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Navy & Gold

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If anyone has a Conair Impressions styling tool (shown above) please inquire within.

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After completing my seven-week tour across Ontario and returning to Ottawa this past weekend, I was thrilled by the idea of visiting one of my favorite yoga studios here in the city, Santosha Yoga on Elgin. Between the fast food, highway driving and hotels, attending a yoga class this evening was a necessity to get myself back into a normal routine and above all, work up a much-needed sweat.

Santosha is a fairly small studio, it has one room for its classes and two small change rooms where you might find yourself getting an elbow in the head while trying to put your socks on after class. It isn’t the studio’s facilities that draw me here, but rather a specific teacher whose style is like no other instructor I have ever experienced. Ichih’s 5:45 pm Hot Flow is a party just as much as it is a work out, and trust me she will put you to work. In the five years that I have been practicing I have never been pushed  harder physically than in one of her classes, and tonight Ichih challenged me mentally too.

Ichih’s classes are normally pretty busy, but this evening’s was especially jammed. As class was about to start more people began to pour in and the gab between our mats became smaller and smaller. I strategically placed myself towards the back of the room thinking that it would be easier to sneak out towards the end. I cursed myself after being placed beside a very furry gentleman who I  had a sneaking suspicion was a sweater (not to be confused with a sweater of body hair, but rather the sweat dripping from ever crevice of his body). As the class began and the room began to feel like a sauna, every time I swooped into chatarunga I would notice a fresh drop of sweat on my mat that was not mine.  My face began to cringe. As the poses became more difficult and my neighbor bounced around beside me, his sweat bounced off with him… and onto me. By this point I’m sure my face was fully contorted in disgust and my mind was not on my practice but focused on the sweat pouring out of this man’s pores. All of this came to a sudden halt when Ichih introduced the element of community into our practice. It was almost as if she sensed my fear (pretty sure everyone in that room sensed it) but nonetheless, she addressed it. Explaining to the class that there was a reason why we chose to attend class tonight. We could have watched a yoga DVD at home in the privacy of our own living rooms, but we chose to come into a studio where we would be sweating beside complete strangers. She continued to tell us that we, as humans, aren’t meant to be alone. We aren’t meant to be independent and that the three most difficult things to say in life are: I’m sorry, I love you and I need help. Admit that you need help, Ichih said. Admit why you really came to class this evening.

This is when it hit me. I had been flying solo for seven weeks without help from anyone. I had become so accustomed to my independence that I was  suddenly foreign to the idea of community. I forgot how warm it felt to be part of a community. Ichih finished making her point and instructed us to lay on our backs crossing our left knee over our right leg. We reached our right hand on the shoulder of one of our neighbors while simultaneously placing our left hand on our other neighbor’s knee. It was in this moment that I felt community surround me physically and mentally. My neighbor who I had been giving the stink eye to earlier looked over to me and apologized profusely. I smiling back at him and we both just laughed at what was no longer an awkward situation and I welcomed his hand on my shoulder. I didn’t think about sweat for the remainder of my practice but instead thought about community and the sense of security it left me with.

I’m not proud of the way I acted towards my neighbor this evening,  but I’m thankful for the challenge that Ichih presented us with this evening. Above all, I’m grateful for the understanding and sense of community I left class with.

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Perhaps you are sitting inside on this beautiful fall day bored out of your mind. Or maybe you are downtown stolling the streets of our beloved Byward Market. Whatever it is you’re doing, drop it and make your way to Victoire Boutique for their annual Vintage Dress Sale. The ladies of Victoire have toured the states and different parts of Canada searching for some of the treasures that are currently on display in the shop today. I just arrived home with some treats from the sale which is going on until 7 pm this eve. For those of you who are sick of your wardrobe like myself and want something that no one else has, check out You love vintage and vintage loves you. In case you need some more convincing, check out some of the gems I tried on this afternoon below. You’re welcome. – J.

The perfect New Year's get-up? I think so.

Oh hey there Jackie O! It broke my heart to leave without this one, but alas my badonkadonk was not helping the situation.

Came home with these Valérie Dumaine leggings which I have been having dreams about for quite sometime now. WIN.

This dress which came from White Elephant (whiteelephantshop.ca) makes me wish I was born in an earlier era. Betty Draper, I heart you.

MINE. You will find me sipping lemonade at a picnic in this little number.

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Plan on really going for it this Thursday at Ottawa Fashion Week. Socks and sandals, check.

In case you thought I packed my virtual bags and left the land of cyberspace… still here. One of my favorite Ottawa reads (Local Tourist Ottawa) asked me to guest blog for them this week which I gladly accepted!

This week I took on freelance writer Vivian Song and her opinion that Ottawa is the eighth worst dressed city in the world. Poor Vivian…

Click HERE to read more.

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We have lifestyle brand Mr. Kate to thank for the below ear party. Love it!

Decay starburst earrings.

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It’s during the fall season that I’m reminded of a quote from one of Hollywood’s greatest films:

“I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – You’ve Got Mail.

Well… perhaps I’m giving this Blockbuster a little too much credit, but I’m not ashamed to say that it is part of my DVD collection. Ok, ok, ok and I own the soundtrack.

This is besides the point, fall is near and the fashion magazine’s have spoken. Reading several of this season’s trend reports, I got to thinking about the dilemma faced in trying to incorporate the newest trends into my fall wardrobe while avoiding the stink eye from those who live under a rock. If you’re a fellow Ottawaian (?) you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Speaking as someone who values professionalism and professional dress in the workplace, but also as someone who likes to have fun with my clothing, a constant battle I’m faced with is finding a balance between professional and stylish when dressing for the office.

What too many women do when faced with this challenge is to air on the side of caution. This mistake leads to an ultra conservative wardrobe, the same blouse and dress pants day-in-day-out. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the women out there who have too much fun with their workplace wardrobe. So much so that you would swear Suzy was drunk when she decided to pair those royal blue loafers with that pink fur vest. Poor girl.

All of this ranting amounts to the following, a collection of this season’s hottest trends accompanied with the cheaper, more accessible versions that can be rocked in your government office. You’re welcome.

Fall Fashion Trend #1). The Technicolour Dream Coat

Mustard trench, The Row

Double-cloth townhouse trench in golden mustard, J.Crew $404

Fall Fashion Trend #2). Lumberjack 

Thom Browne

Blackwatch plaid wool plazer, J.Crew $230

Fall Fashion Trend #3). Big Bird

Prabal Gurung

Vince Camuto Faux Fur Vest, Nordstorm $181.04

Fall Fashion Trend #4). Red hot

Rodarte

Vintage matchstick cord in vibrant flame, J.Crew $91.50

Fall Fashion Trend #5). Crossroads

Rag & Bone

Yasmina Tiered Poplin Dress, BCBG $238

Ps. Incase you haven’t yet notices, J.Crew hit a home run this fall with their spot-on, versatile pieces.

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