When I was first old enough to dream of where I would live one day I always had one sort of place in mind. Since I was little I have wanted to live in a guest cottage, a tiny little garden hideaway behind a big, grand home in a beautiful and quiet neighborhood. I have never seen a place like this in my Vancouver apartment hunting but it hasn't dampened my dream to one day live in such a place. I can picture a tiny little home smothered in ivy and surrounded by gorgeous gardens~ a place where I could escape from the busy noise of the city, revel in quiet and set up home for awhile. These photos make me yearn to find my dream cottage.
I have been absent for awhile, I know. This has been for a few reasons but two I'll share with you.
One~ my computer has up and died on me. I was on my two year old Mac laptop one night as per usual, doing nothing offensive or particularly high risk (unless you consider surfing for fab spring clothes high risk, which I suppose it could be, but only to a credit card!). The pesky little coloured wheel wouldn't let me do a thing and so I shut the darn thing off. Lo and behold, when I turned it back on I was staring at a blue screen and nothing else. Everything was gone in a few, mere seconds. Beyond frustrating. It's being looked at now but I have no idea if anything can be salvaged.
Two~ I have been feeling blah lately. And not just a tiny little blah, but seriously uninspired. Do I keep going with this with no determined game plan? How much can I possibly blog about things to buy or what to wear? I love these posts on other girls' blogs as much as the next person but it's not terribly meaningful or affecting anyone.
I started this blog because I had something to say and things to share and somewhere along the way I lost my love for it. It became competitive and I hate that. I'm not interested in competing with anyone. I do this for me, even if three people read it (one of which is my mother). So I will continue to share things I love on Ally Redhead, be it a happening in my life, a story, an anecdote or a pretty dress. I need to return to what I felt when I started this little thing almost a year ago. So keep posted for new things, new inspirations and a new me.
So here are a few of the wonderful, happy and thrilling (or even just good) things that have happened to me lately. Let's take a moment for positivity...
My friend Kristen had a gorgeous baby girl, Anabelle
My best friend Nicole had a fabulous birthday celebration
I've told off someone it felt damn good to tell off
I got a new bed (the most blissful, cozy thing in the world)
I let go of someone who treated me badly
I've made some incredible new friends (quite thrilling at 30 to still meet amazing, cool, generous and warm girlfriends)
I decided to not let bad feelings keep me from doing things I love~ including this!
Thank you for visiting, sweet readers, and I'll be back on top form, blogging away soon! xoxo Ally
ps- Love this cute little floral dress and denim jacket for spring!
You know who you are. And I love you so much. I know right now is a hard time. You are so strong and you put on a tough front, but it has nonetheless been a difficult few weeks. It is so okay to admit that. You are so lovable. You are so loved. Do not doubt that for a second.
You are everything that is good in life~ caring, passionate, thoughtful, funny as heck and unfathomably beautiful, inside and out. I feel so fortunate to know you and know you well. I wish I could take any pain you feel away. I can't. It is human to go through it, to feel it. And in time it will start to dissipate and then one day it will be gone altogether. You will wake up and it won't be the first thing you think of. It will be gone and you will feel free. And happy. I promise.
You don't have to be so strong all the time. It is okay to admit you are vulnerable. Hell, you know how I bother you all the time! Every thought, every detail. You can come to me, with anything and at any time. Never forget what a truly incredible person you are. Hold onto that and know that the future holds every happiness for you. Without a doubt, it is out there for you and soon enough, it will be yours. I love you.
This upcoming Sunday I'm so excited to be attending the baby shower my mother, grandmother and wonderful family friend Nancy are throwing for my cousin's wife, Kate. Patrick and Kate will welcome their (undoubtedly) beautiful little girl next month and I can't wait to meet her (and find out what her name will be)! In the meantime, I'm so excited to see what heartbreakingly adorable goodies everyone will bestow upon the impending bundle of joy!
If money were no option then this nursery would be lovely for a little girl. The palest of pink walls, antique cane back chair and pretty white crib are sweet and soothing, while the flowered pendant light is a genuine show stopper. Nurseries should be just as stylish and creative as the rest of any decor lover's home and this room is perfect for any budding girly girl.
I'm in search of a new side table for my living room and I love this idea~ a substantial pile of coffee table books stacked to make a table! This obviously requires quite a few large, heavy books (which clearly won't get read while doing table duty) but an idea like this is as easy to put together as it looks chic.
ps- I just bought the most amazing coffee table book~ Taschen's Paris. It is a huge collection of the best restaurants, hotels and shops in the city of lights. Love!
Today I'm obsessed with this office. Although I think it's too pretty to be called an office~ den? study? No matter. It's darling. I adore the tiny, crystal drop chandelier, the fantastic gallery wall and especially the Philippe Starck Ghost chair (maybe I love this most of all because I own one, but it's not sitting as pretty in my living room as it does in this perfect space). I think if I had a room like this I would never leave~ I could write that book I've been longing to or just look at Shopbop all day! Love!
Florals for spring? Not exactly original, I know. Nevertheless, I'm a person less about cutting edge and more about wearing what is pretty and what feels right~ and that absolutely includes prints laden with blooms as we head into the months that bring us such loveliness sprouting from the ground and dripping from the trees.
Wearing flowers is to be dressed in the best nature has to offer and I, for one, have loved it since my British grandmother introduced me to Liberty prints as a little girl. What can I say? I love finding inspiration in the small, daily things and this above photograph makes me want to dress for a walk in an English country garden or an outdoor picnic. This spring I'm on the hunt for printed dresses, a sexy skirt and accessories that are literal blooms.
These make a very good start, I think.
J.Crew's long pale pink and nude rose trellis gown would be stunning at an evening wedding.
I adore the bold print on this pencil skirt. Forever 21 is laden with pretty florals this season.
I saw this delicately printed bustier dress in the window at Guess this week and was immediately drawn inside. It's now on my To Buy list and I'll juxtapose its sweetness with a shrunken leather jacket to wear at night.
J.Crew's amazing evening bag is literally comprised of gorgeous shredded silk and chiffon blossoms. Every girl would envy the one who carried this to the party.
Anthropologie is always the source for perfectly feminine pieces and this watercolour floral strapless dress (called Cooling Magma!) is both whimsical and beautiful. The shape is flattering to many body types and it would be perfect for date night or for a dinner with the girls.
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows by now my love for quotes. I think this partly comes from being an English major, and the subsequent years and years I spent immersed in the most powerful of books and awed by the beauty of our language. Also, in part, I love quotes because I'm constantly amazed at how only a few words or one simple sentence can so profoundly move me.
Yesterday was a fun day. While texting with a girlfriend she brought up Winnie the Pooh. Don't ask me why. It just happened that way. I'm a sucker for children's books, especially the enduring classics. Books for kids are generally so wholesome and simple and sweet, but hold messages about life and love and friendship that everyone can relate to. I spent some time after work last night reading through Winnie the Pooh quotes and I immediately felt warm and fuzzy. And so, here starts my latest devotion to Winnie and his lovely way of life. Hmmm, I think I feel like some hunny!
Quote of the Day by Winnie:
"When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish."
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."
It was my bestie Christina's birthday this past week and on Saturday we celebrated her! It was a love and fun filled night~ the perfect combination of amazing girls and guys, killer cocktails and food, laughs and hugs. Nobody deserves happiness like this girl~ she is an absolutely unbelievable friend, the kindest, sweetest and most thoughtful of people. Ever. I feel so lucky to know her and to be able to call her my friend and it was such a treat to celebrate her. My beautiful Berg, to many many more birthdays together! I can't wait!
(that's the gorgeous birthday girl in the middle in purple!)
The Three Musketeers
The beautiful birthday girl!
At the restaurant, Society in Yaletown~
instead of bread to start they bring COTTON CANDY! Now that's my kind of place!
I'm not sure what it is exactly. Maybe it's because there are so few of us that when I see another redhead I feel a weird sort of kinship. We're a dying breed you know! And I definitely have a few redhead girl crushes~ Amy Adams, Isla Fisher and the incomparable Nicole Kidman.
This beautiful wedding from Once Wed has the most lovely redheaded bride (and her groom is pretty delish too!). I adore that she is not afraid to use a massive amount of pink, a colour we are traditionally told to wholly avoid! Pink shoes, pink sugar rimmed champagne coupes and pink macarons? Major crush!
Here are my Oscar favourites only a few hours after these beautiful women walked the red carpet. The night undoubtedly belonged to Sandra (okay, okay~ after Kathryn Bigelow of course!). Bullock has been touted to win the Best Actress award for weeks and besides that, this weekend she actually turned up to collect her two wins for the "Razzies" (the worst of the worst acting awards, for which she "won" for All About Steve). Who could not love a woman who doesn't take herself at all seriously?
I love her and am so thrilled she won tonight for The Blind Side.
Sandra's speech for Best Actress tonight was everything the very best of acceptance speeches always are~ unrehearsed, witty, tender and touching (without being hysterical). There were tears pouring down my cheeks for two reasons: 1) When she choked up mentioning her late mother and how she had supported her no matter what she wanted to do, and 2) The obvious adoration she has for her husband, Jesse James, displays to me what I believe a true, forever kind of love to look like. Plus, her references to her competition with Meryl Streep were laugh out loud hilarious. Hands down my favourite part of the evening!
Sandra's dress was absolutely one of my favourites. Her metallic and lace Marchesa gown looked so vintage to me and it was lovely on her. Her sideswept hair and gutsy bright pink lipstick were also beautiful. Oscar's golden girl looked perfectly the part this evening.
My absolute favourite dress of the night, however, definitely belonged to presenter Cameron Diaz. Her gold beaded, strapless Oscar de la Renta gown was the stuff of dreams, as was her ridiculously gorgeous hair and red lips. I worshipped everything about this look and I can't say enough enthusiastic things about it. This now belongs in my All Star roster!
Second on my list was the always incredible Rachel McAdams. Her watercolour-esque Elie Saab gown was original and daring and I feel like her brave choice paid off. Painterly prints are still very hot, even after being so popular last spring and summer. I hate to label this look as trendy. Hopefully it will stick around for seasons to come as it's just so feminine and artistic and inspiring. To me, Rachel looks like a goddess. Everyone else may not love it but I think it's drop dead gorgeous. This is how Canadian girls can rock it!
I adore Elizabeth Banks (you would too if you caught her episode of Modern Family a few weeks back) and she looked like a vision in this grey blue Atelier Versace gown tonight. Calling to mind for me Penelope Cruz's Versace in 2007, it is comprised of a lot of ruffles. A lot. I would never wear this many ruffles in a million years, but it's the Academy Awards for crying out loud! If you can't strut around in something this unabashedly girly on Oscar night when the heck can you? I don't adore this angle but the girl looked genuinely amazing on that huge stage and she has the Grace Kelly-like, blond, patrician good looks to pull off so big a dress. Not my number one choice, but one I surprisingly adored.
I hope you had fun watching tonight and feel free to share with me your favourite moments and gowns! I suppose I should see The Hurt Locker now...!!
Photo of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at The 28th Annual Academy Awards, March 21, 1956
This weekend is one of my favourites of the entire year~ it's Oscar time, friends! I'm so excited to watch the ceremony on Sunday with my family! We can get pretty competitive, betting on the outcomes of every category... for money, of course! I haven't seen too many of the films up for consideration this year but, nevertheless,
I better win this Oscar pool!
My favourite part of the evening (after the speeches that always make me teary eyed) is the fashion! This is the best night of the year for drop dead, fantasy fashion~ plus jewelry, shoes, hair and makeup! All the over the top gorgeousness makes my heart quicken! Here are a few of my absolute favourite dresses over the past few years...
My all time favourite Oscar dress is Renee Zellweger in vintage Jean Desses from Lily et Cie. I became obsessed with owning a yellow dress after this. It's a bold colour choice but the silhouette is so perfectly subtle and feminine. Years later I still love it just as much.
I adored Gwyneth Paltrow in this pale pink Stella McCartney gown. The structured, corset-like bodice and full skirt are unfathomably romantic, her diamonds were crazy beautiful and I loved the simplicity of her long, wavy hair. Perfection.
Angelina Jolie was impeccable in the above white, Greek goddess gown by Marc Bouwer. So simple, so glamourous, so hot! This woman makes anything look amazing!
I'm not one for wearing red personally, but Anne Hathaway was lovely in this ruby red Marchesa gown with floral detail. The draping is so beautiful and I adored her perfectly, curled ponytail as well. A ponytail to the Oscars! Love!
Nicole Kidman has worn more famous gowns to the Academy Awards, but my favourite is this pale blue Chanel gown with its irreverent feathered skirt. The pale shade suits her to perfection and I thought she was at her most ice queen loveliness in this. Plus, her upswept hair and diamond collar are incredible. Coco would be proud.
While Tom Ford was still designing for the house, Julianne Moore wore this emerald green strapless gown by Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Redheads are often perfect in green and this is no exception. Julianne looked sexy and confident in this ruffled number and it proves that bold colour certainly works on the red carpet. Sigh.
I miss you, Tom Ford!
Last but not least, Kate Hudson looked simply enchanting in this nude lace Versace gown. What is not to love here? Romantic lace, cap sleeves, full skirt, gorgeous hair, copious diamonds... everything is flawless on this golden girl. This is consistently voted the best Oscar look of all time and I am hard pressed to not choose this as my number 2. This is everything that Oscar fashion should be~ timeless, elegant, romantic, fashionable, feminine. Perfect.
Have fun watching! I'll share my favourites from this year on Monday! I can't WAIT for Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin as presenters. And I better win that darn Oscar pool!
I'll be back soon, blog friends! Thank you for reading and visiting even though I've been absent over the past two weeks. Three more days and then the Olympics are over and normalcy can return to my life! I'll be sad to see both the Games and people alike leave, but these things are not meant to last forever (otherwise I would die of burn out!). I sincerely can't wait for life after these thirteen hour days~ time to sleep in, for a pedicure, to read more than one page of my book, to watch The Time Traveler's Wife, to relax! Stay tuned for life as normal next week!
ps- It is my firm belief that humans are not meant to spend twelve hours a day on their feet, especially when at least six of those are in 4 inch heels. Ugh!
Today was a GREAT day! I had the afternoon off and so I was able to be a tourist in my own hometown, so to speak. I met up with my friend Kayli in the afternoon and we roamed our city, participating in Olympic fever!
We started out with lunch on Granville Island, currently home to the French Quarter, Atlantic Canada House and Swiss House. We ate at Sandbar, which was hopping as usual (no surprise there!). Well fed, we then walked over the Granville Street Bridge on this ridiculously beautiful day. It may technically be winter but here it is lovely, mild and sunny! Once downtown we wandered through the mob at Robson Square, where we saw the zip liners soar over our heads and took a few photos behind our beautiful Art Gallery. We then made our way down to the waterfront and the new Convention Centre to take in the Olympic Cauldron and its incredible flame. It was a truly wonderful day and I felt inordinately proud to be a Canadian and especially a Vancouverite!
ps- My cute hat is from The Cross at Homer and Davie! If you live in Vancouver come and get your own!