Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Inspiration

Take a look at these carefully curated spring-inspired pics and tell me that you're not in an instantly better mood!

Mint caddy (it will be mine!) via Family Style

Calla Fall 2012 digi-print via Fashionista

Rhubarb walnut bread via So Good and Tasty

Sold out gold chrome iPhone case via Shopbop

April77 x Calla denim via Hearty Magazine

Vintage wooden bench via Howe London

Raw leather backpack via Pour Porter

Homemade Mexican horchata via AverieCooks

Ice cream still life via ThussFerrell

Ombre tights via BZR

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remix: Sunny Bike Ride

I am shamelessly exploiting this weather. Like, seriously, nearly 20 degrees in March? You bet I've broken out the skirts and sockless flats like it's anyone's business. Rocking a pair of shades and power-walking in the sunshine is one of the best parts of summertime. And rediscovering last year's Sunny Bike Ride mixtape is perhaps one of the best things I could have done, giving me the perfect good-mood walking soundtrack.

There is everything you need in here – a little funk, a little nostalgia, a little twang, and an incredible Charles Manson song. SERIOUSLY. If you haven't listened yet and you're feeling cool vibes, download it and take on the road. Walk it, drive it, park it, but give it a good ol' sunshiny date.

1. Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out) – The Hombres
2. Oogum Boogum – Brenton Wood
3. Two of Us – The Beatles
4. Brand New Key – Melanie
5. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
6. Carey – Joni Mitchell
7. Summer Breeze – Seals & Croft
8. My Baby and Me – The Kodaks
9. Jack the Ripper – Link Wray
10. How's Your New Love Treating You – Debonaires
11. Sweet Thing – Van Morrison
12. Frankie & Johnnie – Les Paul & Mary Ford
13. Look at Your Game Girl – Charles Manson

Edited to add: I spoke too soon! It's -10 today! NOOOOOO.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bowling Nostalgia

Yesterday I visited one of my old childhood haunts with my childhood haunt (hi Susan!). I used to spend tons of time at this place—birthday parties, rainy days—and I can picture it so distinctly in my memory. It's nice to know that some places never change—bowling alleys especially are so much better when they're stuck in the past. 

Who remembers this place? Upstairs was the place for kids birthday parties—loud music, bad hotdogs and soda, and those blow up cushions that lined the gutters! I always wanted to go downstairs where it sounded rowdy and smelled like smoke (you can't smoke in the Bowlerama anymore, tragic!) and you could have some beers and hang out with all your cool friends.

What I'm getting at here is that I kinda want to start a bowling team in a league.

I'm pretty good at making the ball go straight down the lane.

Even though I might start off slow.

I'm a really good team player.

And when they spell my name wrong on the scoreboard, I don't care. (Lsaura has a nice ring to it.)

But in all seriousness, I'd love some bowling tips—any pointers that will improve my game. And if you can't remember the last time you went bowling then you should go soon. Adult-sized balls this time, and no gutter cushions. 

And thanks to Susan for the pics.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: March Luxe Box

So I got home, and was so excited to unexpectedly receive my Luxe Box on the first day of shipping that I filmed a video review. And, hey! Surprise surprise, I'm an awkward human being! But I liked this month's box, so if you'd like, check out this video where I sniff my elbow.

It darkened up after posting, so I apologize that you can't see my face so well, but seriously, my voice and the audio feedback are so soothing, you won't even notice.

This is how you grow that seed card.

One thing I missed: the Consonant Organic Face Cream is in a totally rad pump that notes it is "Transit Canada and FAA carry on approved." Nice touch, Consonant! I appreciate that attention to detail. It also smells vaguely grapey but in a natural way, like the inside of green grapes. Plus, this size usually retails for $18! What a deal! I put a perfume sample beside it for size reference.

How do you feel about video reviews generally? Do you prefer photo ones? I promise, I won't be backlit next time. Do you feel neutral? Hungry? I'm hungry.

If you liked my review and would like to try Luxe Box for yourself, I'd be mighty obliged if you'd use my referral code.

Previous Luxe Boxes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sun-drenched Spring

Somehow we just skipped ahead to summer. Time warp? Season swap? Whatever, I’m not going to question it too closely – my favourite lightweight pants have just come out of hibernation, I actually got a little sunburn on Sunday and I’m getting to test run some warmer weather wear I’ve been hoarding.

A few more things to make it feel a bit more like summer:

This awesome Notorious B.I.G./Lana Del Rey mixtape, Born Ready to Die. 16 tracks of straight-up summertime jams. You sure can bet this’ll be in regular rotation on my picnic blanket.

via calivintage

This look from Boutique by Jaeger SS12 is pretty much my summer ideal. Big hair, big lips, little clothes, solid shoes. The only things that could push this look over the edge is a pair of massive Karen Walker sunnies, like this new version of her ever-wonderful Number Ones.

via Karen Walker

Dream dress alert! Oh ASOS, you're so bad and yet so good for me.

via ASOS

My favourite lowbrow summer beverage, kalimotxo. Half red wine, half Coca-Cola (or in my case, Diet Coke. Can't quit, won't quit), it sounds horrendous but tastes amazing, like sangria concentrate. Don't knock it 'til you try it, friends.

via International Recipe Syndicate

Are you reviving any favourite summer activities early?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Food is Out There

My good friends Andrea and Genna are the best kind of foodies. They're the opposite of snobs—they'll try everything, they are creative and hilarious, and they know exactly where to look for food inspiration. Their blog The Food is Out There is full of photos, recipes, info about yummy hot spots in Toronto and L.A., and ideas to make your take-out favourites at home. From close-up photos of Ikea meatballs to celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Daphne Guinness taking a pint bath, these girls and their brilliant food-related ideas have me laughing with every post. And just try to keep yourself from ordering Genna's tasty treats at Club Sandwich.

Need more convincing that these girls love their food? Here is me, eating with both of them.

And you should know that if they can keep up with me, then they love their food. You should probably check them out. If you like our recipes then you'll love these girls.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All Up in My Business

I know I've not been around much. But seriously, with a packed work schedule, unbelievably beautiful weather (double digits!) and a time change that's had my days starting in slow-mo, you're lucky to have caught me at all. I haven't been browsing the web much, but what I have been doing is practical – I have a question, I need an answer. Questions like...

What should I eat for dinner?

This Flank Steak and Arugula Salad from Martha Stewart, duh. This was pretty easy and also crazy delicious. The idea of using salsa as a salad dressing base is pretty genius too, Martha. Oh boy, let the season of salads begin!

I also made a pretty delicious roasted beet, wilted beet greens and goat cheese salad this weekend but, as per usual, forgot to take photos because I was too busy chowing down. I promise, I'll do that recipe up proper and soon – I'll definitely be making it again. Until then, this version with oranges looks pretty delicious.

via Dinner with Julie

This simple tomato soup recipe on 101 Cookbooks has also been calling my name. Coconut milk, a poached egg and fried paneer? Count me in.

via 101 Cookbooks

What should I wear?
Right now, I'm wishing for ankle-grazing long flowy dresses, but worn without sweaters, so warm though it may be I'll just have to wait a bit longer.

I'm obsessed with this dress from Tarantula Sisters and it still hasn't been bought. It's calling my name, I swear it.

This one, also from those sisters Tarantula, is also pretty rad, but it's sold, THANK GOD.

How babely is this girl on Street Peeper's blowout?

This Karen Walker model's hair and makeup look are pretty much a platonic ideal. F/W 2012? Try right this fucking minute.

Oh, and today I doubled up on leopard print without knowing. It's days like this I think, how many babies been made offa me, you know?

That's Revlon's Copper Penny, American Apparel's Summer Peach and a random art brush black.
As always, my Pinterest is where it's at.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Fairytales

The Drawf's Dream by Jessie M. King for The Birthday of the Infanta by Oscar Wilde
via artsycraftsy
Last week it was reported that a collection of 500 fairytales had been discovered. Compiled by a 19th century historian and archived in Germany for 150 years, these stories contain myths and legends that Franz Xaver von Schonworth collected from country folk, labourers, and servants. These are stories that were previously only being spread by word of mouth until von Schonworth wrote them down. While this isn't unheard of for fairytales, von Schonworth, being a historian and not a writer, did nothing to add to the stories he collected—and leaving the stories untouched in something notable. Reading these stories will be like reading the oral histories from hundreds of years ago. A collection of these stories have been published (umm, English please?), but you can read one of them online here.

Fairytales are not just stories for children, and many of them contain real life lessons that are beneficial to any age. From the article: "Eichenseer says that fairytales are not for children alone. 'Their main purpose was to help young adults on their path to adulthood, showing them that dangers and challenges can be overcome through virtue, prudence, and courage.'" And, sorry, but you'd all be lying if you claimed not to need a little bit of that.

Hans Christian Anderson was a Danish writer revered for his fairytales—many still-famous tales were written by him, like Thumbelina and The Ugly Duckling. I also really liked The Storks. The Brothers Grimm have some great tales as well—these came from oral tales just like von Schonworth's, but the Grimms added their own literary devices to these old found tales, so in essence the stories became a collaboration. Some fault them for this, but the stories are still haunting and fantastic. You should read The Goose-Girl, The Juniper Tree, and The Queen Bee, and ignore that movie by Terry Gilliam. Oscar Wilde has also got some great fairytales, like The Young Prince and The Birthday of the Infanta. Lots of important lessons to learn there, guys.

Also very fairytale-like are The Middle Stories by Sheila Heti. I honestly wouldn't be able to choose a favourite, so read all the available-online stories here, and buy the book. These modern fairytales are quirky and charming—written in a traditional-esque fairytale style, they force us to look for lessons where there may or may not be. It's a modern take on an old style of tale telling, and it's wonderful.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Game Changers: A Stylish Set

Blogs are near and dear to my heart for lots of reasons. Some have interesting takes on daily life; some teach me things both big and little; some are eye candy, pure and simple. Some of them I've already told you about (Penelope TrunkCoke TalkRavelry). But being a gal who likes to challenge her wardrobe on the daily, there's a big section of my Google Reader dedicated to style bloggers, gals who inspire me to try new things and expand my personal style horizons, a select handful of which I read as often as I change my underwear. Here's a sampling of stylish blogs that I just can't get through the day without reading.

Love Aesthetics
Ivania Carpio's modernist style is just so inspirational to me. Her stripped back aesthetic marries the best of easy minimalism and colourful accents in a way that seems so natural and so bold all at once. I like that she admits she wears the same pieces over and over, and isn't afraid to be daring, like wearing a balls-out 80s burgundy suit or using hardware nuts and bolts as jewelry. Her DIYs are really great, practical ideas that add a little extra cool to your life, and her site is well-organized and simply designed. Somehow, she always looks effortless and thoughtful. She is the ultimate 90s dream girl for me, right now.

Arriving in London
Half Way Manicure
Thrifted Slit Dress

Man, I don’t even know if I have words to describe Miss Moss (aka. Diana). She is the patron saint of aesthetes, the saving grace for those who love beautiful things. She is the ultimate curator of the web and insatiably curious, scouring the LIFE archives, latest runway shows, and breathtaking interiors and design – and she somehow shares it all while writing with a voice that sounds like your best in-the-know girlfriend. She makes way-cool mixtapes, pairs food and paintings with street style photos, and delivers lots of attainable prettiness for right now, like finding adorable (and affordable) Etsy shops. You never quite know what you're going to get when you check her blog, except that you know it's going to be wonderful. Oh god, is my girl crush showing enough yet? Just read her blog. Do it now.

Food & Fashion
Six Months in a Leaky Boat Mixtape

Prunella Soap

Portland-based Anja feels like a lost soul sister. She digs cats, mysticism, nature. She takes gorgeous pictures, sells way cool vintage duds, and now, makes clothing and leather accessories under her new label, Ann-ya. She is warm, friendly, and totally personable online, calling people ‘buddies’, which I find utterly charming. I feel like she’s really come into her own the past few months, pairing up with great labels and retailers like Natalie JoyHopeless Lingerie, Sara Bergman and Summerland to shoot their lookbooks, and I feel this weird sense of friend pride for her, even though she’s like, so out of my league.

Dark Mirror for Hopeless
Ann-ya Leather Goods
Friday Variety

What are some of your favourite style bloggers?