Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 and Blogger!

Photo courtesy kwb74 on Flickr.
You guys! Who blogs on New Year's Eve, anyway? Apparently, I do.

This has been a major year for me. Lots of change, and lots of growth. I'm living in ways I never thought possible a year ago and it is amazing.


One of the changes is to announce that this will be my last post ever on this little blog. Starting January 1st, 2012 (!), you'll be able to find me at my new internet home, jeslacasse.com.

Please update your bookmarks and redirect your RSS readers over thattaway starting tomorrow. (Seriously, y'all, I'm beyond excited!)

I hope you have a safe and fun night tonight - I'm off to ring in the new year with the Ottawa pals I've held the longest. I may or may not be wearing sequins. (But really, let's be honest, I'll be wearing sequins.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life In Upheaval

Photo by Cimexus on Flickr.
Lovely friend!

Just stopping in to let you know that there's going to be a continued summer lull in this space, due to the following reasons:

  1. It's far too hot to have a laptop on my body. All I want to do is sit around in my underpants, eat Freezies and watch Angel.
  2. I'm going on vacation at the end of next month and I'd way rather look up stuff to do in LAS VEGAS than poop around with writing.
  3. I'm doing a lot of journalling and it's taking up a lot of my emotional/creative energies.
  4. I'M MOVING.
There will still be pop ins once in a while, but regularly scheduled blogging is taking a back seat for now. But only for now! Come new house, there is going to be a lot more time and space for blogging -- more on that soon!

Millions of kisses!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bonus Round!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Fashion, Less Victim: Dress For Success!


Illustration by Edith Head, from tiny banquet committee on Flickr.
 Just a little reminder today to let you know that my July column is up over at Apartment613. In it I tackle office dressing when you don't have any clothes, and I recommend a whole bunch of autumn footwear.

Love!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blog Out Loud Ottawa Reminder

Hello darling!

Just wanted to remind you that Blog Out Loud is happening this Thursday!

It's at the Prescott, and it starts at 7PM. Do note that it's in the smaller downstairs room, and that the capacity isn't huge, so come early!

I"ll also be on CHUO at around 5:00 on Wednesday to talk about BOLO with the lovely show hosts.

Hope to see you locals Thursday!

Monday, July 4, 2011

What Is Style?

Thanks for coming to read "What Is Style?". I am slowly reposting old blog content on my new website, jeslacasse.comPlease click here to read the article.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ottawa Fringe Festival Starts Tomorrow!

Hi my lovely!

Just a quick note to remind you that Ottawa Fringe Festival is starting tomorrow! This is your chance to get out to see a whole mess of new and interesting theatre at low, low prices!

I'm going to the Fringe opening night party tonight, expect to see lots of fabulous pictures in the coming days!

MWAH!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bippy Love: Too Faced Carribean In a Compact

I am a pale, pale girl. Evidence of this can be seen here. I'm not as porcelain-skinned as I was in my early 20s, perhaps, but still I'm rather pale. I work hard to maintain my pallor (sunscreen, hello!), but from time to time, yes, I do want some colour.

If you looked back into my past, specifically at the many, many bronzers I've tried, I'm sure you'd be amazed that so many even exist! While I was working as a makeup artist, I had the luxury of trying out not only consumer products, but professional products as well (not to mention getting to try stuff in other pros' kits when we were working together). I never found something that wasn't either orange or far too dark, regardless of how gentle a hand applied it.

Then I stumbled upon Too Faced Cosmetics' Caribbean In a Compact. I was immediately drawn to the name of the colour: Snow Bunny. To me, that conjured up images of raven-haired European beauties whooshing down the Alps in white ski suits and fabulous furry hats! And even though I don't ski, or have raven hair, or have ever been to Switzerland, I definitely thought that was a look I wanted to incorporate into my life.

I like to call Snow Bunny my unbronzer. It doesn't make me look tanned, it certainly doesn't make me look orange; it just gives me the perfect shimmery and sunkissed glow.

The compact contains four bands of colour that you blend together with a brush (I like to use a kabuki brush for superior blending). Champagne, bronze, pink and the palest peach all have a subtle shimmer and make my skin look flawless.

This is my go-to for summer. If you're a pale girl like me, get yourself to Sephora to pick some up, or you can just order it online right here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blog Out Loud


Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic, relaxing and productive weekend!

I went to see Daniel McIvor's This Is What Happens Next at the GCTC on Friday, had a spray paint date with my BFF (and champagne!) on Saturday, and made crafts with my man-friend on Sunday. But now it's back to the work week, out of weekend mode, and into awesome!

Here's a question: have you heard of Blog Out Loud Ottawa (aka BOLO)? It's an evening of readings by bloggers, and this is the third year that it's happening.

And you guys, I've been selected to read!
I am so excited and nervous! I would love to see you there! If you're in Ottawa, please come! Here are the deets!

What: Blog Out Loud Ottawa 2011
Where: The Prescott, 379 Preston Street
When: Thursday, July 7th, 7pm
How much: This is a FREE EVENT
Why: To hear some readings from some awesome local bloggers!

Not all the bloggers have been announced yet, but I am excited to hear the ones who have been!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lunchtime Lookup - June 10th, 2011

Photo by artnoose.
Hi friend! It's been a fun week on the internet! Here's a roundup of links for you, to entertain you on a Friday!

I'm trying out a new format for these Lunchtime Lookups; I'm going to organize them in the same way I organize my to-do lists, notes to myself, and more!


To feed your brain: 


To put on your body:


To put in your home:


To put in your munching cave:


To have fun:



MAGIC.


I know some of these people! Nifty!


Pretty. Disturbing.


Vegan. Black. Metal. Chef.


PYGMY SEAHORSES. Yessssssssssssssssssss.


Yup. This is what my brain is like. All the time.


Oh Mike Dooley. Love++.


Maria Bamford is my favourite.

That's it, that's all! Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Little Bit of Heaven - June 9th, 2011

Image by Crystal Writer.
Hello my happy little hooligan! I hope that you have had an amazing week so far, and that you’re ready for a great big wonderful love list of amazing! Here we go!

More love in my life than I ever thought possible: I have a man-friend who trusts me, the two best friends I could wish for, and another circle of friends I know I can count on to be awesome! My female friendships are competition-free, which is totally amazing! My love for people is exploding faster and shinier than it ever has before. I am all a-twitter and a-glitter!

Emotional balance: I feel like I’ve finally gotten to an emotional place where my head screwed on straight enough that I can provide emotional support to those who need it. It makes me so happy to be able to be that friend and lover that I always knew I could be.

YOU GUYS my man friend can DO MAGIC WITH CARDS. This is incredible!

Summer: It’s here in all its glory! There’s amazing weather, all the bike rides, hot days, rainstorms, HAIL. What’s not to love about it? Summer is my favourite season, no question! I’ve been seeing flowers every single day! Some of them match my hair!

Shopping with J’aime Jaime: We got her all kitted out at Value Village for summer awesome goodness. Plus an autumn dress that almost made me not want to be friends with her anymore because she looked so good in it.

Co-hosting a yard sale with three of my favourite people. We sold some stuff, but more importantly we got to sit in the sun and play cards all afternoon, and get rid of a bunch of our unwanted things without having them go into a landfill. Plus afterwards I biked around my neighbourhood and found an old typewriter from another yard sale that was left at the curb! And a chandelier for my bedroom!

Dancing at weddings: Jeff and Lauren got married. They were lovely. Fun and dancing and drinks were had. Friends from forever ago were seen. What a time!

Giant Tiger! Their staff is adorable (Jessica, I’m looking at you, kid!). Also, I never want to spend all kinds of money on summer clothes (because I can only wear them for a couple of months), and they have crazy deals on cute things.

I finally got around to changing my wardrobe over and cleaning it out a bit! I am so lucky to have a closet full of things that I love, and I never need to worry about what to wear!

Positive response to my look: Little girls in particular love my hair (“Mummy. Mummy. Mummy. THAT LADY HAS PINK HAIR.”). Getting positive, happy words said about something that I’ve been cultivating and consciously evolving makes me want to work more on it!

Forgetting my phone at home: It’s kind of a nice feeling. I wouldn’t want to do it every day, but it’s nice to know that I can live without it.

Having a plan for decorating my bachelorette pad (tentative name: The Glitter Factory): I have been just existing in my apartment, it’s been a place to hang my hat, but my apartment is adorable and deserves a bit more of a loving touch. Plus, it’s in a neighbourhood that I love; Hintonburg has the most and the cutest puppies!

Changing my handwriting and my habits. My penmanship is getting nicer! I am making my bed every day!

SEAHORSES.
Books! Currently Emma and Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy. Reading and holding hands is quickly becoming one of my favourite activities.

This blog and YOU! Without you this blog would have no point! Thank you! And thank you so much for your kind donations! I am so lucky that you like what I’m doing so much! I also love it when you leave comments, because it gives me a bit of a chance to interact with you! More like this, please!

Ottawa! This city is pretty rad! I can pretty much get whatever I need here! The people that I love are here (although we’re losing three people I really, really like this year, and that makes me sad), and it’s close enough to Toronto or Montreal so that I can go there when I need to.

Writing: I’ve been falling back in love with the process and it feels wonderful.

Making things with my hands and having partners in craft. Fun++

Pictures and pictures and pictures. Being someone’s muse is pretty much amazing and is something I have always wanted. MANIFESTED.

PUPPIES. ALWAYS. Image by trialsanderrors.
Music music music: Ani DiFranco – Napoleon; Skee-Lo – I Wish; Colin Meloy – Cupid; Aesop Rock f. John Darnielle (SWOON) – Coffee; Great Lake Swimmers – Your Rocky Spine; Iron & Wine – Carousel; The Extra Glenns – Going to Marrakesh

Honourable Mentions: Spinning in my desk chair * Calling people “nutbag” * “A MILLION WATER” * Getting whistled at by the same parrot twice in one week * Boys who give good text * “What can I put between two quarters to make it look like a roll of quarters?” “Um... 38 more quarters.” * Planning travel with my favourite people * MAKING THIS LIST * Cake pops on the Starbucks patio while I work * Sally Hansen Salon Effects - five days and still going strong! * Getting amazing things in the mail from fantastic people

My little love bundle! What about you? What do you love? What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Fashion, Less Victim: June 2011

Photo by roger_g1.
Just a reminder that you can read my column over at Apt613 right here!

Stay tuned for the one, the only, A Little Bit of Heaven tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Product Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Image courtesy of Sally Hansen.
I am sometimes an impatient girl. Never is this more apparent than when investigating my manicure.

Chips, smudges, sheet prints (yes, I'm guilty of doing my nails right before bed), all can be spotted on my nails.

However, I picked up some of these Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips on sale the other day, and when I had a wedding to go to on Saturday (and no time to do my nails, much less let them dry), I thought I'd give them a whirl.

I got them in Bling It On, a very glittery pink (of course). The design of these is clever, with both ends being different shapes so you can choose a side based on the the shape of your cuticle (my fingers all have round cuticles, while my thumbs are square, so it was nice to have options). The strips go on smoothly, and once I figured out that you can double up the layers for extra opacity, it was fantasy home manicure city! I was done in about 20 minutes, which isn't no time at all, but I also didn't have to wait for an hour for these to be dry!

I've had them on since Saturday and they look as fresh as the day I applied them. The strips aren't cheap though, running from $8-$10 depending on where you buy them. Yes, that's right, they're more expensive than a bottle of nail polish. However, they are cheaper than a manicure.

I would say that these are an emergency solution for me, as in, "OH CRAP I have to be somewhere fancy and I have no time to do my nails!!!" I'll keep them on hand for that purpose. If they were cheaper (say, $1-$2 a pop) I'd probably use them a lot more often, but then they probably wouldn't be as good a product!

If you like your nails pretty but haven't any patience, try adding these to your arsenal!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Photo by pullip_junk.
I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m bad at sunscreen.

That’s not entirely true. I’m bad at putting sunscreen on my shoulders and back at least once a year, which means once a year I get more sun than I should. I’m trying to be better at this, but it’s an uphill battle!

You don’t need me to lecture you on the reasons why you should use sunscreen. But maybe you’re thinking about buying one and you want to know which one would be best for you. Well, there I can help you out. I’ve been looking into it and here’s what I found!

The Environmental Working Group has a great sunscreen guide that outlines which are the best... But here's a little round-up of the best and worst!

The Best:
  • Alba Botanical Sun Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
  • Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sport Stick Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Kiss My Face 100% Natural Blue Sun Stick, SPF 30
The Worst:
  • Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect, SPF 110 ("The letters SPF mean “sun protection factor” and refers only to protection against UVB radiation, which burns the skin. It has nothing to do UVA radiation that penetrates deep into the skin, accelerates skin aging and may cause skin cancer.")
  • Elizabeth Arden – Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face, SPF 50 ("Even though sunscreen makers like Elizabeth Arden can add stabilizing additives to slow down the pace with which the cream breaks down in sunlight, this product simply does not last for hours and hours on the skin.")
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+ ("This Coppertone sunscreen is one of more than 20 sunscreens with the word “baby” in their name and the chemical oxybenzone on their ingredient lists. Don’t buy them. Plenty of safer products are available.")
Keep in mind, I'm not a health expert! I'm just passing this information along to you. When you do apply sunscreen, here's how to do it right!


Here's hoping you have a burn-free summer!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lunchtime Lookup - June 3rd, 2011

Image by Rainbow Photos.
Hoo boy, baby, it`s a late one today! Perhaps this is a dinner-time lookup!

I spent the day thrifting and preparing for tomorrow`s yard sale - if you`re in Ottawa, come on out to Midway Avenue for their yearly neighbourhood sale! And now I`m chilling out in my best friend`s backyard, sipping sangria and providing distractions for you! All for love! Exclamation points!

The Sartorialist has young ladies on bicycles. Yes please. I hope I look this good on my bike! Also, thank you for vintage kissing in matching sweaters. All the love. All of it.

Adventures In Dressmaking has a tutorial for an adorable burlap boutonniere. I believe I know just the young man I would make this for!

Refinery29 and the YSL cigarettes.

Laura Thoughts made this brilliant magnetic makeup board. The Virgo in me is squealing over this kind of storage awesomeness!

Just Something I Made has this awesome expanding file with a vintage book cover. It looks way too labour-intensive for me, but pretty.

Chocolate On My Cranium has a tutorial on how to pretty-up your pens. Dead simple!

Sarah Wilson in defense of the hipster. Yes. I own it. To the same end, Flavorwire's In Defense of Twee.

I don't know if Angela at Oh She Glows is a genius or what, but her recipes never cease to amaze. Gazpacho? I want to go to there. All summer. Also, on my to-do list this week was "make kale chips", so I think I'll be using her recipe for sour cream and onion ones!

Dear See Kate Sew, why is this vintage suitcase chair the cutest thing I've ever seen?!

CRAFT has a how-to for a peg board made with toy animal heads - it's like teeny tiny taxidermy! Love+++!

They also show off this room divider made from old paperbacks, and it makes me think I could DIY this rather simply! And a necklace made out of bubble wrap? What!?

Babble, why do you hate me? Deep fried strawberries, indeed.

Thanks, JRD Skinner!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!


Chris Tse is an Ottawa lad who is currently competing in Paris at the
International Poetry Slam Championships, representing Canada.
Go Chris!

That`s it, kiddo! Enjoy your weekend! XOXO!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Little Bit of Heaven - June 2nd, 2011

Image by kainet.
What is up, candy cup? I hope you're having an incredible week so far!

As I write this, I'm sitting on a balcony high above the city, with the sounds of children playing in a water park drifting up to me, enjoying some lovely sunshine...

But that doesn't matter, as much as I may love it. Here's what matters: it's time for the great big, long missed Thursday love list: A Little Bit of Heaven! Here's what's been turning my crank this week!

The Canadian Museum of Nature: I got taken there on a lovely date recently, and it was super-boss-awesome-fun-time to look at dinosaurs, bugs, plants, and especially rocks!

Being physically active - specifically taking long, long weekend walks and going for bike rides all the time. I find I resent time spent at the gym (although I love going), but doing fun stuff while getting exercise is just fine by me!

To that end, private underpants dance parties! There have been so many of these in my life lately and they are absolutely amazing!

Amazing friends who pick me up from surgery. Specifically, Justin, who is awesome and took time out of his work schedule to come and get me.

Taking photos with toy film cameras, especially my Lomo! I've also been playing with a Vivitar point-and-shoot and using Vignette for my phone when I want something digital. Also, my amazing Android phone, the LG500. Love++!

Dates with myself. Last week I took myself to Fil's, drank Perrier with lemon, ate a grilled cheese on rye bread, read Emma, and listened to my favourite Beatles songs. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing.

Photo by J B Hildebrand.
New vintage sunnies that I probably got gouged on but I love them so much that I don't care, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay pinker hair, and eating nectarines (which I like to call protectarines). Also of note, a polka dotted dress with pearls and wearing my non-shorn hair in a ponytail. (Since I only have hair on one side of my head and it`s crazy vibrant violet pink, I feel a bit like a My Little Pony!)

My dad and my gentleman friend have been e-mailing each other because my dad needs advice on a purchase in my friend's field, and it's been really cuting me out!

Honourable Mentions: Cinnabon surprises * Sleeping through the night * $5 food processors * Edward Scissorhands * Setting SMART goals! * Having a dream about jumping on a trampoline * OhMiBod Freestyle * Vintage jewelry picked up for a song at yard sales * Spinach + fruit in a salad * Perfect strangers telling me they love my hair * Especially when they're adorable little girls * Bonus points for being named Bella and being the sweetest girl in the world

Instead of just listing all the songs and music I've loved this week, here are some links to some YouTube clips of them! Un petit playlist, if you will!The Beta Band - Dry the Rain (seriously, kiss someone you really, really like while you're listening to this), Belle Orchestre - Throw It On a Fire (creepy video...), Frightened Rabbit - Backwards Walk, MIA - Fire Fire, Girl Talk - Let It Out, Fuad & the Feztones - Camel Walk (not the best quality, but trust me when I tell you that their record Beeramid is totally worth picking up and I crush on this band hard), oh man, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs YES STILL - Heads Will Roll and Handsome Furs - I'm Confused (the Bluesfest 2009 combo), Wax Mannequin - End of Me (one of the best shows I`ve seen in a while!), and finally, Mr. Oizo - Flat Beat!

I have no idea what this really is but I highly recommend you watch it. My
gentleman friend showed it to me on a night when we whiled away the
hours showing each other stuff we love on YouTube. This is what English
sounds like to a non-English speaker.

What about you, darling dear? What is making you happier than happy this week? What makes you feel rich? How are you loved? Tell us in the comments!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bippy Love: PR Design

Image courtesy of PR Design.
Last weekend, after I napped to recover from the Great Glebe Garage Sale (phew!), I woke up and checked in with Twitter, and realized that ArtsPark was happening right down the street from my house!

ArtsPark is an annual event in Hintonburg, with displays of, well, art, as well as more jewelry vendors than you can shake a stick at, if that's the sort of thing you like to do to jewelry vendors.

Well, I jumped right out of bed, threw on a cute outfit, and hopped on my lovely bicycle (Eliza, don't you know) and headed over... After catching up for a moment with Krista of Urbanite Jewelry (I have an amazing pair of earrings of hers, and I love them, and I'd link to them but it's looks like she's sold out for the summer, much like her stall...), I continued around to the other vendors.

I saw some pretty things, yes, but most of them were way out of my price range for the day... Then I came upon the stall for PR Design!

You guys.

This stuff is beautiful.

I bought the necklace that matches the earrings in the photo at the top of this post. Patricia Rodi, who designs and makes the jewelry out of reclaimed materials whenever possible and strives to make them hypoallergenic, was completely sweet to boot and sent me the nicest e-mail yesterday morning, saying in part, "I just wanted to thank you for purchasing that button necklace last weekend at ArtsPark, though I don't know you it seems to fit your personality."

Isn't that just the sweetest?!

In all seriousness, I can highly recommend her jewelry. It's beautiful. And I recommend you snatch it up right now before she realizes what a beautiful thing she does and raises her prices accordingly!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Donate to Your Sweet Bippy!

Photo by Ken Teegarten.
Hi lovely!

I don't make it a common practice to ask for money. Not even to my parents when times were desperate in my 20s. So I want to be clear that I'm not asking for money now.

People have expectations that the internet should be all free, all the time. Writers shouldn't be paid for their work, right? All photos should be public domain? That's unfortunate.

I'm gearing up to launch my own website, and I'll soon be saying bye bye to Blogger. It's been fun, but it's time to move on up in the world. However, running a website costs money, and while I'd do this for free if I could, it would be really swell to have some extra coin once in a while to help defray the costs involved.

So I'm putting it out there. If you like what you see, and you want to keep it going, feel free to make a donation. The donate button is in the sidebar, just over there to your right.

If you don't feel like it, well, I'm not going to hold it against you. I'm certainly not going to make you stop reading. I don't want you to feel guilty; I just want to provide the opportunity for you to donate, should you feel like it.

Having said that, I'll leave it there. Love and love and love!

Monday, May 30, 2011

On Enthusiasm

Photo by EpicFireworks.
Yesterday morning, I was out for breakfast with a gentleman friend. As we were eating and watching the half-marathon trot by along Wellington Street, I noticed a really cool-looking couple sitting across the diner from us. I won't get into the specifics about what they were wearing or how they looked, because that's not important, but I got a sense from looking at them that they were the kind of people I would want to be friends with.

However, and here's the kicker, whenever I see people who I think look “cool” (read: cooler than me), I get all panicky and scared and insecure that I'm not cool enough to be friends with them, no matter how much I might want to be!

I said as much to my breakfast companion, and as he watched them leave the restaurant, he said, “Hmm... I wouldn't want to be friends with them. Look at that cultivated air of cool aloofness. That seems like way too much work. And it seems boring.”

We got to talking about the whole cool-aloof-hipster image, and how boring it seems. I decided right then and there that enthusiastic is the new cool.

So, how can you show your enthusiasm? Here are some ways I've been thinking about!
  • Tell everyone about your hobbies! Be great at them! And if people scoff in your direction, they're not people you want to hang out with anyway!
  • Wear whatever you want. Don't worry about whether or not it's “trendy” or “in fashion”. If you feel fantastic in it, and you love it, and it's flattering and fits you, then do it! My current sartorial direction is “dress like a cupcake” and I've never felt better!
  • Love really hard and throw yourself into it. Tell the people that you love that you love them. Put yourself out there. Be brave.
  • Find things that inspire you, be they poetry, fiction, music, art, photography, whatever. Immerse yourself in things you are passionate about.
  • Love yourself. This is not to be confused with vanity, of course! But if you love yourself, and are confident in yourself, you can be secure with showing your enthusiasm.
  • Most importantly, don't judge people based on their enthusiasm! If you meet someone who's passionate about long-distance cycling and helicopters, that doesn't mean you can't learn from them! Perhaps they always wanted to learn the amazing cupcake recipe you've perfected!

How about you, lovely? What are you enthusiastic about? Why don't you tell me in the comments, and we can have a big, enthusiastic love-fest! And you never know, maybe you'll connect with another reader who shares your passion!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lunchtime Lookup - March 25th

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.
It's Friday! Thank goodness! Even though it was a short week for me, the weekend could not have arrived quickly enough!

To help your Friday go by faster, here are a few links with which to waste some time, my pet!

If you know how to sew, Bitter Betty Blogs has a great and simple tutorial on how to make a box pleat skirt for springtime. I'm picturing a whole spring wardrobe of these in the lollipop colours above!

Remember last week when I posted the link to bubblegum vodka? Well, Leethal has a companion recipe for orange cream liquer, which apparently tastes like a creamsicle... Danger!

There is something about this photo from The Sartorialist that really does it for me - I don't think I could pull it off, but it's fun to think about!

How much do I want this Bluetooth glove? So much! Rachel at Instructables shows how it's made.

Once Wed has a DIY to make ombre napkins, but I'd love to use the same technique to dye sweet little summer nothings... Like the cotton slips I talked about in my Anticipating Spring post!

Zoetica Ebb at Biorequiem has a very comprehensive guide to dying your hair bright colours. I'll just direct people here from now on when they ask about my pink hair...

For those of us for whom Zoolander is the ultimate guilty pleasure movie, ("They're break dance fighting!"), Movie Recipes has a recipe for Dirk's Orange Mocha Frappucino... If you dare. *shudder*

An adorable pleated tote tutorial at Thimble - hello my new beach bag!

Have yourself a wonderful weekend, darling! I hearts you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Little Bit of Heaven - March 24th

Me and Katie texting and tweeting away in the front row at fashion week.
As she commented on Facebook, "What did people do at fashion week
before smartphones. Also, we are some pale, pale girls."
Truth.
Hello lovely!

It's Thursday! That means it's time for the great big love list for the week!

I had an amazing week, how about you? Here's what I love!

Katie Katie Katie. There isn't enough that I can say about how wonderful she is. She's a fantastic companion for fashion week (even though sometimes photographers think she is my girlfriend because I tell her I love her all the time and we hold hands so we don't get lost in crowds), she's beautiful, she's stylish… I'm so lucky to have her as a friend!

Roasted, salted peas. Oh my gosh you guys. These are so delicious. They seem like they'd be healthy but they're totally not! They are so good.

Munching on nori. I've started just snacking on nori (yes, the seaweed that you buy in sheets for sushi!), and wow. I love it. It's the right texture and saltiness that I need when I'm craving chips, while being vegetables! It's 10 calories a sheet! (Not that I'm a calorie counter, but still, it's nice to know that it's not going to make my clothes fit funny...)

My morning cocktail. I take a whole mess of supplements every day, everything from multivitamins to extra calcium and vitamin D at night, but I've recently added two capsules of bee pollen (which smell amazing), two capsules of maca root powder and three ginko bilobas. It totally jump-starts both my brain and my body, and it gives me more energy than I thought possible! I think this is maybe the first step in getting rid of my morning coffee, because when I take those I simply don't need it! It may be a caffeine-free 2011 yet!

Meeting Ashley Parsons of Sugarbum Designs! Katie introduced me to her on Saturday night, and I was completely starstruck! She is so beautiful and so sweet! She told me that I looked like a cupcake and that was pretty much the best thing anyone has ever said to me! She has also invited me to spend some time with her in her studio! When that happens I will totally tell you all about it!

Hiring new staff. I met incredible photographer Jesse Hildebrand on the weekend, and he has agreed to come on board as the official Your Sweet Bippy staff photographer! Keep your eyes out for guest post street style columns to come from him, as well as other pictures…

Making big plans. I am making big, big, big plans for this year. I have a huge goal for the end of the year and I am trying to figure out how to put it in motion. I have been talking about a lot of interesting collaborative projects… And lots more in store for the blog!

Scribbling in my Moleskine. I love the way the paper feels.

My fashion lookbook. I sometimes feel like my magazines are precious but lately I've been cutting them apart willy-nilly and have been pasting up the images I like in a sketchbook.

Honourable Mentions: Kissing * Exclamation points * Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig * Getting invited to clothing swaps * Anticipating tomorrow night's Girlie Night with my ladies * Foursquare! So dorky! You can totally add me if you want to see what I'm up to! * Curling or crimping my hair

I just remembered this song this morning! Boogie boogie!

They played this on the radio last week and it's been in my head non-stop. You're welcome.

What about you? What are you thankful for? What do you love? What makes your heart sing, you pretty little thing?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anticipating Spring!

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.
Loveliness!

It's officially springtime! Aren't you excited!?

Even though  there's still some snow on the ground, it's not too early to start thinking about summer, and how you can prepare for it! Here are some ideas I've had of things I'd like to get done over the next month or so...

Try a new fitness regime, something that you love and that is fun for you. Apartment613 had an article on staying in shape in strange and wonderful ways, and it  made me really want to do some trampolining and to break out my dusty hoola hoop!

Start planning your summer travel. I may be going to St. John's this summer, and if that's the case I need to start really looking at flights and the like!

Get new bedding and pyjamas. There is something so great about crisp sheets in the summer. I really want a set of yellow cotton sheets and a sweet little Betsey Johnson nightgown.

Clean out your closet and plan your sartorial direction for spring and summer - be sure to include lots of colour!

Find a new summer scent - I am currently coveting Love By Kilian, Cara by Farmacia S.S. Annunziata dal 1561, and Mon Parfum by M. Micallef, because I want to smell like cake and all three have strong vanilla and caramel notes to them!

Change up your skincare routine - what your skin needs in the winter is not the same thing that it needs in the summer months! Lighten up on the moisturizer, and maybe find a cleanser that battles the greasies a bit more.

Since you won't have to wear hats for much longer, find little trinkets you can pin in your hair!

Choose a summer anthem - mine is totally "Got to Lose" by Hollerado...

It's just so great and anthemic! 

Make a new friend who wants to go for bike rides to the beach with you - I made friends with a girl at work named Laura who is super-fun and loves both the beach and bike rides! We have big plans, I tell you.

Make sure your camera is in good working order, and make sure that it's portable!

Pick up some summer beach reading - I'm going to look for Archie comics at the thrift store!

Plan out what delicious veggie-heavy recipes you're going to try, or better yet contemplate a raw vegan diet for the summer! There's no better time than the summer when everything is fresh and delightful! I know that when I'm eating all vegan that I feel great, and eating raw food gives me such energy!

Drink lemonade with bourbon - this was named my official summer drink of 2009, and I still love it! I can't wait to start sipping it again!

Get new sunglasses - it's fun to try a new look for the summer.

Replace your flipflops with real shoes - with all the great spring and summer shoes coming out, there's no excuse to be wearing something that are barely shoes at all.

Speaking of foot-baring, get a pedicure. Get rid of all that scaly winter nastiness from your tootsies!

Pick up the pace when you walk and take the stairs when you can - your legs and bum will get all toned up for short skirts and bikinis!

Find some second-hand cotton slips, dye them and embellish them to wear over tank tops this summer as dresses - I am totally picturing this worn with short cowboy boots and a great satchel, and in my head it looks adorable.

Make sure your air conditioner is in working order! Now's the time to make sure!

Put some baby wipes and a spray bottle of distilled water with a couple of drops of geranium oil in it in your fridge, along with aloe vera gel or spray. You'll thank me when you can spritz and wipe yourself down with nice cool cosmetics in the heat of summer!
 
What about you? What are some things that you do to get ready for the change of season?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I've Learned From Reading The Bombshell Manual of Style


Twice a year at work, there's a gigantic book sale that's run for charity. Not only does that mean I get to donate all my books that I won't read again (of which there are always many), but it means I get to pick up new books for a song!

As someone with an unabashed love for self-help books (but less of a love for spending big bucks on the latest craze), this works out pretty great if I don't mind being patient.

At our last book sale, I picked up a copy of Lauren Stover's The Bombshell Manual of Style. I'll admit that I was attracted to it because of the illustrations - they are done by Ruben Toledo, who also did the illustrations for Nina Garcia's The One Hundred.
Toledo's illustrations are exaggerations of beauty, but the palette he uses (especially in his watercolour illustrations) makes me swoon! I just love it!

While I do love the illustrations, and it was an entertaining read (mostly for the glimpses into the lives of classic Hollywood bombshells like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren), I wouldn't recommend it if you were paying for it (maybe get it from the library!).

The author implies a lot of chaos into the life of The Bombshell. Spilled champagne, temper tantrums, missing shoes… Quite frankly, these are all things that make me get really tense! I could never just “enjoy the ride” of a lifestyle like that!

The majority of the pages were used in discussing outer beauty (90 pages) and lifestyle (57 pages), with a mere handful discussing the psychology of The Bombshell (I prefer my self-help with a little more meat on it), and a few pages at the end dedicated to horoscopes and a quiz (because books are no fun unless they're like Cosmo!)

Regardless, there are a few points from the book that I'm happy to take away and incorporate more into my everyday life…

  • Show your vulnerability
  • Being beautiful and being brainy aren't mutually exclusive, work on your inner life as much (if not more) as you work on your outer life
  • Being appealing to people you want to attract is never trashy or trampy
  • Dignity and confidence!
  • Believe in the fantasies you create for yourself and make them a reality; if things don't go your way, bounce back and succeed another day!
  • Enthusiasm is much more interesting and appealing to be around than studied cool
  • Showing compassion is more important than showing leg
Have you read this book? Do you have thoughts on it? What life lessons would you add to the above list?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lunchtime Lookup - March 18th

Photo by Marcelo Trad.
Hello pretty pottets!

It's Friday! It's Ottawa Fashion Week! My brain can't think about anything else!

Here are some things to entertain you on this wonderful day!

Sal at Already Pretty has a great article called Change Your Style, Change Your Life. It spoke to me!

This photo of James Franco by Terry Richardson makes me smile. So does this one of Lady Gaga is amazing.

In the same vein of what I wrote about on Wednesday, Ari at Advanced Style has a story on dressing to impress yourself

Gala Darling has a great little history of Biba.

Oh dear. Bubble gum and spring fruit-infused vodka at Taylor Takes a Taste.

For the flat-chested among you, DIY ribbon suspenders at P.S. I Made This.

Coilhouse: “I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”

Whip Up has a how-to on making jewelry from old t-shirts. I would love to make some of these pieces for the summer! 

CRAFT has DIY tassel earrings - although I think I would make these much, much longer!

On Instructables, how-to make a sparkly LED tutu???!!! YES PLEASE. Also, this layered tulle dress!

iHanna made her own 2011 planner. Some great ideas here.
Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies at Amandaeleine. I take no responsibility.

Making living your dream less terrifying, The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss tells us, “Good News! You Don’t Die.”

... love Maegan teaches you how to make your own crystal and grosgrain ribbon necklace. I think I want to make one with pink ribbon for springtime!

Jessica Mullen provides a free downloadable PDF of her Daily Self Love Worksheet - I love this!

I love love love these B-movie purses!

Also, I love this Shrinky Dink bracelet on the Country Living website by Cathe Holden. 

That's it for me! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I'll be at the National Gallery all weekend, but if you follow me on Twitter you can read my tweets about fashion week! And I'll have my thoughts posted next week...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ottawa Fashion Week Tickets Winner - Is It YOU?

Photo by André Bergeron.
You guys! It was so nice to have so many entries to this contest! It was also really sweet that so many of you gave reasons for why you wanted to win the tickets… I wish I could have given each of you tickets!

Sadly, there can only be one winner… And the winner is (drumroll please)…

Anna Bailie!

Congratulations, Anna! Please flip me an e-mail to claim your fabulous prize!

The winner of this contest was selected using random.org.

A Little Bit of Heaven - March 17th

Photo by mccheek.
Hello my wonderful little love minxes! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I hope you are having a fantastic week! I've been making all kinds of fashion week plans, and I've loved reading all the entries on my Ottawa Fashion Week ticket giveaway post!
And guess what you guys? I'm giving them away today!
But first, to whet your appetite, here is un petit liste of all the things that have made me smile this week!
  • “Britchy” - okay, so at work we have these spam filters, and you can't send a swear in an e-mail or it will not go through. Last week my friend Jaime was out sick and e-mailed me and said that she was feeling “britchy” to get around the spam filters. And I laughed and laughed and have been using it ever since!
  • Listening to the Pink Mountaintops' record Axis of Evol while baking cupcakes - I had a relaxing day on Sunday which involved baking!
  • Reconnecting with old friends at random stores - I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in nearly seven years at Home Outfitters on the weekend!
  • My new phone - an LG Optimus named Ophelia!
  • Getting taken for lunch dates while I'm at my office job!
  • LCD Soundsystem in my ears on my way to work!
  • Staying on top of taking my vitamins - I always feel so much better and have so much more energy when I take my vitamins regularly, although I have been accused of being an old lady when they are all dosed out in my little teacup every day!
  • Trying out new supplements - I just got some maca powder in capsule form and I'm trying that out. It seems to give me boundless energy!
  • Grocery shopping - not only is it super-fun for me (because really, let's face it, any shopping is fun for me, and justifiable shopping is even better), but I love the feeling of abundance I get when I come home and put away my groceries and I can open my fridge or cupboards and know that I have so many delicious, healthy things to eat!
  • Eating breakfast - I used to hate eating breakfast, but I've been sucking it up lately and having a piece of toast with peanut butter, orange juice and tea, and I am always surprised by how awesome it is!
Honourable Mentions: “We're BFFs, Jes. Get it straight.” * 2+hour Sunday afternoon naps * Giving things away on the blog * I got new boots to sport at Ottawa Fashion Week! * Photobooths (again)


This video!

What about you? What is making you squeal with delight on this wonderful Thursday? Tell me in the comments!

And stay tuned later today for the announcement of my Ottawa Fashion Week ticket giveaway!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Act Your Age… Or Don't

Photo by Elana3.
I was talking to my parents on the phone over the weekend, and the subject of my latest hair colour decision came up, which happens to be Special Effect's Cupcake Pink. One of them (and in all fairness, I can't remember which one) said, with a note of dismay, “I just thought you'd have outgrown that by now.”

I laughed it off and said something along the lines of, “Well, I love it,” and moved on with the conversation.

But after we hung up the phone I got to thinking about the difference between being “age-appropriate” and being an individual who can show their personality through their clothing and presentation.

I also recently got a question for my Apartment613 column (which will be answered in an upcoming column) from Nadine Thornhill, a fellow columnist and wonderful blogger. She asked about the appropriateness of miniskirts past the age of 35 - as anyone who has even a passing acquaintence with What Not To Wear is familiar with the sign that shows up in the credits that says, “No miniskirts over 35”.

Here's the thing about Nadine - Nadine is gorgeous. Like, drop-dead stunning. Like, her husband is a lucky, lucky man. She's also a runner with amazing legs. (I've taken her shopping, and I've seen her in shorts.)

To me, there is no reason that she should shun miniskirts. She has a lot of class and a lot of style, and a miniskirt on her looks cute and summery and kicky and fun, never sleazy, never skanky, and certainly never mutton dressed as lamb.

I think on of the main reasons that the What Not To Wear folk foist so many “age appropriate” rules on their victims/subjects is because the vast majority of them have no sense of style themselves and simply don't know what works on them and what doesn't. People of any age should shun a miniskirt if it doesn't fit and flatter them.

Another problem is that the term “miniskirt” is pretty broad, and can mean anything between approximately 20 centimetres above the knee (about mid-thigh) to just barely covering your lady bits (which, let's be honest here, is really just a wide belt). A miniskirt that shows some cheek is not right for anyone, but a miniskirt that's slightly cheeky? I have no problem with a 35-year-old woman with great pins rocking that!

The thing about clothing and physical appearance, the secret, is that you can wear whatever it is that you want. With a few caveats, of course.
  • It has to fit.
  • It has to flatter you. (Even if you love love love orange, if it makes you look like death you should probably stay away from it.)
  • You have to own it.
We are all free to be whoever we want. If you want to be a walking contradiction, a whirlwind, a mind-bending Sphinx-like riddle, someone who is happy with themselves & doesn't answer to anyone else, you can be! Let criticism roll off your back. Embrace your individuality. No one is stopping you but yourself.
                                                          - Gala Darling
Of course, you know that means I'm keeping my hair pink, crimping it from time to time, and wearing whatever outlandish concoctions I come up with from my tickle trunk of a wardrobe!

*****
A reminder that today is the last day to enter my fabulous Ottawa Fashion Week ticket giveaway! The contest closes tonight at midnight.

On a more serious note, the tragedy in Japan just keeps getting more and more horrific to hear about. Please consider giving a monetary donation to the Red Cross. I've added a Hello Bar up at the top of the blog so donations can be made to the Red Cross. Please help in any way you can.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Controlling Your Communication

Photo by Laila.
I've been writing this blog for a while now, and every once in a while I get asked questions in e-mails by people who are looking for life rather than fashion advice. I usually answer those questions privately, but (with the sender's permission) I decided to answer this one here*.

I had a falling-out with a girl last year (over a guy). I've apologized to her, and while I know that she and I will never be friends, I'm doing my best to just move on with my life. Part of that means I don't read her blog or follow her on Twitter, because I know that she's still not over it and she talks about me on there sometimes. Which, you know, I don't have a problem with, because if that's how she's dealing with it then fine.

The problem comes up when other people start getting involved. She and I have a lot of mutual friends who do read her blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and they always seem to want to tell me when she says something that could be even remotely taken to be about me.

I know that she's just being malicious because she's still hurting, and I know that she's not going to stop saying things about me, but I want to make sure that I stop hearing about it!

Every time it happens, I talk to the person who passed the information along and tell them that I don't want to know what she's saying about me, but every time it happens it's another person!

I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like every time I hear something she's saying about me it prevents me from moving forward and I just get angry at her all over again!


This must be very frustrating for you! It probably seems like you are doing everything you can to avoid being brought down by someone else's bad feelings about you. It's good that you recognize that she's still not over it. I certainly hope you know that any criticisms she is sending your way at this point are actually not directed at you! People tend to criticise that which they don't like about themselves.

The bigger problem is how to deal with the communication coming from other people, letting you know what she's saying about you. I think you're taking good, strong steps in the right direction by being very clear about the fact that you don't want to know what she's saying about you to the people who pass the nasty bits of information on, but you know that you need to do more.

Luckily I have a few ideas! (Mostly because I have been in this position myself rather recently…)

First of all, you need to make sure that you are treating people the way you want to be treated - this means that if you are a bit of a gossip yourself, or are saying to people, “Guess what so-and-so said about you on their Twitter?”, you need to stop right now. You can't expect people to treat you any differently than what you put out there yourself.

Gossiping is a very hard habit to break! You might want to try something like what I did when I was trying to stop saying negative things: I wore a rubber bracelet around one wrist, and every time I said something negative I had to change it to the other wrist. My goal was to keep the bracelet on the same wrist for a week. It was hard work, but after a few days it actually got easier!

Secondly, since it seems like you are pretty social media-savvy, you might want to consider issuing a “blanket statement” on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, something along the lines of, “Please don't tell me when I'm being talked about”. It's a bold move, but it may make your life easier if everyone you know sees that. And if they then try to pass along some nasty bit of news, you can just direct them to where you said that!

Finally, if someone comes to you and says, “Guess what she said about you today?”, you can always say that you don't want to know. You need to be firm! Stand your ground.

The most important thing to remember about communication is that the person sending the communications out isn't the one that is in charge of how you receive it. You can always choose to not listen to negative things directed at you! It's just like changing the channel.

I wish you all the best in this!

*If you want to ask me a question, please feel free to e-mail me at jes.lacasse@gmail.com. Also, please don't forget to enter my fashion week tickets giveaway! The contest closes Wednesday, March 16th at midnight!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Little Bit Of Heaven

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography
One of the things I've missed the most about not doing any sort of regular posting is this feature! Compiling lists of all the things I've loved over the last week is such a good way to reflect and to be grateful for all the good in my life!

Let's dive right in!

  • When my colleagues bring me chocolates - especially fruit creams!
  • Big chunky platform boots + leggings + (summer) dress + blazer or cardigan - this has turned into my winter uniform! I hate wearing pants (I really, really do), and a skirt with tights is just too chilly to wear in the depths of winter in Ottawa!
  • Reading the archives of recently discovered blogs!
  • Pink hair! More to the point, Special Effects' Cupcake Pink!
  • Ottawa Fashion Week! Plotting my outfits for, dreaming about, scheming about!
  • Super awesome fun date nights!
  • Making new friends! I recently became friends with a girl at work on whom I've had a “friend crush” for nearly five years! She bought a DVD and some fabric from me, and we started chatting, and we have so much in common! We are now planning all kinds of fun bike rides to the beach this summer.
  • Getting set up to sell things on eBay! I'll let you lovelies know when I've stuff up for sale!
  • Taking better control of my diet - I've once again gotten “nailed to the V” (as Michael refers to it). This means I've gotten back into veganism after definitely falling off the wagon over the Christmas holidays. I had a really hard time getting back into it! I blame cheese. But I'm there again, and it feels great!
  • Quitting smoking! For good this time!
  • Putting on my face - there's something to be said for the time you take in the morning to put your face on, no matter what your routine entails. Think about it - you're spending 5, 10, 15 minutes + caressing your own skin. It doesn't get much more radical self love than that!
  • My Moleskin “book a month” planner! This is the first year I've had one, and I adore it! I love how small each notebook is, they fit perfectly in my handbag! Although only being able to plan a month at a time is pestering me, I've been decorating each month's book with little images I find that I love!
  • Photobooths - such a super-fun date activity!
  • Cleaning up the music drive on my laptop - when Michael gave it to me, it was all filled with music I had never heard, and I'm finally exposing myself to it all! I have found some real treats! Like Badly Drawn Boy, godspeed you! black emperor, Los Campesinos!, and all kinds of hip hop!
  • Double dates! I am going on one on Saturday night!
“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”
                                                                 - Albert Einstein
Don't forget my Ottawa Fashion Week contest! You can win tickets! It closes next Wednesday (March 16th) at midnight! The winner will be announced on the 17th!

And what about you, my sweet little peach? What makes you happier than happy today?