What I’m Wearing: Floral for (Flip Up) Friday

It came up in a conversation this morning that I’m wearing a floral dress on a Friday.

First, I’ve never in my life been so happy to see a Friday. Ever, I don’t think.

“Mama,” Clara said to me this morning. “Tomorrow is home day at your place, let’s stay in bed all day.”

I’m now fighting a cold, so I told her that was the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.

(I love that she’s adopted our new schedule so readily, and knows that Saturday is home day with me, and Sunday is home day with Taylor. This kid? Never ceases to amaze me).

Second, it’s Friday, and okay, the weekend will be spent packing and I need to get back to Home Depot because my beautiful bamboo hardwood floors are back ordered till late July, so I need to find an alternative that’s available well…now. But it’s Friday. I can forget about work until Monday, and focus on everything else that’s going on.

“Fridays are for dresses,” my friend said when we were chatting.

They never used to be, I suddenly remembered. In elementary school, you never wore a dress on a Friday because everyone knew it was Flip
Up Friday, and a boy could flip up your dress on you.

How times have changed.

It’s Friday. Not flip up, but floral.

Good deal.

(And, let’s be real. Everyday is for dresses. Absolutely.)

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What I’m Wearing: More Polka Dots

Everything is happening all at once, it seems.

I’ve all but disappeared, as I try and keep organized and get everything done between work (12 hour days and writing non-stop), packing and arranging for renovations to begin on the condo.

(When did I buy a condo? And how is it possible that I close in 5 days?)

I posted a photo of me in running gear on Instagram the other morning and less than two hours later, I posted on Facebook about a random compliment that I received from a random stranger at the local Starbucks.

It was an interesting contrast, I realized afterwards, from me in my running gear, feeling pretty badass, to being in a dress and pink shoes, and blushing like a school girl.

I think I’d be so much braver about facing everything that’s going on right now if I could do it in running capris and a ball hat.

It’d be a lot easier, for sure.

But instead, I’m still wearing my twirly girly dresses. Feeling the material swish, when I walked into Home Depot on Monday, to order my dark hardwood flooring that everyone keeps telling me I’m going to regret when I can’t keep them clean. Feeling like my Nanny when I visited Clara at her father’s that night, and we roamed the front yard looking for snails and pine cones (I remember so clearly my nanny walking around the front yard at my parent’s house, smelling the flowers and smiling her smile).

“When did I become a grownup?” I burst out, a little bewildered, while chatting with my real estate agent the other day.

I’m not 100% sure, but I’m guessing it was when I fielded calls from my lawyer and my mortgage broker while in the middle of a big launch at work that we’ve spent months preparing for. Emailing one contractor to say he got the job and another one to say he didn’t. Getting my divorce papers in the mail that same day, then pulling on my red hot Lulus to go to yoga when I was feeling less-than warrior like.

Getting back up the next morning and delivering my reno application. Going to the bank to get my down payment for the condo so I can deliver it to my lawyer tomorrow, where I will sit down and my name will be the only name on the papers I sign.

All of this is stuff that people do every single day, I get that. It’s life, and it is what it is. But it’s a lot, at least for me, and yes, it’s happening all at once.

I’m getting texts and calls and messages from people, asking why I haven’t been in touch, why I haven’t replied to their messages, why I’ve disappeared. “Don’t take it personally,” I’ve said. Even my own mother, who finally tracked me down at my desk today, only because I finally returned her call while in the car this morning.

If you want to see me, show up on my doorstep and offer to pack a box, is what I should be saying. I need some help, I should be able to ask. But I’m not. Instead, I’m keeping my head down, my eyes on the ground and I’m getting stuff done, when frankly, all I want to do is sit cross-legged on my couch, eat sushi and watch endless hours of Netflix.

And the result? Of more and more and it happening all at once? I’m left feeling a little like a deer caught in the headlights; wide-eyed, scared and ready to flee.

Except I know I won’t. “She knows exactly what she wants,” my agent said to my contractor when we met him at the condo to get a quote. And he’s right, I do.

I’m not sure which is a better representation of me at this moment, me in my running gear and acting like a badass, or me in frilly polka dots and pink shoes, feeling delicate and fragile.

But…if I had to guess, I’d say I’m somewhere in between, and I’m okay with that.

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What I’m Wearing: Bare Legs and Polka-dots (And Where I’ve Been)

When my sister was here this weekend, we spent some time going through my closet for clothes she might want to take off me. I’m purging as part of the packing process, and have already gotten rid of a bunch of coats, shirts and pants, but I let her at my shoes (bye bye sexy Steve Maddens with the 4″ stiletto heel and the peep toes, perhaps we’ll meet again). I showed her my collection of dresses, including the 8 new ones I’d recently acquired on a Ross shopping trip in Vegas last month.

Two of which were polka-dotted. Adding to the other polka-dot dresses that I already own.

“Polka-dots remind me of Nanny,” Stacy said as I showed her a beautifully delicate ruffled polka-dot wrap dress with cap sleeves.

Me too, I realized, as I dressed for work this morning.

My grandmother Clara loved polka-dots and she loved dresses. It was very rare for me to see her wearing pants in fact, skirts and a sweater were as casual as she got. More often than not, it was a dress she wore.

A few weeks ago, I ran into an acquaintance at work. “You’re wearing pants!” She said, shocked. I was, I agreed, and realized, like my Nanny, how rare that was. I’ve become the dress girl in the office, and the more I think about it, the more I’m realizing it’s my grandmother’s legacy.

It’s a legacy that I’ve been embracing, especially in the past year or so.

I come from a family of strong women. My great-grandmother left an abusive husband in the early 1900s, when my grandmother was just a baby. My grandmother raised 8 children in a small fishing village in Newfoundland, and lost her husband at a young age.

My own mother was a Navy wife, and had five children. One of my favorite stories that my mother has told me only recently is how I first met my father on a navy dock in Halifax when I was 3 months old. She’s a strong woman, my mother, and still is.

The past year for me has been a difficult one. Taylor and I decided to split, after 9 years of marriage. Yesterday, in fact, would have been our 10 year anniversary. We sold our home; the house I realized I loved only after I lost it. I found and rented my own place, and moved myself and Clara into it in early September. For the first time in my life, I was living on my own. Then, earlier this year, I applied for and was approved for a mortgage. I bought a condo. I met with a contractor yesterday to discuss renovations. I’m picking out paint colors, and booking moving trucks.

I’ve grown up.

And through it all, I’m wearing delicate, ruffled dresses, some with polka-dots, some not. My grandmother’s legacy.

Through it all, I’m reminded why I do everything that I do – for my own daughter, who I’m trying to raise to be like the women that came before her. To be strong, and independent, carefree and forthcoming.

And a girl that loves dresses too.

“I want to wear a dress like you, Mama,” she says to me so many mornings, and I’m happy to oblige her. We leave the house those mornings, hand in hand, our dresses swirling around our legs.

It’s sunny here today, so so sunny, and warm enough that I braved bare legs.

No more tights, not for this girl; winter is over, a new season has begun.

New dresses, whimsical and delicate and girlish. Polka-dots, as a nod to my grandmother, for her strength and grace.

And for Clara, always.

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What I’m Wearing: Flats (Confessions of a Grown-Up)

For three weeks now, I’ve been wearing flats. And — hearing about how short I am. My height advantage that I’ve worked so hard for, spending hours in 4 or 5″ Fluevog heels? It’s gone. Oops, the secret is out. I’m actually not that tall.

On January 1st, I went out in -13 degree temps for what has become my traditional New Years Day run and ran an extremely chilly 8km.

The next day, I braved a crazy-ass snow storm for hot yoga, and quite likely wrecked my knee jumping from a standing side split into a high plank.

The same day I coincidentally busted my knee, I used my Christmas money from my mom and sister to buy a pair of low-heeled knee-high black leather Clark’s boots.

They’re probably what saved my knee the past few weeks. That, and staying off my yoga mat and the pavement, as hard as it’s been.

I haven’t been blogging, it’s been pointed out to me by a few different people. Nope, I haven’t been.

This living in the real world has been kicking my ass, quite frankly.

Busted my knee on the second day of a brand new year.

Then, Clara got the flu and it was a long, stressful week of monitoring high fevers and beating them down with Tylenol and trips back and forth to the doctor.

Then I got sick. Of course I did. Feeling like I’m about to DIE sick. Almost ten looooong days of being sick. #inevitable

Then, in between it all, I ended up with not one, two or three but four holes in my living room ceiling/wall because my upstairs neighbour decided to pour bacon fat down their drain, which clogged and froze. And, well bacon fat can’t thaw in minus 30 degree temps. Of course it can’t.

(Oh, thank GOD for Ritchie the plumber and Wally the contractor – who actually changed the lightbulbs over my stairwell when I sheepishly asked.)

Then – because this isn’t enough – oh no – I gave my real estate agent the go ahead to start looking for condos for me and somehow Tuesday, I ended up on the 19th floor of a high-rise looking out towards the lake in the far off distance. Suddenly, things started to feel very real.

When, exactly, did I become a grown up?

Was it when I started wearing boots without a heel that I was initially convinced were granny-ish? Until I mentioned that to a friend at work and she observed that the length of my hemlines with said boots are decidedly un-grannyish.

Point taken.

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Yes, I’m aware my mirror needs a healthy dose of Windex. They all do. I also have unfolded laundry in Clara’s bedroom, along with all our Christmas decorations in their boxes. And, I have four tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in my freezer.

But, I’m still here.

A little overwhelmed. Anxious at times. Panicking a bit and a little bewildered frankly, when sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and don’t quite recognize the person staring back.

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And yet, it’s me. I know this to be true. It’s just taking a little getting used too.

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What I’m Wearing: The Color Purple

Clara’s a little obsessed with the color purple. Seriously obsessed.

Here’s proof.

As a treat, I buy her these little individual packages of gummies that are different colours. Before I open each package for her, we play a game where we guess how many purple gummies there will be. Usually, it’s one or two. Once, there were three but that’s pretty rare.

Sometimes, there are none. As in zero.

Tonight, she stood, almost breathless with anticipation. Waiting to hear how many purple gummies she was getting.

“You’re not going to believe this,” I said, looking up from the bag.

When I told her, her face crumpled. She laid down on the floor and she sobbed. Not a tantrum, with flailing limbs, but my-heart-is-breaking sobbing.

I could’ve said what they tell her in school, you get what you get and you don’t get upset, but c’mon! No purple gummies? But FIVE green ones? Seriously? Even I could see the injustice in that.

So I transferred the opened package of gummies into a zip loc and opened a new bag. Of course I did.

Two purple gummies. Phew.

I know this about my child, her purple obsession is not lost on me. And I knew I was borrowing trouble when I bought a pair of bright purple tights this weekend, but didn’t get any for Clara.

I should have been forewarned, based on our conversation last week when I did her hair for a play date and her lower lip started to tremble and then she asked oh-so-seriously why she couldn’t have hair like mine. Curly hair. Not straight hair.

You’ve got your dad’s hair, I tried to explain. She didn’t want her dad’s hair, she replied.

Yeah well. You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

I (finally) got my hair coloured this weekend, and feeling good about it (less red and less hair, sometimes less is more), this morning I put on a flirty black jumper, a black sweater and reached for my new purple tights (to wear with my Fluevogs).

“Mom,” Clara said, when saw me. “Are those purple tights?

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“Yes,” I agreed. “They are.”

“Can I have purple tights too?” She asked.

Oh darling, girl. You may not have curly hair (I’m sorry, blame your dad, and while you’re at it, discuss your upper lip that may very well be non-existent, and your eyebrows too), but purple tights? Purple tights are easy.

I hope.

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What I’m Wearing: My Very First Fluevogs

My most favorite pair of Fluevog boots are hurt.

They need medical attention.

Immediately.

The small piece that caps one of the heels came off and is who knows where. So it needs replacing, and I’ll stop with them on the way home today to my cobbler but if he can’t do anything, it means a trip to Fluevog when I’m downtown on Friday and hopefully they can fix it.

(I will not buy new Fluevogs, I will NOT, I won’t even try any on, no matter how much I want too, but if they’re really, really cute maybe I can, just to wear them around the store. For a little while. Yes, yes I can surely do that.)

It’s a testament to the quality of my boots that I can wear them for hundreds of hours and I can keep wearing out the heel but the structure and the leather of the boot remains intact.

I hope they can be fixed. If not, they will need replacing. Of course they will.

Today, I dressed in slacks and a sweater – all black – and had the option of red Mary Janes or black ones. I decided on red, for a splash of color. As I pulled them from their box, I couldn’t help but feel slightly sentimental. These, my first Fluevogs. That I bought the day I quit my job so that I could stay home with Clara. That I bought with the money we’d saved on formula because I was so determined that Clara would have breast milk even when she wouldn’t (and couldn’t) nurse.

My red Fluevogs. They represent the passion and commitment that I have for my daughter; for what I doggedly felt was best for her. They represent my determination, my stubbornness, my unwillingness to give up.

Not just shoes. Not these ones.

Never these ones.

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Sweater: Zara
Pants: Reitmans
Shoes: Fluevog

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Hey Minstrel
Your love makes me sing
Arise! Come! My darling
My beautiful one, come with me

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What I’m Wearing: Fluevogs and Polk-a-dots

I woke up to the perfect fall day – cool clouds rolling across the sky, the sun playing peek-a-boo, and blustery Eyore-type gusts that keep lifting the leaves and sending them dancing through the air. It’s mild too, a balmy 12 degrees, and definitely skirt or dress weather, I decided, when standing in front of my closet debating what to wear.

I started from the bottom and worked my way up, choosing my brown Fluevog boots with the light stitching and the buckles and badass leather wrapped block heel and the stamped soul sole.

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I’m starting to think that Friday’s should be Fluevog Fridays. Well every day should be Fluevog days, and they probably could be (six pairs and counting), but maybe Fridays should be Funky Fluevog Fridays where I wear something other than my black Fluevog boots that I *kill* or my sensible Mary Janes. So either my brown boots that make me feel like a rock star, my black knee high boots that make me feel like a superhero or my lace-up peep toes with the 5″ heel that would be both awesome and crazy with the right pair of knee socks and skirt.

To the boots I added my favorite brown tights, with a chevron pattern and from there went looking for something brown to wear on top (I need new clothes). Taking the weather into account, and the fact that it’ll likely be too big next summer (if I keep losing weight), I pulled out my polk-a-dot dress that I love so much (it’s so Mad Men) and began trying to figure out ways to autumnize it. A cardigan made it frumpy, but a long sleeve soft suede t-shirt gave it a jumper feel.

Not sure if it works but it allows me to wear my boots, and the softness of the t-shirt and the looseness of the dress makes it super comfy for a blustery Friday. Hair in a messy pony-tail (too lazy sick lazy to get out of bed early to run much less do my ‘do), some sunglasses and I was good to go.

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Dress: Jessica Howard
T-Shirt: Joe Fresh
Boots: John Fluevog
Sunglasses: Ellen Tracy

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My soft jean jacket that I continue to kill, and (of course) a Starbucks. There’s a definite correlation here – if I have time to snap photos, I usually have time to stop for coffee.

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These boots. *sigh* More clothes – skirts and dresses – that I can wear with these glorious gals are a priority.

And that’s what I’m wearing this blustery, Eyorey Friday.

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