All posts by Ginger

OOTD – Aug 17, Mods n’ Rockers Event

Today was the second half of the annual Mods n’ Rockers event here in Toronto. It’s basically a celebration of vintage motorbikes and scooters, and an excuse to show them off 😉

I did ride my scooter down to the event but didn’t participate in the judging event since I can hardly call her vintage…

I did have fun dressing for the event though. I wore my new SWAK Curvy Kitten top and did a low-key vintage inspired look.

I just recently learned how to do a cat-eye on myself as well, so it was great to practice it again! I tried out several new cosmetics for this look, too. Details after the photo.IMG_1199Top: SWAK Curvy Kitten
Belt: Torrid (old)
Skirt: Collectif via Rosie the Rebel
Shoes: TOMS
Necklace: With Heart

Obligatory silly selfie for posterity.
Obligatory silly selfie for posterity.

Eyes: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Face: Marcelle BB Cream
Lips: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in Satin Vermillion Red

The bikes at this event were amazing. I fell in love with the Italian Moto Guzzi bikes as well as the British Norton’s. I hope to get a proper bike for myself next season, but there are so many to choose from! A great showing of classic Honda’s, Yamaha’s and Triumphs as well.

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Moto Guzzi v7 Racer (750cc’s)

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OOTD – Aug. 8

IMG_1125I didn’t really feel like getting too dressed up today. I’m tired and it’s going to be hot, so comfort was key.

Today’s outfit was easy, breezy and comfortable. The pattern and cut of the dress really enhances my shape, giving me a nice feminine look without trying too hard. I like this one too because it’s easy to take from day to night with just a few accessory and makeup changes.

Product highlights

Face: Marcelle BB Cream
Eyes: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Black
Lips: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 – Satin Fuschia

Dress: Addition-Elle
Shoes: SoftMoc house brand

OOTD – Tiki Party! Aug. 3

Last weekend my local Toronto Vintage & Retro Society hosted a rockin’ tiki-tacky party at the Cadillac Lounge.

I waffled between what to wear quite a bit for this event! On one hand, I’ve got some great retro/pin-up outfits that I want to wear, but on the other it IS a tiki party, so bright colours and anything island or Hawaiian themed was the scene du jour.

In the end, I went with the classic Hawaiian look and gave a little retro flare with some hair flowers and bold red lips!

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Myself & some fellow TVRS members
Myself & some fellow TVRS members
No party is complete without pink flamingos!
No party is complete without pink flamingos!
My new earrings!
My new earrings!

Dress: Gift from Hawaii
Lips: Stila Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Earrings: Vintage 60’s enamelled, sourced by Ma P’tite Chouette

 

 

OOTD – Aug. 1

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Top with lace sleeve detailing: Addition-Elle
Liquid leggings: Addition-Elle
Belt: Walmart
Boots: Icon (motorcycle boots)
Earrings: With Heart

Holiday Preview – Lots of Photos!

My dear friend Karen from Curvy Canadian brought me along to today’s holiday preview for Addition-Elle at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Actually, it turned out to be more than just AE that was presenting their holiday lineup! There were loads of brands to check out and lots of nice perks waiting for us that day. I wasn’t officially invited but the organizers were gracious enough to cobble together a nice little gift bag for me as well. Thanks, Brill Communications!

Addition-Elle

AE has a nice new lineup of lingerie coming out this season. I like the feminine touches, details and colours that they are presenting. I feel like as plus size women we’ve got our bases covered when it comes to “fun” bras and panties; now it’s time to get the grown-up versions, too! I’m really into the whole romantic theme this year. I think the film The Great Gatsby has a lot to do with it, and a general nod towards our more refined eras. I’m very glad to see this coming around.

New Ashley Graham lingerie at Addition-Elle
New Ashley Graham lingerie at Addition-Elle

The holiday collection from AE was a little bit disappointing. Recycled designs, patterns and embellishments were throughout and really didn’t do anything for me. Some of the pieces looked downright cheap, so buyer beware! I was happy to see an improved offering in the outerwear category with snowpants and sporty jackets for winter. I also liked the jewellery offerings with the deep sapphire and cobalt gem hues. A little over the top, but it’s the holidays, right?

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Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts

The college was also present for the preview, offering a glimpse into what their classes have to offer. They had a pastry chef making a lovely winter cake, and a cookie decorating bar! Karen and I both took a shot but sadly forgot to pick up our cookies on the way home :(

Cookie bar!
Cookie bar!
Karen makes good cookies
Karen makes good cookies
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I love decorating stuff!

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Ecco Canada

I love this brand. They make such nice things of good quality. I was really drawn to their leather goods for this season. They have some great classic styles in wallets and handbags coming out. I am in love with the leather purse!

I need this.
I need this.

 Emjoi Micro Pedi

OMG I love this thing! It was like they read my mind or something. I noticed my feet were getting a little rough despite my recent pedicure and I was contemplating getting out the ol’ “cheese grater’ for my feet and getting an upper body workout. This little gizmo saved me from having to do that. It’s like a Pedi-Paws for your feet, gently sanding away the calluses and dead skin easily. We got a demonstration on our feet and then got to keep the product. Very nice! I will definitely be using this in the future!

Pedicure time!!
Pedicure time!!

Josephson Opticians

Another brand I was impressed with was Josephson Opticians. I know, I know, I got the laser eye surgery a while ago, but I love glasses as an accessory, and sunglasses are mandatory!

I love all things retro, so their seasonal offerings were right up my alley with lots of tortoiseshell, cat-eyes, embellishments and style! They were also very nicely made, which will justify the higher pricetag.

I’m styling a photo shoot this fall for myself and a male model so I might pop by their store to borrow a few sexy frames.

I loved these frames so hardcore, but I don't know if they suit me. Thoughts??
I loved these frames so hardcore, but I don’t know if they suit me. Thoughts??
The second from the right were my choice!
The second from the right were my choice!

There were a bunch of other great brands there as well, including Donato Salon & Spa, Nespresso, Ecco and Kohrani, but I didn’t get many photos of their stuff.

By the end of the tour, we had spent a few hours more than the 30 minutes we had planned! We also ran into fellow blogger Jessica from Clothes and Shit. Group photo time!

Jessica, Karen & Ginger
Jessica, Karen & Ginger

All in all it was a great day and I look forward to seeing some of the great new stuff in stores soon.

The Second Annual BIG Deal Toronto Blogger Closet Sale!!!

Come on out to the second annual BIG Deal Toronto bloggers’ closet sale! We’re hosting it at 3030 bar and lounge in Toronto this year, so there’ll be plenty of space for browsing and socializing, and we’ve got a great cocktail menu lined up!

I’ll be selling some of my wardrobe goodies and giving a sneak peek at my new image consulting services, for free! Come meet me and rifle through my stuff, you know you wanna!

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The Weirdest Soup I Ever Made: A White Girl Tries Traditional Chinese Medicine

Since the tender age of 9 I have been cursed with bad skin. Zits, pimples, cystic acne, rosacea, whatever you want to call it, I’ve got pizza-face and have been struggling with it for years.

I have seen all the western style doctors and tried countless remedies from creams & gels, antibiotics, hormones from The Pill, dairy elimination diets all the way up to the Big Daddy of acne: Accutane.

All with no luck. It seems like no lifestyle change or pharmaceutical I use can help me with my skin. I’ve tried the natural, gentle route and the harsh, warfare route with minimal results. I started looking for other ways that I could help my skin. I feel like it’s a symptom of something wrong inside me, so using creams never made sense to me. No surprise that they didn’t work. Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and can tell you lots of things because it is an exit point for things like toxins, sweat, etc.

I’ve been going to a local acupuncture clinic here lately. In part to support a local small business owner, but also to see what it’s all about and try to do something good for myself. They have a Chinese herbalist there now. I had been thinking of trying TCM for a while but didn’t know where to start. This seemed like a good enough place, since I trusted the operator of the clinic.

I had my first appointment last week and it was a surreal experience for me. I’m fairly comfortable in doctor’s offices and medical settings. My mom is a nurse and I’ve always been interested in this kind of stuff. But this was different. Oh, so very different.

I really felt out of my element here, more than I have felt in a very long time. I had to fill out a form with any complaints I had. It was the beginning of the odyssey into a world unknown.

Entering the Twilight Zone

It was all just so foreign. The English was broken and incorrect and hard to understand. Do I have Hot Flesh (as in warm skin) or do I have Hot Flashes? Are either important? How do I know if my tongue is too purple? How do I know if my poop smells right or if my menstrual blood is the right colour? Is this what Chinese people just know about themselves when they see their doctors, the way I know about my B12 deficiency or if I have high blood pressure?

Do you go to the doctor if your poop is too soft and your breath is smelly? I have no idea!

So this really threw me off, I didn’t even know how to fill in the form correctly. The doctor was trying valiantly to help me understand but language was definitely a barrier.

We were crammed into a tiny little closet space filled with mysterious boxes, and a hand-knit bag taking up much of the floorspace. It was overflowing with bagged herbs the doctor had just acquired. The room wasn’t intimidating, but the whole experience for me was just very foreign, from the set-up, the boxes, and the herbal smell in the tiny space. I really felt transported to a different place.

The doctor began asking me questions about… you guessed it! My poop, my period, my exercise and eating habits and more. Our conversation was a bit stilted as I struggled to understand exactly what she was asking, and to provide her the correct answer. After a while I started to wonder what the hell I was doing there.

She was nice, but very straightforward pointing out several times that I am overweight. Duh. I tried to explain to her that I have tried everything, including surgery to lose the weight. Finally she got the point when I told her all the women in my family were fat too; she chalked it up to genetics. It’s so interesting to see what is of value in different medical systems. After that she didn’t harp on me anymore and we were able to move on.

The Diagnosis

So apparently there is a bunch of stuff wrong with me, but she’s going to try and fix me from within. She says my symptoms of bad skin, depression, low energy and excess heat are caused by some toxins within my body. I like the philosophy of treating & fixing the issue directly rather than just the symptoms as is so often done in western medicine.

I don’t know what this will be like; basically cleaning out my innards so that they can rebuild themselves correctly. But it feels kind of right (haha ask me how I feel about this statement in a month!). I sincerely believe that my skin issues are not caused by something in my skin, I think they come from somewhere deeper. I hope this doctor can help me out.

I don’t claim to understand half of this, and I probably interpreted what she said incorrectly, but this is what I learned:

  • My liver needs some help
  • I am full of “damp heat” which is very toxic
  • My kidneys need help/ to be de-toxed
  • She’s very concerned that I don’t get a period because I am on Alesse. Personally I don’t have an issue with this but it really meant something to the doctor that I wasn’t bleeding every month
  • Most of my issues are intertwined and have to do with toxins in my body and my hormones being unbalanced

She seemed very confident that she could help me though. I’m not sure how long this will take, I either didn’t understand what she told me or she didn’t tell me at all. Now for the fun part:

Oh my god, the herbs

SO MANY. SO UNKNOWN.

I am daunted greatly by the 2 full shopping bags of herbs the doctor is filling for me. She’s just going through her mystery boxes and drawers in the little room and tossing little packages and large packages of herbs and barks onto the little table.

Nothing is labelled, only a few are weighed. I assume most of this is pre-packed since she seems to know what she is doing. She proudly tells me she worked for 40 years in a Chinese hospital doing this. Also that the medicine is going to taste awful. I am becoming increasingly stunned by the volume of herbs she is giving me.

This is where my own ignorance comes into play. I am so stunned because for some reason I thought this would be like in the movies where the gnarled old Chinese man at the shop gives you some bags of tea to use. I didn’t know I’d be taking a whole forest home with me! I don’t even know what these things are and the doctor can’t tell me their English names, either.

Talk about a leap of faith.

This treasure trove of magical flora (hopefully no fauna? Please let there be no fauna…) is 3 grocery bags full now and is only 1 month’s worth of stuff. With her consult it comes to $150. Evidently this is a good price as just a consult with a naturopath is upwards of $125.

I walk out of the office stunned, a little scared and totally overwhelmed. I have trouble fitting all of it into my scooter. I can’t even think of cooking them that day, a process which takes around 5 hours according to the doc. I’ve never had to prepare my own medicine before and I’m a little nervous.

While I trust this woman and her techniques, the differences are just so great from what I am accustomed to that I am having trouble processing everything. Here I am, thinking that I am a worldly person and open to new things… I’m a bit shocked at my own reaction to this. I can only hope that this becomes less foreign and strange to me as I go along.

I also hope this works.