Indolent Mornings (or Looking Presentable When You’re Half Asleep)…

I like the word “indolence.” It makes my laziness seem classy.  ~Bern Williams

If you haven’t noticed, I do like lazy mornings… especially ones where an equally half-awake breeze just barely ruffles the curtains and my hair.  And Fridays.  Fridays are definitely the time to have those sorts of mornings.

I’ve written on the art of lounging before, and shared a ‘nothing’ morning outfit.  Today, I’ll be sharing another, as it’s my favourite thing to do.  What I mean to say is, dressing up is all lovely and glamourous but it’s the outfit that you wear when you’ve nowhere to go that intrigues me more.  There’s something really fun about taking pieces that don’t look like they’re going to rush out the door with a triple shot macchiato to catch the first bus, and putting them together so that you can confidently answer the knock at the door without looking down and wishing you didn’t look like you’ve yet to brush your teeth.

Cathie Maud - Snow White Lounge

Top:  Disney Store Snow White long sleeve thermal tee (2014)
Skirt:  Juicy Couture velour ruffle mini skirt in Regal (2012)
Shoes:  Bloch canvas ballet slippers (2012)
I’ve been wearing this Juicy Couture skirt for weeks now.  It’s too short to be worn outside (although I sometimes use it as an extra cover-up after swimming) so I keep it strictly indoors.  The super soft velour is comfy, and I’ve always adored deep, dark blues that are almost black.

Being on a Disney kick lately, I just had to wear my new Snow White thermal tee, and the colours complement nicely with my skirt.  Watercolour is also my chosen paint medium, and I love that it is incorporated into this top; it makes it really dreamy and unique.  (Click here to get one –they’re on sale!)

Lastly, these ballet slippers are the comfiest.  I have never liked the standard fare of slippers, and heeled ones are really too much for everyday use… so my ballet slippers have served me very well indeed!

So what makes a lounging outfit pretty and presentable?  I’ve this theory that it should not be too serious, but neither should it be hideously cheesy.  It’s OK to wear a piece featuring your favourite character or graphic statement, but be sure that the colours and design aren’t garish, and if you go with words… I suggest keeping it classy.  Having ‘JUICY’ written across the seat of your pants is not the way to look stylish and put together!   Comfort is important, but more fitted pieces keep the overall ensemble from looking frumpy.  A good rule of thumb is to wear something that you wouldn’t mind bumping into the cute neighbour in while picking up the mail or taking the garbage out.

Have a lovely start to the weekend!!

xoxo,

– Cathie

 

My New Summer Kicks {Melissa Shoes x Disney}…

It’s been a crummy day for me but I have decided that a healthy dose of positivity and shoe admiration is the right antidote to better one’s condition and put an end to feeling sorry for oneself.

When Due West had a summer sale last month, I decided to spend my pennies on a pair of Melissa shoes.  I don’t know what it is about Brazilians and shoes/sandals, but they do make the comfiest and stylish footwear.  I find the concept of ‘rubbery soft’ plastic shoes to be… novel, so was unsure of what to expect although I liked the fact that they are very eco-conscious and driven to give all their employees a great environment to work and thrive in.

The shoes came yesterday, and oh my word.  The prettiness.

Melissa Ultragirl + Minnie II - Box

One expects nothing less than a colourful box from Brazil!

And being a Disney girl forever, I couldn’t resist the stylish Minnie gracing the soles. Plus, polka dots!!
Melissa Ultragirl + Minnie II - ShoesThe shoes are definitely very comfortable.  Like stepping on soft, quiet little clouds.  They aren’t heavy, but they’re a tad weightier than… say, my Bloch leather flats.  It isn’t a bother though.  What is to be expected is that the shoes are slightly less breathable than what natural materials are able to offer.  This should come as no surprise of course, and depending on how aware you are of these things… you may or may not notice at all.  They do get warm quite quickly on very warm days, and perhaps that might make some people feel uncomfortable.  It wasn’t ideal, but it didn’t particularly bother me.  These shoes will also be very easy to clean –definitely can prance in them to garden parties!  I am not sure how the plastic will wear after some use, and I’m trying to get past the mental block that it’s too pretty to wear.  Must wear pretty things, and not have them sit uselessly in closet!!

I’m pretty excited to have these.  I originally bought them to use for gardening, because hey, they’re easy to clean and are way more stylish than those infamous Crocs.  But now, I can definitely see them being party shoes, a glamourous everyday pair, or even a go-to in casual situations where a touch of pretty is always sweet.
Melissa Ultragirl + Minnie II - Modelling

I’ll try not to baby these and dance in them… pinky promise.  :)

xoxo,

Cathie

Panty by Post {A Review}…

I’ve mentioned Panty by Post before and shared a picture, but thought it was high time I did a proper review!  :)

I heard of Panty by Post last year when I read the book My Little Paris.  The idea of having lingerie mailed to one’s doorstep seemed like a fun guilty pleasure, and I share founder Natalie Grunberg’s appreciation of the French passion for detail, quality and beauty in all things… even lingerie. I’ll be frank and say that at that point in time, that particular drawer of mine was quite sad, and I was eager to try new things –especially ones that come in pretty packets!  The excitement of getting something in the post as well as the promise to make the postman blush sealed the deal!  After my first mailing came, I truly fell in love and have been a faithful PBP customer since…

The details:  One panty is mailed monthly, and you can either buy singles, three packs, or subscribe for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Panty by Post - Cathie Maud

The new envelope –isn’t it like a love letter? ♥

What brands do they send along?  I’ve gotten Blush, Maaji, estivo, and Change.  They also carry Hanky Panky, (though I’ve not gotten one yet; I hope I do –it’s one of my favourite lingerie brands!) and JM for men.

Now for the July 2014 unveiling!

I think each customer gets a different panty, but I am not absolutely certain.  So here’s my personal selection: Panty by Post - July 2014 - Cathie MaudI love that their little gift(s) are always quality items, too.  Emi Jay is a particular favourite of mine and I have quite the collection of their hair ties.  This one makes the perfect spring/summer selection!  I do wish they would give out bonbons like they did a few months back.  Apparently, sweets are another guilty pleasure of mine!  ;)

The panty is by Estivo, and is a nude, beribboned creation with lace detail –perfect for all those white and light-coloured summer dresses that we ladies love to sport in warmer weather!

In closing, I adore and recommend Panty by Post!  Not only will they make your postman blush, but they will most certainly add beauty and a certain je ne sais quois to your lingerie drawer.  I know I feel more French and fabulous when I open mine now!

xoxo,

Cathie

 

Lace & Pink (With a Happy Accident)…

Dear readers,

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Summer.

Of course you have!  How could anyone fail to notice?  My sister reports that it is “Super hot!” in Vancouver, and we’ve just come out, slightly tanned and toasted, from a week of humid heat waves that are ever the hallmark of the season in Ottawa.

Now that temperatures have returned to below boiling state, a soft, light jacket is always nice to have on hand for breezy days or summer nights when the temperature dips to something just a touch warmer than chilly.

I happen to have worn this particular lacy one from LOFT Lou & Grey quite a lot.  But you know what makes me really happy?  I shrunk it in the dryer (on purpose) and it fits me even better now.  The size I purchased was a petite small because the XS sold out while I was deliberating said purchase, and I wasn’t sure what the fit would be anyway.  I figured that if I ordered up from my usual size, I could always rely on the dryer to do some magic since it was 100% cotton.  Yes, I know this method is very tricky.  :P

When I got it in the mail, I almost sent it back.  It was so huge and loose and shapeless on me.  You can see it here in this picture of my hubby and me in Banff, standing right beside Lake Louise!
Alex and Cathie in BanffI suppose it’s hard to see in this ‘after’ photo since I don’t have it zipped up, but it has more definition now and doesn’t hang so loosely anymore.  I am one happy girl as I never know when the dryer plan will backfire on me!

Lace & Pink

The sleeves are still the right length; I only scrunched them up because I like wearing the jacket that way!

Jacket:  LOFT Lou & Grey ‘Hint of Lace’ moto jacket (2014)

Jewellery:  Tiffany Heart Key Charm pendant (2013)

Top:  Moon sleeveless patch blouse (2013)

Skort:  Ya Los Angeles ‘Darling’ bow skirted shorts (2013)

Shoes: TOMS ‘Splatter’ wedges (2013)

I like wearing pale neutrals and pastel colours in the summer heat… I’m sure pretty much everyone feels the same, although I have spied a few ladies walking down the street clad in the darkest colours.  I don’t know how they do it!  You are also probably sick of seeing this pink skort on me, but I can’t help it.  It’s comfy, cute, and too easy to throw on –I suppose you could call me lazy.  And it’s not like I do jumping jacks or cartwheels in the street, but I certainly appreciate the added peace of mind of not having to move in ladylike ways (or remember to) all the time.

Happy Summer!

xoxo,

– Cathie

Summer Blues {An Essie Nail Polish Review}…

Quite a handful of weeks ago, Obsessed Look (thank you T!) asked me if I would be interested in reviewing two of the Essie nail polish colours from the Resort Fling 2014 collection.  Who would say no to seeing some pretty nail action, even if I’m truly terrible at applying a manicure to myself!  I enlisted the help of my big sister, who has prettier fingers than I’ve got and who also happens to wield the polish applicator like a wizard.  Without further ado, here are our thoughts on the matter.  :)

First off, I picked the two blue shades, Find Me an Oasis and Under the Twilight.  The two are complementary shades of blue, and perfect to go with floating summer dresses or perhaps that dream seaside resort vacation?

Then we shook the bottles, and opened them.  We noticed it was a bit runnier than other polishes, and so we used the applicator to stir it up; not much change to report!  Sister had heard that this was usual for Essie (she tried their Ballet Slippers once) so we proceeded.  Essie’s formula is very thin so several coats are needed if you want a more opaque colour.  It also dries at a slower pace, and it was almost 10 minutes before my sister could type without using dainty movements.  :P
Essie Nail PolishAlso, because the polish was runnier, when we decided to spice things up with some chevron tips and buttons down the centre, it was very hard!  I think some scotch tape to keep the lines straight and catch the overflow would have worked well –if the base polish had already dried completely!  So please be kind with our attempts at nail art… we did the best we could.  :)
Essie Polish - Summer BluesOur final thoughts?  Essie always has amazing, beautiful colours.  We do like the runny consistency because it means you can control the translucency/opaqueness of the colours.  However if you’re the type of girl who is on the go but still wants to have colourful nails with details, this may not be the bottle for you!  We think this would be perfect for a sleepover with girlfriends though, when you actually have time to sit, chat and let your nails dry thoroughly.

**Tips:  Perhaps you could try helping the drying process along with the aid of a fan, or ‘cheat’.  Use Essie for the base colour, and use a brand with a thicker consistency for the details.

ObsessedLook.com has other Essie collections (I like the 2013 Wedding Collection) and I am obssessed with the single bottles Peach Daiquiri and Leading Lady!  All Essie Polishes from ObsessedLook.com ship free within Canada, so if you are smitten with a few shades, I definitely recommend getting them!

We had so much fun trying them –you can’t beat some quality sister time!– and are still enjoying our pretty nails!

Love, Poetry…

Dear readers,

Wanted to pop in and share an app that I have been enjoying lately as it has been exposing me to some very interesting works and authors, as well as the fact that it is on a subject that no one can fail to be interested in.  Unless you happen to be Sherlock.  Still, there is his professional curiosity…

Back to the subject du jour

It is called ‘The Love Book App‘ and while there is an actual book, sometimes audio recordings are even better.  Especially when they are read by the likes of Tom Hiddleston and… ok, yes.  Just Tom Hiddleston.

*(Full cast of narrators includes Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Watson, Tom Hiddleston, Gina Bellman, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, and Allie Esiri).

Selections include classic compositions from authors that we are familiar with, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jane Austen and Shakespeare.  Then there are some wonderful (and sometimes weird) ones from people whose works I was less familiar with, such as Max Ehrmann’s ‘Desiderata‘ which I am glad to have discovered and love.  You can read along as they narrate, record your own narrations, or just close your eyes and listen…

If you find it to your taste and honestly can’t get enough, I recommend signing up for the weekly email.  It is never intrusive, and it is fun to read love letters from long ago… a few weeks back, it was one that Mozart had written to his wife, and Napoleon to his.  Very passionate fellows they were, I can tell you!  :)

The design of the app is quite funky and fun, so if you are looking for some soothing classical layout and shades, be warned!  However, do not let this deter you as this is a gem and a great way to discover new literary favourites.  The only improvement that I can think of and personally recommend is that Benedict Cumberbatch be invited to join the list of narrators.
Lips for Kissing
Ready to learn about love?  Click here!

Jane Austen Pretties {A Sharing of, and Review}…

Hello!

It has been half an eon again since I last visited with tidings or something pretty to share, but here I am today to do just that.  :)

I have been very busy with moving to Ottawa, settling in, and finding ways to make our new place a home.  I’ve learned how to install curtain rods and floating wood floors.  I’ve helped move a washing machine and dryer, picked curtains, furniture, a mattress… and last but not least, I’ll be helping to build a shed in the backyard.  All this accomplished in a pretty dress, of course.  ;)

Anyway!  Whenever I have an hour to myself before bed, I can be found stoking and fanning the flames of my obsession with Jane Austen.  It all started when I was 15 and my mum told me that she was reading a book that was probably still too ‘mature’ for me.  Never one to back down from a challenge, (even if it isn’t one…) I snuck downstairs and read Pride and Prejudice in one sitting, falling in love in the process.  I’ve read all her books, even Mansfield Park, and am now brushing up on the movies.  There are a lot of versions, I tell you!  I’m trying to find the best of each to recommend to you!  ^_^

That being said, I also do a bit of fanciful trip planning to Bath and the Jane Austen Centre.  They do have an online gift shop, and it’s hard for me to resist as you can see here or if you search for Jane Austen on my blog… hehe.  I succumbed again recently, and indulged in a set of cookie cutters (Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen, which you can pretend is Elizabeth Bennett, to make a happy edible couple!), and a locket.
Jane Austen Centre Souvenirs - Cookie CuttersAren’t they splendid for making little afternoon tea sandwiches or cookies?!  I’m dying to use them once we’re all settled…  The metal is neither sturdy nor too flimsy, so be careful you don’t use a lot of force and bend them out of shape!
Jane Austen Centre Souvenirs - LocketThe locket is a beautiful little one and is made of sterling silver according to the description on the site.  It’s about the size of my little pinkie finger’s tip so be aware of that if you are in the market for something slightly larger.  I love how they personalise it with your name engraved and finish it off with a scroll detail.  (There are 3 details to choose from!)  I must mention that the locket was severely tarnished after two days’ wear –and no, I didn’t wear it while in the shower!  I’ve had other silver pieces, and none of them have tarnished after two days…  There is also what I fear to be a scratch caused by rubbing against the chain as I didn’t bump into anything at all.  This makes me wonder as to the quality of the silver, and the sturdiness of the locket.  The hinges have behaved exceptionally however, so that’s one good thing!  I’ll see if I can remove the tarnish with either toothpaste or baking soda and report back on the condition afterwards. I leave you with a picture of me wearing the locket for scaling purposes :)
Jane Austen Centre Souvenirs - Cathie Wearing Locket

Top:  LOFT linen shirred tee in Sailor Blue (2014)

Skort:  Ya Los Angeles ‘Darling’ bow skirted shorts (2013)

My overall impressions are that the cookie cutters are a must-have in the kitchen of any Austenite, and that the locket is a lovely piece, though a bit delicate and questionable in the quality of the silver.  Of course I would shop the Jane Austen Gift Shop again!  I have my eye on the ‘Litographs’ that they have brought in of Jane’s novels.  I only wish they had one of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey!
Pride & Prejudice - Litograph

 

Gentle reader, are you by any happy chance, a Jane Austen lover, too?

xoxo,

Cathie

Blush Box {Panty Delivery} Review…

Last month, I decided to try a onetime box of ‘The Panty Delivery, which is Blush Box’s newest offering.  Blush Box is ‘dedicated to helping you embrace your sexy side in a classy, fun and stylish way’, and while their main line is all about grown-up ‘fun’, I thought that I would like their new lingerie subscription line.

This box is the May edition, and comes in a plain white box.  It’s discreet on the outside, and quite sumptuous on the inside:
Blush Box May 2014
I opened it excitedly, and squealed with excitement over the first item I pulled out — a black, lacy thong from Hanky Panky… my favourite casual lingerie brand.  :)

The next two, to be quite frank, were letdowns.  One was a stretchy boyshort in shocking neon from Dreamgirl, which I’d never heard of before, but the thing looked like a cheap, dinky piece of nylon lace club-wear.  On researching, Google’s description read thus:  “Manufactures lingerie, costumes, and exotic apparel.”, and upon landing on their site, it seemed like they sold cheap thrills for adult wear and entertainment.  I don’t like cheap lingerie, and I definitely don’t like cheap nylon.  It is also my opinion that poor-quality materials make neon colours look awful.  I think I might be donating this one, as I just can’t bring myself to wear it.
Blush Box May 2014 - The Panties!
Now the third one is by ‘L♥vely Lingerie’, and the only company I could find is one based in Woodbridge, Ontario.  However, the logo is different, so I’m going to have to assume the companies are not the same, especially since the Lovely Lingerie in Woodbridge seems to showcase very lovely items, and are carried in some international online stores.  This one is a horrid leopard print –which is thankfully in muted shades,  but still!!– also nylon, and the stitching on this one shows very shoddy workmanship indeed.

My thoughts?  I have a feeling that they give you one good panty (in this case, Hanky Panky, which usually retails $27-50) and the other two are just inexpensive fillers.  Still a good deal, as the box cost $20.  But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could love everything in the box?  I don’t like making justifications for certain items that I’ve still bought, really!  While the packaging is beautiful, and I love having the one good addition to my wardrobe, I feel that I won’t be resubscribing, unless Blush Box finds a way to exclusively send high-quality, luxe/mainstream/indie brands (and the latter two need not always be expensive…).

I do recommend them for their customer service, and prompt delivery time.  Perhaps it’s also a good idea to keep in mind that this is a relatively new addition to their services, and it may get better as they learn from past boxes and customers’ feedback.

I feel it is a great shame, but for now, I will stick to my beloved Panty by Post!!

***

xoxo,

– Mrs. Cathie

Bonjour Jolie (March 2014) Unboxing…

As I mentioned a few posts back, I signed up for a one-time box from Bonjour Jolie because it was almost that time, and I thought the idea of a monthly pampering box was brilliant.  Treats?  Pads?  A gift?  I’m in… anything to make me feel better!

I’m sure everyone has already heard how the CEO of Bonjour Jolie lost her house and everything in it in a fire, and my prayers and thoughts go out to the team.  ♥  Because of this, shipping for my March box was delayed.  Before I knew, I was a bit miffed –my time came and went with not a peep from ‘Hello Pretty’ (that’s Bonjour Jolie translated for you) and I was definitely not feeling pretty at all.  However, an explanation came in my inbox within a few days, and so my state of miff died immediately, and I decided to happily wait until the Bonjour Jolie team could get back on their feet on their own time.

My box finally came yesterday, and just in time for my next *ahem*, so I’m super thrilled about that!!
Bonjour Jolie March 2014I took a few pictures, but wasn’t getting the photos I wanted, so gave up and decided to make a quick video instead:

I ended up sharing the two biscuits with my siblings and it was pretty funny seeing the looks on my brothers’ faces when I said that it had come out of a period pampering box!  Overall, I really enjoyed this box, though I can see some people perhaps being disappointed in the bracelet, and the variety of selections.  I would have loved to have more types of teas and candies and biscuits, personally… but I’m quite the happy girl for getting this.

I may try them again in the future, but I’m still in ‘exploration mode’, and would like to shop around a little bit more before settling.  Madame Ladybug is next on my radar!

Do you have any ‘lady time’ boxes that you like and recommend?

xoxo,

– Mrs. Cathie

Happy Easter 2014!!

“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.” — S.D. Gordon

Late last night, my family and I went to the Easter Vigil service at St. Paul’s Parish.  It was a beautiful service, because hope and light are very strong themes that are translated in a lovely way throughout the ceremony.  We waited until it was quite dark before the Paschal candle was lit at a little bonfire, and then everyone filed back into the church to have our own little candles lit.  When all the lights are off, and it’s just you and your candle, it feels solemn and pure and special.  I also got confirmed during the service, and am now officially a grownup.  :)
Confirmation 2014 - Cathie Maud

Dress (can’t be seen):  Club Monaco ‘Darcia’ lace dress in eclipse lace with pink (2014)

Jewellery (can’t be seen):  Tiffany bow pendant (2013)

Coat:  DKNY cascading ruffle wool ¾ length coat (2013)

Shoes:  ZARA Swiss Dot court shoe (2014)

I’m planning to have a very quiet and relaxing Easter Day with my husband and family, but wanted to pop by and share my happenings, as well as wish everyone a very happy Easter!!!

And after all, a girl’s got to practise her foot-popping some time!

Just Living is Not Enough

Have a beautiful, blessed day –colour the sun!!

xoxo,

– Mrs. Cathie