30 Day Writing Challenge Day 10 - The Joy of Retail Therapy - It Does Workl!!!!!

Realized we forgot to snag a new pic together,
so using this one from a previous outing!
A few pounds added over the holidays, a significant and intimidating birthday number, and voila - not feeling all that positive about myself in this moment.  While I arranged to meet my friend Colleen Tsoukalas of Clothesline Finds to have lunch and enjoy a walk around downtown Vancouver yesterday, a part of me just wanted to cocoon at home on the couch to nap, read and watch TV.

Somehow I managed to get myself dressed - no makeup - and out the door only 15 minutes late.  It was a challenge, but I was determined not to cancel.  Turns out it was the best thing I could have done.  Walking, laughing, bitching about the absurdities of life, and sharing stories with a good friend is a game changer.  My mood lifted more each minute.

For a focus this time, we decided to visit two unique Vancouver boutiques we love. We know the owners, they are artists/designers in their own right, and they are a lot of fun to connect with. After a break for lunch, we decided to hit one more and popped into a third we both adore on the way to transit.  Each stop was amazing and I decided this time out to indulge myself a little. It was time for a few new clothes that suited the body I had right now.

First stop was a visit with designer and visual artist Terry Sasaki in the Pan Pacific Hotel where he has both the Sasaki Art Gallery and a great clothing/jewellery boutique.  Terry has such great, positive energy. I am always greeted with a smile and a hug.  He helped me pull 4-5 items that all looked great on me.  As well, he showed me a few tricks of the trade to change how I wore them just a bit, from hidden buttons to ways to drape the front that would need a brooch.  It was hard to pick just one, but pick I did. I chose a jacket constructed from a mix of prints in dark grey and tan that has a hint of Japanese in the design.

Stop number two was with our friend Vaneesha Soni - Kapade boutique owner and jewellery designer under the label Designs by Sonia.  Vaneesha also has a smile and hug waiting as you enter and she offers European designs exclusive to her store. I love the less is more design work featured in the clothing, the unique draping, the wonderful fabrics as well as interesting accents. Several unusual jewellery lines, luxurious handbags and even shoes are there to complete your look. I gave myself permission to try on a whole raft of clothing this time. So much fun. With Vaneesha's help, I settled on an asymmetrical olive green top with zipper detail and a pair of unique draped black pants that I felt fabulous in.

After a delicious Greek lunch of Chicken Souvlaki at The Greek By Anatoli in Gastown (the service was wonderful), we started walking to the Skytrain station. On the way we passed one of my fav funky shops - Global Atomic Designs. I couldn't resist popping in and neither could my friend. Turns out it's a fav of hers too.

Global Atomic is where I go to find something out of the box and I am NEVER disappointed.  Every time I pop in, Rich helps me find just the right piece to add to the treasures in my closet. Usually I pick out what I want to try on. This time I asked him to show me what's new that he thought I would like. It was his fourth or fifth pick that hit the mark - a  long black slim cut Italian tunic with multiple straps and buckles attached. You can buckle them together in tons of ways to change the shape of the tunic. I made him show me two so I had some idea of how to wear it.

This was a rarity for me. I don't have a big clothing budget, so usually invest wisely one item at a time. But for just one day, I needed to relax the reins a little bit and enjoy the ride. The company, the food, the amazing one-on-one service at the boutiques, the clothes that helped me feel special and just walking in the rare January sunshine all did the trick.  I came home relaxed and with a smile on my face.

So there you go - retail therapy does work. But remember, unless you have an unlimited budget, you have to indulge it only rarely and wisely or the joy is obliterated when your credit card bill comes in.  That day I still stayed within a limit that was do-able and know that I can't do this again for awhile.  So like they say at the lottery corp - know your limit and stay within it. 

Looking forward to when I can indulge again and I'll be picking three totally different local boutiques to explore next time.  I love shopping local and we have so many crazy wonderful choices here!!!!