Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Fashion Wish List

I'm giddy with excitement. It's the last day of August, which means (of course) that tomorrow is September! I adore September for so many reasons~ watching little kids go back to school, rainy days, my birthday, the start of fall.... and the shameless anticipation of adding to my cool weather wardrobe! I love fall clothes! September is, hands down, my favourite time to shop. You see, being a pale redhead means I'm just not genetically built for the tiny outfits of summer. I spend all June and July long staring at girls with perfect, golden tans in abject jealousy. But by the time August rolls around and the stores start filling with jackets, sweaters and trousers I am over all coveting. I'm ready to shop! 

This fall I've been a little behind on my fashion fix. Since I'm not returning to university to finish my last two classes until next spring I don't have the same yen for that satisfying "back to school" shop. That being said it doesn't mean I haven't been drooling over swoon-y things online that I could easily transition into my existing wardrobe. Here are some of the very best pieces I've found that I'm lusting for this fall.....

First of all, the handbag I've finally selected, despite my confusion from purse lust (which I wrote about here). Coach's patent leather doctor-style bag is structured and chic, yet fun because of its hit of colour. I can't wait to finally pick it up this week! 

This sweet dress from Urban Outfitters is appealing to me because of its casual, hippie vibe. I love its subtle print and punch of citrus orange and though it's from UO's summer collection it can easily be paired with an adorable cardigan and my Dorothy-esque patent leather red heels to transition into fall. Plus, at $58 the price is very right!  

Anyone who knows me knows I normally avoid wearing black (except for the odd night at work when I give in to peer pressure!). I find it washes out my pale complexion too much and I look, well, ghostly! However, BCBG's beaded black top is so jaw droppingly gorgeous I must must must have it! The details make me swoon, especially the straps draped over the upper arm~ so pretty! Wearing this I would feel like a 1920's flapper girl~ and best of all, it can be paired with a black pencil skirt as easily as it can be with a pair of jeans and heels! A definite must have.

Antik Batik's beaded mini purse looks like it may be a relic from a Parisian flea market~ and that's exactly why I love it! The long chain makes it the perfect choice for a night on the town, as you can sling it across your body and have your hands free for cocktails and dancing! It's incomparably the prettiest evening bag I've seen in a long time!

I have black boots and I have brown boots but, oh, grey boots! Yes, please! Grey is by far my favourite neutral. It is always perfectly chic and goes with any colour you care to throw next to it. These grey riding boots from Urban Outfitters are the ultimate footwear for those cloudy days when I just want to throw on skinny jeans and a cozy, oversized sweater and brave the elements. These would definitely be worth a road trip to Seattle, as I haven't yet spotted them at our teeny Vancouver store. Who's coming with me? 

I love colour and I really love rich, jewel tone colour! This emerald green, ruffled tank from BCBG would be a considerably glamourous addition in my closet! I would instead opt to pair it with jeans for a date night or grey, pin striped trousers and my new, adorably puff sleeved H&M blazer for a family dinner out. Sexy and casual at the same time means this piece can work double duty!

Nanette Lepore's Heartbeat coat is heaven and almost everything I've been hoping for in such a piece (the only drawback being it's black). Still, its tailored silhouette and exaggerated, flouncy hem is wonderfully romantic and feminine. This would be a joy to slip into on drizzly November days when all I want to do is crawl back into bed! Now if only it came in cream....

This daring little Toucan tunic, also from Antik Batik, would certainly add a little spiciness to my fall wardrobe. The bright splashes of colour would definitely banish any blahs and the abbreviated hemline is decidedly flirty! Plus, I love it paired with the tall boots. Perfect for a night out with my girls! 

Top photo: My current Etsy fave, Sarah Seven, makes heartbreakingly beautiful clothes. I've already posted on her stunning cocktail dresses but now I'm dying for this dreamy, made to measure strapless top in perfect ballerina pink and "sexy secretary" high waisted pencil skirt. Now this is one va va voom outfit! 

So there is my current fall wish list! What are you going to be searching for this upcoming season? Share! 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Erin's 10 Things That Make Me Terribly, Wonderfully Happy
1. Authentic British pubs & tearooms
2. The changing of the seasons
3. A good conversation with a good friend
4. Doing what I was created to do
5. Spending quality time with my husband
6. Coldplay
7. Finding something beautiful unexpectedly
8. Baking
9. Hosting parties
10. Spending time with friends & family

Thank you, Erin, for your beautiful list! I miss you so much and can't wait to visit with you! Happy Birthday soon, Dan, my birthday twin! 

My beautiful friend Erin and her equally wonderful husband Dan moved to Los Angeles last Christmas to chase their dreams of acting. I absolutely love hearing about all their adventures and you can too by clicking here and reading their blog. It inspires me to have two friends who are making their dreams happen! 

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


"All We Want" is Elias

It seems slightly unfathomable to me that I've been "blogging" (I hate that verb) for over three months now and I have yet to mention the likes of Vancouver band, Elias. These local boys done good are young, talented, dedicated and charismatic. Their music is inventive, alluring and always draws you back for more ~if you have taste, that is. And they are going places. I may sound biased, and perhaps I am, because this is the band in which my little brother belongs. Still, every word I write is true. 

Elias is currently a trio, comprised of lead singer/pianist (and a good friend of mine) Brian Healy, drummer Stefan Tavares and my kid sibling, lead guitar player (and for the moment, bassist as well) Rob Tornroos. I've seen these boys throughout the years, changing and growing, and it has been an honour to be part of the evolution (sometimes I get to hear the latest being practiced in my apartment). It has been a seemingly long road of cross country tours, club gigs and endless studio sessions but the result has been worthwhile. Not only has Elias emerged an even stronger musical act but have recently been in the studio, yet again, prepping for a new album under the label Wax Records (a new affiliate of Wind Up Records). I'm a ridiculously proud sister and I absolutely can't wait to hear the final result. 

In the meantime, do yourself a favour and visit Elias at to listen to tracks and visit their links. 

Watch Rob and Brian perform an acoustic set live on Global News here~ one of my fave performances when they released their album, All We Want, last year. 

Visit Wind Up Records here

All amazing images are by photographer and former Elias bassist, Jonny Healy. Join his Facebook group, Jonny Healy Photography, here. Prepare to be impressed!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

My absolute favourite blog posts on Ally Redhead have been the lists I have compiled from friends for The Pursuit of Happiness. There is so much craziness (stress, negativity) in a day that sometimes we all forget to reflect on the simple, good things that make our lives shine. Please feel free to keep more lists coming, including 10 more if you've already been featured. Email me at and thank you! Here are my next 10, because there are so many good things to be thankful for.

10 Things That Make Me Terribly, Wonderfully Happy Part 2
1. Falling in love with a song and listening to it a hundred times in a row, over and over (especially if it has lyrics that make me cry)
2. The stillness and quiet of walking on a snowy night
3. Lulu's toe hair 
4. Cuddling in my BFF's bed (so cozy) and talking all night
5. Sincere thoughtfulness (from loved ones or strangers alike)
6. Nicknames
7. The smell of Thierry's roasted cherries (eating them is even better)
8. Inside jokes/sayings with my best friends
9. Quiet, tree-lined streets where the boughs form a canopy over head
10. Waking up feeling that all is right with the world

Lulu's ridiculously long paw hair! It always makes me smile. 

(Photo 1 via Cupcakes and Cashmere, another favourite blog)


(Image via Paper Tissue)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes along their way." 
-Karen S. Magee

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

I Bow Down To You, Gonzo Journalist

My friend (and boss) Chris is a completely kick ass writer. There is no other way to describe it. He's insanely funny and entertaining, but layered with depth. Once in awhile he'll bring something to me to preview for him and those are always my favourite late nights at work because I know I'll get to end my evening laughing my tush off. Yet he's not all fun and games. Chris is also a food writer for local publication Vancouver Magazine, so he also gets squired around the city to the newest and yummiest restaurants, where he gets treated like gold and then has to review his experience. Tough life, Gonzalez. Here are a few of Chris's recent fantastic stories:

Summer's Gone Right Down The Tubes, Georgia Straight (read this now, you'll die laughing)

Italy in a Bowl, Vancouver Magazine

Search Party, Vancouver Magazine

Also, follow Chris on Twitter at GonzoJournalism. Never have I seen such hilarity in 140 characters. Trust me. (I don't Twitter, I just watch him update. Constantly.) 

ps- Thanks for the Ally Redhead shout out on Twitter, Chris! You're the best! 

(Photo via Vancouver Magazine)


(Image via Paper Tissue)

Little Notes

Dear brain,
Why do you have to be so overly analytical and, plainly, just an old fusspot? You should relax. Jeez. 

Dear Thierry,
Please bottle the scent of your roasted cherries so I can douse myself in it and smell delicious every moment of the day. If you did this you would become a millionaire, I swear. 

Dear Bon Iver,
Thank you for the amazing song Lump Sum, which I have listened to no less than 80 times in the last three days. Chills, truly. 

Dear brother,
Thank you for putting away the dishes. That is the only reason I let you eat the rest of the lasagna. That was your reward. You did good, kid. 

Dear Amber,
They are Susan and Louise. 

Dear Tiffany key necklace,
I am trying really hard not to put too much emphasis on "stuff" in my life, but, to be honest, I'm really excited to get you. Are you on a plane right now? Please get here soon! 

Dear summer,
I can feel you slipping away as I gaze at sweaters and boots in the stores and as more leaves start to drift down from the trees. I'm ready for fall, but it was a fun one, summer. Thank you. 

Dear Mom and Dad,
Your 38 years of marriage sincerely inspires me, everyday but especially today. Happy Anniversary, parents. I love you. xxoo

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I am not young enough to know everything."
-Oscar Wilde

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

Dear 30

Dear 30,

Why did you smack me in the face with panic last weekend? I thought we were going to get along just fine and then you made me into a monster in a matter of a day. Why, 30, why? I was forced to go home and eat candy and chocolate in a matter of minutes. And then I felt worse. I buried my face in Lulu's fur trying to feel something other than, well, weirdness, but even that didn't work. I went to bed early and woke up feeling slightly more human because, 30, I realized I don't have to have it all figured out the day I meet you. I don't have to have any grand answers. I don't have to feel all this pressure to keep up with those darned proverbial Jones's. I am only me and I can only do what I can do right now. My goals and my dreams are still there and they are still attainable. And one day I will meet them too. 

So, 30, back off and stop trying to rile me up. We're good. See you next Thursday. 
xo Ally 

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Confession: I haven't had my hair cut since Christmas. Scratch that. Before Christmas! Ugh. I have been well overdue for a good cut! I felt that if I grew my hair long enough I would wear it in endless beachy waves and elegant curls. Um, not so much. I am useless at doing my own hair! So with fall rolling around I was looking forward to a cathartic chop. I've never been much of a long hair kind of girl so I was happy to say goodbye to a few inches without hesitation. My incredible stylist Rickie Lee also gave me thick, blunt bangs, which I adore. I keep calling it my back-to-school haircut, even though I'm not heading back this semester. The inspiration came from the recent film 500 Days of Summer, which I'm more than a little smitten with. I took in a photo of Zooey Deschanel in the film and said, "Make me look like this!" The result? Love! There is nothing like a good haircut to feel like a new person!

The Inspiration: Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer

The cutest girl in the world! 

What do you think? Do you like it? 

My amazing stylist and friend Rickie Lee can be found at Suki's at 1st and Burrard. Call 604.732.9101 to book an appointment. You will thank me! 

Marshmallows Are From Heaven

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Few More Wedding Candids

Hubert, the wedding mascot! Look at that face! 

Passing the pre-wedding time!

Mmmm... fudgesicles!
Puppy love! 

All dressed up and ready to go! 

Erika having just put on her veil~ *sniff*

Posing in the garden

Walking down the aisle at Minoru Chapel

The gorgeous Heritage Hall

The Geary's first dance as husband and wife!

Friends for 8+ years, we all went to Europe together! Still friends! Jim, Erika, me & Jess

Kristin's fabulous leap for the bouquet! Naturally a 14 year old caught it!

New Zealander Jeff's crazy aboriginal chant! Amazing! 

Hello Mrs. Geary! Candid Wedding Shots

Getting beautified at Blo!

The bride and myself~ let's get you married! 

Her stunning hairstyle!

Rach, Erika's twin and Maid of Honour, et moi

More beauty time!

All ready to go to the church, with Sarah, her flower girl! 

The giddy and gorgeous bride! 

Riding in style! 

The twins

Reception time at Heritage Hall! 

Erika had trouble cutting the beautiful cake, so her hubby took over! 

Dear Erika & David,
My wish for you is to always love each other as much as you did on the beautiful August day you married. Remember that giddiness, those tears of joy, that wonder. Hold all the memories close to your heart, don't take them for granted and savour the absolute beauty of your marriage. I know you will. Thank you for letting me share in the most lovely day. 
xo Ally

"Sometimes it's not about looks or personality; sometimes two souls are just meant to be."
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