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Hello readers!

Please note that my domain name has changed. You can now visit me at http://eastcoastbychoice.ca (please change your bookmarks and RSS feeds while I figure out how to redirect the site). Thanks for dropping by and I’ll see you in my new online home.

Regards,

Kimberly

aka @aliasgrace

Simon Pais-Thomas

Photo credit: Simon Pais-Thomas

In what seems like another life, I used to be quite the fashionista. During my early years of university I worked at a variety of retail clothing stores, from Le Chateau to Club Monaco to the Gap and finally Boutique Jacob. Because of my flare for style back then, I even got a gig as a merchandiser, a job that involved dressing up mannequins and display boards. It was like playing doll.

I became a clothes hog. Every paycheque went toward buying some new item to feed my addiction.

But eventually the reality of a career and life kicked in. No disrespect to the folks who make and earn a living as sales associates and retail store managers, but I needed to move on. I had to find “real work” where I could write and do the things that interested me most which meant no more beloved discounts (up to 50%!).

As the years went by, my wardrobe dwindled. I had to choose more carefully clothes that would outlast one season’s trends. Then, I decided to go back to school as a full-time mature student. There I fell into a wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts.

But it was worth it in the end. Though I may look shabby, today I’m in a dream job making good money to do what I love most: writing, reading, and interacting. It also means I’m finally back in the financial position to buy nice clothes.

Alas, here is my dilemma. I am now out of the fashion loop.

Since declaring I would not buy a fashion magazine because of the industry’s flagrant disregard for the environment, I have been mostly without a clue. There are days where I manage to look stylish but then there are other days where I feel that I may be a fashion train wreck.

In eight sleeps time, Cokebaby and I will be travelling to the south of France for our (belated due to conflicting schedules) 10 year anniversary. Coincidentally, we’ll be there in the middle of soldes d’hiver, a massive nationwide sale.

So my question is: what to buy?!

This is a fashion 911 emergency. Someone please save me.

Is there something fun that should be in every girl’s wardrobe for the upcoming season? And what about Cokebaby? Or Tofu (I’m assuming there will be dog boutiques)?

A view from under the A. Murray McKay Bridge

A view from under the A. Murray McKay Bridge

Nobody likes being called names. But anyone who’s moved to the East Coast is probably familiar with the term “come from away.” No matter how long ago that move was, the phrase sticks. To me it implies that I’ll never quite fit in or belong. A friend turned me on to a new phrase that I instantly became a fan of: East Coast By Choice. Thus my blog was born.

Here, I’ll write about life as I know it. That means from the perspective of a thirtysomething, Euro-Asian (not to be mistaken for Eurasian) Canadian who grew up in Toronto and moved of her own free will to Halifax in August of 1999. My interests are mostly in books, food, culture, and travel but I’ll be blogging about pretty much whatever catches my fancy at any particular moment.

First, here’s a recap of why I decided to be East Coast By Choice.

What sold me on Halifax?

The fall, Peggy’s Cove, ducks in the Public Gardens, the smell of salt air on the skin.

What do I miss about Toronto?

Diversity (not just of people but opinions and experiences). The bright lights, big city. Anonymity (you seriously can’t go anywhere in Halifax without bumping into at least one person that you know).

Why I continue to stay?

Friends, family, pace of life.

The Best of Halifax

Restaurants: Seven Wine Bar, Mosaic Social Dining, Opa Greek Taverna, Chabaa Thai Restaurant, The Old Triangle, and the list goes on.

Trails: Shubie and Point Pleasant Parks (especially for dog walks)

Day trips: Annapolis Valley, South Shore

Fresh produce: Farmer’s Market, Pete’s Frootique, any number of Select Nova Scotia producers/vendors

Worst of Halifax

Public transit: sometimes buses just don’t show up, or are late, or are early but move on anyway, and don’t even get me started on things like routing and schedules.

Youth crime: like most urban centres it’s a problem but either it’s on the rise in Halifax or it’s being reported about more frequently; in either case, something needs to be done to set these kids back on the right course in society.

City council: citizens are so disgruntled that the last electoral voter turnout was a mere 37 per cent.

Now it’s your turn.

What’s your best and worst list of the city?

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