This is one of my work outfits that I get the most compliments on and the most questions about. Most people think it's a one-piece dress but it's actually two pieces - a top and a pencil skirt that I bought separately. I've had numerous coworkers ask me where it's from and both pieces are from J. Crew. The skirt is J. Crew's classic pencil skirt in Super 120s wool, which is great for mixing and matching and also to wear as part of a suit. I recommend the longer version of this skirt as well, which I've worn in this post. The peplum top is no longer available but J. Crew currently has a sleeveless peplum top in Super 120s wool, a structured peplum top, and a linen peplum dress that would look great in your 9-to-5 wardrobe.
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long hiatus. As you might have seen on this Instagram post, I was concussed in a soccer game about four weeks ago. Thankfully it was a mild concussion and not nearly as bad as other ones I've heard of, but it still required a lot of rest, early bed times because I'm unable to sleep through the night, and more painkillers than I'm happy to take. Unfortunately, I also suffered whiplash. I'm getting better but let's just say headache-free days are no longer something I take for granted!
I have a few new pieces in my wardrobe that I've been wearing a lot but haven't posted before today.
First thing I have to talk about is my Burberry rainboots! I'm so in love with them. They even have real leather straps! I bought them together with my Hunter boots thinking I would return one of the pairs but I kept both (I know) and they've both been so useful and so frequently worn. They are the Burberry 'Roscot' Waterproof Riding Boot and I wear a size 4.5. I find them a little hard to take off with my athletic calves, and when I go to a friend's house I have to tell them to give me like two minutes to take them off but other than that slight inconvenience they're so chic!
Next up - a navy long-sleeve dress that hugs the body just right.
I was buying gym and tennis clothes from Lululemon online and one click led to another, and before I know it a few dresses and skirts arrived at my house. This was my first time trying non-gym clothes from Lululemon and while I think they're hit or miss for me so far, their hits are big hits. I just noticed that they released a short sleeve dress online. Ugh, shut up and take my money. The dress I'm wearing is the Lululemon &Go Everywhere Dress. I'm wearing size 4.
I stole - I mean borrowed - this spacious brown leather tote from my mom. It's the perfect bag for when I do photoshoots because it fits my camera bag, my flash, water bottle, energy bar, my wallet, and more. It also looks pretty great. I couldn't find it online at Banana Republic but the Madewell Transport tote is very similar.
Jacket - Minusey Racoon Fur Parka
Dress - Lululemon &Go Everywhere Dress (size 4)
Boots - Burberry 'Roscot' Waterproof Riding Boot (size 4.5)
Bag - Banana Republic (no longer available) - check out the Madewell Transport tote and this similar Banana Republic leather tote
Sunglasses - Celine Audrey Sunglasses
Lips - MAC lipstick in See Sheer
If you live in a city that gets dark and cold in the winter (in other words if you don't live in California) you know it can be challenging to be motivated to exercise. I shouldn't complain about Vancouver because my Eastern friends will remind me that my city is not buried in snow, but it rains 90% of the time and I feel like it's constantly dark, so long story short it's tough to go out and go for a jog, kick a ball around, hike, etc. But we all know exercise is essential in staying healthy, keeping our minds happy and positive and having a banging bod so here are five methods I use to ensure I don't become a sad inactive person in the winter that I hope will help you as well:
1. Go out and exercise first thing in the morning (doesn't have to be outdoors). You probably don't have anything scheduled before your work starts, so this is the best time to do it and you can check it off your list and feel accomplished before you even start work. If you sleep earlier the night before it won't be as difficult to wake up. The shower and breakfast afterwards will be so satisfying.
2. Schedule a workout date with a friend who lives nearby or who works at the same office. I left my house at 6:30am this morning to go for a run outside not because I have iron discipline but because I'd scheduled that run with a friend. It was early and cold. But we did it and I felt fantastic. My friend and I both agree that if the other person wasn't there, we wouldn't do it. This is one of the most effective way I've found to stick to your exercise plans.
3. Pay someone. Unless I'm sick or out of the city, I've never missed my weekly personal training session or tennis lesson. Why? Well, they're fun and I enjoy them, but also because I've paid for them and don't want to waste my money. Consistency = achieved.
4. Join a team! I love team sports. I love the competitiveness and camaraderie. There's also a feeling of responsibility to your team that will get your butt out of your house to play a game on a cold rainy night. In every city there are lots of rec sports to choose from. Traditional sports like soccer, violent sports like dodgeball, and water sports like dragon boat.
5. Enjoy winter sports. Turns out winter is not so useless because guess what, you can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing! They vary in excitement levels but they are all great exercise! Skiing in my happy place (Whistler) is a good reminder that winter is actually a great season.
What are some ways you stay motivated to exercise this time of year?
You know those times when you feel like everything is going to work out just fine? When you laugh easily, don't take things too seriously, see the best in people, have patience, and have energy? When things just feel right from the inside, despite how things look on the outside? I love feeling that way, and unless you're an artist that thrives on feeling depressed, you probably do too. But how do we stay in that mindset? And what about all the times we feel the opposite?
Last week I attended the first session of a leadership course and the focus was on Emotional Intelligence. One of the parts that stuck with me was on self awareness and asking yourself the question "Am I above the line or below the line?". When we're below the line, we're closed off, defensive, negative, jealous, and fearful. We're committed to being right. We find fault and blame. When we're below the line we have a poverty mentality and believe that there just isn't enough - opportunities, time, love, whatever. It's not fun. When we're above the line, on the other hand, we feel the way I described at the beginning. We're energetic, optimistic, generous, open, and curious. We're intentional and committed to learning. When we're above the line we're creative, innovative, and playful.
Our brains are actually hardwired to go below the line. But there's plenty we can do to stay above the line. So the question to ask ourselves is, "Where am I?" Knowing where we are is the first step towards making adjustments. And in other words it's "check yo self before you wreck yo self". Word. This question spans both our work life and our personal life. I'm sure you know that sleep, exercise, and eating well are major contributing factors. I feel amazing when I've had a night of great sleep. But I think one of the best ways of staying in that above-the-line state of being is to spend time doing things that we enjoy. This sounds really simple but in our busy, over-scheduled and overachieving lives, many of us are not doing things just for the sake of having fun.
What do you enjoy doing? What activities make you happy? A fun exercise to do is to write down a list of 20 things that you enjoy doing. It has to be things that make you happy while you do them, not things that make you happy when you're done. You can't list vacuuming because you're happy with the end result. That's BS, because it's a chore. Like, seriously, do this exercise! It could be cooking, watching a show, napping, journaling, playing an instrument, whatever you like doing. As for me, one of my favorite things to do is to change into comfortable clothes, make myself a cup of tea, and read whatever book I'm obsessed with at that moment. I can read for hours. Some of the other activities on my list are: playing tennis, playing soccer with my soccer team, getting a massage, eating breakfast, skiing, going to live sporting events, taking photos, watching my chickens play, having brunch with friends 1 on 1, listening to my girlfriends talk about their romantic relationships, and watching comedy.
Once you've written your list, take a look and see how many of those things you did yesterday, how many you have or are planning to do today, and how many you've done in the last week. Maybe your week is filled with activities you enjoy. Or maybe it's been a while since you've done something just for yourself and just for fun. If you've been below the line, perhaps it's time to intentionally do more of the things you enjoy every day.
What do you think? Where are you right now? What are some things you enjoy doing? I would love to know!
Lounge Outfit Details:
Sweatpants: Roots Skinny Cozy Sweatpants
Sweater: J. Crew fair isle sweater - on sale
Socks: Roots Cabin Collection (I'm wearing women's socks here, but I recently bought Roots Kids socks in size 7-9 and they fit perfectly)
Toque: Roots Chunky Cabin Toque
Mug: Le Creuset (see my entire collection of Le Creuset mugs)
Tea: Might Leaf Tea Earl Grey is my favorite
Lips: LAURA MERCIER Creme Smooth lipstick