valentine’s day last year and to a Katy Perry concert in the summer. It’s perfect.

IMG_7116

Day 25

Merry Christmas! This dress is also from Modcloth. I love everything about it except for the fact that it’s a little tight at the waist and was not exactly comfortable after I ate dinner.

IMG_7153

Day 26

This is my official “It’s the day after Christmas so I’m not doing anything” look. I was wearing yoga pants under the dress. Super classy.

IMG_7157

Day 27

When I bought this dress, I was shopping with my best friend and she compared it to something Zooey Deschanel would wear. Of course I had to buy it.

IMG_7159

Day 28

Another very casual look. Comfort was key here.

IMG_7165

Day 29

Pink makes me happy, so I smiled all day in this dress!

IMG_7172

Day 30

I bought this dress without trying it on, so it’s a little big. I’ll fix it, but it was ok for one day.

IMG_7176

Day 31

Day look courtesy of Emily and Fin, via Modcloth. I ordered this dress just before Christmas, so I didn’t think I would get it in time for it to make an appearance in Dressember, but it’s so fabulous, it got here on time.

IMG_7180

Evening look. Some sparkle for new year’s eve!

IMG_7185

Before I leave you, one last look at all my dresses for the month. 35 dresses in 31 days.

Dressember 2014

And that’s it. For now anyways. I’ve ordered a couple more dresses, so no worries, I’ll be back soon!

The mysterious case of the Christmas boots

The story you are about to read is true. No names or identifying characteristics have been changed, mostly because it’s all about me.

T’was the end of Christmas day, and one very tired girl in a fluffy dress decided to leave the party and go home to sleep. (That girl is me.)

I went into the room where all the coats and boots were (because my family is so huge, we don’t have a coat closet, we have a coat room. Like, a big one.) and I didn’t see my boots. I saw a pair that were almost identical to mine, but they were someone else’s. I knew they weren’t mine, because when I put them on, they felt funny.

I went out to the living room and exclaimed “Someone took my boots!” Thus ensued a search for said boots, but nothing came up. Phone calls were made to cousins who had left, thinking they might have made a mistake. No luck.

I packed up the wrong boots in a bag and went home in my open-toed heels. It was raining.

The next morning, bright and early (ha! not true. I slept in really late.) I rose and began searching in earnest. These are not magnificent boots, but I am not home right now, and the only other options I have are heels and slippers.

I drove to my cousin’s house to check out his wife’s boots. They were not mine. I sent out messages saying “My boots are missing. I am enclosing a picture of the boots left behind. Mine are almost exactly the same.” Again and again, I received the same reply “I don’t have them. Good luck.”

Now, by this time, I was starting to have doubts. If no one had my boots, then where were they? And whose boots did I have? I compared the left-behind boots with a picture of me wearing my boots a few days earlier. Were they the same? Or just similar?

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

Of the boots that were left behind. Are they the same as mine? Are they mine? Who knows anything anymore.

One of the boots that were left behind. Are they the same as mine? Are they mine? Who knows anything anymore.

It’s been 36 hours, and nothing has come up. The only conclusion is that no one took my boots, and I have no idea what my own boots, which I wear every day, look and feel like. I am not sure of anything anymore.

I am not convinced that these boots are mine. If you have any information regarding the mysterious case of the Christmas boots, please contact me immediately. I have no doubt TLC will be calling me to make one of those “The first 48” crime shows about it. The trail has gone cold though, so it might be “Cold Case” instead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out for a walk. I haven’t decided what will look best with my leggings, heels or slippers.

Twirling and cat prints

Christmas is only days away! I feel like every time I post about Dressember, there’s a countdown to Christmas involved! I am officially on holidays until January 5th, which makes me so, so happy! I love my job, but I’m so much better at it when I get some time to myself. The last few days of school were exhausting, but fun. It was difficult to get up in the morning, but I still wore pretty dresses. It’s hard not to be happy while wearing a dress covered in cats.

Here is a look at the last week.

Day 15 – This dress is from Modcloth, and I call it my birthday dress, because the first time I wore it, it was my birthday. It’s got tulle, which makes it 12 times more awesome than if it didn’t.

IMG_6998

Day 16 – I absolutely love this dress! It’s pretty, and very comfortable. It’s also good for twirling.

IMG_7012 IMG_7013

Day 17 – I don’t do the whole “ugly Christmas sweater” thing. I would much rather go for “cute” or “pretty”. Why would you do ugly on purpose? (I know, I know. It’s funny. It’s also ugly.)

IMG_7022

Day 18 – Two looks, one for day and one for evening.

My day look was this purple dress from Old Navy. It’s got a tiny stain of what I believe is green paint on the skirt, but I love it, so I wear it anyways. I look tired because I am. I’m barely awake here.

IMG_7038

My night look is a dress with a very different silhouette from what I normally wear. I like this dress (obviously, or I wouldn’t have bought it or wear it) but it’s not my favourite. The reaction I got from it, however, led me to believe that lots of people loved this dress most of all. That’s a little disappointing, since it’s not what I consider my best look. It doesn’t really matter. I dress for myself, not others.

IMG_7060 IMG_7061

Day 19 – Now this is my favourite dress of the month so far. I made this dress. Yes, you read that right. I sewed this dress in all it’s cat-covered glory. I bought the petticoat, because I wanted as much volume as possible. I did get lots and lots of compliments on this dress too, not just the 18th’s dress. This one makes me very happy.

IMG_7067 IMG_7081

twirl

I actually had a night look for the 19th too. I went to a party and changed into something that took up a little less space. This dress is new and if I wasn’t determined to do the whole month without repeating any outfits, I would wear it again tomorrow.

IMG_7084

Day 20 – I was going to a family party (we really like those!) This is a summer dress that’s been winterized. It doesn’t always work, but I think it did here.

IMG_7090

Day 21 – I was hosting a Christmas dinner. What does every hostess need? A purple silk party dress of course!

IMG_7094 IMG_7097

Day 22 – Today. First day of holidays where I would have gladly spent the whole day in my pyjamas. I had some errands to run, so I got dressed, but I am now back in my pj’s.

IMG_7100

There are only 9 days of dresses left, and I have way more than 9 dresses! Maybe I’ll continue this dress experience a little longer…!

Be happy, be bright, be you

We’re two weeks into December, which means in 10 days, it’s Christmas eve! I’ve been wearing a dress a day, as per Dressember rules. The week ahead is my last at work until the holidays, and I have quite a few party dresses I’d like to wear, so I might be a little fancier than usual at work. The thought makes me smile!

And now, for my weekly wrap-up of dresses:

Day 8 – Very comfortable dress that did not make an appearance last December, as it needed to be mended and it took me a year to do it.

IMG_6950

Day 9 – Busy day as it was my class’ Christmas play. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but also cute, of course! I wore this dress’ twin last week, in purple.

IMG_6958

Day 10 – It’s hard to pick just one favourite dress, but if I absolutely had to, it would be this one. It has pockets! Need I say more?

IMG_6963 IMG_6962

Day 11 – Little black dress that ended the day covered in glitter from snowflake making.

IMG_6966 IMG_6969

Day 12 – Pretty blue dress that, for some unknown reason, I don’t wear very often.

IMG_6973

Day 13 – My Minnie Mouse look. I love this dress and always wear it the same way. Also, here is a picture of me twirling, so you get a sense of the real me. I’m a twirler.

IMG_6979 IMG_6978

Day 14 – A grey dress for a grey day. The sun came out for a little while, so it wasn’t too gloomy. Also, it was Sunday, I was wearing a dress, there was tea and Christmas music, so I was happy.

IMG_6991

And that’s week two. Now, excuse me while I go pick out next week’s dresses!