Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Survived the North Pole

What to wear to the North Pole? Decisions, decisions. I finally found comfort and coziness in menswear. Who knew that Ben's Mexican hoody that I tried to throw out many times could be sooo comfortable. I'm betting Grandpa Gadd didn't know that his plaid farmer's shirt and scarf would become two of my favorite items of clothing. 
My family is tight with the Clauses so we had a free visit to the North Pole. The North Pole is decidedly geared towards little children. Our convoy consisted of nine adults and one 18 month old.  I think we intimidated the elves. 

 Please note Levi's "what is this place!?" expression through out our tour.

 First letter to Santa. It is ironic that Ben is helping him as Ben has told me he is going to tell Levi who Santa Clause really was and not lie to him. We are in dialogue. I'm pretty confident the other parents wont let Levi play with their kids around Christmas time. 
Stamping the letter and mailing it off.
Learning how to flag down reindeer. 

Doesn't know whether to love this freak town or hate it.
 Santa sleeping. Levi watching. Santa wakes up....
Sheer terror. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sigh. So serene, beautiful clothes, idyllic setting. Living in the city is revealing my hitherto unconscious craving for open spaces. I need some breathing room.


*Cassi Van Den Dungen for Russh # 37 by Will Davidson via Fashiongonerogue.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The weather outside was frightful, but we wanted to say good-bye to our delightful Irish friends. So we geared up for the snow and had our last play date together. I hate saying farewell to good friends. 

Apparently they rarely have snow in Ireland so I made the effort to demonstrate what playing in the snow in Canada is like. When Levi's little friend B. wouldn't lie down in the snow so I could show him how to make a snow angel, I tried to make Levi. I picked him up and plopped him on his back. It was a bit like putting a crab on it's back. Levi was not a big fan. It was one of those, "I'm a mean mommy, but this is so worth the picture" moments. Don't get your panties in a knot, he was in the snow for a split second before I rescued him. B's mom just happened to have the camera ready for this special snow angel moment.

Don't we all have a picture or childhood memory of being stuck, and instead of helping immediately a grown-up heads for the camera? Case in point: My but + yellow bucket = Good times. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Easier Than You Think

University brainwashed me. Every time I approach something new to learn, I study it to death. That is how I learned to sew. My mother-in-law and hubby taught me the basics and then I started to pour over patterns and sewing books. Before I would sew anything I made sure I understood the pattern down to the last detail. It drove my husband crazy that when I bought my first sewing machine instead of using it right away I read the instruction manual from start to finish.

 Eventually I signed up for classroom lessons, which were very useful for hands-on learning, but I discovered most of what was taught could be found in a good sewing book. For example, I paid for a course on how to sew a variety of zippers and buttonholes. Much to my chagrin, when I looked at one of my sewing manuals to refresh my memory, word-for-word what the teacher had taught us was in this book.

I'm still a novice even though I have moved on to couture methods of sewing. I'm extremely slow and need frequent reminders of how to turn my patterns into a wearable garment. Being able to reference the sewing books I have collected is very helpful. If you're interested in sewing and don't know where to begin I highly, HIGHLY recommend these books to get yourself started. I have spent hours pouring over most of these books or they were referred to me by sewing experts.  I've listed them in order of skill, from lowest to highest.

The Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing is the Bible of all sewing information. You'll find it in every home-ec class across North America. It is the book I refer to most often for detailed instructions on how to do EVERYTHING related to sewing. The guide also has great pictures and drawings of how to do each step. It was gifted to me by a home-ec teacher at the high-school I used to work at and I couldn't survive without it.

The Built by Wendy Guides to Sewing are wonderful books, filled with detailed information on how to sew basic garments. The best thing about these books are they come with patterns, and instructions on how to modify each pattern to give it your own unique style elements.

The designer, Wendy Mullin is based out of New York, where in 1998 she opened her first flagship retail store. Fans of her collections include Sofia Coppola, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. Check out the Built by Wendy website for inspiration. Wendy is an amazing designer and fortunately for the rest of us, she shares many of her design tricks and tips in her sewing guides. Love, Love, Love!

If you want to get fancy and learn couture techniques this book has been recommended to me time and time again. Most recently it was recommended by thedressimade, my favorite design site. Hand sewing techniques are becoming a lost art although they are truly the most beautiful methods of finishing a garment.

I feel excited just thinking about the wealth of information available to anyone who wants to try their hand at sewing, but would prefer to learn at home rather than in a classroom. Checkout these books! They are well worth it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In October I was contacted by Stephanie Strauss Hall of Retrospect Photography to see if I would collaborate with her on a portrait photography shoot. Stephanie is an amazing photographer. We met over three years ago when she and her husband shot our wedding. And then my sister's wedding. And then my brother's wedding. And then my brother-in-law's wedding.... If you haven't guessed it, we love Stephanie's work. She has the ability to make her subjects feel incredibly relaxed and comfortable. As a result, Stephanie is able to capture moments and emotions as they happen. 

I was so excited that Stephanie wanted to do an artistic collaboration together. What girl doesn't want to play dress-up, frolic in the country and get her photos taken? Stephanie and I have very similar tastes so working together was a dream. She scouted out awesome locations and we laughed our way through a very fun and rewarding day. 

I was nervous about the outcome, only because I tend to get silly and awkward when someone takes my picture. However, Stephanie was a great director and I was amazed by how in the close-ups (Which lets be honest, can go so wrong!) she was able to capture me.  I feel the portraits depict my emotional journey of the last year and a half: Happy, sad, strong, vulnerable, light, dark. The clothes I wore helped convey these various emotions as well. White, black, neutral. Most of the outfits were borrowed vintage from the lovely Tami

The photos I've posted are from Stephanie's blog. She is also a great writer and I encourage you to visit her blog to read her take on the day and motivation for the shoot. You'll also find more photos there. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favorite FInds

1.  BCBG MAXAZRIA Jersey dress-I love how the print on this dress dramatically changes from top to bottom. So flattering! I heart the nude shoes with the black and white. $82.45US on Amazon.

2. I'm going cardigan crazy. This Anthropologie print cardigan is gorgeous. And with these Anthro earrings. Yes please!

3. Cardigan with earrings with American Apparel pants. Yes, yes please!

4. In honor of Movember. By Stephen Wildish via Surroundings.

5. For all you girls who want to symbolize your support for Movember but can't grow a mustache, this necklace from modcloth via Amazon is ridiculously rad. 

6. Little design accessories make a home. Surroundings is a knick knack site worth checking out.

7. Clotheshorse is one blog I never get sick of. I don't have the same style tastes as Rebecca but she knows how to pull together an outfit and her photography is captivating.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taking the Plunge

I'm taking the plunge and beginning to blatantly advertise on my blog. Don't hate me. I want to remain a stay-at-home mom but it is HARD to make ends meet on one income. I feel sick when I think about not being the main care-taker of my child. Being at home with Levi is a value that I greatly esteem above many other could and should choices available to me. I know so many moms who feel the same way and are trying to find inventive ways to supplement their income.

Blogger offers advertising through Amazon Associates. After checking through products that are available through Amazon, I was pleased to see many that I have already talked about on this blog or are in some way related to the content of Elasticpantcity.

I have a solemn oath to swear to my two consistent readers:

1. I will never look for a product on Amazon and then write a post to advertise it. My blog will always be whatever I'm inspired to write and if there is a product, related to the content, that I think is either fun, helpful, informative or downright pretty I will post a link to it.

2. I will always state whether or not a product is linked to Amazon.

I receive a small commission whenever someone uses my link to buy a product through Amazon. Let's be honest, I'm not expecting to rake in the dough but I'm willing to try to bring in an extra dollar or two. Most of my posts will not have advertising. In fact, you may hardly notice the change to my blog.

I'd love to hear about other ideas that mom's have for supplementing their income!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Take Back the Night

As the weather turns in Vancouver I long to hibernate and come back to life with the plants in Spring. I try to live my life as normal and not let the fact that it gets dark at 4:30, hinder my daily activities. I exercise at the gym or at home but I MISS the fresh air. There's something about taking in a deep breath of salty air that's good for my soul.

I'm a super duper cautious lady and whenever I see a woman outside exercising in the dark I offer up a prayer for her safety. I know that's a bit extreme but better safe then sorry, right?

This year I came up with a genius solution to allow me to get fresh air and exercise at the same time. I went downstairs, knocked on my neighbor's door and asked if I could borrow their dog. They were more than happy to oblige. In fact, they were so happy I think it made up for the months of Levi dropping his soother on the hardwood and waking them up EVERY single morning. Who doesn't want someone to walk their dog for free? It's the perfect, mutually beneficial plan.

Now, several evenings a week Monty and I go for runs. Actually it is more of a walk/sprint. This dog only goes slow or fast but either way I'm working up a sweat. I feel safe knowing that Monty will go postal if I'm faced with any stranger danger.

I'm going to state the obvious but if you are going to borrow someone's dog for protection probably a little pug is not going to be much help. A pug might turn in circles and bark really loud, but it WILL pass out before any one is aware you need help. I recommend a dog that looks a little bit tough.

Isn't this a great reason to love your neighbor? Friendship can lead to wonderful opportunities. For me, it was the chance to borrow a puppy and take back the night.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lullabies and Butterflies

My sister has an eye for interior design and I always love her do-it-yourself projects. Remember the headboard she and her husband made? Now that they're expecting a baby girl, Heather has been decorating the nursery. She made this amazing mobile! What little girl wouldn't want to fall asleep to flowers and butterflies?

Monday, November 15, 2010


I hunted down some of my favorite recent editorial shots from Fashion Gone Rogue. Each one captivated me for different reasons.

There is a lot going on with the styling in this shot but what really caught my attention was the way the model was able to pose so that the audience can see all the detail of the clothing and accessories. That takes some mad skills. Especially in those shoes! I recently read about how models learn to walk the runway in mega high heels. It is an art form. 
Caroline Trentini for Elle Brazil Nov 2010, by Fabio Bartelt

 Why don't people wear hats like this? Imagine the cheer it would bring in the midst of long, dark winter days. Forget buying SAD therapy lamps, buy a hat in bloom!
Chicletes com Gaurana Pre-Fall 2011 Campaign; Barbara Zanco by Marcio Rodrigues

Sometimes you have to appreciate beauty.
Snap! | Kim Noorda by David Slijper for Marie Claire Italia

Look at the crispness of this photo. The clarity of the details is amazing. It reminds me of looking at leaves on trees after I had laser eye surgery. They were so defined, like the ribbons on the model's head scarf.
Marcelina Sowa by Sinsong

The Vancouver equivalent of this shoot location would be at Lighthouse Park. Mountains, water, sunset, lighthouse instead of windmill. Perfect setting to wear a romantic dress.

Morning Beauty | Natalia Vodianova by Mert and Marcus

The contrasting colors and the transformation of Caroline Trentini into a redhead make this an eye-catching, urban editorial.
Caroline Trentini for Elle Brazil Nov 2010, by Fabio Bartelt

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Ugh. I assumed once I was finished breast feeding my body would bounce back to it's pre-baby form. My body is bouncing, just not in the way I expected it to. When I sit down, my stomach flops over the top of my pants. It reminds me of Levi squeezing playdo through his fingers. Not a pretty sight.

The Last-10-Pounds Syndrome. I exercise daily, I eat healthy, but those pounds cling to my body. After eating a whole bag of Kettle chips the other day (C'mon they're baked. Delicious and nutritious.) I decided it was time to re-evaluate my healthy lifestyle.

  I exercise daily but sometimes don't work up a sweat. I am not always challenging my fitness level. I've been doing mostly cardio and not weights. I snack a lot. A Cheddar Bunny here, a whole bag of chips there, nom, nom, all day long.

I've made up some new goals for myself. I'm going to exercise for one hour, everyday, and make sure I work up a sweat. I've also force my butt back to the gym to weight train. I avoided the gym all summer but winter has finally settled in.

Everyone I know who has successfully lost weight has done it through Weight Watchers. Hold the phone, I'm not signing up, but I am using the power of Google to calculate points. Calculating points is a very useful tool. It's amazing how points add up if I am not eating healthy foods. For example, I made banana chocolate chip, whole wheat pancakes this morning. A nice treat after porridge EVERY SINGLE DAY. That ate up a lot of my daily points. Oops (but sooooo good!). I'm going to incorporate even more fruits and vegetables into my diet and drink a lot of water.

Only time will tell if these are the changes that need to happen but dang it, I want my clothes to fit me again!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yes Please!

For Good Wear Days: Week 4, Girls Gone Child is giving away a pair of Minnetonka moccasin boots. I'm in it to win it so I have to get a lot of entries in this week (Did I really just say that?).  Fortunately yesterday I was doing a photoshoot and have some great outfits in my possession. I wish they were all mine but many of them are borrowed (I heart Tami).

The photoshoot took place in the country. Picture trekking through mud and wilderness in soft lacy dresses and Wellies. It was wonderful. I saw a deer and cows. Not exactly the kind of wild life one sees in the city. I can't wait to post pictures from the shoot and introduce you to the wonderful photographer.

This shot was taken by Ben in a rush on his way to work, so it's dark and generally crappy, but you get the jest of the outfit.
Friday, Nov 12

*Tami's vintage lace dress
DKNY belt
Black maternity tank from Thyme
Urban outfitter jeans
Bangles from India
Hunter Wellies-Huntress style

This is a cool, very nicely fitted vest with a scarf thing attached to it. I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to wear the scarf. Pretty sure I've got it wrong (Another bad shot). 
Sat, Nov 13

*Tami's black vest

Love a bit of sparkle! Again, courtesy of Tami. Incase you're wondering, I do wear my Wellies ALL the  time. They're the mark of a Vancouver mama. 
Sat, Nov 13

Just before getting dressed this morning, I saw what Giovanna has been wearing. She inspired me to wear some yellow and bring some brightness to this grey day.

Sunday, Nov 14th

*Thrifted yellow blouse worn over black Joe dress

Going to grandma's outfit.
Tuesday, November 16th
*Wrap and belt-DKNY
leopard print shirt-H & M
Black tights-random
Black diaper bag-Lululemon 

An indoor kind of day.
Wednesday, Nov 17th

*Plaid Blouse-French Connection
Jeans-H&M maternity
Clogs-Don't know