So ethical at Dalhousie University

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Representing the University of Alberta at the Scotiabank Ethics in Action Case Competition. We got 3rd place!

The case consisted of a 10-day prepared case that we worked on before going to Halifax, and a 3-hour case at Dalhousie University. The 3-hour case is intense: they locked our 4-person team in a room and we had 3 hours to read the case, come up with a solution, and make a PowerPoint. Shortly after we prepared the case, we were live in front of the judges presenting on a solution made up just a couple hours before. As this was an ethics competition, the solution was even more difficult because it had to be solid from an ethical perspective as well as making good business sense. Balancing the moral and monetary stakes in the solution made this one of the most challenging and rewarding cases I’ve ever done.

Although there was a huge academic component, there were also two wonderful dinners and an after-party where our team got to meet other undergrad and MBA teams from all across the country. After the case competition, our team decided to extend our stay in Halifax for three more days. From Alberta it’s an expensive flight that we wouldn’t be making any time soon, so it was totally worth it to stay the extra days.

We spent our time renting a car and visiting Peggy’s Cove (the most photographed lighthouse in the world!), taking a ferry to Dartmouth (another city just across the waterway), and walking around downtown Halifax. Coming from Alberta the buildings in Halifax were just incredible. The oldest buildings in Edmonton are pushing 100, so it was neat to see the architectural style of the 200+ year-old buildings.

Speaking of history, we took a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary brewery tour. Right before we started the tour, Derek was a bit skeptical and said “once you’ve seen one brewery tour, you’ve seen them all”. In this instance, boy was he proven wrong. The brewery tour turned out to be more like an interactive play, with all the tour guides in historical costumes guiding you through Keith’s brewery. The guides even performed a beautiful song, told us an anecdote, and taught us an old-fashioned card game. I was a bit grumpy about paying $20 for a brewery tour, but it was totally worth it. We all loved the tour so much that we drank nothing but Keith’s the rest of the trip!

But my favourite thing about Halifax is the nightlife. With 5 universities in Halifax alone, the bars stay open til 4am (compared to 2am here, which feels like a race against the clock!), and they are busy every night of the week. Our extended trip was from Sunday-Tuesday and we went out to bustling bars all three days of what I thought would be the slow part of the week. In fact, our flight was at 6am on Wednesday, so we ended up not paying for a hotel room that night and staying out all night and catching a taxi to the airport at 4am. Now that’s what I call smart travelling.
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THE HAUL

Blazer: Suzy Shier // Top: Workhall // Skirt: Zara // Shoes: Ralph Lauren

Am I basic yet?

 

plaid and converse via Pink Pencil Skirt

I just wanna wear what I wanna wear. Is that just so basic or what?

University of Alberta Starter Pack

In response to the U of A Starter Pack. A little bit of background: here at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton, some girls have really taken a liking to pulling together an outfit by wearing plaid, converse (most likely white), a ball cap, and a Contigo travel mug. Gemma Marcincoski aptly dubbed this the “University of Alberta Starter Pack” and posted it on the UAlberta Confessions Facebook page. This post went viral, and in the comments it was declared that this is definitely something a basic would wear.

What’s a basic? Well this time last year I would have told you that a basic (noun, not verb) or a basic bitch is a girl that wears uggs, leggings, a circle scarf, and drinks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. But seriously, the PSL comments are getting a bit old folks. Unless that PSL is in a Contigo mug, then your joke is still relevant.

But on a broader scale, calling someone a basic is a way to “pejoratively describe people who like popular, mainstream products”. In other words, calling someone a basic is an attack on their person for buying into popular trends. Calling someone a basic is at best calling them a little boring, and at worst calling them a robot-of-a-human.

Now that I’m done catching up everyone who missed 2014, let’s talk about this. Don’t get me wrong, the collage is hilarious, but as a young lass that likes to keep up with trends, I resent that my originality and even intelligence is questioned if I’m wearing “the uniform”. I’m not going to tell you that this is horribly offensive or that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I will defend basics as rational purchasers (’cause I’m a marketing student).

I’ve owned uggs, don’t care for pumpkin lattes, worn leggings, lived in Converse, tied plaid around my waist, and didn’t get the Contigo memo. For the most part, these are useful, functional products. Uggs really do keep you warm in the winter, leggings are a great alternative to sweat pants, and Converse truly is the most versatile shoe ever. I could see why people would criticize completely absurd or uncomfortable products that girls started wearing for no reason. But c’mon, we’re young girls that like to be comfortable. And if something is comfortable and on-trend, that’s all the more reason to wear it.

So my point is: unlike our critics would have you believe, maybe we’re not all dumb, mindless zombies that blindly bow down to the Tumblr fashion verdict. On the contrary, these products are popular because they are good products, both in their functionality and appearance (Uggs being the one very ugly exception). Buying the “it” item was still a rational purchase decision, with the awareness that it’s a popular item that happens to suit your needs.

So don’t tell me that I’m desperate to “fit in” because I spent $80 on lululemon leggings. I spent $80 on lululemon leggings because I saw girls wearing them, thought “damn, that looks fantastic”, assessed all the advantages of owning a pair, tried them on, thought they looked good, and bought them. If it didn’t look good or suit my needs, I wouldn’t have bought them. Most people don’t just blindly follow trends, they follow trends that work for them.

But yes, I will admit that tons of girls were wearing lulus before I owned a pair. Indeed, I bought them because other girls owned them – how else would I have known about it? But of course, this is exactly what a basic would say. Clearly, the fact that I bought something that other people were wearing before me is irrefutable evidence that I am a slave to mass culture and have no rational decision-making power. I should have been scouring Etsy for one-of-a-kind clothing, anything less really says a lot about my intelligence as a human being.

And guess what else, you non-basic people you: the fact that something is popular doesn’t faze us. It doesn’t matter if everyone else is wearing Chucks as long as it’s a faithful shoe. You’re criticizing us for wearing something popular, but you would not buy something because it’s popular. And that’s really too bad, because you’re missing out on some really kick-ass shoes just to look original. It’s kind of like when some hipster – oh I’m sorry, do you not like labels? – decides they hate The Beatles because they’re “overrated”.

plaid and converse via Pink Pencil Skirt plaid and converse via Pink Pencil Skirtplaid and converse via Pink Pencil Skirt

Look at me being so basic with my plaid tied around my waist while wearing all stars. Gals: wear what you love and make it your own. Buy whatever you want to buy, and infuse it with your own personality. Follow trends if, and only if, they suit your taste, sense of style, body type, and needs. Shown above: demonstrating my ability to discern that while 2/4 items in the Starter Pack suit my personal style, a ball cap isn’t in the mix.

THE HAUL

Dress: Aritzia. Plaid: Ralph Lauren Denim. Shoes: Converse.

Crops & thigh highs

fall outfit on Pink Pencil Skirt fall outfit on Pink Pencil Skirt fall outfit on Pink Pencil Skirtfall outfit on Pink Pencil Skirt

Wearing crop tops into fall is easy with a high waisted skirt & cardi. I love my crop tops too much to say good bye for the season! Also, love this trick of putting thigh highs on lace tights. When I wore thigh highs on bare skin I find that they slip down, but on lace tights they stay right up!

THE HAUL

Crop: Urban Outfitters. Skirt: Zara. Thigh-high tights: Urban Outfitters.

How to Charcuterie

How to make a charcuterie board

 

Charcuterie! What is charcuterie you ask? Only the most delightful way to enjoy an evening, that’s all. But really, it’s the classy way to say a meat and cheese platter. Although the title may have lead one astray, charcuterie is not a verb. Sorry, it should have said “how to put together a charcuterie”. But c’mon. “How to Charcuterie” sounds so much better.

Charcuterie boards/ antipasto platters have become a really popular appetizer at restaurants, with places like Cavern and Cured specializing in the art of the meat and cheese platter. While it’s a great thing to get for a night out, I couldn’t help but notice how simple it is to put together yourself for a gathering or a night in.  Last night I had some friends over for wine and charcuterie before heading to Nuit Blanche (more updates on Nuit to come).

Here is the art of charcuterie, in a few basic principles.

How to make a charcuterie board

The charcuterie starter kit

The shopping trip. In this city, the Italian Centre is the best place to go for charcuterie supplies. They have incredible deli counter service and a wide range of high quality meats. This is your one stop shop for charcuterie in Edmonton, and the best part is they are happy to let you sample their meats and cheeses. In other cities, I recommend seeking out a European grocerer, or a regular supermarket will do just fine as well.

The golden rule of charcuterie: minimalism

Do not overwhelm the palate with gorges of various meats and cheeses. Do not overcrowd the platter. This is not the ’90s. We’re not filling a platter with a thick layer of ham and turkey and cheddar cheese anymore. Ideally, none of the elements should be touching one another. Separate those meats and cheeses! Do not over-serve the platter either. If you are concerned it will not be enough for your guests, you can always restock the platter later.

The golden number for a charcuterie: 3 meats. 3 cheeses. 2 miscellaneous. 1 bread.

With that in mind, the meats I picked up were: prosciutto, hot capicollo, and salami al prosciutto. You don’t want all sausages or all prosciutto-like meats. Go for three meats that give a wide variety of texture and flavour experiences. That being said, I like to stick to all ham products instead of mixing the meats.

As for cheeses: a goat brie, piave vecchio, and Swiss raclette. Brie is a classic in charcuterie because its softness makes it great to spread on crackers. Piave Vecchio is seriously one of the best cheeses I’ve ever tried, and it’s super unique due to its crumbly texture. When choosing your cheeses, I recommend opting for a variety of stronger and milder cheeses to create a flavour balance.

To tie everything together, it’s great to have some crackers. I picked up Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crips in the salty date & almond flavour. These chips are exquisite tasting and provide a great contrast to the other colours on the board.

And finally, you need a couple things that aren’t meat and cheese to complement the platter. For this platter, it was concord grapes and Sammarelli olives. Other options include, but are not limited to: strawberries, mushrooms, sauces or dips, nuts, dried fruit, and pickles.

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My baby

It’s all about the aesthetic

When arranging the platter, do not think logically. Let your artistic juices flow. While everything on the board will taste amazing, half the enjoyment is the visual stimulation that the platter create. With that in mind, the placement need not be what is most sensible. The meats need not all be together, unless that is what is best for the aesthetic. Is it inconvenient that I placed the crackers in the middle of the board instead of on a separate plate? Probably. But that’s where the crackers belonged. The canvas (or cutting board) was calling to them. Did basil really belong on this platter? Not really, no one ate it. But the platter was calling for some colour infusion.

Another common charcuterie mistake is cubing the cheese. Your guests are not infants, and it really ruins the look of the platter when all the cheese is pre-cut. Serve the cheese in blocks, perhaps with a few pieces pre-cut, and a strategically placed knife will do the trick.

And lastly, enjoy. Charcuterie is nothing without the great conversation and intimate atmosphere it creates. Let your taste buds soak in your beautiful masterpiece.

 

 

 

Wednesday @ WCFW

Western Canada Fashion Week Western Canada Fashion WeekTop: New Classics. Bottom: Suka. Back of one of my favourite hair/outfit combos of the show.

Western Canada Fashion Week – Wednesday September 23rd featuring New Classics, Suka and LUXX Ready to Wear.

What I saw @ …

New Classics – sweater crop tops, minimal crop tops, matron dress, wide legs, slick hair tucked into collars

Suka – kissed-by-the-ocean hair, leather, fabric-blocks, sheerness

LUXX – twins, yellow, draping, colour-blocks, Aboriginal themes, music: A Tribe Called Red

 

loose dress via Pink Pencil Skirt loose dress via Pink Pencil SkirtFolks, it’s Pink Pencil Skirt’s first fashion show ever, and here’s to many more! Casual look for a Wednesday night show.

THE HAUL

Dress: Zara. Shoes: Tom’s. Bag: Foreign.

this week in photos

LeMarchand Mansion by Pink Pencil SkirtMorning scene via Pink Pencil Skirt bun and halter top via Pink Pencil Skirt bun and halter top via Pink Pencil Skir

Thanks to the team at Every Wear Edmonton for the feature in the Edmonton Journal. It was a great day to be published as it was the launch day of the Edmonton Journal redesign/rebrand. The new website is lookin’ slick and is easy to navigate.

Later this week I put my hair up in a bun. Good ol’ Slowklap was claiming that people who don’t have enough hair or the skill to make a bun themselves don’t deserve to have buns. But I use bun shapers all the time, I said. We settled that it was OK if the bun shaper is small and not obnoxious. I can live with that.

Also wanted to send some archi-love to LeMarchand Mansion, in my opinion one of the most under appreciated buildings in the city. It’s a great place to begin a walk as it upwardly borders the river valley and Victoria Golf Course. There are a few old gems interspersed around the city, and this one is worth a bit of a detour.

 

enjoy

St Albert Enjoy Centreflower arrangement @ St Albert Enjoy CentreSt Albert Enjoy Centre, Glasshouse BistroGlasshouse Bistro, Enjoy Centrefossil sunglasses, enjoy centre

Who knew there were so many cool places to go just outside Edmonton? The Enjoy Centre is my latest find, located right in St. Albert. After hitting the St. Albert Farmers Market, we stopped by to see this massive structure- it’s part event venue, garden centre, grocery store, greenhouse, spa, and cafe. Don’t miss the Glasshouse Bistro & Cafe, which features expansive views, tons of natural lighting, and a wide variety of seating: anywhere from funky leather couches to crisp tables to upholstered booths. Definitely going to come back to Enjoy later this year for some sunshine therapy and to stroll around through all the beautiful plants.