Layers for Valentine’s Day

As much as I hate to admit it, I love Valentine’s Day. It’s such a Hallmark Holiday, I know, I know. I can’t help but love playing up the reds and pinks, handing out chocolates (and also Hello Kitty Valentine’s Day cards because I am pretty much an oversized child at heart), and generally spreading the happy-lovey-dovey vibes. This year, I’m forgoing my usual bright red outfits (past Valentine’s Day outfits: red blazer in 2013, red pants and glasses in 2014, and red skater dress in 2015) and doing with a much more subtle palette.

Winter to Spring layered outfit with boyfriend jeans
outfit details:
mixed stripes shirttail tunic: c/o J.Jill (exact)
tie front pullover: c/o J.Jill (exact)
boyfriend jeans: Topshop (exact)
wool and leather coat: Calvin Klein (old)
beanie: borrowed from the fiance
Coach Dinky crossbody purse c/o (exact)
booties: All Saints

J.Jill mixed button down with boyfriend jeans and knot front sweater

The best part of having a visual diary of the last 6 (almost 7!) years of outfits is seeing how my style has changed. The last year has definitely been an interesting shift. I traded all of my fit and flare dresses for oversized cardigans, crew-neck pullovers, and learned to layer. The outfit in today’s post is very indicative of my day-to-day outfits. It’s a hint of girly with the tomboy, which I love. A small peek of the light pink stripes on the button down layered under the tie front sweater is too cute. A subtle nod to my favourite Hallmark Holiday without being so in-your-face-YAY-VALENTINE’S-DAY! Plus, being able to layer these lighter pieces for the Winter and then learning to decouple them for the warmer seasons will be perfect.

Seeing this style transition over the last 3 Valentine’s Day outfits is so fascinating! Pieces that I used to love back in the day – like those red jeans – are not pieces that I can even fathom reaching for today.

P.S. These are the destroyed boyfriend jeans from the January budget recap post. I ended up keeping them and really love the relaxed fit.

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2 Step vintage purse restoration

Ah, vintage Coach purses. These all-leather bags are my weakness! I absolutely adore everything about the timeless styles and neutral colours and have been collecting them for a few years now. They’re pretty easy to come by (Etsy has hundreds listed in all styles and sizes!) in terms of finding them, but it’s finding the right one that can challenging.

Buying vintage purses can be tricky because of the fact that they’re, well, vintage. A vintage Coach bag can run over $100 depending on style and condition, but it’s pretty easy to find sub-$50 vintage pieces (like this one) in slightly less-than-mint condition that can be restored for under $10 and in 2 easy steps! I scored my most recent vintage Coach bag last month for $35. It desperately needed some TLC, so I thought I’d share how I brought this piece back to life!

vintage Coach purse restoration main

I’ll start off by saying that I’m very picky with the type of vintage purses I buy. This reason isn’t related to style or colour of the bag, but rather the condition. I never purchase bags that require hardware or straps replacement (those can get really pricey really quickly) or ones with holes in them. I will never pass up on a bag with minor scratches and slightly dried out leather, though! These are easy fixes that can be done in 2 steps in under 15 minutes.

My most recent vintage Coach purse looked like this when I found it:

vintage Coach crossbody purse - before restoration
dried patches of leather with a few minor dirt marks and minor scratches
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Clothing budget recap: January 2017

With today being the last day of the month, here’s the moment of truth on the clothing budget recap! As mentioned in my goals for this year, I’ve given myself an allowance of $200 each month as a clothing budget. If the full amount is not spent, the remainder will not be carried over to the next month.

Budgeting Bloggers: January 2017 budget recap

Purchased new:
1. “Could’ve danced all night maxi dress” from Lulu’s – $49 (exact)
After years of great experiences buying maxi dresses from Lulu’s, I couldn’t pass this one up. It’s currently on mega sale (marked down to $49 from $98) and will be used as a backup dress for a special event. *wink wink*

2. Topshop destroyed boyfriend jeans – $55 (exact)
After outgrowing my favourite pair of destroyed boyfriend jeans 2 years ago, I never replaced them. I’ve been living in skinny jeans (or leggings) for the past couple years and figured it’s time to hop back on the boyfriend jeans train. Even though I ordered these online at the beginning of January, they still haven’t been received thanks to some mail delivery fails… Adding this to the list even though I have no idea if I’ll keep them or not. *fingers crossed* that they fit whenever they decide to arrive!

Thrifted:
1. Bisou Bisou v-neck zippered sweater – $6 (similar)
I purchased the black version of this sweater (could only find photos of the white version online) and have worn it almost once a week since! I really like the fit and cut. Bonus points for the fact that the yarn is 100% acrylic, so no need to dry clean– so easy to toss into the laundry pile with everything else!

2. Vintage Coach crossbody purse – $35 (similar)
Again, couldn’t find a photo of the black version of this purse online, but this is the exact style that I thrifted. It was in slightly rough condition with dried patches of leather and some worn edges, but nothing that was a deal breaker for the price. I’ll most likely share a tutorial on how to restore vintage leather bags in February, as this is something I’ve learned to love doing after thrifting my entire collection of vintage Coach purses.

3. Billabong beach cover-up top – $5 (similar)
It’s been really rainy and gloomy all year (haha it’s only January…) and I’m already thinking about a sunny vacation. Despite the fact that a sunny beach vacation has yet to be booked, I know it’ll happen this year, so I’m prepping my closet for it! I haven’t been on a “lazy, beached whale” type vacation in a while, so I couldn’t pass up on this top when I saw it. Bonus: it was 50% off!

Not pictured: 2 of the same Banana Republic shawl collar sweaters – $3.50 a piece

Total for January: $157

Not too shabby for the first month of the year! The biggest surprise purchases were the maxi dress and the vintage Coach crossbody purse. While neither were on my shopping list for this month, sometimes a good sale or happenstance find at the thrift store just happens to fit perfectly within the budget and is too good to pass up on.

Linking up with the budgeting bloggers for the first time this year and cannot wait to keep the recaps coming!

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Black & Blue

Happy Monday!! For those of you who celebrate the Lunar New Year: wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! I may or may not still be recovering from the weekend’s festivities in the form of a food coma…

Unlike this weekend where the Lunar New Year tradition is to wear red, today’s outfit is quite the opposite. I once read a “rule” that said not to wear black and blue together. I don’t know why, but this fashion rule stuck with me for years. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to make my own rules and paired these colours together. Plus, I didn’t want to run around the city wearing a Canadian Tuxedo (full blue-on-blue denim).

chambray shirt winter outfit
outfit details: Arvo watch & circle scarf
outfit details:
denim curved hem top: c/o J.Jill (exact)
jeans: J Brand (similar)
booties: All Saints (similar)
woven stripes scarf: c/o J.Jill (exact)
watch: Arvo (exact)
vintage Coach legacy purse: thrifted (exact)

vintage Coach legacy purse


One tradition for the Lunar New Year is to wear a brand new outfit to start the new year off. This Coach legacy crossbody purse is the newest vintage bag added to my collection. When I thrifted it earlier this month, the bag was in pretty worn condition with many dry patches of leather. Even though this is not technically a new piece, the love and attention to restoring it to it’s current state makes it feel new to me.

Unearthing these J Brand jeans, which were purchased either in 2013 or 2014, was also an amazing find in my own closet. These jeans have actually been sitting in a “to donate” bag for a while, but every time the bag filled up for donations, I would purposefully take these jeans out, set them aside, and donate everything else. Why? I have a bit of a soft spot for these because they were one of the first pairs of “premium denim” jeans that I bought for myself. I had outgrown them less than a year after buying them (I know, I know…) and always hoped to be able to fit them again.

That time is now! 2017… the year I fit back into pants from 3 years ago. And wear blue and black at the same time.

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Winter playground

As much as I complain about being too cold in the winter, this season is the first time in years that I’ve been really excited about snow!

About 4 years ago (maybe even 5 years, at this point), I bought a bunch of snowboarding gear with the intention to go regularly. Since all of my friends are fearless snow bunnies who can shred runs like no other, I figured I would tag along with them for every trip out to the mountains in hopes of improving my own riding abilities. (Note: I had zero skill to start when I first committed to buying a board. I had been snowboarding once or twice before going all in.) Needless to say, after a couple trips to Mt. Baker and Steven’s Pass, feeling pretty defeated because I couldn’t pick up the coordination skills as quickly as I had hoped, my snowboard sat in the closet for the next couple years collecting dust.

Everything changed in December of 2016! After spending the Spring/Summer goofing around on my fiance’s skateboard, plus my fiance deciding to buy his own snowboarding equipment, we’ve found ourselves on a mountain almost every other weekend for the last two months.

Snoqualmie Summit - snowboarding in Washington
Snoqualmie snowboarding (more…)
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