You know you’re in trouble when you bump into a client and the first thing out of her mouth is, “Where the hell have you been?!?!” Uh oh. Busted. Yup, I’ve been gone. For a while. Not really gone, gone. Well, part of the time I was. Gone that is. Confused? Me too!

I had a good reason to be MIA. In December, my family and I decided (last minute) to fly to BC to visit friends and family and do some skiing. When we returned home we were hit with the ice storm and lost power for a few days (brrrr, chilly!). Insert Christmas and New Years and then back on a plane for our (actually planned and long awaited) trip to Aruba. (And I’ll be damned but that place really is One Happy Island.)

While I may have been gone from work, I, my friends, have been working. That’s right. You think all that skiing and lying on the beach was pure pleasure? No way! It was research – to see if you really can be super stylish and look good in the great outdoors, in well below and well above freezing temperatures.

And the results? Just in! I have concluded that while being stylish is one thing – and quite easily attainable, looking good is a whole other ball game. While other women may be able to pull off après ski chic and beach babe status, I, apparently, cannot.

Turns out that after a long day of skiing, (well, more like 3 runs – but they’re really, really long), I look hot alright. A hot mess. Red faced from the cold, hair matted from my helmet, face lined from both my balaclava and goggles, I am the least chic woman around.

The beach? Even better. Hair flowing, glowing skinned beach babe me? Nuh uh! Tangled hair, dripping in sweat and sand in unmentionable places. That’s how I roll.

It’s not for lack of trying though. Oh no. I give it my all. Cute outfits, properly styled – no problem there. (Don’t judge me. I’m a stylist.) On paper, it’s all good. But add in a little weather and reality and it all goes to pot.

Sun, wind, heat, cold – they can ruin the best look. Clothes and outfit aside, the easiest way to look good while enjoying the great outdoors is to not actually partake in the outdoor activity for which you are outfitted. Staying indoors would be even better.

But if you’re like me, have a life to live and actually want to do more than just sit around trying to look pretty, then put on your best and go for it. Fly down those mountains, run through the sand and get dirty. Live, love and laugh. Just don’t forget to accessorize.