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I’m at that age where it seems like everyone around me is getting married! I have about four weddings to go to this year and know many others who are getting hitched!

My first wedding of the year was my cousin, Michael’s, on May 7th, 2011. My dad’s brother (my uncle), and aunt, and two cousins live in Chicago. While I see my uncle almost every year, rarely do I see my cousins. The last time we saw each other was when we were all still teenagers, over a decade ago, at our grandfather’s funeral. After so long, it was so nice to reconnect.

The wedding took place in Cincinnati at the Taft Museum of Art and it was such a lovely affair!

Warning: lots of photos!

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me in hotel roomDay 1: casual outfit for event set up
(shirt from gap, vest from jacob, pants from rue 21, belt from ?, boots from Nine West)

me in hotel room
me in hotel room Day 2: suited up for customer event; jeans for evening outings
(suit custom made in Hoi An, Vietnam, shirt from H&M, necklace from the Bay, jeans from rue 21)

Guys, I think I am in love. With Vancouver that is. I knew right from the moment I got out of the airport and hopped into a cab for the short ride over to the downtown core. The scenery is amazing, the air is fresh and crisp, the buildings are beautiful – the vibe is so inviting. And I knew right then and there that it has made it onto my “places I’d want to live” list.

My hotel was the Renaissance Harbourside Hotel which boasted a spectacular view of the mountains and water.

vancouver - view from hotel
vancouver - view from hotel bar view from hotel
This time around, I was lucky to have squeezed in some downtime, and even luckier that I had a friend and some colleagues out there who were kind enough to take us out.

Here are a few places that we went over two days:

Kamei Japanese Restaurant
One of the first Japanese restaurants in Vancouver that introduced the traditions and culture of Japan to Vancouverites. The staff are dressed in kimonos and we had to remove our shoes to sit on mats (there was space carved out under the table so we could dangle our legs). We ordered a bunch of share plates and roles. I tried fresh wild salmon (very different in taste and texture than the salmon sashimi in Toronto) and sea urchin. The latter was less than appetizing.

Cactus Club Cafe
A trendy bar (casual fine dining during the day) where we were entertained by a very intoxicated lady who tried relentlessly to pick up men.

Chill Winston
A restaurant & lounge in the lovely, cobbled streets of Gastown. We ended up in the private party room. I ordered the indulgent poutine and balanced it out with some steamed veg. Nice vibe, great food, great company!

Republic Nightclub
After a night of food and drinks, we wanted to go dancing and this was a great pick! We found ourselves a cozy corner on the second floor and hopped from one room to another where they were playing both house and hip hop.

Off to Montreal on Monday – last show and my last days at my current job. What a crazy month it has been!

30 for 30 - day 25 daily outfit
(DAY 25: sweater from ralph lauren, dress from banana republic, belt from INC Macy’s, scarf from my mom’s closet, shoes from Aldo)

Dear friends,

A quickie post before I jet set off to Vancouver, BC. Hoping to have some down time to explore the city or perhaps taste some succulent french sushi.

Be back soon!

xoxo
Jen

Day 24: 30 for 30 challenge

(DAY 24: skirt from Jacob, white shirt from RW&CO, vest from Jacob, boots from Aldo)

Yup. I sure did. Sent in my official resignation letter and all. It is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. Ever. My current company has treated me well but opportunities await and this new gig fell into my lap and I’d be silly not to take it!

Still sort of processing it all. I am a jumbled ball of emotions right now: proud, relieved, excited & nervous! I know that this is the best thing for me and my career.

So the one thing I will not do is look back…except for in this picture!

day 24 - 30 for 30 challenge daily outfit

me in hotel room - day 23 daily outfit 30 for 30
(DAY 23: sweater from INC in Macy’s, shirt from Smart Set [technically, not part of my 30 for 30 but I changed into a shirt that was 30 for 30 compliant later on in the day], jeans from Rue 21, belt from Nine West?, shoes from Joe)

My trip to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, was another whirlwind of activity. I flew in Wednesday morning on the highly recommended Porter Airlines.

I need to take a second to rave about Porter! It was so easy to get to using public transit and once there, NO line ups, and a welcoming Porter lounge that hosted free refreshments and wi-fi. Given it was only a 40 minute flight, I wasn’t expecting any on board hospitality but they provided us with a small blueberry loaf, and yogurt. Sure beats the other airplane food I’ve had in the past!

porter airlines
My room at the Westin hotel was luxurious and my only regret was not having had the chance to spend more time in it!

westin room ottawa
The view from my room was amazing, overlooking the parliament buildings.

ottawa parliament buildings
The two days I spent their was rainy and wet but looking back, I have nothing to complain about. In light of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I am thankful of the rain and snow that we’ve received in the past few weeks, that it has been manageable and short-lived.

My heart goes out to the people in Japan who have had a devastating few days. I must commend them on their sense of calm and poise even in such a horrific time.

30 for 30 - day 23
The travel is really starting to get to me. I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the past couple of weeks, have neglected the gym, am eating a diet of deliciously rich and likely unhealthy hotel food, and am spending the weekends catching up on sleep versus spending time with friends and family. Anyways, I’m off to do some laundry and to pack for my trip to Vancouver this week!

30 for 30 daily outfit - day 22

(blazer from urban behaviour, sweater from jacob, jeans from some store in the U.S.)

So does it count as cheating if I swapped out a shirt I haven’t worn with jeans? I should have selected jeans to be part of my 30 items from the get go – what was I thinking!

This week is another busy week so don’t mind if I’m MIA around here. For work, I am manning a booth at a cross country roadshow for customers. Last week it was Edmonton. This week, it’s Toronto and Ottawa. Coming up are Vancouver and Montreal. I used to think business travel would be glamourous and fun but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be! I mean, I hardly got a chance to enjoy the hotel’s plush, king sized bed, big screen tv, and room service or check out local attractions. And wouldn’t it be awesome if these shows took place in a nice, warm climate, like Hawaii?

30 for 30 day 21 daily outfit
30 for 30 day 21 daily outfit
(dress from banana republic, shirt from jacob, belt from my mom’s closet, socks from taiwan, boots [not pictured] from aldo)

I’m on day 21! Only 9 more to go. I don’t know if I’ll make it…I want my closet back! I had to try to do a self portrait yesterday and as you can see, didn’t turn out so well. Finally I gave up and asked my parents to take it for me. I don’t normally do this and here’s why…it took about 10 minutes to take 2 shots! But they started to really get into it and did all these photographer poses, with their knees bent and one eye squinted. And when their got their stance all ready, they couldn’t find the button. It was really cute.

30 for 30 day 21 daily outfit
Let me introduce you to my companion in the photo.

First name: Holy
Last name: Cow
Also known as: Moo
Likes: Cuddling
Dislikes: Being sat on

Adopted from my local Superstore for $5. His milky brown eyes called out to me as he sat all alone on the bottom shelf. I just had to take him home.

Can you tell I have a soft spot for all things furry and cuddly?

Happy weekend!

30 for 30 daily outfit - day 20

(Day 20: dress from H&M, blazer from Suzy Shier, necklace made by a friend, coach clutch gifted from a friend, shoes from aldo)

Hi, my name is Jen and I’m addicted to bargain buying sites.

I’ll admit it. I’m a big cheap-o who loves finding great deals. I hate paying for clothes at full price, or $3 bottled water, and I always go to my own bank to withdraw cash to avoid silly charges. I love sales! Bargain buying sites like Groupon and Red Flags Deal of the Day and Living Social, have got me hooked and I’ve gotten some awesome deals using the power of group buying!

Like, today, I bought a package for hot yoga classes – 30 classes for $30! Even though I already have two other hot yoga packages to use up. I’ve also bought haircuts, spa packages, and belly dance classes with these deal sites.

So addicted. Must. Stop.

day 19 30 for 30 challenge daily outfit day 19 daily outfit 30 for 30 challenge day 19 daily outfit 30 for 30 challenge day 19 30 for 30 challenge daily outfit

(cardigan from ralph lauren, purple long sleeve tee from ann taylor, scarf from street vendor in barcelona, pants from levis, boots from joe fresh)

Decided to mix it up a little in my photos yesterday. Was tired of the regular stance! So here’s a quick guide on how to get a mini-workout at the office.

1) Wall squats. Next time you call a meeting, forget the chairs. Just have everyone do a wall squat. And leave the meetings with extra firm buns.

2) Slow-mo power walk. Work on your balance by exaggerating your power walk and doing them really, really slowly.

3) Dancer’s pose toss. Like paper toss, play a game with your co-workers by striking dancer’s pose and having them try to shoot wads of used paper through the loop. Testing your strength, balance, and flexibility with this lovely posture. Minus 10 points if a flying object hits you.

4) Tabletop picnic. Ditch the cafeteria. Who needs to sit down at a table when your colleagues have got you?

I have to say, chilling on my imaginary chair, playing with shadows on the wall was a great way to spend my break!

I was up all night and now am super sleep deprived, high on cough drops, and sick as a dawg. My weekend will be spent recuperating so off I go. Have a fabulous and healthy weekend!

30 for 30 challenge - day 18

(cardigan from jacob, shirt from h&m, belt from mom’s closet, pants from Ann Taylor Petite, shoes from nine west, scarf from a street vendor in Barcelona)

You know on America’s Next Top Model (my guilty pleasure), how in every season Tyra Banks drills into the girls that they need to “smile with the eyes” aka “smize“? I don’t get it. Every time I try to smile with my eyes, I get all squinty. Or I look really sleepy. Don’t I look really tired in this photo? Try it. Grab a mirror and try smize-ing and report back here, please!

It probably doesn’t help that I also just start giggling uncontrollably when my photo is being taken.

On another note, I hope I’m not getting sick. I’m starting to get an itchy sort of feeling in my throat and my nose is doing all sorts of funky things. And I’m taking a 7am flight into Edmonton and it’s lovely -30 degree Celsius weather Monday morning? Think it will be okay if I call in sick for the conference? =)