Simple Sailor

Red White and Blue - Spring Denim Suiting and Nautical Detailing

crossbody bag by CO-LAB via winners  ||  striped tee by JOE FRESH  ||  denim by AMERICAN EAGLE  || jewelery by ALDO  || blazer, kitten heels, pashmina by LE CHATEAU

Nude and Gold  details - starfish bracelet, gold rings. Cross Body BagSimple Spring Style - Nautical Stripes and denimPerfect Spring Style- Nautical, Nude and Gold Cross Body by Co-LabComfortable and Professional - Pashmina, Skinny Jeans and Kitten Heelsred, white and blue - nautical, stripes and denimBest Foot Forward in Nautical and Stripes- Red Pointy Toe Kitten Heels, Blazer, Bag and ScarfSEEING RED - pointy toe heels, anchor and striped scarfSTAR(fish) and stripes forever smiles and easy spring style. blue and red basicsOver the last few weeks I indulged in a little retail therapy ..and found this perfect cross body bag!  I am forever searching for bags that are the perfect mix of function and fashion and this one is just exactly right.  Naturally, Cedric took a bite out of the strap the moment I set it on the ground for a second, just to make sure I remember that he is the most important thing in the universe and would like dinner, now please. Prepare to most likely see a lot of this bag- bite marks and all- I’m super into the nude and gold tones for spring and its ideally sized!  I accessorized with a cute little starfish charm bracelet and stacked rings from Aldo accessories.  Everytime I go in there I want something else, today I saw this nautical striped bag that would have been perfect for my outfit! Since I linked it and its not in the photos, I trust you can tell I managed to resist. Plus, mine is better anyways 😛

Onto the outfit.  When I get dressed, what I really want is to be comfortable.  This outfit has my two favourite comfy basics- a relaxed cotton tee and dark wash skinny jeans.  My office is pretty casual so I get to wear jeans every day, I usually dress them up with a blazer.  This linen blazer kinda reminds me of chambray, and since denim-on-denim is having such a moment, I figured I would show some pride and bust out the Canadian Tuxedo.. sort of… the blazer is a bit of a cheat not being actual denim.  I have a love/hate relationship with linen… the wrinkles… there are no words, but this blazer eliminates that by having ruched details already so wrinkles don’t matter, fabulous!  The fabric has quite noticeable stretch (which I love in a blazer) and it is very light and cool.  Linen is often exclusively a spring and summer fabric (certainly in stores), which is why I find myself busting this jacket out as soon as the snow melts! (This time, stay away you white fluffy devil!)

Blue has always been my favourite color, it can basically be treated like a neutral, many people don’t seem to realize how versatile it is!  I’ve mentioned before how a scarf can make a simple outfit stand out- that’s absolutely the case here!   I paired simple basics with a bold, red, anchor printed pashmina, I love the black and white stripe detailing on the edges of it, pointy toe kitten heels and ruby lips finish the look. With a few accessories denim basics become a sweet sailor inspired outfit.

be safe at sea, xo, aiyanajane

post-shoot selfies – follow on instagram aiyanajanee ❤

Healthy French Toast

One of my favourite breakfasts is French Toast. Its warm and delicious and most importantly, extremely quick and easy to make!

I use 2 slices of Dempsters Ancient Grain’s Bread, one egg, a splash of skim milk and cinnamon to taste. Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and whisk together. Dip bread and fry on medium heat for ~1 minute/side. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. To cut calories use only the egg white.  

This is a good source of protein and fiber to start your day off with energy.  I feel very Canadian in my love for Maple syrup but there is honestly no substitute for it!  Same with real butter… Becel is NOT butter. I believe in dairy not petroleum products.

This is a quick, easy and yummy way to start the day, especially in the chilly winter!! It takes only minutes to make and devour!

ALSO BECAUSE I CAN QUOTE THIS

xo, a

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layering ideas COBALT & COGNAC

 

winter layers, leather, fur and knits

Winter in Calgary means lots and lots and LOTS of layers, but you don`t have to look like a bag lady!  My current favourite layering piece is the knit vest trimmed with faux-fur and lace.. it hits the fur trend without being over the top and adds much needed warmth on a chilly day. Layer a vest over a leather jacket to stay warm, or over a cardigan when the sun decides to make an appearance. To make a layered look successful emphasize the natural waist, mix colors, textures and prints but keep a tonal color scheme in mind. I chose my outfit around 2 key pieces, the cobalt blouse and the leather braided belt, sticking with shades of brown and blue (much like the Alberta landscape) for a perfectly put together look. To add to the slightly boho feel I wore a single feather earring instead of my usual conch jewelry, and a vintage wooden bangle, along with the on-trend studded leather cuff.

WHAT I WORE || chiffon top – H&M  || leather jacket, fur trim vest, cardigan, pants, belt, studded leather cuff, feather earring, sunnies- LE CHATEAU || boots – JESSICA SIMPSON via VICTORIA’S SECRET online || 

My beautiful cousin and fellow blogger sent me the top for Christmas (along with some other goodies) and I’ve been wanting to wear it ever since. The bright cobalt blue is my absolute favourite color, she’s the sweetest.. be sure to check out her blog, but download google chrome first so you can translate the Danish! I bought the multi-color braided leather belt the other day and knew that I had to pair the two together, everything else is old season, check out the le chateau outlet for tons of chic steals.

Argan Hair Care

It’s been a little over a year since I decided to grow out my pixie cut and go back to long hair.  It seems to me I always want what I don’t have, looking back I miss my pixie, it was so easy, it styles better the longer you don’t shower, perfectly low maintenance and cute.  At the same time I look at older photos of my super long locks and miss them terribly.  The hardest part is the in between stage, I always feel utterly boring with a bob, but it can hardly be avoided if one wants to go from pixie cut to long layers. I could get extensions, but 1. I’m too cheap 2. I’m too lazy 3. they kinda weird me out… someone else’s hair on your head!! What if it comes alive and tries to kill you like that episode of the Simpsons where Homer gets a hair transplant!!? No, thank you.

pixie cut for straight hair

THEN: super short pixie cut circa December 2011 – dyed dark red

long wavy hair with a triple barrel curling iron

GOAL: long layers, natural hair color, waved with a triple barrel curling iron.

NOW: A LONG BOB- supremely unremarkable hairstyle

 My hair was color treated for a couple years, I decided the best way to get rid of it and avoid roots was to chop it short and grow it out.  I noticed that after I had dyed it, my hair was more brittle, tangled more, and was generally more unmanageable. Plus, I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m SUPER lazy about my hair… having to maintain with dye every few weeks, such a hassle! I haven’t dyed it since November 2011, my hair is all natural now, I have cut it a few times since I started growing it out, to even out the wacky layers and rid myself of dead ends. Did you know cutting your hair regularly stimulates growth? So even though its hard to watch those extra inches go, they will grow back stronger and healthier with regular trims!

One year in and patience is waning at this point, I certainly have at least another year of growing before I’m close to my goal length.  I’ve been looking into supplements like Biotin and Silica and might just try to see if they help it grow even faster. Stay tuned! In the mean time; “just keep growing, just keep growing, what do we do? We grow, grow, GROW!”

To stimulate growth and keep hair shiny, soft and smooth, I recently picked up this Argan Oil Conditioner, Pure Argan Oil, and  a Soy Milk Shampoo, all from Winners. I use the pure oil whenever I use hot tools on my hair- turn head upside down and apply to the ends working your way up to the scalp. To get a shiny smooth blowout, use Argan Oil, a boar bristle brush, and then blow dry on cool to lock in shine. Argan Oil is an amazing de-tangler, apply it directly to knots and comb out gently; my hair knots like crazy, it’s part of the reason I tend to go for short hair every couple years, Argan will help prevent breakage as you fight the tangles! Apply it to your hair and give yourself regular head massages which will stimulate blood flow and increase hair growth.  In the photos you can still see some of the sun-streaks in the front from this summer, I used this DIY Lemon Lightening Spray to get natural highlights.

…and a sneak peak at an upcoming post, I’m loving this Equestrian style blazer!

silk scarf and tank, wool blazer - le chateauHope you’re having a wonderful weekend! xo, a

be a savvy shopper and save

one of the very best ways to EVOLVE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE is to constantly be trying different things on.

The best way to find what works and what doesn’t is simply to TRY IT! Its not like you have an obligation to buy, and there’s no need to feel bad or silly if something looks terrible, so next time you feel the need to shop (but maybe you don’t actually need anything) go on a “scouting mission” and try on whatever tickles your fancy, but leave your wallet at home. You’ll get an idea of styles, trends and the shapes that work on your body shape, without feeling stressed about making a decision to buy. Take pictures if you aren’t sure, then ask for a friends opinion, or if you love it, take a photo so you know what to go back for! If you find that once you’ve gone home there is a certain piece that you can’t get out of your mind, then go back, at that point, you KNOW you want it, and why not? You put a real EFFORT into finding that perfect item, the least you can do is reward yourself by adding it to your collection, right?!

I like to shop all the time.. this is not budget friendly.

Often I go into stores and try an absolute ton of clothes on but purchase nothing. (Be nice to store employees and the clothes, hang them back up after you’ve tried them on! Respect goes a long way.) To keep my shopping in check, I make mental lists of items I want to add to my wardrobe, whether trendy pieces I want to try (like a crop top), or classic staples I need to upgrade (like a LBD) I have an idea of a few items I want to add, and try not to stray too far from the list. By shopping at different stores in search of a certain piece you also will be able to more easily compare fit, quality and prices and then find the best deal. 

I had some time to kill yesterday, so I hit the Winners in Westhills/Signal Hill, Calgary. In my opinion, its one of the very best winners in terms of great product, and I have been to a lot of them! I went there with the PROMISE that I would not purchase a single thing -simply look- as a few unexpected expenses popped up recently and I absolutely cannot justify adding more to my exploding closet right now (well I could, but I literally just have no cash to buy things at this point..)

There are so many amazing denim trends right now I just want to try them all!!

 I found a ton of items yesterday at Winners that were on my mental shopping list, including coated oxblood, grey snake print, and mint skinnies, as well as the most beautiful pair of gold metallic skinny Buffalo David Bitton Jeans, for only $29.99!  I also tried this chunky off white sweater with the most darling lace heart appliques, a fuzzy black sweater trimmed with gold chains, a lovely tonal aqua chiffon blouse and these irresistible little silk cut out shorts (which for only $10, I had to cheat and buy).

What I love most about the Westhills Winners, is their purse selection!

I have bought countless bags there over the years, and right now they seem to have a particularly good selection. Honestly, if you haven`t been to Winners before, you should really go. Its probably my favourite store.

purses

My four favourites – 1. Linea Pelle Collection- Dylan $245.00 regular $185.00 sale   2. Steve Madden studded tote $118.00 regular $69.99 sale  3. Olivia & Joy forest green messenger back with chain strap $89.00 regular $39.99 sale  4. Alberto de Canino white leather envelope clutch with tassels $110.00 regular $44.00 sale. I so badly wanted the coral tote, the leather was SUCH great quality and it has the cutest zebra print lining. You guys should be proud, I walked away.

The only problem with shopping sans-wallet at Winners is that you can almost be certain that if you go back, unless its the very next day, its likely already gone. If I wasn’t on a student budget, the burgundy and the gold skinnies would be mine, as would the mint top, the heart sweater, the coral bag and the white clutch. It seems like whenever you go out intending to buy nothing that you find all the best things!

I couldn’t resist the little cut out shorts (I mean for $10!!!), so I continue to have an unresolved spending problem, but at least I look good doing it! I also exchanged a scarf I was given for Christmas that turned out to be stained and picked out this beautiful cream infinity cowl from Purr, with Calgary locations in Kensington, 17th Avenue and The Core Downtown. I love it, infinity scarves are my go to and I realized at the beginning of winter that I must have lost my old white one, so I’m thrilled to have scored such an upgrade.

infinity scarf, cowl, white, knit

xo, a

western heritage

back to country roots, and warmer days..

It snowed last night in Calgary. That made me upset, also Ronald the goldfish died, so I am le sad. Today I stayed indoors all day long, ignoring the outside world. It was nice… I got caught up reminiscing about summer and missing my horses. My best friend, Michelle, (above) and I shot these photos in early July, at that time I was looking forward to an entire summer of riding, but only a few days later another horse (not pictured) decided that my pelvis was better off in more than one piece. That was the end of that. So I’m already looking forward to next summer (please, come quickly..) when I can be back out with my girls! I kinda love them.

wearing: DENIM + TANK – le chateau  //  shoes -ardenes  // lace top – F21

xo, a