Category :Daily Challenge

The Bravery Of Women

Cardi – Smart Set; Dress – Trashy Diva; Tights – Hue; Shoes – Payless.

 It’s a focus on Kenya, where the rich go to private hospitals with clean floors and the poor go to public hospitals with blood and cockroaches as the stomping ground, in this post on world birth.  According to the article, the country has made absolutely no progress in improving maternal and infant care.  Teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and HIV plague women in this African country.  But what is the worst thing?  The conditions and statistics  mentioned in this article are considered an improvement over a few years ago. 

Every new country that is examined just makes me more and more thankful for the blessedly wonderful conditions I had surrounding my labour: a clean hospital, two midwives and a student, my husband, my mother, and my best friend there to comfort and support me.  I can’t imagine going it alone, afraid to eat the food, or touch anything, and worrying about the possibility of contracting HIV during my labour.  I applaud the bravery of all these women.

p.s. I promised you guys something good when I hit 200 on GFC and I haven’t forgotten.  We’re almost there and I’ll have a good surprise for you all!

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Call your mama and thank her…for anything.

Bold Blue And Radiant Red

Top – thrifted; Dress & Socks – Ruche (sold out, but available at Modcloth) ; Tights – Hue; Shoes – Clarks; Pinwheel pin – c/o Blue Eyed Owl.

I wanted to wear something fun and innocent today, and for some reason lately I’m reaching for bold blues, or radiant reds, so it was only natural that at some point I would combine the two.  I need to thank the two fabulous make-up artists, Jessica and Francesca, on the set of my recent film shoot *here and here* for showing my that I can indeed where bright red lipstick despite my thinner than desired lips.  Oh and by the way, I’m loving this neutral eye palette I recently got, it goes amazing with everything!  Today I wore Virgin, Sidecar, and Darkhorse.

This royal blue dress has become a beloved item in my closet, and whenever I wear it simply can not resist the urge to wear these gorgeous pins I received from Liz from the Blue Eyed Owl.  It’s like they were made for each other.

p.s.  if you like this look, please go here and ‘like’ it for the world to see.  Thanks!

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Look at yourself in the mirror, ignore all your “flaws,” and list five features you really like about your physical appearance. 
*if you’re willing to, I’d love to hear what they are in the comments*

A Great Tip For Mixing Prints

Shirt – AE; Sweater – F21; Jeans – Guess; Shoes – Payless.

How much do I love the fact that I’m wearing nerdy chic with ripped jeans?  A lot!  It’s so much fun to mix styles and patterns together that “shouldn’t” go together.  Like the fact that I’m wearing a checkered shirt with a poodle sweater.  I read a great tip today in December’s Marie Claire about mixing prints: “Lay out the items that you plan to mix.  Now squint your eyes.  Each item should remain separate and distinct when examined in this way.” Isn’t that a great little tip?

I’m on set for the next three days, so I’m going to try to keep posting, but you’ll forgive me if I’m a little lax about it until Monday, right?  I’ll be sure to have lots of pictures for you to see over on my acting site.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Give someone you care about a great big hug!

Totally Forgot About The Hair

Bow – Ruche.

I just realized that I showed you the outfit I wore, but I totally forgot to show you the hair!  Here’s how I wore it, and if you want to do it yourself check out my video here.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Give a genuine compliment to a friend or acquaintance.

Not A Sign Of Weakness

Shirt – thrifted; Jeans – Guess; Belt – AE; Shoes – Payless; Scarf – Smart Set.

Let’s be honest, as much as I try the real star of these shots is Drake the Dog.  He’s such a ham and camera hog, but I can hardly blame him because he is pretty darn cute.  And I’m so happy to be feeling better, I couldn’t wait to get out there and take some outfit shots for you guys.  I still have a husky voice that’s a cross between Kathleen Turner and a chronic smoker, but at least my energy is getting back up and I’m not dizzy anymore.  yay!

So on that note, let’s get back to the world birth series that the Saturday Star has going on.

This week the focus was on South Sudan – the most recent country since it’s only about 20 years old.  There the statistics are terrifying:
– Only 10 percent of women will see a qualified birth attendant.
– For every 100,000 live births, 2054 women die.  It’s the world’s highest maternal mortality rate.
– A woman in South Sudan has a 1/7 chance of dying in childbirth during her lifetime.
– The majority of women who die so so from treatable problems.

Again, it shocks me to hear about women giving birth under such extreme conditions.  What’s worse is that some women don’t go to the hospital given the choice because it’s considered a sign of weakness.  I know people say that women have been doing it for thousands of years, but before modern health care women also died by the thousands for thousands of years.  I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to want to live.  Women have it tough enough already, we don’t need to have some sense of bravado holding us back from seeking medical treatment.  Hearing things like that really does make me reflect about how lucky I am to have a medical centres all around, several hospitals within 50 kilometers, and two walk-in clinics less than ten minutes away from me.  Oh, and health coverage of course, let’s not forget that.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Sit in total silence for 15 minutes and just reflect. 
I managed to not have coffee, but ooooh do I want some. 

Still Sick, But Here’s Salamanca

Hey guys, I’m still pretty sick over here, so no outfit shots for the time being. Unless you want to see my stellar PJs? In the meantime, here’s a few shots from Salamanca and Bilboa Spain.

The hallway in our hotel room in Bilboa was freaky; straight out of some horror or sci-fi film.
Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge: 
Go through your entire day without coffee or tea *green tea is allowed*

What Do We Model?

Top – Ruche; Jeans – Gap; Boots – Threadsence; Necklace & Bird Ring –; Bracelet – F21

 The Toronto Star recently wrote about how your living environment, specifically your neighborhood, plays a determining factor on your kid’s activity level.  Namely, that children in suburban neighborhoods spend more of their day on physical exercise because of the luxury of quiet cul-de-sacs perfect for unsupervised road hockey, roller skating, and skipping. Their urban counterparts spend more time indoors, and have less safe green space in which to play.  Obviously, the major factor are parental role models.  If parents spend time exercising, walking to do errands, and playing sports, their children will value it and tend to do the same.

But it did get me thinking about the ways in which I hope to model living to my baby girl.  I run and workout for stress relief, the endorphins, and cardiovascular health.  And it’s always been important for me.  But I also run only to the point in which I feel satisfied – where I’ve worked my body well but not to the point of exhaustion. I didn’t think about how my attitudes and behavior affect my child because I thought she was still too young for my behavior to have that much of an impact.

I was wrong.

When we go into the bedroom, one of the first things she does is climb all over my treadmill.  She gets on top of the thing and starts to explore, stand, walk, and dance.  It must be because she sees me on it a lot – so she wants to do what Mama does.  And after breakfast, she routinely heads for the sunroom, grabs her jacket and boots and climbs into the stroller ready for our morning walk.  

Finally, she gets so excited for our daily afternoon jaunt down the street to the park and slides she somehow manages to skip despite her unstable gait.  The 5 minute walk takes about 30 when you’re doing it with a wobbly 16 month old, and then the slides, stairs and all the climbing marvels easily swallow another 30 minutes.  The walk home however takes just 6 minutes – me carrying her while she tries to squirm, wriggle, and in every way rebel against me taking her home.

And I have to say I like that.  I like the fact that my baby can only watch sesame street for about 10 minutes in the morning – her attention wanders and she’s out and about exploring something, stacking blocks, moving chairs, and trying to reach Husband’s cell phone.  I like that she has ants in her pants.

And I love the big, scrunched up nose grin when she knows we’re heading out for a walk…without the stroller.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Let’s keep the fitness going for another day!  Do 50 crunches and 15 push-ups today (modified push-ups count)

Yesterday I ran for 24 minutes for the daily challenge.  I didn’t want to because I’m a bit run down, but I’m glad I did.  I felt better afterwards.

Textbook Mama

Sweater & Jacket – Jacob; Scarf – Street Stand; Arm Warmers – Ruche; Jeans – AE; Belt – ?; Shoes – Payless; Socks – Hue.

First off, I’m not usually one to wear turtlenecks – I kind of hate them – but I’ll make an exception for a black, soft knit fitted one. What I really like is pairing it with loose boyfriend jeans.  I like the contrast of sleek and loose and relaxed. It was a perfect outfit for playgroup. Husband called me a New York Bohemian.

But moving on.  I just had to share this with you.

A cool six week series has started at The Toronto Star examining childbirth all over the world.  They started with this focus article on Haiti.   This particular region was spared the earthquake devastation, and that makes this all the more unpalatable.

The conditions were shocking: no running water, no electricity, no sanitation, no ambulances, no operating rooms, and also therefore no c-sections.  Just women crammed into a dirty room in unsanitary conditions with one doctor for them all.  Needless to say, mortality for both Mother and Child is high. “More women die during childbirth in Haiti than in any other country in the Western Hemisphere…For every 100,000 live births, 630 Haitian mothers perish…In Canada, only seven die.” Haiti also holds the “regional record for infant mortality.”

Reading this article was like reading a piece of horror fiction.  My mind constantly asked, “Is this really happening in the world?” It’s scary to think.

I gave birth naturally here in Toronto, Canada in a pristine and sanitized hospital room surrounded by both family and two midwives, running water, a personal bathroom, doctors, medication, and an operating room ready and waiting should there be any complication.  I thought I had it bad because it hurt so much, felt like it went on forever, and I felt like my midwife pushed her beliefs a little too forcefully regarding how I should deliver.  *Really, I had a ‘textbook’ labor according to my midwives – perfect with no complications* Now, after reading these conditions I count myself blessed.  I gave birth in a situation where I knew that my chances of living, and my baby’s chances of living, were extremely high no matter the possible complications.

I can’t imagine delivering under those circumstances.  My heart bleeds for these brave women.  It grieves for them too, and their young lost babes.  It may be a little cliche, but I feel united with them because we are all women, we are all mother. There should be no reason for conditions like these in 2012.

Tomorrow’s Challenge:
Notice one thing you take for granted that others don’t have and give thanks for it – to God, the Universe, or whatever you may believe in. 
For my challenge yesterday I tried to barge my way in to four people’s offices for impromptu meetings.  It didn’t go so well: one wasn’t there, two I couldn’t get past the receptionist, and one actually met with me.  But at least I did it!

P.S. The winner of the Ruche giveaway is announced here. If you didn’t win, don’t worry I’ve got more giveaways coming up soon!

Challenging Ourselves

Sweater& Belt – F21; Dress – Vintage; Tights – Walmart; Boots – Threadsence.

First off, a big, huge, “Welcome!” to all my new followers.  Thanks for following!  You guys make me so very happy!  

I recently read on an article about the 10 Fall trends to avoid.  I do agree with some of it – namely the all-over feathers trend and the lacy catsuit.  I just think that looks silly.  But they suggest skipping leopard print because it’s last season.  My thoughts are, “So?”  Skirts were in last season too, does that mean we can’t wear them now?  Leopard is one of those things that never really goes out of style.  I do, however, always suggest keeping it to a minimum and not an all-over outfit because that just feels like too much.

Number two was all over pattern mixing because it’s hard.  Yes, it may be challenging to get the hang of pattern mixing, and you may have some bad outfits in the process, but this is a wonderful look.  And once you get the hang of it, it’s an unexpected way to spice up your wardrobe.  Plus, I don’t think you should skip a trend just because it’s something that challenges you.  How else are you to grow?  In fashion, or in anything, I say challenge yourself.

This is all in my humble style opinion of course.

For the month of November, I’ll be suspending the regular Quote of Today or True Story.  Instead, I’m starting a daily challenge.  Everyday, I’ll post the next day’s daily challenge – this gives you a little time to prepare.  I’ll be doing the challenges along with you.  They’ll be little fitness, emotional, and behavioral challenges.  

It’s okay if you can’t do them all.  And whenever you read the post, just count it as your tomorrow’s daily challenge, you don’t have to be on exactly the same challenge as me.  Just try!  I hope you’ll join me!  And I’d love to hear your experiences, so please leave a comment on how it went!

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Get outside your comfort zone.  Find a self-imposed rule/limitation and break it. *just make sure it’s not illegal*
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