Finding replacements for longtime favourites

by thedemuremuse on July 27, 2015

I’ve come to accept the fact that one day, not to long from now, my beloved Hinge caged booties are going to fall apart and no longer be wearable. It’s probably a mix of wearing them in thunderstorms, biking in them and using the heel to stop abruptly a few more times than I should’ve, and also wearing them almost every day consecutively for the last few months that is leading them to their death bed early. Whatever the reason is, I knew I had to start hunting for a replacement pair of booties before the Hinge ones go kaput.

anthropologie bow cropped pants
outfit details:
cocoon sweater: Community via Aritzia
tank top: Forever 21
bow cropped pants: Anthropologie (on sale now)
Haywire cutout booties: Seychelles (also on sale)
gold bar necklace: c/o Moorea Seal (exact)
earring cuff set: c/o Bling Jewelry (exact)
vintage Coach purse: thrifted via Goodwill (similar)

Seychelles Haywire cutout booties in black
I’m a big fan of shopping off season because of the fact that the deal are usually much better than during the season itself. This often means getting last season’s inventory, but does that really matter? When the style of the piece is similar enough and you’re getting a huge 60% for not buying the latest season’s updated style, it seems like a win-win to me! These Seychelles Haywire booties were on massive sale and I loved the similarity in the style so much when compared to the Hinge booties (slightly pointed toe, chunky low heel, lots of straps but has a zipper back), so I pulled the trigger and added them to my closet. There will most likely be an updated version of these booties for the upcoming season, but I am not looking to shell out $120+ for a new pair of black heels so I was more than happy to compromise on this pair. To be honest, compromise is the wrong word to use here because I love these boots regardless!

bling jewelry mod vibes earring cuff

Boots aside, I’m trying to play up my undercut as much as possible these days. I’ve been getting this little patch trimmed every week to week and a half for the last two months and while it’s been awesome to have, it’s a bit of a pain to maintain. Since I don’t do the upkeep myself (I don’t even want to think about all the ways I could ruin this haircut trying to do it myself… might have a reverse mohawk by the end of it haha), I’ve been going to the salon to get it cleaned up. I think I just had my final clean up this week, so let the growing out phase begin!

Before it grows out entirely, I’m having a lot of fun playing with louder jewelry that compliments the existing piercings before my hair hides them during the awkward grow-out phase. Back in the day, I really wanted a cartilage piercing and opted for the rook instead. I’ve been loving all of the cuffs and linked earrings (this one on etsy, specifically) and am having a really good time with this cuff style earring from Bling Jewelry. It gives an awesome illusion without having to punch another hole.

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Wrap me in your cocoon

by thedemuremuse on July 21, 2015

Have you ever seen that person walking to work wearing a sweater in 30C (90F) weather and thought, “What on earth are they doing?!?!” That’s me. The person in the sweater. And also thinking the same thoughts… while in the sweater. No doubt, I’m sweating my buns off but if I don’t have a sweater on, I’ll be freezing as soon as I get into the office.

Community Iconic Cape
outfit details:
cocoon sweater: Community via Aritzia (similar)
v-neck tee: Aeropostale
pencil skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
caged booties: Hinge via Nordstrom

In trying to keep up with figuring out how to stretch my wardrobe across seasons, I attempted a summer take on this outfit from March. I was really lucky with this Community sweater. One of my friends recently moved to NYC and before leaving, she did a big closet purge and let a handful of us shop her pieces. I’ve had Community sweaters on my wishlist for quite some time but couldn’t justify the price tag. I absolutely love the quality and fit of this piece and still can’t imagine how great of a deal my friend gave it to me for (it was still new with tags)!

P.S. Check out the dork in the photo below. How about that cheesy smile, eh? My hair is also starting to show its personality a little more than usual. Any tips on how to tame uncooperative waves?

Aritzia Community cocoon sweater

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Recap: Seattle to Portland by bike (Part 2)

by thedemuremuse on July 20, 2015

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! I didn’t think this would happen, but I hopped back on my bike less than a week after STP. The soreness in my legs was pretty much non-existent after Wednesday of last week, so it felt good to get back on the bike a few days after that! :)

If you read the STP day 1 recap, there’s a whole extra 100 miles that haven’t yet been covered in the recap. Day 2 of STP started off bright and early at 4:30am. The goal was to be back on the road by 6am, so we woke up at 4:30, cleaned up, packed up our tents, and threw our backpacks onto the truck, and sat down for a full breakfast. The same folks who had put together dinner the previous night woke up at 4am to start prepping plates full of pancakes, sausage patties, and scrambled eggs.

We were back on our bikes just before 6am and headed out full speed ahead! After day 1, my right hip was hurting quite a bit (I’m guessing it was from continuously clipping in/out of my pedals) so I had to take a couple ibuprofen pills before jumping back on. The pain induced from the constant riding was not exactly something I had even considered when signing up for STP, but I knew I would only have to tough it out for a few hours before the finish line. And by a few, I mean 9. haha!

Here’s the scenery from the halfway point of day 2:

stp 150miles

Beautiful bikes littered all over the (dried out) grass as we all raced to the food and water refill tents. Looking back at these photos, I’m amazed that I didn’t lose my bike. Imagine trying to navigate through 12,000 riders and bikes that start to look the same after you’re delirious from little sleep…

Day 2 was full of fun road challenges! I took way less photos on the second day since there were long stretches of rolling hills that made me a bit grumpy. haha! I know this ride isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park, but I also didn’t think the trail would be 20 miles of oscillating hill climbing! A really fun challenge, but also one that made me super tired and not want to take my phone out of my pockets.

One of the most interesting things to witness was the logistics behind directing traffic. There were police officers helping to push the sea of cyclists through lights and major intersections. In the photo below, a few hundred of us are waiting to get onto the Portland Lewis and Clark bridge. Having just missed the last pack of riders on the bridge, I was at the front of the line for the next batch. We baked in the sun for about 20 minutes, waiting for a few hundred more riders to join us before we were allowed, as a group, to stop car traffic and get on the bridge as a single unit.


Looking back on this whole experience, I am so grateful for the love and support from my friends who had to put up with a lot of my whining during the training days leading up to the ride. I whined A LOT whenever there were hills, or when we’d ride for longer than 50 miles in the heat. In retrospect, they whipped my butt into shape and made STP a lot more enjoyable than it could’ve been had they been easier on me in training.

Long story short: YAY! 206 miles later and we made it to Portland safe & sound.

Quick stats from the trip
Total distance traveled: 206 miles
Average speed: 14.975 mph
Average break time: 20 minutes every 20-25 miles
Ibuprofen pills taken: 8
# plates of pasta consumed: 3
# cake slices consumed: 2
# bottles of water consumed: 6/day
Total riding time: 14h 20m

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by thedemuremuse on July 16, 2015

Taking a quick break from the STP recap posts to link up with Bri’s Third Thursday Threads this month! Her theme this month is to showcase our favourite Summer outfits and the one below has pretty much been my uniform for the last few weeks at work. It gets pretty chilly in the office, especially since my desk is right behind an air conditioning vent, so I try to pack a sweater or a jacket for when I’m working at my desk. This one from LOFT was a lifesaver when I found it on sale for 50% off. The relaxed fit drapes so nicely over almost anything that I pair it with.

loft- relaxed utility jacket
anthropologie bow paperbag cropped pants
outfit details:
relaxed utility jacket: LOFT (50% off right now! exact)
button down blouse: H&M
bow cropped pants: Anthropologie (50% off + extra 20% right now! exact)
caged booties: Hinge via Nordstrom
watch: Daniel Wellington
Colette sunglasses: c/o Moorea Seal (exact)

Moorea Seal Colette sunglasses

These pants from Anthropologie were on my wishlist forever and finally went on sale!! They’re 50% off with an extra 20% off right now, which made them totally affordable for my wardrobe rebuild. I couldn’t justify the original $150 price tag for a pair of bow pants, but I’m glad I waited it out and got them now. Even though I’m labeling this is my favourite Summer outfit, I’ve already started thinking about all the ways to pair the jacket and pants for the Fall. Trying my best to stick to neutrals year round so that all the pieces transition easily between seasons and I can get the most out of my wardrobe!


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Recap: Seattle to Portland 2015 by bike (Part 1)

by thedemuremuse on July 14, 2015

Real life was pretty much put on hold last week as I tried to squeeze in a bunch of last minute training before the big ride on the weekend (200+ miles from Seattle to Portland!!)! I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to ride on Saturday morning because of a handful of poorly timed things that happened during the week. On Monday, I had a pinched nerve in my upper back which lead to an inflamed rib on Wednesday. Went to go see a few medical professionals between Wednesday and Thursday and made sure to get okay-ed to ride before Saturday. On top of the medical stuff, I had ordered a couple of jerseys online to wear for the weekend (I only had one jersey previously) and the package never showed up! According to UPS, it was delivered but there was no package in sight at my apartment… riding topless wasn’t really an option either and REI’s jersey section had been pretty much cleaned out by Thursday night. Had to make a last minute pit stop to Velo Bikes and paid a few very pretty pennies for jerseys that I ordered online for more than 50% of the retail price.

On Friday night, one of my friends also doing the ride hosted a sleepover at his place so we could all head to the starting point together as a group (instead of trying to navigate through a crowd of 12,000 people to find each other). With my streak of luck, my back tire went flat as I was about to head out to the sleepover and another friend came over to help change out the inner-tube.

Once we were all set up for the sleepover, we headed up to the kitchen and had a huge carb-loading party!! This was the best idea, ever. Not pictured: way too many chocolate chip cookies and mega-sized red velvet cupcakes. We take carb-loading seriously! ;)

stp dinner prep

We all went to bed around 10pm because we had an early morning wake-up call at 5:30am!! Our goal was to be packed up and ready to go at the starting line by 6am. This meant biking a couple miles over to the UW campus and trying to find a couple friends who opted out of the sleepover. The size of the crowd waiting to start the ride was HUGE! We were let through the starting line in batches of ~100 riders:

stp start line

The first few miles of the ride were really slow. With such a huge crowd of folks all trying to squish into a single traffic lane, it was hard to pick up the pace. Around the 10 mile mark, the crowd started to thin out a bit and we were able to start riding faster. It was really interesting to see all the different types of riders on the road. In our starting pack, there were a few couples on tandem bikes, someone dressed as a pirate (with an accompanying rider dressed as an octopus), and a group in tutus! Made me wish that the group I rode with had a cute matching uniform– maybe next time? ;)

After a couple hours on the road, we made it to our first pit stop at 25 miles. At every pit stop, there were some snacks (protein bars, sometimes fruits and/or cookies) and water. Since I have a handful of food allergies, I was carrying about a pound of extra weight in protein bars in case I was allergic to any of the snacks at the stops. If you’re following me on Instagram and also have peanut/almond/hazelnut allergies, I posted some of the bars that I carry for rides in this pic.

stp 25 miles

Around 11am, we made it to the 50 mile mark, which was located at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord base. There were bikes on the ground in every direction possible!! Never in my life have I seen so many bikes and so much spandex in a contained space! We stopped here for about an hour to fuel up on sandwiches (I avoided the PB&J like the plague), fruits, and lots of cookies, before heading back on the road for the last 56 miles of our day.

stp 50 mile mark

My friends always make fun of me because of how much grease is on my bike chain. I’ll admit that I had no idea what I was doing when I first started (trying to) maintaining my bike, so I may have gone a little overboard on the grease. Every time I ride, I end up with a “leg tattoo” from accidentally leaning my leg on the drive. Oops! Somehow, this leg grease made it up my calf to my thighs and eventually onto my elbows. How this happened is still a mystery to me…


The second half of our ride wasn’t particularly challenging, but the distance was definitely starting to take a toll on my body. I could feel my legs starting to get cramped and my butt was sore from being on the seat for so long. It didn’t help that the last 10 miles of our ride was in the rain. I’d take rain over 95F heat any day, but rain was the last thing we wanted to set up camp in.

stp chehalis stop

There are a couple of options and locations to stop at for STP. Before even starting the ride, you have to pick a stop and commit to the distance between the starting point and the stopping location by dropping all of your camping and overnight gear into a semi-truck that unloads at the specific destination. My group picked Chehalis, which is 106 miles from the starting point as our stopping point for day 1. Welcome to our cute tent city… home for the night! We arrived here around 5:30pm, set up our tents, showered, and then headed to get dinner.


This is going to sound insane, but this plate of spaghetti was the best thing I had tasted all week! After biking for 100+ miles, I was exhausted and super excited to hear that there was all-you-can-eat pasta at the Chehalis stop. I may or may not have had 3 plates of pasta and two slices of cake for dinner… which also meant I may or may not have eaten more than some of the guys in my group that night. Burning ~8000 calories in a single day apparently makes me food crazy!

It was around 8pm that we finished dinner and then called it a night. I don’t know when the last time I slept before the sun set, but I was so tired that as soon as my body was zipped into the sleeping bag, I was out like a light. Waking up at 4:30am the next morning was a good motivator to be in bed asap!

Day 2 of STP to come!

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