Saturday, February 28, 2015

Closet Tour: February 2015

Hello blog readers and happy weekend!

I've had some requests to show you around my closet. First of all, let's start off with how the closet came to be. R and I had toured a home that we loosely based our home design from. That home had four bedrooms upstairs and a large master walk-in closet. When we were making decisions for our own design, we decided to make the closet even bigger as there wasn't room in the house for a library, but I liked the idea of incorporating a small reading/writing/make-up area in the walk-in closet. 

The final product ended up being much more than I ever expected to have for a closet, but I love it and am so glad we sacrificed the space! 

I'm sure the closet will evolve as time goes by. It is very functional, but not as "pretty" as I want it to be. 

When you walk in, this is what's along the left wall.

I have a full length mirror propped on a box. I'm trying to decide whether I want to put the mirror on the wall or buy a self-standing mirror, so this is a temporary thing. I'm going to buy some nice wrapping paper to wrap the box in so it's not so ugly - it's the perfect height.

Next is the shelving. The top row is a bin of cleaning clothes, sweatpants, and old t-shirts. I used a box that one of my wedding shower gifts came in as a holder for my clutches. 

The next two rows are folded sweaters. I love having them on open shelves rather than in drawers. 

The next row is jeans and casual pants. I fold them so the back pockets are visible, which helps with identification. 

The next row is a box of bras in the middle (also a wedding shower gift box) and two round bins of underwear. 

The space on the floor is a small bin of socks and a larger bin of workout attire (tees, tanks, yoga pants, shorts, athletic socks, and sports bras). 

Adjacent to the shelving is where I hang most of my clothes. Along the top, and also above the shelving area, are my hats. The top left is blazers and vests. The top right is tops with colors and skirts. On the shelf under my skirts are sunglasses. The bottom right is clothes that I'm considering donating (they hang out there to see if I reach for them or not).  I also use this area for "outfits on deck".  I'll hang my next day's outfit here or if I suddenly think of pieces I want to try together, I'll hang them together to experiment with. I totally recommend using the slim-line hangers for your clothes. They save a ton of space compared to thick plastic ones. Maybe someday I'll have them in all the same color, but that's not something I was willing to spend money on at this time.

Around the corner is an "area in progress".  I have a hanging scarf holder, a space to hang clothes that aren't quite dirty but need to be washed after next wear, and a bin of clothes that need to be ironed or steamed. This wall also has a tall rod where my dresses and work pants hang. I'm considering moving them around as well as I feel they're kind of crammed in the corner, and with spring coming (at least, let's hope so) I'll be wearing dresses more. 

The next wall is some of my shoes. I have most of my summer shoes put away in the entry closet on a shelf. Most of my boots and sneakers are in the entry closet as well so I easy access to them as I'm going out the door.  I SO want to wear my wedding shoes and all of my flats again. Maybe in May! I use rolled up magazines to keep my boots standing tall - much easier than buying boot shapers.

Along the back wall of the closet is the shelving where I keep my jewelry. I like to rotate my stuff frequently so I'm more likely to wear a variety of baubles instead of always reaching for the same things. Under the jewelry is books, magazines, papers, stationery, etc. I need to get this area more organized.

The next wall is a window, and we keep our laundry hampers under the window. Opposite the jewelry wall is my table, which holds my makeup, brushes, my day planner (home of all my lists!), and my mirror. The box the mirror sits on is where I keep my receipts for recent purchases. I watch the morning news on the TV while I'm getting ready, and I also hang out here from time to time to read and blog. The chair is from Home Outfitters (Black Friday sale- $35!). The dresser the TV sits on is for R's stuff.

Around the corner from the TV is a wall with a tall rod. I have another scarf organizer, my cardigans, a few belt organizers, and my robe in this area. R has some folded things on the shelf above. I'm thinking of doing some swapping of the stuff in this area with other tall rod space (dresses/work pants).

The rest of the closet is R's stuff (which I didn't take photos of as I didn't want to have to make it photo-ready - ha!). He has a shelf area with both flat and angled shelves (angled shelves are for shoes and hats), and a decent amount of short rod space for clothes. 

As I make changes to the closet, I'll share some more photos. I definitely want some built-in shelving for my books and stationery, some photos for the walls (I already bought a few on sale at Chapters), a cork board for outfit inspiration, and pretty light fixtures.

Do you have any closet organization tips for me? I'm still trying to decide if I want to make room for my entire wardrobe - right now my strictly summer clothes are packed away. Once spring rolls around and I get out my shorts and stuff I'll have to see how the integrate into the mix.

Glitterary Girl

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yo-Yo Fitness

Fitness and I have a love/hate relationship. I'm going to be super-honest in this post, in hopes that by writing about it, I'll gain some perspective. I am using weight for reference, because for me, weight (and how my clothes fit) is an accurate reflection of where I am fitness-wise. I know it's often said not to use weight as a measure of fitness, but unless I start doing something that makes me completely ripped and gain a ton of muscle weight, my scale is going to speak the truth. This certainly doesn't hold true for everyone, but it does for me. My ideal weight is 112 lbs and it has been for years.

Let's go way back. I've always been quite small. I came into the world at 6 lb 2 oz, and was a petite little kid. Pre-pubescence hit around age nine, and despite my mom having to buy me a training bra in Florida after seeing me in a bathing suit, (which lead to me trying to learn how to put on said bra in the back of a rental car - ha!) I gained a few pounds in the chest area but not really anywhere else.

Then I had a growth spurt, which made me the tallest girl in my class for about a month. My height plateaued at 5'3'', where I am today. In grade six I weighed 80 lbs and I graduated high school at 100 lbs. I was never much into sports, except for playing baseball in Little League and a few years of intramural volleyball (go Champlain).

The year I started physio school (university year three), I gained 15 pounds in the first few months, likely due to stress and my previous summer job having messed up my metabolism (shift work sucks). It took until the next fall to burn that off, which was done by eating more sensibly (i.e. not taking three desserts in meal hall).  When I graduated university, I was 105 lb.

My first year with a real job was also the first time I started working out regularly. I joined the local gym and went every day after work. I learned I liked the elliptical and stair master but hated treadmills. I also liked weight training but hated step aerobics. I think it's really important not to try to force yourself to do something for fitness that you don't enjoy, but to try lots of different things. I joined a learn to run group, but realized it wasn't for me. I was happiest at the gym, working out independently, where I could set my own pace, turn on my Discman (I'm that old), and focus on a healthy balance of weights and cardio. I bopped along like this for several years and kept my weight fairly steady at 112 lbs. There were times when I'd visit the gym almost daily, and times where I'd skip entire weeks without setting foot in the place.

Then one day, I decided to try a spin class at the gym and I fell in love. I gradually built up to doing three one-hour spin classes a week, which was great because that was definitely all the cardio I needed and kept my legs toned too. I could focus all my weight training on my arms, which is what I liked best anyway. I still stayed at 112 lbs.

I moved to Vancouver  for a few months in 2011 and walked everywhere. I even took to running on the Seawall occasionally and bought some rollerblades. Okay, I only rollerbladed three times, but I am still looking for a patient person to learn with me! Unfortunately, I had to be on prednisone during my time in Vancouver, which caused some weight gain and the sense of always being hungry. I was just under 120 lbs when I moved back to Nova Scotia.

When I came back from Vancouver, I discovered Beachbody programs. The first one I tried was P90X. I made it through the program but I wasn't very dedicated with the schedule. I'd skip days and even skip certain workouts if I didn't feel like doing that particular one. I also tried Brazil Butt Lift (hated it), Insanity (wanted to cry every day), Focus T25 (pretty good - finished it before Jamaica in 2013), and P90X2 (hated it).

Jamaica 2013

Last spring when our wedding was in sight and I need some serious toning, I tried P90X3. I was leery of it as I hated X2 with a passion, but wanted to give it a go. X3 turned out to be "my program". I got up every morning before work (which is NOT easy for me) and pressed play. I found it to be the perfect combo of cardio and weights with lots of body-resistance, yoga, and pilates too. I think I started at 115 lbs and ended up at 110 lbs for the wedding. Not a huge loss (nor was I looking for one), but I felt super-healthy and toned. I should also mention that I bought 12 Ultra Slimfast chocolate shakes that I drank just twice per week as a liquid lunch for six weeks before the wedding.

In Vegas

After the wedding, we moved into the new house, which was amazing and exciting, but not set up for me to continue with my work-outs right away. I felt like I needed to give myself a bit of a break, but my intended one-month break turned into several months. Throw Christmas and a wicked sweet tooth into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster.

As I write this, I'm almost in tears, as I told myself for this post that I would step on the scale and take a photo of what it said. So, I did ... three minutes ago.

I am right now officially the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life, and it's only four months after  the wedding, where I was so happy with my fitness! How did this happen? How did I gain eleven pounds in four months? Oh yeah, being lazy and eating junk. I should have known, as I'm actively avoiding wearing certain pants due to an uncomfortable waistband. I have way too much invested in my wardrobe to have to buy new stuff!

Last week, I started Piyo, another Beachbody program.  I think I will do Piyo and then another round of P90X3. I'm testing out Shakeology to see if I can tolerate it.

My goal is to be back to 112 lbs by July 17, 2015.

If you've stuck with me til the end, thank you for reading. I realize that I'm still well within a healthy weight for my height and that I certainly don't have a "weight problem", but right now I'm just disappointed in myself and wanted to be honest. The first step to making change is admitting it needs to happen, right?

How are you doing with your health and fitness?

Bye bye - I"m off to press play!

Glitterary Girl

Monday, February 23, 2015


Everyone knows by now what ombre hair is, but a close cousin of ombre is sombre - a more subtle form. 

It was a big decision to let go of my bright blond, but I needed a change. I still get to keep the lightness at the ends, but the roots are a warmer color. It should be quite a bit easier to upkeep than blond highlights. 

Apologies for the grainy iPad photos. The "golden hour" hasn't been working for me lately. Maybe it's all the snow. 

Sweater: Banana Republic
Jeans: Diesel via Winners
Scarf: H&M
Jewelry: Gifts
Nails: Blue Rhapsody by Essie
Boots: Gap

These Diesel jeans are the most comfortable, softest denim I have ever worn. They waist hits in exactly the right spot, which is so hard to find with a long torso like mine. I will be stalking Winners for more from this brand!

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Smidgen of Spring

Buried under several feet of snow, I can't help but imagine a time a few months from now when it will be melted.

My legs cry when I even think of wearing a skirt these days. Ballet flats are completely impossible. I wouldn't even consider wearing destroyed denim without tights underneath. Can I make long johns a thing?

Here's an outfit I put together for a day when it's a degree or two above freezing. The floral scarf hints at spring, and keeping it in the same color family as the sweater makes pattern mixing a breeze.

Smidgen of Spring

Topshop breton top, 87 CAD / Topshop cotton parka, 96 CAD / AG Adriano Goldschmied destroyed skinny jeans, 395 CAD / Cole Haan slouchy ankle boots, 345 CAD / Michael Kors bracelet, 180 CAD / Tory Burch polishing gold jewelry, 110 CAD / Diane Von Furstenberg paisley scarve, 220 CAD

It's officially vacation time for me! I hope your weekend is full of wonderful things.

Glitterary Girl

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Sign

The next stop on the wedding day photo tour was the famous Las Vegas sign. I had no idea the sign would be so busy. We were only there for about 15 minutes, but in that span of time, we saw three other wedding parties! Good thing our photographer wasn't shy to ask people to kindly not photobomb us too badly. It's very hard for sign shots to have no one in the background. 

My favourite!

Feeling outnumbered here...


If you missed my previous wedding posts, you can access them here:

Glam Squad
Walk to the Garden
Juno Garden
Caesar's Palace

Glitterary Girl

Monday, February 16, 2015

Year Three: A Blogiversary

I figured I'd better do something fun for my blogiversary this year, considering last year I forgot all about it (oops...) I'm happy to say that today marks the third year of Glitterary Girl's existence! Yippee! I can honestly say I'm as happy with blogging today as I was when I launched the site. My blog is almost exactly what I hoped it would be - I could stand to be better connected, but I do feel that this past year has been about making stronger connections, which I'm grateful for. Thanks for those of you who've reached out to me for friendship and partnership!

My biggest thanks is to my loyal blog readers. Thanks for sticking by me even when I've been lazy! I would love to see more followers on my social media, so please take a moment to go to the top right side of the page and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin'. Another goal for this year is to be a better Instagrammer!

Three years = three cupcakes!

Jacket: Danier
Skirt: Banana Republic
Sweater: Gap
Booties: c/o Nine West
Tights: Calvin Klein
Necklace: Joe Fresh
Cupcakes: D & Jo's Country Market

What better way to spend a blogiversary than not having to work? Today is Nova Scotia's first Heritage Day! Previously we had a very long span between New Year and Easter with no holiday. It was quite torturous. We're still being urged to say off the roads due to yesterday's massive storm, so we've spent a good part of the weekend organizing the pantry and broom closet. Feels good to have that task checked off the to-do list!

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Right Now 02.15.15

Halifax is experiencing what seems to be the 29th snow/rain/ice storm of the month today. Basically, February has been all about horrible driving conditions and stress about commuting to and from work. I'm so glad tomorrow is a holiday, so hopefully the roads will be in decent shape by the time I have to get to work on Tuesday.

Reading: I'm part way through The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. I enjoy his books for an easy read. I just put Being Mortal by Atul Gawande on hold from the library.
Writing: Blog posts and wedding thank-you cards.
Clicking: With the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on physician assisted suicide, I've been doing a lot of reading on laws surrounding this topic in other places where it is legal. Opinion pieces are all over the Web as well. I work in palliative care, and I'm sure this will impact some of my clients. I am glad for the ruling, as I feel that no matter how good of a palliative care system is in place, there are some rare conditions/situations where good quality of life is simply not possible right up to the end of life. I think people should be allowed to make a decision to have an earlier exit instead of living in fear of how their disease will eventually overtake them. I've also been clicking on news articles/Facebook/Twitter around the planned mass shooting that was supposed to take place in Halifax yesterday. Considering one of the accused lived a few kilometers away in my community, it literally couldn't be any closer to home. I admit, I consciously stayed away from the malls yesterday and we decided not go to the Mooseheads game, as we just didn't want to be in a crowd situation. Driving through town last night to get our Valentine's Day Chinese food, there was a huge police presence around Halifax Shopping Centre. Rumours were that a bus was shot at, but it ended up being kids with slingshots.
Seeing: Ice covered windows!

Smelling: Febreeze air freshener as R just took out the garbage and it was stinky!
Hearing: Ice pellets hitting the windows
Watching: R and I watched the last half of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night (only two months late...). I watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars today. The Bachelor is on tonight too, don't forget!
Feeling: Cozy. There's something relaxing about being stormed in.
Wearing: Lulu pants, a SF 49ers tee, and my gram's old sweater.
Anticipating: Four more days of work and then I have a week off! I won't be traveling anywhere too far- R is working. I plan on meeting a few important new babies and doing some shopping, blogging, and organizing. Maybe I'll finally get the closet to a place where I can give a little photo tour.

For all my Maritime readers - stay inside and warm. This is a doozy of a storm.

Glitterary Girl

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cozy Valentine's Day Outfit

As much as it would be lovely to get all dolled up in a slinky dress and scrappy heels for V-Day, I am NOT willing to freeze for fashion. So for those of us who are in for a chilly weekend, here's something I pulled together that won't cause a case of hypothermia.

Sweater: Banana Republic
Skirt: Club Monaco
Tights: American Apparel
Boots and Scarf: H&M
Headband: J Crew
Necklace: Origami Owl
Bracelets: Stella & Dot, Banana Republic
Clutch: Coach

*full disclosure... this outfit was put on for the picture only (which is rare for me - I normally photograph what I'm wearing for the day - but I really wanted to do a V-Day shot). After much thought and studying these photos, I decided to return the new sweater as the hem was hitting in an unflattering spot, especially when I tried it with jeans. Too bad - I really love the color. Old me would have kept it anyway and probably never worn it, so I'm proud of new me who only lets items I love into my closet. *

Date ideas for this outfit? How about a casual dinner, a coffee house, or a dessert with two spoons!

Glitterary Girl

Monday, February 09, 2015

Pretty Great Things Coming at Halifax Shopping Centre

Want the inside scoop on the giant renovation plans for Halifax Shopping Centre? You've stumbled upon them right here!

Cupcakes from Layers

On February 5, I joined the lovely HSC ladies and my fellow fashion gals for a sneak peek at the big changes. In case you haven't already heard, HSC has a 70 million dollar renovation project happening over the next two years.

Although there are no retailers confirmed for the new spaces, there will be about 75,000 square feet of new shopping potential. I have a long list of places I would like to see take up residence. If I had to narrow them down to my most realistic top three I would choose J Crew, Zara, and Nordstrom.

I'm so excited for the new food court, which promises to be a place that invites socialization. A gas fireplace, soft seating, and floor to ceiling windows are some of the features which will make it more inviting than the current space. One of the things I'm most excited about is a big open air patio, so shoppers can enjoy their meals outside. With the addition of heat lanterns, it will make outdoor eating possible well into spring and fall.

An outdoor feel will be created with a giant skylight over two-level retail stores. It's always nice for an indoor mall to have as much natural lighting as possible, in my opinion! Also in the works is a brand new main entrance.

I hope to have more info on specifics of the redesign as things start to shape up. As a very frequent mall user, I can't wait to see all the pretty great things coming. Congrats HSC, you're going to positively sparkle!

Glitterary Girl

Saturday, February 07, 2015

It Has Arrived

Remember how lucky I said we were in January with like no snow? Enter February and the Snowpocalypse. This is how you layer for a Nova Scotia winter.

Hat: Le Chateau
Jacket: Cole Haan
Boots: Bare Traps
Sweater: Club Monaco
Turtleneck: Mac and Jac
Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters
Bag: Kate Spade
Bracelet: Stella & Dot
Necklace: Forever 21

One week of snow and I'm done with it! Send me to Fiji, where I was ten years ago today....

Glitterary Girl

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: The Hummer and the Cosmo

Of all the days in your life to justify renting a 14 passenger stretch Hummer ... wedding day wins. It was so hard to get in and out of in heels and a long dress! After a few tries we discovered it was much easier if R just lifted me out!

R trying his best to avoid me becoming "the bride who was eaten by the escalator".
The Cosmo chandelier was one of the places I really wanted a photo at. It's so pretty! We went back a few nights later for a drink at the bar with friends - such a cool spot to hang out.

Cheers to an amazing day

Next stop was the Las Vegas sign - I'll share those photos next time!

Photography: Bently & Wilson

Glltterary Girl

Monday, February 02, 2015

My Monthly Purchases: January 2015

Ahhh January. New year, new yearly budget.

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. I used to have a strict (sort of...) monthly budget, but partway through 2014, I switched to a quarterly budget of $500. This can be rolled into the next quarter if not all spent. My goal is to keep my expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget.

I'm starting 2015 off with a quarterly budget of $525 (a small roll-over happened last year).

I'm happy to say was a satisfying shopping month. After Christmas sales are in full swing, and it's a great time of year to replace basic winter sweaters.

I was able to check off some "needs" (boots, black sweater, and grey sweater) and there were some impulse buys thrown in there too.

What I Bought

Leather Boots: Town Shoes (own brand, no longer available on-line)
Price: $75, originally $265
Sometime in December I realized I was wearing my flat black ankle boots to work almost every day. I needed another option that would keep me warmer as the temperatures dropped. I bought a pair of boots from Aldo that I ended up returning, and then I found these lovelies. The chain strap is detachable, which is a nice option. They are really tight to zip (and I have small calves) which may be why they were so marked down.

Grey Sweater: Banana Republic
Price: $20, originally $95
I donated my trusty grey H&M v-neck sweater a few months ago (it's prime had passed) and have been missing it. I'm glad a stopped in BR at lunch the other day as this gorgeous thing was heavily marked down and will fill my grey v-neck void so well. I find the BR in-store sales are often better than the on-line ones, as is the case here.

Pink Sweater: Banana Republic (no longer available on-line)
Price: $17, originally $110
Cashmere blend for $17? Yes please - one of those things that you just don't leave in the store. I already have a pink sweater, but at this price it made sense to have two.

Black Sweater: Old Navy (no longer available on-line)
Price: $21, originally $40
I needed a long black sweater to wear with leggings (which are NOT pants BTW). Also, they are helpful with jeans or pants that are fitted in the seat, morphing them into work-appropriate bottoms.

Jeans: Diesel via Winners
Price (crazy!): $37, originally $350
If I had infinite amounts of money, I would likely be clothed heavily in Diesel. Winners loves to bring in Diesel attire (yay!) and I scored this gorgeous pair of boyfriend jeans for next to nothing. They are super-long on me, but are meant to be worn cuffed. I will try them out as-is before deciding to hem or not (I hate hemming). I also had a pair of AG jeans in my hand that I was close to buying. Lots of premium jeans at the Mumford location in Halifax if anyone needs new ones!

Snood: Amercan Eagle Outfitters  (worn here)
Price: $5, originally $40
I wear my black faux fur snood a ton and for $5 (which I think was a mistake as when I went back later that week they were marked back up to $40) this was a great alternate color to have in my closet.

Blazer: Merona at Target (not available on-line)
Price: $11.50, originally $40
This was purchased on the day Target announced their closure. I went to mope and show my support. I think it will look good with jeans and my brown riding boots. Very J Crew-esque.

Original value of items: $590
Price I paid: $150
I saved 75%(and darn proud of it)

I have $350 left to spend this quarter. I  would like to find a casual long sleeved dress that would be work and weekend appropriate.

I'm linked up with Franish today - stop over and see how the others spent their January budgets.

Glitterary Girl