Sunday, January 31, 2016

My start and end as a fashion blogger.

At Thanksgiving, my mom brought down some old outfits that belonged to my great aunt, who died in 2012. It was from her that I inherited my Inuit art (and probably my appreciation for it), as well as some other tchotkes and books that I display around the apartment.

My great aunt had an appreciation for quality, in her art and decor, and in her clothes. The clothes that my mom brought me at Thanksgiving are all well made, from boutiques that (I'm sure) were located in Toronto's Yorkville area. They are, however, very 1970s.

Back in the 9th grade, some friends and I somehow convinced our history teacher that we should submit a video of the fashions of the 1960s. Somehow, my teacher was willing to let us out of class to work on this video, and to accept this video as "work". We went to Goodwill - especially "Buy the Pound" in Toronto (anyone remember that place?!) and bought a variety of clothes we thought were very 60s - bell bottoms, polyester shirts, etc. We then created a video of ourselves walking a catwalk wearing these clothes. I was 15 and awkward, with bad posture that I hoped would hide the fact that I was busty, and long, long hair to hide the fact that I was unfashionable. I really hope that video no longer exists.

Anyway, here is part two, featuring just me - still awkward! Displaying the fashions of the 1970s...

 Here I am wearing a blue suede number - it weighs about 10lbs. It has a matching polyester shirt, and cool golden buttons and embellishments. As you can see, our model couldn't be bothered to put makeup on, or shoes, or tights. Hey, it's Sunday, all those things are unnecessary.

Perhaps this is rayon, and it also comes with a kooky little scarf that I forgot to put on. I actually like this pleated skirt, though the length doesn't really suit me. As you'll notice, our model found some shoes to wear.

Here's a nice look for the January board meeting. It's got a woolly, textured look, but I believe it's a synthetic material. Our model continues to wear shoes, but no makeup, and apparently has lost her neck. Tyra would be so mad.

I actually kinda like this jacket. Not really my style, or color palette (ie not a shade of black), but it's cute. It also has nice bone buttons. I have no idea how to edit the glare out of my specs, so I look particularly geeky.

Finally, evening wear!

I was actually given this years ago, and I love it always and forever. It even used to fit me (read: before pregnancy), but now it doesn't zip all the way. L. likes when I wear it and said I look like a princess, so obviously I gave him $200 and promised he would always be my favorite and that I will leave all my worldly belongings to him.

And thus ends my fashion blogging career, as well as my modelling career.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I did it! The Whole29! Wait...

I have completed my foray into Whole30 living after 29 days. No, it wasn't that my cravings did me in on the second-last day, it was that I had a business lunch, and I wasn't going to demand a meal made for me within the restrictions of no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no soy, etc.

Bagels... Girls, I missed you.

Even though I opened my mouth and heart to cheese on day 29, I maintained no sugar until day 30 (my last bite of sweet gold being on December 30). That means I successfully went sugar-free for a month! I did it!

In case you don't realize how hard that is: there is sugar in everything. There is sugar in most chicken and vegetable stock. There is sugar in bread. There is sugar in tonic water. There is sugar everywhere. I made my own ketchup! And it was good!

Today, in celebration of my success, I ate some delicious dark chocolate. And it was good. And I ate a grilled cheese sandwich. And it was good. Tonight, I will order burritos. They will be extremely good.

Tacos, from happier times
H. asked me what I thought after the end of this. Well, I don't feel super-charged or anything. I have lost a tiny bit of weight, but I think that's from less snacking (because fewer options). It did help me get into the practice of better meal-planning, incorporating better, healthier sides at dinner, and having veggies in-hand.

Above all, I'm happy that I avoided sugar for so long. No doubt, my longest experience without sugar since I started eating solid foods.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 20

So, I'm on Day 20 of the Whole30. 2/3 of the way there. I honestly can't believe I've made it this far.

So, how is it? I think I can say that my cravings have subsided. I've gotten used to preparing my meals ahead of time, of making my lunches, of frequent trips to the grocery store. I'm paying more money for groceries (veggies and more meat), but no wine so that probably evens out.

I still think about cookies, a lot. Like every day. I've frequently thought "as soon as this is over, I'm going to eat an entire bag of Trader Joe's cookies." I've honestly thought that. And I might just do that. And I might eat nothing but pizza.

According to the Whole30 book, from days 16-26 (or so) you are supposed to feel like "tiger blood". I don't feel that. I don't really feel any different, except smug, maybe.

cupcakes, I will see you soon!
I have been doing one thing that is not "in the spirit of" Whole30. I've been eating 2 ingredient egg/banana "pancakes" every morning since about day 9, because I just cannot eat eggs every day as eggs. The bananas kind of mask the egg-ness. I love eggs, don't get my wrong. I love runny eggs with toast, or scrambled eggs with cheese...

Fake pancakes are not allowed because faking any kind of treat is a no-no. You must not even want to eat those delicious things! Your body must be above it! But, in that way, my desire/plan to eat an entire bag of cookies on day 31 is probably not in the spirit of the Whole30 either.

just a random wall.
And what after all this? Well, I think I will continue aspects of it in a minor way. I could do fewer grains and more veggies. I could do less sugar. I don't actually eat that much dairy as is, actually. So, we'll see - I'm still thinking about it. I've still got ten days!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I Made This - January Project: Apron

One of my goals this year is to sew 12 new projects - new to me patterns. I decided to ease into this with a simple child's reversible apron, from the pattern found on Aesthetic Nest.

I made one for L. and one for my oldest friend's little girl. It's ok, she doesn't read my blog, so it will still be a surprise.

The pattern was very easy, and I even figured out how to use the buttonhole foot on my sewing machine, so I learned something new!

Here they are being modeled on L's play kitchen.

For Little M's apron, I used some Liberty fabric, which makes this the fanciest child's apron ever.

For L's apron, I used some leftover wood fabric from his first Halloween costume.
Nobody's here for the fancy photos, but still - I apologize for the poor quality of these pics. I had a vision of L modeling his apron, while pretend-playing with his kitchen, but those photos turned out like this:

Does blogging ever get more "real" than a grumpy kid and the junk around the apartment?

Oh well.

Project 1, complete.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Coming "clean"

I wasn't going to mention it here, and maybe it's the sugar withdrawals messing with my brain that I am: on January 1 I started the Whole 30. Have you heard of it? It's an eating program (I hesitate to say "diet") where you have no dairy, no sugar, no soy, no grains and no alcohol for 30 days.

I'm on day 10, and it's hard.

Why am I doing this? As I mentioned, I don't like to think this is a "diet" but it's a way for me to try and cut sugar for a month - something I've been trying to do for years. I am a sugar addict. I'm also hoping it will re-set the way I eat, and cook.

One of the hardest parts is all the cooking. It's hard to come home from work and prepare a real meal, with lots of veggies to keep you satisfied. It's hard to plan ahead! But, for ten days I've managed.

(vegan) butternut squash soup, sweet potato fries, homemade garlic aioli

Day 9 was one of the hardest. Walking around the neighborhood, running errands, I felt every bakery I passed. I considered buy L. an eclair so I could live vicariously through him. I dreamt about pizza. I made L. a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and it was torture. But I made it through.

I've been thinking about this "clean eating" thing for awhile, and I can believe the benefits. I don't eat a ton of junk (except sugar), but I do love bread and pasta, and wine. And beer. After these 30 days are up (assuming I make it through, which I can't guarantee), I won't continue to this level. But, I'd like to eat more "whole" foods; I'd like to cook more veggies and limit the amount of sugar I'm consuming. But I'd also really like to eat a pizza.

Right now, I'm so sick of eggs. That might be what kills this for me - lack of breakfast options. I don't want chicken for breakfast. I don't want fish, either.

They (the creators of the Whole30) encourage you to be active on social media about your participation, but I haven't and won't (sounds like a marketing ploy to me). But I mention it here to you. I may mention it again.

Wish me luck, please!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

More musings on 2016

I've been thinking about my last post. Truly things I want to accomplish this year, certainly - but are they the realest, most true goals? Maybe, but there's more.

This year, I want to hold my tongue less and speak my mind more.

idgaf (Izzy don't give a f*ck)

I want to call b.s. when I see it. Even if it scares me to do it.

Some people who know me (I hope) are surprised to hear me say that - sometimes, I am vocal about my thoughts. But there's a lot I hold back.

I want to follow my gut instinct more. I think I have a good one, and often when I don't follow it, I regret it.

Where does this all come from? It's a mix of being sick of seeing things you think aren't right or fair, with being at a point where I can honestly feel comfortable with the understanding that some people won't like me.

WWGD (what would Ganesh do?)
Right, so that's me. Maybe this is a "personal growth" goal for 2016.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Plan

Here we are, 2016.

We survived Christmas. We survived the sugar and the wine and overstimulated toddlers. And now, here we are on January 1. As you may recall, I say I "don't do" resolutions, but I make goals, which are roughly the same thing. So I admit it, I'm a big liar.

Some people are adamantly against making resolutions. Some cynical types even scoff at those who do. I wonder though, what do they care if you (or I) make them? As I get older, I find myself more annoyed by the cynics who make judgements on everyone's life. But then again, I am also a cynic most of the time, so again I'm a big liar.

Well, anyway, let me share to-do list with you.

1. Sew more

It's hard to find time to do anything for myself with a bossy little person, and a full-time job. But in the last few weeks as I was making those Christmas presents, I was reminded of how much I enjoy the challenge. Even when I screw up, and even when I'm scratching my head trying to understand a pattern, I like it. So, for 2016, I'm challenging myself to make one new project each month (12 total).

2. Read more/play less Candy Crush

I have a 50 minute subway commute to and from work, 5 days a week. That is the only time I have to read, and for the most part I do! I actually achieved my 2015 Goodreads Challenge of 28 books. Hooray! But there are some mornings and some evenings when I resort to playing stupid Candy Crush. It's pretty harmless, but it's also pretty stupid. My 2016 Goodreads Challenge is 35 books, so this here I'm hoping to play less, read more.

3. Fix L's eating habits

L. is a very picky eater. Picky is putting it mildly - he eats about 4 things, none of which are vegetables. I was picky - I still am. And I know we haven't been great about offering him veggies or variety with his meals. I know that if we sat down each night and ate together, he'd develop better eating habits by watching us. Most nights when we get home from work and picking him up, we're all tired, we're all hungry, and it's easier to make him something quick and easy that we know he'll eat. So, in 2016 I want to eat together more, offer him more, see him willingly eat a piece of broccoli within the next 365 days.

4. Save money (of course)

This is always my goal. But this is the year, this is the year we're moving, I swear to jeebus. Our lease is up at the end of June and we will not re-sign! We're moving, we're getting a car. Big plans! So, right now we have no vacations planned, we have a strict budget and we are sticking to it!

5. Purge

Or de-clutter. One of the great things about moving is that you end up getting rid of stuff. I have high hopes that I can get rid of tons of stuff before the packing begins. I've been trying to re-evaluate my connection to stuff - what should be kept/meaningful, and what is meaningless. What am I holding on to for no good reason? So, I'm going through my closets, making donations, getting ready to sell stuff on eBay. Maybe I'll find some kind of enlightenment in the purge.

So, there we go. Those are the ones I'll be aiming for this year. There are others, goals that are unlikely (if I'm honest!): giving up sugar for a month (at least), writing those 100 blog posts, deleting Facebook (or at least removing from my phone...). But, I just don't think I'm strong enough for those.

OK, 2016, wish me luck.

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