Best of 2009 Blog Challenge: December 8th-9th

I’m almost caught up on my Best of 2009 blog responsibilities! Tomorrow: Dec 10 &11th.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

I think of many peaceful moments whenever I look at the photo on the left. This little stretch of beach is a 20 minute walk downhill from my Mom’s house. If I’m at home and the weather is nice, I like to walk down to the water (grab a Starbucks on the way) park myself on a log and just sit. Sometimes I read a book, but a lot of the time I just stare out at the ocean and think. I’ve solved many problems while sitting on a log looking out at the sea. When I was home in May I did exactly what I just described: sat down, thought & reflected while admiring the view. It was a really peaceful moment.

I’m really lucky that I grew up only a 5 minute walk from this beautiful coastline. The ocean and the sense of peace it gives me is one of the things I miss most now that I live in Ontario.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

The beginning of 2009 was really challenging: I was injured and working in a job that was toxic. I was so stressed out all the time that it was a challenge just to maintain my sanity. However, after I quit this job I started a new challenge: trying to figure out “what’s next” and find the confidence within myself to really pursue what I want to do. The first challenge wasn’t really rewarding, it was just something I had to get through. The second challenge I’m still working on however I think its going to pay off in the end. 2010 is going to be my year!!

What was your greatest challenge and greatest moment of peace this year?

Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

Between work and the rapidly approaching holidays, I’m finding it hard to blog everyday (or even every second day). I really want to keep up a good momentum and finish 2009 with a blast, so I’ve decided to do the Gwen Bell Best of 2009 Blog challenge. Click on the photo (left) to read all about it. Basically I’m going to answer a different question about 2009, every day for the rest of the month. This will definitely keep me writing. Worse case scenario, you might learn some new things about me.

Because its already the 9th today (oh god. how did that happen?). I’m going to consolidate the first seven days of December into one entry.

December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

Sadly, I didn’t really do that much traveling in 2009. However, I really enjoyed going home to BC this May to be the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful and I feel so honored that I got to be a part of her special day. It was also great just being home, hanging out with my family, my best friend & her family. Best of all I think it only rained once the whole three weeks I was there. Hot, Sunny & Clear weather in May-June on the West Coast =awesome.

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?

OMG. THE BURGER AT THE ROXTON. OMG, OMG I LOVE THIS BURGER. The Roxton is a little pub/restaurant at the base of our street. BF & I went there one night out of curiosity. I ended up having what is possibly the best burger of my life. The patty has this super soft texture and intense savory flavor. It actually tastes more like a gourmet slice of meat loaf than a mere patty. Its topped with caramelized onions and a thick slice of melted brie = heavenly. It was so delicious that I couldn’t stop thinking about this burger for days. I had a burger love hangover (and I didn’t need no cure!). I wanted to crawl inside the soft sesame seed bun, hug this burger, and possibly make sweet love to it. If I was a dude, I’d take it behind a middle school and give it the Tracy Jordon treatment. (in hopes that maybe it would give birth to a multitude of bite sized baby burgers. Mmm baby burgers). I realize how disturbing all of this sounds but, it really is that good.

December 3 Article. What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious’d and referenced throughout the year.

Hmm, nothing really comes to mind right at this moment. I did really enjoy this video, – a humorous feminist critique of the Twilight movies. A must watch, if like me you’re NOT a Twilight fan.

December 4 Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

Push by Sapphire. (the book the film “Precious” is based on). I’m not sure what to say about this book that hasn’t already been said. This book will haunt you. Its a disturbing story, but also a hopeful one. I read this book in one sitting while curled up on my couch (periodically wiping my eyes). Because of the subject matter (abuse, incest, etc) I haven’t given away any copies of the book because honestly, I don’t think most of my friends would enjoy reading it. I’ll leave that to Oprah (who apparently has been promoting the film/book in a big way since its success at Sundance)

(If you’re interested, I really enjoyed this blog entry about one person’s reaction to the book)

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

Dancing the night away to legendary house DJ Lil Louis with Melissa and John. I really had a good time that night and that party came at a time when I really, really just needed to get out & dance. And that we did! I danced until my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk. Definitely one of my favorite house sets I’ve seen in a really long time. Good music & Good friends.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

In the Spring of 2009, I spent a week in Quebec City at a conference (for my old job). I had to use my French so much that by the end of the week, there was a noticeable improvement in how well I was able to speak. I even had a few dreams in French–something that hasn’t happened to me since I was a kid.

Other highlights included going on a bit of a shopping spree at Simon’s, eating tons of good food, going to a nightclub that seriously resembled the set of “A Night at the Roxbury” (think lots of neon lights and a general “trapped in the 90’s vibe”) & getting hit on by a creepy old guy who kept asking me if I wanted to “get natural with him”. I’m not sure what that means and I’m not sure I want to find out!

And lastly, coming home with the realization that English Canada is kind of boring.

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year:

What I Wore & Makeunder My Life are two that I discovered this year. Both are stellar blogs written by creative ladies who are forging their own careers. Very inspiring!

(Stay tuned for December 8th and 9th!)

Is anyone else interested in joining the blog challenge with me?

Holiday Cards

Today is my day off. I had this big plan that I’d wake up early and spend the whole day writing and being productive. Neither happened. Last night was my company Christmas party. The party started off at Maro, then around 2am a few of us headed over to The Drake for more drinks before last call. There was talk of going to an after-hours place, but BF and I headed home around 3-3:30am. Lots of cocktails & fun times with the work ladies = YES. Early morning and clear head = Not so much.

Instead, I spent the day in bed, catching up on my shows and watching the first light snow of the year fall outside my window. Actually not a bad way to spend a really cold day. Maybe it was the holiday themed episode of Grey’s Anatomy I watched or the snow outside, but I started to feel really Christmas-ey.

One thing I have always loved about this time of year is sending and receiving Holiday cards. I used to like helping my Mom with her Christmas cards when I was a kid. Once I got older, I started sending out cards of my own. Last year I bought some really great cards, but was too busy/stressed with work to send them out. So, I was thinking…

Since this is Skinny Dip’s first Christmas, I thought it would be really fun to send out holiday cards to my readers!
(Because who doesn’t enjoy receiving fun mail?)

If you would like to receive a holiday card from me, please email me your address to skinnydipblog [AT] Or if we’re friends in real life, send me a facebook message! Don’t be shy!! Let me send you pretty snail mail!

Tomorrow (once my brain is working properly again) I plan on blogging up a storm (I have some more stories about dating/sex/relationships that I’m working on, as well as the usual dose of fashion thrown in) so stay tuned.

What’s your favorite thing to do during the holidays?


When I randomly stumbled across this photo tonight I realized that I need to add something to “my before 30 list“:

Read Madonna’s Sex book.

I know this seems like a weird thing to add, but let me give you some background information. I was a HUGE Madonna fan as a kid & early teen. Anyone who knew me back then can testify: my room was covered in posters and I had a Madonna scrap book that I think is still kicking around somewhere in my Mom’s storage room. Most importantly I had all her tapes (and then eventually CDs). I knew all the words to all the songs and used to make up dance routines (usually based on the real choreography) to an audience of zero in my pink bedroom. I was Twelve in 1992 when her book Sex came out. My Mom apprehensively allowed me to purchase her Erotica album (released at the same time), but obviously the Sex book was completely off limits.

I was always curious about this mysterious book. However, this was long before the days of the internet–the only way to see what was inside it would have been to purchase it. Purchasing it was out of the question. The book was wrapped and stored behind the desk at the bookstore, only available for purchase if you were over the age of 18. I’m sure I could have got my hands on it if I had been really resourceful. Rumor had it that a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend baby-sat for a couple who had a copy. This girl had read the book cover to cover. We decided she was a legend but also a “total PERV”. Although I was a precocious teen, I was also a good kid and I knew that this book was off limits for a reason. Plus, I didn’t want to be a “total perv” that like chick or the weird couple who owned it. Now looking back, I’m pretty sure neither party actually existed.

By the time I was actually old enough to buy the book, my interest in Madonna had waned and I had long forgotten about it.

I wasn’t until I saw that photo tonight that I was reminded that I never DID read it. But why?

It all seems kind of ridiculous now. I think it falls in the same category as skinny dipping (in the literal sense of the word). It seems like something I should have done but haven’t (despite having done much crazier things). Maybe I haven’t read the book because part of me still doesn’t feel like an adult.

So, before I turn 30 in September, I’m going to go out and find a copy of the book (preferably purchase my own copy), rip off the silver condom wrapper style packaging and read it cover to cover.

Although I’m not that into Madonna’s newer music or what’s she’s up to lately, she is still an iconic part of my growing up. Looking back, her strong, independent, no holds bared attitude towards sex has shaped the way I see my own sexuality to a certain extent. I owe it to myself to read the book.

Be an adult.

Read it. Hopefully enjoy it. Cross it off the list.

(Just don’t tell my mom)

I Left My Heart in Seattle

The rainy, drizzly weather we’ve been having this week has inspired me to write about something I noticed a few months ago:


I realize this isn’t exactly ground breaking new information. If you’re like me and obsessively read fashion blogs when you should be doing other things (ie. updating your own blog) you have probably noticed that trends from the 90’s are back in a big way.

This hit home when I was out shopping and noticed one of my favorite stores is now carrying its own version of “Grunge”: designer flannel plaid shirts, pricey long johns, reissued band shirts and distressed, ripped, ill fitting baggy jeans (that cost well over $300). It all just seemed so wrong to me.

I grew up on an island off the West Coast of Canada, about 2 hours north of Seattle (by boat). By the time I entered high school the music and look of Seattle had hit the mainstream. I wasn’t as into the music as most of my friends (by then I had already started reading Vibe and had become obsessed with hip hop and R&B) but I still played Hole’s “live through this” album on repeat, wore baggy jeans, big plaid shirts & little flowered dresses with combat boots—we all did. But back then, getting this look was a DIY affair: my favorite pair of baggy jeans were a pair that used to belong to my Dad (Thanks Dad!), plaid shirts could be purchased at Value Village or a men’s work wear store, combat boots from the Military Surplus place downtown etc. With the exception of buying your Doc Martens, the whole point of this look was that it wasn’t meant to be expensive.

I’m starting to understand how my Mom must have felt when the “hippie” look came back. I remember leafing through a Vogue editorial that featured patch-work bellbottoms, as she scoffed “We used to make all those kinds of things ourselves. You couldn’t just buy it in a store

I have this rule about RETRO clothing: You should only wear clothing & trends from decades where you weren’t actually alive to enjoy it the first time. I love the feminine styles of the 50’s & 60’s however the 90’s are too close to home. High school was an awkward time. Why dress like you’re still there? Sometimes its good to leave things behind. I think this is why my Mom still has a giant hate-on for all things polyester & 1970’s.

There are a few trends from the 90’s that I don’t hate. My favorite look in high school was a pretty, vintage-y, floral dresses paired with tough boots or some other contrasting footware . Think Bridget Fonda in Singles or Winona Ryder in Reality Bites*. I think this mix of Pretty & Tough can be adapted for today. Thus, the inspiration for the two looks in today’s collage.

(*My younger, plaid shirt clad coworker asked me the other day, “Who’s Winona Ryder?”. I wanted to cry)

On the left: “1992”. A literal translation of grunge featuring: a flannel plaid shirt, the ubiquitous Current Elliott boyfriend Jean, Nirvana tee, shapeless long johns, floppy hat & Docs. I respect that the kids out there think this look is cute but there is no way you’re going to catch me leaving the house dressed like a roadie for Lollapalooza.

On the right: “2009”: My favorite look from the 90’s adapted for today. Floral dresses, paired with black tights, and some lace-up boots. The boots featured above are from Tory Burch and look scarily similar to a pair I owned in 11th grade but I think they are updated enough to look modern. Throw on my motorcycle jacket, the floppy gray hat from Look #1 and I’m ready to hit the coffee shop to hang out with Cliff & the gang. Its chic and doesn’t scream out “I just haven’t left the coffee shop or changed my look since 1992**”.

**a look that’s popular in my hometown (unfortunately)

What’s a trend that you will never wear?

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