Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weight Loss Mission - Week 2 Update



I cannot believe how quickly this week’s just flown by. It feels like it was just 2 days ago that I had posted my 1st weigh-in…. and all of a sudden, I’m having to weigh in and measure myself yet again.

Where has the time gone?

But first things first, I must apologize to my amazing readers for being such a complete knob. Yes, that’s me. Me, the knob. I had meant to reply to your questions in inquiries but for some reason, the time just got away from me and next thing I know, it’s Thursday, time for another update and I still haven’t responded to your questions. I’m sooooo sorry. I promise I will get to your questions in the next day or two.

In fact, I’m even going to try to address some of them here – kinda like killing 2 birds with 1 stone... not that I would actually stone a bird. But I digress.

Anyway, here we are. Another Thursday. Another weigh-in, measure-up day.

Don’t take this the wrong way. I really look forward to Thursdays because it’s the day that I get to see how well my plan for the last week worked. So, it’s not a negative thing whatsoever. This week just crept up a little too quickly, that’s all.

So, how did I do this week?

Weight: 130.4 lbs (down by 1.6lbs from last week)
Body Fat %: 27.4% (up by 0.3% - but that’s not a bad thing really – I will explain more shortly.)

Bust: 33.5” (No change from last week – Thank God for that!)
Natural Waist: 28.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)
High Hip: 35.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)
Hip: 38.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)

So how am I feeling? Pretty good. I feel pretty good with my progress. I’m continuing to lose inches, albeit small, but I’m losing. So that’s good. I’m glad.

As for the increase in the Body Fat percentage…. At first, I wasn’t thrilled. My immediate reaction was… WTF??? But I need to remember that Body Fat Percentage (BFP) is a percentage of your body weight. So, while my BFP may increase slightly, my actual Fat Weight (what an awful thing to think about), may not have changed or may have decreased.

How you ask??? Well, let me explain.

When I began, my weight was 135.2 lbs and my BFP was 28.1%. This works out to 97.2 lbs of Lean Body Mass (which is comprised of Lean Muscle, Water, Organs, etc.) And my actual Body Fat Weight was 37.99 lbs. In short, I had 37.99 lbs of fat in my entire body at the start of my Fat Loss Project.

After my 1st week, my weight was 132 lbs and my BFP was 27.1%. This converts to 96.23lbs of Lean Body Mass and 35.77 lbs of Fat. In other words, I loss 2.22lbs of fat between week 1 and week 2. However, the downside was, I also loss 0.97 lbs of Lean Muscle in at the same time. (I’ll speak about the importance of maintaining or increasing Lean Muscle in a moment)

In my 2nd week, my weight was 130.4 lbs and my BFP was 27.4%. This works out to 94.67lbs of Lean Muscle Mass and 35.73lbs of Fat. So what I was trying to say is, although my BFP may have increased, my actual Body Fat did not increase. I loss 0.04lbs of fat this past week. Not good but at least I'm not gaining Fat. The truly sad part is, I am still losing Lean Muscle because I lost another 1.5 lbs of which none of it was fat.

So, why is it important to maintain if not increase Lean Muscle Mass? I have read, and I mean, read loads of articles that say that Muscle helps burn fat even at rest. So based on this theory, I don’t want to lose muscle. In fact, I want to gain muscle so that my body can help burn fat while I’m resting, sitting or even sleeping. Muscle is metabolic. Fat isn’t. So when I’m losing muscle, my metabolism slows down… which explains why when someone is on a diet, after the first couple of weeks, the weight loss really slows down.

So, what am I going to do to ensure that I don’t lose more Lean Muscle Mass, well, I’m going to try eating more lean protein like Egg Whites, Fish, Lean Steak, Chicken Breast with every meal and since I eat 5 times a day, I’m going to make sure that I have a lean protein every time I eat.

For those wondering what I eat, here’s a typical day for me.

I essentially eat the same breakfast daily at 7:30am – which is, 1 Cup of Fiber One Honey Clusters with ½ cup of regular Fiber One cereal and 1 cup of Low Fat Silk (Soybean milk)

At 10am, I’m usually starving, so I’ll normally have 1 Banana. But since I need to add more protein to my diet, I’m now going to add 2 Low Fat Yogurts as well.

I eat lunch at 12 noon and my lunch normally consists of a Lean Protein and Vegetables. Today, I had 3.5oz of Sirloin with half a roasted zucchini and half a bunch of steamed Asparagus.

I eat again at 3:30pm and my afternoon snack normally consists of 3 Egg Whites (no yolks) and 2 cups of fruit.

I normally have dinner at 6:30pm and dinner is usually a 5oz portion of Lean Protein, like Chicken or Fish, Salad with low-fat dressing and steamed vegetables.

If I am craving carbs with my meals, I will normally have Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-Wah) which is lower in Carbs but contains 4 grams of protein in 1 cup of cooked Quinoa.

While I’m not losing a ton of Lean Muscle Mass, I am losing some, so I’m going to focus on eating more protein in hopes that my body will slowly do what I want it to do.

So, how did you do this week? Were you able to get your work-outs in? Did you eat as clean as you possibly can? I could have eaten cleaner this week … but honey took me out to Goldfish in Yaletown for our 13th year Anniversary and I blew my clean-eating and fell off the proverbial wagon. But like everything else in life, I dusted myself off and got right back on the wagon.

I hope you’ll write and tell me how you did this week. We certainly need each other for support. Being slim is not natural nor easy for me. I have to work hard, very hard in fact, to be slim. So, let’s count on each other for support. Together we will persevere.

Be Fierce, Be Strong. Love Yourself. Love, Karen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What did you score today?


I wasn't planning on buying anything... but I ended up purchasing the Rah Rah Rumba Skirt by Edme & Esyllte.

I had tried this skirt on during my last visit to Anthropologie. I really liked the skirt a lot, particularly the tiers. I was suprised really since I never like pull-on skirts because pull-on skirts always make me look FATTER than I actually am. The nip in at the waist and bulge out right under adding that dreaded muffin-top / spare-tire right around my belly button. Certainly not a look I am after.

But I was pleasantly surprised with this skirt. I would have purchased it on the spot unfortunately, they only had a size 10 (and that's what I tried on ... but I really needed a 6) so I held off.

For those looking for this skirt, please call Customer Service at (800) 309-2500. There is a glitch with Anthro's online system. When I tried adding the skirt (in the grey) to my shopping cart, I received a pop-up message advising that I've added more than what's available (or something to that effect anyway) so I picked up the phone and called CS. I was told that they've got 18 of the size 6 in stock. I also told them about the system glitch ... but when I last checked (4 hours after I initially placed my order), the glitch is still there.

If you haven't purchased this skirt, do! It's fabulous! It won't make you look fat. In fact, it's rather slimming and the tiers are so very sweet and pretty. And it's the perfect length. It comes to the very top of my knees and hides my knee fat (you know, the part right above the knee cap???) And to top it off, if you get it in the Grey, which I did, you'll be able to wear it with tights right into the Fall. Isn't this just terrific???

What a fantastic piece! ... But that was the only thing I got today. Nothing else spoke to me unfortunately.

So, what did you score in Anthro's amazing sale? Oh, I hope you'll share. I love living vicariously through others! :)

Have a fantabulous day my lovelies! Love, Karen

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weight Loss Mission - Week 1 Update


Bust: 33.5” (Loss 0.5” from previous week)
Natural Waist: 29” (Loss 1” from previous week)
High Hip: 36” (Loss 0.75” from previous week)
Low Hip: 29” (Loss 0.5” from previous week)

Weight: 132.0 lbs (Loss 3.2lbs from previous week)
Body Fat Percentage: 28.1% (Loss 1% BF from previous week)

What contributed to my success this week?
• Eat relatively clean – I ate clean this week with the exception of 3 occassions where I snacked on gummies. My gummie addiction is extremely difficult to break. But other than gummies, I didn’t have any other junk, ie. chips, ice-cream, etc.
• Worked out 6 mornings in a row – 45 minutes on the Elliptical each morning.
• Ate 5 small meals daily with protein at every meal.
• Stopped eating as soon as dinner was done. Did not snack after dinner.

This weight loss thing is a battle for me. It may come easy for others but not for me. I have to consciously work at it. But I tell myself, one day at a time. If others can do it, so can I. And if you’re following along on this journey with me, if I can do it, so can you! We’ll all do it together. We’ll cheer each other along. We’ll be each others cheering section!

So, that’s my Weight Loss update for week 1. If you’re on a weight loss mission with me, how did you do this week?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Stresses of Pet-Ownership

DISCLAIMER: This post is about the stress I am experiencing as a BRAND NEW, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, PET OWNER. It is not about how I feel about our new Kitten. I absolutely love our new kitten. In fact, while I'm at work, I actually miss him and think about it. But that does not stop me from being stressed out. Going from not ever having owned a pet to now owing one at my age is truly a life-changing experience. I speak about the stress of such a life-changing experience. Please do NOT assume that I have a poor attitude towards my new kitten. Please do not tell me to return my kitten or give it up. That is not the issue I'm discussing here. The issue is my stress. And just because I'm stressed does not meant that I have a poor attitude towards my kitten. It merely means I'm stressed and that I am to learn to deal with my stress. That's all. Please do not read into it anymore than what it is.

__________________________________________________________

I’ve never owned a pet in my life. Unless you count a Turtle for about 3 days, a Chick for 2 days and a Puppy for about 4 hours.

Sadly as it sounds, I have simply never owned a pet for an extended period of time. In my childhood, it’s certainly not for the lack of want. I wanted a pet – a dog preferably, but would have settled for a pet rabbit, but my parents were fastidious about the pristine condition of their home. Despite the aid of a housekeeper, my parents refused to get my brother and I a pet. Afterall, we travelled frequently and they liked a spotless house.

When we had our daughter Kitty, I told myself that if she ever wanted a pet, I would consider it. But as she grew up and as I grew older and more set in my ways, I found that I was becoming more and more like my parents. I really didn’t want a pet in the house.

I like our house and our dark hardwood floors and light interior. I like a squeaky clean floor and that’s why I have cleaners come weekly to clean. I like our lifestyle where we can come and go as we please without the responsibility of pets. I like the fact that we go away on a couple of 2 week vacations each year and weekends away. I like having freedom.

Then one day, last December, while lying in bed, Honey turned to me and said, “Let’s get Kitty a kitten.” “A Kitten.” I replied. “Yes”, he said, “I think it would be a great idea. It would teach her responsibility and keep her company since she’s an only child.” I responded, “Let me think about it”, hoping that it was simply a passing fancy.

Honey and Kitty both brought up the subject once again in January 2010 and then again in February. And during our trip to Disneyworld, Orlando, we made a family decision to adopt a Kitten.

We returned from our trip in March 2010 and proceeded to work with a local Ragdoll Cat breeder for a Lilac Bicolor Ragdoll. While we waited and waited for the arrival of our little kitten, I was silently stressing about the pressures involved in Pet Ownership.

But each and every time my stress about our upcoming pet reared its head, I managed to talk myself out of the stress… to the point where I was rather excited about the arrival of our new family member.

Last Saturday, the day finally arrived where we were able to pick up our 12 week old Ragdoll Kitten. We drove out to Delta to our Breeders home and picked up our little Kitten. He’s darling! He’s absolutely beautiful. He’s smart (but what do I know, I’ve never ever had a pet before) and he’s soooooooo cuuuute!

The first couple of days at our place was very rough. He cried lots. He refused to eat or drink. He hid the entire time and wanted nothing to do with Honey or Kitty for that matter. He had numerous accidents outside the Litter Box. To top it off, our daughter Kitty was terribly upset. She cried that her new kitten didn’t like her. That made me very sad but I explained that the kitten had been taken from his family and brought to another family of giants and if that happened to her, she probably would be doing exactly what the little kitten was doing. She understood and felt much better.

It was a very rough. For the kitten and for us. I broke out in hives, on my forearm and upper arm, on my shins, calves and behind my knees. I even broke out along my belly. Kitty too had rashes on her legs and on her arms and she’s having sneezing fits – up to about a dozen each evening. I guess we’re all somewhat allergic to our new kitten…. Or maybe we were just stressed from our new kitten. We then found out on the 3rd day that Honey too is allergic to the kitten. (We didn’t know at first for the kitten wanted nothing to do with him. But after a few pieces of Pure Bites Freeze Dried Chicken Breast, the kitten was all over Honey) and that’s when his suffered full-blown allergies. Not only that, I’m sooooo very stressed out because I’m following our new kitten around our house fearing that he’s going to have another accidents or that he’s going to take that 12 foot jump from our foyer to the basement. He’s constantly meowing and wants to be carried everywhere. As soon as I put him down, he’s meowing again. We used to have such a quiet home. Now all I hear is meowing. I can’t workout for fear that I’m going to crush him with the steps on my Elliptical. I can’t put him in another room because I have an open concept house where only the bedrooms and washrooms have doors and putting him in another room meowing away while I work out will simply wake Kitty and Honey up. I know, I know. I sound like a whiny child. I’m sorry. But I am on edge every moment I’m at home so much so that I’ve got a painful stress knot at the base of my neck… and that’s only after 5 days. My friends have told me that all this will pass. But when???

After 5 days, Honey and I still aren’t convinced that we can become Pet-People. We are not bad people. We really aren’t. We’re just not pet people. He’s never had a pet his entire life. Neither have I. If we had had pets previously, we would have known what to expect. We honestly didn’t. We are so very set in our ways. After all, I’m almost 45 and he’s almost 50 (okay next year). We love the lifestyle we have. We love our home with all of our pale furniture. We are highly sensitive to smells and we suffer from allergies (to varying degrees). Kitty on the other hand is head-over-heels in love with this new kitten. She’s hugging it, kissing it, carrying it everywhere despite her allergies.

My home used to be my sanctuary. I have a high stress job and when I get home, I want to relax and get away from the demands of life. But now, I feel that I can’t get away from the demands at all. I have demands at work and I have demands from the kitten at home.

I know that the kitten will likely outgrow his demanding nature in time. I just don’t know if I can last that long. Please don’t judge me. Please refrain from thinking that I’m some horrible person or animal hater. I am neither. I am simply set in my ways. But I love my daughter so much that I would do whatever she wants.

If she wants to keep the kitten, we will keep the kitten. And if she finds that her allergies are too much to bear and want to give up the kitten, I will support her decision as well. Anyway, that’s the stress I’ve been under. It’s crazy, I know. It’s crazy that I can manage a multi-million dollar business but I can’t deal with the demands of a baby kitten. It’s just crazy!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I now understand what my parents were going through when they told me and my brother that we couldn’t have a pet. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with Pet Ownership. Honey and I honestly thought long and hard over this decision. We really did. But I don’t think that we truly realized the impact this new kitten was going to have on our lives.

I guess we’ll just have to learn to deal with it. I guess I will have to learn to stop stressing… URGH! The Stress of Pet-Ownership!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I will be back shortly...

Hello Readers,

I hope you're all doing well. I apologize for not blogging the last couple of days. I apologize that I will not be blogging for the next few days. I honestly don't know when I'll be back yet but I've got a bit of a stressful situation at home currently that's occupying most of my time, energy and mind and I'm unfortunately, just not in the right frame of mind to be blogging.

I'm sorry.

But I will be back soon.

Until the next time, Be Fierce, Be Strong, Be yourself. Love, Karen

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perception



Earlier today, one of my staff came up to me and said that Jan (a guy from another department) came up to her yesterday and said this to her:

"Karen (referring to me) is all dressed up for work everyday. Would someone please tell her that there's no party?"

Isn't that one of the funniest things you've ever heard? I still chuckle whenever I replay that comment in my head.

Dressing up???? I thought I was being work appropriate.

I guess it's all perception. What one perceives as dressing up, another perceives as normal attire. It's no wonder that some people show up in spandex workout attire or club clothes with their boob up to their chin ... and think that they're work appropriate.

Perception. It's all perception, I say.

The Ugly Truth!


I FREAKING GAINED 10 LBS AND A WHOLE LOT IN GIRTH!!!


What the hell happened??? Okay, don’t answer that! I know what happened. Last summer I weighed in at 125 lbs with the following measurements:

  • Bust (without a bra): 32.5”
  • Natural Waist: 28”
  • High Hip: 33.5”
  • Low Hip: 37”

Crazy part is, I really wanted to get down to lose a little more – that is, to get down to approximately 120lbs or where I could start seeing some muscle tone or definition. Problem was, once I got down to 125 lbs, I : 1.) Eased up on my workouts; 2.) Stopped weighing myself; 3.) Stopped measuring myself; 4.) Stopped measuring my Body Fat percentage; thinking, okay, more hoping, that thinking, that the final 5 lbs were going to miraculously melt off me. Yeah, right!

My 5-6 day a week workouts dwindled down to 2, possibly 3 days a week. My 1 day a week cheat day (of being able to eat anything I wanted without feeling guilty) grew to 2 days a week, then 3, and then 7 days a week. I was cheating everyday!

I’d cheated myself into being fat. Fantastic, isn’t it???!!!

Well, no, not really. In fact, it sucks! Carrying extra weight around sucks!

This morning, on the way to Summer camp, my daughter made a comment that made me realize how much I’ve actually strayed from my old self. I don’t quite remember what triggered her comment but she said (ad lib) “You used to workout a lot. Nowadays, you just sit in front of the TV and eat Sour Key Gummies and Hawkin Cheezies. No wonder you gained weight.”

No shit Sherlock! If my 10 year old daughter can recognize what I’m doing wrong, why can’t I???!!!

That said, as promised, here are my sad measurements:


  • Bust (without a bra): 34 (gained 1.5”)
  • Natural Waist: 30 (gained 2”)
  • High Hip: 36.75” (gained 3.25”)
  • Low Hip: 29.5” (gained 2.5”)

That’s a total of 9.25 inches … and that’s just between my armpits and my rear. I probably also gained inches in my rear and my knees and my calves……. Now for my weight and Body Fat Percentage.

  • Weight: 135.2 lbs.
  • Body Fat Percentage: 28.1% (I used to be around 24%)
As you can see, I’ve expanded! But no more! That’s it! I’m on a mission. My mission is to some weight, but more importantly, girth. I need to lose at least the 9.25 inches I gained.

I haven’t quite figured out what my real goal is yet but I will do that in the next couple of days and once I do, I will post it here so that you too can be a part of my journey and hold me accountable.

Well, that’s it for me today. I know that I can do this. I’ve done it before so I can do it again. And this time, once I get there, I’m going to continue to maintain it. That’s the secret, isn’t it?

To be honest, on the most part, this weight gain thing sucks. It sucks big time. But I’m all for “looking for the silver-lining in everything”. So what’s the silver-lining, you ask? The silver lining is, thank God I found out that I gained 10 lbs now! It’s easier to battle 10 lbs than it is to battle 20lbs, 30lbs or even 50lbs. I’m grateful to have come to that realization now.

So….until tomorrow, have a fantabulous day my lovelies! Always be true to yourself. Love, Karen

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HIWI - Anthropologie Seabound Skirt

Hello my lovely readers! It's a fantabulous day in Vancouver. GORGEOUS! It's days like today that makes me LOVE, LOVE, LOVE where I live!

Here's my HIWI for the Anthropologie Seabound Skirt by We Love Vera.












Skirt: Anthropologie Seabound Skirt by We Love Vera
Tee: J Crew Perfect Fit Tee
Belt: Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt
Jewelry: H & M
Purse: J Crew Andie Bag
Shoes: Nickles Nude Patent Leather Slingbacks


Do you own the Seabound Skirt? How do you wear it?
Have a lovely day girls! Love, Karen



I'm getting FAT! ... and it's pissing me off!!!

Last night, when planning today's wardrobe, I tried on one of my J Crew pencil skirts that had wiggle hip-room last summer... to only find that I don't have any wiggle room this summer. In fact, the skirt on me made me look like a freshly cooked plumped up sausage in casing ... you know the ones, they pop when you pierce the casing? That was me.

Okay, it's not like I'm fat, fat! The skirt was a J Crew size 4 after all. The waist was fine on me, but the hips???!!! Oh My Gosh! That was something else! What's up with my hips??? Where did all this extra stuff come from??? When did it arrive??? What's up with me????

Okay, ... That was a rhetorical question because I know exactly what is up with me and my widening hips. I know exactly what I haven't been doing and what I've been doing and why I'm doing what I'm doing. So, as of today, I'm going to:

  1. Eat Clean - in other words, eat less junk. Cut out the cheese and crackers before dinner, lose the Hawkins Cheesies as an after meal snack plus the ice-cream, the cake, the cookies, the Lemon Meringue Pie, ... even Angel Food Cake!
  2. Work Out Regularly and in the Mornings - I used to work out solely in the mornings and lost 50 lbs doing that (and by eating cleanly as well) but then late last year, I became lazy. I started sleeping through my workouts. Feeling guilty for doing this, I started working out in the evenings but then I'd work late or have to attend some business function and all of a sudden, my 5-6 day a week workout shrank to 2 days a week. Sad, really! So no more sleeping in! Morning workouts it is for me!
  3. Stop Buying Crap - I buy Crap whenever I go to the Grocery Store. Cookies, Chips, Gourmet Cheeses, Candies, Gummies - particularly Gummes! I completely have NO self-control when it comes to Blueberry Gummies and Cola Bottle Gummies. I am like the Gummie Addict! I will literally lock myself in a room with a good book and polish off bags of Gummies. I just can't stop myself. So, if I don't buy them, I won't be able to eat them, right? So, no more Gummies, candies, chips, cookies, etc.

As I was saying to one of my girlfriends earlier today, it's not like I don't know what to do in order to remain at my target body configurement. My problem is the lack of motivation to remain at my target body configurement. I've done this time and time again! Why can't I get it into my thick skull that getting to my target is not a race but a life-long journey... a life-style change. To maintain my target body configurement, I need to continue to eat clean and workout. It's not rocket science! Yet, I have so much trouble with this concept!

I'm tired of my yo-yo body size. Notice that I didn't speak about weight? I don't believe in weight, per se, because we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. While a portion of my goal is to lose weight, Weight alone, is not my goal. Why? For instance, I definitely don't want to be a light, high-fat percentage person. However, I don't care if I'm a heavy, low-fat percentage person... because I know that a heavier, low-fat percentage person will look smaller in girth than a light weight, high-fat percentage person. So I'm not concentrating on weight. What I care about is body size and how my clothes fit on me.

So, back to what I was saying, I'm tired with the way my clothes fit on me so I've decided that enough is enough. Effective today, I'm smartening up! I'm going to eat right, work out regularly and quit buying junk.

Now that I've said it, I'd better live by my words, right? Well, that's my purpose. You're going to hold me accountable starting today.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be posting my measurements. Really? I'm going to be posting my measurements here tomorrow? Yes, I am. I'm going to be posting my measurements so that each of you can join me on my journey to a smaller, more comfortable in my own clothes, me! I hope I don't live to regret this! lol!

Be sure to check back tomorrow! Until then, be fierce, be strong, be yourself!

Love, Karen

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In the Event of an Emergency.....


PLEASE SAVE MY SHOES!!!



As you know, it's always crazy hectic on the first day back at work.

I get in a little earlier than usual so that I can go through my emails.... 546 in total. I wasn't into my 12th email when the fire alarm sounded. I reluctantly left my desk and walked down the 10 flights of stairs down to the Evacuation Area.

With me was my purse, my sweater and my office key.

While standing around in the Evacuation Area waiting for the "all clear" before returining to the building (btw, it was only a drill), one of my collegues from a different floor asked me if I brought my shoes with me?

I looked at her quizzically ... honestly, not understanding what she was referring to. She said, "Your Shoes... you know, the ones under your desk? Did you bring them with you?" I said, "No, why?" She then responded, "If I were you, I would have brought my shoes with me. Afterall, you wouldn't want your lovely shoe collection to be burned in a fire, would you?"

Hmmmm.... I've never once thought about this, but hey, she's got a point.

As my regular readers know, I wear my fugly Orthodic shoes to the office daily. I just can't walk any distance in heels. But I love heels and I love my shoes. So, I buy lovely shoes and only wear them in the office. And instead of carrying them to the office and back home each day, I just leave my shoes at the office. And if I need to wear a particular pair on the weekend, I will simply bring it home with me ..... to only bring it back to work on Monday.

But I digress.

So, back to my office shoes. My collegue's right! I need to save my shoes!

In the event of an emergency, I'm going to ask that each of my staff grab one pair of shoes. That works, right?????

Okay... that was really just tongue in cheek. I guess if there's a real emergency, I'm going to lose my office Spring / Summer shoe collection.... unless of course, the emergency is in the Fall / Winter, in which case, I' will then lose that particular collection.

Either way, I will always have 1 other collection at home. And worse case senario, I guess I can always buy more shoes. That's what home insurance is for, right?




A collegue was very kind to give me this shoe rack. He even made up the sign on the right side of the rack. He thought it was funny. I found it embarassing at first. I'm okay with it now.

There's no more space on the rack so the rest of my shoes simply just go on the floor.


And here's a partial glimpse of my office with my Spring / Summer Office Shoe Collection under my desk.


Just out of curiosity, do you have a Seasonal Office Shoe Collection as well?
Have a lovely day girls! Love, Karen




Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm on Vacation ...




If you're a regular reader of mine, you're probably wondering to yourself, what the heck is up with Crew_Girl_in_Canada??? She never posts 7 entries in one day. It's a miracle if she were to post 1 entry every couple of days.

And if you're thinking that, you're 100% correct. And no, I'm not offended. I know that I suck at blogging. But I'm working on being better at it. So, yes, you're right. I've never posted that many posts in a day but I'm going on vacation tomorrow and I wanted to make sure that I was able to share many of my reviews with you.

We're off to see Honey's parents in Southern Ontario and will not be back until July 4. To my Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day and to my friends south of the border, Happy 4th of July. (I know that I'm about a week early but I won't be around to wish you a happy holiday so I'm just doing it a tad early).

Have a fantastic week my awesome readers. I will be back soon to share my purchases and my crazy stories with you.

Until our next meeting ... Be Fierce, Stay Strong, Love Yourself!

XOXO, karen

Anthropologie Review - Perilla Dress


style #18124172
$128.00


I've seen a number of Anthro Bloggers in the Perilla dress. And they've all looked soooo beautiful in it. And so, I had to try this dress on for myself.

Truth be told, I've never given this dress a second look the first time I laid eyes on it. It just didn't do anything for me. But seeing it on Ashley at Anthropologie Girl here and it looked just fabulous on her, I had to try it on.

And .... I looked far from fabulous. It was just Meh on me. And Meh was being generous. The dress just sorta hung there. I'm not sure if it's the fabric or the design or the color. Maybe I should have tried the other color. But something just wasn't doing it for me.

As for fit, I've got the size Small on. It fits well. The skirt is a tad long on me. If I had loved this dress, I would have to get the shoulders lifted so that the dress sits higher on my waist thus causing the skirt to lift a little.

Guess I won't have to do that because it just wasn't doing anything for me. So I left it at the store to be loved by someone else.




Have you tried the Perilla Dress on? What do you think of it? Do you love it?

Anthropologie Review - Tambour Blouse


style #18684217
$98.00
The Tambour Blouse is very pretty and feminine!

There's so much to love about the Tambour. 1.) The Color: A pale Robin's Egg Blue. 2.) The details: dainty pleats and ruffles down the front of the bodice, the pretty little cloth covered buttons and the eyelet and embroidery detail on the skirt. In one word, this blouse is Beautiful!

As far as fit is concerned, this blouse fits large. So you'll definitely want to size down. I had originally tried on the 6 and was swimming in it. It was large in the waist and throughout the bodice. It was even large in the arms - which meant that the side of my bra was showing. Not good!

I then sized down to a 4 and it fits very well. Not tight. Just right. I wouldn't go smaller. For comparison purposes, I have a 29 inch waist and a 36 inch chest.

Pardon the fact that I've got the Swirling Particles Skirt under this top. The bubble hem of the skirt is making the blouse poof out in a weird and bad way.



So, have you tried on the Tambour Blouse yet? What do you think of it? I like it a lot but not enough to bring it home with me at full price. I can certainly hear this blouse calling me when it goes on sale though.

Anthropologie Review - Licorice Lanes Skirt


style #18715235
$78.00

I look at this skirt and I immediately think of Licorice Allsorts. I LOVE Licorice Allsorts and the pretty pink and white parts remind me of my favorite part of Licorice Allsorts - the candy, coconut tasting parts.

The first time I saw this skirt online, I knew that I had to have it. But like all things in life, it's virtually impossible to have everything. Let's face it, if I bought everything I loved, I would honestly be broke and in-debt to my eyeballs. And like so many of you, I decided that I would wait for a sale.

As you know, I visited Anthropologie yesterday. Unlike some of you where an Anthro store is down the street from your office or half way across town, the closest Anthro store is a 3 hour car ride from me and it's not even in the same city or state for that matter. In fact, it's in a whole nother country.

It's a BIG deal to visit an Anthropologie store. I have to plan in advance. I just can't wake up and go. Hell! I have to bring a passport! So, it's never a, "hey, I've not nothing to do today, let's go to Anthro" type of thing. Anyway, I digress.

So after driving for 3+ hours, yes... I know, I said 3 hours but there was major road construction around the mall where Anthropologie is located and I had to take this detour and all which added another 20 minutes to my drive... but I finally arrived, pulled up to the front of the store and right in the front window, facing my car is the Licorice Lanes skirt.

It's like it knew that I was coming and so it came out to say "hello!". I immediately turned to my daughter and squealed, "Don't you just love that skirt?" To which Kitty replied, you mean the one that looks like Licorice Allsorts?

Oooooh! The battle was on. I was now battling the demon in me to keep from buying that skirt and bringing it home with me.

I stayed away from the skirt for as long as possible but finally caved to try it on.

As far as fit is concerned, it fits true to size. As you know, I normally wear between a size 4 and 6 skirt. I tried on the size 6 and it fits perfectlyl. Not too tight, not too lose, just perfect! The length is fabulous as well. It falls slightly below the top of my kneecap. This is important. I like my skirts to cover the top of my kneecaps. Why you ask??? Well, I have fat kneecaps. Yes, that's right. I hate that part of my leg that is slightly above my kneecap. It's fat. No one else can see this - trust me, I've brought it to many a people's attention, but they can't see it. But I can! It's there! Staring at me, day in, day out. Fat knee caps. Hate them! But I digress.

Since they cover up the fat part of my knees, I was thrilled! I had heard that this skirt fits short, but since I'm only 5'3.5" tall, it fits me exactly where I want it.

By this time, part of me really wanted to buy the skirt but the other part of me wanted to wait for a sale. But since I wasn't 100% sure, I asked that they hang on to it for me while I looked around the store some more.

They kept the skirt on the back counter - behind the cash registers. Everytime I walked by, I was certain that the skirt was taunting me, asking me to bring it home. In the bright and beautiful Anthro store, the colors of the skirt was stunning. The combination of bright coral, delicious watermelon, juicy bubblegum, combined with the black and the white, was impossible to miss. The colors are beyond stunning.

And so I caved. I bought it. My rationale was this. At $78, the skirt really isn't really pricey. Buying it now would thus allow me to wear it immediately. Had I waited for a sale, I would be shortening the amount of time I've got to wear it. Furthermore, had I waited for a sale, I would really only be saving $38. So I bought it.







What do you think of the Licorice Lanes Skirt? Do you own it? Have you tried it on? Do you like it? I can't wait to wear mine!


Anthropologie Review - Anthurium Blouse

style #013282
$88.00

I had missed out on the same blouse in the Fall of last year and was determined not to miss out on it this time around.

By the time the blouse went on sale, all that was left in the Blue colorway was a size 4, 6 and a 10. Knowing that this blouse fits small, I ordered the size 6 in the Blue.

But when I arrived at the Anthro store in U Village and saw both the size 6 and size 8 sitting there on the rack, patiently waiting for my arrival, I immediately made grabby hands.

Not only did they have the blouse in my size in the blue, they also had it in the cream, so I tried both on.

This blouse certainly runs on the smallish side. While the size 6 fits in the waist, the upper part of the bodice - particularly the shoulder straps were loose. The blouse is designed in such a way that you simply cannot shorten the straps without damaging the design of the lace.

So I tried on the size 8. The size 8 is somewhat looser in the waist but because I am able to pull the blouse down somewhat, I was able to get the straps to sit nicely on my shoulder.

Between the Blue and the Cream colorway, I certainly like the Blue much better. The cream is nice but the blue shows off the details so much more.

Below are pictures of me in the Blue as well as the Cream.









I personally like the blue so much better - hence, it came home with me.
Have you tried the Anthurium Blouse on? What do you think of it? Do you like the Blue or the Cream?

Anthropologie Review - Stemmed Sweetbriar Dress

style #18544882
$168.00

Like the Flight 'Round The Garden Skirt, this dress arrived the morning I arrived. Again, I was the first to try on this dress and everyone was dying to see what it looked like. I couldn't get the dress on fast enough - for I kept getting "have you tried it on yet? We're dying to see it."

As you know from this post here, I was prepared to join a Society just so that I could wear this dress. I was even going to learn how to drink tea properly - with my little finger sticking up and not spilling the tea on myself and all. I was almost prepared to join a bunch of old men if need be so that I could wear this dress and attend one of their Tea Parties. Luckily, I won't have to do any of those things now...

I had such high hopes for this dress. I was certain that it was going to be coming home with me yesterday. Unfortunately, I won't be adopting this pretty dress.

It's pretty. Very, very pretty. The Robin Egg Blue is gorgeous. The printed flower details is stunning. The style is beautiful.

It even fits true to size. I normally wear between a size 4 to 6 dress at Anthropologie and this dress was no different. It fits beautiful around the waist, the length was good ... but what the heck is wrong with my boobs????

I look like I've breast-fed about 18 kids... one after another, for 18 years straight!!! My boobs look like sad, flat, week-old Danishes on my chest. Can I look any flatter?

The SAs all agreed that I looked flat-chested in this dress. Really, you think???

I would say that this dress would look great on a larger chested girl. I, unfortunately, don't qualify.







Have you tried Nathalie's Lete's Stemmed Sweetbriar Dress? What do you think of it?

Anthropologie Review - Flight 'Round The Garden Skirt

style #18647396
$118.00

I couldn't believe my luck when they told me that the skirt arrived the morning of my visit. That's right! It arrived just before I arrived at the store and I was going to be the first person to try this skirt on.

I asked for a size 6 and got a size 6. I double and triple checked the tag - both the hang tag and the tag on the skirt. Problem 1.) I couldn't get the skirt (which happens to be a full skirt btw, and not a pencil skirt - over my hips. I guess there's a first time for everything. I asked the SA for a larger size - explaining that I could not get the skirt over my hips.

She told me to wear it from the top - meaning over my head. Ummmmm... okay. I've never had to wear a skirt this way before ... but I'll try. Over my head it is!

No problem getting it over my head. That was the easy part. Problem now was the skirt was about 2 inches short of zipping up. Yes, that's a picture of me and a whole slash of skin between the edges of the zipper. And the skirt was short.

So, I asked for a size 10.... thinking that, for every size up, the width increases by 1 inch. So, if I'm 2 inches shy of zipping up, I'll need a size 10, right?

Er.... wrong. I need a size 8. Here's the size 10 on me (pictured below). It's lose and it's sitting a little lower on me. I should have tried the size 8 but it was just too much work in order to get the right size.

Tracy, the personal shopper at the store, confirmed that Nathalie Lete skirts fit on the small side. I guess they must because I tried on one of her dresses and they seem to fit TTS. So maybe it's just her skirt?

The skirt itself is very pretty. I love that there's pretty little beads sewn on the flowers. You can barely see it in the picture - but they're there.

It didn't come home with me unfortunately. I didn't like it enough to bring it home at full price. Maybe when it goes on sale?


Have you tried Nathalie Lete's Flight 'Round The Garden Skirt? What do you think of it?

Anthropologie Review - Floreat Clock Skirt


I fell in-love with this skirt the very first time I laid eyes on it on Sara at You, Me & Anthropologie here. I knew right away, that I MUST have this skirt.

I love whimsical, unusual, different things. I love the look of Antique clock faces. I knew that I would be hard pressed to find another skirt like this, anywhere. So my mission began.

Knowing that I was going to be going to Seattle for the day, I called ahead to find out if they had the skirt and yes, indeed, they did. I got them to put it on hold for me so that I could try it on during my visit.

It was the very first thing I tried on yesterday and it didn't disappoint. It's stunning! It's fabulous! It's so me! I'm going to known as the girl with the clock skirt. People will say, hey, that's the girl with the clock skirt. I wonder where she got that fantastic skirt from. And I'll smile to myself because only you and I know exactly where it came from. Isn't it fabulous?

As far as fit is concerned, I normally wear between a size 4 or 6 at Anthropologie. In this Floreat skirt, I'm wearing a size 6 and the 6 fits like a glove. I tried the 4 on and it was a tad uncomfortable. So as to give you a better idea, I have a 29 inch waist (before eating, that is - for it expands exponentially after I eat). And since the skirt is full and poofy, there was no concern of fit in the hips.

The skirt is lined with a full hem topped with netting to give it extra poof. It also has a metal zipper. The waist band is 2" high and the skirt is gathered all around the waist. I like how the skirt is gathered. It's neither too full nor too flat. There's just the perfect amount of poof to bell-out the skirt and accentuate the waist.

I had originally thought that the clocks were printed on the skirt. They're not. They are actually embroidered on the skirt, together with the faces, numbers and hands.

It's darling! And at $118, I thought that it was priced well. I am normally a sale shopper - so for me to buy this skirt at full price is saying a lot about this skirt.

I love it! And I hope my awesome reader and newest friend Carly loves it too!

Since it hasn't shown up on the website, just in case anyone is looking for this skirt, the style number is: 18813535 (and that's for a size 4 - coz I'm reading it right off Carly's size 4 skirt that I had picked up for her yesterday). The size 6 style number is: 18813543.

Needless to say, it's come to live with me.... because I'm going to be known as the Girl with the Clock Skirt.


Have you tried this skirt on? What do you think of it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

HIWI - Tuxedo Front Cheetah Cami

I honestly wish that it would warm up in Vancouver.

It's the first day of Summer and it honestly feels like the first day of Spring. Brrrrrr! Luckily, I haven't quite put away all of my early Spring clothes. With the slight chill in the air, my wardrobe is considerably larger than usual since I've got both my early spring and my summer clothes all in my closet at the same time.

Today, I had the opportunity to wear my J Crew Tuxedo Front Cheetah Cami. I haven't worn this cami for a while. In fact, I cannot seem to remember when I last wore it.

And since I was feeling particularly girly, I decided to pair it with a twirl skirt, fitted cardi and a large cabbage rose corsage.

The outfit is a little dark for the first day of summer, but it honestly doesn't feel like summer around here so I guess I could get away with it.

Here's how I wore my Tuxedo Front Cheetah Cami.

As shown online at J Crew


Here's the Cami with my favorite Club Monaco skirt. I love, love, love this skirt. Super twirly sheer organza piped with white, over a full tafetta lining. Cheapie F21 belt at waist.


Here's me with the above outfit but now with my J Crew Lea Merino Cardigan. Silk Flower Corsage is from H & M.


I think that this outfit looks so much more polished with the cardi and the corsage.
I also wore a double strand large pearl bracelet with this outfit.

So, that's my HIWI and OOTD. Hope you had a fantabulous Monday.
Tomorrow's my Friday. Yippeee!!! I cannot wait! I'm officially on vacation as of 5pm tomorrow evening. What do I have planned??? Well!!! I'm headed to Seattle for the day on Wednesday. I hope to go to both J Crew and Anthropologie. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sale either tomorrow or Wednesday at Anthro. Not doing much Thursday only because I've got to pack and get ready for our trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake on Friday. It's our annual trip to see Honey's parents. So I'll be gone until July 5.
But I'm way more excited to be driving to Seattle versus going back East. So, remember to check back Thursday for I'm hoping to post some reviews.

Until next time, stay true to you. Love, Karen



Sunday, June 20, 2010

HIWI / OOTD - Around the World Dress

Happy Sunday Pretties! And Happy Father's Day to each of your dads!

I had full intentions of being around and posting earlier but it was one crazy weekend for me and my fam. You see, my daughter, who by the way is an awesome ball-player (and I'm not being biased - but I am a Mom, so pardon my lack of modesty) and her team were playing in the North Vancouver Fastpitch Championship Tournament.

We started off yesterday morning at 11am. They played against the Bobcats and won that game 13-8. They then played the Dolphins in the afternoon and again won that game 17-12. Although they may appeared to have beat both teams easily, it was still extremely stressful for us parents who were sitting on the sidelines cheering the team on.

Since our team won both games, they didn't have to show up at 9am this morning. Thank God for that as we got to sleep in (though I honestly don't think that 7:20am was quite sleeping in) but who's counting, right? Instead, the Dolphins played the Bobcats and the winner - the Dolphins met us in the Finals.

Kitty and her team played in the finals this afternoon at 1pm. After the first inning, they were down by 3 runs. They kept the Dolphins to only 3 runs in the 2nd inning, scored 5 runs on them and at the end of the 2nd, the score was 8-6. At the end of the 3rd, the score was 11-8.

Pretty good, right? Er... wrong... because that where the nail biting began. In the 4th inning, the Dolphins came back and scored 5 runs on us and kept us to only 2 runs. The game was tied going into the 5th. In the first inning, both teams scored another 5 runs each and again the game was tied.

We were only supposed to play 5 innings because this is 9 year old girls team. But since we were tied, we played a 6th inning. Again, both teams scored 4 runs each and the game remained tied.

We had now been playing for 3 hours straight and the girls were pooped. We were sure that we had to play another inning when the Commissioner announced that according to the rules, in the event of a tie after the 6th inning, the team who was winning in the inning before the tie automatically wins the game.

That means .... WE WIN! WE WIN! Okay. We essentially won by default but we still win! We beat the Dolphins yesterday and although we tied them in the last 3 innings, we did come back after the 1st and was winning in the 2nd and 3rd innings today.

How exciting was that???!!! I almost cried when they awarded Kitty her trophy. It was such an amazing feeling. I was sooo very proud of her and her accomplishment.

And so that you know that I'm not just being a proud mom, I was told by several other parents that the Dolphins coaches were very impressed with Kitty's pitching abilities. Go Kitty!!!

And that's why I hadn't been around much. But now back to my HIWI - How I Wore It - the Around the World Dress.



Here's the Around the World Dress on its own.



I paired it with a capped sleeve Ann Klein Cardi, the same color as the red in the skirt which, I think, truly brings out the red in the skirt. And to futher accentuate the waist, I've donned a cheapie F21 grey belt - which also brings out the grey stripes in the skirt.

Here's a semi-side view of my outfit.

So, how do you like how I wore my Around the World Dress? How do you wear this dress? I'd love to hear how you've worn it. Please share.
Again, happy Sunday everyone! I can't believe how quickly this weekend flew by. Luckily, my business week is only 2 days long this week. Yippee!!! I'll be on vacation starting Wednesday. I can't wait to be off from work.
Until the next time, have yourself a fantastic week. Be Fierce, Be Strong, Be Yourself. Love, Karen

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Anthropologie Wish List

If only I had my neighbour's money.... I would honestly burn mine!

God knows that I need their money so that I can buy everything I want on my Anthro Wish List. And since they certainly don't appear to be wanting to give any of it away (which is rather selfish of them, don't you think?) - okay, you do realize that I'm only jesting, right? Or am I??? I guess I can only wish to have these items for the time being.



Dagmar Shirtdress
I can so see myself wearing this now and into the fall. The print is simply stunning! And the color. I'm certain the color will look fabulous on me, and on you too!


Time Gone By Dress
Isn't this loverly? Sigh... Just loverly!
I need to get this dress like I need oxygen to breathe and water to live. I neeeeeed this dress!



Tambour Blouse
I love the eyelets, scalloped hem, ruffles, pleats, sleeves, buttons, color.... you get my drift.

Flight 'Round the Garden Skirt
I love the dreamy designs of Nathalie Lete particularly when it's on a skirt and I can wear it about and show the world her paintings instead of having it hang on my wall or on my table. Okay, I guess I could hang this skirt on a wall or lay it on my dining table, but why do that when more people can see her pretty paintings as I parade around Vancouver in her skirt.



Stemmed Sweetbriar Dress
Another pretty and romantic piece by Nathalie Lete. This dress, a wide brim straw hat with a Large Ivory Silk Rose, and these shoes....


Dusty Roads Mary Janes
I know, I know, I've blogged about these already but I still haven't gotten them yet and I still love them and say that I must get them... But these and the Nathalie Lete Dress would look absolutely stunning at a Society Afternoon Tea Party. Don't you think?

Note to self: 1.) Must become part of a society - preferably a chic one with fashionably dressed women and not one with old stuffy men; 2.) Society must hold Tea Parties; 3.) Learn to drink tea without spilling it on myself.

Which brings me to my first throught, if only I had my neighbour's money, I would honestly burn mine!
If you have your neighbour's money, what would you buy? Would you buy any of these pretty things?

Happy Friday my lovely readers. Have yourself a wonderful weekend. Please check back later during the weekend. I hope to post pictures of the outfits I wore this week.

Be Fierce, Be Strong, Be Yourself. Peace to All, Karen