New Year's Wishes ♥

(Photos via Tumblr)

Wishing you all a beautiful and wondrous 2012
May all your footprints and footsteps be sprinkled in glitter.

Oh and happy 5 year anniversary darling. I know I may not always say much, but it doesn't mean I don't feel much  



New Side To Chinatown: The Board Of Trade Co ♥

Who would've expected to see such an amazing little shoppe around Chinatown? Just shy of being opened for half a year, The Board Of Trade Co is a concept clothing boutique that aims to highlight and support Vancouver’s growing creative community. Upon loading their website, you might find the face of their newly launched in-store brand Wu+Sen familiar - it's the beautifully stylish Lily from Bleed For Fashion! Click here to check out more pictures of Lily featuring Wu+Sen - aren't those photos amazing?

 Lily from Bleed For Fashion

The store's minimalistic and somewhat industrial decor is refreshing. Their collection of clothing are from up and coming designers around the world who limit the amount of work they produce - so you can be sure that you'll find that one special thing. I have a love-hate relationship with the sense of urgency that creates. If you spy something you love and don't pick it up chances are...well there won't be another chance. Did I mention each piece is gorgeous and packed with personality?

Upon stepping into the store I was immediately drawn to a pile of oversized, chunky, knitted cowl scarves in lovely rustic colors. The Board Of Trade Co has an extremely down to earth vibe with a sort of vintagy eclectic ambiance (I love it). The store carries clothing for women as well as men with a good collection of funky jewelry and accessories (I also fell in love with a pair of super cute tassel loafers).

The Board Of Trade Co was opened up by childhood friends David Lin and Eunice Quan (creative director of Oak + Fort) - probably two of Vancouver's youngest entrepreneurs. I believe I met David while stopping by today. He was very friendly and excited to hear my thoughts of the store. For some reason I was at a loss for words (my vocabulary just flew out the window). I did manage to sort of express how much I liked the look of the store and the creativity in the clothing. Well, hopefully if you ever read this David, I have everything lovely to say about The Board Of Trade Co!

Sadly, I didn't end up picking up one of those scarves (please still be there for next time!), but I will definitely be coming back in the near future for some serious shopping. Another super cool local shop to add to my list of favorites ♥

P. S. For you young creatives out there looking for a unique place to shop, this is a store for you.




Merry Christmas Lovelies ♥

Times like these reminds me of how wonderful every day is and how much I appreciate the people around me and the little things they do that make these "everydays." I hope all of you lovely readers have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, warmth, comfort, and delicious food.

Merry Christmas  ♥

(Photos via Tumblr)
Don't go crazy on boxing day (but if you do, be safe and be kind to your wallet) ♥




Liebster Blog Award - Thank You Kerri ♥

The lovely Kerri from There's Something About Kerri has kindly nominated my blog for the Liebster Blog Award! This award is for bloggers who have less than 200 followers and are new to the world of blogging. I never expected to receive any recognition for my blog, and am very grateful (and pleasantly surprised) for this. Thank you so much Kerri!

Kerri has an amazing fashion sense. (I've said it before and I'll say it again) I've always felt like she would be the (or more like my) perfect shopping girlfriend. I love her chic oufit choices and thoughts on fashion. Be sure to check out her wonderful blog ♥  http://somethingaboutkerri.blogspot.com/

Here is how to participate in this nomination frenzy!

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog
4. Reveal your top 5 blog picks
5. Let them know you chose them by commenting on their blog

My 5 picks ♥

Emicably Yours
Simply x Classic
Oh So Vonnie
Rites Of Beauty
Chic In Vancity

Merry Christmas everyone ♥



Everyday Is A Gift ♥

One of my favorite short stories to read during the holidays is The Gift Of The Magi by O. Henry. It was a story my mom used to tell me when I was little. It's a beautiful tale about giving and receiving and most importantly, love. I find that there are many adaptations of it in tv shows, movies, music and even other books (so if you do get the chance to read it, it may seem familiar). I won't say much about it as I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it!

I thought some of you might enjoy reading it so I decided to share it with all of you. It's not long, so if you have a moment (just 5 minutes will do) I'm sure it will warm your heart and put a smile on your face.


The Gift Of The Magi

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pierglass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.





All Wrapped Up

For me, the best part of Christmas presents (other than the lovely thought behind it of course) is its presentation. I'm a sucker for pretty wrapping paper, twirls of shiny ribbons, big sparkly bows, unique personalization, and lots of spilled glitter. If you've ever received a present from me then you know how carried away I can get with wrapping it to perfection.

 (Pictures from Violet Boutique Blog)

I hope you all have lots of gifties to wrap up. In midst of all the crowds and the busy and rushed atmosphere don't forget to take a breath and remember that the little things count the most. 




Last Minute Christmas Wish List ♥

Can you believe it? Only 5 more days until Christmas! Time goes by so quickly. I remember this time last year I was scrambling the streets of Beijing for trinkets and gifts and decorating my dorm room with ornaments and paper snowflakes (my roommate got quite the surprise when she got home that night). And now I'm here: home. Sitting with a cup of tea, my laptop and watching the lights on the Christmas tree winking and twinkling. Sometimes it feels like I never left Vancouver

For the majority of my family and friends, Christmas shopping is complete (I'm not a last minute running around the mall kinda girl)! But hey a girl can dream of a few last minute surprises popping up under the tree.
Here are a few things on my wish list that are super easy (budget friendly) gifts to get last minute for anyone - best of all they can all be found in Vancouver!

These are adorably sleek and convenient for the moody coffee lover (like myself). Grind just enough beans for one cup of coffee - freshly grinding the beans right before they come in contact with hot water makes the difference in taste.
Find @ Homewerx 2928 Granville Street

Bistro Burr Grinder $99.99                             Bistro Blade Grinder $34.99

All Marble & Milkweed products are made by hand and with love in New York City. These pretty, aromatic and sensous teas make the perfect blend for a morning sip or an afternoon pick-me-up. Delicious both hot and iced (add a bottle of honey for some extra sweetness).
This simple lip balm is loaded with organic coconut and sesame oil and vitamin E for maximum lip protection and nourishing. Not to mention it's delightfully packed in a cute little silver tin!
Find @ Oliver and Lilly's 1520 West 13th (just off Granville Street)

Marble and Milkweed Organic Teas $16/2oz                              Marble and Milkweed Simple Lip Balm $8


Whether you're young or old, a girl or a boy everybody can use a pair of cheerfully printed and colored Happy Socks. Happy Socks are high quality, super soft socks made from combed cotton. Designed in Sweden and manufactured in Turkey, the collection of socks features an almost endless variety of models and designs, crossing a wide spectrum of color combinations, materials and textures. Best of all, every pair is unisex!
Find @ Charlie and Lee 223 Union Street $13-$17/pair


Those with a love for home decor will love one of these hanging mobiles from Vancouverite Stu Hughe's Celestial Visions collection. Elegant, beautiful and absolutely mesmerizing - perfect addition to any room. Each mobile comes pre-assembled in a box (simply remove from the box and it's ready for hanging). Available in gorgeous geometric spheres or darling dangling feathers and crystals. $40-$100

Find @ Nouvelle Nouvelle 209 Abbott Street (in Gastown)


A holiday classic: these animal shot glasses come in both black and white, available in several animals and best of all can stand on their heads. Perfect addition to anyones collection or bar. These are super popular so make sure you get one before they're sold out! $30 each.
Find @ Vincent Park 4278 Main Street

There are tons of shopping haven cities out there, but to me Vancouver has it all. With more and more amazing boutiques and shops popping up around the city, I wouldn't want to go anywhere else to shop (okay, fine that's not entirely true, but shopping in Vancouver is still on top of the list)!

Some other great shops around Vancouver to go looking for stocking stuffers and trinkets:
Front and Company 3772 Main Street
The Hach 197 East 17th Avenue (just off Main Street and 17th)
Much and Little 2541 Main Street
Mr. Lee's General Store & Haberdashery 109 East Broadway
Old Faithful Shop 320 West Cordova Street

Happy last few days of shopping lovelies




Nature Preserve Jewelry ♥

Pieces of nature covered in 24 karat gold and sterling silver: how beautiful are these pieces of jewelry from Nature Preserve?

I've never come acress jewelry quite like this before (oh Etsy I love you for leading me to endless discoveries). The uniqueness and delicate beauty of these necklaces absolutely mesmerizes me. I love how they are so chic and fancy, yet still manage to create a totally down to earth look. With a lot of jewelry today chunkier and heavier than ever (not that it's a bad thing - I do love bold and in your face statement pieces), don't these look delightfully light and delicate?

I especially love the Cypress Pine Cones necklace. I wear a lot of black (simplicity - that's me), adding this necklace to my wardrobe would be such an elegant pop of gold. I wish I had a happier wallet - I would definitely purchase one. Just looking at the pictures makes my mind whirl with outfit ideas.

My favorite piece

Some tidbits about Gur Kimel's Nature Preserve collection:

"Gur Kimel is a student for B.Design in industrial design at H.I.T Israel. Gur designs jewellery from natural shapes, materials and textures. In his hands, acorns, pinecones and nuts become magnificent jewels while maintaining their natural beauty. Exploring and collecting exceptional pieces in the Jerusalem hills, urban Tel-Aviv, European forests and Scandinavian villages, Gur finds that nature tells a different story in each location, and this story changes again from season to season."

For now, I'll stick to making my hex bracelets (it's wallet friendly and chic too).
I'll be setting up a mini jewelry fund jar...until next time beautiful golden pinecones!




DIY Braided Hex Nut Bracelet

I just had to share this little diy project with all of you.
It is so simple and easy to make and it looks fabulous
(I'm sure a lot of you already have these supplies at home. The hex nuts and twine can be substituted with so many different things to create different looks.)

(Images and instructions courtesy of Honestly...WTF)

You’ll need:
- 3 strands of twine cut into one yard pieces
- 18 small brass hex nuts
- a bit of dexterity!

Gather the 3 strands of twine and tie a knot at the top, leaving about 2 inches of slack. Start braiding. At about an inch of the way down, you’ll begin braiding in the nuts. Before you braid the far left strand over the middle strand, thread on a nut, push it against the base of the braid, and crossover. Depending on the thickness of the twine, you can wrap tape around the bottom tips to prevent the twine from fraying.

Keep your thumb at the base of the braid, holding the nut in its place. Before you braid the far right strand over the middle, thread on another nut, push it against the base of the braid and crossover. Again, hold your thumb tightly against the base of the braid, keeping the nuts in place. Thread another nut onto the far left piece and crossover.

Repeat the steps, by threading the rest of the nuts to the outer pieces of twine before they are crossed over. Thread, cross, thread, cross. Finish the bracelet with another inch of braided twine and a knot.

The bracelet should wrap around your wrist at least two or three times. Trim it to your liking.




Zoya Nail Polish ♥

Picked up this adorable little nail polish from a little shop across from my workplace. I've heard many many many fantastic things about Zoya nail polishes, but because I was never interested in nail polish (up until I purchased 'The New Black' anyways) I never purchased any.

Here's a little snippet about Zoya:

Zoya Nail Polish combines the most sought-after fashion nail colors with the longest-lasting, safest technology in nail care. Zoya's 300-plus stylish nail polish shades are all formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphor free. The cutting-edge formula has also won a Women's Health Magazine independent panel award for longest-lasting polish. The release of Zoya's four seasonal polish collections is always hotly anticipated by beauty editors, beauty lovers and the salon & spa community alike.

The polish goes on very smoothly and is easy to apply. It does go on a bit thin with the first coat, but after a second (or third) it's fine. The long lasting part is definitely true. It's been over a week now and my nails look just as good as the first day (with the exception of one nail, though it's only chipped a tiny bit - I use it a lot to peel and pick at things at work). 
The color is scrumptuously gorgeous. I love pinks, but many shades of pink make my skin look very dark (not pretty), but this one doesn't do that and looks super cute and cheery. The color is called Renee. I believe they go for just under $10 per bottle at Escents Aromatherapy.

I was very tempted to pick up a few other bottles since all the colors looked so beautiful! I know I'll definitely be heading back for more in the near future (I mean, I do work just across the street)!

Have any of you lovelies out there tried Zoya nail polish? What's your favorite shade?




The New Black - Ombré Nails

I recently picked up these adorable mini nail polish sets at Vincent Park and I am absolutely obsessed. I change my nail color every couple of days. Some days it'll be ombré pink, other days ombré black, ombré blue, sometimes all glittery and silver, other times pretty in pink, shiny metallic blue...the fun never ends with these! I can't wait to start experimenting and create the gradient on a single nail!

Each set comes with 5 mini bottles. They claim to be free of toluene, formaldehyde, camphor and DBP and to be "expertly curated colors carefully selected for perfectly graduated tones. Take nails beyond the pale and graduate from the monochrome to incremental colors, one for each nail. Vegan-friendly, long-wearing and chip-resistant."
Vegan-friendly? I sure hope so! Long wearing and chip resistant? I can't quite answer that yet...since none of my nails have worn a single color for more than 3 days (but I'll let you know later on). I've never been a nail polish fanatic (that might change), but since I purchased these ombr
é sets I find myself looking at nail polish all the time when I'm out shopping.

These adorable sets make great stuffing stockers. They come in blue, pink, black, and red. I personally love red nail polish - but didn't quite take a liking to the red set (it seemed a bit dark, dull, and not too fun). The pink is super pretty and vibrant. The blue is very cool, I love the metallic. The black would have to be my favorite as not only do all the colors look amazing together (the glittery silver and shimmery black are so pretty), but I love each one by itself as well.

So if you're scrambling for a last minute gift add-on, stocking stuffer, or even Secret Santa head out to Vincent Park on Main Street and pick one (or two...) up before the sell out (*warning* visiting the shop might entice you to leave with more than just nail polish)! Don't be shy to strike up a good conversation with the lovely ladies there.

$24 a set
You can also pick these up from Nordstrom!


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