Not our last camping trip of the season… if you can believe it!

With the lack of camping trips this season, my husband was getting pretty desperate. I admit I missed camping too but I can survive one year where we take a bit of a break from it.

Still, he pushed and pushed. And we fought about it as well. In the end, we came to a happy resolution by meeting in the middle.

He wanted to go somewhere about an hour away. I had no time to prep. So… we tried out this independent campground just 10 minutes away. It’s not a provincial park but had amazing hiking trails surrounding the campground.

All were happy and I’m glad we did it. It also gave us a chance to try dehydrated eggs (with grass-fed, hormone-free, anti-biotic free bison sausages).

deydrated eggsdehydraged eggs and bison sausagesNo, we weren’t aiming to create a gourmet meal here. There is hopes to do a portage/canoe trip where we’ll have to be somewhat creative with how we eat since we won’t have the opportunity to lug around a cooler. We’ve managed in the past – it’s do-able if we only go for two nights, preferably near the end of the summer when it’s not as hot.

The only problem is most of the dehydrated food packages is really high in either carbs or sugar. Which is exactly why our only option so far was to purchase these dehydrated eggs. The verdict? Edible but of course, no where near as good as actual eggs. :)

hiking - wildflowershikingOf course, we made sure we went on a lovely hike. For the entire morning, it rained. Which was fine. We slept in and had a very late brunch in the trailer.

By the time the sky cleared, we were ready to stretch our legs. Plus, Hobbes needed to burn off some energy. We hiked for an hour – and got our fill of fresh air.

new toquecamping fashionWe were only semi-prepared for the cold. The forecast showed and even lower dip for the temperature that night. While we brought along a of of fleece tops and bottoms, we didn’t have anything for our heads or Chaeli’s hands.

So, we took a quick trip to Sails and took advantage of their 50% toque sale (we were only 15 minutes away from one of the locations).

There was a Dollarama next to it so we picked up some 3-in-1 gloves for Chaeli.

campfire steaksOne way I was convinced to go camping on such a cold, rushed weekend… witness the above photo. This picture does not do these steaks any justice. I bought these earlier that day at Whole Foods. Yes, I paid a mint for each. They are hormone and anti-biotic free. And about 2 inches thick!

I’ve had some pretty seriously good steaks in my life. But only a couple stand out. The one was on our last Princess Cruise when we paid cover charge to dine in the Crown Grill Restaurant. The second would have been the Tomahawks we bought as part of my dad’s Father’s Day gift.

These recent steaks would be amongst the top three. Every bite had an amazing flavour. Well worth the money.

hobbes the dogAnd yes, even Hobbes got some of Doug’s scraps with his dinner.

It was a nice little get-away, once again, in our little trailer. And as the title of this post suggests, it’s not our last camping trip. We’ll be needing more winter gear as we head up further north in a few weeks to camp by Georgian Bay. What? You say we’re crazy?

No, let me correct you. My husband is crazy. We’re just not very bright for letting him convince us to go along with his craziness.

campfire

newly acquired possessions (i.e. more shopping)

forever 21 skirts and jewellery

images from canada.forever21.com

I hate shopping. In a mall.

But online shopping? The comforts of picking out my clothes and accessories while in my pj’s while sipping coffee BEFORE the malls open is my guilty pleasure. Not having to deal with parking and crowds is a huge bonus.

I recently had discovered Forever 21 the last time I did go shopping at a mall. It was the first time I went into this store and was just in heaven after discovering their line of fashion jewellery – all at a reasonable price especially as they had a sale that day.

I’ve really been attracted to the asymmetrical look as well as delicate flowers to accent one’s outfit. The above is a sample of what is setting the softer look for my spring/summer wardrobe.

Mind you, the hem of the inner layer part of the skirts are a couple of inches lower on me. The models for each article of clothing is described as far as their height and measurements (and what size they are wearing) to give the shopper a better understanding of what they are about to buy. Most models are around the 6′ mark. So while the skirts look short, on an average woman like me, they are quite the right length and fit for office wear.

I suppose that’s why I never gave Forever 21 a chance – all their skirts look really short and most clothes are meant for younger people (hence ’21’ in the name). I’ve discovered though that there are collections one can find even for my age (41 and counting) if worn with some thing else and accessorized appropriately.

Thus far, I’ve worn all the jewellery and the one cream-coloured skirt. All have received positive comments. Looking forward to wearing the red one with my peek-toe, black booties!

shop-a-holic anonymous

well, okay… i hardly would say i’m a shop-a-holic. but it feels like that lately. which isn’t ideal – as we’re trying to save money.

but i have a walk-in closet filled with more clothes that are at least 1x’s to 3x’s too big. i had spent some energy and money to replace some pants that are too big than clothes that do fit. i did take advantage of some end-of-winter sales (for example, five dollar sweaters) for some fall/winter wear.

but now, spring and summer approaches.

a couple of nights ago,  i was not able to find a single shirt/blouse that matched my new red, pop-colour pants. i went through about FIVE tops – all just too baggy. i was getting pretty frustrated as i marched in to my closet, pulling another top to try on. and then another. by the fifth trip, my step was heavier and quicker with determination.

i finally settled for one blouse. the material is thin so while it is still too big, at least it drapes closer to my body for the illusion of a better fit.

meanwhile, hobbes just sat on the floor watching me walk by him a dozen or so times. his head turned to following me back and forth. he knew to stay out of my way since i was on a mission. but he was definitely a bit on edge sensing my frustration.

and so later on that night, these were ordered online… and none of the items were over $11!

old navy women's shirts

they are simple – easy enough for me to accessorize for casual wear or a day at the office (spring/summer wear, that is).

the problem is, now i want new jewellery!

it never ends, does it?

and i don’t love shopping. the issue is, i like to do things to completion. so, if i need a new wardrobe, it’s hard for me to stop just at a couple of purchases. i need to see things done to the end. i’m like that pretty much with everything i start.

though… okay, jewellery and shoes are probably one of my guilty pleasures. it’s much easier. with shoes, one size is one size. and i’ve been a size 7 since i was a teen. and necklaces, earrings (and fashion scarves, come to think of it) – one size fits all!

wish list for rings

antique and ornate rings

i want them all

a long time ago, i blogged about my ring collection – most of them were inherited.

when i started to wear some of these rings just on a daily basis, it changed my style and taste for when i browse through rings now.

i use to be the typical modern girl – clean lines, tiffany cut style… not that i could afford a tiffany-cut-anything… but anything ornate was too much! believe me, i still find those modern, less-is-more styles as gorgeous rings. besides, if some one was to offer me a free, tiffany-cut diamond ring, i would not complain.

still, when browsing for rings, mainly costume jewellery (diamonds and real gems are exquisite but i can’t afford the real stuff), i am inspired more by antique designs.

the above is a very short collection of rings i found on the internet – some are true antiques from the art deco and art nouveau period. some are inspired by such periods, recreated by a designer. either way, i love the intrinsic work put into each of them and would gladly find them a home on one of my fingers.

i’m not really a very ornate person with my home or my clothes. but when it comes to jewellery, i think it’s the one thing one can escape outside of one’s comfort zone. i tend to just wear one type of ornate jewellery piece at a time anyway. for example, if i have bold earrings, i will wear either a very simple necklace or none of all, so as to not be too busy and have each jewellery piece compete with one another. same with rings – i tend to just wear one ornate ring on one hand. the other hand might have a simple band or no ring at all.

i suppose they each get their turn in the spotlight. :)

old navy sizes – smaller than normal

i just went to old navy to take advantage of their $15 jean sale (only for today) and decided to take some time in the fitting room. i knew i needed a smaller size since i’ve been belting up my size 10 (also from old navy) for awhile now.

so i figured, “size 8… that’s what i’m looking for.”

i picked up two different types of leg opening – skinny and boot cut. both size 8.

i walked out to the mirrors where doug and chaeli were waiting for me. doug asked, “so how are they?”

looking in the mirrors, i frowned as a replied, “i don’t know. they’re comfortable. but awfully baggy around the hips/thighs. and i can definitely pull the waistband away from my stomach that it may be too loose.”

“so go and get a size smaller and see.”

size 6, this time. i came back out and modelled the smaller size for both to see. i asked, “so? how do they look?”

chaeli responded quickly, “they still look baggy.”

“what? how can that be! i’m a size 9/10 for other brands. i know old navy label their sizes smaller than the rest of the fashion world, but this is ridiculous! i’m not a size 6. i’m not even a size 8! and for cryin’ out loud, i’m SO not a size 4!”

well, i didn’t bother trying on a size 4. i do like my jeans on the more confortable size so i stuck with THEIR size 6. it’s still a bit loose but at least won’t fall off with just a tug (unlike the ones i currently own in my closet).

the thing is, i think it’s sad. that they have to lie to us women who shouldn’t be lied to about their size. what we should be told is that we’re okay the size that we are. that the size of our pants should not define who we are and that no two bodies will be the same so there is no ideal size.

i have the same issue with many scales at a few goodlife fitness centres i’ve been to. i can weigh anywhere from 5-10 lbs LESS than i know i weigh (i trust the scale at my doctor’s and at my dieticians – they have no need to lie and calibrate their scales regularly).

we don’t need to be lied to – in the end, that’s not doing us a favour. but more awareness on REAL body image is definitely a must!

thank god one company out there understands the importance of this.