Monday, December 30, 2013

This Holiday Season - 2013

This holiday season was a bit of a blur.  But looking back, we managed to have a few sweet moments.  
I really tried to make time to enjoy a few Christmas-y things.  
Including shopping for a real Christmas tree, I insist on a real tree.  Also watching all kinds of Christmas movies, Christmas Vacation, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a few other sappy ones on Netflix.  
Kea also had an amazing 2nd birthday, with an amazing doggy cake from Three Dog Bakery.  Kea absolutely loved it, and it lasted a few days, so she had some great dinners.  
Ashly treated me to a showing of The Nutcracker.  It was both my first time seeing it, as well as any ballet.  And I absolutely loved it! The cutest little kids played the cutest little mice!
I got in a bit of baking, including trying chocolate truffles for the first time.  My big sister is the master, and I hope I at least lived up to her fame.
The Bf and I had a good Christmas Day, just us and the dog.  We did miss our families, and skype had to suffice.  This was my families first Christmas in my Mom's new house.  I haven't been there yet, and so wanted to be there to help christen the new place.  
Hope you all had an amazing holiday,  what were some of your highlights?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas eve

Tonight I am full of Christmas spirit and am sending it out into the world.  I hope it reaches you, wherever you may be.  Hug your loved ones a little tighter, add an extra drop of rum into that eggnog, and laugh a little harder when you watch Clark Griswold go sledding down the hill and into the Walmart parking lot.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

happy 2nd birthday Kea!

I can't believe my little Kea is 2 years old.  In dog years she's 14...that crazy teenager.  
We got Kea on February 25, 2011 and knew she was about 2 months old.  And when it came time to decide a birthday for her, at first, we went with two months to the day we got her, which was December 25th, Christmas and my birthday.  We decided that was a little too much to celebrate all in one day.  The Bf wouldn't be able to handle his two girls birthdays and Christmas.  It was too much.  So we left it for a little while.  Then when Kea started to loose her puppy teeth a little earlier than expected, we figured her birthday had to have been a few weeks earlier. We agreed December 10th was a good day.  And Kea was enthused due to the treats and doggy cakes.  History made.
Happy Birthday to my sweet little lady!! Mama loves you!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

queen B

Last weekend was a total girls weekend.  I spent Saturday with some ladies shopping our hearts out, having some great sandwiches for lunch, followed by some more shopping, all before getting ready for Beyonce in concert.  Wow.  That woman is filled with magic.  If you've heard the quote, "you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce". followed by seeing her perform live, you might not think this quote to be true.  Two words....Sequin.  Onesie.
We had amazing floor seats and got a really great view of the gorgeous lady when she flew over the crowd to a little mini stage.  There were three people between her and me, I may have been a teeny bit excited. Check out the video to see just that!
Ashly was kind enough to take a few photos of my concert outfit in her beautiful living room.
Girl time was definitely needed and appreciated.  Thanks for the fun day girls!

dress: Phillip Lim x Target
booties: Topshop
gold chain: H&M
watch: Walmart

i shot this on my iphone, sorry for the shaky hand! enjoy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

baby, it's cold outside

Wow, so the last two weeks just flew by.  Working retail during the holidays can sometimes take over your life, and it's barely December.  I have to admit though, I'm getting pretty excited for the holidays.  
This weekend I'm planning on decorating our apartment, picking out a tree (a real one, but a mini version about 3 feet tall), putting together my family's Christmas package (snailmail deadline is a comin'!). 
So, pretty much the funnest, most holiday filled weekend ever! 

Are you ready for the holidays? 

jacket: Forever 21
Sweater: Anthropologie
jeans: American Eagle
boots: Target
toque: Topshop
scarf and sunnies: H&M

Saturday, November 16, 2013

must love dogs: adoption

Our first night at home with Kea.  The photo is so fuzzy because she wouldn't/couldn't stay still!

I think it's safe to say, adoption is the best route for getting a pet.  There are so many animals out there that need to be saved to good homes with loving people and there are lots of organizations out there that help to just that.  The SPCA, for example, not only house animals for adoption, but also offer great services to help you and your new pet make a lasting relationship.  We found Kea through an organization called Big and Small.  They specialize in saving dogs from high-kill shelters and all the dogs are saved from the euthanasia list.  We had a great experience working with them, and sometimes think it's fate that we ended up with Kea.

In this second installment of must love dogs, I thought I'd share Kea's adoption story.  

The Bf and I knew that one day we wanted to have a dog in our little life together.  I think I asked the Bf if we could get a dog, every. single. day. for months and months.  I would peruse different websites and swoon over all the cute furry faces, I would stop and say hi to every dog that walked by (of course, I still do this), and would pretty much whine about my cold, dog-less lap while sitting on the couch watching tv.  Than for Christmas 2011 the Bf gave me the greatest gift.  It was a book called "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds", with a card inside saying "I think you know what this means".   This meant the search for our new family member was to commence immediately,  I don't think I've ever squealed quite so high.  
The Bf is a very calculated guy, so once this big decision had been made, we talked in great lengths as to all things dog.  A dog requires a lot of care, care that costs money, ie. food, medical bills, etc.  So, being financially ready was really important.  We discussed breeds that we like, utilizing my great gift of the encyclopedia, and what types of dogs we both grew up with.  What size of dog we thought would fit into our lifestyle.  Living in Vancouver, we live in an apartment (and probably will for some time), so our dog would need to be able to have enough space within our space.  There were many other factors, but we were able to come to agreement that we wanted a dog in a medium-ish size, and were open to different breeds. What we cared about the most was connecting with our future dog.  
The search began with continuing to look through different websites, and going and visiting dogs in shelters.  We must have driven around the entire lower mainland seeing visiting different shelters, and saw lots of dogs, but surprisingly enough, we weren't the only people doing that.  Every dog that we were interested in already had multiple applications for them.  I remember meeting this little cutie, named Oreo, and when we got to go in the little room with just the us and her, she instantly nuzzled me and sat down in my lap.  What a sweetheart.  We learned later that the other couple in the waiting area (which I swear to this day gave me the evil eye) was also hoping to bring her home, and had come to visit her again and scope out the competition.  Days later we got the call that Oreo went home with that other couple.  Looking back now, I just know they are a happy little family.
That being said, this made us very discouraged, and after other letdowns, I definitely had moments of doubt that this was going to happen. Then one day, a co worker suggested we go to a couple of local pet food/supply stores and ask if they know of any organizations looking for people to adopt dogs.  We tried Bow Wow Haus, which also happens to be a block from the BF's work, and they were super helpful and put us in touch with Big and Small.  Through email, they sent us photos of two dogs they had just recently saved, and that we could arrange a meeting.  It worked out perfectly that the foster for Kea also worked at the dog shop, so we were able to meet her there and meet Kea for the first time.  
We just knew.  The moment I laid eyes on her, and picked her up, I just knew she had to be ours.   
Within a couple of days, we had our application complete, a house visit done and we were approved to adopt Kea.  It happened so quickly, but after a couple of months of looking, we knew she was perfect for us.  
It's hard to know the full story of your pet's history, when adopting. And that also means, there may be some unexpected things that pop up along the way.  Knowing exactly what breed mixture your dog is, or what size it will grow up to be may be a bit of a surprise.  Something wonderful about adoption is that from that first meeting, you're starting to build your relationship with your pet, no matter what they grow up to be. 
Big or Small.

Kea was found in the desert in California.  We don't know if she was born there or dumped there.  We think she's some sort of mixture of Shepard, Heeler and Coyote.  She's the best dog ever.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

90's Girl

top: glmr kills 
skirt: TOPSHOP
plaid shirt: Amrerican Eagle
shoes: Converse via Hudson's Bay
bracelets: Helloo Sailor and Aldo 

After getting dressed and walking out of the bedroom, the Bf said "you look like Alanis Morissette."  
My response, "sweet!"  
I've been wanting to give a second try to the trend of tying a plaid shirt around your waist, seeing as the first time I did it was actually in the 90's.  And I have to admit, I don't mind it.  I decided to leave my plaid shirt buttoned up though, to not add any extra width at my hips (aka. my widest part).  
This would have been the perfect outfit in some great 90's movies...Empire Records, come on, I would have fit right in with Liv Tyler
Some of my favourites include: Clueless, Romi and Michele's Highschool Reunion, Can't Hardly Wait, Scream, 10 things I Hate About You, She's All That, Cruel Intentions, Dangerous Minds, and of course Billy Madison.  
This list could definitely be bigger, but I had to cut myself off somewhere!! 
Have you tried this trend? first or second time around?
And for an even better question...any movies to add to the list?

Monday, November 11, 2013

slow weekends & grey touques

anorak jacket: Aritzia (last year)
sweater: H&M
olive green jeans: TOPSHOP
boots: too old to remember
grey toque: TOPMAN (Calgary!)

Now that November is well on it's way here in Vancouver, things have become a little quieter and cozier at our place.  The Bf is now back to his regular schedule of Monday to Friday, after working like a crazy man this past summer.  We've finally gotten back to having weekends together.  We're spending nice quiet mornings at home with homemade breakfasts, watching movies in the afternoons, and one of my favourite weekend things to do together is taking Kea for walks.  
I think we're all happiest when the three of us are together.  
These photos are from last weekend while we were out running some errands in our neighborhood.  I had just gotten back from Calgary, AB and needed something familiar and low key.  It was a pretty slow moving walk, but it was just the right pace. 
What are some of your favourite weekend things to do this time of year?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

what would you buy?

I saw over on Ashly's blog, Ashly & Monkey, she asked a very important question, "If you went on a shopping spree tomorrow, what would you buy?".  This thought came about because there is a new Anthropologie store opening in Park Royal in West Vancouver (Friday, November 8th!).  As old staff members we were both asked if we were interested to work a couple of shifts to help set up the store, with the reward of a one day only shopping day with our old employee discount, 40% off! Soo excited!!
So, I thought I'd play along and come up with a few of my favourite things.... not a tough job.

I decided to go down the home decor and accessory route.  With winter pretty much upon us, all I want to do is nest and be super cozy, so touques, table runners, and spice jars are just the ticket!!

Soooo.....the questions remains.  What would you buy?

one. a striped touque with some tomboy charm.
two. the cutest little spice jars.
three. a holly-day inspired tea towel.
four. a winter white touque with a huge pompom.
five. a pillow with a message.
six. a luxe fur cowl.
seven. the best two tone fedora ever.
eight. a chevron table runner to add some glitz.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

must love dogs

this photo was professionally taken as a gift for my sister Julie for her grade 8 graduation

For those of you that know me, you know I've always loved dogs.  You may even refer to me as 'the crazy dog lady' after having a silly conversation in a silly voice with the Bernese Mountain dog that just walked by.

Since having Kea in our life, everything is just that much happier, that much more special. The relationship you can build with your dog is like none other, she's my best friend, my little furry child, and my confidant.

We always get compliments on how well behaved she is, happy go lucky she is, and of course how cute she is, usually followed by 'what's your secret?'  And we usually answer with 'she's just a really special dog'.
But there are a lot of things we've done and worked on with her to help mold her into the sweetheart she is.

This is a topic I've been wanting to write about for a while now, and I finally feel confident enough to share some secrets.  And I thought I'd start with a story of my first dog, Snoopy.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, we adopted a dog from the pound in Caledon, Ontario.  My Dad worked in that town and pretty much knew everyone, so when he heard of this particular dog at the pound, he had to go check it out.  It didn't take long from that moment.  He brought home a polaroid picture and we all swooned at how cute she was. I don't know for sure, but I think my Mom wasn't too keen about the whole thing, but when my Dad set his mind to something, there was no stopping him.*  Within a few days we had her home and (after turning down many a name that I protested were the best, including Michael, after my classroom crush) named her Snoopy.

We had Snoopy for about 5 or 6 years and one thing we could never help her with was her abandonment issues.  The first time we left her home alone, she literally jumped up onto the dining room table and ate my sisters science project (something to do with how quickly pop can destroy your teeth, so chances are it tasted great), and ran a muck around the entire house, peeing, pooping and howling.
This obviously wasn't acceptable, so after trying every possible thing, we ended up having to tie her up to the back door when we left her alone.  And what damage she was still able to do, whenever I smell pine sol, I think of Snoopy.  She would run herself ragged while being tied up, and pee and poop all over her bed and the floor surrounding it every single time, which was pretty much daily.  Basically, she would be going crazy in a pile of her own sh*t.  You can only imagine what that looked/smelled/sounded like.  She would be so excited to see us when we got home, that even having to clean up after her daily, it was hard to resist her loving little face.  Once cleaned up she would trot over in front of the couch and lie down, calm and happy.

As she got older and more sick, she had an enlarged heart, this behavior died down a bit.  She walked slower and barked deeper and we knew the end was near for her.  And yes, we all assumed that her heart was just so full of love for us, for giving her a good home.  But what was really happening was her heart took over her lungs until she could no longer breathe.  She went peacefully in her sleep one morning and my sister was with her.  We were all so sad, and miss her dearly.

I guess what I'm trying to say with sharing this story is that, sometimes your pet isn't meant to change.  You love them and nurture them and take care of them no matter what and that is what will make them a 'good' dog.
I am by no means an expert, but I do agree with the strangers comments about Kea, we have done a really good job raising her.  So over the next little while, I plan on sharing a few of our secrets.

this (super old!) photo is of me and Snoopy in front of our house.
*We adopted Snoopy when she was approx 5-7 years old, so she was well into her little doggy life, and that meant that a lot of the habits she had weren't going to be easy to change, but my Dad didn't care. Snoopy was going to be put down because no one wanted to adopt her, but Dad insisted on saving her and bringing her into our home.
When I decided to start writing this series and this story I double checked a couple of facts with my sisters, and didn't remember this part.  It makes me smile.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

how to: pack for a business trip

image via
Well, I'm back from an unexpected work trip.  I was in Calgary, AB, for the week helping out at a store that had just finished up renovations.  This was my first ever business trip and it was pretty exciting.  We worked very long days, so unfortunately I wasn't able to do any sightseeing in the city, or really have much downtime at all (hence the quiet abyss of this blog).  But I was travelling with some great co-workers, so it made the long days go by quicker and the end of work day dinners that much more hilarious.

Because it was last minute, my packing skills were not at their best.  Let's be honest, I'm an over packer.  Packing smartly is definitely a skill I've been trying to perfect for a long time now, but I just can't seem to leave the kitchen sink behind!
I wish I was able to just bring my carry-on sized suitcase on any trip and be able to make it work.  This time I figured, I'm going for a full work week, that the next size up wouldn't be so bad, and luckily I wasn't the only one, but seeing the other girls whip through the lines with their cute little suitcases really made me want to try harder.  I did notice, however, that this time I didn't have it completely jam packed full of silly, useless things, but having to wear all black for work helps.

I'm starting to call myself a bit of a traveler and with that I've picked up a few tips along the way.  I'm slowly getting better, and one day will make it to just that cute little carry-on sized suitcase!!
Hope these tips help you pack your bags!  Do you travel for work? Any tips you'd like to add?

1. Pick a colour story for your trip, it's makes pulling complete outfits that much easier.  Obviously my colour this time around was black, but burgundy, or grey would be great for this time of year.

2. Wear your biggest items on the plane.  Wearing your tall boots makes sense, because they'll take up lots of space in your suitcase. And wearing or carrying your jacket saves you some space, and will give you the option to layer on the plane, where there's always a random draft.

3. Travel sized toiletries, aka. free samples!  I save samples of shampoo, moisturizer, or anything else handy from swag bags or cosmetic counters to pack instead of the regular size I use daily.  These little guys are so small that you can have them in your carry-on and won't lead to having to dump them at security. That's the worst!

I don't have any travel plans coming up, but I just may have to change that! Here's to my next trip!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

feeling young

image via
In just a little bit more than 2 months, I'll be turning 30.  
And, I must say, I think I'm dealing with it a lot better than I expected.  
(Much better than when I was approaching 25)  
That being said, I've noticed a few changes in my daily beauty routine.  I think I subconsciously started doing things with the mindset that I`m getting old and need to take better care of myself, I need to look younger.  I now realize that these are things I should be doing anyway.  I guess I've always been a late bloomer. 

A couple of months ago I started using a new face cleanser and have been loving it.  It's a cream cleanser that is supposed to be more gentle for my skin, compared to what I was using before.  And now I've added in doing an exfoliation wash once a week.  This has really helped with evening out my skin tone.

I've been flossing.  Let's be honest, we all tell our dentists we do it a lot more often than we do.  I can be honest in saying that I don't really floss, maybe if I feel like I have something in my teeth, but that's about it.  And lately, I've been flossing and using mouthwash a few times a week.  

I've been moisturizing like crazy! My face, hands, and more importantly, my neck! When I'm moisturizing my face in the morning, I'm making sure to include my neck.  And with the cold weather on it's way, I may even keep lotion in my purse.  

Whenever the age guessing game is being played (which isn't a fun game), I guess I'd be a winner.  No one ever guesses that I'm as old as I am.  Maybe it's all in my head but, this girl ain't getting any younger.
Any tricks you have to keep father time away?  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

double chins & garbage bins

top: Anthropologie
boyfriend jeans: American Eagle
necklace: Aldo
booties: H&M

This lady right here, she knows how to be classy.  Back alleys are a girls best friend.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend.  It actually felt long, and all the food was amazing.  And I must say, for our first time ever cooking a turkey, it couldn't have been more perfect.  
Mind you, I think we put garlic in absolutely every single dish, so forgive me if I keep my distance, I feel like the smell is just radiating off me!
Oh, and the best feeling after eating the amazing meal....unbuttoning my jeans.


So, you may have noticed the new name of my blog, Helloo Holly.  I've decided to bring things together with my shop on Etsy, Helloo Sailor and make all my different outlets a little more connected, and easier to find.
I'm working on a new logo and branding, and also looking for some help with site design (in case you know anyone!).  These changes have been a little while in the works, but hopefully soon to be finalized.
So please bear with me while we're under construction!
In the mean time, I've updated the listing of Helloo Sailor on this here blog, and if you see anything you like, head on over to my Etsy Shop!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

happy thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish everyone, in Canada, a Happy Thanksgiving! Get outside and enjoy this fall weather!
We're having a couple of friends over and are going to attempt cooking my first turkey.  I'll let you know how it goes! All I know is that our apartment is going to be filled with the yummiest smells, great people, and lots to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

sweater dress

sweater dress: Phillip Lim for Target
belt: Target
scarf: Club Monaco (hand me down from a friend)
boots: sooo old, I don't remember

First of all, I must say, what a beautiful fall weekend it was in Vancouver.  It reminded me of back home, walking through the Forks of the Credit, looking at all the trees as they change colours.  I love fall in Ontario. Anyways...
I've always been a fan of the sweater dress.  But as the different silhouettes over the years have changed, I think I've finally found one that suits me.  I decided to belt mine to create a bit of a waistline, but seeing as this dress has been in,  what seems like constant rotation, it's surprisingly versatile.  Worn loose with my jean jacket, or pulling the neckline off my shoulder and layering with some leggings.  Great for fall transition.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I just had to share this amazing line, 424 FIFTH LORD & TAYLOR, the the Hudson's Bay has recently brought in.  It's got some to die for pieces that fall perfectly in line with this season's trends.  Some of my fave's include the head to toe plaid, the perfect chambray button down, and a beautiful floral long skirt.  
I'll definitely be making a purchase!  

all photos via