Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For The Love of Fashion

I grew up around "fashion."
Or at least in a retail sense of the word.
My dad worked in men's wear his entire life and has had his own clothing store for years.
One of my first jobs was to work in the family business and then eventually I moved on to wholesale and had the opportunity to represent designers and sell their labels.
Then gradually I started doing P.R. for fashion stylists while working at an agency and finally decided to become a stylist myself.
I started doing wardrobe for shoots, then eventually moved into Props and Set Design.

So there you have it, my abbreviated resume in a nut shell.
You would think I absolutely LOVE fashion and follow all the latest trends.

Not exactly.

Oh sure I see what looks good on other people and love to dress them (especially kids) but me?
Not so much.
I find clothing shopping to be a huge pain and a waste of time.
I find it so far from pleasurable that I would rather wax my...errr..floors...rather than go shopping.

"When it comes to fashion, many women get lost along the way somewhere in their thirties, caught up in the pressures of family or work. Reaching your forties often causes a dilemma in terms of dressing – in trying not to appear too old, or as if you are trying too hard to look young."

Ah yeah..

Plus I'm just not digging the styles these days.
It's all so Eighties, and it just takes me back to a place I've been before.
Been there (ahem...stirrup pants) done that.
Which in turn makes me feel. Old.

I mean, I love to shop at Anthopologie for example, but all those girls that work there look adorable in that boho- hippie chic look and can totally get away with mini skirts, those shoe-boot things, feathered headbands and a military jacket all mixed into one outfit.
Me, I would look just ridiculous going to pick Lulu up at school dressed like that.
As tempting as it might be...
Though I have to admit, the other day the store manager asked if I would consider a part time job there, as they are looking for sales staff.
Flattering, yes- but still, I just have a hard time with all this mixing and matching styles.
What ever happened to that nice year 2000 all black Prada look?
So simple, so effortless.
Speaking of all black.
Same goes for my other stand by- Club Monaco.
Just not working for me this season.
The styles are so frilly and shear.
I mean it's soon going to be freezing outside, I don't think a chiffon blouse is going to do the trick.
Not exactly practical.
The Gap & Banana have gotten pretty boring if I'm being honest.
Not everything, but nothing is really jumping of the racks this season.
And Holt's well- knowing the mark-up on clothing I have a hard time justifying spending so much on clothes.
Winners- don't even get me started.
Lets just put it this way, I always leave there not only empty handed- but annoyed.
All the independent shops in my neighbourhood are totally not me, plus all the women that work in them are super bitchy.
Or at least that's been my experience.
H&M and Zara- again, never have a ton of success, at least for me.
Lulu on the other hand always walks away with a killer wardrobe.

Which leaves few other options. at least ones that I have time to go to.
Time is of the essence these days and clothing shopping isn't really at the top of my priority list.
But a girl has to look and feel her best, and for me clothing usually fits that bill.
All is not lost though.
Thank g-d for J.Crew.
Not super trendy, practical but still cute.
Annoying that there isn't a store in Canada yet, but on-line shopping is actually a pretty decent way to go.
I can shop at midnight in my P.J's with a glass of wine in one hand and my credit card in the other.
No line ups, no crowds, no small poorly lit dressing rooms or crusty sales girls.
None of the styles are over the top high fashion, but I think they suit my lifestyle at the moment and I don't end up feeling like a 39 (almost 40) something trying to look 20.
Or worse a 39 (almost 40) something looking like 60.
Not there is anything wrong with 60- I'm just saying...
Not quite ready for Talbot's quite yet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

zero numbers

Well it's been quite a while since I posted about restaurants.
I'm sad that I'm no longer doing important "research" for the now defunct blog that I used to write for.
Though the old reviews are still up and running.
Anyhow the greatest part about writing that column was that it kind of encouraged us to try new restaurants all the time.
Oh sure, I love my stand-by's, but it's always fun to go to different neighbourhoods to try new things.

A couple of years back we went to Seven Numbers on the Danforth (though I think I forgot to post about it) and from what I can recall, we had a pretty decent meal.
It's super casual, with an eclectic mix of kitchy art, wax laden old wine bottles and mismatched chairs.
When you're eating out with the kid(s) at the end of a long week, a casual atmosphere is always welcome.
I also love menus that break things down into four courses: antipasti (salads, seafood), primi (pastas), secondi (meats, fish), and corntini-(side veg).
I find it's the perfect way to sample a bunch of things and also happens to be a super family friendly way to eat.
So it sounds like a great place to go for dinner right?


I have to say it was one of the worst meals I've had in a while.
The bread was stale, the olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles were dirty and sticky.
Never a good sign of things to come.
the Involtini Di Manzo- Grilled thinly sliced striploin wrapped around prosciutto, green onions and mozzarella was in a word- gross.
It was onion overload.
The Beef Cheeks were...um how to put this...disgusting.
Oh sure they were tender, but also mostly fat and served in such strange tasting wine sauce.
The Grilled Red Pepper and Arugula Salad was over dressed (soggy) and even the side grilled mushrooms tasted off.
How can you screw up grilled mushrooms?
Even Lulu had to send back her under cooked orecchiette.
So in a nut shell every single item that we ordered was terrible.
Oh wait a minute, not everything- the lasagna was decent.
Oh and the service was good too.
Too bad because I like small family restaurants and it was so good in the past.
Not sure what happened.

We passed on dessert- surprise surprise....
Opted for the warm home made brownies that I baked earlier in the day instead.
In fact we should have just stayed in for dinner.

But all is not lost in the land of Toronto dining experiences, we managed to try out some fantastic restaurants over the summer.
Stay tuned for some more reviews.
Or better yet, any good recommendations?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

happy new year

Even though big daddy is away, I still love to celebrate one of my favourite Jewish holidays.
When you really think about it, this time of year really does feel like the start of something new.
A new season, new schools & teachers, new routines (oh how I LOVE routines) and just an over all sense of renewal.
But most importantly, a time for new shoes...kidding...

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy & sweet new year.