Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sweat Round Up of the Week

Man, what a raaaainy week we've had here in Vancouver. Get used to hearing me say that sentence for the next 7 months! Yesterday we took a mighty wet hike up Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver, with at times torrential rain fall. I'm not sure exactly what we were thinking, but at least it was a way to get some outdoor exercise!

Here's my workout round up of the past week... it's not lengthy.

9/23 (lower body and core)
20 mins elliptical
12 split squats each leg, 10 lbs each hand
30 Russian get ups, 5 lbs each hand
30 alternating lunges, 10 lbs each hand
30 weighted v-sit twist, holding 10 lbs
30 heel presses each leg
- 10 bridges
- 10 single leg hip lifts each leg
12 deadlifts, 10 lbs each hand

9/26 (cardio)
25 mins biking

9/28 (cardio)
Hiked about 6km on Mt. Seymour

The hike yesterday was so wet that we couldn't really even take out our cameras to snap any pictures. Our friend Evan managed to snap this one picture of his 3 hiking companions - Lauren (Dave and Evan's colleague), me and David:

Rainy hike on Mt. Seymour, North Vancouver
.  moisture  .
.  thanks for letting me steal your pic evan  .

What have you been up to exercise-wise this past week? What's your favorite exercise?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Rose Gold Sparkly Nails with Pink Accents

Even though it's Friday and that usually means sassy comments, cross-country fist-bumps (sup Jennie?!), pomp, and circumstance, I don't have a ton of that in me for you this week. I almost didn't even want to paint my nails at all, but I'd been on such a streak of posting nail blogs every Friday that it didn't seem like a good move to skip it.

On top of having the debs this week, I also filed my nails waaaaaay down on Monday (on purpose, they needed it)... so I've had even less "canvas" space to work with than usual. Nonetheless, I did have something pretty in mind as inspiration for my nails today... and oddly it was the background clothing rack in the video of a YouTube beauty guru:

I saw the rose gold sparkly dress beside the bright pink dress on that rack and it made me smile. Some things are just pretty, ya know? So here is my version of that duo, using nail polish:

For polishes I used Love & Beauty in what they call "Bronze" but... I dunno, it's rose gold to me. I also used Love & Beauty's Crystal Silver and Sally Hansen's Insta Dri in Presto Pink.

I used two coats of Presto Pink on my ring and thumb nails and three (possibly four?) coats of the rose gold polish on my pointer, middle and pinky nails. Then I applied a coat of Crystal Silver on top of the rose gold to add some extra sparkle. 

The combo of rose gold and crystal silver wasn't really as amazing as I had hoped it would be, ultimately. But it is sparkly... and there's not much wrong with that, especially when feeling down!

Let me know what you've got on your nails today!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Turning Shirts into Pillow Covers

An embarrassingly long time ago, I posted a thrift shop haul with a couple of button-up shirts from the 4th Ave Salvation Army and coyly teased that I was going to be undertaking a project with them soon.

Well that was over 2 months ago, sooo.... the actual definition of the word "soon" can go eff itself.

The important thing is that we're here together now with this project that I finally completed - turning a couple of thrifted button up shirts into small pillow covers. Best part:  No sewing skills or sewing machine needed!

Turning Shirts Into Pillow Covers

When I saw this floral shirt on the rack in Salvay earlier this summer, its bright blue coloring and seemingly unworn print really stood out to me. Knowing that the shape and fit were nottt cute for actually wearing (it even had shoulder pads, for god's sake), it struck me as a perfect shirt to grab and use as a pillowcase for one of the two Ikea pillows that were back at my apartment, waiting to be covered.

Then I spotted the striped top and it was just bright and new-looking enough to convince me that it would be a good buddy for the floral shirt. Thus, my two future pillow covers were purchased and brought home to..... chill for a couple of months until I finally got around to doing anything with them.

Here's what I used to turn my shirts into pillow covers:

- two krĂ„kris pillows from Ikea ($1.99 each)
- two complementing button-up shirts from Salvation Army ($5.99 each)
- fabric glue (I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion, 2 pens in a package for $5.99 from Michael's)
- scissors
- ruler (optional)
- pins (optional)

I ended up making each pillow cover differently - you learn as you go, after all! Or I do anyway, since I was almost entirely wingin' it. #IDoWhatIWant. Here's how I made the first one:

Step 1: Separate the bottom half of the shirt from the sleeves/collar half of the shirt by cutting across from about armpit-to-armpit. You can use your ruler here if you want to make sure your lines are extra straight, but they don't really have to be. Depending on the size of your pillow, you may need to cut higher up on the shirt to include more of the "chest/upper back" area. Unbuttoned, this will leave you with a long rectangle of fabric:

Make a pillowcover out of a shirt

Step 2: Fold over and glue all four of the rectangle's rough edges to form pretty hems:

Hemming a homemade pillowcase

Step 3: Once all 4 sides of your rectangle have prettier hems, spread the fabric out length-wise - patterned side down/hem sides up - and lay your pillow into the center. Fold the left side's hem over the pillow, lining the button holes up in the center of the pillow:

Making a pillow cover with a shirt

You can pin the top and bottom hems together if you'd like - it may make the next glueing step easier or less messy for you:

Homemade pillowcase
Step 4: From here (focusing for now on just the left half of the fabric), pipe a line of fabric glue onto the bottom hem of the side that's closest to you, and then press the top and bottom hems together to seal the layers. Repeat this on the side of the pillow that's further from you. This should leave the entire left half of your pillow sealed into the case (as sort-of shown in the picture below Step 3).

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the right side of your pillowcase fabric - making sure that your buttons line up with your button holes in the center of the pillow. 

And voila! Now you've essentially glued your pillow INTO your pillowcase, with the ability to unbutton the fabric to take the pillow out if you ever want to re-cover it or wash your pillowcase.

Turning shirts into pillow covers, homemade, DIY
So that's how I did the first one... but I found a slightly easier way to make the second one. So I do hope you've read this far ;)

Step 1: With your shirt still buttoned, lay out your shirt flat, buttons side up. Cut across the chest of the shirt through both layers, approximately armpit to armpit. Keep the shirt buttoned together for all of the following steps.

Step 2: Separate the front of the shirt from the back of the shirt by cutting upwards along both of the side seams.  

Step 3: Create pretty hems on all four sides of both your top and bottom pieces of fabric by folding over the edges and glueing them with your fabric glue. Check as you go to make sure you're not making your fabric too small to cover your pillow!

Step 4: Lay out the bottom half of the shirt, patterned side down, and place your pillow into the center. Now lay the top half of the shirt atop your pillow, patterned side up, and make sure your buttons are straight down the center of the pillow.

Step 5: Begin glueing all the edges together, until your pillow is once again glued into the fabric with the ability to unbutton the fabric to remove the pillow. I took breaks between glueing each side, to give the glue time to dry and strengthen.

Turning shirts into pillow covers, homemade, DIY
And there you have it! A totally bootleg but effective way to make your own pillow covers using some button up shirts!

Pillow covers made from shirts

Shirts made into pillow cases

Shirts made into pillow cases

So now when you see a shirt with pretty fabric or a cool pattern, but a terrible cut/fit, you can totally buy it and make your pillow wear it instead. Hoozah!

Have you ever made your own pillow cover? Are there any shirts you've been eyeing at thrift stores that would be great for this project? Let me know if you give it a try ~> you can tweet me a picture at @akaBailey!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

My First Blogger Event: Blog and the (Van)City

I started blogging almost a year ago and have felt for a long time like I wanted to be part of a blogging community here in Vancouver. I knew there were other Vancouver bloggers around - this is a pretty big and happening city, after all - but I couldn't fiiiind them. Where the heck was everybody?? #OllyOllyOxenFree!!

So when a month ago I caught wind of the #blogvancity hashtag that was popping up on Twitter (thanks to the retweet account @Vancouver_rt), I was excited and curious. What the heck was #blogvancity? How could I be a part of it? Well I had no idea, but the September 14th event went straight onto my calendar anyway.

After a few weeks and plenty of tweets exchanged with two of the event organizers, Sheila and Jordana, I received my invite for the event, formally called Blog and the (Van)City. Here's a bit of the event description:

"Blog and the (Van)City is a mini-conference designed to build a community of fashion and beauty bloggers that will support and learn from each other."

Yup, sounded like exactly what I had been looking for!

Before continuing, I should point out that I don't really classify myself as a "beauty blogger." In fact, it's quite hard for me to classify myself as anything, given that I blog about nail polish, food, hiking, mountains, restaurants, thrift shopping, workouts, music, Vancouver, my travels, and just about any other random thing I feel like posting. But I do post a nail polish blog every Friday, which technically makes about 1/4 of my content "beauty" content. Thus, here I was on the guest list for a beauty and fashion blogger event. ;)

So last Friday afternoon (Friday the 13th... ooooh spooky) I had the idea to make my own business cards for the event - and that's how I spent my Friday night and Saturday morning:

Homemade Business Cards, aka Bailey
.  biznasssss cards  .

Homemade Business Cards, aka Bailey

On Saturday early afternoon, I headed to Burnaby to Metropolis at Metrotown, where Blog and the (Van)City was being held in the Sears Community Room.

And here is what I very hastily applied to my nails on my way out the door to the event - China Glaze's Recycle, with a couple coats of Love & Beauty's Crystal Silver on my ring finger for some extra sass:

Nail Polish, China Glaze Recycle, silver glitter accent nail, grey nails with sparkle
.  literally took this pic in the car on the way to metrotown  .

I arrived to a room full of fabulous looking ladies milling around, as well as a spread of sushi, fruit, veggies, lemon squares, sparkling apple cider and soda:

Event Food and Snacks, blogvancity
.  fewd and treats  .
There was also a Lush demo table set up, with both Ocean Salt and their Rose Jam shower gel being demo'd by some friendly Lush employees. (Sidebar - is anyone else certain that there is no nicer person on the planet than a Lush employee?? They're consistently amazing humans.) There was also a variety of Lush products available for sale there - like bath bombs, soaps, massage bars, and lotions.

Lush Demo Table at #Blogvancity
.  lush brings all the boys to the yard  .
I met about 20-25 other bloggers before hearing from the panel of experts who answered all of our questions about how to work with brands or companies, how to maintain a blogging schedule, and what to do when we run out of ideas!

The panel members included:

  • Cynnamon Schreinert - Associate at Hartley PR, who was there on behalf of Hartley PR's client, London Drugs
  • Brandi Halls - Director, Brand Communications, Lush North America
  • Sarah Murray - Style Director, Fashion Capsule Communications (a PR agency for local fashion boutiques)
  • Alison Leong - local blogger at
  • Jordana - local blogger at

It was a really valuable Q&A session - everyone had fascinating questions and ideas, and it was good to hear advice about keeping a blogging schedule or the best way to approach a brand about sponsoring posts. I also learned some new tricks about how to alert a brand that you've written about them. I've already begun to put some of this new knowledge to use, so the event was definitely beneficial for me.

On top of learning a lot about "professional" blogging, meeting a ton of other Vancouver bloggers was seriously just what I needed. I already feel more like a part of a community - several of us have been tweeting with each other this past week and getting familiar with each other's blogs. At the end of this blog, I'll include a list of all the bloggers (and vloggers!) that were in attendance at the event, so YOU can check them out too!

Before we all left for the afternoon, we were completely showered with swag. This was my first blogging event, so swag is definitely new to me. I... didn't mind it. Here's the rundown on the gewdies:

Nail polish duos from China Glaze's Fall 2013 Autumn Nights Collection, c/o Nail Polish Canada

China Glaze Fall 2013 Autumn Nights Collection, Nail Polish Canada
.  yesssss  .
And a whole buttload of Revlon, Almay, Marcelle, and Annabelle products:

Revlon, Almay, Marcelle, Annabelle products

My swag bag contents:

Blogvancity swag bag
.  ALL MINE  .
Products included:
  • Pink-A-Boo Eyeshadow Quad from Annabelle
  • Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer
  • 3 pots of Almay Eye Makeup Remover
  • China Glaze - Kiss My Glass
  • China Glaze - Goldie But Goodie
  • Marcelle DD Cream (really excited to try this!)
  • Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Stick (w/ bonus Liquid Eye Pen)
  • Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliques
  • Revlon ColorBurst lip gloss in Sunbaked
  • Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen from Marcelle (double-ended with a thinner eyeliner tip on one end and a thicker tip on the other end)
  • 2 Anabelle Retractable Eyeliners - One in Jet Black and one in Twilight (greyish purple)
  • Marcelle Waterproofing Mascara Top Coat (never even heard of such a thing!)
  • Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede lipstick in the shade Runway
  • Revlon File 'n Peel 6-in-1 Nail File (you peel away old layers to reveal new ones as needed)
  • Alchemy eyeshadow trio from Annabelle
  • Revlon Chalkboard Nail Art
  • Almay Longwear & Waterproof Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • 15% off coupon for (where I can print real business cards)
  • There's also a little square blush quad but it doesn't have any brand name on it at all, so I don't know what it's called or who it was made by!
Revlon, China Glaze, Marcelle, Anabelle, Almay products, eyeshadow, lip gloss, nail appliques

Revlon, China Glaze, Marcelle, Anabelle, Almay products, eyeshadow, lip gloss, nail appliques

Revlon, China Glaze, Marcelle, Anabelle, Almay products, eyeshadow, lip gloss, nail appliques

In upcoming posts, I'll write more about individual products that I'm using/enjoying out of all this swag. The nail products are the most exciting for me, as you can imagine. But I've also been trying out the makeup removers and the lip products, and am totally intrigued by the whole idea of a DD cream...

One of the cooler parts of this entire experience was seeing my blog name in writing:

akaBailey, Bailey, Blogvancity

Hopefully there will be another blogger event with this group of ladies in the not-so-distant future. Even if there isn't an organized event soon, I hope to be able to meet up in Vancouver with some of the ladies I met and do some shopping or spend some blogging time together in a coffee shop.

Sidebar - I just added Google Friend Connect to the right column of my blog (um, weren't they supposed to be doing away with GFC back in July?), so if you aren't following me there yet please do connect and add me to your reader reel :) You can also follow me on Bloglovin by clicking the button at the bottom of this post.

Oh and thank you to Raine over at Spuddy Buddies for the kind words and shoutout in your Blogs I'm Loving post on Friday. It was a very nice thing for me to read, and I really appreciate your taking the time to read my blogs... That last bit goes for all of you who have made it to this line. ;)

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The other #blogvancity bloggers/vloggers:

Jordana -

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweat Round Up of the Week

Oh hey, Sunday. Haven't seen you in a week or so.

I've been talking some serious smack to myself this week about my eating and workout habits. My weight is generally pretttty consistent - I've fluctuated within about a 7-lb range since about my senior year in high school. There's a pair of jeans that I wore my freshman year in college that still fit me now - it's sort of a personal achievement for me when I put them on and they still look fantastic on me. (Yeah I said it.)

However, when my weight starts to creep towards the higher end of that 7-lb range, I a) take notice and b) feel it. I can feel when I've been unhealthy because it makes me feel tired and soft in the middle. Plus... my jeans all start to feel tight and uncomfortable. And that, my friends, is always my wake up call. Because I have a ton of jeans in my current size (like I said, I've been about this size since college), and I am not about to replace them all with a new, larger size. Nooope.

So, after a good amount of smacking myself on the forehead and poking myself in my newly forming pudgy tummy, I have gone to the gym 3 times this week - and hope to go this afternoon as well. No promises there.

Here are my workouts this week:

9/15 (lower body and core)
aka Bailey, Post-workout picture5 mins elliptical
   - 20 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
   - 20 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
   - 20 squats, holding 30 lbs
   - 30 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 5 lbs
   - 30 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
   - 30 weighted v-sit twist, holding 15 lbs
40 bridges
30 cobras

9/18 (upper body and core)
10 mins biking
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
12 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
- 12 deltoid flys, 5 lbs
- 12 deltoid raises, 5 lbs
20 bent over rows, 12.5 lbs each hand

9/21 (cardio and a little upper, little lower)
30 mins biking
15 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
15 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
15 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
20 bodyweight squats
20 bodyweight calf raises
20 side lunges + plyometric pushoff (each side)
20 bodyweight deadlifts

At the gym yesterday, the song "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes came on over the gym's loudspeakers - which inspired me to start my workout with Mark Ronson's 2007 version of the song "Stop Me" because it includes lyrics from "You Keep Me Hangin' On." I made a Genius playlist off of Ronson's song and it was kind of a hit-or-miss for workout songs. I had to skip around a little bit, but some of the gems of the list (as far as "workout songs" go) were:
  • Stronger - Britney Spears
  • Gotta Get Through This - Daniel Bedingfield
  • Stylo - Gorillaz
What are your favorite online resources for finding new workouts and exercise ideas? You can click on most of the exercises above to see where I turn to for my fitness ideas, but I'm always looking for more!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Jewel Tone Nails: Emerald, Sapphire, and Topaz

Holy crap, what a busy week this has been! I just added a new professional project to my plate (adult lingo) and I haven't yet mastered my new work-and-personal-life balancing act. The workdays have seemed quite long - I even had to put in a 12+ hour work day on Tuesday! #ShootMe. As a result, my blogging has been a lil' more sparse this week than I would have liked, especially with all the good things that still need to be posted about - like my camping/scrambling trip to the Tolkien Group from a few weeks ago, and the Vancouver blogger event I went to this past Saturday.

But today is finally Friday and that means it's nails day! If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen that yesterday I posted this photo and announced that it would be the inspiration for today's nails. It's another outfit-made-mani, inspired by an outfit from the blogger Simply Whit in a Sequined Life. (You can check out her original outfit post here.)

I love the jewel toned look of Whit's outfit and knew that there were colors in my nail polish stash that would be perfect to replicate the look on my nails - an emerald, a sapphire and a golden topaz (my birth stone!).

Jewel Tone Nails

Jewel Tone Outfit
.  photo from  .
Disclaimer:  Just to reiterate - that is not a photo of me wearing that outfit. You'd be surprised how many times people comment on these "outfit-turned-mani" posts and say something like, "Ooh cute outfit, it looks so good on you!" And I'm all... Dude, you didn't even read it. #WompWomp 

Back to my nails!

Jewel Tone Nails: Topaz, Sapphire, Emerald

I used essence's Little Miss Sunrise, Sinful Colors' Envy, Love & Beauty's Navy, and Sinful Color's Snow Me White (as usual!):

Jewel Tone Nails: Topaz, Sapphire, Emerald Polishes

Jewel Tone Nail Polishes: Topaz, Emerald, Sapphire

Nail Polish: Jewel Tone Nails, Emerald, Sapphire, Topaz, Polka Dots
You can see I went with the double accent nail again, like last week. Perhaps the beginning of a new phase for me?!

Are you incorporating jewel tones into your wardrobe, jewelry, or nails this season?

Want to see more outfits-made-manis? Click away:

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Inexpensive Vancouver Thrifting

While I was away in Massachusetts, I tortured myself by reading all sorts of really fabulous thrifting blogs. By the time I finally made it back to Vancouver, it was only a very short matter of time before I was back in the Salvation Army store on 4th Ave in Kitsilano! (My obsesh with this store has been well-documented here on aka Bailey. If you don't know, you better get with the program!)

As usual, I was not disappointed and did not leave empty handed. Here's what I found!

My favorite find:

Adrienne Vittadini purse, brown, silver hardware

It's an Adrienne Vittadini handbag that I picked up for $12.99.  I don't know anything about handbags or designer names, but I could tell it was a quality bag just by its weight. I can't find this exact bag online but other Adrienne Vittadini handbags of this size appear to be selling for about $180-$220, soooo it seems I got a good deal. I love the brown tone - it will be perfect for autumn!

I'm a sucker for cardigans of all styles, and this loose-knit, grey-taupe Kersh cardy had me at "BIG ASS BUTTONS."
Grey taupe loose knit cardigan with large buttons, Kersh
.  $7.99  .
Speaking of cardigans, this sleeveless Joe top  - heather grey with light grey stripes - will be good to wear with cardigans during the fall.

grey on grey striped sleeveless shirt
.  $3.99  .
I own so few items of red clothing that it usually leaves my wardrobe feeling totally inadequate around the holiday season. While I'm aware that it's not even officially fall yet, let alone winter holiday time, I still felt like this bright, royal looking red Request shirt needed to come home with me and be my holiday buddy. Not only is it a nice vibrant color, it also features a bejeweled keyhole cutout in the back with pretty ruby-looking buttons up the mock turtleneck. #EatYourHeartOutSanta.

Red shirt, beads, keyhole, ruby buttons, mock turtleneck
.  $4.99  .

This small blue purse has no brand name or tags on it, but isn't it adorbs? For size reference, it's about 5" long (at the bottom) and 3" tall. I probably couldn't even fit my cell phone in it... but damn, it's precious.
Royal cobalt dazzling blue purse with silver chain
.  $3.99  .

Thennn just last week, I was inspired to go find some great "coffee table books" (thanks a lot, home decor bloggers), so it was back to Salvay I went. The fact that I don't even have a coffee table is of no consequence here, so shut up.

It was my lucky day because they had exactly what I was looking for in their books section:  A book about Boston and a book about K2. Ok, so I wasn't looking specifically for a K2 book, but I was looking for a good mountain book... Um, I'd say K2 will suffice. Both books have really great photos inside of them, which is precisely what I was hoping to find. They were each $2.

K2 Mountain of Mountains, book, a. Gogna

Boston, frank foster and john d. spooner, book

And naturally while I was there, I had to check out the tops. 
This black short-sleeved Gap shirt looks like it's never been worn, and will look great with a pair of dark skinny jeans this fall:
Black Gap short sleeved shirt, square neckline
.  $3.99  .

This sparkly (cough) Wet Seal (cough) shirt was another premature holiday-inspired purchase. 
I mean, come on. The sequins.
Grey silver sparkle sequins tank top, wet seal
.  $4.99  .

Here's one more random thing - I bought this clutch a few days before I left for Massachusetts in late July because I wanted something gold/champagne-colored to use for the wedding. After scouring a few different shops on 4th Ave, I popped into In Again Clothing (a consignment shop) for the first time ever and immediately spotted this clutch beneath the counter display. It was perfect!

Gold clutch

And as a bonus...

Gold clutch, jewel closure, leopard print lining

It's got crystals on the closures and it's lined with leopard! Holla!

Well that concludes my recent thrifting finds, but you know #BitchesBeShoppin and that I'll be finding more goodies soon enough. Stick around!

Want to read more thrifting blogs? Click away:

Thrifting Finds Lately
Second-Hand Rock Climbing Shoes
$20 Thrifted Chair
TONS of Thrifting Finds
Vancouver Thrifting Haul - Great Finds!
Poppin' Some Tags: Thrift Shop Challenge
Went Shoppinnnn': 4th Ave Salvation Army
Thrifting in Vancouver

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