Friday, July 31, 2009

500 Days of Summer

"This is not a love story. This is a boy meets girl story."

First of all, I love that. Not all couples have the same, typical Hollywood ending. 500 Days of Summer is so not your average romantic comedy, not even close. Starring the quirkily handsome Joseph Gordon Levitt and the pinch-her-cheeks-adorable Zooey Deschanel (fyi: engaged to my dream man, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie) the movie bounces back and forth in time, exploring the relationship of a boy who has always wanted to find his soulmate and a girl who doesn't believe in love (um, hello role reversal!). What ensues is sweet, poignant and, most of all, honest. Relationships are messy~ let's tell the truth! Still, the movie is so lovely it is definitely my must see pick for the summer. Besides~ any film that has references to The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and The Pixies in the first twenty minutes just can't be bad! 

Go see this immediately but watch the trailer here first! 

p.s.~ I adore the 1950's styling of the film~ so beautiful. The movie's blue obsessed colour palette was chosen to highlight Zooey Deschanel's eyes! 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who Looked Hot This Week

My absolute favourite thing to do when I wake up every Friday morning (yes, even before blogging and Facebook) is to hop over to and see "Who Looked Hot This Week" (click here to see the most recent clip). This fun and quick video fashion segment is a must for any girl who loves her some clothes, shoes, bags and jewels, not to mention hair and make-up, as it counts down the 5 most amazing looks of the week on all our favourite starlets. It even has a nasty spin at the end by noting someone who was not so hot~ a little guilty pleasure!!! "Who Looked Hot" is a fantastic way to keep up on the very best trends and it even has an "Editor's Box" with advice on where to pick up less expensive versions of what the current beauty herself is wearing! Genius.

I love perusing what my favourite actresses are strutting their stuff in on a weekly basis, whether working the red carpet premiere circuit or hitting the grocery store. 

So here is the first of my very own Top 5 of the week:

Number 5: Amy Adams visited David Letterman this week to promote her new film Julie & Julia and the adorable actress proved redheads can certainly pull off wearing red in her sexy, little cowl-necked number, but it's her Ferragamo lace heels that are the true show-stoppers! Forget being green with envy~ I'm seeing red! 

Number 4: Claire Danes hit the red carpet this week for the premiere of the film Adam in a white, sweeping Zac Posen column. White looks so right in the summer heat and I especially love the leafy detail at the waistband. With a wedding on the horizon perhaps Claire is getting comfortable in white gowns!

Number 3: One of my favourite Canadians, Rachel McAdams hit up the Comic Con conference in San Diego this week to promote her upcoming film, Sherlock Holmes. Not exactly the venue to break out an evening dress at, Rachel instead looks perfectly fresh and casual in a bejewelled tunic, skinny jeans and drop dead gorgeous strappy patent pumps. I tend not to love black in the middle of summer but this is black that is anything but basic. Her sweet curls and minimal make-up are also perfection. I just want to hug her! Adorable! 

Number 2: Anyone who knows me knows how I loooooove Gwyneth Paltrow, but hero worship aside, the girl can dress! Lately the beautiful Mrs. Martin has been experimenting with an edgier style and this Preen minidress and sexy booties are no exception. The space-agey silver and black mini has just the right amount of hipness without being nutty and her gleaming skin and beachy curls lend a more laidback vibe. Love love love it! 

Number 1: My absolute favourite look this week was definitely Diane Kruger at the premier of her new film, Inglorious Basterds, co-starring that ugly guy Brad Pitt and directed by Quentin Tarantino. As soon as I saw this dress I knew I had to post on it because I was immediately obsessed with it! Hello! It's beige! Beige! How does this woman make beige look so darn good? Well, it's Herve Leger for a start, so that doesn't hurt. Next, the strong shoulder line and flouncy hem are utterly charming. Also, the barely there sandals and her pulled back hair are heavenly. Best of all perhaps is her absolutely flawless red lipstick~ incomparably the prettiest shade I've ever seen! 

New girl crush? Check! 

(Photo 1 via this is glamourous. Other photos via People)

Quote of the Day

"The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow."
-H.G. Wells

(On a bad day just remind yourself everything will be okay)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Ode to AC

Dear whomever invented air conditioning,
Be it if you invented the monstrously wonderful unit in my icy little car or the machine hanging in my living room window at the moment (newly and lovingly installed) that is as loud as an airplane landing and as ugly as sin, I thank you from the bottom of my cold heart. I would gladly make love to you today. Here's to me actually sleeping tonight! 

Kisses, Ally xo

Update: Yesterday was the hottest day EVER on record in Vancouver at 32.9! I'm not super fond of that record breaker. Bring on fall! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Handbag!

Bags bags bags. I love handbags. Besides a knockout pair of shoes (boots, flats, heels!) and a gorgeous pair of sunglasses, handbags are the ultimate iconic accessory. Be it if you love labels or have quieter taste there are always a bevy of beautiful bags on the market and with fall (gasp!) quickly approaching the new merchandise is flooding the shelves of my favourite stores. I haven't indulged in a new bag since the winter and so I'm on the hunt for something perfect~ perhaps a birthday present for myself! I can picture exactly what I need in my mind~ soft caramel coloured leather, slouchy with one thick strap that I can loop over my shoulder; something roomy but not too big and with pockets so I don't have to frantically dig for phone and keys the way I do now. 

Here are a few of the purses currently rotating on my hit list:

Louis Vuitton's Speedy 25 doctor-style bag in azure Damier canvas. Yes, yes, I know, I see it all over the city, real and fakes alike, but I love the pale colours and the structured style. Plus, what can I say? I love Louis! This is a stretch at near $700 but it is truly an investment piece and I would have it forever. 

I adore Coach's Garnet handbag because of the ultra soft, squishy amethyst leather. The colour is so feminine and this pretty shade could be paired, surprisingly, with a lot of different coats for fall and winter. I also like the kiss lock closure and the pleating along the top of the bag~ these are details done right! At over $400 I might rather opt for the more eternal Louis though. 

The Campo handbag in Burnt Sienna is from J.Crew and though the colour is the closest to what I've been searching for (caramel! yum!) it's not quite as slouchy as I want. Still, the bag itself is so pretty and would definitely hold all my essentials. Plus with only one shoulder strap I wouldn't have to be bothered with one extra strap constantly falling down~ my pet peeve! At $300US it's not insanely pricey. This one is definitely on the short list! 

Also from J.Crew the Campo tote, shown in the sophisticated Slate colour way, is also very chic for fall. Again, it's much more structured than I've been thinking of, but I do love its streamlined style and fashionable gold tone hardware. Also priced at $300US this bag could be worn for many many years. 

Top photo: The Olivia bag from Roots is "the one" I've had my eye on all summer. The Pebble grey leather is baby soft to the touch, the single strap is ideal and it's perfectly slouchy. Not to mention it would certainly hold all my day to day items and still be roomy enough for a book or camera. At around $250 the price point is also very decent and Roots bags are nothing if not well made and trusted. I always find that if there is a certain piece you just can't get out of your mind it's usually best to bite the bullet and buy it. Olivia, you may just have to be mine! 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"It's better to be known than loved. I mean known inside, deeply known. When somebody knows you, they know- it's not ephemeral, it's not a state or a stage."

This month's Vogue profiles model/student/activist Christy Turlington and the above passage from the article concerns her relationship with her husband, Edward Burns. When I read this it struck something within me and I haven't been able to stop thinking of it because it's very much how I feel about love. I think in the past I've perhaps been liked, maybe loved but I very much believe I've never been known, really known. I think it is that deeper knowing of someone that is so much more soulful than simply loving them. One day I wish for someone to want to know me. 

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

A Fireball Sky

On Saturday afternoon I got dressed for work as usual, grabbed my handbag and headed downtown. It was an impossibly muggy day and I clutched onto my iced coffee (or rather iced soy toffee nut latte, thank you very much) for dear life. The afternoon could be summed up in two words (as my friend Nicole likes to succinctly say): mustache sweat. Yeah. I know. The sky was clear as a bell and being in the restaurant was like working in a sauna. Powder was my new best friend. 

Around 7pm, from seemingly nowhere, the sky appeared dark. Clouds had rolled into the city in what seemed like minutes. Before I could even see a drop of rain there was the ominous growl of thunder in the distance. Not exactly what 100,000 or so people had counted on for a night of fireworks in English Bay, but hey, it's billed as rain or shine for a reason. After all, this is Vancouver, where the weather changes as quickly as Lindsay Lohan's relationship status. I'm not exactly sure when monsoon season here commenced but on Saturday it was in full force. The streets (and our poor little terrace) were awash in a matter of seconds. Lightening and thunder were nature's rock band~ noisy and rhythmic. To my delight the air temperature plummeted dramatically~ I was comfortable again! 

And then it happened. I suddenly noticed several co-workers lingering on the terrace, leaning over the balcony and staring at the sky. Puzzled, I wondered what the big deal was. Anyone who had gone out to peek seemed to come back inside with eyes that were slightly....googly. Amazed and pleasantly glazed over, silly smiles on their faces. Never one to ignore my curiousity I waded through the puddles, stuck my head into the rain and looked. Wet bangs be damned, it certainly was a sight to behold~ one I'd never seen before and yet one I fervently hope to see again. The sky was a fireball of orange. Not just a streak of orange sunset in the distance. I'm talking the entire sky itself was the colour of flame. We may as well have been on Mars. It was breathtaking, intense and magical~ and yet these words don't do it justice. 

Only pictures can capture what the night was like (enjoy these~ stolen shamelessly by various friends on Facebook). I can't look at them without getting goose bumps. It was a night not soon forgotten as I once again bow down to the beauty of nature and everything our world gives us. And if you ask me it was a far better show than any display of fireworks could ever hope to be!

(Photo 2 courtesy of Tiffany Fournier, Photo 3 courtesy of Chris Norwood, Photo 4 courtesy of Kai Wong~ thank you!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wish List- Ballerina Dress

Oh! I wish so much that I had a party to go to so that I could wear this tulle skirted, ballerina inspired Cynthia Rowley cocktail dress! I'm in love! The silhouette is innocent but sexy, the black belt gives a tiny bit of dramatic contrast and the full skirt makes me want to twirl the night away! Why oh why don't I have a benefit/engagement party/gala to go to so that I can indulge the child in me (the one who never wanted to get out of her tutu) and channel my inner Anna Pavlova? 

Cynthia Rowley Tulle Dress ($375US) can be found at shopbop here.  


Do you ever have days where you feel foggy and weird and as if nothing can go right but you can't put your finger on why you even feel this way? Welcome to my Friday. I don't get it but I feel blue today. I'm sure the upcoming weekend can only get better and I am looking forward to a cupcake/movie/girls night with two amazing friends tonight post work. In the meantime though, I think it's time for a nap. Maybe when I wake up it will be on the right side of the bed this time. Have a great weekend, friends. 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Used Bookstores~ In Search of Alice

On the hunt to add to my burgeoning collection of vintage Alice in Wonderland books I have come across some of the best used bookstores in Vancouver. As a literature major I love books, especially old ones. When I first started at UBC many a moon ago my absolute favourite place to hang out (or nap!) was buried in the dusty stacks in the old Main Library. It seriously broke my heart when I re-enrolled many years later only to be back on campus and find the Main Library was basically being torn apart and renovated. Some people say updated... I say ruined. But that's neither here nor there. I love old books as much as I love old libraries. The musty smell, the beautiful fine print, the leather bound covers. There is so much history and character in old books in comparison to ones nowadays. 

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is incomparably my favourite childhood book so I'm scouring the city for the prettiest old volumes of it I can find. You can stumble across so many interesting finds in a used bookstore and it's the mystery of it I love. Plus the markdowns are a great bonus! 

If you're looking for the latest best seller or wanting something with a little more time behind it try one of these three fantastic used bookstores:

Canterbury Tales Secondhand Books
1990 West 4th Ave. (at Maple) 

Characters Fine Books and Coffee Bar
8419 Granville Street (in Marpole near the Safeway) 

Tanglewood Books
1553 West Broadway (between Granville and Fir) 

Update: Have just been sighing over First Edition copies of Alice on ebay. Now that would be the most amazing gift ever! Any great First Edition actually! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
-Mary Anne Radmacher

ps- This quote is from a magnet on my fridge right now!

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

Where The Wild Things Are

While watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince last night with Leah I also saw the trailer for the upcoming October release of the hotly anticipated Where The Wild Things Are. Brought to life over the last eight years by director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) the film is based on the 1963 classic children's book of the same name, written by Maurice Sendak. While bringing such an iconic book to the big screen has been apparently both controversial and grueling for Jonze, the film itself looks magical. The story centres around Max, a young boy who acts out when his mother has her boyfriend over and is therefore sent to bed without his dinner. Max then creates his own world of escape, a land dominated by the Wild Things, who crown him as their ruler. I haven't read the book but you can be sure I will be doing so now, and before the movie is released! 

Watch the amazing trailer here

The song featured, which I have been listening to all morning, is Wake Up by Arcade Fire (hello, great Canadian band). 

Inside all of us is hope

(Photos via IMDb)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mona Lisa Out of the Louvre and Into Your Home

I love anything to do with art. Renaissance, Modern, Impressionist, Dadaist~ you name it, I will find something to love. I once bought a huge (and expensive) book on painting simply because it had one of my favourite works on the cover~ Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus (I had to, she's one of the most famous redheads of all time, after all). Jump ahead 500 odd years and I'm still searching for a screen T shirt with Andy Warhol's iconic banana print on it (from the self titled 1967 album by The Velvet Underground and Nico). 

After studying Art History for many years I adore trying to bring my love for the subject into my home. That's why I am smitten with Kikkerland's Mona Lisa clock (above)! Leonardo da Vinci's alluring mystery woman with the enigmatic smile keeps time with charm and only at twelve o' clock does her whole appearance become complete as the hands line up. I'm ordering mine from Amazon here as I can't find it anywhere in town. I can't wait to put her on my mantle!

Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus, c. 1482-1486

Andy Warhol's awesome banana cover art for The Velvet Underground, 1967

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lulu's Park Day!

Today I did one of my first genuinely summery things this season~ I grabbed my book, iPod, a blanket, put Lulu in her carrier bag (with her leash) and went to the park! Lulu is an indoor cat so I wasn't sure how this was going to "go over" but she was fascinated! All the birds and unfamiliar noises had her entranced! It was so adorable to watch her discovering all sorts of new things!

Ooh! Birds!

Pretty leafy tree canopy. Dreamy light. I loved it.


Bold Colour Banishes Decor Blahs

Looking around I feel like my living space is sweet but..... I'm thinking bland. I usually think I want things to be pale, soothing and white with just a little lift from some pale blue accessories but looking at these images with their punctuations of juicy, vibrant colour is making me itch for brights! What is it about highly saturated colour that just puts me in a good mood? Choosing something this electric would be a definite gutsy move (especially for a white lover such as myself) but I absolutely adore the way my eye is drawn to the one highlighted piece in each room again and again! I love this painted bamboo screen-turned-headboard in the bedroom above and I oddly like the blue, yellow and red together as well. The primary colours flirt nicely together!

I adore this coral painted armchair with the contrasting, patterned seat cushion. So sexy and it harmonizes with the few red accessories on the bookshelves! This is styling at its best.

This adorable little yellow bedside table is an utter steal at Ikea but is very high on style. I love the sunshine yellow against the moody, deep purple wall and the pretty pillow and throw. Gorgeous!

(Photos 1, 3, 4 via Canadian House & Home, Photo 2 via A Cup of Jo)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


A perfect summer's day today. This week I can't wait to spend afternoons reading on the beach, grocery shopping on Granville Island, lazy lunches and puppy walking with friends, sleeping late, seeing Harry Potter and work on getting some of those freckles back! I feel like I haven't been outside in ages and I fully intend on making up for lost time in the upcoming days! Life seems so sweet right now and I don't want to jinx it, but it's wonderful to feel so fully happy. It makes me want to jump around!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Style Inspiration~ Reese Witherspoon

I absolutely love casual yet feminine clothes and Reese Witherspoon completely nails that here. I adore this outfit she was photographed in last week~ swingy printed skirt, utterly simple navy tank and still the hottest shoe for the second summer in a row, the gladiator sandal. Obviously her perfect accessories (luxe oversized bag, glamourous sunglasses) and effortlessly pretty hair complete the look. America's sweetheart indeed~ move over, Julia Roberts! I wish I could look this simple yet pulled together everyday!  

And hey, if you were dating Jake Gyllenhaal and had an Oscar you would be beaming like Reese too! The girl has reason to smile! 

Moving On

Today was soooo hot and lovely. Sadly I was trapped indoors for all of it, only savouring the warmth as I walked to get a coffee while on a break and home to my apartment at the end of my work day. Only this week I have decided to leave one of my jobs and to move on to different things. What, I'm not exactly sure yet, but I have faith that all will work out in the end. I have been craving change, something new and exciting. I have enjoyed the last year of my life but it was never meant to be a forever thing for me. Still, I will miss the job but mostly, and more importantly, the people I have gotten to know and care for. 

Change is important. It prevents life from being stagnant. It keeps us on our toes, challenged and learning new things. I'm looking forward to having a few days free while I'm on the hunt for something new..... if only so I can lay about, enjoy my summer and gaze at the sky one lazy afternoon. 

xo Ally 

(Photo via Paper Tissue

I Will Follow You Into the Dark

One of my very favourite bands, Death Cab for Cutie, are in town performing tonight and so I'm heartbroken because I'm not going. I was, however, lucky enough to see them last July at the Pemberton Festival while also touring for their current album, Narrow Stairs, so I don't feel too bad, but still.... I would have loved to have gone. If you've never listened to the music of this amazing Bellingham quartet please do yourself an enormous favour and do so. Immediately. Ben Gibbard's lyrics are a mix of poignant heartbreak and charming bemusement while the music itself is always powerful and stirring. I can never ever get enough of this band. If you're in love try Transatlanticism (my favourite song in the world truly). If you've just gone through a break up listen to Tiny Vessels or Title and Registration.  Opt for Soul Meets Body or I Will Possess Your Heart for something more up tempo. No matter what your mood there is a facet of Death Cab that you are guaranteed to love. And if you don't love them.... then we can't be friends! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bridal Shower Inspiration

Help! I'm planning my girlfriend Erika's bridal shower, only a few short weeks away, and I am searching for inspiration! Fun but not corny shower games? Prize ideas? Themes? What are the best bridal showers you've been to? Martha Stewart's wedding website has some lovely ideas and photos, so that has been my go-to site so far! Invitations go out today! I'm so excited to throw this for such a wonderful and steadfast friend. Meanwhile, I still have to find my bridesmaid dress~ but I'll work on that later! 

Please share any brilliant shower ideas you may have! Thank you! 

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