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5 beautiful Apple watch bands

5 beautiful Apple watch bands

I’ve had my Apple Watch for awhile now, because I stayed up until midnight to preorder it. Because I am like that.

I have a space grey 38mm one, with the black sports band. The Apple sports band is very comfortable, and actually much less SPORTS than it looks in pictures. However, it’s hard not to start looking into replacement straps pretty much straight away. Here are my favourite options so far.

CASETIFY_greymarble

Casetify Make your own band with your own photos, or pick from their selection of patterns. Personally, I am loving this faux marble one.

MakerGrafix_leatherred

Maker Grafix Traditional leather watch bands have their own appeal. Get your initials stamps on the inner side too.

CUBIFY_bluefibre

Cubify Very tactile, these 3D-printed nylon bands come in several colours and a few different textures.

LEATHERSY_brownstrap

Leathersy Bespoke leather strap with minimalist single peg closure? Yes please. Vegetable-dyed, and gorgeous.

MONOWEAR_greynylon

Monowear The nylon strap with the multiple loops has a nice utilitarian thing going, a little bit tougher than the sports band.

 

Images courtesy Casetify, Maker Grafix, Cubify, Leathersy, and Monowear, respectively.

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Five essentials for my bike commute

Five essentials for my bike commute

Bike to Work week is coming up soon here in Vancouver, and this year I actually do ride my bike to work. Albeit a few days a week, and it’s only a 8-10 minute ride. However, thanks to some serious research and great gear, it feels easy. I am not a CYCLIST. I don’t change when I get to work, I don’t go super fast, I wear heels. My bike is a lovely Raleigh step-through with a basket. As with many exercise-related endeavours, it pays to get some bits that you love, that will also make doing the exercise easier. Here are mine:

Cleverhood rain cape. This being Raincouver, if I decided not to bike every time it rained, I would never bike. I have yet to find a raincoat that doesn’t make me feel like I’m slowly stewing in my own juices, so the open bottom of this rain poncho is ideal. Not only that, it allows me to wear all normal clothes underneath, including whatever layers I need for the cold. The houndstooth is woven with reflective fibres, so shows up clearly in dark rainy weather, but looks normal and cool in daylight. The hood fits under my helmet, and the thumb loops help me keep the cape on while cycling. I’ve had endless compliments on it whenever I show up somewhere, which is better than ‘whoa, it’s really raining out, isn’t it?’ the subtext being ‘you look like you waded through the ocean to get here’. The clincher for me: made in the US by decently paid workers. Cleverhood rain cape.

straw pannier, image credit: Le Vélo Victoria

image credit: Le Vélo Victoria

Bobbin Bicycles straw pannier. I love my pannier dearly, and it took months of research to find. I am not a sporty cyclist, as mentioned above. So, I didn’t want a pannier that was all rubberized and reflective-y. I saw photos of this straw pannier around Pinterest, but for the life of me couldn’t find a stockist anywhere. It seemed to be discontinued. I tracked it to Holland, but then got lost in a maze of Dutch bicycle sites. Finally, I found the wonderful Le Vélo in Victoria, BC, and they carry it. I was so obsessed, they emailed me as soon as the pre-order was available. I fit my laptop, a bento box, a small mason jar with snacks, a notebook, and my little Cambridge Satchel Company bag in here, with my rain cape folded on top. It’s treated, so a little rain is no problem. Super secure on my rear rack and it stands up well on its own, so loading and unloading it is simple. Bobbin Bicycles straw pannier, Le Vélo in Canada, Eleanor’s in the US.

jockies

Jockey skimmies. As I mentioned, I cycle in regular clothes. In the summer months, that means a lot of dresses. These little shorts are thin and light, and come in a variety of non-underwear colours, so when you accidentally flash someone, it looks like bike shorts and not, well, underwear. They are super comfortable to wear, and if you get any thigh rub, this solves that whole problem too. They come in longer and shorter lengths, and loads of sizes. Jockey skimmies slip shorts. Hudson’s Bay in Canadain the US.

Barista coffee cup holder. I often make my coffee before I leave, and then when I pull up to a light, I sit back and have a sip. People point at me from cars, they are so impressed with my set-up. I’ve had many people watch me walk up to my bike at the rack, plunk my half-finished coffee in my holder and get on with leaving, make that ‘ahhhhh – now that’s a good idea’ noise. I know, right? Why rush your coffee drinking if you don’t have to? Portland Design Works Barista coffee cup holder, from MEC in Canada, from PDW in the US.

CharlestonGoldS

Bandbox bike helmet with cover(s). There are opinions about helmets, and that’s fine. I wear one. This helmet is the one thing on the list I don’t actually own yet, right now I wear this super cute one. I am in love with these helmets though. You buy the base helmet, and then can choose hat-like covers for it. Straw hats! Wool felt cloches! I am obsessed with this, and I think I want about three of them. Love. It. Bandbox helmet and covers. image credit: Bandbox

Finally, if anyone has any leads on a decent skirt guard, let me know. Enjoy your commute!

PS – Panniers that look cool. Really.

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Things I love: Shoes of Prey

Things I love: Shoes of Prey
shoes of prey
My new soft grey leather oxfords, problem solved!

 

Last spring, I finally realized that the pair of soft grey oxfords I had bought four years ago had fallen apart. Properly, completely fallen apart. I searched everywhere for a replacement, but nothing quite worked for me.

Then, I found Shoes of Prey.

This is one of those make your own shoes online sites. What drew me to this one, besides the truly awesome name, is their reasonable prices and 365 day return or remake.

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Things I love: great selection of heel heights, massive selection of colours, up-to-date shapes.

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I threw together this d’orsay flat in a cool floral snake imprint leather that I’m pretty keen on, $129 Canadian. I have another pair of much-loved gently pointed black flats that has ended its natural life, and I was bemoaning finding another until I remember I could MAKE SOME. This is perfect for those who struggle finding the shoes they love in the heel height they are comfortable in. If you don’t know where to start, browsing the gallery will give you some ideas, and the Style Advice section is a good resource of curated ideas using the newest shapes and materials.

At the end of all that, your shoes arrive in a gorgeous box with a cloth bag, wrapped with a piece of real ribbon. It’s lovely. And I’m off to go design my new black flats right now…

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How to make this centrepiece for $15 from IKEA bits

How to make this centrepiece for $15 from IKEA bits

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Standing in the As-Is department of IKEA, I came up with the idea for this centrepiece. I am a sucker for fake flowers. Real ones are beautiful, obviously, but I try to stick to things grown close by and in the end of November in Canada, there isn’t much around. So when I spotted branches of less-than-perfect white ones for 59¢, I dug around the garish pink blossoms to come up with three nice stems. If your As-Is department comes up empty, the regular stems run about $1.29 – $2.99 each, I used three here.

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The vase is the bigger of the two ENSIDIG vase sizes ($2.99), and I filled the centre of it with two strands of the SÄRDAL LED light strings with the battery pack attached ($3.99/each). Cramming the artificial flower stems inside and pressed along the outside edge disguises the battery packs. Just pull some of the lights around so you’ve got some poking out the top and some illuminating flowers from behind.

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Lovely things: short wellies

Lovely things: short wellies

short-wellies

 

Ah, autumn. In Vancouver, that means days and days (and days) of drizzle. While big Hunter boots are everywhere, and I do love my Ilse Jacobsen wellies for epic downpour days, they feel like overkill when it’s just a regular rainy day.

Ankle-height wellies that look more like regular boots are what I’m looking for this autumn, and I found some interesting ones. Clockwise from top…

1 // ASOS Gamble wellies

2 // däv Glasgow boot

3 // Joe Fresh Moto Rain Boots

4 // Mel by Melissa Big Plum in navy

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