Atlas Grace


Atlas Grace

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Focus on fashion, clean eating, fitness and self improvement.

  • Clean Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Protein Oatmeal Bake 8 October 2012 A perfect fall breakfast or pre-workout snack.  I make a batch at the beginning of the week and package it up for work-week breakfasts.

    Or, serve fresh out of the oven as a clean dessert and top with a spoonful of frozen greek yogurt.

    Pumpkin Pie Protein Oatmeal Bake

     

    Ingredients:

    2 C large flake oats
    4 Scoops vanilla protein powder (I use Sunwarrior)
    2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 C truvia (or sweetener of your choice)
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt

    4 egg whites
    1 C unsweetened almond milk (I use vanilla flavor)
    1/2 C fat free greek yogurt
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 C raw pumpin

     

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.

    Mix together wet ingredients in a medium bowl.

    Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.

    Pour into greased 8×11 glass baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

    Makes 4-6 servings.  If 6 servings, 211 calories and 20 g protein.   If 4 servings, 316 calories and 29 g protein. 

    Happy fall, loves!

    xo,

    AG

  • Clean Greek Yogurt Pancakes + Blueberry Compote 6 September 2012 Here is a great recipe that I’ve pieced together from the gazillions of protein pancake recipes out there.  Greek yogurt is my new obsession, I recently found a giant 3 pack of fat-free plain at Costco and I’ve been going to town with it.  Greek yogurt is my new best friend.  It makes these pancakes super moist, dense and delicious.  Very filling.  Not dry like most of the protein pancakes I’ve tried (I swear it’s something with adding whey powder, it literally makes them hard to swallow… YUCK!) 

    I’m totally into having these for dinner and refrigerating the rest for a quick breakfast in the morning.   You don’t even need to put anything on them, they are delicious as is, but if you are feeling really fancy, try the blueberry compote.  Sounds elaborate, but it’s just frozen blueberries and a bit of water boiled in a pot.  But SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, it’s our secret.

    Oh, and they’re free of the bad stuff like gluten and refined sugar.  Totally clean.

     
     
    Clean Greek Yogurt Pancakes

                   
    ½ C oat flour
    ½ tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    ½ tsp (heaping) cinnamon
    1 tsp Truvia (or clean sweetener of your choice)

    1 C fat-free greek yogurt
    ½ C liquid egg whites

    Coconut oil for pan

    If you are making the compote (see below for recipe), put the blueberries on the stove before starting the pancakes.  It takes about 20 minutes.

    Whisk dry ingredients together in medium bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in another bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together until just mixed.

    Heat a non-stick skillet to med-high and grease with coconut oil.  Pour pancake batter into 3-4” blobs in pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or flip when bubbles start forming in batter.

    I can usually only get 4 on the pan at one time, and I find it easier to cool, rinse and re-oil the pan between batches.  Or you could just have another pan going at the same time.

    This recipe makes 8 medium pancakes (4 cakes per serving).  They freeze well or you can put them in the fridge and heat them up the next day.  Not going to lie, I like them cold too.

    Tomorrow’s breakfast to-go!

    Feel free to double the recipe without any changes.

    About 55 calories and 5 grams of protein per pancake (not including oil or topping).

    Clean Blueberry Compote

    1 C frozen blueberries
    ¼ C water

    Put blueberries and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down to med-high so that it is still bubbling, but not all crazy-like.  Leave it for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until about half of the liquid is reduced and you are left with a syrup-like consistency. 

    You can really use your own judgment on this one, boil it until it looks like the right thickness to put on your pancakes.  It’s not an exact science.  You may add a small amount stevia or xylitol when done, but it will already be very sweet without.

    All I have is this crappy Instagram of my blueberry compote.  I made it a couple nights ago and devoured it before I could snap a proper shot.

    Enjoy, loves!  Let me know if you think these are the best clean pancakes you’ve ever laid eyes on!

    xo

  • Long Weekend Hike: Mount Saint Piran 5 August 2012 We hiked Mount Saint Piran yesterday (2649 m elevation).

    It was about 13 km round trip with 920 m elevation gain.  It took us about 6 hours (including lots of breaks and a stop at the Lake Agnes Tea House on the way back).

    The views at the summit were spectacular – as good as you’ll get in the Canadian Rockies.  Highly recommended.

    

    Looking down at Lake Louise
  • Baking Clean: Chocolate Protein Cake 5 August 2012 I love baking, it makes me happy.  I find it hard to resist devouring tasting the batter, though, so I have resolved to sticking to guilt-free recipes only.

    This is a similar recipe to the one I posted here for Pumpkin Protein Bars. Having made them both, I do prefer the Pumpkin ones (this recipe is denser, less moist and more cakey), but these are good if you need a little chocolate fix. I freeze these in individual servings and take them to work with me every day.

    Chocolate Protein Cake
    (modified from original recipe)

    Ingredients:

    1 cup Oat Flour
    4 Egg Whites
    2 scoops Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (I use About Time brand)
    1/3 cup Truvia or Ideal/Xylitol
    1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 cup (2 jars) Apple or Berry flavored Baby Food (can also use unsweetened applesauce)
    3 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
    1/2 cup Water

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, protein powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa) together in a large bowl.

    Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Truvia/Ideal, Baby Food, Water) together in a medium sized bowl.

    Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.

    Line 8×8 Pyrex dish with parchment (trust me, it’s much easier to remove than spraying it with PAM) and add batter to dish.

    Bake 25-30 minutes in oven (until knife comes out clean)

    Makes 16 squares, serving size is 2 bars.

    Note: It’s better to freeze these, but if not, they will stay fresh for about 4 days in the fridge. Don’t leave them on your counter or they will spoil within a day or two.

    Try:  Topping with natural peanut butter or PB2.  I mean, is there any better combination than chocolate and peanut butter?

  • August Resolution: Be Enough 2 August 2012
    I just realized that I totally forgot to make my monthly mantra for July!  Life gets so busy in the summer and I completely blanked.  So, this month I have to make my resolution extra special. 

    Here’s what I’m thinking:

    Source
    It may seem ambiguous, but that’s why I like it.  “I am enough” can mean different things to different people.  And it can apply to many different facets of life.  For me, in the clean eating and fitness realm, over the last few months, I have been very motivated because of an upcoming wedding that I was a part of.  I wanted my arms to look toned in the gorgeous strapless bridesmaid dresses that we were wearing.  Mission accomplished, as far as I’m concerned.  Now that the wedding is over, my motivation is waning.   This month, I want to focus on getting motivation from within myself, to look good, to feel good and to be healthy.  For myself.  Not external events or pressure. 

    Furthermore, it has become very apparent to me over the years that the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.  And I don’t mean to sound cynical, I still have an optimistic outlook on life, I just truly feel that happiness must come from within, or it is not true happiness.  So that is what I will concentrate on… being enough.

  • Cinnamon Vanilla Egg White Oats 25 July 2012
    The perfect combination of protein and complex carbs to start your day.

    This recipe is for a single serving, but you can double or triple it easily.

    Ingredients

    2/3 C water
    1/3 C large flake oats (aka. old fashioned oats)
    1/4 C egg whites (or the whites of 2 large eggs)
    1 tsp Truvia (or sweetner of your choice)
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    Splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    Berries on top

    Directions

    Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Reduce heat, add oatmeal and cook until water is gone (about 10 min). 

    Reduce heat to low.  Beat egg whites for 30 seconds and stir in to oatmeal.  Whisk mixture vigorously for a couple more minutes so that egg whites are fully incorporated.  Add Truvia, vanilla and cinnamon, mix well. 

    Serve with a splash of cold almond milk and your choice of berries.

    To make ahead:  Prepare as directed (without almond milk and berries), place in refrigerator before bed, and in the morning, put it in the microwave for a minute or two and then add the almond milk and berries.

    About 160 calories per serving and 12 grams of protein (without berries).

  • Atlas Grace is now on Facebook! 20 July 2012

    So, ‘Like’ me and I will LOVE you back.  Promise.

    Click here to see the new page!
  • Homemade Clean Tzatziki 20 July 2012

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time, I’ve been perfecting it for years.  It’s super easy to make and great on raw veggies, grilled veggies, chicken… and, well, sometimes I like to eat it right out of the container with a spoon.

    Ingredients

    2 C (1 – 500g container) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
    2 baby cucumbers (can use 1/4 of a seeded long english cucumber)
    1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (I use scissors)
    2 cloves garlic
    1 T red wine vinegar
    1/2 T dijion mustard
    Splash of lemon juice (optional)

    Drizzle of olive oil (when serving)

    Directions

    Shred cucumber with the larger holed side of the cheese grater.  Place shredded cucumber on a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt to draw the water out.  Place aside while you prepare the rest.

    Shredded cucumber with a paper towel to soak up water

    In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, dill, minced garlic, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice.  Save the yogurt container.

    Once the paper towels under the cucumber are completely soaked, pat them dry and fold the cucumber into the mixture. 

    Serve with a little olive oil drizzled over the top, ’cause that’s how they do it in Greece!

    That’s it… so easy!  Enjoy!

    Tonight’s dinner.  YUM!

  • Shopping for Clean Eats 18 July 2012 A few weeks ago I paid a visit to the new Low Carb Canada store that just opened up in Calgary.  Despite being in an obscure and somewhat hard to access location in the Northeast part of the city, it was well worth the trip.  I picked up a few cases of Quest Bars, some PB2, and a jar of Truvia.  These are all clean products that are impossible to find in regular stores.

    Quest Bars

    These are a gluten-free, all natural protein bar with no artificial sweeteners.  For around 170-210 calories, they offer 20 grams of protein, less than 2 grams of sugar (!!!!) and over 17 grams of fiber.

     

    I bought 3 flavors: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chocolate Brownie and Coconut Cashew.  The PB&J and Chocolate Brownie flavors are really good, but the Coconut Cashew is not my favorite.  Oh well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad!  I also bought a single of the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor and it tasted pretty good too. 

    Oh, and because of the fiber content, probably don’t eat more than one of these per day!  

    It’s obviously better to eat whole foods like lean meats, fruit and vegetables, but these bars are great for when you’re on the go and in a pinch.

     

    PB2

    I have been reading about this stuff incessantly on health and fitness blogs for what seems like ages.  I really wanted to try it, but never got around to ordering it online.  When I came across it at this store, I promptly dropped two jars into my basket: regular and chocolate flavor. 

    Basically, it’s peanut butter powder, PB taste without the fat and calories.  It’s great in smoothies and if you mix it with a tablespoon of water, it becomes a non-fat peanut buttery dip, perfect for dipping apples!  It’s pretty delicious if you ask me.  It’s 45 calories for 2 TBSP, which is double what you need to get that intense PB flavor in a smoothie.

    Truvia

    A crystallized version of Stevia.  Works great for baking, as I find that the powdery stuff clumps up and ruins the taste of baked goods.  The conversion is 2 tsp of regular sugar to ¾ tsp of Truvia (a little goes a long way).  

    Low Carb Canada is also the Canadian distributor for About Time Whey (I talked about it a post here).  About Time is a clean protein powder that has no artificial sweeteners.  It’s my favorite protein and the only one I’ve been able to find that’s truly clean and available in Canadian stores – try the Peanut Butter flavor!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    NOTE:  I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post and have not received any discounts or freebies from them whatsoever.  I just happen to really like the products and thought you might too.

  • Bachelorette Weekend + Denim Shorts 7 July 2012 Last weekend was Canada Day and we travelled to Kelowna, BC, for a getaway weekend in honor of my best friend who is getting married on July 27.  Kelowna is about 600 km from Calgary, on the shore of Lake Okanagan, right in the centre of Canadian wine country.  Sun, beach and wine.

    Saturday, we did a wine tour through Discover Okanagan Tours.  We visited 5 wineries: Quail’s Gate, Little Straw, Mission Hill, Beaumont and Rollingdale. 

    

    Quail’s Gate winery montage.  My favorite wine was a Chasseles, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris white blend.

    Mission Hill has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  I wanted to stay forever.

    

    Vines at Mission Hill Winery, leading down to the lake.  Dress: Isabella Sinclair from Anthropologie.

    Sunday was a beach day followed by fireworks on the water.  It was the perfect opportunity to wear my new Rag and Bone Mila shorts, that I was coveting here.  I got them on sale at Aritzia a few weeks ago and they are so perfect.  I bought them in a size up so they are super comfy and relaxed.  No buyers remorse here.

    Front and back view of the Rag and Bone Mila shorts.

     Overall, it was a great weekend! 

    What’s your favorite weekend getaway destination?

  • Homemade Protein Bars + Clean Protein Powder 25 June 2012 Hi all!  Forgive me, I’ve been so distracted lately I haven’t had time for many posts.

    I wanted to share this great recipe that I found for gluten-free, clean Pumpkin Protein Bars.  I’ve made it twice now, with a few modifications, and I’m completely addicted.  They’re healthy, but they definitely taste sinful!

    I’ve been following Jamie Eason’s Live Fit program for the last few weeks, sticking to the workouts and trying my hardest to follow the meal plan.  I swear that I already notice a difference.  I am limiting my fruit to 2 servings a day and I think that (along with the intense weight training) is what’s doing it.  I have been getting wicked sugar withdrawl headaches though – no joke!  I read that keeping sugar under 35 grams per day is the magic number, so that’s what I’ve been shooting for.

    Pumpkin Protein Bars

    (modified from original recipe, here)
    I love that this is a one-bowl recipe.  No need to get fancy with the wet and dry ingredients.  Should take you 5-10 mins to throw these babies together.

     

    Ingredients:

    • ¼ C Splenda Brown Sugar blend (or, use ½ C of Xylitol if you don’t like artificial sweetners)
    • ¼ C unsweetened applesauce (I use one lunch-sized packet)
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 large egg whites (or 1/2 C of egg whites from the carton)
    • 1 – 796 ml (15 oz.) can of raw pumpkin (ensure it’s NOT the pie filling which is loaded with sugar)

    • 2 C oat flour (buy it premade or grind your own oats in a blender to make flour)
    • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein (I used About Time Whey – Birthday Cake flavor)
    • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • ½ C chopped walnuts (optional, but highly recommended)

     

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
    2. Spray a 9×13 Pyrex (glass) dish with non-stick spray
    3. Combine first 10 ingredients and mix well
    4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min
    5. Makes 24 squares

    They are about 65 calories each (with walnuts) and 50 without.  Each square offers about 4 grams of protein.  The Live Fit program recommends a serving size of 4 squares for a small meal, but I find that 2 is often enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

    And while we’re on the subject of protein, my body sometimes does not like artificial sweetners and dairy so finding a protein powder that works for me was difficult.  I recently came across About Time Whey, which claims to be “the cleanest protein on the market” so I went ahead and ordered some from Low Carb Canada (not sure if there are any stores in YYC that sell it right now).  The flavors I ordered were Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake and Chocolate.  Amazing, right?

    There are only 4 ingredients – all natural.  The taste is really good – much better than all of the other “natural” ones that I’ve tried – and it mixes well with water and almond milk.  One scoop is only 103 calories and 24 grams of protein. 

    My current smoothie of choice is this one:

    Chocolate, PB and Banana Protein Smoothie

    • 1 scoop About Time Whey, Peanut Butter flavor
    • 4 ice cubes
    • 1 C unsweetened chocolate almond milk
    • ½ banana (optional, only if I’m working out right before or after)

    Blend for a few minutes and enjoy!

    Happy eating, loves!

    PS – They are opening a Low Carb Canada store in Calgary (14th and McKnight NE) on June 30, so we will be able to buy About Time in store soon!

  • Weird Trend: Double Frontal Slit 18 June 2012 So I was watching the MMVA’s yesterday (Canada’s version of the MTV Music Awards) and a couple of ladies were sporting dresses with what I can only describe as a “double-frontal slit”.  It doesn’t look so bad when they just stand there, but the part I found offensive was when they started walking.  The middle piece of the skirt literally goes back between the legs.  Like a loose diaper. 

    I am appalled.

    

    See what I mean?  Shenae Grimes in Amanda Lew Kee

    

    Carly Rae Jepsen (designer unknown), love her, hate the slits
    Anna Friel, all kinds of wrong (she was not at the MMVAs)
  • Summer To-Do List 13 June 2012 Many of us make New Years resolutions in January only to forget about them by summertime.  Summer, however, is a great time to identify and accomplish new goals.  Though short, there’s something about the fleeting sunshine that motivates us to do things sooner than later.

    With that, there are a few things I wanted to share that are on my to-do list this summer. 

     

    Plant a patio garden

    I should say, rather, that I want to keep my patio garden alive.  I planted a few colourful pots last weekend and they are currently alive and doing well.  They make me so happy just to look at and I so hope I don’t kill them.  I’m going to make a concerted effort to keep them watered and in the sunshine.

    Pretty patio garden

    Run in two or more 10K races

    I am currently registered for two races later in the summer, the Calgary Women’s Run (August 26) and the Calgary Corporate Challenge 10K (September 9).  I am going to do my best to train properly and stay injury free so I can follow through on my goal.  I’ve done both of these races several times over the years and they are great fun.  I find that registering for a race that is far into the future is a great way to stay motivated over a period of time.


     

     

    Learn the basics of photography

    This may be the most expensive item on my to-do list because I do not currently have a proper camera.  I have always wanted to take good-quality photos but have been both intimidated by the complexities and unwilling to haul around a giant, ugly SLR camera.   Enter, the Nikon 1 J1.  This camera is about as big as a typical point and shoot model (with detachable lenses), but has the functionality of the larger high performance cameras.  It’s marketed to the serious amateur (which I aspire to be).  I want. 

    Nikon 1 J1 White
    Nikon 1 J1 compact camera, around $600

     

    Create a kick-ass travel itinerary

    My wonderful boyfriend and I are headed to Eastern Europe in September, and for the first time in my life, I’ve agreed to wing it.  Sort of.  I’m a planner, I like to be prepared and I find spontaneity highly annoying.  So, we’ve come up with a compromise.  I can blow my brains out googling possible hotels, sights, and restaurants ahead of time, but we won’t pre-book anything.  We want to keep our trip as flexible as possible, while minimising the possibility of sleeping in a Czech slum.  I plan to make a binder with hotel options, city maps, tour contacts and must-see attractions that we can carry along with us.

    Prague, Czech Republic (one of the cities we plan to visit on our trip)

     

     

    Hike Mount Yamnuska

    This mountain is one of the first you see when driving west from Calgary into the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  While the view in the photo below looks quite intimidating, there are well marked routes up both sides and the circuitous hike is classified as moderate difficulty.  We love to hike and try to get out on most weekends in the summer.  The reason we haven’t done this one yet is because in order to complete the circuit, there is allegedly a cable at the top that you must hang on to while traversing a particularly treacherous edge.  But, it’s time to man up and get it done.  Isn’t that what life’s about?

    Mount Yamnuska, near Canmore, Alberta
    What’s on your summer to-do list?
  • My Beauty Staples Part 1: For the Hair 11 June 2012
    A sampling of my faves

    I am a tough cookie when it comes to beauty products. I’m willing to spend the dough to get the good shit, but I seem to always be disappointed when the products only yield a marginally cleaned up version of myself.   Like, how much do you have to spend to look like an airbrushed, photoshopped supermodel?

    Of all the thousands of dollars I’ve spent, and all of the half-used mystery tubes in my bathroom cabinet, I’ve narrowed it down to my absolute, can’t live without, buy again and again, beauty essentials.

    I’ll start with the hair:

    1.  Klorane Oil-Supressing Dry Shampoo

    Klorane Oil-Supressing Dry Shampoo, Shopper’s Drug Mart, $16

    I consider this product to be slighly dangerous, as it kind of negates the need to shower. Nevermind about that B.O. thing… they have stuff for that too, like deoderant. Spray it on greasy hair and it absorbs all of the nasty stuff, leaving a fresh scent. It is a powdery formula, so maybe not the best for really dark hair, but for my light brown ombre color it’s perfect. Just be sure to brush it out a couple minutes after you spray. I’ve tried the “clear” dry shampoos and they don’t do anything to absorb the grease situation – go with the powder. Downside is that the bottle runs out pretty fast, after about 10-15 applications (don’t worry it’s not too expensive – around $16 – and goes on sale frequently at Shopper’s Drug Mart for even less).

    2.  Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner

    Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner, hair salons, about $55/Litre

    This stuff is a bit on the expensive side, but as hard as I’ve tried to find a more affordable option, I keep going back. I’ve been using Pureology for about 8 years now. My favorite thing is the amazing scents, the shampoo is a luxurious aromatherapy blend of Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Anise and Patchouli and the conditioner has a tingly peppermint kick. Furthermore, Purology is sulphate-free which means it won’t fade your color. It leaves my hair so incomparably soft that I am positively addicted.

    3.  Label M Sea Salt Spray

    Label M Sea Salt Spray, hair salons, $21

    I like for my hair to look a little grimy. Since I have fine, thin hair I need a bit of texture or it just looks limp. This is the first product I’ve found that adds texture without a greasy or waxy feel. It perfectly mattifies the hair and gives it that I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-but-not-really look that we all so covet.

    That’s it for now, people.  I’ll be back very soon with my essentials for the face and for the body.

    Thanks for reading!

    What are your beauty staples?
  • Eat Less Fruit 8 June 2012 I’m a little late this month, but I wanted to share my self-improvement focus for June.  OK, y’all are going to think I’m cray-cray, but, I want to:
    EAT LESS FRUIT

    Yes, less.  Not more.

    Why?  I am a fruit monster.   I probably eat 8-10 pieces of fruit on average per day.  Fruit is raw, natural and has lots of nutrients.  Trust me, I get it.  But it is also straight up sugar and carbs.  My goal is actually to replace a portion of that fruit with veggies and protein.  I need more protein if I want to achieve my goal of having Madonna’s arms. 

    No thanks

    Ok, not Madonna.  That’s gross.  Maybe something a little less freaky, like Jessica Biel. 

    Yes please

    So, according to Jamie Eason, who is (in my opinion) the most fit person on earth, one should limit themselves to two pieces of fruit a day and stick to berries when possible.

    Wish me luck people, this is going to be a hard one!  I always have fruit as a snack so I’m going to need replacements!

    Anyone have any veggie or protein snack ideas?
  • Bachelorette Emily’s Casual Style 2 June 2012 Ok, so, by now we know that I love watching the Bachelorette and I am totally down with Emily.  She’s gorgeous and pretty and nice and all of that stuff.  The only thing I can fault her for is wearing too many sparkly dresses. 

    Apparently her wardrobe budget was over $350K (source).  I have to say that I much preferred Jillian Harris’ Bachelorette wardrobe (also, way more affordable!).  In fact, Jillian recently made a few stylish suggestions on her blog for swapping out some of the tacky less desirable pieces in Em’s wardrobe.  I get what she’s saying (and mostly agree), but the way she comes off makes me things she’s a tiny bit jealous, non? 

    The one thing Emily has been really on-point with is her casual looks.

    My favorite outfits so far have been these two:

    Generation Love cropped sweater with skinny jeans and flats
    Joie blouse with Wildfox shorts

    The basis of Emily casual digs is usually denim shorts or skinnies.  Word on the street is that she’s really into Rag and Bone jeans (sold in Canada at Aritzia and Holt Renfrew).  She’s also worn shorts by both Joe’s and Wildfox. 

    Surpisingly, a good pair of denim shorts will cost you.  I’ve been eyeing these Rag and Bone shorts for a while now, but can’t quite swallow the $155 price tag.  Available at SSense (online store based in Canada) and in person at Aritzia.

    rag & bone Official Store, RGBN-2325 Mila Short - Moss, rag-bone.com
    Rag and Bone Mila Short (also, my legs look pretty much exactly like these)

    I do, however, love my American Eagle cut-offs and think they look almost as good.  I found a good higher waisted pair last year and they have become my go-to summer bottom.  If you can stand to be in the company of horny teenagers and excessive amounts of plaid, American Eagle has several styles of denim shorts, most of them around 30 to 40 dollars.

    My American Eagle denim shorts (similar)

    I was surprised to find out that as soon as the Bachelorette episodes air, the clothing Emily wore sells out almost instantly.  It becomes totally impossible to obtain, even online.  So, I’ve scouted out the best “Emily inspired” pieces that are readily available on the Internets or at a mall near you.  All of my recommended online shops ship to Canada for free or close to it.

    Piece #1 – Slouchy cropped sweater as worn on Emily in Episode 2

    Generation Love cropped sweater, $140

    My recommendations:

    T by Alexander Wang sweater, $205 at SSense
    TNA Newport Tee, $35 at Aritzia.  Buy a size up to wear off the shoulder.

    Splended Sahara Stripe Sweatshirt (on sale!), $51 at Revolve

     

    Piece #2 – Striped blouse as worn on Emily in Episode 3

    Joie Aceline blouse

    My recommendations:

    Equipment Anabelle Blouse, $248 at Revolve Clothing

    

    Falling Softly polka dot blouse, $36.99 at Ruche
    Splendid Loose Knit Striped Sweater, $74 at Revolve

    She’s also been wearing a lot of Haute Hippie… a line I love!  It can be found in small quantities at Holt Renfrew or online at SSense.

    Hope you love these looks as much as I do!  Happy shopping!

  • Retail Therapy 30 May 2012
    The only way to end a horrendous week is to indulge in a proper retail therapy session.  I walked in to the mall on Friday evening, half alive and fully intending to fill the emotional void with beautiful, unnecessary items. 
    I figured it was better than eating my feelings. 
    I had been coveting these lovely floral J-Brands for some time, and couldn’t wait to get them into my closet.
    Unfortunately, my dreams were swiftly crushed when I realized that they looked much cuter on the model.  I was annoyed to discover that they are a true capri length and, as such, hit my calf in the wrong place.  They were also a much different fit than the standard J-brand 811 skinny.  I found that the rise was a bit lower.  No bueno.
    I still can’t get them out of my mind, though.  Like a bad ex-boyfriend.  So, naturally, I have taken the liberty of fantasizing about how I’d enjoy them, if someday it did work out. 
    Casual look.  Wilfred chambray top, J-Brand pant, Rachel Comey boots.
    I ended up compromising on these rose skinnies.  One of the reasons I chose them is that they are a slightly darker pink than the pastels that are so popular this season.  It’ll make them easier to wear in the fall with boots and a sweater while still being very on-trend for this spring/summer.
    Pink J-Brand 811 midrise skinnies paired with my Wilfred Chevalier blazer
    Seriously people, I can’t say enough about the 811’s, they are my go-to pant.  They are made of a super comfy, luxurious twill with just the right amont of stretch.  And my favorite thing about this pant is that they are a mid-rise.  They hold everything in place and give you a smooth silhouette without being Mom-ish.
    Needless to say, I left the mall, bags in hand, feeling temporarily relieved.  This pretty much sums up my sentiment.
    Check back soon for a post on summer tops and the rest of my retail therapy haul.
  • Be Done With It 27 May 2012

    I’ve just finished what was one of the worst weeks I can remember.  Car accident, family drama, health issues, home repairs and other disappointments all over the span of 7 days.  I’m ready for a new week!

  • John Mayer: Born and Raised 24 May 2012 While we’re on the subject of John Mayer, there’s one thing I can’t ignore…
    John Mayer circa 2010

    John Mayer, May 2012

    What happened? 

    Ok, I get the hat, I really do.  But paired with weak mustache and Canadian tuxedo, it’s really a sad combination.  As Perez so eloquently put it, he’s looking a bit like a drugged-up Crocodile Dundee version of Johnny Depp. 

    Who am I kidding?  I still find him attractive.  Whatever. 

    I’ve been a John Mayer fan since Day One.  In fact, Continuum happens to be my favourite album of all time.   It’s rare that every track on an album is life changing.  Understandably, I was anxiously awaiting the release of his new album, Born and Raised, which was just released on Tuesday.

    Much is being said right now about the negative attention he garnered a couple of years ago (see ‘sexual napalm’) and his newly reformed persona.  He was definitely slimy and over-exposed in 2010 but recently admitted that he got sick of himself and had the good sense to stay out of the public eye for a while.  I’m glad he’s back, humbled, and finally allowing his talent to speak for itself.  ‘Born and Raised’ doesn’t disappoint.  It is very honest and relatable.  I’m all about the lyrics and John Mayer is truly a master in this respect.

    Tracks worth downloading (though I totally recommending the whole thing):

    • ‘Born and Raised’ – by far my favorite on the album.

    Then all at once it gets hard to take
    It gets hard to fake what I won’t be
    Cause one of these days I’ll be born and raised
    And it’s such a waste to grow up lonely

    •  ‘Fool to Love You’ – every JM album has at least one sappy love song. This is it.

    Fool me once, it’s shame on you
    But twice, it’s shame on me
    But fool me baby for the rest of my life
    And I’ll be happy, happy as a broken man can be

    • ‘A Face to Call Home’ – okay, this one’s sappy too.

    You know my paper heart
    The one I filled with pencil marks
    I think I might’ve gone and inked you in

    Have a listen, people!

    But John, though I forgive you for all of those douchey things you said in Rolling Stone, I’m still mad at you for breaking poor Taylor Swift’s teenage heart.  I do, however, immensely enjoy the angsty song she wrote about you. So I guess we’re even.

    Also, I saw on Ellen that he is now living in Bozeman, Montana, which isn’t THAT far from here. Road trip, anyone?

  • 2012 Billboard Music Awards: Country Style 22 May 2012 Which country starlet looked better: Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift?

    Not trying to hate on Carrie, but it’s pretty obvious who pulled this one off.   Carrie’s look obnoxiously screams “sparkles and fairytales” and might be better on an 8 year old.  At least she’s not wearing a tiara (though the clutch is equally offensive).

    

    Carrie Underwood in Oscar de la Renta

    

    Taylor Swift in Elie Saab

    Taylor, on the other hand, is freaking perfection!  This girl can do no wrong.  And I’m loving the ashy blond she’s been rocking lately.




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