Guess

Black and white making another appearance, but it’s classic for a reason.  Simple and chic for work, toting my obligatory a.m. caffeine in this Starbucks Double-Walled Stainless Steel Tumbler.  I love this thing you guys, it legitimately keeps my drink hot for 8 HOURS.   Anyways, if you need a  new travel-mug, get the stainless steel one (not the plastic) and you will love it forever and ever. (Times Venti!)

If you already have your caffeine needs taken care of, how about your wardrobe?

Mine always seems to  be searching for a little something more…  hence, the dress.   I love the detailing on this dress:  the fabric reminds me of Chanel and the black piping nips in the waist and creates curves.   Classic and chic – that’s also how I justified it, that and finding it at $39.99 down from $231, I mean its practically foolish NOT to buy it with savings like that!

I paired it with classic peep-toe pumps, these shoes have been put through their paces (to say the least) and have never failed me over the years.   I’ve mentioned before how Guess heels are my favourite, when I want a comfortable (SERIOUSLY) pair of heels, I reach for a pair from Guess.  I have a bit of a collection by now and I can only see it expanding from here;   I’m pretty committed! One of my most important pieces of advice is to invest in quality shoes, leather really does make all the difference in comfort and longevity.  (Unless you’re a vegan, in which case… carry on.)

  Back to school sales are not just for the kids, stock up on basics like tanks and tees and snatch up some cute summer pieces that you can wear into fall, or style next year!  Boxing day has got to be the most over-rated time of year for clothes shopping, NOW is the best time to add a few pieces to your wardrobe, stores will be clearing out to make room for massive winter (and holiday) shipments.  Nearly every store has a sale on right now.. online and in stores, so keep in mind that from now until September there will be just about endless deals to be found!

look  by GUESS

Right now is actually the BEST time to be shopping  for deals!

I still can’t believe how much I saved on this dress, I love you, Winners.

Take it from a former retail manager and life-time price-comparer, pre-fall sales are the BEST! 

xo, aiyanajane

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Rain, Rain.. go away..

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jumper SIRENS silk tank LeCHATEAU camo skinnies G21 studded loafers ARDENE

Okay, so summer can really show up any time now. I’m tired of the constant drizzles and threat of rain… this is Calgary, not the precipitation capital of the world thank you very much, and this. needs. to stop… I need my 2 months of summer please, and July is half over.. August better be boiling!! For real. Or I’m moving.

Comfy-casual today (and a little grumpy and tired this morning, maybe) in a basic uniform: camo skinnies, soft sweater (with cute little stud details to add a bit of interest – all the ladies at my office liked them!), basic tank and (p)leather studded loafers. A little edgy detail to add to the perfect basic combination. And the best part? This outfit cost me under $50.

xo, aiyanajane

Printed Denim for Night

tribal denim

tribal bleached denim GINA TRICOT

lace tank(old) ARITZIA 

bra VICTORIA’S SECRET

color-block sandals ZIGISOHO

sunnies + jewelry ALDO

beaded bag – Guatemala c/o MANANA IMPORTS

Stormy skies again here in Calgary, but at least it give’s me the perfect excuse to wear pants instead of shorts.. most girls are out Stampeding in what I can only assume is their best impression of Daisy Duke to catch a predator… it happens every year. Personally,   I prefer a little bit of western influence in my outfit, not to look like a “character”…

This outfit has a few subtle nods towards western style, I get annoyed when I go out and people ask where my boots are.. I tell them they’re back home in the barn and ask if they’re ever ridden a horse.  It gets a bit grating by day 9 to have drunk city boys attempting to flirt by pointing out you aren’t wearing cowboy boots like the other 99% of people there.  Yeah dude, its an attempt to send the message that I do not wish to take part in any line-dancing with you.. this Shania does not want your nasty boots under her bed, so peace out, please, and thank you. I mean really, go pick one of the girls wearing only lingerie please.

I know, a bit hypocritical of me considering my top choice, but it is night, and it is hot(ish) and a little lace and a little sparkle go a long way.  A white lace top is an essential for me (and every cowgirl loves a little lace).  I recently read THIS POST by fellow yycblogger Suzanne, about wearing proper lingerie; I could not agree more. One of my biggest pet peeves is a regular bra with a racer back tank; there is no excuse as SO many bras have removable straps on the back side to allow you to cross the straps, or just buy a racer-back bra.  Pulling off a sheer lace top, I prefer to wear a pretty strapless bra; it gives more support than a bandeau,  and there are no straps digging in like a regular bra.  I love this Victoria’s Secret option – it adds a little sparkle and a little more lace without being too hoochie. An absolute essential item in my books is a good strapless bra, this one is the “Dream Angel’s Multi-Way” (ooh fancy), which I just bought and definitely recommend-  link above.   If you aren’t one for sheer just layer a (racer-back) tank-top underneath.

I think I’m mostly just annoyed that people are  pointing out that I’m not wearing boots, instead of pointing out how fabulous these shoes are!  I have been on the hunt for a pair of pretty sandals and these just fell into my lap, they are my favourite color combination of blue/green ever, and ironically enough I found them right after posting that HERE! They would have looked perfect with that outfit too, but I kinda think they will look perfect with anything!

 kisses and thanks for reading xo, aiyanajane

tribal denim for day

IMG_7828denim GINA TRICOT  || pumps, blouse LeCHATEAU || bag CO-LAB

 

TGIF right?!  I have a confession (wait, does it count if everyone already knows?) I am not a morning person.  Literally every minute of my morning routine is only for essentials.. clothing, caffeine, car.  Makeup,  hah!    Hairbrushing?  Nahhh.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!  Friday mornings are basically the perfect excuse for bedhead and bare face.  I slept in a bun and finger combed it out to add a little messy texture to my normally pin-straight hair.  

I know you guys voted to see the other pair of “perfect jeans” first when I posted them both HERE, but I wanted to shoot the other pair with something other than my phone to capture the gold detailing and have been so, so busy lately between vacationing and working moving and stampeding, there just hasn’t been the time!  Plus there is no way I would ever wear my white jeans to Stampede, but these printed pair are perfection.  Casual Friday with a twist… I love a printed pair of pants, and the light wash on these is perfect for summer;  to tone it down a bit for work (it is a law firm after all) I stuck with a simple grey blouse and stilettos.

Super basic look (you might even think I just rolled outta bed…) but the printed pants make it seem like I tried way harder than I actually did.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for how I style these jeans to go out!  Sam Roberts plays the coke stage tonight (like, for free) at 9pm if there isn’t enough reason to get down to the grounds already!   Last 3 days of Stampede, Calgary, lets do it up!!!

xo, aiyanajane

 

graphic B/W

black and white street style
aztectribal print and aviators
city style mini skirt and blousesmile gap toothskirt spinstyling a mini for workskirt and sheer blouse
 
summer work outfit

skirt BAND OF GYPSIES || blouse + shoes + blazer LeCHATEAU || sunnies ARDENE

To make it over hump-day, when thinking about anything other than the rest of the week seems like too daunting of a task,  I tend to lean towards black & white.   Usually when I get dressed I base my outfit around a single “inspiration” piece.   Here I wanted the print on the skirt to be the center of attention so I paired it with a tuxedo blouse and my trusty nude pumps.   I am  actually obsessed with this skirt for summer – I love the print.. aztec? tribal?   Whatever you want to call it, I am a fan of the abstract black and white!  It’s a lovely silk  skater skirt with an elastic waist, which makes it super comfortable, light, cool and perfectly floaty.  All prerequisites for any great piece!

This combination of a fit and flare skirt and a 3/4 sleeve button-up it my absolute go-to for a fool-proof chic outfit.  This outfit flatters all body shapes, just make sure the skirt sits at the smallest part of your mid-section and tuck in a silk blouse. I have about 7 versions of this blouse, all basically the same cut just in different colors/fabrics and embellishments… and you don’t even want me to count the number of skirts I have.  They pair together in endless, perfect possibilities though!  To cover up, a single-button blazer is also the most flattering style because it will nip in right at the waist, invest in a great tailored piece that will stay classic for years.   

A printed skirt like this is a nod towards all the Stampede going-on’s without being too costume-y for work.  A tailored blazer keeps it professional and a button up blouse balances the short hemline.    To take this look from the “work” to “western” switch to a pair of cowboy boots and add a denim vest!  Or, just take a break mid-week, if like me, you’re still recovering from a weekend full of stampede “spirit”!   Most residents like to show a little spirit.. but an entire ten days of western themed regalia (and festivities) is a bit too much for the best of us.

xo, aiyanajane

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dreamcatcher

bare feet and wind blown billabong blush maxi dress billabong cotton maxi dress boho chic stylecotton maxi dress for suummerboho style details feather hair tie, leather tie belt high low maxi dressknuckle rings and a leather belt lace dress lace trim maxi dresshippy girl (2)perfect summer dress light pink maxi dress maxi dress and headbandmaxi dressshort girls can wear maxi dresses

dress BILLABONG    accessories LeCHATEAU

 

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m kinda a hippy deep down inside,  I almost named my blog “hippy at heart” but I didn’t really think it reflected my personal style very well, since I don’t usually dress very boho-chic!   Simply because living in Calgary, most of the time the temperatures do not allow it,  however, in mid-summer (and for the Stampede!) this maxi dress is perfect to throw on with oversize sunnies and bed-head banded down with a leather & feather hair tie.   I am so happy to be staying on a farm this summer, back to my country girl roots with big skies and bare feet- to go out in the city I added gold sandals but for a more Stampede look just add cowboy boots!

I have to confess myself exceptionally thrilled with this purchase for a number of reasons. First, I’ve never had a maxi dress before (not because I’m too short, in fact, a maxi will visually elongate a short frame so petite girls just go get one hemmed if they’re all too long!) but because I never found “the one” sure, there were a few flames in dressing rooms:  I nearly bought a leopard print one (shocking that I resisted leopard, I know) but the price tag compared to the quality was not enough to justify it.  For a nice maxi, avoid polyester.. it doesn’t breathe well, and it doesn’t last long.  This 100% cotton Billabong dress is perfect, especially for summer because the cotton is light and breathable.     The main reason this dress came home with me, no questions asked, is because it cost me $19.99!

Yeah.  You can’t say no to that kind of deal. I’ve actually been absolutely loving all of the Billabong and Roxy dresses lately, its been hard to resist taking them all home,  super cute and super affordable, be sure to check them out! This dress also checked off a few of my other favourite things and appealed to my girly side.

This blush tone is my favourite shade of pink, I love how it looks on tan skin with dark hair, I added a belt at the to break up the monochrome a little and define the waist.  It has a very subtle high-lo hem, with tiers of crochet and soft ruffles, the skirt moves so nicely and totally reminds me of an old country girl skirt.  Whenever I dress for Stampede I always have”cowboys and indians” in the back of my mind and tend to dress more towards the native side with simple jewelry, feather accessories, and leather ties.  I figure most people going have the cowboy side covered and largely ignore the Native American part of the history. (Not entirely, check out the parade, exhibition halls and grandstand show!)

If you are in Calgary and want to shop away from the craziness of the Stampede and downtown core,  check out West Hills shopping center in the SW.  The Signal Hill Winners gets the best product in Calgary (seriously) so you can find lots of great brands and really great pieces for way less than retail.   Surrounding are outlets for many other stores including Guess, Danier Leather, Ardene, La Senza, Le Chateau, West 49 and Shoe Company. For a full list of stores click here and here.  I got my dress at Winners, but the West 49 Outlet also carries Billabong and other great brands and its all clearance!  Its good to do a little outlet shopping after the crazy high-prices in the Stampede grounds!

xo, aiyanajanee

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stampede for dummies

stampede style
laceleatherbling brim
Aldo has a great selection of cowboy boots right now (actually their entire collection right now is amazing and on sale so check it!) to get you feet-first into western wear and Stampede ready!

Ten things you need to know (and accept) before you go Stampeding:

  1. Calgary weather is ridiculous.  It’s gonna be unbearably hot, and then there is a 99% chance it’s gonna start pouring rain at some point, as if you weren’t wet enough from all the sweat.  Cowboy boots are REALLY hot, and not particularly comfortable.. they are made for work after all.  If you insist on wearing them, have fun, but this cowgirl gets enough of the boots on the farm!  Its a common occurrence to see ladies meandering the streets in the early morning with boots over their shoulders.  I choose flats or sandals to keep my feet cool and comfortable.
  2. Drink prices are ridiculous.  You should definitely NOT sneak your own liquor into the grounds.
  3. Gate entrance get’s you into the grounds and midway, but the rodeo is extra.  Rather than pay to sit in the stands I take advantage of the free entertainment. Mostly the concerts at the Coke Stage, but there are music venues all throughout Stampede Park.
  4. The midway contains culinary delights beyond your wildest dreams.  Come prepared for a gut-busting combination of carnival food! My favourites include the mini doughnuts, cotton-candy, lemonade, candy apples, mozza sticks, chocolate dipped banana, and deep fried avocado.  I have never left the grounds without eating myself into a state of discomfort.  Click HERE for the full list of noms!
  5. Girls everywhere will be doing their best Daisy Duke impression.  There will be an excessive amount of plaid shirts, push-up bra’s and cut-offs.  Most of them look more like Jessica Simpson now…  this is a trend I tend to avoid.
  6. Guys (well, everyone) everywhere will be doing their best cowboy impression.  Don’t be fooled by the brand new wranglers or shiny cowboy boots;  you might find a few real cowboys in the mix, but mostly its boys playing dress-up.  95% of people will be wearing a cowboy hat, 90% of those people never wear it again.  The real cowboys there will be laughing at the city folks; the city folks will be having too good of a time to notice.
  7. Cabs will not be easy to come by and the C-Train is unofficially renamed “sweaty-death-tube-from-hell” but it runs all night and considering it was underwater ten days ago, we gotta give ’em some serious credit.  Plus it’s cheap!
  8. If you do not like crowds, you’re gonna have a bad time.  Accept that a ridiculous amount of people are in a relatively small space and don’t lose your friends (or your wallet)!  Entrance into beer gardens and event tents can mean long-lines, so just go with the flow and don’t cut in lines (or I’ll cut you.)
  9. You can find almost anything you have ever seen on an infomercial in the exhibition halls.  Its also really awesome for finding western clothing, jewelry, art, carvings and anything horse related.
  10. The best part about Stampede is how hands-on it is.  Make sure to check out all the animal exhibits and mini-exhibitions.  My favorite is the horse hall,  I make sure to pet each one of them equally so no one gets jealous.  You can see all sorts of different breeds, but my favourite is the halls full of draft horse teams, such gentle giants, I just love them.

stampedeisms

Click the photo for more “Stampedisms” and for any other information you need go to the official page www.calgarystampede.com

 I hope to see you there!  xo, aiyanajane

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Red, White and Blue Skies

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tank + earrings  XXI FOREVER  ||  denim + heels Le CHATEAU

Wearing Red, White and Blue to kick off the holiday this lovely July 4th day!  Okay, so I’m not American, (and I didn’t even do a Canada day themed post, for shame) but I am Calgarian and July 4 marks the start of Stampede this year, which for Calgary is kinda like if the 4th of July happened ten days in a row.For the next ten days, I’ll be showing you different ways to style what I consider to be “stampede essentials” and passing along the little tid-bits of wisdom  I’ve picked up as a ranch-girl turned city-slicker and life-long rodeo aficionado.  I think it shows in these photo’s how happy I am to be back in the country for summer!  Make sure you follow along even if you can’t attend the festivities personally, a little country girl style in the summer never hurt nobody.
Stampede consists of rodeo and cowboys (real and pretend) cut-offs (and are those even shorts?) carnival food (and I dare you to try that!) and everything else you need to have a good party.  Throw in a city of a million who have been working tirelessly on flood relief and we are gonna have one hell of a time, hell or high water! You could wear this out for 4th of July festivities, regardless of your nationality or reasons for celebrating, because everyone likes to party!

summer stampede essential #1 – breezy white tank

July 4th is actually sneek-a-peek, but tonight I’m planning on catching Calgary born Michael Bernard Fitzgerald on the Coke Stage, it officially kicks off the 5th with the parade on Friday morning.  For the show and walking around the grounds I’ll switch to a pair of chucks but going out after requires a little more.. kick (bad, I know) so red heels it is!  I  have to admit, I bought these years ago, took a nasty spill in them and just now have worked up the courage to wear them again.  If I was to give you realistic advice, I would say do not wear heels to the Stampede at all.. but no girl in the world wears heels to be practical! So make your choice and know your pain tolerance. Haha!
One thing about Stampede that’s an absolute certainty – its gonna be hotter than the hottest thing you can think of down on the stampede grounds. (Please disregard that I’m melting in these shots!)  Calgary weather is so weird, June 30th, torrential rain… July 1st, its 35 degrees.  Keep that in mind and dress accordingly if you are planning on spending the day.   Bring sunscreen, water, a light long sleeve throw over, and a hat – the cowboy hat is practically obligatory.  Today I chose a breezy white cowl neck tank with crochet straps because it’s just about the coolest top I own, a peekaboo pretty lace bra from VS add’s a little ooh-lah-lah and to keep the look polished I paired tailored denim shorts with peep-toe pumps.   My dog chewed my cowboy hat and I haven’t got a new one.. I’m probably not going to either so you can just do me a favor and imagine.

xo, aiyanajane

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tag your photos with the hashtag

#stampedecitystyle!

reflecting grey skies

sunny skies in the distancestreet style skull scarfblack leather skinnies, studded loafersskull skarf

black and white leather black and white polished punkdouble troubletiptoe through the ghettoskulls and studsstudded loafers, leather pants

skull scarf and light cardian

 pants XXI FOREVER  || loafers, aviators ARDENE  ||  cardigan MONTEAU || pashmina Le CHATEAU

If ever standing in front of the closet in doubt, I just choose black, white and grey.  That in mind, when I found this cardigan and immediately scooped it up;  the sheer front panel and light cotton blend made it the perfect cardigan for over-cast summer days.  My love affair with leather (okay, this is faux!) continues with these studded black loafers, and skinny ankle-zip pants.   I mentioned HERE that I revert to my rocker side for comfort,  so studs, leather, aviators and a skull scarf  is a classic choice for me.

What is your go-to outfit for a comfort day?

xo, aiyanajane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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anchor blues

blue and mintcobalt blue blazer
anchors awayteal
metallic teal - guess heels and wayfarersroxy anchor tee

anchor tee ROXY  ||  blazer LeCHATEAU  HERE ||  heels GUESS  ||  denim SOLO LAB  ||  sunnies ARDENE

Cobalt and mint is one of my favourite color combinations… ever.  You all know by now my love for any shade of blue, its my favourite color and I am still totally obsessed with these metallic stilettos, they add the perfect flash of color to any outfit.  I couldn’t resist these sunnies for the same reason, especially at 3 for $15, I’m especially loving the mirrored lenses lately.

When I’m at work its so important for me to be comfortable, which is why I love this Roxy tee –  its soft and breezy and I love the anchor print!  I mentioned HERE that I’ve been very into nautical lately, so I couldn’t resist this tee on sale for $15.  Paired with a bright, open blazer this is a prefect breezy summer look for those days stuck in the office when you’d much rather be outside.  A blazer like this is a summer essential, I love a good jewel tone and the material is so light and soft.   If you have a large bust, or a fluctuating mid-section like many ladies I know, a tailored blazer without buttons is a godsend.  To make sure you get the right fit look at the shoulders and the arms, if you aren’t sure pretend to drive a car- you should be able to “steer” comfortably, if not, size up.

Dark denim skinnies (these are my current favourite pair) are an absolute essential, they are so easily dressed up for the office or a night out,  or down for a casual day.  How do you dress up your denim for days at work? Or would you prefer to not think about work at all and just enjoy the long weekend!? (If you’re from Canada, eh?)

xo, aiyanajane

sail away

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skirt by MONKI  || necklace by H&M  ||  concert tee – 36 crazyfists  || pumps by LECHATEAU  ||  sunnies by ARDENE

*

With Calgary being it it’s current unsettled and somewhat submerged state, I have been feeling a little ironically inspired with everything nautical.  Truth be told I just love nautical for spring/summer every year, and normally it’s not ironic because generally Alberta doesn’t flood itself into oblivion but I digress..
You probably all realize by now that I’m a sentimental type… and a bit wordy, but I firmly believe the best kind of fashion is the kind with a story behind it.  That’s why this outfit makes me so happy.  For one, I’m wearing this old band tee, which was one of the first shows I attended at the tender age of 15 (ish), I love going to shows, I have many more band tee’s to style!  This one is a little tight and short from years of dryer assaults so usually I just sleep in it, but looks adorable tucked into a high-waist skirt!  
A fit and flare skirt like this is probably my #1 essential wardrobe piece.. seriously they flatter EVERYONE.  To find the most flattering fit it should sit at the natural waist (the smallest part of your midsection) and a few inches above the knee if you have short legs like me!  
For nautical looks, red and navy are a sure bet and whenever I want to instantly feel more fabulous I put on red heels and red lipstick!  This Clinique High Impact Lipstick in Red-y to Wear is another absolute essential.
I found this 100% cotton skirt in Denmark while I was shopping with the beautiful Andrea Rungholm, who sent me this H&M necklace for Christmas last year-  she’s so sweet! I chose punk inspired silver bangles from punta cana and rings from a selection of my favourite Calgary boutiques.  Wearing clothes that remind me of people or experiences I love is what makes personal style so interesting to me, its why I love reading other blogs to see all the little differences and quirks!  
This polka-dot skirt reminds me of one of my favourite bloggers who is always so sweet and happens to really love polka-dots.  Who else but the lovely Yi-Chia of Always Maylee, she’s hosting a really inspiring giveaway with Elegantee’s;  all of their clothes are sewn by women rescued from human trafficking. Be sure to check it out!

xo, aiyanajane

PS – What do you guys think of these video’s ?

 Should I post more? Let me know in the comments and if you like, follow @aiyanajane on youtube + vine  + instagram

Water

I don’t even know where to begin with this…

I’m not certain how wide the coverage globally is of the flooding here in Calgary, and Southern Alberta, although I just saw it on Sports Center so I assume you guys have heard. Still, its hitting home and authorities are warning it is not over yet, with more rain to come. Three people are confirmed dead in the High River community, with another still missing. Entire homes have been washed away in Canmore. Calgary has evacuated 25 neighbourhoods, displacing approximately 75,000 people. My former neighbourhood, Mission, (which I wanted to move back to) is underwater. The zoo animals are headed to the jail cells if the Bow River continues to rise. 17th Avenue, and Kensington, my favourite shopping spots are also flooded. Two weeks to Stampede opening day, the Saddeldome is full of water up to the luxury boxes, and the grounds are an ocean. It’s certainly the top story nationally, if you are reading from outside of Canada, check out links for the stories at NATIONAL POST, CTV, and CBC.

Calgary Police Car in flood

All the reports compare this to the flood of 2005, which I also experienced first hand, although in Rosebud, not Calgary. You can see that flood for yourself as well, in the CBC documentary that follows my mother and our family, Burning Water. This is the second time I have experienced a flash flood, and there is nothing like it; and this is NOTHING like the first time. The photos hardly do it justice, the murky water only shows the spread, not the depth. If you aren’t familiar with the landmarks you might not know quite how extensive it is. You might not realize how much has been effected. If you have been watching any news coverage you may have seen helicopter footage, its unbelievable, to view it click HERE.

This video gives a pretty good idea of how severe it really is. The flooding is widespread; shallow in some places but extremely deep and fast moving in others, and full of debris. Calgary at this point, is not nearly as hard-hit as Canmore and High River, where 3 are confirmed to be dead. Hundred’s of soldiers have been deployed as Southern Alberta is in a state of emergency. As much as I go on about my displeasure at living in Calgary, I do love the people here, at a time like this its really clear how strong of a community we have. Watching all these videos, seeing my running trail and an entire community under water is heartbreaking. Its fortunate that in Calgary we have no deaths and minimal injuries.

The overwhelming sentiment seems to be one of complete disbelief; no one imagined anything like this could happen here. My mom and I felt the same in 2005, when our farm in Rosebud flooded. I can’t explain to you the feeling when you are in the middle of the storm like that. I’ve always loved being in the middle of the storm, I love the rain, in 2005 when the flash flood hit our home, I was outside walking in the rain when instead of just pouring rain, suddenly, there was water everywhere. The footage in Burning Water (its only a few minutes in if you click HERE) shows flooding in my yard, was shot by me at the time and cut into the film later. When a flash flood comes, you really don’t realize how quickly it hits, and when it hits a city of a million people, the 4th largest in Canada, it’s devastating.

The footage is unbelievable, nothing like this has ever been seen here, and in times like this my inner environmentalist is begging for people to see the larger picture. More and more in the news all over the world we hear of natural disasters, each seemingly the “worst in history.”

In 1895, Nobel Prize winning Swedish chemist Svante August Arrhenius predicted that the excessive burning of fossil fuels would eventually alter the earth’s climate. In just 118 years, we have burned though an unbelievable amount of those fossil fuels, almost certainly faster than anyone, even Mr. Arrhenius, could have ever predicted.

Downtown Calgary was built on the money of the oil and gas boom, and is set between two rivers- the Bow and Elbow. “The Bow”, Encana’s landmark building- the tallest in Canada West of Toronto, just opened to the public a few weeks ago, and is now completely shutdown due to massive flooding. It almost seems biblical, though I do not consider myself a religious person. If there is one thing I do believe in, as I have posted before, it is the balance of nature.

Like I said, there is nothing like being in the middle of a storm, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself. The massive, awe inspiring power of nature. What forces does man have at his disposal when nature strikes? You realize then how powerless we really are. What does man expect from nature, that it will not strike back? That it will not find a way to create balance?

It is tremendously difficult for me to write this post because I do not want it to be misunderstood. I have compassion for every single individual affected here, for every individual affected in every tragedy around the world right now. I cannot imagine having my entire home swept away, its devastating.

At the same time, nature does not care for the whim’s of man. Man is a vile beast; a greedy creature with the tools to do more damage than any other animal on this planet, but mother nature will not accept mistreatment at the hands of her children.

When EnCana/Cenovus Corporation came to the the Rosebud valley with its experimental drilling techniques circa 2005, our water started lighting on fire out of the taps. The CBC passionate eye documentary, Burning Water, follows my mother’s fight with corporate Alberta, and the Alberta government for her water rights, after Encana used an experimental method of hydraulic fracturing in the Rosebud River Valley. In the midst of this political storm, 3 successive rainstorms flood Southern Alberta. In 2005 it wasn’t even CLOSE to this bad; in just 8 years, it is at least 3 times worse than the last “worst flood in history”. Just a few weeks ago EnCana opened the doors to “The Bow”, its premiere head office- they mention its construction in Burning Water.  Just a few weeks ago I was joking in a post that I would dance on its ruin and explaining that it is symbolic with all that is wrong with our culture.  I had no idea it would be evacuated and shutdown due to flooding, who would have? Who could possibly have ever imagined flooding so widespread, in the middle of the Alberta prairies?  After 118 years of relentlessly burning fossil fuels, and 8 years since our last water disaster, we have still learned nothing.

This isn’t a Calgary problem, its a global cultural problem. Our society is fatally flawed and if we carry on our current path we will destroy ourselves. As individuals we put ourselves first, because no one else will. In this age of luxury and technological advancement we are led down the rabbit hole of capitalistic greed. We get caught up in the nine-to-five, comparing our cars and our clothes and our houses and we forget that nature can take it all away in a heartbeat when it’s time to pay your debt.

It’s why I keep talking about the water issues, even though I know most people are content to justify their apathy. I understand entirely the temptation of pretty things, I battle with my materialistic, consumer side every day. I understand wanting to make some money to put yourself through school, or support your family. Temptation is always there but we must not gorge ourselves, lest our swollen bellies burst. Some of the most expensive real estate in the oil capital of Canada is now underwater.  Regular home insurance won’t cover it, millions of dollars of damage has been done. You might not realize it’s karma coming when she gets you, but it is. Everything will balance in the end.  This disaster has galvanized an already strong community and Calgary will rebuild, rebound and be reinvigorated.  Mayor Nenshi even says we can do it in time for Stampede!

Will Calgary really change? Not anytime soon. Sure it will rebuild and get back to business, but real change?   No.  It’s not just Calgary that needs to change, though certainly we have dug in our heels determinedly pushing for “economic value ” of the oil sands. Environmentalist friends (friend?) lets not delude ourselves. Prime Minister Harper “knows this is not what the rivers are supposed to look like” because he used to live here, and he took a helicopter tour so he could REALLY TELL. Premier Redford said something so dull I couldn’t even quote her, in the meantime her ex-husband represents the Defendants in Jessica Ernst’s million dollar lawsuit [Ernst v. EnCana, Energy Resource Conservation Board, Her Magistey the Queen in Right of Alberta] which has just been delayed again, because back in February Mr. Harper called the Justice hearing the matter up to a higher court. Quite convenient. Jessica goes back to phase ONE of her litigation- an application to rule whether an Albertan citizen even has the right to sue her government for failing to uphold its own regulatory standards when a corporations experimental CBM exploration destroyed the her Aquifer and contaminated drinking water in the vallye. Despite the fact she’s been dealing with this for a decade Encana hasn’t even so much as had to put forward their Statement of Defence, thanks to the legal gymnastics of a team of government lawyers. What did she expect suing the government and the corporation that pays the government’s salaries? I Nothing less, but that’s the point.  It seems an unattainable goal, to change the landscape of our intertwined government and corporate world, which is all the more reason why we must fight so hard.  I love it, Jessica is an absolute champion, she know’s what she’s up against here, the dynasty of conservative Alberta politics and the oil empire. The most important thing at this point is to spread awareness, add your voice on Alberta Voices and check out Jessica Ernst’s website.

For everyone who has suffered at the hands of nature; whether you have lost your home, your family, your friends, your pets or your life, know that the strength of an entire country is behind you.  For everyone standing on the edge of the storm waters, asking yourself, “how could this possibly have happened?”, do not forget that question when the flood waters recede.  This is a warning, a wake-up, a call to arms.  How could this possibly have happened?  In 118 years, just 18 years longer than the world famous Calgary Stampede has run, we have burned though more than half of the world’s oil reserves, the half that was easy to get to.  Now we use techniques more dangerous than ever before to extract oil, or natural gas, and the price we will pay if we continue to do so is honestly unimaginable.  How can we be so arrogant as to think what we do to one part of the earth will not have an effect elsewhere?

Take a rock.

Now smash it with a hammer.

Will the rock ever mend itself?

Will the cracks meld together and reform?

Of course not.

Once broken, the rock breaks down more.

It does not heal.

Imagine giving a company the power to drill hundreds of thousands of wells, to allow them to send seismic explosions though underground rock formations to release gas.  Imagine trucking in thousands of gallons of water to wash down the hole, mixed with trade-protected chemical “frac fluids”, to pump up a minuscule amount of natural gas in comparison.  Though I believe the only way forward is to end reliance on fossil fuels, I recognize that it will be a lengthy endeavor to get there.  It is absolute madness, however, to contaminate thousands of gallons of water and pump it into the ground, for only a minimal return.  The amount of gas wasted on tanker trucks bringing in the water to each CBM sight probably negates the “gain” even further.  Imagine a government that streamlines this process, so that companies never have to release the composition of those frac-fluids, and so the company can never be found guilty based on the lack of evidence.  Imagine a government giving the power to review cases like Jessica Ernst’s, or my family’s, to a SINGLE regulator with absolute power, appointed by whom? Harper? Redford?  Imagine for a moment that this goes too far, that companies like Encana are allowed to continue their assault on the water system.  Safeway was selling flats of water for $60 because of a weekend of flooding.  Imagine what will happen if our water supply is truly compromised?

Calgary pride’s itself on a sense of community and western spirit.  Coming home to the yyc airport compared to Amsterdam, I welcomed the sight of white hats and friendly faces eager to help.. because really, that’s what Calgary is all about, helping one another.  We see that now more than ever as the community bands together in this state of emergency, but we must take care to see the larger picture.  To live contextually and understand that we must actively plan for future generations, rather than blindly barrel forward with dollar signs in our eyes.

Money means nothing when the water comes and goes.

vine, anyone?

do you vine, anyone?  I just got this app and I can already tell, I’m obsessed.. you might say it’s “de vine”.

Puns aside, come find me @aiyanajane and be sure to comment below with your user name if you already have an account!  If you don’t, you should download it.  Vine is basically if youtube was mixed with twitter and instagram.  It creates 6 second clips by shooting short segments and looping them together.  Kinda like a GIF.  Perfect for Outfit of the Day posts and cute animals!  (Of course, I’m on board, its all my favourite things packaged to fit my short attention span!) Its pretty cool, at least I think so.. and you can link to (or login with) your twitter or facebook account which makes it super easy.  While I have you here, follow me on twitter, instagram and like my Facebook page. Darlings, please, stroke my social media ego and make me like it.  😉

Seriously what did people do to kill time while avoiding work (or human interaction) before social media became a thing?  Kisses, and have good work week my lovelies!

xo, aiyanajane

sugar skulls

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converse shoes  ||  le chateau denim shorts & cardigan  ||  skull tank via winners 

This sugar skull tank is an essential for summer, I love the bright kaleidoscope colors and the printed skulls.  I got it at Winners, which is one of my favorite stores ever, I always find so many great things there and they are always priced reasonably.  For me part of the fun of shopping is the thrill of the hunt, at Winners you have to go prepared to sift through the racks but you can always be sure to find something you just NEED to have! These are a few more shots from my time in Denmark, I loved visiting all our family because they all had such beautiful yards for me to explore.  When travelling I pack my favourite basics and live in them; denim shorts, converse low riders a cool tank and my absolute favourite cardigan ever make this outfit basically, perfect!

xo, aiyanajane

follow along on instagram @aiyanajanee click photo

don’t let anyone dull your sparkle

black and whitepolka dots and patent statement clutchspots and sparkle sequin shorts and silver stilettosdont let anyone ever dull your sparkle sequin shorts summer stylepolka dot blouse with shorts
sequin shorts, aviators and a patent clutchsequin shorts with pockets silver accessories
metallic shoes, sunnies and patent clutch

blouse (here – $49.95) shoes and clutch by Le Chateau  ||  sequin shorts by XXI Forever  ||  sunnies by Ardene  

These shorts are probably one of my most worn items in my closet,  I bought them a couple years ago by now, but I am still constantly going back to them again and again!  I just love anything that glitters, I cannot resist.  If there is one drawback about my gold sequin pair it’s that they don’t have pockets – I hate not having pockets!  Sometimes when I get dressed I just go for all my favourite things- in this case simple silver jewelry from the Dominican Republic, classic aviators and a patent leather statement clutch pair with polka dots perfectly to complement my sparkling shorts! Metallic heels finish the look for polished city style that’s classic and cool.

I am in love with this blouse, the style is my absolute favourite- when shopping for tunic blouses I often go up a size so they will drape nicer and fall just a little longer.  My other requirements for finding the perfect blouse is 3/4 length sleeves and half button-down – the contrasting black and white  and the polka-dot print had me sold.  I love a chiffon blouse and shorts for summer, its chic and cool!

 xo, aiyanajane

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