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  1. My New Year's Resolutions

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Well, it's that time of year again. Every year I tell myself that resolutions are silly, but I still end up doing them. It's fun to make goals for the year ahead, even if I don't stick to them. Maybe if I'm feeling really ambitious I'll design them nicely and stick them up to motivate me!

    Blogging resolutions

    Take better outfit photos

    I am so lazy when it comes to my outfit photos. I have a tripod (and a remote somewhere, I think) but it just seems like so much effort to do the whole tripod-self-timer thing, but really I think the results will be better.

    My favourite outfit photos, like the one above, are when G has taken them for me. Taking them in the mirror takes away from the over-all look I'm going for. So coming in 2012 I will be taking the extra effort to do better outfit photos and better outfit posts in general!

    More variety in posts

     In 2012 I want to go to more vintage-geared events (especially now that I know of some people who might want to go with) and hope to draw on my journalism to do previews or reviews on events like the Wetaskiwin Air Show or a local music show or feature pieces on vintage/retro geared organizations like Sugar Swing or the Reynolds Museum. I would concentrate on places like Edmonton, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Red Deer and surrounding area, since those are reasonable places to travel for a blog. Maybe Calgary if it's really good.

    I also want to do more reviews (I have a few ideas lined up) and also some knitting posts, since I have a few projects on the go now.

    Personal resolutions

    Be more social
     Miss Bee and Nicole

    This may sound like a silly resolution, but I mean it! Sometimes I can be very much a homebody and a loner, but I want to get out more, meet new people and create stronger friendships with the friends I already have. One lesson I've learned, both as a person and a journalist, is to step out of your comfort zone. I really wanted to go to the Alex Pangman show,  even though G didn't come with me. I'm glad that I did, because I got to see Nicole, who I hardly ever spend time with now that I live in a different city AND I met Miss Bee, a great blogger friend and partner in crime. I also stepped out of my comfort zone and asked Alex to sign a CD for my giveaway and we ended up having a great chat!

    I'm a very shy person, so it's hard for me to chit-chat with strangers, so it's definitely something to work on this year. There have been a few times when I've been out and about and people have said that they like my style. One cashier at the grocery store mentioned she liked my victory rolls (she actually knew what they were!) and I am kicking myself now for not mentioning my blog. G said he will help me make up Retro Reporter business cards fro the cigarette case he got me, so I think having that little piece of paper will give me a lot more confidence and a bit of a ice breaker.

    Spend more time with my family
    My grandparents, John (Jack) & Margaret (Joyce) Callsen
    and William (Bill) and Marion Marchant

    This is a tough one, simply because I live so far away and it's not always easy to just hop in the car and see my parents and grandparents. But I do have vacation time that I need to take off, and my goal is to go home and visit. I am so so so lucky to have both sets of grandparents still alive and healthy, so I need to take the time to get as much family history down on tape before it's too late!
    I've already have done it once with my maternal grandparents, but I still need to get more info on the Callsen side. My Grandpa Callsen has also done a LOT of work on our family tree and has so much knowledge about not only our family, but our hometown.
    (On a side note - aren't my grandparents stunning! Now you know why I am so good looking ;p)

    Clean ALL the things
    A major goal I have for 2012 is to follow this list to keep your house clean in 20 minutes over 30 days. The only problem is that I had the same goal last year... oops. But really, I don't want to waste my days off doing a massive cleaning of the house when I can spread it out over the week. And 20 minutes is nothing!

    Be healthy and happy

    I always seem like an anomaly because weight loss has never been a goal for me. I feel that I am at a good weight and love the way I look (this is not a dig at anyone who DOES want to lose weight - there is nothing wrong with that. Good on you! I just feel like I don't need to). However, one of my goals is to be more active and eat healthier. I think I actually ate healthier in college because I walked everywhere and rarely went out for food because it was so expensive (that's not to say that I actually ate healthy - I had a lot of tomato soup in J-school).

    I do hope to get to the pool more often (that is ALWAYS one of my goals) but it is a hassle because lane swim is only at certain times that don't always work for me. So my new goal is to swim once a week (once I buy a new suit) AND do bike training once a week AND try to get into yoga. Ambitious but I think I hope I make it happen. For January my goal is to do one of those things once a week. Beginner yoga is Tuesday evenings and the best think about bike training is that the gym is open early and late! I used to swim all the time but since I've fallen out of shape, it's harder to get back into. I chose yoga and bike training to help me regain my breathing exercises and leg strength. I love swimming and I feel so good after - it really is stupid that I don't do it more.

    I also want to use sustainable and active transportation more often. I've joined a noon knitting group at the library (more on that later) and since it's right around the corner from my office, I can walk. Rotaract is at Augustana, just a few blocks from my place, so I also walk. But I want MORE walking. It's so easy and in Camrose, we have so many urban parks and trails that it's pretty as well as smart.

    All of these things make me feel so good during and after. I am literally glowing - so why don't I do it more often? It's because it's easier to sit on the couch and watch documentaries about Kim Jong-il, that's why.

    OK, I think that's all folks, but I may have more to add in the coming months - which is perfect! I should always be making new goals, not just at the beginning of the year, month or week.

    What are your resolutions? I'd love to hear them!

    xo Laurie

  2. What to Wear: mustard & maroon

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    I woke up this morning to freezing rain. Lovely. Alberta weather has been so weird this year. Last year it was cold and we had the most snow in a decade. This winter has been mild (I think it got down to -20 once, which is usually the norm here) and there is barely any snow! Not that I'm complaining, I prefer -6 to -36!

    But, like I said, freezing rain is no fun. It makes the roads and sidewalks all slick and wreaks havoc on curled hair. So for once I thought ahead and protected my noggin (and more importantly, my curls).

    During my Boxing Day spree I noticed another maroon hat at Rowena, where I first got this one. Miss Bee tried to convince me to buy it (it was about $10 on sale) but I held back, since I've only worn this maroon one once. So I decided to bust it out today. It also matches my skirt.

    This photo makes me look 8 ft wide. Ugh.

    Before I added the hat, I felt very librarian-ish (which I love!) but once I added the hat I felt more journalistic. Maybe it will give me some motivation at work. It's amazing how one accessory can totally change up an outfit.

    I also love the maroon hat paired with my mustard coat (hindsight says I should have worn my teal scarf instead of red. Harumph!)

    Outfit details: maroon hat - Rowena | sweater and skirt - Imagine Vintage | boots - Spring 

  3. Wrap-up: CHRISTMAS!

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    I hope you all have a marvelous Christmas, that Santa was good to you and you gorged yourself silly on treats. I had a most excellent holiday despite being away from Saskatchewan for the first time (but we have to share!) and do not want to return to work tomorrow. Le sigh....

    Christmas Eve morning G and I woke up and opened the presents my parents had sent us. We were heading to his mom's house later that day and didn't want to haul extra stuff up with us to open (which was smart, because there was a lot to haul home). I'm not going to show EVERYTHING I got (because there was a lot!) but more of the vintage-type things.

    My mom sent us both a gift bag full of our stocking stuffers, as well as another small present - both books - and our main present, a $100 pre-paid Visa.We were spoiled!

    I got the book Vintage Fashion: Collecting and Wearing Designer Classics by Emma Baxter-Wright. I had actually look through this book before at my friend Nicole's house and was excited when I got my own copy. I'm only skimmed it so far, but it's wonderful - it breaks down styles by decade and goes over the hallmarks of each era, as well as shopping, dating and care tips for vintage.

    (warning: photos of me that follow include no make-up and headscarves.)

    I also got a really soft, cozy cowl from my sister in our not-so-secret Santa draw.

    Here's the rest of my loot: I also got a duster, two hosiery hangers (THE BEST THING EVER!, a vintagey-dress form necklace hanger, a knitted headband (very 20s-esque and will be great for bad hair days), bath bombs, a keychain and a new notebook.

    G got a cocktail book, beer glasses and a martini shaker as his extra gifts (among others). He was excited.

    Then after this I went dressed to cover a fire downtown that destroyed a historical building. This sucked on so many levels, but at least no one was hurt!

    That afternoon we drove to Jan and Gregg's farm to spend the next few days with G's family. Christmas Eve was really relaxing, and G made dinner and then we all waited for Santa. And boy oh boy, did he deliver!

    One of the things I got from Santa was this tray with vintage bathing beauties on it:

    I was also spoiled rotten by G. A few months ago he showed me a listing on Etsy of a 1940s cigarette case with the original monogram LMC, which are my initials. I totally forgot about it until Christmas morning, when low and behold:

    And inside was one of the best gifts a girl can get - back rub and house cleaning coupons:

    After I use up all the coupons we are going to design Retro Reporter business cards for me. I'm not sure if other bloggers have cards, but I have been in many a situation where I've been wishing for one!

    He also had slipped down to Twig, one of my favourite stores, and had remembered a dress I had been eyeing up. How lucky am I?

    On Boxing Day the Christmas money had I been given was burning a hole in my pocket and I couldn't take it any longer, so I hit up some crazy sales with Miss Bee.

    First we hit up Mars and Venus on Whyte Ave in Edmonton. There was a small line up to get in because they only have one sale a year and only allow so many customers on the floor, but I like it that way - it was less crowded. I snagged two Heartbreaker items, the Dolly top (~$30 sale price, ~$60 sale price) and the Jolene dress (~$58 sale price, ~$116 regular price).

    Then we went to Rowena's down the street, which was also having a 50% off sale. I bought another Heartbreaker dress ($40 instead of the regular sale price of $80) and a Rock Steady dress with a real cowgirl vibe ($42 instead of $84 regular price).

    (I'm going to ask my parents nicely to keep an eye out for teal cowboy boots when they go to Nashville - I think they'd go great with this dress!)

    Oy vey, I think that's all for tonight. I have a lot of blog post ideas so hopefully I will get to them soon. Until then I think I will toddle off to bed as I have to work in the morning.

    Did you have a good holiday?

  4. What a day!

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    I just had one of those days today. First of all I'm getting my first cold of the season (achoo!), which had to happened RIGHT before Christmas. Secondly, I had a bout of rude people in my life today.

    I was at the mall to pick up a parcel my mom sent me, and it was really big an awkward. While walking from one of the mall to the other I my phone slipped out of my pocket twice and no one tried to help me grab it, so I tried to pick it up while not letting go of my package.

    Secondly, the mall was crowded and people were standing in the middle of the traffic just jibber-jabbering away. I would like to give a shout-out to the one nice lady who did open the door for me on the way to my car. Getting this giant parcel in my

    car was also a feat, and an old man even laughed at me while I was fighting with it to get into my car! The piece de la resistance is when I was leaving the mall parking lot and someone rear-ended me and then drove off without stopping. Thanks dude! Luckily both my car and I escaped without a scratch, but still.
    [/END RANT]

    OK, I feel better. luckily there was lots of things to distract me from this less-than-lovely day, like G making me a brie-cheddar-Italian sausage omelette when I got home and my fabulous re-shaped and thinned middy!

    The parcel from my mom was filled with our Christmas presents, so now we have piles of presents under our tiny tree!

    The other item in the box was these shoes my Auntie Val bought for me in Maui! They are so cute, I love yellow. With an insole they fit great and I'm sure they will perk me up on many a grey day.

    Things that are also making me happy: I FINALLY finished my Advent calendar last night. I may not believe in Baby Jesus but I LOVE everything Christmas. The poinsettia ornament is my favourite - I keep meaning to make a larger one to glue on a bobby pin for my hair!

    I also get cheered up whenever I look at these fab photos Davin took of me and G last weekend. (All photos (c) Dreaming Outdoors Photography - click to enlarge)

     I like the kissing ones because I'm not making dumb facial expressions. And here is on of my favourites - it's even my tablet background.

    What do you do to cheer yourself up after a less-than-ideal day?

  5. Show 'n' Tell: a winter weekend

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    This is a bit of a random smattering of photos from our weekend.

    First up, we did a photo shoot with our friend Davin of Dreaming Outdoors Photography. We went to the Bailey Theatre and the Camrose Railway Museum to do some fun retro photos. I'll post some more another day but this is one of my favourites:

    Then we bummed around the house. I have the Christmas tree up, but I have far more decorating to do, whenever I find the time.

    My poinsettia is still alive, only because G takes care of it for me.

    Christmas cards!

    ready for wrapping
     We eventually made our way to Edmonton to celebrate G's best friend JT's birthday. Being the wild party animal that I am, I knitted and napped while the guys played board games.

    In the morning, I met up with fellow blogger Miss Bee for lunch at DaDeO's (mmm, po'boys) and antique hunting. I was able to pass off the Alex Pangman CD she won in my giveaway, while she gave me a beautiful vintage hat and some homemade Christmas baking - she is too sweet! (Also, I fail at taking photos while I'm out and about, clearly).

    This is the hat, along with a beautiful camel-coloured skirt with black piping I got at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall. Matchy-matchy.

    While we were out I also picked up this Gil Elvgren pin-up calendar.

    And since Bailey mentioned how giant my purse was and how I can never find anything in it, I decided to do a what-is-in-my-bag post as well.
    All the stuff that was in my purse today...
    wallet, checkbook, gum, make-up bag, sunglasses etc

    beret, ear muffs, mitts, LiveLocal pamphlet, notebooks, a reusable shopping bag
    random crap: phone charger, knitting, expired coupons and receipts
    AND in that make-up bag I have:

    Maybe I do have too much stuff...