Chambray Shirt(Dress)

chambray shirt, striped cardigan, leather bound sketch bookknuckle rings, layered rings, ethic jewelry, silverchambray shirt dressmulti-color stripe sweater, tight and bootschambray, stripes, topknot, fall fashionfall layers

Chambray, Sweater & Sunnies by LE CHATEAU |  Boots by Spring  | Belt & Rings via Manana Imports

Chambray has been a trend I have been hesitant to embrace for the longest time.. and I don’t even know why.  Its one of those things I love on everyone else but can never quite get to like on myself. Until now.  This blouse is a nod to the trend that is absolutely taking over, but its a bit of a cheat – the top is actually a light cotton/linen blend, not very denim-like at all.. which is probably why I ended up with it after literally years of hesitation to embrace the chambray-way. I always found it so stiff- this fabric is light and soft!  I also love the pin-tucking detailing on the bust- its classic tailoring that finishes a piece to make it very flattering; look for little tailored details like this when you shop.

At this point I’ve basically accepted that we aren’t getting a summer here in Alberta.. its been rainy and overcast and determinedly MEH.  (The amount of complaining I do about the weather here, you’d think this was a climate blog and not about style. )  Always trying to look on the bright side (but rarely succeeding)  at least August means fall fashion is in full swing.  In Canada we dress the way the rest of the world dresses for fall about 90% of the year (and the rest of the time we’re snuggled up in parkas in our igloos) so you have to be good with layers in order to live here.

One thing I always do with everything is roll up the sleeves.  Unless its the dead of winter, my sleeves are pushed up to my elbows; I rolled the sleeves up prior to putting the sweater on (that way they’re even) and then cuffed the chambray sleeve over it.  I love the multi-color stripes on this sweater, and the length is perfect for layering over this tunic so that I can wear it with tights. I don’t buy into the “leggings aren’t pants” movement…  as far as I’m concerned if you can’t see crotch, then pants are for the weak.  Our house motto is “Everyday feels like Sunday when you don’t wear pants.”  Its truly liberating, I recommend you try it.

Another layering essential? The belt; this one is hand beaded leather from Guatemala.  If you live in Calgary stop by Manana Imports in Kensington for fair trade pieces from all over the world. This leather bound sketchbook and all the rings are from Manana as well; it’s my uncle’s store and I help out from time to time but I end up just shopping!  Come visit sometime.

xo, aiyanajane

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

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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floral & leather

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skirt XXI FOREVER  ||  bag MATT & NAT  ||  bustier SIRENS  ||  shoes + accessories ALDO

Floral is always perfect for summer, and this micro-print is very country/western without being over the top.  When I get dressed for Stampede its always more western inspired than flat-out “stampede”  I mean, everyone knows a plaid shirt, denim cut-offs and cowboy boots are a prerequisite, I try to put personal style into it while mixing in practicality. This crop top is light enough that the heat is slightly more bearable and shows just enough skin without being hoochie.  Honestly, I’m pretty sure the grounds are a teenage boy’s  idea of heaven with the number of girls showing off their “assets”

Anyways, onto more important things, I died over THIS Alice and Olivia leather skater skirt (and the price tag to go with it) so when I spotted this one at F21 and they didn’t have my size, I literally hunted it down in another store and found the last one!  So worth it.  Friday night, true to Stampede style, kicked off with massive rainstorms and flash-flooding in some parts of the city (leave us alone, weather gods!) this skirt will not soak up water (thanks, pleather!) so if I get caught in the rain at least I’ll dry off quickly!  I paired it with braided gold sandals because I plan to be doing a ton of walking and the asphalt gets so hot down there that I honestly consider cowboy boots to be completely unwearable.  ONE year my friends convinced me to bust out my boots (usually reserved for actual riding..) and get into the spirit on the grounds.  (They’re actually all dead now, I murdered them after I went crazy with hot. blistered feet.) Happy feet make for happy Stampeding, and I really don’t feel the need to prove my western merit by mashing my feet into a boiled pulp. So, sandals.

Its really weird trying to dress for 35 degree weather with a 99% chance of thundershowers.  Its usually so hot that the flash of rain is almost welcome, but not actually, cause I think it’s safe to say that Calgary has had enough rain for a while!

I am all about minimalism when I go out, I don’t wanna have to worry about carrying a bunch of stuff.. this cross-body bag adds the perfect pop of color and it keeps your hands free to play games and pet animals and drink beer.  This Matt and Nat beauty was the first thing I ever ordered from Karmaloop, which started my addiction, so it has a bit of a soft-spot in my heart. For one thing, its 100% recycled, and it has 3 zip compartments; one for your money and cards, one for makeup or what have you, and a little front pocket perfectly iPhone sized- which I am still using to take all my photos (boo, quality) while nit-picking over camera shopping.

Anyways, off to the grounds! I hope you all have a beautiful Saturday!

xo, aiyanajanee

stampede style

stampede for dummies

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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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Life’s a Beach

IMG_6659ethnic accessories striped boat shoessunnies + sneakers by ARDENE  ||  bag  Mañana Imports  || modal tank +  vest LeCHATEAU  ||  denim BLUENOTES  ||  watch LA MER COLLECTIONS

Life’s always a little behind in the blogging world, but these are particularly late, I blame moving week stress! These shots are from last week when it would not stop raining in Calgary.  I dunno if you heard.. onto the outfit! With all the doom and gloom I was craving color so I mixed in bright stripes, while using khaki green as a neutral.  This vest has to be one of the most wearable pieces I own, it’s the perfect layer for transitional weather.  Layered over two of my favourite basics for comfort;  a  cotton long sleeve tee from Aritzia and a modal tank.  I love how the stripes just peek out at the bottom, a soft tank is crucial for layering and modal is a great fabric that feels kinda like if silk and cotton had a love child.  I rolled up the cuffs of these jeans partially because it appealed to my twisted sense of humor (flood pants, get it) and mostly because it showed of these cute striped sneakers.

When it gets to be too rainy and depressing (like when the city has called in the military to deal with the state of emergency and you STILL have to go to work) I just remind myself that life’s a beach.   You can sit on the edge and watch the water go by, or you can jump in! (In this case not literally, don’t be a Nenshi Noun!) I actually don’t mind the rain and can frequently be found splashing in puddles.. sometimes even on my lunch break!   I figure if I must work, I might as well try to make the best of it!

hemmingway

I’m totally with Hemmingway on this one.

xo,aiyanajanee

anchor blues

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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

rainy days in yyc


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military jacket ROTHCO  ||  (mens) sweater &  liquid leggings LECHATEAU  || boots SPRING

The weather here has been ridiculous lately (haven’t you heard?)  with the storm system swirling around one minute it’s sunny and beautiful and the next it’s pouring rain.  If you stare at the clouds it’s almost dizzying how quickly they are moving around, I personally hope they are moving away but apparently we are stuck with a few more days of rain!  Rather than rain boots I paired these knee-high boots with snakeskin leather leggings and my favourite slouchy, stripy, sweater.  I love leather any time, but for rainy days it’s quite water and wind resistant, perfect for protection from the elements.  Speaking of, this utility cargo jacket is amazing, when I first got it (I ordered from Miss KL) I was a little worried because it was so big and boxy (it’s a men’s small) but after rolling up the sleeves and tightening the drawstrings at the waist I am now completely obsessed.  It’s perfect to wear over an over-sized sweater without the sleeves getting bunched-up underneath like they do in most other jackets.  My hair is pretty hopeless in the rain- a messy top knot solves that problem and the glasses solve two problems (correcting my vision, and hiding the giant bags under my eyes). This is the ultimate lazy-day comfort look for me, whenever I’m seeking out comfort I inevitably end up in menswear, I highly recommend you give it a try if you are currently a slave to a single-gender shopping experience!

 xo, aiyanajanee

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sail away

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

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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.

Calgary floods

Its been difficult to get new photos lately due to the fact its been raining for weeks (I’ve been super busy too) I missed most of it while gallivanting in beautiful Denmark, but this last week has been rather damp. I don’t mind, I love the water, love the rain, but it can stop anytime now. If you haven’t heard Calgary is underwater- at least the neighborhoods close to either of the two rivers that run though the city. Normally I complain about how much I miss living in Mission, by the Elbow River, but I’m glad I live on a hill now! I went for a run tonight despite the rain (there’s a trail that overlooks the river) and saw the flooding for myself. Bowness and Montgomery, the area behind me in both shots, are flooded. The water has risen at least 10 feet I would say, its nearly touching the bottom of this bridge I’m standing on, the homes behind me are flooded, and the water is still rising. There is widespread flooding and residents are being evacuated in Calgary, Canmore and High River. I feel terrible for the thousands of people who are out of their homes, and the millions of dollar in damage. At this point though, I kinda wish the law firm I worked for was downtown so I could have the time off work! (I’m kidding, because it would actually be a giant pain and I like my job!)

Keep Calgary in your thoughts and let me know which outfit you prefer, click to to see the full posts, and leave your vote below for your favourite!\

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on a normal spring day, the river is full but safe,  by June 21, 2013, flood water has risen and is nearly touching the bottom of the bridges.

bowness

full post – animal insticts

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flooding in Montgomery and Bowness is extensive, water has risen to the level of the bridges, leaving tree and rooftops tops poking out of rushing water

bowness

Edgy animal print or sweet white lace, which style do you prefer? Thanks for reading,

xo, aiyanajane

 

instaUPDATE – real life & Rosebud

back to reality and back in the office – miles of files, this is my lifestyle..

… and back home to my own bed, finally after so many weeks away!

this city, this city is haunted.. by ghosts from broken homes – alexisonfire boiled frogs lyrics

city and color “two coins” lyrics

don’t let anyone dull your sparkle – click image for the full post if you missed it!

pre-shower post-midnight selfie’s.. its how I roll #socool

these are a few of my favourite things; band tees, full skirts, converse, sunnies and the sound of music 🙂

36 crazy fists concert tee, monikee skirt (DK) CO-LAB cross body bag

out for lunch with the boss – found out I get to go on the company trip to Spain in November!!

brunch at The Ladybug and Cafe with my BFF & breakfast guru. She always shows me the best places!

waiting for my nails to dry with tea and snuggles in my favourite hoodie.

these two girls have my heart – misty & lina lookin all majestic like on the hillside.

now y’all know where I got my style, daddy rockin’ the fringe, the original hipster circa 1990

we planted trees for father’s day in my grandpa’s park. i come from a family of tree huggers – click photo for my mom’s blog

thinking over the weekend of another man I learned a lot from – missing this little pony, my BFF’s noble steed

This week was one of coming down.  Coming down and landing back in reality (how unpleasant).   Down from the cloud 9 of a European vacation – relaxing by the beach and stuffing my face with delicious Danish cuisine. while visiting family and shopping.  It was an amazing experience.  I really feel like the Europeans just have their ducks in a row when it comes to social programs and food… OMG the food you guys, go to Europe and just eat!!!  They believe in quality not quantity, that’s why they are famous for being slim and Americans are famous for being fat. I ate so many delicious things there!  Eat like a European – that’s my motto.  Mostly for one reason: seriously do you understand how much better their desserts and chocolates are?? I mean for reals.

 While we were in Denmark my grandfather took me to his childhood home and showed me oak trees he planted as a boy.  They tower up now, it was so beautiful to see how much they had grown – he told me there were three times more trees in Denmark now than there were when he left.  This fathers day we had an amazing family brunch with my dad  (the handsome fellow pictured above sporting the fringe jacket) and with his father who is basically a second father to me. (We call him Farfar, Danish for father’s father.)  He has been working on the land all his life, he was our farm every day of my life, and the changes over the years are unbelievable.  Looking at old photos of our farm, seeing him standing at 89 years old in his childhood home with the trees he planted towering over him- I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about how grateful I am for my family and how simple acts of ordinary people are what make all the difference in the world.

I think the history my family has given me such a strong sense of who I am and what I want.  When I spend time on the farm with my family, with my horses, with the animals and the trees and the wind in my hair; I feel free, I feel happy.  When I look around and see well sites dotting up like pockmarks on the once perfect prairie I am afraid; afraid of what is yet to come and that our collective greed will destroy all the earth has to give.  I apologize for being a bit behind schedule with my posts here, but sometimes I have to focus on the country-smile side of myself, you can find me in the meantime helping my somewhat technologically challenged mother with her blog. Click HERE or, add your voice to the conversation on ALBERTA VOICES.  I urge any Canadian citizens, or any concerned individual from any corner of the world to educate yourselves on the dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing .  We all talk about the weather every day, make jokes about how mundane our lives are.  Well, the weather lately has been so weird… its almost like there is some sort of global climate change happening. Perhaps from the massive amounts of fuel we have burned in the last 100 years?  Perhaps we need to pause more often, leave the concrete jungles where everyone is perfect and we never speak to strangers and go back to country roots, where we aren’t afraid to get dirty, do hard work, create a home and a FUTURE.  In the “now” generation we have very much lost sight of the “and then”.  We are failing to plan for  future, which is looking pretty bleak if we, collectively as humans, don’t turn things around a bit.  Stat.  The latest assault on the Rosebud River valley that I grew up in is some rich person’s idea of fun  “a European style country club with luxury condo’s and a paved race track” smack dab in the middle of  Absolutely No Where, Alberta. Also known as the the most damn important place in the world to me because I happened to be born in the center of it.  Read the Calgary Herald article HERE.

The most unforgivable lie we humans tell ourselves is that we, alone, will make no difference.

Alone, we can make all the difference in the world.  A single act can be everything to someone.   It takes ONE person with passion, one catalyst for change to happen.   Why are so many afraid to use their voice?  Afraid to be passionately involved in their convictions for fear of offending someone, somewhere.  As Eleanor Roosevelt put it – “Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized for it anyways.”   Its why things like the Steubenville Rape make me so sick to the core – because if ONE person at that party had pro-actively intervened, had stepped in and said, ” THIS IS WRONG AND YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I WILL MAKE YOU STOP.”  If just one person had had the courage to use that inner voice that must have been screaming at them, then that girl’s life could have been so different.  And those “poor boys” would never have had their “bright futures ruined” by this “misunderstanding” had someone acted (perhaps by knocking some sense into them). I’m so tired of victim blaming.  In other words, EVERYONE WINS WHEN SOMEONE ACTS FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.  Do we see where I am going with this?  You have a voice, use it for the truth, use it to ask critical questions, use it to stand up for what you know in your heart to be right.  Do not be silent.  Do not sell yourself short to think you make no difference, the only difference is between the choices you make every single day.

” there will come a time when you must choose between what is right and what is easy “

-j.k.rowling

It will not be easy, but it is our generation that must be the change.  I like to complain that I am back to reality because in some ways, I am terrified of the reality we live in.  Other days I think to myself, how lucky am I to have a steady job to complain about coming back to? Then I remember that luck had nothing to do with it, I worked my ass off to get it.  I am ecstatic to go to Amsterdam and then Barcelona in November, to see Europe again and have to come crashing back to reality in Calgary.  You make your own luck, you get what you give.  You plant a seed and one day it will grow into a forest but first you have to get your hands dirty and dig a hole for it, cover it in water and hope it grows to something beautiful.   Find your passion and let it grow.  Thanks for reading! xo, aiyana

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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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laser cut florals

balance beam cute romper geometric ruffle blouse and laser cut shorts kick  up your heels laser cut silk shorts long hair, dont care stop and smell the flowers sunshine in the garden the sun lives up there walk on the wild side zipper ruffle detailplatform leather pumps by Le Chateau  ||  sunnies by Ardene ||  h.i.p. shorts via Winners ||  top via R.A. Clothing   

Wanna know a not-so-secret-secret?  High waist anything is my jam – but especially shorts!  These ones are the best ones ever because they are a soft silk and have the cutest laser cut floral detail on the bottom.  Laser-cutting is one of my favourite spring trends, on these shorts it looks kind of like lace and kind of like a scalloped hem, and that’s kind of perfect.  I am such a girly-girl at heart, give me ruffles and florals and silk and high heels and I will be happy as a clam. A little bit of edgy detail (like the zipper back of this blouse) add’s just enough sass to an otherwise sweet outfit.  I love how when paired together the shorts with this breezy graphic blouse looks like a romper!  (Another summer trend I love.) I bought this top ages ago and just noticed today it’s getting rather worn out.. Its from one of my favourite local boutiques back in Calgary, click the link above or stop by if you are shopping on 17th! They always have amazing selection (and great designer denim) and the staff are super sweet.  I’ll be heading back there when I return to #yyc to see if I can find another equally awesome top. 

Speaking of perfect things that I love, summer here in Denmark is spectacularly beautiful, mostly because there are flowers and trees absolutely everywhere you turn!  I must stop blogging (I’m such night owl) and get my beauty sleep for another full day tomorrow!  

xo, aiyanajane

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