Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day after lull

Christmas was wonderful. My parents made a fantastic meal as usual and it was great to have everyone over. I feel truly blessed to hail from such a great clan! I received to wonderful things for Christmas, including a couture dress from my mom and mine's favorite boutique, Tomorrow's Heirlooms, a Eiffel tower cookie cutter and an over the top Bestsy Johnson necklace. As my nana says, it's got everything but the kitchen sink on it. Our extended family's homemade gift exchange also went very well. It's great to get everyone thinking and working creatively.

Tomorrow we head off to the Bahamas, and when I return I will recap the trip through fabulous formal wear!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ciao for now

Today is the day folks. 3 hours from now I will be at the airport - my break from this city is about to begin! Unfortunately the goodbye that I wanted to say. I will probably say it while I'm in the airport. For now, a phone message will have to do. Maybe I'm just being melodramatic. That thought has crossed my mind several times. Regardless, this is it. There are people I might never see again and I am just going to have to find a way to deal with it. It's heartbreaking, but I know that the people who are still present in my life will help me through the tough times. They are people who I am especially thankful for this time of year.

So my blog may be on a little bit of a break between now and January 4th. But don't worry I will be back with plenty to say in the New Year.

Loves and hugs dolls!
V.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not this time

There's been a lot that I've wanted to write about in the last couple of days, but I've need time to gather the scattered bits of myself. Not only is tomorrow travel day for me, but there's been lots of goodbyes as many of my friends are now done with their undergrad degrees. Needless to say, there has just been a lot happening.

But what I want to think about today is saying goodbye. In some cases, it's temporary and I know I'll see them again. But then there are some friends whom I don't know when or if I will see them again. Saying it is such a strange thing. Some people claim not to be so good with it, but I think that they are the ones who suffer the most. They carry the heavy weight of the past with them, but manage to suppress it best only until it bubbles up again. As opposed to someone like me - the past is always present. Sometime I wish I could shed it, just to be in the present, but I've yet to figure out how to live that way.

Of course, there is one person in particular who I am thinking about. I feel that I am at one of those of pivotal moments when I need to decided to be okay with what has happened, or let go. The way he has acted lately makes me more than ready to turn away and not care, but I know that I need closure. Or something. Maybe just reconciliation. Though the last time I tried for that it was quite a failure. Regardless, I need to say goodbye so that I can move forward. It is what I most desperately need right now.

I've never experienced losing someone before, but I imagine that this is what it must feel like. You know what's coming, but you're just not sure when it will happen. So here I am, wondering how to cope. There is only one thing that I am certain of right now. This will not hold me down.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finish line crossed

It's all over for now. To celebrate, I went for a facial and then headed to the ballet and dinner with KT and her family. I adore getting all dolled up for the ballet.



So then I decided to abide by the no flash photography rule, but this lady behind me yelled at me for taking a few photos. But here are a couple from an amazing performance of the nutcracker.



These streets will make you feel brand new

Here I go! Free for 15 days . . . well I suppose that isn't a substantially long time. But it is long enough for me to get ready for the new year. Time to shed the residue of the last twelve months. To take with me fragments of the year that are worth carrying forward. But you know, I'm frankly beginning to question what is worth taking forward. Life moves so quickly and maybe we aren't meant to me hauling around the past with us forever. Maybe our identity should be relative rather than cumulative and contextual. More about where I am rather than where I've been. Does the past matter that much in the long run?

I feel like I am forever recalling events several years ago that at the time were the end of my world, but now seem to matter very little if at all. It never ceases to intrigue me that time always allows for perspective and healing. I think that maybe all I was looking for in the past, but now I don't want to be dwelling. Progressive is what I hope to be my banner for 2010. I think I've finally reached the tipping point where I've accepted what has not gone well in past years and am ready to move forward. Because let's face it, the past couple years have had their fair share of drama.

Friday, December 18, 2009

1 day to go

I'm at home baking banana bread in an effort to relax before my exam tomorrow. I so want it to be o-v-e-r!! Because once this exam is done it means that I'm finally going on holiday and am in the home stretch of my undergrad degree. Don't worry, there will be lots of photos from the Bahamas soon! I'm so excited for this. I haven't taken a real vacation in about 2 years and am in desperate need of one.

I'll have much more to write in the coming days - hopefully more substantial.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review: Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland


It's been a while since I've plowed through a book so quickly. But I think that speaks to how good this one was. The plot revolves around the hidden past catching up with a 30 something woman named Liz. She lives her life trying to forget that she is lonely. She is the definition of anonymity. However, one days she receives a phone call that changes everything and revives her life. The son whom she put up for adoption at birth is there and she is his emergency contact. Jeremy moves into her apartment and they embark on a relationship together. And with his help, Liz discovers the self that she has tried so desperately to cover up.

One of the reasons that I chose to pick this book up was because of Liz's son, who suffers from advanced Multiple Sclerosis. Knowing someone who suffers from this disease, I'm a bit skeptical of the way that Coupland depicts it at moments. But I think that he captures the emotion it evokes in people who are close to the sufferer. In fact, I very closely identified with much of what Liz felt when my mom was diagnosed with this disease.

Coupland is mostly concerned with how people deal with loneliness. At the end of the book, he gives an interview and talks about how the Beatles' song inspired this novel. He was interested in the kind of woman Eleanor was/is. I found that it got me to think about my own life, and how even though I am sometimes surrounded by people, I feel like I could be the "loneliest give in the world." Emo, right? But I think that everyone experiences these intense moments of isolation and this book is all about how was recover from this. Coupland leaves the readers with a sense of optimism that anyone can make a come back even after a lull that lasted years.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Year End Review Pt 2

Continuing with my year end review, I thought I would compile a list of things that I'm proud of/went well/good things from 2009.

- My graphic design projects, especially the one for UBC Engineering. 32 pages. Total accomplishment.

- The summer. So many great things happened and it was period of great growth for me.

- Working hard on my writing. I've managed to accumulate a substantial number of entries this year that I am very proud of and look forward to many more next year.

- Giving up 7 months of my life for the LSAT. A new level of dedication that I'm glad I proved to myself I was capable of following through on this.

- Becoming more fearless when it comes to fashion. I would have never imagined myself owning metallic leggings a year ago.

- Doing (relatively) well in school. After all, this is my life.

- Finding my way back to what's important and what I'm passionate about.

- Making amens with the past couple of years. Of all the things that sprang from 2009, this was the greatest one. I've finally been able to let go of things that haven't worked out and stopped blaming myself. I think that the emotional turmoil I've experience in the past years, have been some of the tougher times that I've faced but I think I'm finally at a new starting point.

- Finding new dreams. Even if some had to fade out of my life, 2010 will be the start of more great things for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Go big or go home

Seeing as though this is the last exam period I'll be have for a while, it seems fitting that we are doing the most random things. Case and point - we went clubbing on a Tuesday night. I got a chance to rock out my silver metallic leggings. I'm totally in love with them. It's so nothing I would have ever considered wearing but I'm so glad I decided to try them! Our night began at my place. Wine and goat cheese were had. As were a few photos.





The pretense of this little adventure was heading out to a friend's goodbye party. This required us going to a very seedy bar. JM, of course, wanted proof that he set foot is such a place.



Luckily this is where the photos stopped. We headed to a club afterwards and danced out the frustrations of finals until 3. Such a good night!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Shoes

Next Wednesday I am heading home and then my family is heading to the Bahamas! I love going on holiday because it means I get to wear lots of ball gowns. I decided that this year I didn't need to buy any more dresses, but new shoes are needed! And here they are folks!



I almost bought them a week ago, but I'm glad I waited because they went on sale! Anyways, they're so pretty and I'm so looking forward to strutting around town in them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Karoline's Surprise Birthday Party

I have been so excited to write about this, but alas I could not because Karoline reads my blog. So JM and I have managed to actually throw her a surprise party. It's actually the first surprise party I've ever planned. It's been so much fun. We decided to have a birthday brunch, but unfortunately no one could make it at brunch time. So it's a brunch at dinner time. Leave it to me to come up with something this wacky. So we had all the usual things, mimosas, cream puffs, scones and strawberries. I made sure the goody table included lots of Karoline's favorite things.Even though the gathering was small, the sentiments for this special gal were grand. Mucho amour Karoline!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Start of a my year-end review

It seems like every year is defined by a different theme, if you will, for me. Thinking about the past couple of year, I think it's odd how there seems to be one overriding thing that surfaces. Of course, I only realized this in the past couple of months. I think it might reflect my general inability to multi-task. Hence I seem to focus on one facet of life each year. So inefficient, but let's recap!
2006- new chapter begins
2007 - major changes
2008 - learning what I want out of a relationship
and in 2009 - friendships develop. To be honest, this has been a really fabulous year and I'd like to think it's because so many of my friendships have grown in unexpected ways. Rob and I once again close, which I never imagined happening. Karoline and I are living together. JM and I, well this one is always great. I would even venture to say that my friendship with Allen is different in a good way. I hope that it will recover. I think the best part about this year is that I've realized how not alone I am. I have so many wonderful people in my life, and perhaps I've taken them for granted in the past, but no more.

I don't know what 2010 will bring me. I kind of want to hope that it will be love, but I know I already have that in my life. In a way I hope it will bring me more peace of mind, and help me find a new trail to blaze. For now I will have to be patient. After all, things have a tendency to happen when you least expect it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I believe in you

Yesterday I had lunch with my roommate from last year, Sarah. She's wonderful and I'm so glad we've kept in touch. I haven't seen her at all this term, so there was lots to catch up on. We mostly talked about holiday plans and what we're doing after graduation in May. I gave her the updates that I'm taking a year off to become a Canadian. She, like most other people I know, was very happy to hear that I'm still going to be around even if I move east. She asked me what I'll be doing in my year off, so I started telling her about my interest in the corporate fashion world and how I am thinking of pursuing my pipe dreams for a bit. Most people sort of nod and think that I'm even more frivolous and materialistic than they thought, but Sarah truly surprised me with her reply. "Vanessa, I think you're going to go far. I just have a feeling."

Not only is this so encouraging, but there is something comforting about finding someone who has such great faith in you. It's an amazing feeling and I feel so lucky to have friends who motivate me in ways that I can't do myself. I mean sure, I have a lot of belief in what I will do in the coming years. Who doesn't? But this takes on a new meaning when those around you start to believe in you and vocalize their support. I'm inclined to believe that it means I'm on a good track, though I've yet to get evidence to support this. I'm even more excited about the upcoming year and to give everyone a reason to believe in me.

Lesson for today folks - thank those who believe in you and reciprocate the gesture. It's the greatest gift of all.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vintage Finds

I've recently discovered a lovely local jewelry designer - Christi York of BuenoStyle. Seriously beautiful things. All of it is true vintage, some of it one of a kind. I love that it's sustainable, like the recycled sweater idea. Some of my favorite pieces are:







If you're in the Vancouver area, you can find her Jewelry at Changes in West Point Grey and Ingenue on Broadway. She also has a shop on Esty.


All photos are from her website.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Attention: History is about to repeat itself

I always think it's a cliche to say that history is destined to repeat itself. I think in my case, it is more accurate to say that mistakes are destined to repeat themselves. Nothing is difficult to shake than a true crush. Even after months pass, seeing that person is always a rush. I don't think it's anything more for me than that, but it's unbelievable that it always happens with this one guy.

So as I wrote yesterday, now that finals are here I'm seeking shelter in The Boulevard for daily studying and coffee. You might recall this time last year, Karoline and I met Law School boy and Engineering boy there. Infatuation followed delusion and eventually dissipation defined December, January and February. Anyhow, I've written about them and chopped the whole instance to fate not working in my favor.

However today was a fabulous day! This afternoon law school boy walked into The Boulevard. Being me, adrenaline was going and I started physically shaking. So sad. I don't think anyone has ever had such an effect on me. It always surprises me because I've had maybe 5 conversations with this guy and know very little about him. But it's the mystery that pulls me in. Karoline tells me that my infatuation is still present, but that's okay. It just seems to be all to perfect that he's present again.

And then my afternoon got even better!

I left the coffee shop feeling light hearted and with a big smile on my face.I got on the bus to go home and I looked to my right out the window. It was a beautiful sunny day. But then I noticed someone who looked a bit familiar sitting behind me. Just behind me was Engineering Boy! Holy mackrel! This was far too coincidental. I was nearing my stop and knew that I had to speak to him. I got up a bit sooner than necessary, pulled the bell and then casually looked his way and said hello. Anyways I talked to him for a couple of minutes and he gave me that oh so flirtatious smile of his. I melted. So cute!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Exam time

It's the start of a brand new week. I don't want to admit this, but finals time is really my favorite part of the semester. Classes are over and now I can read in my favorite coffee shops all day without feeling guilty. Enjoying coffee, reading great literature and regaining a bit of sanity. I always feel so lucky that I study what I love. I can't imagine doing otherwise, and I feel sorry for people who don't share this view. The next few weeks will be great! Especially after the 19th. I have some great plans for the days before I leave Vancouver. Christmas shopping, facial, catching up with a few friends, and of course packing for holiday.

Not much else is new. I think I've started to regain some stability. I've managed to start clearing my mind and weeding though all that was there. I will be especially glad when the dust has settled.

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Things I know

I love the month of December
I want these shoes
Modernist literature rocks my socks
I wish I had more time to read
I am lonely
I cannot wait to see my family on Dec 23rd
Burning bridges is no good
Technology is not my friend, especially my new cell phone
I am thankful for what I have
A house with Christmas lights is a happy house
I don't know when life got so complicate it, but I want to un-complicate it
There are times when I need to be by myself, this might be one of them
I don't like television
I let expectations stand in my way of getting what I want
Gingerbread is delicious
I like the frost in the morning, even if it is -5 outside
Reading before I fall asleep will always be my nightly ritual
I have a weakness for men with accents
I dream about being a national ranked equestrian again someday
I need to find my own way
My house smells like gingerbread

Friday, December 04, 2009

Language has utterly failed me

Sometimes I feel that language traps us. There is only so many ways to express something in English. Perhaps the way you choose makes sense to you, but what if the person you're communicating with doesn't understand it? What do we do when language becomes an inadequate form of expression?

I feel that this is a problem I encounter from time to time when writing on my blog, but also in everyday life. Often times I think I've worded something so perfectly, only to find out that I'm the only one who gets it. I think part of the complication of language comes from the complexity of how we form thoughts to begin with.
How did you arrive at the thing you want to express? To me this seems like one of those rabbit holes of a question. There could be a number of 'triggers,' but our emotions also complicate our views. Sometimes they make us stubborn and fixated on a position, other times they make us gullible. But the worst scenario is when the overwhelm you to the point that you cannot even make sense of what it is you want to say.

Case and point: my current attempts to reconcile a friendship. Words don't seem to be good enough for what it is I want to say. "I love you and care very deeply for you. I want to still be there for you." Even though it is the truth, it somehow sounds . . . cheap(?). Like anyone could come up with that. I need it to be more meaningful. Of course there are ways to make it sound more poetic, but is that the right tone? I'm beginning to think that there are times when we should use something other than language to communicate. But what? There is no other common denominator. Art can be interpreted freely, as can writing. And to a large extent, so can language.

The greatest paradox of all is this post.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas Baking, Yay!!

The decorations are up and now it's time for the baking to begin! Here are a few of the recipes that I'll be making this weekend.


Gingerbread
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup boiling water

Sugar Cookies
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Chocolate Ginger Bread Cookies

Sounds interesting, though I'm still trying to imagine the combination.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Peppermint and chocolate. . . need I say more. It's THE best combination ever!

Shortbread
Always a classic.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good things

Picnic Cafe on South Granville - The interior is surprisingly simple. It's table is actually one long picnic table with pretty flower arrangements. And they have sandwiches to die for!

The Bedo Boyfriend Blazer - All I can say is, why didn't I buy one sooner?

My Fireplace - especially now that it's decorated. Love the holidays!

There are 20 until I'm back in Wilton!

Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland - It's one of his older book, but it's still very good. I'm in love with the narrative voice that he's developed.

Crossword puzzles - I suppose I could have worse hobbies.

Finally, realizing that I am not the only one with my specific boy problems. I've found that finding someone who isn't one of my friends and that hasn't been dragged into my rabbit hole offers the kind of perspective and advice that I've been searching for all along. You might wonder where I've found such a person. It's none other than my store's owner. Nothing has been more surprising to me than finding out how much we have in common. Anyhow, she was telling me about her last boyfriend who had to leave town for a job. Much like my situation, she said there was a period of intense discussion as to what should happen and they broke up prematurely. I told her that I was totally cranky about not only losing a romantic relationship, but a friendship. Her advice to me what that I needed to make peace with the situation by having a conversation before he goes. I know that she's right. The worst thing I could do for myself is to leave things in this slightly disheveled state only to look back with regret. Time is ticking away, but now I know what I need to do.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I have a confession

I have been throwing all of my pent up energy into crafting fabulous outfits daily. However, it may have gone a step too far. I have been trying to solve my problems with clothes and shoes and underpinnings. Jeans, a boyfriend blazer, new tops, a dress. I love the way I feel, but I know that this must sadly come to an end. Karoline called me her little shopaholic. Ouch. I'd like to think of myself as fashionable. (Spoken like a true addict, I know). The reality of my situation is that I am single and desperately compensating for the void in my life. I know that this phase will pass, but so long as I can afford it, what's the harm?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Was it worth the risk?

In the aftermath of my latest break up, I find myself dwelling on what exactly happened. A) It unfolded so quickly and B) I still don't get why it really happened. Both points are seriously getting under my skin, and it's not because I have to know everything or feel in control. But I feel that a seriously big risk was taken in deciding to embark on a relationship with a close friend. Not only did I lose a romantic relationship, but I also lost what may have been one of the best friendship to ever be a part of my life. The second is what really breaks my heart to bits.

I am well aware that we take many risks in life. Sometimes we are unaware of them. Other times we know exactly what we are getting into. Either way, they still exist. If nothing else, the lesson I think I am taking away from all this is to never underestimate what appears harmless - this is what causes us the most hurt.

Knowing that this has left me empty handed, I am somehow less inclined to take risks with my heart when that someone means so much to me. I desperately want things to go back to pre-relationship, but I know that being more than friends meant something to me. So it isn't easy to just whip out the last little while. Things have happened, and for better or worse, they've cultivated change. I hear my mom saying that everything happens for a reason. What she actually told me is that it is

Maybe this is meant to challenge me. Or maybe teach me a lesson (ie don't mess with sumthin' great)

So how do you make sense of change?


The end of another month

It's hard to believe that another month is over, let alone nearly the year. As a student, December means exam period and then winter holiday. I must suffer first before I can enjoy a well deserved mental break. But December also means the glitz and glamour of the holidays! I mean, when else can you get away with wearing a sequined dress besides New Years? Unfortunately I miss out on all of the fabulous parties my parents go to this time of year because I am 800 miles away. This year, I am trying to see this as an opportunity to make my own fabulous plans! Here is what I've got so far . . .

: Attending The Nutcracker ballet.
: Baking ginger bread.
: Making sure I get to wear my dress at least once.

Mine is purple with gold undertones, though I can't seem to find a photo of it :(
: Seeing the Christmas lights in Stanley Park.
: Having one last hurrah cocktail party with my closest friends.

Here's a fabulous holiday season!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Thanksgiving Dinner Party

Finally the day has arrived for me to gather up my favorite people around one table for a meal. I feel incredibly blessed to have each of them in my life. We've known each other for 3 and half years and have been through it all together. I think a lot of my personal growth has come from the encouragement and support I receive from them each day. I can only hope that our friendships will survives the tests of time and distance.

The table settings






Love you crazy kids!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Soggy weather

In the three years I've been in Vancouver I've yet to feel like the weather is affecting my mood. However after nearly 2 solid weeks of rain, it's getting to me. And let me tell you, that's a lotta water! I do like the rain, but in moderation. So I'm currently trying to think of things to cheer myself up.
{photo}

1. The new handbag I bought. It's pretty and I'm excited to use it.

2. Winter jackets. I've rediscovered my lovely gray wool Micheal Kors coat. Yay for fashion!

3. The rainy weather is (almost) forcing my to be more productive. I'm nearly finished with my end of term assignments and I did a bit of Christmas decorating.

4. I have re-organized my closet.

5. Hosting a dinner party. A fabulous indoor activity. Way better than any picnic I've ever been to.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A little gem

Check this out!

The last song on Taylor Swift's album
Fearless and I absolutely love it.

And of course, the lyrics to go with it. Because they are equally enjoyable.

It's just a sad picture, the final blow hits you
Somebody else gets what you wanted
You know it's all the same, another time and place
Repeating history and you're getting sick of it

But I believe in whatever you do
And I'll do anything to see it through

Chorus:
Because these things will change, can you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution, the time will come for us to finally win

We'll sing hallelujah
We'll sing hallelujah Oh

So you've been out numbered and now cornered
It's hard to fight when the fight ain't fair
We're getting stronger now from things they never found
They might be bigger but we're faster and never scared

You can walk away and say you don't need this
But there's something in your eyes says we can beat this

Chorus:
Because these things will change, can you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution, the time will come for use to finally win

We'll sing hallelujah
We'll sing hallelujah
Oh

Tonight we stand on our feet
To fight for what we worked for all these years
The battle was long
It's the fight of our lives
We'll stand up champions tonight

And it's the night things changed
can you see it now?
When the walls that they put up to hold us back fell down
Coz it's a revolution
Throw your hands up
Coz we never give in

We'll sing hallelujah
We'll sing hallelujah
Hallelujah

Enjoy friends! Hope you're having a great week!

--------------------------

ps - I popped down to U.O. today and was sorely disappointed to find out that they did not have the dress I want! Heartbreak.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The apple of my eye

Dresses that I want for my new blazer, asap.


Love, Love, Love! Gorgeous pattern. Waist is always a plus. Red is one of my favs and it's even better on a dress! And $68 is a great price.


This one is a total steal at $29!! I'm usually not a fan of the strapless dress, but since I plan to keep my jacket over it, it could work. I also like the pattern and could definitely see dressing this dress up or down.

Both of these dresses are from Urban Outfitters. Sadly shipping is $50! This means I will have to trek downtown and buy the red one in person.

I also like this one from Kensie.

This one
is cute too, though not as flowy.

Another good choice. I would total rock this with my ribbed leggings.

And an accessory to go with them . .


Lovely! Well friends, I think that's all for me. Hope your creativity and passion have whisked you away today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A dialogue

She sat on the end of the bed. He trailed into the room behind her. She felt unnerved and knew her mind would settle just as soon as he sat beside her on the bed. They walked entered in the same awkward manner only to declare a likedness for each other sometime before. They embraced, and embarked.
He coldly rolls over his desk chair to put a distance between them. Looking about the room, she knows this has to be fixed. She needs to release her mind from the chains that bind it.
"I'm sorry about what I said. I think it was a mistake."
"You shouldn't apologize. I think it was the right thing to do."
"Really?" Her emotions were quieted by this truth.

"I need to buy new shirts. You want to go to Urban Outfitters?"
"I'm kind of busy." End of discussion. The demarcation was set out and he was casually reverting into the past. She knew it was time to go.

"Take a bus home. Or a cab, you have the money to."
"No. I'll be fine."
As she walked down the front steps, it was raining but she didn't open her umbrella. Water began to soak her face. She could not tell whether it was the rain or tears.

Post #200

I am proud to say that my adventures in fashion are taking me to good places. I am actively trying things I would have never considered (i.e. leggings and pencil skirts, though not together) and finding that I adore them. I'm finally going to get the boyfriend blazer that I've had my eye on for quite some time this week! I have such grand plans for this. Over my flowy dresses. With skinny denim and my pink pointed toe flats. With knee high boots and shiney leggings. Oh I'm so excited!

On Friday afternoon I did my fair share of window shopping. I started at Holt's because I had been got my make up done. I saw a lovely navy cap sleeve lace top in the D&G collection. I was about to try it on and my mind flipped over to my own closet and I thought, "Hey! You have super hot black lace top from Anthropologie!" Genius! I haven't worn that top in forever and now I've successfully shopped in my own closet. I love this top. It's got pearly buttons up the back and layers of delicate lace in different patterns. I whipped through H&M. It was odd recognizing so many designs that looked exactly the same as in Bedo. It's odd how widespread and mainstream some designs are. People everywhere could be fashionable clones. Instead Vancouver continues to be a fashion wasteland.

I breezed out the front doors and down the street to the bookstore. I wanted to flip through British Vogue and Marie Claire. Unfortunately Chapters didn't have either. But I found other fun things to look at, including the Sartorialist's book. So lovely! I had to get back to the southwest side of town for dinner, but still had some time and I decided to take a quick peek into the boutique stores. Low and behold, I discovered this fabulous little store on West Broadway called Ingenue. It's filled with Vancouver designers, as well as Canadian designers. Beautiful pieces. I saw a handbag that I am going back for. My favorite is Dace the Wild Card dress is the best. And there is a great sales section. They also had some great jewelry, which is featured their blog. What surprised me the most was how reasonable their prices are. There was not a dress over $150. The leather handbag I want is $69. And the jewelry was between $40 and $70. Not bad considering that most of these pieces are handmade and from gorgeous fabrics. If you're ever in the neighborhood stop by this place! The owner of the store will make you feel like you've just waltzed into a better version of your own closet.

-------

On a quick aside - I'm proud to say that I've reached my 200th post. Another small milestone along this journey. Thanks for reading friends!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A miracle has arrived

Every morning when I have breakfast I usually have the news on in the background. Most of the time its just so the house isn't so quite. But occasionally I pay attention. This morning something definitely caught my attention - Canadian Scientists have discovered a possible cure of Multiple Sclerosis

My mom suffers from MS and her illness always preoccupies a part of my mind. She was diagnosed when I was 11 years old, and it dramatically changed my family. I worry about her everyday, especially about what will happen as she gets older. But today there is hope for her. When I heard this news story, I nearly cried. I was so over come with joy and faith and happiness. Prayers have been answer for MS patients everywhere. And I am so grateful for the amazing work of the scientists who have dedicated so much time and effort to search for a cure.


I love you mom!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just one of those days . . .

Where I need a small reminder of the good things in my life. So here they are.

Karoline, JM and Rob. The constants in my life that I am so thankful for. They are always there for me no matter what mess I find myself in, and they are the best at mending a broken heart. Love you guys!

My jobs. Work is going well and I think that I'm finding new goals for myself in the coming years.

My Europe trip next spring. I can't tell you how excited I am to travel by myself for the first time. I've started a travel journal and I'm making notes on all the places I'm going to visit. The one I'm most looking forward to: Jane Austen's house!

Tomorrow being Friday. Not only does that mean coffee with JM, but a shopping date with Karoline. I am in desperate need of retail therapy. Burberry rain boots - you are mine!

My family. Even though they are 800 miles away, I always feel as though they are involved in my life. I'm extremely thankful to have such brilliant people in my gene pool.

Optimism - because I don't know where I would be in life without it. To me, there is nothing more crushing than someone who has lost the ability to be optimistic.

Hope you've had a great week!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Sometimes we make decisions because we don't want to do something. Other times it's in an effort to avoid a certain outcome. Sometimes the choices are selfish. There are some that require a sacrifice. Some that we are happy to make. Some break our hearts. Sometimes we make a decision only to find that we may have choose wrong.

In the aftermath of huge decisions, I'm usually overcome with doubt. Right now, I'm in the post-decision limbo. Should I carry on, or should I fix what's been decided?

I'm not entirely sure friends, but I do know that the only bad decision is indecision.

A bright spot in my morning

You may recall the tales of Law School Boy from last year. They are now humorous spots in my past. The sense of mystery still exists and always keeps me intrigued.

I was pretty doom and gloom this morning as I was getting ready for school and work. I've yet to truly process what yesterday's events mean and what will happen now. Needless to say I wasn't very talkative and I'm sure it put Karoline on edge. As we walked to bus stop things weren't getting any better. The forecast is calling for 8 inches of rain over the next 3 days! That's a ton of rain folks! We managed to cram ourselves into the front of an already packed bus. It was silent for the most part, though Karoline and I were making small talk. I gazed around the bus to see if there were any familiar faces aboard. Low and behold LSB's very adorable friend - Engineering Boy!

I instantly nudged Karoline and informed her about this sighting. So she and I are both being total creepers trying to catch a glimpse of this boy through all of the people on the bus, when all of the sudden he returns the gaze. He gave us the most flirtatious and lovely smile I've seen in days. In the back of my mind, I could hear my Nana giving me her spiel about how fateful this whole scenario is. It pretty much made my morning.

Keeping with the estranged acquaintance I have with the two of them, I didn't speak to him. He was a) too far away and b) knows darn well who Karoline and I are. There seems to be a kind of unspoken code between us, acknowledgement of the other in an extremely coy way.Besides this keeps the mystery going between all of us.

Anyways, we finally arrive at UBC. Karoline and I begin wading through the puddles at the bus loop, and as we walk away she looks back to see where he is and near falls sideways into the planter! I couldn't contain myself. And it felt really good to laugh - not at her, but just in general. This mishap fits very nicely into the history of encounters that we have with LSB and EB.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What about now?

As I was walking up to the bus stop tonight, I started thinking about all the sacrifices we make for personal happiness. We give up bits of ourselves because we are convinced that in the long run the pay off will be big. Whether its for work, or in your personal life, it occurs all the time. But what makes us value future happiness more than present happiness? I often think (and find) that I am so busy preparing for the future that I forget to live in the now. It's exhausting to recall the times that I could have embraced more fully. Instead I let them slip through the cracks, and carefully filed them away as the past.

What annoys me most is that I'm fully aware of what is going on, but I've yet to really do anything about it. On some level it seems like an impossible feat. I live in a society that it all about the next thing. We stress ourselves out preparing for the next thing, but never get to appreciate the fruits of our labor. I think that this trend partly comes from an innate need to control what is essentially uncontrollable - or at least create an illusion of control. For example, I've spent the last three years preparing myself to start grad school next year. I closed off all other options, and set in stone what was going to happen. Yet there are so many other possibilities for myself that I've let go undetected and have only just realized what a corner I've backed myself into. I finally experienced the true limitations that I set on myself. Now all I can ask is why? At the moment, I think I might have answered the exact opposite question I have posed.

As I wrote yesterday, my relationship is at a true intersection. I am trying to decide whether to keeping going knowing that it will end or if it's best to embrace the reality that it will end and cope with what's to come, now. After another tearful phone conversation, it has ended. All the emotions I knew would experience in December are here now. They seem to be starring at me from the foot of my bed. Quite content with their new home - my mind. Perhaps I've expedited my fate. Maybe that was a very stupid decision. This moment was supposed to be the future. Yet here is it is. And maybe that's okay. This decision was made in light of potentially creating a future for us - romantic or otherwise. So here I am in my bed, experiencing what it truly means to sacrifice a bit of my happiness.

I know that something extremely good has slipped away. Somehow I think it is important for me not to deny that our time together was literally about it end. Maybe this will be different after this break up. Maybe. Now that I know how great things could be, it's difficult to imagine going back to something not as good. However I know that it's not as good because of how sad I am. In time I will be able to remember what a good person he is and how much he means to me, just as a friend.

I hope that there will be a perfect place and time for us to be together. I hope so much that it hurts. For now I sacrifice my present happiness for the sake of my future happiness. Some good must come of this loss. Otherwise a very huge mistake has just been made.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Inevitable arrived sooner than I thought

There is trouble in my paradise. I've been in denial about it for some time. I know that he is leaving at the end of December. My future and his are both uncertain, which makes me anxious. From the moment we started dating, it was in the back of my mind. There is an expiration date on our time together. December 22. But just because that was the end of us being in the same town doesn't necessarily mean that that has to be the end of our relationship. There was so anticipation about us finally being together and we have so much left to experience. But apparently I am the only one who thinks this.

I always knew that he was much more cynical than me, but I've discovered a new depth to it. We had our most intense conversation about December yet. He firmly believes that nothing good ever emerges from a long distance relationship. What? How could anyone have such a lack of faith? Despite all the bad experiences I've had, I believe that happiness with someone else is possible. It's not always easy - even if you are in the same place - but it is possible. To say you don't want to try at all, well that just made me disappointed in him. At the same time I felt very sad for him. To be so jaded that you don't believe in the happy ending is a tragic existence. The whole conversation, as well as the one we had today, seemed so non-negotiable. He had made a decision and that was that.

So now I know dooms day is December 22. Why wait until then? I'm simply going to be melancholic and miserable until then knowing what awaits me. I don't think it would be possible for me to enjoy the time we have left together. As much as I want to be happy, my mind is telling me that maybe it's better to let go now. Because that is what he is doing.

I don't know how to make sense of all this. A month ago he was telling me that we would make it work over long distance. Now I'm hearing the opposite of that. Objectively I see only two reasons for this. 1) He's scared of taking the risk. or 2) He doesn't like me anymore and Dec 22 is his way out. I've been working under the assumption of 1, but there's nothing I can say to sway him to my side of the fence, which is why it seems plausible that it's 2. Either way it's a bunch of crap.
Why is it so difficult for people to just take that risk? I mean, we took one when we embarked on this relationship. There was always a risk of getting hurt, whether it's when we're in the same place or far apart. I don't think that is a good enough reason to walk away.

I want to fight for what I believe in. But as I raise my arm to put up a fight, the weight is too much for me to bare. I know that I can't maintain a relationship on my own. It's a two way street. Which is why I can't justify staying happy by myself until December.

What do you do when you know what's about to hit you?
SMACK!!

I know that we experience a variety of relationships, and in time we (are supposed to) gain some enlightened knowledge. Immediately something tells me that this one is meant to burst my balloon of optimism. No sir, this girl is not giving up hope that good things can, and do, occur. This will not deter me. But what I will take away from this is that only those who believe in you the same way that you believe in yourself (and your abilities), deserve a piece of your heart.

Illegitimi non carborundum

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winter time!

Things I love about winter in a place where winter actually exists.

The snow topped mountains that are the back drop to this beautiful city.


It's simply impossible to deny how amazing Vancouver is. There is sea. There are mountains. There is a city.

Scarves and caps and sweaters!


I never had an appreciation for these things until three years ago. But then again three years I lived in place that didn't have winter weather.

Fireplaces.


Again, my parents had a fireplace. It didn't work. And it was in our kitchen.


Hot drinks
Everyone knows I'm a coffee addict. The cold weather seems like a great excuse to drink more.

The BEST love story, ever

They met in Belgium at a concert, when two groups of friends over heard each other speaking Spanish. She then offered one of the boys advice on taking a photo in the dark. This is the boy, who's name I don't know, I call Paris Boy. They went to Paris, and this is the trip that she has told me about many times. There was sightseeing, eating, and a moment of instantaneous connection. When Karoline tells me about Paris, she beams when she describes what was the most amazing kiss ever. They parted ways, but he came to visit her in Mexico about a month later. This was 5 years ago.

From time to time I hear about this boy. It's obvious that he is very alive in her mind. From time to time I also hear about emails that they send each other. Even though she's seen a few other boys, he's always there - acting as the backdrop of her love life. He is that person, and everyone has one, who you use as the gold standard of love. Some are lucky enough to spend their life with that person.

Recently, there has been a resurgence in this romance. An exchange of the most fantastically romantic emails I have ever heard. There is a sense of their hearts existing right there, latent within the type. It's a kind of closeness that is rare in this day and age (and I'm pretty sure it's something that most women long for). Something that could be torn from the pages of a romance novel. With each email, a bit more of the organic nature of their relationship reveals itself. Tonight I was sitting next to Karoline as she typed out her feelings in reply. I was over come with happiness for her. It's not even possible to be envious or jealous of this. All I can do is smile. I smile because I have hope for her (and myself), that in this, and all ,instances, love comes together as it should.



Monday, November 09, 2009

An organizing task



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My desk is a disaster. I moved into my apartment at the end of July and I still have not managed to get my desk area in order. It's starting to bother me because I never work in my room simply because it's such a mess. So here are a few things that I'm going to do/get in order to tame the mess.

I need some hanging wall racks to put papers and files in. But they also need to be attractive. This one is looking like a good candidate. It's from organize.com and is $12.99 (though if you buy 3 or more the price decreases!)I also found this one at organize-it.com for $9.99. Unfortunately shipping with anyone is running about $22.



A few images of what I aspire to

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Hope the weather is better where you are! Vancouver is bogged down with rain and gray skies.

Mastering HTML!

New font to go with the new look. More to come later today!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday morning

What a beautiful Saturday morning! The rain is coming down but I love that I'm able to stay cozy indoors. It's the first time in about a month that I did not have to get up and go to work. I slept in until 9, which is quite the accomplishment for me. Then I made banana pancakes for my roommate and I. I'm about to start working on an essay and then off to the pottery studio this afternoon. It's nice to feel so relaxed.



Wishing you all a happy Saturday!

Friday, November 06, 2009

It's not the end of a dream, it's just a step in a different direction

I've been really struggling to make a decision about next year for a while now. But yesterday I was especially thankful for my mom - she is wonderful. All the while through this process she was so encouraging and supportive. I don't know why I am so surprised; I shouldn't be. She is my mom and that's what mom's a supposed to be good at. The decision I'm at the cusp of is going to turn over my state of mind. The plans I've made for myself will be put off for a bit, though I think it is for the best.

As you may know, I've been planning to pursue another degree after I finish my bachelors this spring, but unfortunately my parents are setting me out to sea. I must pay my own way. And while I think this could be an incredibly rewarding experience, it's very frightening. I'm quickly finding out that my boat isn't equipped. I have two choices. Start blowing air into a temporary life raft, or get myself a new boat. It's tempting to whip out that life raft, but I know it's not going to get me very far. In the long run, a new boat will be best. But it maybe it while before I can afford said boat, which means I have to rethink my plans and that brings be back to my earlier point.

Operation new boat begins. I like living in Canada and education in less expensive here for residents. Gaining residency isn't too far out of reach for me since I've been here for three and half years. No matter what I decide to do in grad school, it would be nice to go to a good school like UBC or U of T and not have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for my education. Logically and realistically doesn't it make more sense to do that? I suppose it does. So my new plan involves working for a year or two and then getting my residency.

My mom says that maybe I'll find out what it is that I want to do. But that sounds too cliche in my mind. I need a plan. Something that has more substance to it than simply leaving things to chance. Unfortunately, I think I have to just leap. So here it goes.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Christmas plans

It's November, and since I'm in Canada where Thanksgiving in non-existent, my mind is jumping ahead to plans for Christmas. So exciting!! This week in my art education class we did stamp carving, and so I'm think about making my own stamp and using it on my Christmas cards this year. Potentially something like this


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I have a fireplace in my apartment, so I thought it would be really fun to make stockings for Karoline and I. Love these ones! Anything with snowflakes is good really.

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Christmas baking with my mom will also be fun.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How many weeks until Christmas?!

I talked to my mom and brother today, now all I think about is how soon I get to see them. My mom suggested that we meet up in Seattle to shop. Unfortunately there is no end in sight the the work I have this semester, but I'm hoping that we'll go next year. Yay, my closet will soon be satisfied! Anyways, I'm longing for the term to be over and to be home with the ones I love. Instead I decided to pull up some favorite photos from past Christmas holidays.
Ahh can't wait to see everyone!!

The most quintessential part of any family get together - board games! This is also probably one of the more tame photos.

This was from last year. Ryan and I wanted to take a photo with the dogs for my mom. We found out that pets are impossible to photograph.

My wonderful parents - amazing people! This was right before we went out for their anniversary dinner on Christmas eve.

This one is from right after Christmas 2007. We had a huge storm and the horse pasture was flooded so my brother and I had the ingenious idea of skim boarding in the field.

Monday, November 02, 2009

In the midst my own worst nightmare

There was a time, not long ago, when I believed that being curious about the world was good thing. Never settling for explanations led me to procure many new interests and skills. I often find myself wishing I had time to pursue them all, like a retiree. I love to read fiction, and depending on the subject, academic non-fiction. I enjoy writing in all its forms. I have a creative side, which runs wild - sewing, knitting, drawing, painting, decorating, and crafts. I find that the best way to think about myself is in two distinct parts - one which is more logical and academic (?), and the other, which is more free spirited. Often times I feel these two sides of myself collide and position me at some irreconcilable intersection. This is where I currently am.

I have a lot of expectations for myself - to have a high powered career, be well-respected with in my community, and to have a positive influence on others. Lofty I know. Recently I'm beginning to find myself wondering if this is ultimately what I want. Is it good that I've sent out such strict expectations for myself? Am I setting myself up for failure? It's beginning to feel that way, though I'm not sure why, and that is extremely frustrating for me. The organized, together side of me is yanking me away from doing something other than law. God forbid that what I pursue isn't something grand like law. I can't grasp my own sarcasm. My inept way of dealing with it all is to some how deny the situation that I'm in. To put off dealing with my feelings because I simply don't know how to.

I'm sure there are a number of reasons why I'm afraid to veer off the law school path. Sense disappointment from not fulfilling a goal, not doing something "important," and worst of all disappointing my parents. I well aware of the pressure that I put on myself, and somehow this awareness has yet to release me from this state of mind. Karoline had once mentioned to me, though in a different context, that I am afraid to let myself be happy. It's possible. I don't think I equate happiness with success, and until I manage to reconfigure my outlook I might be stuck in this rut a bit longer.

To those of you who read my blog, I hope that you can learn from this delimma what I have yet too.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A review of my October To Dos


It's the end of the month, and this is what I have accomplished.

[x] 1. A very good draft of my law school personal statement - I think I finally managed to find a voice that is my own. And for that I am extremely proud of myself.

[x] 2. Got the perfect pencil skirt, and have gotten so much use out of it.

[x] 3. Veggies and fruit -well I'm still working this . . . but it is improving!

[x] 4. Re-establishing my work out routine - who knew swimming could be so great?

[x] 5. Making new friends at work (and doing well)

6. Cooking at home more - well, will be top of my November list

7. Get my pneumonia shot - this would have happened except that the Canadian Health Care system has denied me : (

8. See Coco Avant Chanel - next month! And I will see the The September Issue

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Projects to pursue





I know what you're thinking, headbands have come and gone in terms of trends. But I think there would be something satisfying about telling everyone that you did it yourself.









This one appears a bit more complicated, but possibly a good challenge. I mostly just like the intricacy of it. But I might like it more if it was made with pretty beads instead of wood ones.








Adorable necklaces, which I am a huge fan of. In fact I saw some like this at a bead store in Kits recently, they wanted like $135 for it! Crazy, I know. Of course I was seriously considering getting it.








Very cute ribbon belts, and super easy to make. You can find them here.



I realize that my addiction to Martha Stewart crafts is extremely tragic. I actually said to my roommate earlier today that I wish I could do arts and crafts all day. Life would be simpler and more relaxing. If only I had more time . . .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good things so far this year

This school year has brought a lot of changes in my life, and I'm not just talking about a new relationship. It's been challenging. Suddenly my life has become about something more than just school in the present. My attention is split in about 8 directions, which is frustrating at times. But then I think about some of the great memories and opportunities I've had so far this year - and it all seems worth it. For example, working off-campus has been a great experience for me. I've met some great new people and, in a way, I think it's brought me out of my shell. I'm not saying that I still don't have moments of shyness, but I'm getting better about being friendly most of the time. I think it's an important quality that I should have acquired a long time ago.

My new relationship has also been teaching me a lot. I think I've figured out the necessity of trust, and with that comes the ability to communicate. I know, I've written about this before, but I think that speaks to the weight I place on it. It's difficult to explain, but I think that I might finally be in a good place with someone else, to the point that I'm able to be comfortable in my own skin around him. It's a refreshing feeling.

What else has been going on? Well, I think I have also found my niche within law - feminist legal studies. In fact I've become so interested in it that I'm writing a term paper on it. I don't think I've every been so enthusiastic about writing a paper. I'm sure I'll be discussing it again soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Restaurants to try

Every year in late January I look forward to Dine Out Vancouver. The expensive restaurants of the city open their doors to everyone by offering affordable tasting menus. It's also a great way to find new, inexpensive places to go for the rest of the year. (Sadly enough) Karoline and I have become the go-to people for restaurant recommendations. I do my fair share of walking and bus riding around the city and always see restaurants that I want to go to. Here are a few on my list.
Topanga Cafe (near 4th and Bayswater): Vancouver lacks fabulous Mexican food, which is something I sorely miss about California. You can always find good Mexican food no matter where you are in the state. Now, having been to a truly bad Mexican restaurant in Vancouver about 3 years ago, I'm always skeptical that I will ever find good one. The reviews I've read online have been good so far, but I'm not sure Canadians know what good Mexican food is.

Les Faux
Bourgeois Café (15th and Fraser): This is in the most random part of town, and how Karoline and I stumbled upon it is even more random. As we looked at the menu, I think we both wished we had been going there for dinner. Very adorable, cozy French bistro that I must go back to. Reasonably priced

La Quercia (4th and Alma): I've always felt that it is fairly difficult to screw up Italian food, but it is even more difficult to make it exceptional. Vancouver has it's fair share of good Italian restaurants, and compared to their monstrous dinning rooms, this is very quaint. They menu is constructed in an interesting way. Either the 5 course $40 menu or the 9 course $59 menu (expensive but possibly worth it). The reviews it has online are stellar, which makes me even more inclined to dine there soon.

Pair Bistro (10th and Alma): I go by this place all the time, so finally I looked it up They have crab cakes and chowder. Enough said.

Coast (Alberni and Burrard): This one came via recommendation from a co-worker. Any restaurant that proports delicious seafood is one that catches my attention. Better yet, it is owned by the group who runs The Italian Kitchen and the up-coming Society Lounge in Yaletown.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some shoes I love

Who knew Lacoste made heels? Definitely getting these (Chatsworth) at some point.

I have a weakness for shoes with cute flowers. Betsey Johnson, Kalen

And if I could afford them, Mamanouk by Christian Louboutin

Wink pumps by Calvin Klein

Danielle from Via Siga (might buy)