Aritzia review and wish list 

Aritzia is a store that I did not enter for many years, for three reasons: 

1. Once when I went into the store, a sales associate immediately approached me and informed me they didn’t have anything in my size (around a 14 at the time). I was actually looking for a gift but I walked out and did not consider going back for years

2. I actually think a lot of the clothing is ugly. Boring colors, boxy unflattering shapes. Looking in the window does not inspire me to enter. 

3. It is out of my price range for the most part. 

However, recently my daughter informed me that leggings from TNA (an Aritzia house brand) were something she really really wanted. So I waited until Boxing Day sales, and I bought her a pair of the coveted leggings, then 3 more! The truth is the regular price is $22 so I didn’t really have to wait for them to go on sale, they are more expensive than her usual ($10-12 from Urban Planet or Ardene) leggings but not exorbitantly so. However I have a rule that we don’t buy anything that’s not on sale, unless it’s for a special occasion or necessity, and so I stuck to it. When I bought her the leggings, I decided to buy myself a pair too…because I do love leggings and they have such a great reputation. 

Since then, I have to admit that the TNA Equator leggings are amazing leggings! They are very comfortable, very flattering, do not lose their shape. I love that they have a nice wide waistband that doesn’t dig in or make lumps. The regular price of $22 for plain ones and $32 for patterned ones is not ridiculous, and they do go on (modest) sale regularly. I now have several pairs, and wear them quite often. (I do still love Old Navy compression leggings as well. At regular price they are actually more expensive for than the TNA but go on deep discount often, they have all the benefits of the TNA and are also a bit thicker and warmer, which makes me sometimes prefer them and sometimes prefer the lighter weight TNA ones). 

I have also purchased a TNA light winter jacket  (on sale), and have one of the scarves,  again purchased during a big sale.

So I guess I could say I’m a bit of a convert, since I do really enjoy everything I’ve bought from Aritzia. Also, obviously that rude sales associate is long gone, and I have never found any of the staff in the stores to be anything but kind and helpful! 

That said, in spite of my love for the few pieces I have, I still find most of the clothing boring and shapeless. But I was looking through the new arrivals online, and found a few things that deserves to be on my wish list. Likely I will never buy any of them unless it is at an end of season sale to save for next spring!

Owning it

As my hair has grown from nonexistent to a buzz cut to a very short pixie to a pretty typical pixie cut; I have learned to like it short…and unless they are all lying so does just about everybody I know. 

In spite of that, I have always thought that I needed to grow it back, and then if I still preferred it short I could cut it. After all, cancer took my hair away, and if it’s going to be short, it needs to be on my terms.

Something interesting happened to me today though, I went to the hairdresser to get it cleaned up and she said “Jill, you know if you keep getting your hair trimmed, it’s never going to grow back?”.

It occurred to me that I don’t care. So I said, “I don’t care”.

I realized it doesn’t matter if I wait for my hair to grow back or not. No matter whether I choose to cut or keep it short, it’s by my terms. Going through the awkwardness and time it takes to grow my hair back, all to possibly cut it short again, that’s pointless.

I like it the way it is now, so this is how it will stay for now.

Who knows, maybe in a few years I will decide to grow it again? Maybe in a few months I will? Maybe I won’t cut it again for two years and today’s epiphany will last but a moment?

But for now, I’ve decided to own my pixie! its not chemo hair anymore, its mine. I choose it.

Pixie time

A few weeks ago I realized my hair was finally long enough to have some curls. I was thrilled by this, as they seem to be similar to the big loose curls I had before.

This is okay

However, after a while I realized styling short curly hair is very difficult. There is nothing to weight it down, it’s hard to control the direction of the curls. Hats ruined it. It just wasn’t working.

This looks like crap

So I gave up and started wearing it straight again. My bangs are finally long enough that I don’t look like the Frankenstein monster when I wear them over my forehead.

I’ve spent the weekend reading up on Pixie styling, I think I am getting there:

Lipstick is NYX Lingerie in Lipli…love it!

* I never thought I would say this, but I have to admit I am very tempted to go to a good hairdresser, get it trimmed, and get them to teach me how to properly style and keep a pixie!
In other news, can I rock a zebra handbag or what?

Getting our bodies back

I just posted this in a group I’m in, and wanted to share it here, because I often see women posting about wanting to “get their bodies back” after having children. 

*I think it’s sad that we as women put so much pressure on ourselves to have the bodies we had before we had children. 

Look at your life now, is any of it the same as it was before you had children? I doubt it. 

Before you had children your body had not carried a child. Besides the physical changes that come from pregnancy and childbirth, you were younger, you had more free time, you had more sleep, you had less responsibilities. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be fit and healthy and have an attractive shape and size…but women need to stop looking back at their bodies before they had children and thinking that that’s the ideal.*

I will add that those of you that have known me for a long time know that I am actually thinner and fitter now than I was before I had children, so what I wrote and isn’t really in defence of myself, it’s what I think when I read other women beating themselves up for not looking the way they did before they had children. In time, some of us may get our bodies back and some of us may not, but there’s no reason for any of us to beat ourselves up for it. 

Surgically altered

I had my surgery last Tuesday (February 7th), it was called a laproscopic bilateral salpingo oopherectomy. Basically they made a hole in my belly button and put a camera in it, made two holes on the sides of my lower abdomen and used them to insert tools to remove and chop up my ovaries and Fallopian tubes, and then put a little baggie through a hole in my bikini line, dropped the ovaries and tubes into the little baggie, and pulled it back out. Obviously all this was done when I was asleep!

In most ways it was very similar to my last surgery. By the time I went to the operating room I was tired and hungry; I wasn’t scared though because I’ve done it before, I was actually eager to get that IV and go to sleep, because I knew when I woke up it would be over. Three hours after I went in, I woke up and it was over. I was home by dinner, tired but not in pain. 

The next few days were very difficult. Unlike my breast surgery, this surgery did come with a fair amount of pain. The incisions were painful, particularly the one in my belly button because every movement involves the belly button! The other thing that was painful was the gas and swelling in my stomach, evidently they pumped it with gas to better see my organs and chop them off. Because everyone kept telling me how easy and minor laparoscopic surgery is, and because my last surgery was not painful, I really didn’t expect to have pain. I wouldn’t say the pain was horrible, but I was definitely very uncomfortable for a couple days, and moderately uncomfortable for a couple more days. Sunday was the first day that I didn’t really feel much abdominal discomfort, and today was the first day that I had enough energy to do anything more than walk around the neighbourhood (which I have been forcing myself to do for the last couple days, because I know it’s good for me to move around). 

Weirdly, the only area I still have much pain is a cut above my belly button incision, that was not caused by the surgery at all but by a dressing that was badly applied and dug into my skin, causing something similar to a bad paper-cut! The rest of my abdomen still hurts if I move the wrong way, but it’s much better than it was. 

Tomorrow will be one week since the surgery, and I suspect that I will have a lot more energy then. That’s what happened after my last surgery, and so far the anesthesia fog has been the exact same…and I assume I’ve turned a corner. 

As for menopause symptoms, I’ve been told that they won’t be much different than when I was taking the shots that put me in menopause, and I hope that’s true. So far I haven’t noticed much difference! 

The bad thing about me being home and bored is… shopping! I bought two pairs of short boots (One from Amazon the other in person at Sears today, both Fergalicious brand) and two handbags from Aldo online: