I have only been a blogger for a mere four months, but I thought I would share with you some of my best moments from this past year. Here is a peek into my life pre-FashionByNight (and a bit post- as well).

The Olympic Torch came to New Westminster

Partying Dutch style, at the Holland House 

My family at Molson Hockey House, for my dad's birthday, on Valentine's Day, the day Canada won its' first gold medal

My brother (Felix Cartal) dj'ing during the Olympics

Attending an Olympic curling match

My birthday, on the last day of Olympics, when Canada won the Olympic Gold Medal in hockey

My new apartment

Attending the John Mayer concert in Vancouver

Mod-podge crafts with my grade three's for Father's Day 

Hiking Mount Seymour with my parents

Hiking The Chief

Running the Scotiabank Half Marathon

Visiting Spain with my family

Blogging about fashion

Attending Vancouver Fashion Week 

Happy New Year!



            It seems like yesterday I was ringing in 2010, and now another whole year has come and gone. I feel as I get older, time flies by at alarming speed. But, as I get older, I realize that time does in fact FLY BY and so we must make the best of it. Cheers to making the best of life, taking chances and never regretting them, and wearing whatever you like J

            Here are a few holiday gifts I got from my family. Boy do they know me well.

Canucks shirt: Roots

Scarves: Red - Wilfred from Aritizia, Camel - Club Monaco

Sequined Cardigan: Jacob

Gold Leaf Earrings: Violette Vendor (in Victoria)

Jeweled Shoes: Sam Edelman (but they are a size too big, so I'm waiting for a pair being shipped from Montreal. Absolute torture not being able to wear them!)

Christmas Cards from family and students

Camera: Nikon (been taking pictures of everything with it!)

My brother and I at the Canucks game on Boxing Day, family tradition!

        Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I can’t wait to party the night away at my brother’s show, FELIX CARTAL with MSTRKRFT at Hastings Racetrack. Perhaps I will see some of you there! Have a wonderful night and I will see you all in 2011!



                  There are so many things I love about Christmas spent at home. Decorations are so familiar, my mom always adorning the house the same way each year. New Westminster is a little town full of heritage houses, and so my mom and dad have made our place as antique-y as possible. “At home: the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.” And I can honestly say that my parents’ house feels loving and comfortable whenever I am there. What else do I love? Smoked salmon on croissants for Christmas morning breakfast, Grandpa sitting in the same chair he always does every year, and how someone always brings up the time my mom threw five dollars in the fire (accidentally).
                 Getting ready for Christmas party number six, with my dress...

My cat Shredder follows me everywhere when I'm home. This makes it difficult to apply makeup...

Dress: Made by me!
Shoes: Aldo
Bow ring and earrings: Kate Spade
Diamond ring: Club Monaco
Nail color: Sally Hansen in Emerald City

Christmas morning

Yum! Mom's holiday baking

Grandpa Joe, in his chair, playing with a puppet I got for Christmas to use in my classroom



                Before I was a French teacher, I was a music teacher, and before that, I was a classical musician. Classical piano, more specifically, earning my Royal Conservatory of Toronto performance certification before going to university and then studying piano at UVic. I do not have a piano at my place and I rarely play when I visit my folks (my piano rests at their home), but undeniably, the classical-musician side of me peeks through every day. Over the past few weeks I have indulged in some classical-music-listening that often reminds me of Christmas. I saw this piece performed when I lived in Victoria by a university choir who sung at the downtown church, and I was left speechless. To this day I get goosebumps every time I listen to it. Voila: Eric Whitacre’s Sleep, conducted by himself.

           Hopefully that song gives you chills, or at least ignites some warm holiday spirit inside you. But if you are not the classical, choral music style of person, I give you a list of my preferred seasonal tracks. Some depict the festive season, some sing about winter, and others are just lovely. Enjoy!

The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #1 Tunnels
Band of Horses – The First Song
Band of Skulls – Cold Fame
The Chemical Brothers – Snow
David Gray – This Year’s Love
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Carries On
Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes – Heard Them Stirring
Mumford & Sons – After The Storm
The National – Green Gloves
The National - England
Patrick Watson – The Great Escape
Radiohead – Nude
Spoon – Goodnight Laura
Stereophonics – Caravan Holiday
The Swell Season – Low Rising
Vampire Weekend – Horchata
The Weepies – Antarctica



              The constant battle of my wardrobe always argues the recurring question: dress to be comfortable? or dress to be stylish? How many times have I gone out and realized I am wearing inappropriate shoes for an occasion, cursing my lack of sensible judgement while opting for heels instead of flats? Countless. How many times have I needed to buy new shoes while out somewhere to save my feet from intensifying pain? Numerous. (My shoe collection gradually increases due to this problem.) When do I choose suitable, wearable items that trump fashionable? Almost never. But alas my day has come to choose something practical. Behold - the perfect slouchy sweatpants I found while shopping for Christmas presents for my family (anyone else have trouble NOT buying things for yourself while shopping for others?). I have been looking for pants like these for a long time, and finally, Joe Fresh has come to my non-functional-clothing rescue. The dedicated Sex and the City fan I am, I stole the look from Carrie Bradshaw who sported sweats with heels years ago. Naturally I paired my own sweats with lovely maroon two-inch heels while out on the town with my family during the day. Yes, call me a martyr with this outfit, but it's just so adorable. Which I guess is the thinking that gets me into trouble in the first place... Looks like stylish wins again...

*I can’t get enough of my Kate Spade bow ring, I’ve worn it every day for the past two weeks!

Sweatpants: Joe Fresh
Yellow T-shirt: Club Monaco
Black zip-up: Champion
Fur&Sequined hooded jacket: Forever21
Heels: Pierre Michel
Earrings & Bow Ring: Kate Spade
Diamond ring: Club Monaco



                  I have a feeling the next week will be lacking in posts due to the holiday vacation, but here is just a baby one. Today was family brunch we attend every year with my dad's sister's family, although this year was much more exciting than usual. My cousin's adorable baby boy, now eight months old, kept us highly entertained. I come from a small family, so it is very special to have a new addition. And although in the past I have not been much into babies, this little one and I get along quite well. He constantly smiles, (especially at the ladies in the family), wears Canucks slippers, and seems to find some item of jewelry I am wearing to be interested in (today he was mesmerized by my Kate Spade bow ring). He is pretty much my dream baby. Now the familial peculiarities that occur when we get together with this side of the family - continuous references or direct quotes from Seinfeld or South Park, lengthy discussions on hockey stats, so many obvious jokes missed or misheard - will be passed on to another generation. Gotta love tradition.

With my brother, my mom, my dad, and the new baby

Navy pants / Striped shirt / Chiffon blazer: Club Monaco
Scarf: from Brazil
Purse: H&M
Bow ring / Earrings: Kate Spade
Nail Polish: Sally Hansen in Emerald City

    Happy Holidays everyone!