Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Empty Summer: an Experiment

This summer has been rather strange. For the first time since I was 13 I had no responsibilities. No school, no work, and most importantly no social group. When I left BC I left my friends behind me (there were too many to fit in my suitcases…), and my close school friends de-camped Halifax for other cities, so I was largely left with no one but myself. Sure, there are people in the city who I know, but I got tired of badgering people to hang out and decided that my energy would be better spent actually doing things instead of waiting around for other people. I’ve always been my own best friend and I’m quite used to being alone for long periods of time, but this has been the first time ever where I made the conscious choice to revel in my alone-ness. Some might say this is anti-social behavior, but I have a strict rule about friendships: I’m only willing to put into them the same amount as the person on the other end. Which means that when I have to organize every single social activity there’s something wrong with the friendship. Ironically, I’m not all that bitter that other people can’t be bothered to be social with me, because that gives me time to do all the things I want to do without having to answer to anyone else’s agendas. I still have almost 2 weeks til my classes officially start and the summer is finally over, but I actually did quite a lot during the summer even though I was alone.

…Went to 5 Value Village Sales (having more than one store in the city is awesome)
… Watched 68 episodes of True Blood
… Countless shopping trips (seriously it was a lot) but bought very little
… Bought 2 pairs of shoes
… Bought 2 vintage Louis Vuitton handbags (yes they’re real), and one Dior
… Completed an internship at MSVU
… Volunteered at the Centre for Art Tapes for 2 months
… Went to 8 job interviews, and applied for about 5x that many jobs
… Went to 4 movies alone, and 1 with a friend
… Read 152 books (seriously I’ll show you my book journals to prove it)
… Went on lots of random adventures around the city
… Wrote a bunch of short stories & poems

Most of that stuff would have happened with companionship, but I’m extremely glad of the massive dent that got taken out of my reading list. Not that my reading list isn’t still about a million books long… Maybe I just like myself better than most people do, which is why I don’t feel the need to fill my life with meaningless people. Maybe my time growing up in a noisy house made my value my solitude and closed doors. Or maybe I’m just like Charles Bukowski, and “I’m the best form of entertainment I have.” Whoever said that being introverted isn’t fun is totally nuts, because I love the fact that I can hang out with myself and be totally happy. Though I do enjoy the odd afternoon or evening hanging out with people who are worth my time J

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Classics: a Sunday Shoe Story

Converse Chuck Taylor Super Hi-Top All Stars
in olive green and bubblegum pink

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Week in the Life: Part III

red velour + gold detailing + red leather +$10 price tag = shoe love
(this is why I thrift shop!)

Hello my name is FABULOUS!

these Billabong flipflops are my "deck shoes" for when I'm out reading on my balcony
I'm reading the Keith Richards bio Life here. It's pretty awesome!

On Tuesdays we wear pink
(okay, so I'm a day early...)

Panda shoes!

these Bamboo sandals are some of my favourites, but they're a bitch to get on and off
because of the straps. 

vintage Carlos Falchi peep toe pumps.
they remind me of Minnie Mouse!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Shoe Staples: the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

No shoe is more easy to wear, or stylish, than Converse's classic Chuck Taylor All-Star. Sure, these started out as a shoe for athletes (the high-tops had good ankle support or something), but they've become a staple for pretty much anyone now. There are very few people that I know who don't own a pair of Chucks, and I always feel bad for them because they're missing out on a great pair of shoes.

One of the capsule collections that Converse came out with this year was inspired by the animated rock band the Gorillaz, which I thought was pretty awesome. They're not quite as amazing as last year's Doctor Seuss collection, but the grunge style seems to be making a come back, which makes the Gorillaz a great style inspiration.

Chucks in classic black never go out of style. I've worn mine with everything from jeans to party dresses, and they always look fabulous!
Converse Lifestyle

How could I not include the Batman Chucks, from the DC Comics collection? They came out with a new set this year, but I still like these dual Batman & Joker ones the best!
Why So Serious?

Just a little shopping hint for those of you looking for Converse in Canada: the Converse website doesn't ship to Canada or have a Canadian equivalent (wtf, I know), but Baggins Shoes in Victoria has free shipping on orders over $49, and their selection is amazing. They seriously have everything. All the capsule collections, all the range of colours, and they also ship internationally. YAY SHOPPING WIN!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

How to Survive a Value Village Sale Day

It's that time of year again: back to school shopping time! Buying an entirely new wardrobe is out of the question for those of us on a budget, but the best sale of the year (well actually the best sale that happens 4 times a year) is coming up, so your budget might not get hit so hard if you shop smart. I'm talking about the Value Village Half Price Sale Day! I've been going to these sales since I was a wee lass, and for many a year I actually had to work them as well (never ever EVER again), and I shall probably still be going to them when I'm 64. But not everyone can do a VV sale day and make it count, so here are my helpful tips on how to get the most out of the trip - and make sure that you make it home in more or less one piece. I know at least one person who'll be hitting up the sale with me in a few weeks time, and even though he's no veteran shopper with my tutelage he'll be fine. I'm still going to pack him cookies though, just in case ;)

  1. Plan ahead. I like to scout out the location up to a week ahead of the actual sale day. I make sure that I know how to get there (buses can be a bitch early in the morning), make sure that I know the opening time, and most importantly make sure that it’s worth going at all. If the merchandise doesn’t look promising a week beforehand, then chances are it won’t have improved much by the time of the sale. Sometimes the product will “flip,” but often a store has a general pattern of merchandise turnover that doesn’t vary. Make sure that you know where everything is in the store, especially the fitting rooms and cash registers because these are your main points of interest.
  2. Dress smart. Wear clothes that are comfortable, that come off easily, and that you don’t mind getting stretched out or dumped on the ground. I usually stick to a tshirt and jeans, because they’re easy and reliable. The same principle applies to shoes. You’re going to be on your feet for quite a while, so you need something that isn’t going to give you blisters and that is broken in. Avoid anything with laces because you’re going to end up tying and untying them constantly, and that takes up precious time that would be better served shopping. I usually opt for flip flops because they’re comfy and I can slip them on while I’m getting dressed and not have to bend over to fiddle with laces, straps, or socks. When it comes to accessories, the best bet is to avoid them altogether. If you have to carry a purse make sure it’s one that’s light and hands free (two hands means faster flipping through racks and the smaller the purse the less weight you’re carrying around). Leave your necklaces and bracelets at home because you’re just going to lose them or end up throwing them in your purse; don’t wear a belt because it takes time to undo and do up again; even take out your earrings (you have no idea how many times that I’ve gotten shirts caught on earrings in the rush to try things on). One thing that people never think about when they plan shopping outfits, but is actually quite important, is their underwear. Don’t wear anything fancy, uncomfortable, or garment specific, because you’re going to be trying on a bunch of random clothes. It’s best to wear stuff that you wear normally, rather than say that bra that only goes with the little Gucci dress. And for god’s sakes actually wear underwear if you don’t normally!
  3. Go early. Like really early. Like be lined up to get in early. Yes, this means you’re a keener, but this also means that the store is going to be less crowded, the fitting rooms will not be as busy, and you’ll scoop the best stuff! This is one day when it pays to be up at the crack of dawn because by the time everyone else is waiting in line at the fitting rooms you’ll be off sipping a post-shopping cosmopolitan with lunch.
  4. Once you enter the store you must have a battle plan. Yes, a battle plan. Shopping a Value Village sale day is like going to war, or at least like a competitive sport. Some people like to target specific sections (this is where your pre-sale visit will come in handy, since you will already know where the different sections are in the store), but I find that the best strategy is to start at one end of the store and work my way across aisle by aisle. This ensures that I go through every single section so that I don’t miss anything, and that I won’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff. It’s easy to take one look at the aisles stretching out in the distance and see infinity, but as you progress through the tshirts, the long sleeved shirts, and the sweaters you can easily measure how far you’ve come, and how far you need to go to finish.
  5. Do not start off with a shopping cart. It may seem like a good idea (woohoo lots of deals and lots of clothes!), but it’s going to make navigating down the aisles a total pain for you and for the people trying to shop around you. I always wade into the fray without a cart or a basket since I can carry quite a stack of clothing draped over my arm, and once my stack gets too heavy I head for the fitting rooms. Once I come out of the fitting rooms my stack of stuff has been narrowed down, and I can either carry on, or find a basket to put them in. When the time comes to get a basket I always opt for the wheely ones instead of the hand baskets because they’re easier to maneuver and leave your hands free to shop without banging into everything.
  6. When the time comes to head for the fitting rooms be prepared for a wait. There’s lots of other people shopping too, and whining is not going to make the line go any faster. Some stores impose an item or time limit on the fitting rooms for sale day, but many do not. Some people (bad people) take advantage of this and bring in cart loads full of clothing and hog a fitting room for a long time. This is one of the reasons why I don’t shop with a cart. An armload of clothes can be quite a bit, but it doesn’t take forever to try on. Not only does that make it easy on you (breaking up the shopping into smaller portions), but it also keeps the fitting room lines moving (and therefore keeps your fellow shoppers happy). Once you’ve made your selections for purchase (YAY!) and are ready to head back out into the fray it is best to dispose of the hangers holding your clothes. You do not need them to go through the cash tills (contrary to popular belief), they will only weigh you down, and it’s actually much more convenient for the workers if you leave your hangers at the fitting rooms.
  7. Remember that this type of sale is a marathon, not a sprint. First timers should probably not attempt a full store shop, and it’s always a good idea to pack a snack so that if you get tired you have something to boost your energy. I don’t pack a snack when I go, but I’m a seasoned pro at Value Village half price sales, and I always make sure to have a snack for whoever gets dragged along with me so that they can keep up. Or at least attempt to keep up ;)
  8. I find it best not to go into the sale expecting to find anything particular. Value Village is not the mall, they do not carry things in various sizes, and their merchandise is extremely random. If you go in thinking “I want a white sweater” chances are you will find every other colour except white. Some things, like a pair of jeans that fits, are do-able but for the most part it’s best to just let the clothes come to you.
  9. Know what your sizes are. This way you won’t be wasting valuable time trying on things that are never going to fit. The Value Village sizing system is obviously not the greatest since they size things according to the brand label, and since every brand sizes differently things can get a bit out of place, but if you know what your general size is then you’ll be fine. My strategy for tops is to search through my normal size diligently, and then glance through a size up and down for variance. For bottoms it gets a bit trickier, because the sizes are more specific than small-medium-large, and trying on the thousands of jeans in stock is completely un-doable on a sale day. I usually stick to looking for my regular brands because that narrows it down a lot, and occasionally grabbing a random pair or two that I like the look of outside of my normal range.
  10. Don’t look at price tags. Seriously, it’s the Value Village half price sale, so it’s not like it’s going to be expensive. Never the less, the last sale day I went to (two stores in one day, thank you very much!) I was slightly shocked that I spent $100. Then again, I got a HUGE amount of clothes, which probably would have cost closer to $1000 at full retail.  

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Unicorn Shoes: a (Confessions) Sunday Shoe Story

Jeffrey Campbell "Michelle" pumps.
Aka: the Unicorn Shoes

Confession #1: I actually paid full retail for these (shhh don't tell my mother).
Confession #2: I felt absolutely no guilt doing so, regardless of the fact that my mother shouldn't know about it. 
Confession #3: I've worn these a grand total of once, even though I've had them for nearly 3 years. 
Confession #4: When I wore them, it was to see a matinee of a children's movie (How to Train your Dragon). 
Confession 5: Whenever I "play with my shoes" I always play with these ones first (even though I don't pick favourites with my shoes). 
Confession #6: I really miss these JC boxes. They're so cute and fabulous!
Confession #7: I think I might just wear these to the first day of classes in September, because no one rocks library school like I do!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A Week in the Life: Part II

planning out some photoshoots for the coming month

debating whether to cover these black Aldo wedges with rhinestone or not...
to sparkle or not to sparkle, that is the question

I rather enjoy pulling opposites,
like these Converse and a very Carrier Bradshaw inspired outfit

waiting impatiently for fall, when I can wear all my cute shoes again

the quickest way to save a pedicure is to cover it with OPI Black Shatter ;)

interview appropriate flats

Fridays are always the longest at work,
so I decided to have wear some colourful shoes and distract myself :p

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Rock of Ages: the Jeffrey Campbell edition!

You all know that I got a bit gushy after I saw Rock of Ages a while back. The whole fur coat, leather pants, wild hair, animal print thing has always been my favourite look (though I rarely wear it for some reason), and I noticed something a little strange about the latest from shoe-creators-of-awesomeness Jeffrey Campbell: they're all perfect to be decked out for that rock-chic look. Whether you're channelling Guns n' Roses, or just playing pretend rock star like Tom Cruise, fabuous kicks from JC should definitely be your starting point! And just to clear things up: Tom Cruise only wears assless chaps in one (slightly traumatic) scene, so I'm not counting that as a future fashion trend!

Rock Chic

Disco Chick - Jeffrey CampbellRock Of Ages

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Change is in the Air

As we grow new tests and tribulations are thrown in our paths, and we adapt to our changing environments. Some people make the choice to be part of the popular group in highschool, some people become bullies because they don't have happy home lives, some people strive for straight As, some people withdraw from public life. Highschool is a formative period for many people, and big changes don't often happen until we hit university, move out, or get into our first serious relationship. 

But I have a strong disbelief that everyone changes. I know there are areas in which I have grown, but I find that the majority of my major personality characteristics have been around since I was a kid. Maybe it's because I don't feel like I've done a 180 that I have a seriously hard time believing that people who I knew way back when have miraculously improved. That little girl who was a troubled child grew into a troubled teenager, and even after the birth of her child she's still someone with serious anger issues and a tendency to lash out. Those bullies from highschool are still cruel to people for no abject reason, now they just take it out on their coworkers instead of the dumb kid in class. That guy who pulled every manipulative trick to get into my pants is still trying 4 years later and having the exact same lack of effect. 

So when are people supposed to change? Do people undergo a miracle - or a lobotomy - at age 30 that solves all of their childhood and teenaged issues in one fell swoop? Somehow I doubt that there's an age cut-off for behavior corrections, as my philandering grandfather proved again and again throughout his life, but I sure as hell hope that there is. And if there isnt, I hope that I maintain my ability to ruthlessly judge people and to make the rest of them jump through hoops until they prove their worth. Even if they fail my tests, at least it'll be entertaining - for me ;)

xo bitches

Sunday, 12 August 2012

I'm not that short!

Contrary to popular belief, 5'4 is not actually that short for a girl. Every single day I see girls who are far shorter than I. And, no, they are not 5 year olds. They're grownups, and they're shorter than I am. In the meantime I'll just continue to wear platform pumps, think of that one time someone actually called me tall (yes, I was wearing heels, but that's not the point), and remind people that being short just means that I can wear really high heelsaround the guy I'm seeing because I'll never be taller than him. Unless he's shorter than 5'7, which means that I probably wouldn't date him in the first place... But that's a whole other story!

Platform faux snakeskin pumps by Dollhouse. 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

A Week in the Life: Part I

I'm pretty much living in these Roxy sandals this summer.

These Converse One Stars are my go-to shoes for nights with unstructured social plans.
They came in extremely handy when I ended up walking around
downtown for approximately 4 hours on Sunday

After the long walk night I spent most of Monday in bed or at least sans-shoes.

Batman! With Chucks!

So I may have forgotten to take a picture of my shoes from Wednesday,
but instead here's a picture of the rootbeer float I had! YUM!
The Beatles cup totally makes the float extra awesome btw. 

I've been devouring peaches lately, so I decided to make my shoes match my food.
Haha, no seriously I do this all the time...

Going out sandals, with the MLIS crowd for Friday Pub Club.
We're starting early this year ;)

Thursday, 9 August 2012


I figured that to start off the first week of shoe month should be with the brand that I consider to be the epitome of shoe-style: Christian Louboutin. They're fabulous, no matter which style you adhere to, and the diversity of the brand is one of my favourite things about them. Someday, I will have lots of Louboutins, but at thousands of dollars a pop I'll just have to drool over them from afar since the whole broke-student budget doesn't allow for acquisitions of the red-soled stunner variety...

Christian Louboutin Graffitti style

Glitter Glamour Style - Louboutin

All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love by riella03 featuring silver jewelry

For details of each set, click the links to my Polyvore account!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Where have all the good shoes gone?

Yes, I know this post is late, but I was busy last night seeing Batman. Sometimes I do have a life you know!

So this month we're doing things a little differently around the old blogosphere. I'm still doing my theme weeks, but since my subject is shoes it's going to be a lot more focused and some extraneous posts are going to change a little bit. The Saturday posts, the ones about nail polish, are going to be going off the radar for the next month because nail polish doesn't really have anything to do with shoes. Yes, we have toenails to paint, but it's not quite the same. And I thought of something even more fun to replace the nail polish posts with temporarily. Instead, every Saturday will feature a week in the life of my shoes as they travel around the city and do their normal stuff. This also means that I have to make an effort not to wear the same shoes day in and day out, so I figure the pay off is worth it.

But back to the main topic: Tuesdays are about rants, so here's a quick one for you (that's been driving me nuts ever since I got to Halifax). I'm usually pretty good at scoping out the shoe shopping situation in any given city - I swear I have a shoe-store homing beacon - but Halifax has been pretty bereft of shoes for me. I've been here almost a year and in total I've only bought 7 pairs of shoes. For me, that's practically nothing. 4 of those were ordered online, 2 of them were thrifted, and 1 pair was from Winners.

To me that says a few pertinent things about the shoe stores in Halifax:
1) They don't have nearly enough variety.
2) The stock that they do carry is saturated with hipster shoes, boring shoes, or plain ugly shoes.
3) Their sales suck (I'm a sucker for a shoe sale).
And the big complaint: 4) Their sales associates suck.

Of all of these complaints #4 is most definitely the worst; I always dress up when I shop (you get better service that way), yet every time that I've gone into any of the shoe stores their sales associates aren't friendly. Sure, I like to be left alone when I shop, but since I'm not allowed in the storage room I can't get my own sizes, and therefore I can't try any shoes on, which leads to me not buying any shoes. Never the less, I'm hoping that this fall will be better for shoe shopping, because this shoe-desert is really really depressing!