Saturday, April 24, 2010


it's my new mantra. always in control, always in control. 

no matter what is thrown my way, i'm going to strive to not react and stay in control


Friday, April 23, 2010

Lesson of the Day

Today's lesson of the day: I'm Canadian.

Let me explain. Most of my friends are American or Canadians going to an American school. I've never really truly identified with Canadian culture because frankly, Canada has no culture. I love how diverse this country is, but you can't really feel the patriotism like you do down South. When people ask where I'm from, I just say Canada. Americans always tell me I don't sound Canadian or dress like a Canadian or even act like a Canadian.

Um, I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

Canadians, on the other hand, think I might be as Canuck as you can get.

While I may not add an eh to the end of every sentence, I am DEFINITELY Canadian. Case in point - my crazed almost psychotic love of hockey. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats watching a game with a pint of Molsons. During regular season, I watch hockey highlights if I can't catch the game, but I don't obsess. I keep track of conference standings and try to watch at least one game a week. Playoffs are a different story. First round consists of me watching a game a night (2 games when the Habs and Canucks play). It's ridiculous how obsessed I am. Last night, I watched the Sens go into triple OT (yes, triple OT...insane) and screamed at the top of my lungs when they finally put 'er in the back of the net. This morning, tickets went on sale for the Sens game tomorrow night. I could NOT pass up the chance to see the boys in action (plus get quality friendship bonding time with Crosby).

Crosby, if you're reading this - I love you. Please marry me.

It doesn't get more Canadian than that. This is hockey country after all. The girls joke that I have hockey boy radar, which is true. I can spot hockey boys a mile away. I've only ever dated hockey boys (except for one boy and clearly that didn't work out...) and will only ever date hockey boys. I hold their bags, go to all their games. I'm the perfect puck bunny. But, I'm also the type of puck bunny who gets violently aggressive at the games. Not a quality I want to pass onto my hypothetical French Canadian child Yannick Dani.

But, that's not the only thing Canadian about me. I have other patriotic tendencies, like my love for Tim Horton's. XL one milk 2 sweeteners. Doesn't get much better than that (especially at early morning hockey games *wink wink*). All life dilemmas are best solved over a family pack of sour cream glazed timbits, especially at four in the morning.

I use Via Rail to travel between Montreal and Ottawa. That's pretty Canadian of me.

Also, I look good in plaid flannel shirts (and I have an odd collection of them), which is clearly the most important Canadian outfit. Merci beaucoup Artizia for providing me with an endless supply of ridiculously overpriced flannel shirts. I wear uggs all year round (what? my feet get cold), live in the nations capital and can name all provinces and capitals at rapid speed. I cottage in the summer, and cabin in the winter. I make a pretty delicious maple sucker when it gets cold out and blast Great Big Sea and Metric on a daily basis. My foods of choice consist of pate chinois, poutine, and lunettes. Did I mention that I was bilingual? Mais oui, je suis canadien.

So while I may have incorporated y'all into my vocab, don't be confused. You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can't take Canada out of the girl.

Here are a few things I love about this great nation:

1. Molson and Hockey. The fact that Molsons now owns a hockey team is a sweet sweet victory
2. We have public healthcare.
3. We have two official languages and a leader who is required to speak both
4. Smarties. Enough said.
5. We have ridiculously cheap tuition
6. Skiing in the winter, boating in the summer. Mont Tremblant has both.
7. Social programs are unsurpassed
8. It is cool to grow a beard in the Spring (i.e. playoffs)
9. Early Thanksgiving. America, you should think about it.
10. We invented the Blackberry. Thanks RIM
11. One less down in football
12. Hudson's Bay Company (or the Bay to us Canucks)
13. Spring Break in Cuba
14. Degrassi High anyone (Snake, I love youuuu)?
15. Canadian Tire. Has everything you need, including Smarties.
16. Sorels, though I just started wearing them not that they made those cute ones for 2010
17. Victoria, BC. Prettiest city ever. Hands down.
18. Montreal bagels
19. Roughriders. Watermelon hats.
20. Canada Am.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

dun DUN dun

You can all breathe a sigh of relief now. I have found my wedding dress.

Wait, what? Let me explain.

Before my phone starts ringing like I'm popular or something, I should preface this by saying I am not engaged or getting married or even really going to anyone's wedding any time soon. This dress hasn't been purchased (though I am incredibly tempted) and unless someone proposes incredibly soon, it won't be fitted for a few more months (read years...) yet.

I'm not the type of girl who has spent her entire life dreaming of this luscious style-tastic wedding. I've talked about it here & there and it was even discussed in detail once, but I've never sat down and sketched out what that day would look like (for clarification - I still haven't). For the past few months, I've been watching far too many marathons of Say Yes to the Dress. And every time I watch a new episode, I cringe with fear that someday - that poor innocent girl being gawked at by her family - could be me.

Growing up, my mom would elegantly describe in detail what my wedding would look like. There would be a huge ceremony in the Cathedral, followed by a presentation of all the best foods & wine Toronto has to offer. My idea of a wedding? Well, it would involve me + my poor groom and a hill with a lot of goats. Apparently, I watched too much the Sound of Music growing up.

Needless to say, I didn't think of it much until recently. All those god-awful episodes of Say Yes to the Dress have made me start truly thinking about what I would wear on that hill with goats. I'm not a girl who is going to stand up there in white. Uh-uh, not doing it. If it weren't for SJP already stealing my thunder, I would have worn a little black dress with exaggerated lace. But, I'll let her take that style crown. Instead, I want to wear something memorable yet classy. My style is urban chic, thus the dress would have to reflect that.

For hours, all I could come up with were things I wouldn't wear. I won't do taffeta or princess bows. No bedazzled bodices or ruffles. Steering clear of sleeves and long trains. See? This process was already complicated and I wasn't even engaged yet - gosh, I'm glad I started early. I knew I wanted to wear a golden taupe colour, something that really strikes the sunlight right before it gets dark (also determined I'm having an evening wedding, in the Fall to match the dress- I'm on top of it now...slave to fashion, right here).

Lucky for me, my daily indulgence FabSugar is doing a wedding season bonanza this month. Each day, they showcase a variety of couture gowns and answer any and all wedding questions (just in case any of you who are ACTUALLY getting married need help). I thought for sure I would fall in heart with a Marchesa dress because let's be honest, who doesn't love Marchesa? Georgina Chapman eloquently designs the most breathtaking gowns I've ever seen. The subtle touches of feathered ruffles and lace always grab my attention. Every time I see a Marchesa gown on the red carpet, I fall more and more in love. So, when I started seriously searching for a gown I figured I would look no further than tried and true Marchesa.

Wrong. All wrong. While the Marchesa dresses were beautiful, there wasn't one that screamed "pick me or die an unfashionable death.." So, my search continued. I finally stumbled upon some haute couture designs from the 2011 wedding season. Gracing the runways of Paris, there was one particular designer that caught my attention. Her name was Anna Maier from the Ulla-Maija collection. While I didn't fall in love with the dress I saw first, there was just something about her designs that drew me in. It made my inner Rachel Zoe jump for joy. A little bit more searching and BAM. Found it. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was my dress. For reals, it's gold.

Now disclaimer: I will actually be wearing this dress so any boys reading this blog who are considering throwing in an offer for marriage STOP READING NOW. We can negotiate the marriage contracts later....

All together now - GORGEOUS. In the words of the great Zoe, "Bananas. I die."

So, that's one less thing I have to worry about now. I actually feel really girly just thinking about it. My mom has even approved of the dress, which means I won't have to be a victim of the Say Yes to the Dress public scrutiny. Score: 1 - Becky Kleinfields - 0.

Annnd this has nothing to do with the blog entry or my hypothetical wedding, but I had the most life-changing salad for lunch today. Toss It up. All the rage for us Hill kids. Decided to BBM Nick all the details because it just made that much of a difference in my day. Strawbs, blueberries, portabello mushrooms, almonds, craisins, bean sprouts, iceberg lettuce, roasted tomatoes, red pepper, lightly glazed shrimp, chipotle dressing on the side. I am dying just thinking about it. I want ANOTHER!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer is just around the corner. Mmm can you smell it? I love when the seasons change because it means a wardrobe change pour moi. Take out all those bulky parkas and dark pashminas. Time for pastel flats and cobalt drawstring shorts.

We all know that I am selfishly in love with fashion. From styling to fittings, I am in deep heart with it all. Friday night, I was perusing through the racks at Aritzia (a post-work week regular activity) when I realized that the shift in clothing is really lacking from season to season. Gone are the huge displays of mannaquins brunching by the sea to represent the Summer months. Instead, we're left with the drab stowaways from Winter and some lighter toned blouses snuck through the racks. I know a lot of it has to do with recession, but I am a firm believer that new seasons mean new outfits THUS I've decided to create y'all a list of the Summer must-haves (at least for me).

Ikat Dresses: think digital patterns + bright colours. They shock and wow, but when paired with a solid blouse or cardigan - they are really quite subtle. I'm wearing a cute ikat skirt from Jacob right now, paired with a coral high-neck blouse. It has just the right amount of personality to scream "I'm fashionable," but not in a loud obnoxious way. And if you're looking for a cheap, suitable ikat patterned bottom - I suggest Jacob.
Caged Booties: Okay, I can admit it. I'm a sucker for boots. Ankle booties of any type are my weakness in life. I've got them in teal, gold, brown, name it, I own. The caged booties are a cute alternative to the solid designs, really directing attention to your feet (which girls, elongates your overall image - I pinky swear). The glossy meshed boots were stomping all over the runways of NYC & Paris, and now they're ready stomp their way into your shoe closet. Luckily, stores like Forever 21 offer great and affordable alternatives for shoe addicts like myself. While we would all love the YSL version, these are equally adorable.

Floral Dresses with Blazers: I love to dress girly with an edge. By this, I mean that I like to take tried and true staples (i.e. paisley prints and pastel blouses) and give them a ‘rocker’ twist. I’m not a girl who adorns herself in pearls and pink taffeta skirts, nor do I wear leather jackets and black eyeliner. Instead, I like to make an indie combination of the two. Take for example the floral print dresses. They are incredibly suitable for work, but a little too girly for me. I’m not a pretty and pink girl, so to change it up – I’ll wear the floral printed dress with a boyfriend or tuxedo blazer. I have 3 essential blazers from Aritzia (tan, black, and navy) that I like to pair with my more frilly outfits. For the office, I wear my staple Nine West pumps – but always have ankle boots handy for a night on the town. Currently, Joe Fresh has some really subtle floral printed summer dresses and if you haven’t already invested in a Tallulah blazer from Aritzia – what are you waiting for?

Skinny Cargo: While not appropriate for work, I thought I’d throw in some skinny cargo pants for weekends in the Muskoka. They’re all the rage in the Bev, and while I hate wearing something that is all the rage, I must admit they’re really fun to pair up with tan accessories. I tried them on at Aritzia last week and immediately fell in love. Structured like typical skinny jeans, these cargos are tight around the ankle which means they look great with a platform open-toed sandal. Mix in some gold safari-esque jewellery and your set for a perfect weekend away outfit. Another plus? They’ll transition great for Winter with some heeled Frye boots and beige pashminas. Although pricey, the only pair I’ve found that I like are J Brand. You can find them at Holt’s, Aritzia, and I believe Trust Fund are even carrying them now.

Hot Pink: Back to work apparel, I’m always trying to find alternatives to the drab white and black suit routine. Although I prefer neutrals, I don’t object to wearing one obscene item with a solid-coloured routine. It’s easy to go overboard though, so definitely do a once over before leaving the house. Ask yourself, what would Carrie Bradshaw do? If the answer is wear it, then I say go for it! Know your workplace environment and if you think it’s too over the top, leave it for a night out later in the week. If you’re going to go with this season’s route and insert the hot pink into your wardrobe, make sure you compliment the extreme colors with solids and softer neutrals. Don’t pair the hot pink with gold for the office, and definitely stay away from patterns. I’ve been utilizing a hot pink pashmina from time to time, accessorizing with diamond studs and a deep golden tan (mmm Summer). Invest in one piece and you’ll be shocked to see all the various ways you can wear it. Check out Banana Republic and Aldo Accessories for your flash of hot pink (but if you’re looking to buy me a present, might I suggest the Louis Vuitton tote in bright fuchsia).

Menswear trousers: Last, but not least – I’ve been all over the menswear trousers recently (like an I-banker molesting their calculator). From neutral shades to black, I’ve been wearing these high-rise pants to the office on alternate days. They are beyond comfortable and are extremely flattering with a tighter fitting blouse. I have pairs in charcoal, taupe, black, and tan. Excessive for a fad? Probably, but I really love the fit and with platform heels – they look ah-mazing. Fashionable yet work appropriate. Exactly what I need for a day at the office. I would avoid wearing them with ankle boots because they would really drown you, exaggerated heels are the way to go. And steer clear of the men’s blazers, you don’t want to be an exact replica of your boy. Remember, if you wear a loose bottom, you need a fitted top. Check out Joe Fresh for affordable options

That’s my fashion go-to guide for the Summer season. Time to tackle your wardrobe and amp up the lighter fares. Now, get out there and shine little Divas!

Monday, April 19, 2010

blah, meh.

Those seem to be my two responses today. People ask my how my weekend was, and all I can monger up is the word 'meh.' Nothing good, nothing bad - just status quo.

I was supposed to set-up Skype with my best friend this weekend, but got distracted with school work and never managed to make it back to my Dad's office to use his webcam. Yes, I'm probably the only person in Canada who doesn't have Skype or use a webcam. I'm sorry Noe, I miss you terribly!

Sad news to report: my beautiful wonderful amazingly sleek MAC suddenly died on me this weekend, taking with it every final paper I've spent the past week and a half writing. Luckily, I had some previous drafts saved on my USB so I shouldn't be too far behind. I took it to the computer hospital, begging them for mercy and that they triage me first. Blonde hair and a smile comes in handy sometimes, so I'm hoping to get my macbook back pretty soon.

Just trying to find something to look forward to and I think that something might be a trip to Chicago for the long weekend. I am missing the bestest like crazy. I keep sending packages of things I have for her or want to give her and my mom thinks it might just be better to send myself. I was going to head up to the cottage that weekend, but Chicago sounds much much better. Plus, I haven't seen her since February and think of the 1001 things I have to tell her in person! Gosh, that will be one massive catch-up session.

Other than that, I've just been spending most of my free time reflecting on things. Reflecting on what I want in life, what I need, and where I want to be. Hopefully, I can update y'all with some decisions soon. Don't want to give too many details, but I've applied for some programs and work transfers so we'll see what happens.

All I know is that this status-quo and grumpy mood I've been in since mid-January needs to vanish pretty fast. I've never been this blah before and just want it to go away.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

ha ha hardcore

last night, i sent a massive rant to my best friend rach. sidenote: rach, thanks for listening to 9 years of accumulated rage. 

a little background info, i went to an all-girls private prep school in the city. those years at the castle have made me into who i am today and i am so grateful for everything taught within those school walls. at an all-girls school, we were engraved to believe in the concept of pure independence. i took that concept and ran with it.  one of my teachers, mrs. sigsworth, used to always tell me i was a 'good woman.' i was someone who was going to make a difference in this world and not let any boy get in my way. 

i am probably the most independent person in the world. i will rarely come to you for help or guidance and like to spend most evenings alone, sitting by the fireplace with a glass of merlot. it's not that i hate people, it's just that when something needs to get done - i'd much rather do it myself than delegate. it's an awful character trait, but it's true. with relationships, i ALWAYS let the guy know that my independence is important to me. if you want a girl to call you back five seconds after you leave a message, i'm not the girl for you. from one relationship to the next, even though they claim they LOVE my independence - it always seems to be our demise. i'm the girl you'll take to dinner, along with my 4 other work blackberries. my independence strains into my career, thus i'm pretty intense about my work and the separation between work and personal life. i've had to pick between a boy and a career before, and i've always picked the career. sorry, it's true. i'm 22 years old and just breaking out into the government/political realm, i don't have time to re prioritize my life right now. 

my best friend noelle is identical in this aspect of life. we are notorious for cancelling on people. it's not that we don't want to hang out with you, we'd just rather hang out by ourselves. it sounds cruel, but we just don't like attention. we've grown up in such a social environment, we like our alone time. we've even cancelled on each other before...just so we can have time to ourselves. this semester was the first time i started to rely on others for support and strength. rachel was SUCH a good influence on me this year, making sure i'd escape those four walls of my room to go hang out with people. she talked to me about creating a balance and it's really something i'm trying to work on. it may have not worked out with relationships last semester, but at least i'm learning. 

the reason for the rant last night? my independence seems to be influencing my relationship with a special someone again. it's not that i don't want to call them, it's just that my job often takes precedence over my personal life. i care about you, but at this point - i have to care about my career more. i'm a 'power bitch' as my mom likes to tell me. i work in a high-pressured environment and i take pleasure in my career accomplishments. this year was the first time i've ever even considered relocating for a relationship (crazy, i know) and although it didn't work out (and i'm secretly jumping for joy that i didn't have to move to 'rural america'), it made me realize how much i cherish my independence both at work and home. most evenings are spent purging my blackberry inbox to a more suitable 300 new emails, instead of the 1582 that are currently sitting there. sad, but true.

but, at the end of the day - i do like having someone to digest the day with, to take for a late dinner, or head to the gym with. it's important for me to have that special someone. i'm a huge fan of kelly cutrone. she is a powerful, independent woman with a personal life on the side. some may call her a bitch, but i call her amazing. she creates the perfect balance, but doesn't take no for an answer. she works hard and it shows. i hope that's what my significant others think of me. i work hard, but i am working even harder on finding a better balance. i'm trying to remember to call you or bbm you throughout the day, i really am. i don't want to have to choose between work and boys again, but i know it may happen from time to time. 

at the end of the day, i strongly believe in kell's mantra:

Even though I am sometimes perceived as a bitch or a witch, the office atmosphere I cultivate is nothing like the cultural stereotype of striving women clawing each other to death to get the queen bee’s job. Women have been taught that, in order to get ahead, we have to be secretive and plotting and manipulative, because a straightforward route to the top hasn’t always existed for us, and in many industries it still doesn’t. But I don’t believe in playing into these stereotypes. We don’t have to stab each other in the back, we don’t have to take things personally and break down when we’re criticized, and we don’t have to advance at each others’ expense. (p.158)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, there you are!

I'm awful at this. It's okay, I'm fully admitting it. You can throw a shoe at my head if you'd like, but only a pretty shoe. I don't need any of those trashy sandals hitting this moneymaker. I promised to update every day and was REALLY trying hard to keep up, but it seems like life has gotten the best of me.

Brief update: promoted at work (hence the lack of social butterfly-ness), still going to school full-time (from a completely different country - go figure), and trying to fulfill all my external commitments (i.e. Sunday brunch at Wilfred's, cocktails at Social...the usual).

I can't tell you anything about my job, but I can tell you it's amazing. Does that answer all your questions? People ask me what I do and I wish I could tell you, but I honestly can't. It's great, love it. I've always known I wanted a career in the Federal Government, slaving away over my Blackberry at unholy hours for the past three years. But, not until this new promotion did I realize what I wanted to specifically do within the public sector. This is what I want to do, definitely. This new position provides flexibility to allow me to finish my multiple degrees, while still heading into the office for 9 hours every day. Sounds depressing, but I completely thrive on this. A silent Blackberry and empty inbox would bore me to death. Running from building to building is far more exciting! Plus, I have an insanely big office now with a beautiful view. I even took the time to decorate my new office this week since I practically live here anyways. I guess promotions are pretty awesome, huh? At least I have my next few years planned out, that makes me smile.

School is ugh school. Finishing it. I've decided to take an extra degree (in Terrorism) to help with my career ambitions, but still deciding if I want to finish it where I currently am. Long story, but I'll sort out those details this month. Potentially transferring offices, which makes everything even more confusing. No worries though, whether I'm in Ottawa or DC or London, you can know that I'm loving what I'm doing.

Exciting news? Well, I'm trying out the new Ottawa hotpost Social for dinner & drinks tonight (picure attached to make you sad you aren't coming with). Probably not the exciting news you were hoping for, but I've been looking forward to it all week. I also wore a pretty silk dress with ruffled neckline to work today, again not the news you were hoping for. I've really got nothing.

Oh, I have been condo shopping. Where you ask? DC and Ottawa. I found a beautiful condo in Ottawa, but don't want to set down roots until I completely rule out DC as an option. I'm leaning towards DC, but there are some complications with my work visa. I was hoping to transfer by the end of July, but it looks like I'll be here a bit longer until it's sorted out. Moral of this story: I wish I had a green card. I asked Rachel to marry me, but well...I don't need to finish that. Anyone wanna marry a Canadian? Applications aren't necessary :)

Other than that, I spend my days hard at work - commuting between Ottawa and DC. On the weekends, I do all my homework and spend my Sundays lazily strolling through the market and attending Brunch et Mass with the family. I'm planning a trip to Chicago to visit the bestest who I miss terribly *insert incredibly sad face and sad little penguin dance here* and can't wait to give her a giant big hug. She has an amazing new job and a great new social network. I'm so proud of her, so so proud.

Work on Bill C-268 has been indefinitely stalled, sitting on the floor of the Senate. Wish I could do more to push it through, but it's just a giant waiting game. I will keep y'all updated on it though. The Future Group is going strong, with our Queen's Chapter producing such great work. Those girls down in Kingston are truly spreading the message. I feel blessed every day to chair such a great organization. The West Block on the Hill is closing its doors and I will be part of a small group celebrating the final moments within those halls in a few weeks. Feel honored to be included in such a crucial part of Canadian history.
That is my life update. Now, time to get back to work before I can strap on my sparkly heels for a night out at Social with my boys.